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Today's Headlines
Thursday, 8/28/14



Google's YouTube: Hollywood's Hit Factory for Teens
Businessweek
With summer TV ratings falling, the domestic movie box office down sharply, and upfront sales of TV advertising weak, a slew of mergers, acquisitions and investment has shaken the YouTube cosmos. Big media companies are jostling for a piece of the action.

Fox 'X-Men' Director's Accuser Drops Abuse Lawsuit
Associated Press
A former child model can drop his lawsuit accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of abuse and has the option of refiling it later, a federal judge has ruled. Michael Egan III said that he wanted to dismiss the suit because he can't find a new lawyer to represent him.

Time Warner Cable Internet Disruption Sparks Inquiry
Bloomberg
Time Warner Cable's nationwide Internet service disruption on Wednesday has increased the scrutiny of its planned merger with Comcast. Governor Andrew Cuomo said he has directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate the outage as part of its merger review.

ESPN Pays Four Times the Rate of Broadcast Networks
Businessweek
The NFL's contracts with three of the big four U.S. TV networks — CBS, Fox, NBC — and with cable channel ESPN are all slightly different. ESPN spends far more than the others, paying twice the cost for half the audience, effectively four times what the broadcast networks pay.

Spike 'Cops' Crew Member Killed in Police Shooting
CNN Money
A crew member working on a taping of "Cops" was inadvertently shot and killed by a police officer during a robbery in Omaha. Bryce Dion, an audio technician, is believed to be the first member of the "Cops" production staff killed in the 25-year history of the TV show.

BET Suspends Producer After Joke About Blue Ivy
Associated Press
BET has suspended a producer after a joke about Beyonce and Jay Z's daughter that aired on the network's music video countdown show, "106 & Park." The producer reportedly was suspended after a remark about 2-year-old Blue Ivy's hair. A BET exec later apologized on Twitter.

Warner Bros Opens 'Friends' Central Perk Coffee Shop
EW
Warner Bros. and Eight O'Clock Coffee have teamed up to re-create the "Friends" Central Perk coffeehouse at a pop-up location in downtown Manhattan this September, as the sitcom marks its 20th anniversary. Fans will be able to take photos on the actual couch from the show.

HBO 'Sopranos' Creator Responds to Viral Tony Story
Variety
The creator of "Sopranos" has responded to the story on Vox that went viral as it claimed David Chase revealed that Tony Soprano had lived at the end of the HBO drama. "A journalist for Vox misconstrued what David said in their interview. 'Tony Soprano is not dead' is inaccurate."

OWN's YouTube Partnership Pays Off with Web Series
Hollywood Reporter
The Oprah Winfrey Network has been working out of YouTube Space LA for more than six months to experiment with digital formats and online talent. The result of that partnership is a growing slate of digital programming. The web series "Who Am I" debuts today.

Netflix to Screen Its First Original Series from France
C21Media
Netflix has expanded its international footprint with an order for its first original series from France. "Marseilles," a political drama, has received an eight-episode straight-to-series order and will debut exclusively in all Netflix territories in late 2015.

Amazon's Third Season of Shows Signals Huge Push
CNBC
Amazon's latest wave of original pilot shows launches Thursday, as the company intensifies its push into original streaming content, challenging rivals like Netflix and HBO. The three half-hour comedies and two hour-long dramas in this pilot season are packed with big names.

ABC News' Sawyer Goes Out on Ratings High Note
Hollywood Reporter
ABC News' hot summer continued with last week's coverage of the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Topping its NBC competition for the seventh time in the last eight weeks among adults 25-54, "World News'" victory also marked the last full week at the anchor desk for the exiting Diane Sawyer.

NBC, ABC 'News Sorority' Eyed in Gossipy New Book
Daily Beast
For Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour, the moment of truth is about to arrive — or at least a book-length facsimile thereof. News execs and network publicists have been poring over galleys of "The News Sorority," journalist Sheila Weller's gossipy new book.

SiriusXM Opens Channel for Turner's Bleacher Report
TheWrap
Forget a daily sports talk show, Turner Broadcasting's Bleacher Report is getting its own channel on SiriusXM. The two media companies have announced the upcoming launch of "SiriusXM Bleacher Report Radio," a new satellite radio channel debuting Sept. 2.

Clear Channel Outdoor President Out After 20 Months
New York Post
Former Conde Nast exec Suzanne Grimes is out as president and COO of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas after just 20 months. Grimes, who had jumped to the outdoor job after a long career in magazine publishing, was lured by Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman in December 2012.

