Today's Headlines
Monday, 9/15/14

Media: Digital Forecast to Drive Profitability in 2014
Big media and entertainment companies worldwide are expected to average 28% profit margins this year, up from 26% last year, according to consulting firm EY. Key factors boosting profitability include expansion of digital distribution. "Digital is very much driving profits now."

Tech Industry Facing Global Backlash Over Privacy
Financial Times
The U.S. tech industry has failed to appreciate mounting global concern over online privacy and security and must act fast to prevent deeper image damage, according to Silicon Valley execs. "I was surprised it turned this quickly," said Google chief Eric Schmidt of the change in mood.

Netflix's Value Rivals Media Giants' Amid Euro Push
Financial Times
Netflix, with a market cap of almost $29 billion, is nearing the value of older media companies, such as CBS, which has a market value of $30.6 billion, and Viacom, which is worth $33.5 billion. This week, Netflix will roll out across France, Germany, Austria and other European nations.

Sony: No Surprise 'No Good Deed' Topped Box Office
Associated Press
The Sony thriller "No Good Deed," which stars Idris Elba as an escaped convict and Taraji P. Henson as the innocent he terrorizes, opened on top of the box office with $24.5 million. And Sony wasn't surprised. "It's a movie that we really loved and felt that it was going to win."

Disney to Build 'Frozen' Attraction at Epcot in Florida
Disney is adding a new attraction based on the movie "Frozen" to its Epcot theme park in Orlando, Fla., the media company's latest move to capitalize on the popularity of the blockbuster animated film. At $1.3 billion, "Frozen" is the highest-grossing animated movie of all time.

Fox to Explore Move from Headquarters in Manhattan
21st Century Fox, the entertainment company controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is said to be exploring a possible move from the New York headquarters it shares with News Corp. A possible relocation could take the separation of Murdoch's two media companies a step further.

Comcast Tells Customers to Stop Using Tor Browser
Comcast has another complaint about customer service to add to its growing list. The cable and Internet provider is said to be telling customers that their service will be terminated if they don't stop using the Tor web browser. Tor is designed to protect the user's privacy while online.

Liberty Global Invests in Analytics Firm Mediamorph
Crain's New York
Mediamorph, a New York-based data management startup that caters to the needs of media companies, has raised $10 million in a round led by Liberty Global Ventures, a fund owned by cable giant Liberty Global. Mediamorph "helps all players in the entertainment delivery chain."

Apple CEO Weighs In on 'Terrible, Awful' TV Interfaces
After Apple's big launches last week, CEO Tim Cook gave a wide-ranging, two-part interview to PBS's "Charlie Rose." Among other topics, Cook weighed in on "terrible" and "awful" TV interfaces. "TV is one that we continue to have great interest in. I choose my words carefully ..."

Nielsen's Addition of Handhelds to Boost TV Ratings
New York Post
For the first time, the Nielsen ratings that are the lynchpin of the TV business will start counting viewers who watch shows via mobile apps on tablets, phones and other handheld devices. Folding in mobile viewing is expected to add hundreds of thousands of new viewers overnight.

CBS Wins Huge Ratings with Thursday Night Football
CNN Money
CBS scored big ratings for its inaugural "Thursday Night Football" telecast of the Baltimore Ravens versus the Pittsburgh Steelers amid the Ray Rice controversy. The game attracted some 20.8 million viewers to CBS and the NFL Network. The publicity surrounding Rice probably helped.

Weather Channel in Talks on Options Including Sale
The buyout firms that own Weather Channel are said to have talked to JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs about strategic options including a possible sale. The channel could potentially be sold to a cable network company, while its weather data could be sold separately.

Hulu to Stream Short Videos from Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times has announced that millions of viewers will be able to stream its short-form videos on Hulu, the online video service. The series, released under the Times's new "Originals" banner, is part of the company's ongoing effort to expand its video storytelling.

AOL Quietly Becoming a Powerhouse in Digital Video
Publicly, AOL struggles to shake its reputation as a floundering web giant. But the media company has constructed one of the strongest digital video operations on the Internet. Its new web series features big names like Sarah Jessica Parker, Steve Buscemi and Gwyneth Paltrow.

