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Posts Tagged ‘NBC News’

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: AP Journalists Shot | Schultz’s Legal Woes | Blade Sues U.S. Gov’t

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan (The Associated Press)
An Afghan police commander opened fire Friday on two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon — the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan. FishbowlNY Niedringhaus and Gannon were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested. BBC News The attack came as Afghanistan intensified security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban. The new president will succeed Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since the 2001 fall of the Taliban but is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. The run-up to this historic election had already been the bloodiest, and fears of electoral fraud are pronounced. NYT Niedringhaus, a German citizen who was based in Geneva, first came to Afghanistan after joining the AP in 2002, and she quickly formed a partnership with Gannon. They were among a band of female photographers and correspondents who persevered through many years of conflict in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. In the process, they helped redefine traditional notions of war reporting. Even as they covered the battlefield, they also focused attention on the human impact of conflicts known for their random, unpredictable violence against civilians.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Turkey Blocks YouTube | NBC Ends Two Sites | Twitter on The Charts

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Turkish Telecoms Authority Moves Against YouTube After Twitter Ban (Reuters)
The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said on Thursday it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube, a week after it blocked access to microblogging site Twitter. NYT / The Lede The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria. WSJ The leaked recording published anonymously purported to show a conversation in which Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria. After the two-part voice file was published, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the TIB requesting that it shutter YouTube. The content represents a “first degree threat to national security,” the ministry said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. CNN Turkey’s top media regulating agency announced a similar ban on the broadcast of the conversation to television and radio channels. Turkey’s political elite has been battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks recorded by unknown operatives and distributed daily for more than a month on the Internet. Until Wednesday, all of the wiretaps seemed to be recordings of phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his inner circle, government officials and some top corporate executives. Politico The move comes just days before significant local elections. Turkish residents decried the Twitter blockage, which prevented them from using the site in any way. A Turkish court overturned the ban on Wednesday, although it could stay in place until after Sunday’s elections. The Twitter crackdown came after similar information appeared on the site questioning the government’s credibility.

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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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Morning Media Newsfeed: Buffett Eyes TV | NYT Hires Fashion Critic | WSJ Editor to Facebook

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Berkshire to Buy TV Station From Graham in $1.1 Billion Swap (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. reached a deal to acquire a Miami television station and some of the company’s own shares in a $1.1 billion swap for Graham Holdings Co. stock that Warren Buffett held for more than four decades. Deadline New York Buffett’s stake accounted for about 23 percent of the voting shares in Graham as of the last proxy, out early last year. He will receive the ABC affiliate plus an unspecified amount of cash and shares that Graham owns in Berkshire Hathaway. Variety The pact marks a turning point for Berkshire and the Graham Holdings, the publicly held firm that changed its name from the Washington Post Co. after it sold its flagship newspaper to Amazon mogul Jeff Bezos last year. Berkshire had been an investor in Washington Post Co. since the 1970s, with Buffett having served as a board member of the publishing and TV station conglomerate. Poynter / MediaWire Berkshire Hathaway purchased most of Media General’s newspapers in 2012, and it’s added lots of newspapers since. Reuters reported in February that Berkshire Hathaway was in talks with Graham Holdings “to trade the shares it owns in the education and media company for control of a yet-to-be-formed unit of Graham.” Graham Holdings still owns TV stations in Detroit and Houston. NYT / DealBook Buffett has embarked on a late-in-life run as a media mogul of sorts, assembling a prospering portfolio that includes his hometown newspaper, The Omaha World-Herald. The deal will bring Berkshire its first television station, whose call sign refers to Philip L. Graham, Katharine Graham’s husband and her predecessor as the publisher of the Post. Perhaps most notably, however, the deal sharply curtails Buffett’s business ties to the Graham family. TVSpy “Warren Buffett’s 40-year association with our company has been extremely good for our shareholders. Naturally, the deal that we have put together is one that will be good for both companies,” said Donald E. Graham, chairman and CEO of Graham Holdings.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Disney Cuts 700 | FCC vs Shared Stations | Tribune Names CEO

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Disney Interactive Lays Off Roughly 700 (THR)
The Walt Disney Company has laid off approximately 700 employees at Disney Interactive, a company spokesperson confirmed. Prior to the layoffs, roughly 2,800 employees worked at the division, representing a cut of approximately 26 percent of its total workforce. Variety Cuts were expected, but not on this scale. They were anticipated to mostly affect Disney’s Playdom group, which produces games for social media platforms. A Disney rep said the layoffs will occur across the board in the business unit. Re/code Last month, Disney Interactive reported its second consecutive quarter of profitability after a long string of losses, credited to the success of Disney’s console game Disney Infinity. However, in tandem with the layoffs, the company will cease in-house console game development beyond supporting Infinity and publishing the as-yet-unreleased game Fantasia: Music Evolved, developed by Harmonix. New Disney games will instead be licensed out and developed by other studios. NYT Disney Interactive makes up a tiny piece of the Disney empire. The entertainment conglomerate as a whole had $1.84 billion in profit and $12.31 billion in revenue in its most recent quarter; Disney Interactive had operating income of $55 million on revenue of $403 million, according to financial filings. Reuters Disney’s games and online division has for years been a persistent money loser and a small but significant drag on a corporate empire that spans movie-making and television to cable network ESPN, theme parks and cruise lines. Last year, Disney Interactive lost $87 million as revenues rose 26 percent from 2012; the division has lost a total in recent years of more than $1 billion.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Comcast Courts FCC | Kasell to Retire From NPR | CNN’s Primetime Test

