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Today's Headlines
Thursday, 7/24/14



Hollywood Movies Face Worst Summer in Eight Years
Hollywood Reporter
The domestic summer box office is expected to be down some 20% this year. For the first time since 2001, no summer film will cross the $300 million mark. Analysts say the young male audience hasn't been "as enthusiastic as usual." One studio exec lamented: "I wish I worked at Netflix."

Sony, Disney Delaying Big Summer Franchise Films
Wall Street Journal
Sony plans to delay the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" to 2018, after a disappointing box-office performance for "Spider-Man 2." Meanwhile, Disney plans to release the fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie in 2017. Last year, Disney delayed the film from its 2015 release.

DreamWorks CEO to Receive National Medal of Arts
World Screen
Jeffrey Katzenberg will be among those to be presented with a National Medal of Arts by President Obama. DreamWorks Animation's CEO will be honored for "lighting up our screens and opening our hearts through cinema." Katzenberg, in addition, "has embraced new technology."

Comcast in Public Relations Battle Over Net Neutrality
Washington Post
Comcast has two big goals in Washington this year. The first is to get its merger with Time Warner Cable approved by federal regulators. The second is to forestall what it views as potentially onerous new regulations on its broadband business. The two goals are interconnected.

Fox-Time Warner: Harry Potter, Simpsons Key to Deal
BuzzFeed
Combining the Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox studios would give Rupert Murdoch control over the two largest film and TV catalogs, creating a highly lucrative annuity and allowing for unprecedented sway over how content is made and sold across distribution platforms.

Time Warner Investors Pressure Carey to Stay at Fox
Reuters
Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox's president, may be feeling pressure to stay in his job for several more years from Time Warner, the company his boss, Rupert Murdoch, is trying to buy. Some Time Warner investors are said to be concerned about who might succeed the 83-year-old Murdoch.

Liberty Chief: Time Warner Unlikely to Get Other Bids
Wall Street Journal
John Malone said 21st Century Fox has long been eyeing a takeover bid for Time Warner and isn't likely to face competing bidders, pouring cold water on speculation that tech companies could emerge as rival suitors. "It would be very difficult to put together a competitive bid."

BSkyB Near Deal to Create Pay-TV Giant 'Sky Europe'
Financial Times
BSkyB is said to be poised to confirm its European expansion on Friday by announcing a deal to acquire its sister companies in Germany and Italy. Proceeds of the deal would strengthen 21st Century Fox as Rupert Murdoch continues to pursue an acquisition of Time Warner.

Vice Media Earns Big Ad Premium for the 'Cool' Factor
The Information
Vice Media has built a billion-dollar company by declaring itself as the news source with a direct line to hip millennials. But the company's success is said to be based largely on "convincing brand marketers to pay a premium for the 'cool' factor — a strategy that could prove hard to sustain."

Chernin, AT&T to Buy YouTube Network Fullscreen
Re/code
Fullscreen, the YouTube network, is said to be finalizing a deal to sell a majority stake to Otter Media, the AT&T-Chernin Group joint venture. The deal would value Fullscreen, which says it generates 3.5 billion views a month on YouTube, between $200 million and $300 million.

CBS Local Media Acquires Digital Media Firm Eventful
Billboard
CBS Local Media has acquired Eventful, a San Diego-based digital media company that provides platforms for live, digital and broadcast events. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Eventful's 55-person staff is expected to be integrated into the CBS Local Media team.

Clear Channel Parent Posts Loss on Higher Expenses
San Antonio Business
CC Media Holdings, parent of media giant Clear Channel, has reported a quarterly loss, which it chalked up to higher expenses for its radio division and a major debt payment. "Our growing digital and events businesses continued their strong momentum," said CEO Bob Pittman.

YouTube Music Head Quits in Setback to Paid Service
Wall Street Journal
Chris LaRosa, YouTube's product manager in charge of music, will be leaving Google this Friday to join a startup. People who work with LaRosa describe his exit as a huge loss. LaRosa is the second person in charge of YouTube's music service to leave over the past 12 months.

CBS to Get $16 Million New York Subsidy for Colbert
Bloomberg
CBS is eligible to receive at least $16 million in tax credits and grants from the state of New York for its commitment to keep "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan. CBS may receive as much as $5 million grant to defray costs to renovate the theater.

ABC 'Scandal' Creator Hosts Fundraiser with Obama
Variety
President Obama attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's "Scandal." Series star Kerry Washington was a special guest. About 450 people attended at ticket levels ranging from $1,000 to $32,400 per person.

NBC 'Meet the Press' Set to Replace Moderator Gregory
New York Post
Page Six: "David Gregory's time is nearly up at 'Meet the Press,' and he could be replaced as moderator of the nation's longest-running TV show soon after the November midterm elections. There are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show's sinking ratings."

Yahoo Enlists Icahn, Wall Street Biggies for Tumblr Blog
San Jose Business
Yahoo has tapped financial celebrities like Carl Icahn to launch a contributor commentary site on its Tumblr blogging platform, creating competition with a harder business angle for LinkedIn's Influencer program. Each of the bloggers will publish original content on their Tumblr page.

Facebook Officially a Mobile Company After Ad Boom
CNN Money
It wasn't long ago that Facebook was widely seen as having a "mobile problem." Those days are gone. Facebook has reported that mobile ads accounted for about 62% of its advertising revenue in the second quarter, up from just 41% a year prior. Its shares are up more than 30% this year.

Twitter Says Its Workers Are Mostly White, Mostly Male
Fortune
Men account for 70% of Twitter's employees and 90% of its tech staff, the social messaging company said in its first report detailing the demographic make-up of its workers. Meanwhile, 59% of Twitter's employees are white and only 12% identify as something other than white or Asian.

Conde Nast Shake-Up to Expand Role of Sauerberg
Adweek
Conde Nast has begun a major shake-up in its executive ranks that has president Bob Sauerberg expanding his duties and two major figures — COO and CFO John Bellando and editorial director Tom Wallace — departing the company. Sauerberg "will assume a leading role."

