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Thursday, Mar 29

Morning Media Newsfeed 03.29.12

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Anchorman 2 Gets Green Light (TVNewser)
Brace yourselves, America, because Anchorman 2 is coming to theaters. Actor Will Ferrell -- who created and starred in the 2004 film as self-obsessed San Diego local news anchor Ron Burgundy -- made the announcement Wednesday during a taping of TBS program Conan. FishbowlLA Burgundy made the trip up north from San Diego to Burbank Wednesday to announce that an Anchorman sequel is in the works. He also took the time to make reference to his "turgid penis" and to suggest that Conan O'Brien get immediate plastic surgery. TVSpy "I want to announce this to everyone here," Burgundy told the Conan audience, "Paramount Pictures and myself, Ronald Joseph Aaron Burgundy, have come to terms on a sequel to Anchorman." Will Ferrell is back in burgundy. Ron Burgundy, that is.

After Several Cable Appearances, Joe Oliver Tells MSNBC His Role In Martin Case 'Doesn't Make Sense' (TVNewser)
Cable news viewers following the Trayvon Martin coverage have been introduced this week to Joe Oliver, who has defended George Zimmerman on all four of the cable networks and ABC's Good Morning America since Monday. TVSpy "I'll clarify my relationship with George because the characterization has been as a close friend. I'm being described as a close friend because I'm the only one speaking out for him," Zimmerman said. "But my relationship with George is more of an older uncle. I'm old enough to be his father." Yahoo! News / The Cutline Spike Lee apologized Wednesday for retweeting a tweet thought to contain Martin shooter Zimmerman's address that turned out to be an elderly couple's residence. Yahoo! News / The Cutline First it was the hoodie. Now photographs used in the media's coverage of the Martin killing are the subject of widespread debate, as supporters of both the slain 17-year-old African-American and the shooter, Zimmerman, say selectivity by some news outlets in which photos they use is proof of bias. HuffPost The City of Sanford, Fla., is warning members of the press not to approach city employees outside of work. The City of Sanford has put out a press release that "kindly requests that members of the media refrain from approaching, phoning, or emailing city employees when they are in their roles as private citizens." The police department "will not hesitate to make an arrest for stalking."

Covering The Supreme Court, Camera-Free (TVNewser)
Judge Judy this isn't. As the Supreme Court concluded three days of oral arguments on the validity of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the health care reform law, there's no shortage of opinion about why most Americans never got to see any of the action.

News Corp. Said To Plan U.S. Sports Network To Rival ESPN (Bloomberg)
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. is taking steps to start a national U.S. sports network on cable television aimed at challenging Disney's ESPN, according to people with knowledge of the situation. WSJ The media company has been discussing the idea on and off for several months, although it hasn't made a decision. If it does go ahead, such a venture would not launch any time this year. NYT News Corp. could try to rebrand one of the cable channels it already owns, like Fuel, which specializes in "thrill-seeking sports" like Ultimate Fighting Championship matches, into a general sports channel. But that network is only seen in only 36 million homes. A more likely candidate, the senior executive acknowledged, would be Speed Channel, a network based on car racing that is now seen in about 80 million homes. AdAge / MediaWorks Last year News Corp. secured rights to the Pac-12 and Big 12 conference games, as well as to soccer's World Cup in 2018 and 2022. The company also owns 20 regional sports networks. / Media Alley "Fox is working to continually diversify and parlay that into a larger chunk of the audience," Dan Durbin, director of USC's Annenberg Institute for Sports, Media, and Society, told TheWrap. "The bottom line for [Fox Sports CEO David Hill] is that he wants to have the biggest [sports network] in the world, and of course Murdoch wants to have the biggest of anything in the world."

