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Monday, Jan 07

Morning Media Newsfeed 01.07.13

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Winter TCA: NBC's Bob Greenblatt Responds to Violence on TV (LA Times / Show Tracker)
Recent mass shootings in Colorado and Connecticut are forcing television executives to justify the escalating violence on the small screen that critics contend glorify or, worse, fuel real-world killings. THR / The Live Feed NBC's Hannibal is based on the books by Thomas Harris and centers on a psychiatrist-turned-killer played by Mads Mikkelson (the villain from James Bond's Casino Royale), and Fox will bow the Kevin Bacon thriller The Following on Jan. 21. "I think it weighs on all of us," NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told reporters gathered Sunday in Pasadena for the first broadcast network session of the tour. "Most people at this network have children and really care about the shows that we're putting out there. It's always in our mind. This just brought it to the forefront." HuffPost A reporter at TCA questioned the sudden influx of violent shows based on serial killers this season -- especially given the recent tragedies in Aurora and Sandy Hook. Greenblatt and Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment, were quick to downplay any link to TV violence and real-life events. "I don't know that you can make the cause and effect argument on that," Greenblatt said. "Hannibal is actually... there's a lot of violence around the show, but you don't see a lot of acts of violence." Mediaite The panel at ABC's This Week Sunday clashed over potential new gun control legislation in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, with some panelists emphasizing violence in our culture and others emphasizing gun control. George Will said that President Obama should examine the violence in his hometown of Chicago and "see if gun control has anything to do with that." Greta Van Susteren of Fox News said she believes violence in media is a large problem. "We're numb to violence," she said. HuffPost "You know what," she said. "We should take a look a little bit more at ourselves, from top to bottom. I mean, we have so much violence surrounding us that we think is OK. When we go to the movies, we see it, it's OK. Obviously, you can't legislate against things like that. Even the president of the United States sends rappers to the White House who say horrible things. Nobody's scandalized. I mean, there's no sort of effort for us to sort of looking at ourselves and how we're so -- we're so -- we're numb to violence in our culture." Gwen Ifill interjected, "I'm trying to figure out whether any rappers have resulted in the deaths of schoolchildren. I don't think so." Yahoo! News / Reuters Arnold Schwarzenegger may be one of the world's biggest action stars, but the former governor of California says violence in films is entertainment and should not be linked to tragic events like the Connecticut school shooting in which 20 children died.

Eliot Spitzer Ends His Show on Current TV (NYT / Media Decoder)
Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor turned progressive television host, said Sunday that his show on Current TV is over. The announcement comes a few days after Al Jazeera said it was acquiring Current TV. Later this year, the Qatar-owned broadcaster plans to turn the channel into an Americanized version of the international news channel Al Jazeera English. The Daily Beast / Cheat Sheet The politician-turned-TV show host announced the amicable breakup Sunday, noting that he had a relationship with Joel Hyatt and Al Gore -- Current's founders -- not Al Jazeera. "Moving forward, their mission will be different," he said. New York / Daily Intelligencer Spitzer went on to say that he was "thrilled" to take over Viewpoint when Keith Olbermann was fired from the show last year, though he never saw the work as a long-term thing. "For me, journalism has been more a matter of projecting a particular approach to covering policies, to covering issues. It was a continuation of what I tried to do in government," he said. THR / Bastard Machine When the Qatar-owned 24-hour news channel bought Current for a reported $500 million, it was an attempt to get into the U.S. market, where it had barely penetrated and is seen mostly through its website and some streaming sites. Time Warner Cable first announced it wouldn't carry the channel but now seems more on the fence about that decision. Other systems could also put up resistance. That's Al Jazeera America's first hurdle -- and it may ultimately come down to money (lower license fees). But the biggest hurdle by far is overcoming the misperception Americans have about the channel.

