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Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS, TWC Reach Deal | David Frost Remembered | Syria Challenges Media


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CBS Blackout on Time Warner Cable Ends (TVNewser)
About 3.5 million Time Warner Cable customer got their CBS programs back Monday at 6 p.m. ET as CBS and TWC came to an agreement. In fact, programming returned even earlier as coverage of the U.S. Open quarterfinals aired on CBS. CBS did not release terms of the deal but added, “the agreement includes retransmission consent, as well as Showtime Anytime and VOD, for CBS stations on Time Warner Cable systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.” NYT The outcome underscored the leverage that the owners of important television content, especially sports like NFL football, retain over distributors like cable systems. The looming National Football League season, which starts this week, includes key games every week on CBS. “It was hugely important,” an executive involved in the negotiation said Monday night. Daily Beast “I am pleased to inform you that… we concluded our content carriage agreement with Time Warner,” CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves announced in an email—the first pleasant one in his 32-day public relations bickerfest with TWC chief executive Glenn Britt. TWC and Britt relentlessly argued that the cable company was resisting CBS’ demands, which they insisted in negative television ads amounted to a 600 percent upcharge, only because they desired to save beleaguered cable customers from paying even more than they already do. The Atlantic Wire What will happen to those lawsuits from customers looking for reimbursement for their month spent without CBS now? Your guess is as good as mine.

David Frost, Interviewer Who Got Nixon to Apologize for Watergate, Dies at 74 (NYT)
David Frost, the British broadcaster whose interviews of historic figures like Henry Kissinger, John Lennon and, most famously, Richard M. Nixon often made history in their own right, died on Saturday aboard the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth, where he was scheduled to give a speech. He was 74. He knew how to make his guests “make news,” as the television industry saying goes, either through a sequence of incisive questions or carefully placed silences. NYT Frost didn’t just interview Nixon, he turned that encounter into an enterprise, paying that former president $600,000 (and a share on the profits) so he could package, produce and finance the five-part spectacle. The major American broadcast networks declined to broadcasting it, worried about “checkbook journalism,” so he syndicated it to local stations all over the United States and also internationally. The Guardian Lord Birt, the former BBC director general and producer of Frost’s celebrated interview with Nixon, has told how the veteran broadcaster ended “the age of deference” and ushered in a new era that made British programs like Newsnight and the Today program possible. TVNewser Frost, as host of This Was The Week That Was, served as something of a predecessor to comedians like Jon Stewart, so far as he was mocking the news. The Frost Programme for ITV and The David Frost Show for Westinghouse Broadcasting in the U.S. paved the way for more serious interviews. The Guardian / Greenslade Blog Headlines in British newspapers — plus the TV and radio news bulletin coverage — reflected the widespread media affection for Frost. His death was reported on almost every front page, with lengthy reports, tributes and obituaries on inside pages.

For News From Syrian Battleground, A Reliance on Social Media (NYT)
When Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the United States’ report on Friday about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he noted that “all hell broke loose in the social media” just 90 minutes after the alleged attack. As evidence of atrocities, the report cites thousands of social media updates and videos, along with reports from intelligence agencies, journalists and medical personnel. NYT / Public Editor’s Journal Many Times readers are looking at recent news coverage of Syria, and editorials on the same subject, through the lens of another international conflict: the United States invasion of Iraq. In many comments on articles and emails to the public editor, that theme emerges clearly. Readers do not want the drumbeat of war echoing from their newspaper or its online equivalent; in fact, they are highly sensitive to any hint of that, and want to see the Times be as skeptical and questioning as possible as the nation moves closer to military action. Here’s my take. HuffPost Broadcast and cable networks delivered wall-to-wall coverage of President Obama’s remarks about Syria on Friday. Obama briefly addressed the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria during a meeting with Baltic leaders. He spoke shortly after Kerry’s remarks about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. CBS News’ Mark Knoller reported that the White House declined television networks’ requests to cover Obama’s remarks live. They aired his comments via tape instead. The story dominated the networks, interrupting regular programming on broadcast TV. CBS News’ Scott Pelley, ABC News’ David Muir and NBC News’ Lester Holt led special reports, while MSNBC, CNN and Fox News broadcast the comments as well.

Jeffrey Bezos, Washington Post’s Next Owner, Aims for A New ‘Golden Era’ at The Newspaper (The Washington Post / Style)
Jeffrey P. Bezos, the next owner of The Washington Post, says he doesn’t have all the answers for what’s ailing the newspaper industry or for the financially challenged news organization he is preparing to buy. But he says he’s eager to start asking questions and conducting experiments in the quest for a new “golden era” at the Post. “We’ve had three big ideas at Amazon that we’ve stuck with for 18 years, and they’re the reason we’re successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient,” Bezos said. “If you replace ‘customer’ with ‘reader,’ that approach, that point of view, can be successful at the Post, too.”

College Papers Cutting Back on Print Editions (Poynter / MediaWire)
At least three college newspapers announced in September that they’re going to cut their print schedules — the University of Illinois’ Daily Illini, the University of Missouri’s The Maneater and San Diego State University’s The Aztec. They join other college newspapers, including Duke University’s The Chronicle, that have been cutting back on their print editions.

