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Wednesday, Mar 27

Morning Media Newsfeed: 03.27.13

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It's Official: CBS Acquires Half of TV Guide, Partners With Lionsgate (Deadline Hollywood)
CBS Corp. has announced that it is acquiring 50 percent of TV Guide, the company that encompasses TVGN (formerly TV Guide Network) and TVGuide.com. The deal adds a basic cable network to its TV portfolio, which includes broadcast networks (CBS and the CW), a pay cable network (Showtime), international TV channels, a TV studio and syndication unit. NYT CBS paid about $100 million to acquire the 50 percent of TVGN and of the website TVGuide.com that had been owned by One Equity Partners, a unit of JPMorgan Chase. The price means the value of the half-stake has declined since 2009, when One Equity paid $122 million for a 49 percent share. Ad Age / Media News The owners plan to announce a new programming and branding strategy later, but the channel will continue its focus on entertainment, according to the statement. The channel is available in more than 80 million homes. Its lineup goes heavy on syndicated repeats of shows including Designing Women, Who's the Boss? and Dharma & Greg.

Anderson Cooper Approached for Matt Lauer's Today Job (Deadline Hollywood)
Embattled Today anchor Matt Lauer, already the focus of blistering criticism for the ouster of co-anchor Ann Curry and the ratings slide at NBC's morning show, has long been rumored to be on the chopping block -- despite his $25 million contract and recent efforts aimed at rehabilitating his image. Here's the latest wrinkle: I hear NBC toppers recently reached out to CNN's Anderson Cooper to replace Lauer on the show before the end of the year. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer Cooper may have been surprised at getting roped into the drama, but considering Lauer's recently strained relationship with his employer, he can't possibly be surprised NBC is shopping around. That Jeopardy! gig is probably looking pretty sweet right now. Radar Online Lauer is furious with Today's producers for putting him back in the line of fire for airing an interview that controversial filmmaker John Ziegler did with convicted child rapist and former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting. Lauer is now "very suspicious of the timing of the airing of the Sandusky interview, amidst an interview he did with New York Magazine about the turmoil behind-the-scenes at Today in the days leading up to and after Curry was fired.

Telegraph to Put Up Metered Paywall (The Guardian / Greenslade Blog)
The Daily Telegraph is going to charge for access to its website, becoming the first British general interest newspaper to employ the metered paywall model. People will be allowed to read just 20 articles a month on the paper's site for free. If they wish to read more then they will be able to choose between two digital subscription pages. The Guardian Britain's biggest-selling daily newspaper, The Sun, is to start charging for its online content in the second half of 2013 as part of a radical shift in thinking about readers getting its journalism for free.

CNN Eying Anderson Cooper-Kathy Griffin Series? (Deadline Hollywood)
Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin may make their popular New Year's Eve specials a regular thing. I hear the duo filmed a pilot Tuesday at the CNN studios in the Time Warner Center in New York. Details about the hourlong project are sketchy, but I've learned that it had a lot of humor in it and filmed in front of a live audience -- which I hear included new CNN topper Jeff Zucker.

That Esquire Story About The SEAL Who Killed Osama Bin Laden Is 'Complete B.S.' (Gawker)
Last month, Esquire reporter Phil Bronstein scored a major scoop: An exclusive story about the "man who shot and killed bin Laden." The piece was a powerfully written profile of the anonymous member of SEAL Team 6, now retired and struggling to make ends meet while dealing with the psychological and physical scars of war. But problems with the story's claim that "The Shooter" had no access to health care arose almost immediately. Now it seems the core of the story is wrong as well.

CNN Wanted O'Reilly's Killing Jesus (NY Post)
Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly's upcoming book Killing Christ is set for the National Geographic Channel sometime next year. Because Nat Geo had pulled big ratings with its TV movie of Killing Lincoln, also by O'Reilly, a bidding war broke out over the movie rights to the Jesus book, sources in Hollywood said. Among the most aggressive bidders was -- surprisingly -- CNN. TVNewser Like the Lincoln and Kennedy movies, director Ridley Scott and his production company will be producing the film. Ultimately, however, Nat Geo Channel won out, and will likely air Killing Jesus in 2015.

Google Gets 'Ungoogleable' Off Sweden's New Word List (BBC News)
Objections from Google have forced the removal of the word 'ungoogleable' from a list of new Swedish words, the Language Council of Sweden says. The language watchdog defines 'ungoogleable', or 'ogooglebar' in Swedish, as something that cannot be found with any search engine. But Google wanted the meaning to relate only to Google searches, according to the council. Google responded by saying it was protecting its trademark.

Variety to Focus on Hard-Hitting Showbiz Stories in New Weekly Magazine (Reuters)
Hollywood trade magazine Variety launches a new era with the publication of its first weekly glossy magazine focused on in-depth, analytical stories aimed squarely at entertainment industry professionals.

HuffPost Creates Rainbow Avatar to Support Gay Marriage (FishbowlDC)
HuffPost came out of the closet Tuesday to announce its stance on gay marriage. In case you couldn't guess this one, they like it. They're in favor. So they went so far as to change their social avatars to this colorful rainbow getup. Forbes / Mixed Media It's only the second time HuffPost has used a custom avatar to draw attention to an issue, says Dean Praetorious, editor for trends and social. The first was in January 2012 when it "blacked out" its logo as part of an Internet-wide protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.

Chris Hayes Will Go All In Beginning April 1 (TVNewser)
Chris Hayes is moving to primetime, and as of Tuesday, his 8 p.m. ET show has a name and a launch date. All In with Chris Hayes will premiere Monday, April 1.

USA Today Announces 'Two Big Changes' (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
USA Today is making "big changes" by putting the cover story in the newspaper "on hiatus" and keeping story jumps to a "bare minimum, if at all," editor-in-chief Dave Callaway announced to staffers in a memo on Tuesday.

Here's Why Marissa Mayer Is About to Spend $200 Million on A YouTube Wannabe (Business Insider)
Why is Yahoo! buying an also-ran YouTube clone? One answer is that it fits into Marissa Mayer's big picture content strategy, as relayed to us by another source recently briefed on it. Her plan: reduce Yahoo!'s original content costs to "essentially nothing," do lots of partnerships with outside media brands, buy up as much user-generated content as possible, and then offer a personalized experience for the consumption of it all.

Hashtags Considered #Harmful (Nieman Journalism Lab)
The noble hashtag is cursed by a problem Yogi Berra could appreciate: Too many people use it, so no one goes there.

Alt-Weeklies Are Dead, Long Live Alt-Weeklies (Association of Alternative Newsmedia)
Yes, the alternative weekly of yesterday is toast. At least it should be if the alt-weekly business is going to survive.

Paying for Twitter Followers May Cost You A Job (Forbes / Chereen Zaki)
Social media jobs are looking for candidates with clout. In a digital world, where not only individuals, but brands are pushing their way to top -- influence is key. You are that much more likely to get a job when an employer checks your Twitter to find thousands of followers retweeting you. But here's the catch -- you can get caught.

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