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Posts Tagged ‘Al Jazeera America’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Aereo Suspends Service | The View Loses Two

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Aereo Suspends Streaming TV Service, Weighs Next Steps (Variety)
Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on Wednesday in favor of broadcasters, Aereo announced early Saturday that it was pausing its streaming TV service at 11:30 a.m. ET. “We have decided to pause our operations temporarily as we consult with the court and map out our next steps,” Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia wrote in a letter to subscribers. Deadline Hollywood The Barry Diller-backed company plans to consult with the U.S. District Court in New York, hearing broadcasters’ complaint against it after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the service violates station owners’ copyrights when it streams their over-the-air programming without permission. Users will receive a refund for their last paid month. Mediaite Notably, Kanojia calls the move a “pause” rather than a permanent end to operations, though it seems highly unlikely that the company will be able to move forward in any recognizable form following the decision. In an interview with Bloomberg TV earlier this year, he said the company had “no plan” to move forward if the court ruled against it. GigaOM Despite the obvious appeal of an Internet-based mobile TV service that offers a small bundle of channels, the TV industry is reluctant to change its current business model, which is based on selling large packages of channels, many of which consumers never watch. One option for Aereo may be to accept the Supreme Court’s declaration that it is a cable company, and seek a license from the broadcasters, although the economics of this might prove prohibitive. NYT The company had fewer than 500,000 subscribers in about a dozen metropolitan areas. Customers paid $8 to $12 a month to rent one of Aereo’s dime-size antennas that captured over-the-air television signals. They then could stream and record programs from major broadcasters using their mobile phones, tablets, laptops and Internet-connected televisions.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: WaPo Finds New HQ | Journo Killed in Ukraine | FCC Plan Advances

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Washington Post Publisher Announces Newsroom Move to One Franklin Square (FishbowlDC)
Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth announced in a memo to staff the paper’s relocation to One Franklin Square. HuffPost One Franklin Square is located in downtown Washington, D.C. Weymouth said that the move is set for 2016 and the new location is expected to be “a more efficient and collaborative space.” Poynter / MediaWire The new digs are about three blocks from the news organization’s current location. The Washington Post / Digger The selection of the building followed a real estate hunt that began in February of last year before Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, acquired the newspaper in October. Washington Business Journal / Breaking Ground The Post signed a long-term lease with Hines Interests LP for the space in the West Tower of 1301 K Street NW. The Post has been working on a deal with Hines for some time now.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Sued | Layoffs at AJAM | Turner’s Koonin Exits for NBA

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Texas Monthly Sues Times Co. Over New Hire (NYT)
The publisher of Texas Monthly filed a lawsuit on Friday against The New York Times Company related to the Times’ hiring of the magazine’s departing editor-in-chief, Jake Silverstein. FishbowlNY Emmis Publishing is claiming that the Times influenced Silverstein into breaching his contract. The lawsuit states that Silverstein’s contract expires in February of next year. NY Post The six-page Texas state court action alleges that Times executive editor Jill Abramson started recruiting Silverstein in December 2012 — a full year before then-magazine editor Hugo Lindgren was ousted. Greg Loewen, president of Emmis, said the company has been “damaged by the Times and expects to be compensated.” Capital New York The suit, which seeks damages between $200,000 and $1 million, names only the Times, not Silverstein, as previously reported. Loewen said the company never intended to stand in the way of Silverstein’s pursuit of the Times Magazine editorship. Loewen said that after Silverstein told his employer last month that he was being considered for the job, Emmis notified the Times that they would have to reach a settlement on the termination of his contract with Emmis to account for the costs associated with finding Silverstein’s replacement, as well as the damage of losing a star editor. New York Magazine / Daily Intelligencer In a statement, Emmis said, “No such agreement was reached and, to date, the Times has refused to even participate in settlement discussions despite numerous attempts” by Emmis to do so.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Pleads Case | DirecTV Restores TWC | Breitbart Loses Whip