Fox News Watch Says Goodbye (TVNewser)
Fox News Watch can now be added to the pantheon of canceled cable news shows. Jon Scott hosted the final edition of FNC’s long-running media criticism show over the weekend. “Thanks for making News Watch part of your weekend,” said Scott. Replacing it, Fox News will debut a new media criticism show called MediaBuzz, hosted by Howard Kurtz. Kurtz will now go head-to-head with his old show, CNN’s Reliable Sources, at 11 a.m. ET Sunday.

People Prepares New Subscription Model (Adweek)
Time Inc. cash cow People is preparing to unveil a new pricing model designed to transform the way people think about subscriptions, according to people familiar with the publisher’s plans. Other titles in the company are expected to follow suit. With advertising sagging — PricewaterhouseCoopers estimated that consumer magazine ad revenue will decline 7.3 percent from 2012 to 2017, to $15.2 billion — Time Inc. isn’t alone in turning to consumers for new revenue.

Newsweek’s Print Editions Abroad Hopeful on New Global-Minded Owner (Ad Age / Media News)
Newsweek’s print edition in the United States may have met its end last year, but staff at the magazine’s ongoing print editions abroad hope that the brand’s new, global-minded owner will mean better times ahead for them.

The New York Times‘ Identity Crisis (The Guardian / Michael Wolff)
The media business used to be organized around forms and genres. Books, newspapers, films. Fiction, non-fiction, news, drama. The more current way of thinking is to see the business as a catalog of “products.” This is not just marketing speak — as in, calling a magazine “our product” — but an effort to acknowledge a new, on demand, a la carte world; one that does not involve additional distribution costs. The business mantra at The New York Times, causing many shudders in the newsroom, is that the future is all about the development of these new products, which both existing subscribers and a new audience — not necessarily interested in subscribing to the Times — might well pay for.


Rupert Murdoch’s Pay for Latest Fiscal Year Dropped to $28.9 Million
(THR)
Rupert Murdoch’s compensation for the latest fiscal year dropped 3.7 percent to $28.9 million. He had made $30.0 million the previous year, but saw a slight decline in the latest period ended June 30, according to a regulatory filing Friday. The filing was made by his entertainment conglomerate 21st Century Fox, which was created along with new News Corp in a split mid-year. The pay for the latest year was for Murdoch’s work as chairman and CEO of the pre-split News Corp. FishbowlNY We have to ask: Why even leave the house on that kind of pay? The only thing keeping Murdoch going is probably the $274,531 he got for the use of News Corp.’s private plane and the $15,694 he got for the use of one of the company’s cars. Otherwise, really, it’s better to just hide your face in shame.


The Onion Is The Country’s Best Op-Ed Page — Seriously
(New Republic)
The best op-eds in the country are written by the staff of The Onion, though they’re often published as news articles. The satirical paper, which turned 25 last Thursday, still does plenty of hilarious articles on the mundane (“Nation’s Single Men Announce Plan to Change Bedsheets by 2019”), but its writing on current events has becoming increasingly biting. What they share in common with the best opinion writing is an ability to elegantly locate and dismantle a problem with an economy of words.

Condé Nast Gets Deeper Into E-Commerce, Leads $20 Million Round in French Luxury Resale Site (paidContent)
Publishing giant Condé Nast, already a supporter of fashion startups like Rent the Runway and Farfetch, is upping its investment in e-commerce. On Monday, the company said it had led a $20 million investment in Vestiaire Collective, a Paris-based site that lets people buy and sell pre-owned luxury fashion items. The Series C round, which brings the startup’s total amount raised to more than $30 million, also included Idinvest Partners and existing investors Balderton and Ventech.

Long Odds for Authors Newly Published (NYT)
The Cuckoo’s Calling became the publishing sensation of the summer when word leaked that its first-time author, Robert Galbraith, was none other than J. K. Rowling, the mega-best-selling creator of Harry Potter. But if the book is as good as critics are now saying it is, why didn’t it sell more copies before, especially since the rise of online publishing has supposedly made it easier than ever for first-time authors?


Esquire to Launch Weekly Tablet Edition
(The Guardian)
Esquire is aiming to shake up the monthly magazine market with the launch of weekly tablet edition designed to appeal to a younger generation of readers who grew up on digital content. The title, Esquire Weekly, launches Sept. 5, and will be available through the Apple iTunes store. A version for Android tablet devices is expected to follow. Alex Bilmes, the editor of Esquire, said it was a response to the digital challenge facing all publishers with a print legacy.


Media Company Snatches Up Local TV Stations as Part of Plan to Build A National Powerhouse
(The Washington Post)
Most people probably wouldn’t even realize if Sinclair Broadcasting was in their living room. It’s no Facebook, after all. Or Netflix, for that matter. In a world of fast-rising new-media companies, it has old-fashioned big-media ambitions: Control enough local news markets across the land to build a powerhouse to rival CNN and the Big Four networks.

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