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In Exclusive Interview, Stephen Collins Tells Katie Couric He’s Not a Pedophile

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“7th Heaven” actor Stephen Collins denies being a pedophile in an interview with Yahoo global news anchor Katie Couric–portions of which will appear on ABC’s “20/20″ Friday. “A pedophile is someone who is mainly or wholly attracted to children. I’m not,” Collins said. He goes on to suggest that “a distortion” in his thinking led him to act out. “But I’m absolutely not attracted, physically or sexually attracted to children. I’m just not.”

It’s the first time the actor has spoken publicly about accusations he sexually assaulted three girls in incidents that date back to the 1970′s, but were first reported in October.

Watch the clip, released this morning, after the jump:
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Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!
 

CNN’s #AskACop Trends, Pretty Much Exactly the Way You Could’ve Predicted

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Ahead of a “CNN Tonight” special, Cops Under Fire, the CNN show’s Twitter account asked followers to suggest questions they had about how police officers think and work: “what would you like to ask them? Send in your Q’s w #AskACop.” If your first thought is a joking–or harshly critical–response, it seems you are very much like most of the people on Twitter. “Pretty sure that #AskACop is not going exactly how CNN thought it was going to go,” said Twitter user Jim Avery.

The show bragged later–in a tweet re-tweeted by @CNN–that #AskACop was trending nationally. Well, yes. But that’s not always a good thing. Just ask the NYPD how #myNYPD worked out. Or you could check in with FSU and see how they’re feeling about the response they got with #AskJameis.
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Everyone is a Newser with NBC News’ Stringwire App

stringwireIn the final season of HBO’s “The Newsroom,” the ACN senior staff can’t stand the thought of crowed-sourced video taken by anyone who whips out a smart phone at the opportune time to record news.

Well, a real-live news organization is giving users the ability to do just that.

TVNewser attended an exclusive look at the NBC News-owned Stringwire at 30 Rock in NYC Monday, where  founder and product lead Phil Groman and SVP/GM Mark Graham demonstrated the product for a small group of media.

Stringwire is a live video streaming service that crowdsources user-generated content from eyewitnesses at the scene of breaking news. Users can whip out a smartphone and record live, breaking news footage in a matter of seconds. All videos are monitored, and a seven-second delay helps ensure only factual, appropriate video makes the service.

Charlie Skinner would not be pleased, but millennials could see this at the future of news. Read more

With $800,000 and Two ’60 Minutes’ Veterans, ‘Frontline’ Makes Major Investment in Digital

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CBS’ “60 Minutes” and PBS’ “Frontline” have a lot in common. Both have deep and distinguished roots in traditional media–your Mom, for instance, will know both brands, while Vice may still be a bit of a mystery–and both have been doing capital-J journalism on television in a style that has resisted flash and fluff for decades.

So it might seem natural that “Frontline” has hired two “60 Minutes” veterans, James Jacoby, who spent four years as a producer at “60 Minutes”, Anya Bourg, who produced at “60 Minutes” for eight years. But Bourg and Jacoby won’t be working on traditional TV stories–they’re part of a major push to expand the venerable “Frontline” brand beyond old-school TV. “They will strengthen Frontline’s presence and identity as a digital newsroom,” said Raney Aronson-Rath, deputy executive producer for “Frontline”–and it’s probably wise to think of “Frontline” the way its own journalists do–as a news organization, and not just a show.
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Vice’s Shane Smith Hints at HLN Acquisition: ‘We Believe We Could Do a Better Job’

minihero_shane-smithIs Vice founder and CEO Shane Smith pondering an acquisition of HLN? He sure hinted as much in a conversation with Jeff Jarvis at the Paley Media Council Tuesday. “There’s a lot of distressed media assets out there, some of them in TV, that we can go after” Smith said. “HLN is a distressed media asset. It’s a great opportunity because they’re doing a very bad job and we believe we could do a better job.”

HLN, which was born as CNN Headline News, has had a tumultuous year. In February, newly installed HLN boss Albie Hecht canceled the long-running “Showbiz Tonight”, and announced a rebranding of the network, which would become “the first TV network for the social media generation.” The network, the thinking went, would attract millennials with a new look, new hosts, and a focus on “what’s trending, going viral, and being shared”.