BuzzFeed Going Hollywood In a Big Way, CEO Says
BuzzFeed has built a substantial video production center in Hollywood, with more than 100 employees on a four-acre studio lot, said CEO Jonah Peretti. "We have everyone there, almost like a more flexible version of the old studio model from the golden age of Hollywood."

Twitter's Vine, Snapchat Creating Social Media Stars
Jerome Jarre, age 23, has transformed his account on Twitter's six-second looping video app Vine into a sketch comedy show of sorts. MTV enlisted him to share videos on his account at this year's Music Video Awards, its marquee event. The going rate for one of his Vines is $25,000.

Amazon's New Office Bringing 3,000 Jobs to London
Amazon plans to open a new office in east London's Silicon Roundabout area, in a move that will bring the U.K. tech industry some 3,000 jobs. The new office, which is expected to house a total of more than 5,000 Amazon employees, is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Google Hires P&G's Top North America Media Exec
Advertising Age
Google has added one more to its growing collection of packaged-goods marketing execs Julie Eddleman, who was the top U.S. media exec of the biggest U.S. advertising spender, Procter & Gamble. Eddleman is joining a team that includes fellow P&G veteran Kirk Perry.

Facebook Takes On Drag Queens Over Pseudonyms
Wall Street Journal
Facebook has taken aim at performers who use stage names instead of legal names in their profiles, forcing them to use their real identities. The move didn't go over well with people like Sister Roma, a member of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a San Francisco drag troupe.

IAC's Dating Websites to Battle Free Mobile Startups
New York Times
Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp owner of, OkCupid and other dating websites has been increasing its presence in the terrain that combines tech and romance in the last 10 years. However, the market has become crowded as free mobile services pop up.

Digital First Mulls Sale of Company, 76 Newspapers
Denver Post
Digital First Media, publisher of the Denver Post and the San Jose Mercury News, said it will "consider strategic alternatives" that could lead to the sale of some or all of the company. The spin-offs of print publishing by a number of media companies have received a "good reception."

Gannett Ramps Up Viewability Data on 'Gravity' Ads
Gannett, publisher of USA Today, is getting new metrics for video that should help it prove to advertisers that consumers are actually seeing ads on its websites. Partnering with tech vendor Moat, the company will employ stats such as viewability to sell its "Gravity" full-screen video ads.

News Corp's Murdoch in Scotland Ahead of Big Vote
Rupert Murdoch traveled to Scotland this weekend. The News Corp. chief seemed to want to take the pulse of the land of his forefathers for himself before the Scottish edition of his Sun newspaper advises its readers how to vote in Thursday's independence referendum.

Guardian Adds Long Reads in Revamp of Newspaper
The Guardian has revamped its weekday and weekend editions, which include a redesigned Weekend magazine on Saturdays, and a new Journal section with "long reads" during the week. "We're very excited about our plans for long reads, both in the paper and online."

Financial Times 'Refreshes' Newspaper for Digital Age
The Financial Times has unveiled a "refresh," including a specially-designed font called Financier. With more than half of the FT's readership accessing it on mobiles, the paper has to embrace what editor Lionel Barber calls broadcast-style publishing schedules. "It's adapt or die."

Time Inc CEO: We Will Redesign Our 'Awful' Websites
Mr Magazine
Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp: "We're redoing all of our websites. When I came in, quite frankly, all of the websites were pretty awful. They didn't have a lot of video content. You couldn't share or comment on the stories; you couldn't do all of the things that you're supposed to be able to do."

Conde Nast to Unveil International Luxury Conference
Vogue UK
The first-ever Conde Nast International Luxury Conference will be held in Florence in 2015. International head Jonathan Newhouse said the inaugural seminar will be entitled "Hard Luxury." The confab "will animate our brands in a new way, bringing together top luxury players."

Forbes to Offer Digital Archive of Magazine's Backfile
Press Release
Forbes has announced an agreement with EBSCO Information Services to create a digital archive of the entire magazine's backfile with content from 1917 to 2000. "This agreement is an example of how Forbes continues to find innovative ways to succeed in the digital age."