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Comcast Points to NBCU Deal to Convince Regulators (Financial Times)
Comcast is trumpeting its compliance with conditions attached to its 2009 acquisition of NBCUniversal as a model for how to convince regulators to approve its $45.2 billion bid for rival cable operator Time Warner Cable. Variety Comcast launched another prong in its strategy, announcing a pledge to continue offering basic broadband for $9.95 per month to low-income families indefinitely. Effectively, the cable giant is spinning the expanded low-cost Internet Essentials program as one of the key benefits of the proposed deal for Time Warner Cable — despite the fact that post-deal, Comcast would control nearly one-third of U.S. broadband market. CNET Comcast started the Internet Essentials program as part of a voluntary commitment it made to the Federal Communications Commission in order to get its merger with NBCUniversal approved. Back then, the company promised to keep the program up and running for three years. Adweek The program provides eligible low-income families with $9.95/month Internet service, an option to purchase a computer for under $150 and multiple options for digital literacy training. In two and a half years, Comcast has signed up 1.2 million low-income Americans or 300,000 families. Internet Essentials dovetails nicely with President Obama’s ConnectED program to increase digital literacy and the FCC’s recent plan to invest an additional $2 billion over the next two years to support broadband in schools and libraries. Bloomberg Comcast executive VP David Cohen will hold meetings at the FCC through Wednesday, said two agency officials knowledgeable about the plans. Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, needs approval from the FCC and antitrust officials at the Justice Department for its proposed purchase of New York-based Time Warner Cable, the No. 2 carrier. The Time Warner deal would create “appropriate scale” that enables Comcast to invest in new services, and would create a new national advertiser to increase competition in that market, Cohen said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscar Ratings Soar | Gould Leaves NBC News | WaPo Branches to NYC

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Oscars Rise to 43 Million Viewers, Most-Watched in 10 Years (THR / The Live Feed)
ABC’s annual airing of the Oscar telecast dominated Sunday night. Final ratings for the Ellen DeGeneres-hosted show have the Academy Awards more than 2.5 million viewers ahead of last year, even in the key demographic. All told, ABC’s coverage of the Academy Awards averaged 43 million viewers and a 12.9 rating among adults 18-49. That’s a 6 percent boost in viewers and a virtual tie with last year’s adults-under-50 score. DeGeneres brought lifts among younger viewers and men — with ratings among adults 18-34 and men both at their highest since 2007. Variety DeGeneres also helped pushed the Oscars to new heights on Twitter on Sunday night: The total U.S. audience on the social platform was nearly one-third the TV draw, with a 75 percent jump in tweets related to the show over last year. About 13.9 million people saw a total of 1.04 billion tweets about the Oscars, according to Nielsen’s SocialGuide. LostRemote The ceremony also led to more than 25.4 million interactions (status updates, comments and likes) by some 11.1 million Facebook users, and the top social moment was the crowning of 12 Years A Slave as best picture. TVNewser ABC’s related programming also received a boost. Oscars Red Carpet Live, hosted by Good Morning America anchors Robin Roberts and Lara Spencer, was up compared to last year for all three half-hour segments of the show. The final half-hour pulled in 27.6 million viewers. Deadline Hollywood Coming on right after the big show for a ninth year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel Live: After The Oscars was up 22 percent in total viewers and 20 percent in the key demo over last year, good for its best ever post-Oscars performance. With past Oscar winner Kevin Spacey among his guests, Kimmel was watched by 6.993 million viewers overall, with 2.423 million in the demo.

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Cheryl Gould Departs NBC News

Cheryl Gould, a 37-year veteran of NBC News, is leaving the company. Gould — the first female producer of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw — had been with NBC News since 1977, most recently serving as senior VP.

During her time at NBC News, Gould served as domestic and foreign editor, VP of CNBC, and senior producer of NBC News Overnight, which she helped create. In 1989, Gould won an Emmy Award for Nightly News’ coverage of the Romanian revolution. Her work has been published in The New York Times and Newsweek. She has also served on the Board for the International Women’s Media Foundation.

“We have all benefited from Cheryl’s decades of successes and dedication to NBC News,” wrote Deborah Turness, NBC News’ president, in a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Brokaw Has Cancer | Lauer Replaces Costas | U.S. Press Freedom Drops

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Tom Brokaw Diagnosed With Cancer, Prognosis Encouraging (NBCNews.com)
NBC News special correspondent Tom Brokaw revealed he has been diagnosed with cancer and said he and his physicians are very encouraged with the progress he is making. Brokaw, who has worked at NBC News since 1966, was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer affecting blood cells in the bone marrow, in August at the Mayo Clinic. TVNewser “With the exceptional support of my family, medical team and friends, I am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to come,” Brokaw says in a statement. “I remain the luckiest guy I know.” New York Daily News Throughout his treatment, Brokaw has continued to work on NBC News projects, including a two-hour documentary on the assassination of JFK; appearances on Today, Nightly News With Brian Williams, Meet The Press and MSNBC. He is also contributing to NBC Sports coverage of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Reuters Multiple myeloma is a cancer that strikes white blood cells in the bone marrow called plasma cells, which normally produce antibodies to help fight infection. But in multiple myeloma, an over-abundance of malignant plasma cells releases unhealthy levels of a protein into the bones and blood that in turn can cause damage to bone tissue and organs.

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