Time Inc, Conde Nast Impact Retail in Move Downtown
New York Times
As Conde Nast prepares to anchor 1 World Trade Center, the businesses that cater to its staff have been angling for space within walking distance. Retail and dining options are rapidly changing in the area as Time Inc., HarperCollins, the Daily News and other media firms move downtown.

Fashion Media Group Publishing Duo in Business Split
New York Post
Page Six: "Stephen Gan and Cecilia Dean, the duo behind V and VMAN magazines, are splitting up. Gan and Dean have been longtime partners in Fashion Media Group, which publishes V, VMAN, Visionaire and Carine Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book. It's unclear whether the titles will be split."

Reed Elsevier Moves Ahead with Shift Away from Print
Financial Times
Reed Elsevier has reported first-half results ahead of analyst expectations as it drives its business further into digital. Europe's biggest publisher continues to tilt its business towards exhibitions and digitally provided data services such as Lexis Nexis and away from print magazines.

Golf World Magazine Goes Digital-Only, Lays Off Staff
Advertising Age
The 67-year-old Golf World magazine plans to shutter its print edition and shift entirely to digital media, where it will be part of the Golf Digest website. A spokeswoman for the Conde Nast magazine said nearly 10 employees have been laid off as a result of the move.

Mail Online's Ad Revenue Jump Offsets Print Decline
The Drum
The Mail Online has seen its advertising revenues soar by almost 50%, scooping up the falling revenues at print publications Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, which declined by 5% in the quarter ending June 30. The website's growth is said to have offset a decline in print ad revenue.

Storyful Social News Startup Adds Edit, Ad Staffers
FishbowlNY
News Corp. has added to its team at Storyful, the social news startup it purchased late last year. Among other moves, Mandy Jenkins has been named editor of Storyful's open newsroom. Jenkins comes to Storyful from Digital First Media, where she helped head up Project Thunderdome.

NowThis News Drops 'News' as Coverage Broadens
Next Web
When mobile video news service NowThis News launched two years ago, its typical clip was one- to two-minutes. Now, even a minute can seem like an eternity. And so NowThis has largely moved to 15-second videos. It also dropped "News" from its brand to reflect a broadening of its coverage.

Foursquare Rolls Out New App, Logo in Rebranding
USA Today
Foursquare has announced a major rebranding, shifting its app away from "checking in" at locations and focusing more on helping users search for nearby places. It also trotted out a new logo. The company's re-brand aims to better compete with local search platforms like Yelp and Google Places.

Reddit Lets Anyone Create a Blog for Breaking News
Next Web
Reddit has launched its own live-blogging platform, Reddit Live. During its beta period, only Reddit employees were able to create live streams and authorize trusted "reporters" to contribute. Now, anyone can use Reddit Live and submit their ongoing threads to a dedicated subreddit.



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MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS
 
Gannett CEO: 'Yes, There Are Newspapers for Sale'
USA Today
USA Today parent Gannett said second-quarter earnings rose 84% from a year ago, boosted in large part by a big increase in broadcasting revenue. "Yes, there are newspapers for sale," said CEO Gracia Martore. Gannett is "laser focused" on "creating additional shareholder value."

Time Inc's Fortune Eyes Cover Ads Amid Editor Switch
New York Post
Fortune magazine has tapped Wall Street Journal veteran Alan Murray to succeed editor Andy Serwer, who is out after eight years at the helm of the business title. Fortune is expected to start running ads on its cover this fall, joining Time Inc. siblings Time and Sports Illustrated in the practice.

Conde Nast: Vogue September Issue's Ad Pages Drop
WWD
Vogue, a perennial ad-page leader in fashion magazines' all-important September issues, this year pulled out the best page tally at 631. But that constitutes a 4.5% decline over last year's haul of 661 ad pages. Vogue said the magazine is continuing to build on its "defined position."

Hearst's Good Housekeeping UK Preps Cooking School
Retail Times
Hearst's Good Housekeeping U.K. plans to open a standalone Good Housekeeping Institute in the heart of London's Soho. The Institute, currently housed in the magazine's editorial offices, will open its doors to the public this fall as a demonstration kitchen and cooking school.

Bloomberg Boards Flight to Israel in Show of Solidarity
Daily News
Mike Bloomberg, urging American authorities to lift their ban on U.S. flights to Israel, said he is boarding a commercial flight to Tel Aviv in a show of solidarity with the Israeli people. "I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel."

Dow Jones Takes Computers Offline After Cyber Attack
Reuters
Computer systems containing the Wall Street Journal's news graphics were hacked by outside parties, according to the paper's publisher, Dow Jones & Co. The systems have been taken offline to prevent the spread of attacks, but Journal officials have not found any damage to the graphics.

GateHouse Media Parent to Acquire Providence Journal
Associated Press
The parent company of Gatehouse Media has announced an agreement to buy the Providence Journal and related print and digital assets from A.H. Belo for $46 million cash. New York-based New Media Investment Group said it expects to complete the deal for the paper in the third quarter.

New York Times Magazine Names Wright as Publisher
min
The New York Times has promoted 17-year company veteran Andy Wright to publisher of the New York Times Magazine. In the new role, Wright takes over responsibility for the title's advertising revenue generation. His appointment comes ahead of the magazine's expected relaunch.

Financial Times Moving FastFT Chief to Washington
The Drum
The Financial Times has named Megan Murphy, currently head of FastFT, as Washington bureau chief to lead the FT's U.S. coverage of politics. Murphy will take up the role in January 2015. Current Washington bureau chief Richard McGregor will shift to working on longer-term projects.

Washington Post Plans to Build International Identity
Digiday
The Washington Post, flush with cash from new owner Jeff Bezos, has begun its most ambitious stab yet at international expansion. The Post is establishing a sales and revenue team in London. "This will become our international headquarters on the advertising and revenue side."

Mashable Expanding Editorial Beyond Gadgets, Apps
Nieman Lab
Mashable, the website known for social media and tech coverage, has hired nearly 30 editorial staffers since October and, like BuzzFeed before it, expanded into general-interest news. The site aims to focus on topics that its young audience cares about and is discussing online.