The Economist: Surveillance Is New Biz Model for Ads
The Economist
Surveillance is the advertising industry's new business model, according to a special report on ads and technology in the new issue of The Economist. "As people spend ever more time online, thousands of firms are invisibly gathering intelligence about them, as our special report explains."

Esquire Editor Film Looks at When Magazines Ruled
New York
The once-glamorous glossy magazine world is explored in "Smiling Through the Apocalypse," a documentary about Harold Hayes, editor of Esquire in the '60s. "It's a wonderful reminder of a time when monthly magazines were gleaming, state-of-the-art, ad-stuffed engines."

Murdoch Play 'Rupert' Coming to Broadway in 2016
Sydney Morning Herald
James Cromwell, known for his roles in "Babe" and "L.A. Confidential," is set to play Rupert Murdoch in the Sydney premiere of David Williamson's play "Rupert," a production set to transfer to the West End in 2015 and Broadway in 2016. Murdoch, said Cromwell, is "on the cusp" of evil.

Recent Headlines
Media news by sector


Tribune, Berkshire Mulling Bids for Parade Magazine
Advance Publications' auction of Parade, the Sunday newspaper magazine, is said to have attracted interest from Tribune Publishing and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Gannett's publishing arm reportedly has already walked away from the process.

Gannett's Restructuring Arrives at Arizona Republic
Phoenix Business
Gannett's latest restructuring effort has come to the Arizona Republic. The media company has been restructuring several newsrooms in its 81-city newspaper chain. The reorganization involves renaming newsroom positions and having existing employees reapply for jobs.

Financial Times Redesigns Amid Digital Development
Capital New York
The Financial Times will hit newsstands Monday with a major redesign. "You will notice a new typeface, a wider column measure, sharper lines ... It shows the market that the FT is confident in its print product and prepared to invest in it while pacing ahead with digital development."

New York Times Revamps Lists of Bestselling Books
The New York Times Book Review has announced a redesign to its bestsellers lists that will see the introduction of 12 new monthly charts. The new lists include Travel, Humor, Family, Relationships, and Animals. A newly designed print page will highlight niche lists.

Hearst's Esquire to Tout Mentorship in Print, Online
New York Times
Esquire has teamed up with Madison Avenue for a new cause-marketing initiative, seeking to encourage more adult men to mentor boys and young men. In addition to pages in the magazine, Esquire will invite readers to share their mentoring experiences online.

Conde Nast Quietly Looking to Hire Top Digital Exec
Advertising Age
Conde Nast, publisher of Vogue and Vanity Fair, is said to be quietly searching for either a digital president or a chief digital officer. President Bob Sauerberg is believed to be heading up the search. Sauerberg is "telling people he needs someone to think about digital."

McClatchy, Scripps Seek to Exploit Growth in Video
Traditional print publications have taken to teaming up in an effort to pursue fast-growing video advertising. The Local Media Consortium, a group housing 1,000 daily newspapers, has signed on with video inventory aggregator Tout to animate local media's online presence.

Tribune Mulls Closer Relationship with Chicago Rival
Crain's Chicago
The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times have a printing agreement that ends next year. But instead of breaking up, the big daily newspapers are looking at ways to stay together. The two companies are said to be even considering working together more closely.

News Corp CEO Remains Bullish on Print Newspapers
Capital New York
News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson said he is optimistic about improvements at the company's newspapers, despite ongoing declines in advertising revenues. "The intensity of the print relationship, frankly, is much more so than that of the discursive digital relationship."


Report: More Consumers Want to Cut the Cable Cord
The number of people wielding scissors over their cable cord is growing, although they are still a fraction of overall viewers. Some 2.9% of pay-TV consumers are "very likely" to cancel service in the year ahead, rising for the fourth straight year, according to Frank N. Magid Associates.

Univision to Offer Content for DirecTV Online Service
Hispanic media giant Univision is expected to supply content to satellite operator DirecTV's new Internet-delivered service aimed at Hispanic audiences. Univision's content would be a crucial offering for DirecTV's online service, which is expected to launch later this year.

