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Viacom, DirecTV Reach New Carriage Deal (THR)
Viacom and DirecTV have reached a new carriage agreement, they said early Friday. The deal ends a two-week standoff that led to a blackout of such networks as MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Nickelodeon in the about 20 million homes of the satellite TV giant. Multichannel News All 17 Viacom networks -- including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, BET, CMT, Logo, Spike, TV Land, MTV2, VH1, VH1 Classic, Palladia, Nick Jr., Nicktoons, TeenNick, Tr3s and Centric -- plus HD simulcasts will return to DirecTV's channel lineup immediately. Bloomberg The agreement marks an end to the latest fee tussle between a pay-TV provider and program supplier, as rising content costs drive customer bills higher. HuffPost / AP Terms of the deal announced Friday were not disclosed. WSJ DirecTV had said Viacom wanted a 30 percent increase, which would have equated to an extra $1 billion, whereas New York-based Viacom had said it was looking for a fair deal to replace a seven-year-old agreement. Adweek As part of the overall carriage agreement, DirecTV has an option to add the Epix service to its entertainment offerings.
A New Boss For NBC News, MSNBC And CNBC (NYT / Media Decoder)
NBC News and the cable news channels MSNBC and CNBC are being brought under a new corporate umbrella, the NBCUniversal News Group, and a new boss, Patricia Fili-Krushel. Deadline New York The goal of the appointment and reorganization, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke said in a staff memo, is to "enhance collaboration among our news brands." B&C NBC News president Steve Capus and CNBC president Mark Hoffman will still run their respective divisions, but will now report to Fili-Krushel, who will be chairman of the new group, instead of Burke. MSNBC president Phil Griffin will continue to report to Capus. TVNewser Fili-Krushel joined NBCU from Time Warner where she was executive vice president of administration. At NBCUniversal she had overseen human resources, operations and business strategy, but those responsibilities will be reassigned to other members of the senior executive team. LA Times / Company Town The move also could be viewed as a demotion for Capus, who has been struggling to reverse alarming ratings declines at the network's premier news program Today. The show is now fighting for first place with ABC's Good Morning America. paidContent The restructuring is similar to Burke's earlier re-organization of the conglomerate's sports assets shortly after Comcast closed purchase of NBCU last year -- NBC's broadcast sports division was combined with Comcast's regional sports networks and put into the NBC Sports Group. THR Fili-Krushel has held programming and production positions at HBO and Lifetime. And she had a brief tenure as president of ABC Television Network from 1998 to 2000, but she has not worked directly with a news division since then. WSJ Even before the Comcast acquisition, executives at NBC News had wanted to bring CNBC within the fold, according to several people familiar with the matter. CNBC has long operated as a kind of fief from the rest of NBC Universal's news properties, with separate offices, its own assignment desk and its own live-broadcasting trucks.
Twitter Continues Legal Fight In Occupy Wall Street Protester Trial (AllThingsD)
Twitter announced Thursday that it will appeal a recent ruling in an ongoing legal battle between the state of New York and a Twitter user, in which a judge ordered Twitter to hand over information on one of its users. NYT / Bits The case concerns a Brooklyn man, Malcolm Harris, who was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct during a demonstration on the Brooklyn Bridge last October. The Manhattan District Attorney's office sought Harris' Twitter posts from two days before the day of the protest through the end of the year. Both he and Twitter refused to turn them over. NY Observer / BetaBeat Thursday, Twitter counsel Ben Lee announced -- via Twitter, natch -- that the company will be appealing Judge Sciarrino's decision, stating that, "It doesn't strike the right balance between the rights of users and the interests of law enforcement." GigaOM A higher court is likely to hear the appeal because the Harris affair is an important test case of privacy and social media, and because Judge Sciarrino's rulings contain questionable reasoning and a bombastic writing style. In his rulings, the judge holds himself out as an authority on social media and uses Twitter-style hashtags with words like "#quash" and "#subpoena." WSJ / Metropolis While the company has a published policy of not releasing user information "except as lawfully required by appropriate legal process such as subpoena, court order or other valid legal process," the Harris case has demonstrated Twitter's willingness to gird itself for a battle to protect its users. AllTwitter So where will this all end? No idea, but it's good to know that Twitter is trying to protect users' privacy.
14 Killed, 50 Injured In Massacre At Dark Knight Rises Screening (TVNewser)
The network morning shows devoted much of the first hour of their broadcasts to the massacre at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater. During a midnight screening of the new Batman film The Dark Knight Rises, a 24-year-old gunman opened fire. Initial reports put the death toll at 14, with 50 others are injured. The gunman is in custody.
Glenn Greenwald Leaving Salon For U.S. Guardian (Salon / Glenn Greenwald)
After five-and-a-half highly fulfilling years at Salon, I will be leaving to join The Guardian beginning on August 20. My last day writing on a daily basis for Salon will be August 15. Politico / Dylan Byers On Media Greenwald, a former constitutional and civil rights lawyer based in Rio de Janeiro, will move his blog en masse to the Guardian's website on August 20, and will also write a formal weekly column that will occasionally appear in the Guardian's print edition. NYT / Media Decoder At The Guardian, Greenwald joins other American-based columnists -- including Michael Wolff, Ana Marie Cox and Naomi Wolf -- as part of its effort to create a larger presence in the United States. FishbowlNY "When I first discussed the possibility of moving here back in February 2007, my only nonnegotiable demand was that I enjoy full editorial independence," writes Greenwald. "They have completely adhered to that arrangement -- not with passive tolerance, but active support and encouragement. Even when influential political and media figures vehemently complained about the criticisms I wrote, Salon's editors unfailingly stood behind my work."