Hearst's Houston Chronicle Relocating to New Campus
Houston Business
The Houston Chronicle plans to relocate employees at its downtown facility to a redeveloped campus in southwest Houston. The company will solicit bid requests for architectural and engineering services for the new campus and begin "exploring alternatives" for its downtown facility.

MediaNews Apps Get Updates to Resolve Crash Issues
Talking New Media
Apps from MediaNews Group, part of Digital First Media, have received updates to try and resolve an issue with crashes. Digital First, despite its name, outsources its app efforts. The apps are for newspapers such as the Los Angeles Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News.

Forbes Media Plans Launch of Website for ForbesLife
Talking Biz News
The ForbesLife website will launch the day after Labor Day, according to Lewis Dvorkin, chief product officer at Forbes. "On Sept. 2 we'll launch a luxury vertical. Marketers can engage with an audiences in new ways. We're bringing on 150 contributors to cover the luxury category."

Hearst's Marie Claire Issue 'Unzips' to Reveal Cover
Advertising Age
Marie Claire's denim-themed August issue has arrived at subscribers' homes with an extra cover they "unzip" to open by pulling on a perforated strip. Guess logos wallpaper the inside of the magazine's zipped-down cover, which cost the brand "something in the mid six figures."

Conde Nast Baits Geeks with 'Creature' Online Video
Stream Daily
Conde Nast Entertainment has baited a hook to reel in sci-fi obsessives to its new online video hub The Scene with "How to Make a Giant Creature." Streaming on the Wired channel, the short-form series documents the creation of a 13-foot-6-inch character by Legacy Effects.

Huffington Post Taps Daily Newser for National Editor
WWD
The Huffington Post has tapped Katie Nelson to be its national editor. The former deputy managing editor of digital for the New York Daily News will join HuffPost on August 6 and report to managing editor Katie Palmer, who served as national editor before being promoted last month.

Tribune Newspapers Worth $635 Million, Analyst Says
Chicago Tribune
With Tribune Publishing set to spin off on Aug. 4, analysts have begun weighing in as to what the publicly traded newspaper company may be worth. In a report issued by CRT Capital Group, analyst Lance Vitanza pegged Tribune Publishing's equity value at about $635 million.

News Corp's Murdoch Says He Cannot Buy Tribune
Reuters
Rupert Murdoch said he cannot buy publisher Tribune or its Los Angeles Times newspaper, citing U.S. laws on cross-media ownership. "Sorry can't buy Trib group or LA Times — cross-ownership laws from another age still in place," he said in a tweet posted on his Twitter account.

Forbes Media Touts Brand Extension Plans in Sale
CNBC
Forbes Media has agreed to sell a majority stake to a new Hong Kong-based investor group. The transaction "allows us to go full bore on brand extension — conferences, hotels and the like," said chief Steve Forbes. "People see the brand as representing entrepreneurial capitalism."

Advanstar Trade Organizer, Publisher Explores Sale
Reuters
Advanstar, which puts on trade shows in industries such as fashion and healthcare, is said to be exploring a sale that could fetch more than $900 million. The company also owns trade magazines and websites focused on areas such as dental products and veterinary services.

Time Inc, Hearst Appoint Buzzy Contributing Editors
WWD
The trend of adding buzzy contributing editors appears to be reemerging in the magazine world. Not only is it a way to bring in new readers, but it’s also less expensive than hiring a slew of new staffers. Time Inc.'s Travel + Leisure and Hearst's Marie Claire are prime examples.

Hearst Moves Magazines from 'Months to Moments'
Guardian
Faced with the BuzzFeed generation of digital upstarts, Hearst Magazines International chief Duncan Edwards has delivered an edict to his editors. "We are moving from months to moments in our editorial thinking." Cosmopolitan is becoming a "24-hour newsroom" online.

New Yorker Preps Metered Paywall in Website Redo
Capital New York
The New Yorker has unveiled its long awaited, revamped website. When the magazine flips the switch on its paywall in three months, it will restrict access to both articles and blog posts. "The website is creating content that people would be willing to subscribe to The New Yorker to read."

Wall Street Journal's Facebook Account is Hacked
Mashable
A false report about the loss of Air Force One was posted to the Wall Street Journal's Facebook page on Sunday morning. The newspaper later said its page had been "compromised." It deleted the fake posts, but not before several users captured screenshots of the apparent hacking.

New York Times Investor Calls for Shorter Work Week
Financial Times
We've got it all wrong, said Carlos Slim, the Mexican telecoms tycoon and world's second-richest man: We should be working only three days a week. Slim said it is time for a "radical overhaul" of people's working lives. We should work until we are older – but take more time off as we do so.

Daily News Lays Off 17 Employees Amid Cost Cuts
New York Post
Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman wielded the ax again on Friday, laying off another 17 newsroom employees in a drive to stem losses. The seemingly indiscriminate cuts included a Pulitzer Prize winner, a published author, an award-winning business reporter and an expectant mother.

Forbes Valued at $475 Million in Sale of Majority Stake
Bloomberg
The Forbes family, an emblem of American wealth and pioneer of business journalism, has given up control over the media empire it cultivated for almost a century in a sale to a Hong Kong-based group. The deal will hand over Forbes magazine to a group led by Integrated Asset Management.

Time Inc Creates Unit to Develop Native Advertising
Advertising Age
Time Inc. has created an eight-person unit to focus on native advertising, led by a staffer from the editorial side, Sports Illustrated's Chris Hercik, and another from the business side, marketing SVP Priya Narang. The unit will develop native ad programs across Time Inc.'s 25 titles.

Tribune Publishing Confirms August 4 Spinoff Date
Chicago Tribune
Tribune Publishing will spin off from Tribune Co. on Aug. 4, the new publishing company has confirmed. Tribune Publishing has applied to have its common stock listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "TPUB" and expects to begin regular trading on Aug. 5.

National Geographic Magazines to Use Recycled Paper
Folio
The National Geographic Society will begin incorporating recycled fiber into its magazine pages as the result of a partnership with Green America and the Natural Resources Defense Council. The program includes NatGeo's flagship magazine, as well as its titles aimed at youngsters.

