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Posts Tagged ‘Walt Disney Co.’

Morning Media Newsfeed: DWA, Hasbro Merger Talks End | The Onion Exploring Sale

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DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro End Merger Talks (THR)
Hasbro has called off merger negotiations with DreamWorks Animation, sources say. The deal chatter, which became public on Wednesday, appears to have been derailed in part by the performance of Hasbro’s stock and potentially the high price sought by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. WSJ News last week that the toy maker was in early acquisition talks with the film studio drove the two companies’ stocks in opposite directions. Hasbro investors sent the toy company’s share price down more than 4 percent on Thursday and nearly 2 percent on Friday, when they settled at $54.02 on Nasdaq. Adweek DreamWorks reportedly wanted $30 per share, a relatively steep incline for stock trading at roughly $22. NYT / DealBook Also playing a role was a negative private reaction by the Walt Disney Company, which comprises roughly 30 percent of Hasbro’s business through licenses for Star Wars, Marvel characters, Frozen and the Disney Princesses toy line. Variety Neither side has officially commented on why the talks fell apart, nor the potential of a deal. Hasbro follows recent conversations DWA has had to sell the toon studio. In September, it discussed such a sale with Japanese tech giant SoftBank, that also ended just days later.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBSN Launches Glitch-Free | Aereo to Downsize, Cut Staff

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CBS Launches Digital News Network CBSN (LostRemote)
After announcing a subscription-based streaming service, CBS launched an all-digital streaming news network, CBSN, on Thursday. So now you can watch live, anchored news whenever you want, for free. TVNewser It didn’t look like launch day at CBSN, and that’s a big achievement. Freed from the burden of launch day hoopla and high expectations, CBS News turned on its brand new live streaming news channel, and did so without a hitch. Capital New York The company is stressing that the move is not meant as a way into the 24-hour cable-news channel fray. “We are not endeavoring to start a cable news channel online,” CBS News president David Rhodes said. “We are trying to create something that is native for connected devices.” Those devices include laptops and PCs, smartphones and tablets, and, yes, Internet-connected TVs. The target audience: younger viewers, some of whom may not subscribe to a pay-TV service. THR The network — available on CBSNews.com, the CBS News app and connected TV devices such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Roku — will feature 15 hours of live, anchored coverage from 9 a.m. ET to midnight ET every weekday. The segments will be split into 60-minute blocks of live, updated news. CBS News special reports will be simulcast on CBSN during breaking news and content will also be fed in from CBS affiliate stations, CNET, CBSSports.com and Entertainment Tonight. New York Post The owner of CBS broadcast network, radio stations and Showtime missed the cable boom of the past decades but appears to be diving headfirst into a mobile future. Last month it joined with its affiliate partners to launch CBS All Access, a standalone digital platform for current and archived content.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: ISIS Posts Fourth Cantlie Video | Abramson Talks Risen, Rice

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ISIS Releases Fourth Video of Journalist John Cantlie, ‘Eagerly Awaits’ Ground War (HuffPost)
Islamic State militants have released a new video featuring British freelance journalist John Cantlie — the fourth since Cantlie was taken hostage nearly two years ago. The Guardian Cantlie, who has been held for almost two years, said ISIS was “dug in for the fight” in a seven-minute video that emerged on Sunday. Appearing to offer a scripted argument, he said the western public is being rushed into a war it cannot win, against thousands of armed militants. The Independent Cantlie also appeared in an online article calling for the British government to “open a channel and negotiate” with ISIS. It appeared hours after the British Ministry of Defence confirmed that a “specialist” team of British soldiers would head to northern Iraq to help train Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic militant group. The article was published in the ISIS online magazine Dabiq. WSJ The U.K. government said Monday that it was analyzing the article purportedly by Cantlie in which he says he awaits his turn to be executed by the extremist group unless British and American governments negotiate. The writer who identifies himself as Cantlie criticizes the West for not negotiating with ISIS when others have. “For now, I am still alive, but at some point in the near future, the mujahedeen will surely run out of patience. Just ask our government to talk. That’s all,” the article in question read. New York Daily News The British war photographer was captured in Syria along with James Foley in November 2012. Foley, an American war correspondent, was beheaded in August. The following month ISIS released a video of Cantlie criticizing American and British foreign policy, saying he’d been “abandoned” by his government.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Nielsen Reveals Ratings Glitch | NBC Crew Quarantined