HBO Extends Universal Deal, Keeping Films from Netflix (OMG! Yahoo! / Reuters)
Home Box Office said Sunday it extended its deal with Universal Pictures for the rights to the studio's movies through 2022, allowing HBO to keep them away from video-streaming rival Netflix, which is aiming to compete with HBO, Showtime and TV outlets. Further details of the agreement were not provided by HBO, a unit of Time Warner, or by Comcast's Universal studio. LA Times / Company Town Although terms of the agreement were not disclosed, people familiar with the pact said the terms are similar to those HBO agreed to when it renewed its agreement with 20th Century Fox last year. That deal calls for HBO to pay more than $200 million a year for 20th Century Fox movies. In output deals, pay-TV providers typically pay between 10 percent and 12 percent of the U.S. box office of each film, up to $200 million. TechCrunch The deal shows just how closely HBO is competing with Netflix these days, in particular with a multi-screen strategy. "With HBO's far-reaching network of premium services, ranging from the traditional in-home experience to its mobile applications, we are pleased to continue this relationship and bring Universal and Focus Features' films to HBO subscribers for many years to come," said Rick Finkelstein, vice chairman and COO, Universal Pictures, in a statement.

TV Ratings: NFL Wild Card Game Scores Touchdown for NBC (Zap2it / From Inside the Box)
NBC won Saturday night by a wide margin with the NFL Wild Card Game that pitted the Green Bay Packers against the Minnesota Vikings. With an average 26.0 million viewers for the night, the other networks weren't even on the same playing field. THR / The Live Feed In the key demo of adults 18-49, preliminary returns give the game a 9.2 rating among adults 18-49. All other post-season NFL games will air on Fox or CBS prior to the latter network's Feb. 3 broadcast of the Super Bowl. Reuters NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said he expects the network's ratings to slip in the coming months after an unexpectedly strong fall season, though he hopes some coming new shows will break out to help stem the decline. The Comcast-owned network made a surprise comeback in the final months of 2012 after years in the ratings basement. The network's viewership jumped 24 percent among the 18- to 49-year-old age group that advertisers crave, the only increase among the four major TV broadcast networks.

Gabrielle Giffords Books Sitdown with Diane Sawyer on Shooting Anniversary (THR / The Live Feed)
Gabrielle Giffords is heading to ABC World News this week. The network announced Sunday that the former congresswoman will once again be interviewed by Diane Sawyer, the only journalist she's spoken with on camera since a gunshot wound to the head almost took her life in 2011. HuffPost The exclusive interview will air on Jan. 8 on World News with Diane Sawyer, just two years after gunman Jared Loughner shot Giffords in the head, severely wounding the congresswoman and killing six individuals.

Jay Leno's Tonight Show Contract Extended Past 2014 (The Inquisitr)
Jay Leno's The Tonight Show contract has been extended past 2014, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced Sunday. Several in attendance at the Television Critics Association press tour confirmed the announcement. TV critic Jim Halterman wrote on Twitter, "Leno's contract just extended. No real talks about any succession plan when he does step down. They also love Carson Daly's show. #tca13." B&C ABC's Jimmy Kimmel may be getting a lot of ink related to promotion to 11:35 p.m., but NBC brass say while the move will likely spike ratings initially, they are not yet plotting for a future after Jay Leno. "I don't think it would be wise for us to prognosticate on the ratings," said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late night programming for NBC Entertainment, at the 2013 Television Critics' Association winter press tour Sunday.

1600 Penn Could Host Some Familiar Guests (The Washington Post / The TV Column)
Joe Biden will not be asked to guest star in an episode of NBC's new White House comedy, 1600 Penn, but real media figures are welcome -- at least NBC ones, and Larry King, according to the show's exec producers, including former presidential speechwriter Jon Lovett. "It would destroy the universe" of the show to have real-live Washington politicians wandering into the scene, Lovett told TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2013. HuffPost NBC announced that King was among a collection of real-life journalists who will stop by 1600 Penn on Sunday at the 2013 Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. Joining King are Savannah Guthrie of Today, NBC's Chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd, and Morning Joe co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. On Sunday, Guthrie retweeted the news about her appearance on 1600 Penn, which sees Bill Pullman return to his POTUS position for the first time since the 1996 box office hit Independence Day. USA Today Those clips of Vice President Biden "working the room" while swearing in new U.S. senators last week has his fans wanting more. Like a television show, for instance. One fan has submitted a petition to the White House website asking President Obama to "authorize the production of a recurring television program featuring Vice President Joe Biden," perhaps on C-SPAN.