Penguin Buys Self-Publishing Service Author Solutions For $116 Million (paidContent)
Book publisher Penguin is embracing self-publishing with its acquisition of Author Solutions, Inc. NYT / Media Decoder Publishers, aware of the rise of self-published authors like the novelist Amanda Hocking, have scrambled to gain access to the big pool of people who are determined to release their own work without the blessing of a traditional publisher. The hope for Penguin is that some successful books, and promising authors, will emerge from the sea of titles it is acquiring. WSJ Author Solutions, based in Bloomington, Ind., is one of the U.S.'s biggest print-on-demand publishers, with imprints such as iUniverse and AuthorHouse. Publishers Weekly Last year, Penguin was the first conventional publisher to launch its own self-publishing service, Book Country, and they've followed that landmark venture with the acquisition of Author Solutions, a self-publishing firm with around 1,600 employees and revenue of just under $100 million in 2011, having published nearly 200,000 books by more than 150,000 authors in print and eBook formats. The company had net income of $4.2 million last year. GalleyCat In November 2011, the publisher's online writing community Book Country launched a self-publishing platform. Shortly thereafter, well-known self-published author J.A. Konrath criticized Penguin's platform, claiming that the publisher kept too high of a royalty.
Journalism's Lost Decade (Ebyline)
When the Federal Reserve released a report last month about the plummeting net worth of Americans over the last decade, the thought occurred to us that if anyone were worse off than the nation as a whole it might be journalists. After all, inflation-adjusted wages have been stagnant in the U.S. for years and you'd be hard pressed to find an American industry that suffered as sharp a contraction in the last decade (or in any decade) as the news business, right? Wrong. JimRomenesko.com Journalists made almost exactly what the typical American made in 1999, according to Ebyline's Susan Johnston and Peter Beller, then climbed to 4 percent more than the average salary by 2007. Poynter / MediaWire The median reporter salary in 2011 was $31,580, which is $2,880 less than the median salary of $34,460.
Today Keeps Demo Lead Over Good Morning America (TVNewser)
As expected, final Nielsen ratings for the week of July 9 show ABC's Good Morning America won in total viewers while NBC's Today holds on to win among adults ages 25-54, keeping that 17-year streak alive for at least another week. B&C Today averaged 1.711 million demo viewers to GMA's 1.696 million, widening the margin to 15,000 viewers based on Nielsen final numbers. In total viewers however, GMA was the most-watched program for the third consecutive week, and bested Today by 342,000 total viewers, its largest margin in more than 17 years.
Mayer To Get Close To $60 Million (And Maybe More) In Overall Compensation For Yahoo!'s Top Job (AllThingsD)
Yahoo! revealed in a regulatory filing that it could be paying its new CEO Marissa Mayer a total of close to $60 million to turn the company around. The mega-sum includes salary, equity grants, stock options, a make-whole payment for the Google shares she left behind and, perhaps most remarkably, a $30 million one-time retention award.
WNYW Brass Meet For Greg Kelly Damage Control (FishbowlNY)
It's just over two weeks since WNYW/Channel 5 made wholesale changes to its on-air product. Front and center was the promotion of Greg Kelly from Good Day New York to evening anchor. His move to 10 p.m. with Dari Alexander sent market icon Ernie Anastos to the sidelines. He remains on the 5 p.m. broadcast. Multiple sources close to the situation say three high-ranking Fox executives met Wednesday with WNYW VP/GM Lew Leone for "damage control."
That Plan To Archive Every Tweet In The Library Of Congress? Definitely Still Happening (Nieman Journalism Lab)
A little more than two years ago, the Library of Congress announced it would preserve every public tweet, ever, for future generations. We hadn't heard about this project in some time.
College Newspapers Go Digital-First, Innovate To Stay Relevant (HuffPost)
College newspapers, facing economic pressures similar to their off-campus counterparts and hoping to stay ahead of the technological curve, are growing up fast.
Facebook Testing New Pinterest-Inspired Design For App Stories In News Feed (Inside Facebook)
Facebook appears to be testing a layout for Open Graph app stories that is similar in design to Pinterest, with boxes for individual items that allow Likes, comments and other app-specific actions. AllFacebook It might look a little familiar to those who love to pin things. CNET As with any new feature, Facebook is making this one available only to select users. It's still being tested.
Merlin Media Looks To Regain Its Prior Identity At 101.9 (FishbowlNY)
That didn't take long. As we continue with the dream, or nightmare theme, that was FM News 101.9/WEMP, there's word that Merlin Media, not surprisingly, is ready to sever ties with its call letters. FishbowlNY has learned that Merlin has re-registered for the WRXP calls.
AP Launches Video Portal For Local Stations (TVSpy)
The Associated Press announced Thursday the launch of a new Web-based video library catered to local TV broadcasters. AP Video-US will feature stories from the U.S. and around the world with all of the elements (b-roll, nat sound, soundbites, and a suggested script) necessary to produce a segment for TV or the Web. B&C All the video content posted on the portal has its rights cleared for multiple platforms. Regional, national and international stories, as well as entertainment news and lifestyle coverage, are available at the site.