Time Out NY Magazine Names Sarandon Guest Editor
Daily News
Maybe Susan Sarandon wants a Pulitzer next to her Oscar. The actress will be editor in chief of the Aug. 13 issue of Time Out New York magazine. Sarandon is set to start her new gig Monday in a day of brainstorming with editorial staff. "She is genuinely going to do it."

Bloomberg LP to Open R&D Lab in San Francisco
Re/code
Mike Bloomberg plans to open a research and development office in San Francisco for Bloomberg LP to attract software developers. The new facility will house up to 100 engineers. "To remain on the cutting-edge, we need to be able to hire the most talented developers from Silicon Valley."

Craigslist 'Gorgeous' Free Mobile App Unveils Upgrades
AIM Group
Daily, a free mobile app for Craigslist, has added new features. Described as "drop dead gorgeous" and an app that "blows the competition out of the water," Daily lets mobile shoppers use their fingers to cross off listings in which they have no interest and circle their favorites.

Newspapers Advised to Stop Printing Weekday Editions
GigaOm
Too many newspaper execs are fooling themselves by pretending that their business is better than it really is, according to David Boardman, president of the American Society of News Editors. "Move deliberately to one weekly printed newspaper and an array of quality digital products."

New York Magazine Store Presses On as Business Dies
New York Business
Casa Magazines in the West Village is one of the few remaining independent magazine stores remaining in New York City. But it's facing hard times. The Internet is hurting sales, causing fewer people to buy copies of the New York Post, Businessweek and other publications.

>> MORE



 
TELEVISION & RADIO
 
Turner CEO Plots Turnaround Plan as TNT Shrinks
New York Post
Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin might want to move up the timeline for his turnaround plan, called "Turner 2020." While new shows have handed its biggest entertainment network, TNT, some early wins this summer, average year-to-date ratings are down sharply in its target demo.

Comedy Central Host Stewart Seeks to 'Buy' CNN
Mediaite
Jon Stewart has announced on "The Daily Show" a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $10 billion to acquire CNN. The move is a reaction to the news that Rupert Murdoch attempted to buy Time Warner, the news network's owner. The effort includes a website, LetsBuyCNN.com.

Univision Sees Profit Soar From World Cup Soccer
Los Angeles Times
Boosted by the popularity of its soccer telecasts, Univision's second-quarter profit more than doubled compared to the previous year. Owners Haim Saban and a group of private-equity firms have been searching for an exit in their seven-year investment in the Spanish-language media giant.

Clear Channel to Start Targeting Ads on iHeartRadio
Radio Ink
Up until now, Clear Channel stations on iHeartRadio have been inserting local and national commercials. The company has announced that it will work with tech firm AdsWizz to insert more targeted ads on its 840-plus stations. Clear Channel reaches over 245 million monthly listeners.

FXX: 'Simpsons' Marathon, Digital Simpsons Coming
Associated Press
The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be followed this fall by a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. A "Simpsons World" website and app will offer on-demand access to all 500-plus episodes.

BSkyB Near Deal to Create Pay-TV Giant in Europe
Sunday Times
BSkyB is said to be finalizing plans to create a European pay-TV giant, bolstering parent company 21st Century Fox's pursuit of Time Warner. The British pay-TV firm is set to seal the takeover of sister companies in Italy and Germany over the next two weeks, producing a financial windfall.

AMC, Discovery Brace for Changes Amid Big Mergers
New York Times
In the current environment, none of the major media giants will likely try to acquire lesser players such as AMC Networks or Crown Media, according to Wall Street advisors. Adding smaller cable network groups would give the big companies no more leverage than they already have.

Comcast, ESPN Reach Deal Over New SEC Network
Associated Press
Comcast has reached a deal with ESPN to carry the new SEC Network. The college sports network dedicated to coverage of the Southeastern Conference launches on Aug. 14. The addition of Comcast means the SEC Network will be available in at least 46 million households nationally.

CBS Eyes Big Gains in $275 Million NFL Rights Deal
Daily News
Despite the $275 million CBS dropped to win the rights to televise the NFL this fall, chief Les Moonves is already seeing dollar signs. "This is a sure thing." To maximize CBS' football promotion, Moonves said CBS viewers will see NFL themes in some of the network's other programming.

CNN Pulls Reporter from Israel After 'Scum' Comment
Associated Press
CNN pulled reporter Diana Magnay out of the Middle East after she referred to a group of Israelis who had allegedly threatened her while reporting on Gaza as "scum" in a tweet. The news network said in a statement that she was referring specifically to those who threatened her.

NBC Sends Reporter Back to Gaza After Sudden Exit
Associated Press
NBC said it was sending Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin back to the Gaza strip after he left the region for unexplained reasons following his eyewitness report on the killing of four Palestinian boys. The network praised Mohyeldin for his "extraordinary reporting."

ABC Journalist Departs to Join Couric at Yahoo News
New York Times
Bianna Golodryga, a weekend anchor for ABC's "Good Morning America," will join Yahoo News as a news and finance anchor alongside the website's big-name video hire, Katie Couric. The move comes as Yahoo seeks to establish itself as a news organization, amid a spate of prominent hires.

Time Warner Cable in Stalemate Over SportsNet LA
Los Angeles Times
No progress has been made in the standoff between Time Warner Cable, which is distributing the new Los Angeles Dodgers-owned channel SportsNet LA, and local pay-TV providers including DirecTV, Dish, Charter and Cox. "It is unlikely that we are going to get a deal done."

Sinclair Broadcast to Launch College Sports Network
Baltimore Sun
Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to launch a college sports network to air on the TV stations the company owns. The new American Sports Network, or ASN, will show live events, including football, basketball, soccer and other sports, from more than 50 colleges and universities.

CBS Considers Host from Politics for Late-Night Show
Associated Press
CBS plans to take an open approach to replacing Craig Ferguson in late-night, including the possibility of a host from the world of politics. Details of the transition from Ferguson to a yet-to-be-found replacement remain undecided. "We're looking at it through a very different lens."

ABC's 'The View' Drops Behind CBS Rival 'The Talk'
Media Life
Rosie O'Donnell can't get back to "The View" fast enough for ABC. The network's signature daytime program has fallen behind its CBS rival, "The Talk," for the first time ever among women 18-49 and 25-54. The victory comes at a time of turmoil for "The View."