And yet, by summer, Time Warner appeared ready to hit the HLN reboot button yet again–turning to Vice as a potential partner. Time Warner was reported to be considering a major investment in Vice Media, with Smith’s company taking over the programming of HLN. The proposed deal was estimated to be in excess of $2 billion. But by August, it was dead. “Negotiations with Vice have ended,” Hecht wrote in a note to employees.
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Cenk Uygur on Glenn Beck’s Mystery Illness: ‘Let Me Be On the Record Here. Not Buying It’

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Young Turks host Cenk Uygur is “not buying” the recent news that Glenn Beck fought his way through a major health crisis, an announcement that Beck made on The Blaze last week. “My doctors thought if I stayed in New York City, I wouldn’t be alive today,” Beck said at the time.
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Glenn Beck Reveals Serious Health Problems

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On TheBlaze this evening, Glenn Beck revealed he has been battling a serious neurological illness that even the best medical professionals couldn’t quite diagnose. Beck says doctors told him he had 5-10 years, after which he would not be able to function. He started having seizures.

“My hands, feet, arms and legs feel like someone had just crushed them, or pushed broken glass into my feet,” Beck says about the intense bouts of pain. “The doctors tell me I haven’t had REM sleep in as much as a decade.”

Beck says he has dealt with the pain for years. “While I was at Fox the pain would get so bad that the crew worked out hand signals so they would know when to take the camera off of me.” Beck says doctors looked for adrenal fatigue and macular dystrophy. He also had vocal chord issues. “We even looked into whether someone was poisoning me,” he says.  “We moved to a warmer climate. Yes, this is one of the reasons we moved to Dallas.”

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“My doctors thought if I stayed in New York City, I wouldn’t be alive today.”

Still, the symptoms persisted. “Most afternoons my hands will start to shake, or my hands and feet will curl up. When it gets real bad, my friends try to uncurl me.”

“I was told by doctors to take a year off. This is the network you built,” he told his audience in the often tearful 40-minute revelation. “That would not happen.”

Beck turned a corner this summer. He says with hormone therapy, a brain research center which happens to be 3 minutes away from his Dallas studio, and, most importantly, his faith in God, he has “a clean bill of health.”

“My brain is back on line in a big way,” he says. Beck took a TBI (traumatic brain injury) test at the end of the summer and scored 90% capacity. When he’d taken the test last year, he was in the bottom 10%.

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Aereo to Close Boston Office, Layoff Staff

aereo antennaeAereo, the streaming TV service that suffered a massive setback with a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year, will close its office in Boston and lay off 43 employees. A company spokesperson confirmed the move in an email statement to BostInno:

Spokeswoman Virginia Lam said the company will continue on in some form: “In an effort to reduce costs, we made the difficult decision to lay off some of our staff in Boston and New York. We are continuing to conserve resources while we chart our path forward. We are grateful to our employees for their loyalty, hard work and dedication. This was a difficult, but necessary step in order to preserve the company.”

Low-Key, Glitch-Free Launch of CBSN

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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 Thursday, and did so without a hitch. The motto is “Always On,” and for the bosses on West 57th Street, getting it on and keeping it on without a meltdown–not so much as a hiccup in the hours we watched–is a win for CBS News and the digital gurus at CBS Interactive.

Will it work? Who knows. But the potential is there, if CBS is willing to give CBSN time to evolve, experiment, and find its own pace and style. On day one, there’s little flash, no rush, and plenty of potential. Read more

Moonves on CBSN: ‘Plenty of Content at Not a Great Cost’

MoonvesCBSNCBS Corp. Chairman and CEO Les Moonves went on CNBC this morning to talk about his company’s quarterly earnings, negotiating a deal to keep CBS on DISH (the current contract expires Nov. 20) and the company’s latest venture: CBSN which launched at 9am this morning.

“CBS News is a phenomenal organization that has bureaus across the world, and producing a ton of content of which we don’t have enough air time to put it on. So, since we do not have a cable news network, and since the world is going online, we have the ability to put on a 24-hour news channel with anchors live, with plenty of content at not a great cost.”

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