Sirius XM Radio Could Veer Off the Road for Growth
New York Post
Sirius XM has begun looking beyond the dashboard. The company, which depends heavily on subscribers getting their satellite-radio receivers in their cars, is interested in becoming a bigger player in the Internet-based streaming space. "We are watching what happens in streaming."

Discovery Invests in Animal-Focused Site The Dodo
Capital New York
The Dodo, the animal-focused website cofounded by tech investor Ken Lerer's daughter Izzie Lerer, announced that it has raised $4.68 million in a Series A funding round led by Discovery. Along with the investment, Discovery entered into a content-sharing agreement with the site.

A&E Cancels Hit 'Longmire' Because Fans Too Old
Wall Street Journal
A&E's crime drama "Longmire" had higher ratings than "Mad Men," but the show was canceled. Why? Because advertisers are obsessed with younger audiences and networks want to own content as much as possible. Networks want "edgy shows that attract a lot of attention."

AMC Expands Zombie Programming Thanks to 'Dead'
"Breaking Bad" is over. "Mad Men" will conclude next year. Yet AMC can weather the transition because it has the "The Walking Dead," one of the most popular shows on TV. "Zombies are showing no signs of atrophy," said CEO Josh Sapan, who is planning a companion series.

CBS Opens Thursday NFL Game with Update on Rice
CBS kicked off its Thursday NFL package with an update on the league scandal that cost Ray Rice his Baltimore Ravens running back gig and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell his credibility and ultimately perhaps his job. "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley helped viewers catch up.

ABC Adds Tebow to Lineup on 'Good Morning America'
USA Today
Starting Monday, Tim Tebow, the former football star and current SEC Network analyst, will join the top-rated ABC morning show "Good Morning America." Tebow will serve as a contributor and help launch GMA's "Motivate Me Monday" series, focusing on "stories of triumph."

NBC 'Saturday Night Live' Nabs Che from 'Daily Show'
Associated Press
A correspondent on Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show" will join "Saturday Night Live." Comedian Michael Che will handle "Weekend Update" duties with Colin Jost. Che is replacing Cecily Strong on the "Weekend Update" desk. Strong will stay with "SNL" as a cast member.


Facebook Seeks to Lure Creators Away from YouTube
Wall Street Journal
Facebook is said to have reached out to some of YouTube's biggest content producers and encouraged them to test distributing their videos on the social network. Facebook's push reflects a desire to become a bigger competitor in web video and get more content on its site.

Netflix Seen as Big Winner in Comcast Mega Merger
Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable may spare Netflix from having to continue paying for smooth display of shows like "House of Cards." U.S. regulators have asked Comcast about its deal with Netflix that requires it to pay for fast delivery over the cable provider's service.

EBay to Launch Its Own Ad Network for Mobile App
Wall Street Journal
EBay plans to launch an advertising network for its mobile app, opening up a new avenue for marketers to reach the product's 4.6 million daily visitors. "For the first time, we're giving you the opportunity to connect with eBay users throughout their entire shopping journey."

Twitter Sells Bonds to Help Fund Future Acquisitions
It looks like Twitter is preparing to do some early Christmas shopping. Marking its first debt offering, the microblogging giant is selling $1.3 billion in convertible bonds, which will likely go to investments and acquisitions. Twitter has already snatched up a few companies this year.

Yahoo Adds Editorial Veterans from Time Inc, Hearst
New York Post
Kristen Baldwin, a 20-year veteran of Entertainment Weekly, will become the new editor in chief of Yahoo TV. In addition, Kerry Diamond, a co-owner of three Brooklyn hipster establishments, will be named editor in chief of Yahoo Food. Diamond is a former staffer at Harper's Bazaar.

TMZ Sees Near-Record Traffic From Ray Rice Video
Baltimore Sun
Calling the Ray Rice video that broke Monday on TMZ "one of the biggest stories" it has ever done in terms of traffic, website exec Evan Rosenblum said there are more revelations to come. "The stuff that's out there has opened the door to a whole bunch of other story points."