MSNBC's Malaysian Plane Coverage Pranked On Air
Daily News
A Howard Stern fan lied his way onto MSNBC's coverage of the Malaysian plane crash, telling host Krystal Ball by phone that the aircraft was "shot down by a blast of wind" from Howard Stern. The prankster told MSNBC's screener he was calling from the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.

ESPN Networks to Broadcast 'Dota 2' Championships
USA Today
E-sports have caught the attention of ESPN. Valve said it is partnering with the sports media behemoth to broadcast the International Dota 2 Championships. The tournament will be carried live through ESPN3, available through smartphones and tablets and streaming devices.

MTV Announces Award-Show Nominees via Snapchat
The Drum
MTV used Snapchat to reveal the nominees for its Video Music Awards, with stars from the network's shows making cameos in the clips. The nominees include Beyonce, who is up for eight awards. Last year's VMA nominees were announced via Vine videos.

Aereo's Bid to Go Legit as Cable Company Hits a Snag
Crain's New York
Aereo has hit a roadblock in its attempt to reinvent itself as a cable company. The U.S. Copyright Office has told the streaming video service that it "does not believe Aereo qualifies" for a license to transmit broadcast TV programming. Internet "retransmissions fall outside the scope."

Clear Channel Sued by Former Intern Over Lack of Pay
Newsweek
A former intern for Clear Channel has filed a lawsuit against the radio giant, alleging that she performed the job of a paid employee in her unpaid internship and should have been compensated as such. The plaintiff, Liane Arias, worked in Clear Channel promotion and marketing in 2011.

>> MORE


 
INTERNET & DIGITAL MEDIA
 
Apple Gets Patent for New Smartwatch Called 'iTime'
USA Today
Apple's new smartwatch will apparently be called "iTime." The company has received a patent approval for a "mobile electronic device," complete with diagrams and a moniker for the new gizmo, called iTime, in familiar Apple fonts. The watch is expected to be launched in October.

Google to Face U.S. Privacy Lawsuit Over User Data
Reuters
A federal judge has rejected a bid by Google to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission. The lawsuit arose after Google created a single, unified policy letting it merge user data.

LinkedIn Pays $175 Million to Buy B2B Marketer Bizo
Silicon Valley Business
LinkedIn said it will pay $175 million to acquire Bizo, a startup whose marketing platform helps businesses identify, reach and engage with their target audiences online. The deal is the second in as many weeks for LinkedIn, which last week bought Newsle for an undisclosed amount.

Apple Gears Up for Rollout of Large-Screen iPhones
Wall Street Journal
Apple is said to be planning for its largest initial production run of iPhones, betting that larger-screen models will lure consumers now attracted to similar phones from Samsung and others. The company is reportedly having suppliers prepare for 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch displays.

Facebook, Twitter Visited by Hillary for Virtual Q&As
NBC Bay Area
Hillary Clinton visited Silicon Valley on Monday, including the headquarters of Facebook and Twitter, to promote her new memoir, "Hard Choices." Clinton did an online question-and-answer session with Facebook, then traveled to Twitter's headquarters to conduct a similar interview.

Netflix's 50 Million Users Face a Flood of New Shows
Businessweek
Netflix has spent more and risked more to become a real competitor to HBO in programming while maintaining a technology edge over everyone. The company's letter to shareholders lists a cavalcade of forthcoming shows. "You have to feel gobsmacked after digesting Netflix's list."

Aereo Reveals Subscriber Numbers for the First Time
Re/code
Aereo generated lots of attention from the media world in the run-up to its Supreme Court case this spring. Consumers may have been less interested: Paperwork filed with the U.S. Copyright Office this month indicates that the startup ended 2013 with 77,596 subscribers.

Facebook Hires NBA Exec to Run Sports Partnerships
Crain's New York
Facebook has hired National Basketball Association exec Dan Reed to head up sports strategy and partnerships for the social network. Reed will expand Facebook's partnerships with leagues, teams and athletes, and help the company deepen its relationships with content creators.

YouTube Star Sued by Record Label Over Copyrights
Reuters
Michelle Phan has won millions of Internet fans for teaching them how to look like Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie. But dance music label Ultra Records is not one of them. Ultra is suing Phan for copyright infringement, alleging she used their songs in her videos without a license.

Yahoo to Acquire Mobile Analytics, Ad Platform Flurry
Re/code
Yahoo has entered a deal to buy mobile analytics and advertising platform company Flurry. Founded in 2005, the San Francisco startup describes its focus as “optimizing the mobile experience for developers, marketers and consumers through personalized ads and mobile analytics."

Facebook Launches Save-It-for-Later Feature 'Save'
CNET
Facebook gets it: Sometimes, there's just too much stuff in your feed to keep up. So, the company has launched a feature called "Save" to allow customers to mark things they would like to see later. Music, movies, articles and other items can be placed in the "Save" list.

Twitter Is 'Hated' by Prince Harry for Privacy Invasion
Telegraph
Prince Harry has told children he "hates" Twitter because he regards messages and images posted on the service as an invasion of privacy. "I'm not on social media but I used to be." Ironically, he made the comments at a school where children are being trained as "digital champions."

Pinterest Ramps Up E-Commerce with New Feature
ClickZ
Pinterest has continued to boost its e-commerce services. Now, when users search for their favorite categories, they can follow a range of related interests. For example, if a user searches for "outdoors," related topics like "camping" and "hiking" will appear at the top of the page.

Google Seen Best Positioned for Transition to Mobile
Reuters
Google is the best positioned of any company to benefit from the shift to mobile and increased local advertising, according to analysts. The Internet giant last week posted its 18th straight quarter of 20%-plus revenue growth. Google earns most of its revenue from advertising.

Yahoo to Release Weinstein Film Ahead of Theaters
Los Angeles Times
Yahoo has struck a deal with the Weinstein Co. to release the film company's "One Chance" ahead of its theatrical debut this fall. The pact is the latest in a series of moves by Yahoo that illustrate its intentions to be a major player in the digital video space.