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Nielsen’s Ratings Problem Is A Total Glitch (LostRemote)
Nielsen Friday announced internal “ratings irregularities” that date back to March 2, 2014 and were “generally imperceptible until [the company] saw high viewing levels associated with fall season premiere week.” TVNewser The company will now reprocess all of the impacted data going back at least to Aug. 18 — for entertainment, news and syndicated shows. TVNewser The company Saturday released updated data for the week of Sept. 22, which was the first week of 2014-15 TV season. As suspected, the inaccurate data favored ABC programs while hurting ABC’s competitors. The restated numbers are being most closely watched for revisions to the primetime ratings as new fall shows had their premieres. In the tight evening news race, World News Tonight With David Muir, had its numbers revised down, but it didn’t change the outcome. Muir’s newscast still won the week in the demo, and NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams won among total viewers. HuffPost Nielsen, the leading global measurement company and provider of television ratings data, said in a press release Friday that “a technical error” resulted in incorrect data over the course of about seven months. WSJ The difference in what was misattributed was less than 0.05 of a ratings point for about 98 percent to 99 percent of broadcast and syndicated TV shows, Nielsen said. The error didn’t affect overall TV viewership numbers, only how that viewership was credited to particular networks. Cable TV ratings weren’t affected by the glitch, it said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turner to Cut 10% of Staff | Politico Names Executive Editor

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Turner to Cut 10 Percent of Workforce (TVNewser)
As part of Turner 2020, the cost-cutting and reorganization plan announced earlier this year, the parent company of CNN, HLN, TBS and others has announced it plans to cut 1,475 jobs. CNNMoney Turner Broadcasting, a unit of Time Warner Inc., will cut its total workforce by about 10 percent in the coming weeks through a mix of buyouts, layoffs and other measures, the company said Monday. Capital New York The headcount reduction will include buyouts of staff over the age of 55, layoffs and unfilled open roles. Staff that will be laid off will be informed within the next two weeks. That number also takes into consideration the addition of 150 new jobs in “growth areas” at the company. THR The cuts will come at all levels from across the news, entertainment, kids, young adult and sports networks and businesses as well as corporate functions, in 18 Turner locations around the world. About 300 positions will be eliminated within CNN Worldwide, or about 8.5 percent of the roughly 3,500-strong workforce. WSJ This summer, Time Warner rebuffed a takeover bid from 21st Century Fox Inc. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is under pressure to show Wall Street the company can deliver growth — and a higher stock price — on its own.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Redbox Ends Streaming Service | Mukpo Returns to U.S.

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Redbox Ending Instant Streaming Service (THR)
Streaming video service Redbox Instant, a joint operation between Verizon Communications and Outerwall’s Redbox, is shutting down. Deadline Hollywood The statement announcing the shutdown read, “Thank you for being a part of Redbox Instant by Verizon. Please be aware that the service will be shut down on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. Information on applicable refunds will be emailed to current customers and posted on Oct. 10. In the meantime, you may continue to stream movies and use your Redbox kiosk credits until Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time. We apologize for any inconvenience and we thank you for the opportunity to entertain you. Sincerely, The Redbox Instant by Verizon Team.” Variety Outerwall (then called Coinstar) and Verizon formed Redbox Instant by Verizon in February 2012, with Verizon owning 65 percent of the joint venture. The companies debuted the service in March 2013. Under the most recent subscription plan, the $6 monthly service provided access to 6,000 movies across different devices, as well as rentals and purchases of select titles. GigaOM The shutdown comes after the service had disabled new sign-ups for three months due to a credit card fraud issue, which not only prevented Redbox Instant from acquiring new customers, but also resulted in existing customers with expiring or revoked credit cards being booted from the service because they weren’t able to add any new payment information. Redbox Instant’s catalog was also significantly smaller than Netflix’s or even the Amazon Prime Instant streaming video catalog, and the service never really gained traction with consumers, leading the CEO of Outerwall to remark that both his company and Verizon were “not pleased” with the subscriber numbers. In that context, the credit card fraud issue may have just have been the final straw. Re/code But Verizon is not done playing around with video services. Earlier this year the company bought Intel’s never-launched Web TV business, and while it doesn’t look like it’s going to try launching that one itself, it is planning some sort of video service that it plans on delivering via phones and other mobile devices. Recently Verizon announced it had secured programming rights from Viacom, and promised to say more soon. Meanwhile both Sony and Dish Network say they plan on launching their own Web TV services this year; Sony has also announced a Viacom deal, while Dish has signed up Disney/ESPN, A&E and Scripps.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SoftBank Eyes DWA Purchase | Marvel Settles With Kirby Estate