AOL to Debut Comedy Series Starring James Franco
AOL has continued to beef up its original online-video programming with "Making a Scene with James Franco," a new series featuring the Oscar nominee reimagining iconic movie scenes for comedic purposes. Films to get the Franco treatment include "The Godfather" and "Grease."

Spotify Faces New Music Streaming Rival in Deezer
Deezer, the second-biggest music streaming service worldwide, is entering the U.S. with a high-definition offering that will be available through Sonos home-audio systems. The Paris-based company will offer subscriptions to Deezer Elite starting Sept. 15 for $19.99 a month.

Yahoo, Amazon Ads Causing Malware, Cisco Warns
Advertisements popping up on YouTube, Amazon and Yahoo that redirect users to different websites are causing malware, according to researchers as Cisco. When a user is redirected to a website by one of the ads, their computer will download a piece of malware, the researchers said.


Carat Boosts Ad Outlook Citing Optimism for Digital
Just weeks after one major agency forecast, Interpublic's Magna Global unit, reduced its outlook for 2014 ad spending, another Dentsu Aegis Network's Carat has upgraded it a smidge. And like Magna, Carat is optimistic the outlooks for 2015 will be even better.

EMarketer: YouTube to Generate $1.13 Billion in Ads
YouTube is on track to generate $1.13 billion in advertising revenue in 2014, according to eMarketer. The platform accounts for 18.9% of all online video advertising in the U.S. However, YouTube's ad growth may be limited because much of its content is "unfriendly" to advertisers.

P&G Redirects Ad Spending to 'Efficient' Digital Media
Cincinnati Business
Procter & Gamble, the consumer goods giant, has slashed the amount it spends on celebrity endorsements for products such as Head & Shoulders. "We continue to drive marketing productivity through an optimized mix, driven by new, more efficient digital, mobile and social media."

Report: Media Giants to Rely Less on Ad Revenues
Big media companies have been moving to lessen their reliance on advertising revenue in favor of other sources of revenue, including subscriptions, syndication and production fees, according to an analysis by SNL Kagan. Traditional ad platforms will see "continued pressure."

Magna Global: Digital to Drive Ad Growth in 2015
Wall Street Journal
Magna Global has cut its forecast for U.S. advertising revenue growth this year to 5.1% from 6%. But the Interpublic-owned media buying and research firm expects the ad market to bounce back in the second half of the year, and sees its strongest growth rate in a decade in 2015.

Twitter Aims to Expand Ad Network Across Europe
Financial Times
Twitter plans to expand its advertising system across Europe, more than doubling the number of countries it is available in across the continent, as the company strives to reach profitability. The move will allow thousands of businesses in the region to access Twitter's ad products.

Yahoo Brings Native Ads to Other Publisher Sites
Advertising Age
Last year Yahoo adopted the low-hanging-fruit version of native advertising. Unlike BuzzFeed's sponsored listicles or the New York Times's brand-penned posts, Yahoo's native Stream Ads resemble Facebook's Sponsored Stories in that they refashion ads as content links.

TV-Ad Buyers Holding Back as Viewers Move Online
Financial Times
At this year's TV upfront market, ad spending fell 6%, according to estimates. This is the first annual drop in upfront ad sales across broadcast and cable since 2009. Given the growth of digital, brands were less likely to "rush to lock in TV" spending. "TV is less special and unique."

Marketers Hope to Bridge Gap in Mobile Ad Spending
Financial Times
Tech groups have been laying big bets on mobile advertising, as consumer attention shifts from print and radio to smartphones and tablets. But mobile marketing remains a realm of hesitation and experimentation. The tools for measuring effectiveness "are still being built."

Report: Outside Money Drives Deluge of Political Ads
New York Times
An explosion of spending on TV political advertising set to break $2 billion in congressional races, with overall spots up nearly 70% since the 2010 midterm election is said to be accelerating the rise of moneyed interests and wresting control from candidates' efforts to reach voters.

Publicis Mulls Digital Acquisitions in 'Difficult' Year
Financial Times
Publicis, the French advertising group, has revised its growth plan with a view to accelerate investment and make new digital media acquisitions, after its $35 billion merger with Omnicom fell apart in May. "People who don't have enough assets in digital will end up hugely disappointed."