Machinima Video Network Exec Leaves for New Gig
TheWrap
Sanjay Sharma, a top exec at Machinima, is said to have left the online video company to take a new job. Sharma has been at Machinima since the beginning, an EVP who shaped strategy for one of YouTube's first giant networks. His next move remains unclear at the moment.

YouTube Stars Sell Target to Millennials for College
New York Times
Target, the discount retailer, has begun using YouTube celebrities to reach young consumers shopping for apparel, electronics and home furnishings for college. "You have to go where the millennial generation is," and YouTube is their "go-to place for video content."

Netflix Partner Says Verizon Slows Streaming Speeds
CNN Money
Level 3, a firm Netflix and others pay to deliver traffic to Internet service providers, has accused Verizon of refusing to upgrade its infrastructure to boost lagging streaming speeds. Netflix has complained that some broadband companies are allowing streaming speeds to slow down.

Samsung to Move 'Next Big Thing' Team to New York
CNET
Samsung plans to relocate the team that dreamed up its "Next Big Thing" marketing campaign to New York and New Jersey, closer to its U.S. headquarters, as part of an effort to consolidate operations. Most execs will be moved to a new facility in New York's Meatpacking District.

Google May Turn New York Pay Phones Into Hotspots
Bloomberg
Google is said to be among several tech companies considering a plan that uses pay-phone locations to give New Yorkers free wireless Internet access. The Internet giant was among 50 attendees at an informational meeting in May for the project. Bids for the proposal are due Monday.

Facebook Scammers Prey on Malaysia Airlines Victims
Mail Online
The names and photos of Malaysia Airlines plane crash victims have been exploited by online scammers who have set up fake Facebook tribute pages to drive traffic to a dodgy external website. The pages baited people to click on another website to view footage of the disaster.

Yo Mobile App's Investors Include Mashable Founder
TechCrunch
Yo, the simple app that just sends a "yo" to your friends, has closed $1.5 million in seed funding with a $10 million valuation and is finally ready to talk about its investors. They include Betaworks, Mashable's Pete Cashmore and the founders of China's Tencent, among others.

Craigslist Runs Video Clip of New Gyllenhaal Movie
TheWrap
The first video clip of Jake Gyllenhaal as his character in the forthcoming film "Nightcrawler" has surfaced online in a bizarre place — Craigslist. Or perhaps it's not a bizarre place and simply the kickoff of a clever viral marketing campaign. The clip appears in a Craigslist "job wanted" ad.

Google Eyes Expansion of Fast Broadband to Britain
Telegraph
Google has held talks with a British company called CityFibre, with a goal of extending its Google Fiber project outside the United States for the first time. The discussions broke down amid concerns from CityFibre that an existing partnership with BSkyB would be threatened.

Netflix, Disney in Exclusive Canadian Deal for Films
World Screen
Netflix has inked a deal to become the exclusive Canadian subscription TV service for first-run live-action and animated feature films from Disney. The pact kicks off in 2015 and will cover new titles. Films will be available on Netflix about eight months after the end of the theatrical run.

Facebook Launches an App Only for Famous People
Mashable
Facebook has rolled out a new app for celebrities and public figures, making it easier for them to interact with fans. The app, Facebook Mentions, lets users see what fans are saying in a dedicated feed and start Q&As. The app is only available for public figures with verified pages.

Microsoft to Shut Down Xbox Entertainment Studios
Re/code
Microsoft will close its Xbox Entertainment Studios, as part of a company-wide restructuring, ending an ambitious foray into original video programming. The Santa Monica, Calif., operation will be shuttered as the tech giant focuses on strengthening its core business in video games.

YouTube's New Content Push: Investing in Its Stars
Wall Street Journal
As YouTube's home-grown stars seek bigger stages, Google wants a share of the benefits. The video website is said to have approached many of its top video-makers, offering to fund programming in return for a portion of the proceeds when creators distribute the content elsewhere.

Twitter to Unveil New Metrics Showing User Breadth
Wall Street Journal
Twitter is expected to unveil new metrics that it hopes will illustrate its reach and shift its perception from a social network to a broadcast platform in the likeness of Google's YouTube. Twitter's moneymaking successes have been overshadowed by faltering user growth.

Facebook Tests 'Buy' Button for Online Purchases
Associated Press
Facebook has begun testing a "Buy" button in its latest effort to help businesses boost their sales through the social network. The button will let people buy products directly from businesses without leaving Facebook. A "Buy" button appears at the bottom of sponsored ads.

Amazon Unveils Kindle Unlimited Subscription Service
Associated Press
Amazon has rolled out a new subscription service for Kindle devices that will allow users unlimited access to thousands of books and audiobooks for $9.99 a month. The Kindle Unlimited service will give users the ability to read as much as they want from some 600,000 Kindle books.

Pinterest Lawsuit Over Its Creation OK'd to Proceed
Daily News
A Manhattan judge has given the green light to a lawsuit by a lawyer who claims his former business partner stole the idea for Pinterest. Theodore Schroeder can now proceed with his charge that Brian Cohen "misappropriated" his idea for a virtual bulletin-board social network.

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ADVERTISING & MARKETING
 
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.

CBS Outdoor Buys 1,100 Billboards from Van Wagner
Reuters
CBS Outdoor Americas plans to buy some outdoor advertising businesses from privately held U.S. billboard company Van Wagner for $690 million in cash. The deal includes about 1,100 large-format billboard displays in 11 U.S. markets with total revenue of $206 million in 2013.

Report: Advertisers Moving Money From TV to Digital
Wall Street Journal
Procter & Gamble and General Motors, two of the biggest U.S. advertisers, have scaled back their advertising commitments to TV networks during the annual "upfront" negotiations. While both companies still devote most of their ad dollars to TV, they have begun moving more into digital.

Nielsen, Facebook to Track Shows Watched on Devices
Washington Post
Nielsen has turned to Facebook to find out what you're watching on your mobile device. Starting this fall, Facebook will track the shows its users watch on their phones and tablets and send demo data to the TV ratings company. The arrangement was announced last October.

Report: Political TV Ads Take Targeting to Next Level
Wall Street Journal
Politicians are moving away from blanket TV advertising now that they have sophisticated ways to figure out which kinds of voters or potential voters are watching which kinds of programs and when. "Instead of sending a letter to a post box, we're sending a 30-second spot to a TV set."