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As Comcast Takes Next Step in TWC Merger, Opposition Groups Band Together (TVNewser)
Comcast took the next step in its $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Tuesday morning by filing a joint Applications and Public Interest Statement with the FCC. In a blog post about the filing, Comcast EVP David Cohen argued that the deal is good for consumers, especially current TWC customers. Those opposed to the deal, understandably, don’t think so. Fifty groups sent a letter to the attorney general and FCC chairman Tuesday asking that the deal be blocked. Capital New York The 650-page document filed with the FCC outlines the reasons Comcast believes the proposed merger with TWC would be in the public interest. Much of the document spelled out in granular detail arguments made by Comcast in its original announcement of the proposed deal, but there are some notable new takes. Comcast now sees itself as a tech company, in competition with Google, Facebook and Netflix just as much as traditional competitors like DirecTV and Verizon. Comcast argues that it doesn’t compete with TWC, as they do not operate in the same areas. Variety Critics have claimed the Comcast-TWC merger, which would create an entity that controls 30 percent of the country’s pay-TV market, is decidedly not in the public interest because it would result in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers. Moreover, the combination “could compromise the open nature of the Internet,” Sen. Al Franken told Justice Department officials last month. CNET Last week, Comcast filed a Hart-Scott-Rodino notification with the U.S. Department of Justice, which will begin the antitrust review of the merger. And on Wednesday, Cohen will testify about the merger before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Now that the official filing has been made in the merger, which was announced in February, the FCC will have a self-imposed deadline of 180 days to review and make its decision. USA Today Facing a growing number of customers flocking to streaming video and content providers demanding more payment for programs, TWC agreed in February to be bought by Comcast for $45 billion. The acquisition would give Comcast access to key media markets that it has coveted, including New York and Los Angeles, and occupy about 40 percent of the Internet service market, or about 32 million customers.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Prime Price Hike | McCarthy to Wonkblog | Drone Covers Harlem

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Amazon Prime Gets Price Bump to $99 A Year (VentureBeat)
Nine years after it launched, Amazon Prime is getting an inevitable price increase. Amazon announced Thursday that Prime will now cost $99 per year in the U.S., a slight bump from the previous $79 a year price. WSJ The Seattle retailer said the 25 percent increase was needed to offset rising delivery and content-acquisition costs. The $99 price takes effect for new members on March 20. Existing Prime members will pay the higher rate when they renew. CNNMoney In February, Amazon said it was considering raising the price to $119 a year. Prime members get two-day shipping on a large number of Amazon items at no extra cost, plus the ability to borrow Kindle books and stream movies and television shows. The company also said that it has increased the benefits of the program, now offering free shipping on 19 million items, up from only 1 million nine years ago. It also introduced its video streaming service in 2011 and recently launched Amazon-produced shows. THR The $99 price point may open the door for a tiered pricing system that would allow people to subscribe to Amazon Instant Video or Kindle’s lending library separately. Amazon does not disclose the number of Prime members, but research from Cowen and Co. estimates that there are about 23 million members in the United States, representing a 37 percent increase year-over-year in January. The research also indicates that 95 percent of Prime members visit Amazon monthly and 85 percent make a purchase.

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Mel Brooks is a Big Fan of Al Jazeera America

MelBrooksAlJazeeraIt’s the kind of spontaneous testimonial that any new outlet dreams of. For The Stream, Al Jazeera America recently dialed up Mel Brooks via satellite from Los Angeles. At one point, the 87-year-old comedy legend took a moment to praise the instrument of his interview:

“Let me say something about Al Jazeera. I’m doing this because when Al Jazeera was first on the air, and I first heard about it, I thought it was probably Arab, Muslim, you know, slanted and maybe a little anti-Semitic, I didn’t know. And then I got to see it on my local station in Santa Monica and it was like a breath of fresh air.”

“It was like the New York Times of [TV] news. It was either MSNBC on the left or FOX on the right. It was giving me the news as earnestly and as honestly as I ever got it, and that’s why I salute Al Jazeera, and that’s why I’m happy to be here doing this even though the money is very small.”

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Jacob Ward Departs Popular Science for Al Jazeera America

Jacob Ward GJacob Ward, editor-in-chief of Popular Science since last year, is leaving the magazine to join Al Jazeera America as its science and technology correspondent. Ward had been with PopSci since 2006, when he joined as deputy editor.