EMarketer: Mobile's Ad Share Is Passing Newspapers
Wall Street Journal
American media habits are changing and the advertising dollars are following. Ad spending on smartphones and tablets will this year eclipse radio, magazines and newspapers, according to eMarketer. Spending on mobile is predicted to jump 83% in 2014 to nearly $18 billion.


Fox Sees 'Next Generation' Running the Media Giant
Hollywood Reporter
Chase Carey, COO of 21st Century Fox, said that at some point "the next generation" will take over running the media conglomerate. Together with CEO Rupert Murdoch and the board, "we'll decide when that is." Carey didn't specifically mention Murdoch sons James or Lachlan.

Viacom: Multi-Screen Viewership Boosts TV Fandom
A new study by Viacom found that the proliferation of devices has had a positive impact on viewership and fandom. Also, multi-screen viewers demonstrate a preference for live TV and stronger network loyalty. New devices help make TV "a bigger part of our audiences' lives."

Comcast, Liberty Global Enter Deal for Shared Wi-Fi
Wall Street Journal
Comcast and Liberty Global have reached an international Wi-Fi deal that will increase access for their some of their subscribers to each other's broadband networks. The two companies plan trials of the shared Wi-Fi service later in 2014 and will offer it on a wide scale in 2015.

Disney, Fox Mull Joining Viacom in Sony's Web TV
Disney and 21st Century Fox are said to be in talks to supply Sony with programming for its planned Internet-based TV service. They would join Viacom, which said it will provide 22 networks, the first time the media company has made its shows available for such an offering.

Fox Moves Closer to Creating Euro Pay-TV Colossus
Rupert Murdoch has stepped closer to consolidating his European satellite properties, creating the continent's largest pay-TV company. The European Commission said it will not raise antitrust objections to the effort by BSkyB to buy Murdoch-owned satellite properties in Germany and Italy.

Verizon to Unveil Internet TV Service with 'Channels'
CEO Lowell McAdam has offered more details about Verizon's plan to offer a TV-like service over the Internet, a market that Sony and Dish Network also hope to lead. The telco expects by mid-2015 it will offer users a "bundle with major broadcast providers" plus "custom channels."

Disney: Maker Studios Will Be Marvel of the Future
If you're curious who will be the pop culture equivalent to Iron Man in the future, Disney believes it could be somebody like YouTube star PewDiePie. Disney bought YouTube network Maker Studios in March. Maker is going to be "a big studio like Marvel or Lucasfilm."

Scripps Networks Steers Clear of Media Merger Mania
New York Post
Ken Lowe, CEO of Scripps Networks Interactive, is bullish about the company's stand-alone prospects and said there are no talks to partner. There was talk of getting together with Discovery, but that went nowhere. Scripps is now eyeing overseas joint ventures for its cable networks.

CBS, Time Warner Open to Stand-Alone Channels
Time Warner and CBS have signaled they were open to one day making HBO and Showtime available directly to consumers online without a pay-TV subscription. Separate comments by CEOs Jeff Bewkes and Les Moonves were the latest sign of pressure from services such as Netflix.

Time Warner: We Have No Plans to Spin Off HBO
Hollywood Reporter
Jeff Bewkes said he has no intention of spinning off HBO or offering up a tracking stock for those who would like a more pure-play investment into the popular and profitable premium cable network. "The company now is pretty focused," said the Time Warner CEO. "We've got big scale."

Disney, Mickey on Board with Apple's New Releases
Orlando Sentinel
Apple's new Apple Pay purchasing system will work at Walt Disney World right off the bat when it launches in October. Meanwhile, a familiar face will be one of the options for the face of the new Apple Watch the Mickey Mouse wristwatch will be reinterpreted for the new technology.

Report: Hollywood Jobs Dry Up as Industry Declines
While the U.S. economy has steadily added jobs, the movie industry has seen a sharp decline a 19% drop in just over two years. "In Southern California we know that this is a declining industry." Today much of the production process "can be done through technology."




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