Study: Binge TV Viewers Are More Receptive to Ads
Wall Street Journal
Netflix and others are making it easier for consumers to indulge in hours-long sessions of their favorite TV show. Where does that leave advertisers? New research finds that many viewers are willing to tolerate ads while binge-viewing if it lowers their subscription rates.

Report: Digital Ad Fraud Reaching 'Crisis Proportions'
Financial Times
The automation of the advertising industry was supposed to reduce waste. But in a quest for greater efficiency, marketers have exposed themselves to a new challenge: fraud. The fastest-growing part of the sector — open exchanges — is increasingly being exploited by criminals.

WWP's Sorrell: 10 Trends Shaping Global Ad Business
LinkedIn
Martin Sorrell, founder and CEO of WPP: "New York is still very much the center of the world, but power is becoming more widely distributed, marching South, East and South East: to Latin America, India, China, Russia, Africa and the Middle East, and Central and Eastern Europe."

EMarketer: Advertisers Scramble to Spend on Mobile
Financial Times
U.S. advertising spending on mobile devices will pass all other digital ads in two years and account for more than a quarter of total marketing budgets by 2018, according to eMarketer. "Consumers are spending more of their digital media time with their smartphones and tablets."

YouTube's AwesomenessTV Steals TV Ad Spending
Advertising Age
At least one YouTube network has stolen advertising money from TV. Royal Caribbean has pulled funds from its TV budget to sponsor two new series from teen-centric YouTube network AwesomenessTV. DreamWorks Animation bought AwesomenessTV for $33.5 million last May.

Survey: Advertisers Up Spending on Twitter, Facebook
Advertising Age
As marketers plan for the coming year, they appear to be looking more at Twitter, according to a recent survey. Some 63% of respondents said they planned to increase their spending on Twitter over the next year. By comparison, 59% said they expect to spend more on Facebook.

Facebook, Twitter Ads Said to Have Little Influence
Silicon Valley Business
Advertising on social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter may not be as effective as marketers and the social websites may like, according to a new survey from Gallup. A mere 5% of American consumers say the ads have a significant impact on their purchases.

Kantar Media: U.S. Ad Spending Reaches $35 Billion
MediaPost
The Winter Olympics helped push up overall U.S. advertising nearly 6% for the first quarter, according to Kantar Media. Ad revenue for the first three months was $34.9 billion, with broadcast network TV among the biggest gainers, up 14.5%. Display Internet business grew 13%.

Nielsen, ComScore Short on World Cup Streaming Data
Wall Street Journal
If advertisers wanted an impartial estimate of how many people streamed Sunday night's riveting World Cup U.S.-Portugal match, they were out of luck. Neither comScore nor Nielsen tracked the online audience. Neither firm regularly tracks data on online viewership for live events.

WPP CEO Predicts More Consolidation in Ad Industry
Wall Street Journal
WPP chief Martin Sorrell said consolidation in the advertising industry will continue as companies continue to keep their costs down. Ad companies are facing intensifying cost pressures from their clients, some of whom are squeezing ad agencies by delaying payments.

Magna Global: Digital Media Bests National TV Ads
Adweek
Magna Global has issued a report predicting a major upswing of 8.3% for U.S. TV advertising revenue in 2014, after a dismal 2013 in which revenues were down 0.6%. But there has been one significant change: national TV advertising is now smaller than digital media advertising.

Univision Exec Implicated in Nielsen Ratings Scandal
Los Angeles Times
Nielsen has widened its investigation into a ratings scandal in Los Angeles and uncovered evidence that a Univision radio exec allegedly has been manipulating ratings. The measurement giant calls the breach "a serious violation." Months of ratings may have been compromised.

Report: TV's Share of Global Ad Spending to Peak
Reuters
The global advertising market is set to grow this year to reach $524 billion, helped by a boost in TV ads during the World Cup, according to Zenith Optimedia. However, TV's share of global ad spending is predicted to peak this year, due to the rapid growth of Internet ads.

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MEDIA COMPANIES
 
U.S. Regulators Likely to Block One Big Media Deal
Multichannel News
The growing number of media deals could force U.S. regulators to block at least one of them, according to influential analyst Craig Moffett. "Media consolidation is always unpopular, and all the more so now when merger mania has seemingly run amok." But which one will get the boot?

Hollywood Frets Over Possibility of Fox-Time Warner
Financial Times
The possible 21st Century Fox-Time Warner combination has caused alarm in Hollywood's creative community. "We are adamantly opposed to the idea," said David Young, head of the Writers Guild of America West, which represents screenwriters. "It's a disaster for talent in Hollywood."

Fox Mindful of Debt Amid Its Pursuit of Time Warner
Wall Street Journal
To win over Time Warner's board with an increased takeover offer, 21st Century Fox could take on so much debt that its investment-grade credit rating could be downgraded. Aiming to avoid a downgrade, Fox is said to be prepared to only consider a bid of between $90 and $95 a share.

Time Warner Execs Forgo $137 Million to Reject Fox
TheWrap
CEO Jeff Bewkes and other top execs of Time Warner would be entitled to some impressive sums of money if anyone bought the company. Thanks to a golden parachute of sorts, Bewkes would rake in some $79 million; Turner Broadcasting boss John Martin would net $26.1 million.

Comcast: We Have No Plans to Bulk Up on Content
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast reported solid second-quarter earnings, losing 144,000 TV subscribers while adding 203,000 high-speed Internet customers. Referencing 21st Century Fox's offer to buy Time Warner, top exec Steve Burke said: "We certainly don't think we need to bulk up on content."

Fox Leaks Details of Bid for Time Warner in Strategy
Bloomberg
After various news outlets caught wind that Time Warner was a possible acquisition target, Rupert Murdoch and the team at 21st Century Fox are said to have decided to get the full details out. Murdoch "has a clear understanding of the impact media exposure gives his efforts."