Old Media's Stalwarts Persevered in 2012 (NYT)
Everyone knows that traditional media companies are dead in the water, overwhelmed by ad skipping, cord cutting and audience flight. We know that because Chicken Littles (like me) have been saying it for years. Eventually we may be right -- the sky will fall and the business will collapse -- but for the time being, the sky over traditional media is blue and it's raining green.

Commentary: Are Newspaper Editorials Passe? (Sacramento Bee / Stuart Leavenworth)
Editorial pages need to change, and many are changing. That's why in 2012 we added new voices, revamped our online operations to accommodate more letters from readers and hired a new staff cartoonist. You will see more changes in 2013. But one thing that won't change is our core mission –- advocating for the best interests of our state and our community.

Baltimore Has its First 'Street Newspaper' Run by Homeless (Baltimore Sun)
Bonnie Lane stands in front of Baltimore's City Hall, arms crossed, lips pursed, on a mission. Her stance is memorialized in a photo and article on the pages of Word on the Street, the fledgling newspaper she helped launch nearly a year ago. The "street paper" -- one of 23 in the United States -- is produced by homeless individuals like Lane and formerly homeless individuals and advocates.

An Agency a Continent Away Expands to the Ad Capital (NYT)
An advertising agency is rewriting a lyric of "New York, New York" to proclaim, "If I can make it anywhere, I'll make it there." Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, a leading agency with headquarters in San Francisco, is opening an office in New York. The office, temporarily located at 7 World Trade Center, gives the firm, which was founded in 1983, a New York presence for the first time.

J.A. Konrath Advises Writers: 'Get Over Yourself' (GalleyCat)
In his annual Konrath's Resolutions For Writers column, novelist J.A. Konrath offered some subdued advice for writers: "I really think it is possible to make a very nice living by writing and not worrying about anything else." In a world where writers struggle to manage Facebook profiles, Twitter pages, Tumblrs, Google+ accounts, Pinterest pages and blogs, Konrath urged aspiring writers to "get over yourself." Do you agree?

Voluptua Follows Vampira to the Great TV Lounge in the Sky (FishbowlLA)
Few people knew Gloria Pall better in her last years than LA writer and documentary filmmaker R.H. Greene. He recorded a special Valentine's Day 2011 tribute for KPCC's Off-Ramp and conducted what would be her final interview for his 2012 feature documentary Vampira and Me. Pall passed away at a Burbank hospital Dec. 30 at age 85. Greene released a statement about Pall this past Friday and is quoted in this weekend's LA Times obit. Pall debuted on KABC-TV as Voluptua Dec. 15, 1954, eight months after Maila Nurmi's Vampira character on the same station.

The Rainbow That Follows Jersey Shore (NYT)
Jersey Shore ended in December, retiring after six seasons as one of television's signature reality shows. And while it was a demolition derby of inebriation, spray-tanning and hard house music, it was also, at least in part, ethnography. Never before had the rituals, quirks and peccadilloes of young Italians, or Italianates, been given such a bullhorn.

Journalism is Among Top 10 Occupations to Most Likely Attract Psychopaths (MediaJobsDaily)
Spoiler alert: What you're about to read is a bit unsettling. AOL Jobs recently indicated a recent book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, outlines several fields which are more likely to attract psychopaths than others. Unfortunately for us, media jobs (primarily television and radio) ranked third on the list and journalist follows in seventh place.

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