The Cable Sports Bidding War Will Justify The Dodgers' $2.15B Sale Price (paidContent)
How does a faded Major League Baseball franchise -- one that hasn't won a championship in 24 years and has fallen into disrepair under consecutive floundering ownership regimes -- get moved for the largest team sale price in pro-sports history? It all has to do with the licensing power of regional sports cable television. LA Times / Dodgers Now If the $2 billion that Magic Johnson's group paid to buy the Dodgers sounds like a lot of money, just wait until the new owners auction off the team's television rights. WSJ In an industry where the usual multiple is about three times annual revenue, the team sold for about 7.3 times its high-water mark of $293 million in revenue, set in 2008. But with its lucrative media rights coming free from contract after the 2013 season, the new owners have a rich opportunity to either launch a regional sports network in the country's second-largest market or to hold an auction for the rights to telecast Dodgers games in a golden era for sports deals.

Ex-Rocky Editor Offered WashPost ME Job (Politico / Dylan Byers)
John Temple, editor of Honolulu-based local news site Civil Beat and former editor of the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News, has been offered the vacant managing editor job at The Washington Post. One of my Post sources says: "Apparently accepted. Likely to be announced before the weekend."

That's Not Random (NY Post)
After 177 years as a family-controlled company, stodgy German media giant Bertelsmann is plotting a drastic overhaul to jump-start growth -- a move that has Wall Street salivating over the prospect of a new wave of dealmaking.

News Corp. Lashes Out At BBC For 'Gross Misrepresentation' Of NDS Subsidiary (
News Corp. president and chief operating officer Chase Carey lashed out Wednesday evening at a BBC report alleging that a software subsidiary leaked tips that enabled viewers to access rival pay-television channels for free. NYT According to the reports, NDS hacked into satellite television companies to advance the interests of BSkyB in Britain and Foxtel in Australia. News Corp. has minority stakes in both BSkyB and Foxtel.

SAG-AFTRA Merger: Judge Won't Block Vote (
Federal judge James Otero Wednesday rejected a lawsuit that would have blocked the proposed merger of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

PC Mag Designs iPad App 'From Scratch' (minOnline)
Sometimes folding a print pub is a good thing for a transitioning magazine brand. In the case of Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine, having three years' distance since its print demise gives the tech review and news provider the opportunity not to be a magazine when it comes to the iPad.

Katie Couric To Co-Anchor Good Morning America Next Week (TVNewser)
Nearly six years after she signed off from the Today show, Katie Couric is making a return to the mornings, filling in next week for Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. Gawker With all the rumored upheaval and turmoil at NBC's once-untouchable morning program, some sources say this is a diabolical decision by an executive Disney goon squad done to further taunt Today and its flat ratings.

Oprah To Appear On CBS This Morning April 2 (TVNewser)
If you had "three months" in your office's "When will Oprah appear on CBS This Morning" pool, then congratulations, you win!

Why Is The Press So Ready To Count Santorum Out? (CJR / The Swing States Project)
The cable networks and much of the political press corps seems determined to start pulling out the tent pegs while Rick Santorum is still performing under the Big Top. TVNewser On The Tonight Show Tuesday night, Jay Leno asked Mitt Romney for one-word thoughts on some potential VP picks. When Leno got to Santorum, Romney must've been thinking about that CBS News video of Santorum's rope-line confrontation with New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny, as Romney responded: "Press secretary." AllFacebook Newt Gingrich has made Facebook a cornerstone of his communications strategy and online brand. SocialTimes President Barack Obama is not the only social-savvy candidate in the 2012 presidential elections. In his race to the primaries, Republican candidate Gingrich has also stopped by Pinterest to delight his supporters with campaign tour photos, artsy Instagram shots, and cover art from his books. SocialTimes It's almost like a coming of age for a social network when the president gets on board. It was a big deal when Obama joined Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and now he's signed up for the latest social craze: Pinterest.

Daytime Emmy Awards Returning To Los Angeles (FishbowlLA)
The Daytime Emmy Awards are returning to Los Angeles June 23 following a two-year stint in Las Vegas, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced Wednesday.

Tribune, DirecTV Face Friday Deadline In Retrans Battle (TVSpy)
Tribune Broadcasting is threatening to pull the signals of its 23 stations from DirecTV if the two companies cannot come to a carriage agreement by midnight Friday.

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