Time Warner Vulnerable Despite Move to Thwart Bid
Bloomberg
Time Warner's board took a step to fend off 21st Century Fox's unwanted takeover bid by eliminating a provision in its bylaws that lets shareholders call special meetings. But Time Warner is still vulnerable if Fox can convince shareholders to vote out a majority of the company's board.

Disney Park Injuries Mount as Boy Lacerates Fingers
Orlando Sentinel
A man whose fingertips were severed aboard Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean this month made international news. Three months before that, it turns out, a 12-year-old boy lacerated four fingers on the same ride. The incident was one of a dozen injuries Walt Disney World has revealed.

Viacom's MTV, Spotify in Music-Streaming Partnership
Wall Street Journal
Viacom's MTV, VH1 and other cable channels have forming a marketing partnership with streaming service Spotify to allow users to listen free to music by the featured artists on their websites, along with playlists related to its series and franchises, such as MTV's Video Music Awards.

CBS Films Shakes Up Top Leadership, Lays Off Staff
NikkiFinke
Terry Press has taken over as the solo president of CBS Films, after Wolfgang Hammer was quietly moved out of the co-president's position. Hammer has "transitioned into a consulting role working on digital content ideas." Also, five staffers have been laid off in a "regrouping."

Comcast, Lionsgate Add App Content for Film Buyers
Reuters
Lionsgate will provide extra content through apps for "Divergent" and other films to Comcast customers who purchase digital versions through Xfinity On Demand. The additional features are designed to encourage digital ownership of movies as customers turn away from buying DVDs.

'Rupert' Murdoch Play to Be Staged in Sydney, London
Sydney Morning Herald
Following productions in Melbourne and Washington, D.C., playwright David Williamson's play "Rupert" has been scheduled to open at Sydney's Theatre Royal on Nov. 29 ahead of a run in London’s West End in 2015. Williamson said the play will be updated to include recent events.

Media's Old Guard in Fight Against Amazon, Google
Telegraph
Even if 21st Century Fox were combined with Time Warner, the merged business would be just more than a third the size of Google in market cap, and only around a quarter the size of Apple. "The Murdochs can legitimately argue that they need to make a land-grab to ensure Fox's survival."

Fox's 'Apes' Helps Studio Swing to Top of Hollywood
Bloomberg
21st Century Fox's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" has topped the box office for a second week in theaters, outselling new releases. Fox now has six releases that have surpassed $100 million in domestic ticket sales this year, and leads Hollywood studios with over $1.1 billion in sales.

Time Warner Looks at Ways to Counter Bid from Fox
Los Angeles Times
Time Warner is said to be hoping that 21st Century Fox's takeover pursuit drama will be a repeat of Comcast's failed bid for Disney a decade ago. Disney had dug in its heels and refused Comcast's hostile $54-billion offer. Time Warner hopes "someone else will come along."

Fox Promises Discipline in Its Pursuit of Time Warner
New York Post
Rupert Murdoch has ponied up for prized assets in the past. But this time, 21st Century Fox will be disciplined in its pursuit of Time Warner, sources said. Also: While the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal is about distribution, the 21st Century Fox-Time Warner bid is all about content.

Forbes Valued at $475 Million in Sale of Majority Stake
Bloomberg
The Forbes family, an emblem of American wealth and pioneer of business journalism, has given up control over the media empire it cultivated for almost a century in a sale to a Hong Kong-based group. The deal will hand over Forbes magazine to a group led by Integrated Asset Management.

Fox Could Seal Deal for Time Warner at $100 a Share
New York Post
Although CEO Jeff Bewkes was quick to shoot down a takeover offer by 21st Century Fox, Time Warner shareholders could be swayed with a bid of around $100 a share, sources said. That would be 18% above Fox's initial $85-a-share proposal. "They need to sweeten it a little bit."

CBS' Moonves Interested in Buying CNN If Available
Bloomberg
Les Moonves said his CBS is interested in buying CNN if the news channel becomes available. Getting between Rupert Murdoch and Time Warner is another matter. Moonves suggested he wouldn't be interested in teaming with Time Warner in a broader deal. CBS wants to be "nimble."

BSkyB in Talks to Buy Fox's Pay TV in Germany, Italy
Reuters
BSkyB has opened talks with 21st Century Fox to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to create a European pay-TV powerhouse with 20 million subscribers. The plan is a bold bet on long-term growth at the expense of short-term profit, but BSkyB has pulled off such gambles before.

Disney's Maker Studios Names AOL Veteran Ad Chief
TheWrap
Maker Studios has appointed former AOL exec Charles Gabriel as its chief advertising officer and EVP of global sales. In the new role, Gabriel will lead Maker's global sales strategy and drive worldwide ad revenue. "Charles is widely recognized as a thought leader."

Fox Working on Sweeter Takeover Bid for Time Warner
New York Post
Time Warner's board may be saying no, but some of its shareholders have already signaled interest in a takeover approach from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The two media conglomerates have 11 major shareholders in common. "We have no problem taking Rupert's offer."

Time Warner Bid Seen as 'First Salvo' in Media Deals
CNBC
21st Century Fox's surprise $80 billion offer for Time Warner may have been rejected, but more consolidation in media is likely. It's "part of the digital disruption. The new age of the Googles, the Amazons, the Apples, the Netflixes all suggest that you have to be very entrepreneurial."

Viacom, Discovery in Play on Talk of Media Mergers
USA Today
Time Warner may have rejected a proposed buyout by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, but investors can't help but speculate which media giants might be in play. Six of the 50 most valuable media companies that trade on a U.S. exchange were up 4% or more on Wednesday.

Fox Bid Puts Future of Carey, Murdoch Sons at Stake
Bloomberg
When 21st Century Fox's Chase Carey approached Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes about a merger, Bewkes asked him: Who would manage the merged company? It's a question likely to dominate the conversation as Rupert Murdoch forges ahead with his plans to buy Time Warner.

Liberty Global Chief Looking to Buy the Next Netflix
CNBC
Liberty Global has been gobbling up cable operators, including the U.K.'s Virgin Media and Dutch operator Ziggo. What's next? CEO Mike Fries said the target has shifted to companies that own or produce content — sports, broadcast networks and so-called over-the-top operators like Netflix.

>> MORE

 

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