“Jake has been on the front lines of the science and technology stories that matter to audiences,” said David Doss, Al Jazeera America’s senior VP for news programming, in a statement. “He knows how to make complex topics understandable and exciting and will bring that talent to Al Jazeera America’s viewers and readers.”

Ward will join Al Jazeera next week.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Anchors Slam Obama Snub | Assad Interview Airs | Crossfire Debuts


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Univision, Al Jazeera Anchors Slam Obama After Being Left Out of Media Blitz (The Wrap)
Univision anchor Jorge Ramos and Al Jazeera English senior political analyst Marwan Bishara lashed out after their networks were left out of President Obama’s media blitz, writing that the president was leaving Hispanics and Arabs out of the Syria crisis debate. TVNewser “Pres. Obama gives 6 interviews [Monday]. None of those to Univision. Why? Hispanics also care about Syria. Same mistake as presidential debates” Ramos tweeted. “150,000+ Latinos are serving in the U.S. military. But none of the 6 interviews given [Monday] by Obama include Univision” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jose Zamora, a spokesperson for Univision, told us the network “did everything possible” to get an interview when the opportunity was announced, but was unsuccessful. “We think it’s a very important story for us and most importantly for our audience,” he said. Al Jazeera America Marwan Bishara: “Considering Washington’s decisions in the past decade have had an arguably deeper impact in Iraq and Afghanistan than in Iowa and Montana, President Obama must answer to Arabs as he does to the American people, regarding future wars in Syria or elsewhere in their region. And there’s only one major network that reaches the majority of Arabs and Muslims and others in the greater Middle East.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Al Jazeera America Debut | Fox News Exec Fired | Hearst Swaps Editors


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Al Jazeera Makes Limited American Debut (NYT)
There was ample attention in journalistic circles as Al Jazeera America had its premiere on Tuesday — particularly among those who could not watch. The news channel — which replaced Current TV at 3 p.m. ET — was expected to be carried by five of the country’s 10 biggest television providers, but one of those, AT&T U-verse, dropped Current, and thus Al Jazeera, late Monday night. That decision irritated some U-verse subscribers, who complained online about the company’s move and which further limited Al Jazeera America’s potential audience on Day 1. THR / Hollywood, Esq. Al Jazeera America has filed a lawsuit against AT&T over its refusal to carry the new cable news network. “Al Jazeera America made a decision to seek judicial intervention in its dispute with AT&T,” the network said in a statement Tuesday night. TVNewser The first few minutes were hosted by anchors Richelle Carey and Antonio Mora, who introduced the channel. Clips of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator John McCain praising Al Jazeera were played, followed by clips of people on the street criticizing the existing media landscape. TheWrap / MediaAlley Al Jazeera America — the first cable news channel to launch since Fox News back in 1996 — has a lot going for it. It’s got plenty of cash, funded by the oil-rich royal family of Qatar, allowing it to hire a staff of 850, create 12 bureaus in the United States (and 70 more all over the world through Al Jazeera’s network), and it has the noble ambition to bring Americans good, solid and unbiased journalism. There’s also a lot for the nascent network to worry about. Baltimore Sun / Z on TV CNN has a lot to lose if Al Jazeera America is even a little successful. The modest ratings gains CNN has managed to make in 2013 under new president Jeff Zucker are going to disappear pretty fast if Al Jazeera America splits or even takes a bite out of the audience on big, breaking news stories. And with CNN under Zucker favoring sensational trials over coups and riots in places like Egypt, Al Jazeera could find a breaking news audience very fast.

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Video Journalism Startup Adds AOL Channel

As a reminder of just how much competition Al Jazeera America faces for eyeballs, well beyond the currently heralded VICE, consider AOL On. The nascent network features a wide array of news content, to which it has just added a dedicated Storyhunter channel.

Storyhunter, a startup based in Brooklyn, is focused mainly on reporting from Mexico, Central and South America. Like VICE, it provides international stringers with the funding and resources to report on feature stories. From a TubeFilter report about the AOL On channel launch:

“Our platform harnesses the cost­-effectiveness and global access of citizen journalism and integrates it with the best practices of professional journalism,” said Storyhunter co-founder Jaron Gilinsky. “Pro­sourcing means that you get the context and credibility that news viewers are looking for, as well as the authenticity and originality of crowdsourcing.”

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