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Ravens Cut Rice Following TMZ Video | Todd Wins on MTP

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Ray Rice Cut by Ravens Following TMZ Video Release (TVNewser)
At 4 a.m. ET Monday morning, TMZ posted a video showing Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his fiancée Janay Palmer — now his wife — in an Atlantic City elevator last February. By 2:30 p.m., Rice had been suspended indefinitely by the NFL and cut by the Ravens. PRNewser The NFL’s SVP of communications Greg Aiello explained things to CNN: “We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator. That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.” Mashable The video shows a man believed to be Rice and a woman in a lobby at the Revel Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Feb. 15, 2014. The woman is believed to be Palmer, now Janay Rice, whom Rice married in March. After entering an elevator, the two briefly scuffle. The man then hits the woman with his left hand, causing her head to appear to hit the handrail in the elevator. The woman then slumps to the ground and does not move. The man then proceeds to drag her out of the elevator while she still appears to be unconscious. Security arrives after that. Variety ESPN host Keith Olbermann has accused the NFL and commissioner Roger Gooddell, among others, of covering up the Rice domestic violence situation. Rice was given a two-game suspension by the NFL last month over the incident, but on Monday, the league suspended the football player indefinitely as a result of the graphic video. Mediaite TMZ founder Harvey Levin said Monday that none of this would have happened, and Rice would have gotten away with it scot-free, had TMZ not put the video online.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Obama Honors Foley | Afghanistan Expels NYT Reporter

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Obama: Foley Execution ‘Appalled’ the Entire World (TVNewser)
President Obama took the podium Wednesday in Martha’s Vineyard to speak about James Foley, the American journalist who was beheaded by ISIS in a video released Tuesday. The United States Wednesday morning verified the authenticity of the video, which also shows another captive American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and warns that he will be next to die. FishbowlDC Obama said, “No just God would stand for what they did yesterday or every single day… People like this ultimately fail. They fail because the future’s won by those who build and not destroy. The world is shaped by people like Jim Foley.” ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC and Al Jazeera America all broadcast Obama’s statement live. NYT Obama declared on Wednesday that the entire world was “appalled” by the videotaped beheading of Foley by Islamic militants, speaking as American warplanes conducted 14 airstrikes in Iraq and the State Department asked the Pentagon to send as many as 300 more American troops to Iraq for security. Mashable Obama sent U.S. troops to Syria earlier this summer to rescue a number of Americans held by a violent extremist group, including Foley, but the troops did not find the hostages, senior Obama administration officials said Wednesday. The officials said the rescue mission was authorized after intelligence agencies believed they had identified the location inside Syria where the hostages were being held. HuffPost Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt condemned the murder of journalist Foley in a statement on Wednesday. His murder should be treated as a war crime, according to Pruitt. Foley went missing in Syria in 2012. He contributed to the GlobalPost and Agence France-Presse, among other media outlets. TVNewser CBS’s Clarissa Ward changed her profile picture, Fox News’s Conor Powell remembers him as “a great guy,” while Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, himself imprisoned in Egypt, says Foley’s murder “will spark a revolution against terrorists.” These are just some of the ways those who knew and worked alongside the intrepid journalist are remembering their colleague killed by ISIS militants.

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