Universal Music Invests in 'Virtual Jukebox' Rockbot
TechCrunch
Rockbot, a virtual jukebox solution for businesses, has closed a strategic investment from Universal Music Group. The funding will be used as Rockbot seeks to expand its business in restaurants, bars and other brick-and-mortar locations across the United States.

Apple's iWatch Expected to Arrive in Early September
Silicon Valley Business
Apple is expected to unveil its long-rumored wearable device on Sept. 9 alongside two new iPhone versions — about a month earlier than previous reports expected. The wristwatch will utilize the HealthKit health and fitness feature that Apple unveiled at its developers donference in June.

Alibaba Profit More Than Amazon, EBay Ahead of IPO
Bloomberg
Alibaba has been described as a mixture of Amazon and eBay during the preparation for its U.S. initial public offering. In the last quarter, Alibaba earned more than those companies combined. Alibaba may kick off its roadshow meetings to market the share sale next week.

Facebook Targets Ads Based on Cell Signal Strength
Advertising Age
Advertisers can now target their Facebook ads based on how strong someone's phone signal is when they visit the social network. That means advertisers can limit data-heavy ads like video to people on strong connections and run light-bandwidth text ads for those who aren't.

Google Extends Local Ads on Smartphones to Desktops
Bloomberg
Google has extended a mobile-advertising feature to the desktop, its most significant ad service to debut on smartphones before moving to computers, as the search provider rolls out technology for different platforms. The ads show what products are available nearby.

Twitter Opens Its Analytics Dashboard to Everyone
TechCrunch
Twitter launched an analytics dashboard in July, open only to advertisers and verified users. The microblogging company has now expanded access to the service to all Twitter users. "Check it out, and let us know what you think!" tweeted engineer Ian Chan.

Alibaba Hires New York Times Veteran for Global PR
Capital New York
Robert Christie, former communications chief of the New York Times Co., has joined Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba as VP of international media. In his new role, Christie will be "responsible for managing media relations for the company outside of Greater China."

New York Times Attracts More Millennials Than Vice
Digiday
BuzzFeed reigns in terms of online millennial readers, attracting 38.5 million U.S. unique visitors in July, according to comScore. But all hope is not lost for the old guard: The New York Times, at 15.9 million, lures nearly 20% more millennial visitors than Vice.

Gannett Near Completion of New App, Website Rollout
Talking New Media
Starting in May, Gannett has been launching new apps for its newspapers and also relaunching its local papers' websites. As one would expect from such a large chain, all the apps and all the websites look identical — the apps appear to be merely replicating the sites.

Time Inc Appoints Editor for Cooking Light Magazine
FishbowlNY
Time Inc. has named Hunter Lewis editor of Cooking Light. Lewis most recently served as executive editor of Southern Living. Prior to that, he was food editor of Bon Appetit. Lewis, who starts Sept. 22, succeeds Scott Mowbray, who is retiring after 17 years with Time Inc.

Conde Nast Editors Clash with Growing Video Unit
Capital New York
As Conde Nast Entertainment has ramped up its output in recent months, creating more video for more of the publisher's titles, a palpable sense of frustration has been emanating from the company's famously powerful mastheads. It all boils down to content control.

Bauer Unveils Digital Media Division Seeking Growth
MediaPost
Bauer Media U.S. has created a new division focused on the celebrity weekly publisher's digital assets, with an eye to expanding its online offerings. The first major project of Bauer Xcel Media will be the re-launch of InTouchWeekly.com, scheduled for September.

Hearst's Esquire Preps Its Own Fashion Week for Men
WWD
Could Esquire be aiming to jump-start a New York Fashion Week for men? The Hearst-owned magazine is holding a three-day event that will include a series of daytime designer presentations preceded by nighttime events. Dubbed "The Esquire," the whole shebang is invite-only.



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MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS
 
Hearst: Harper's Bazaar Lands Gaga for Plaza Bash
WWD
To fete its September issue featuring a portfolio by global fashion director Carine Roitfeld, Harper's Bazaar will host a party at the Plaza hotel. One of the magazine's cover models, Lady Gaga, will perform at the bash, an act that the Hearst title has been hoping to secure for months.

Conde Nast's Sauerberg Seen as CEO's Successor
Capital New York
Conde Nast president Bob Sauerberg has a bigger brief than he did at the start of the summer, and the odds on his being named CEO Chuck Townsend's successor look shorter than ever. "Bob will be making key announcements shortly about our business direction and strategy."

Meredith CEO Lacy Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Des Moines Register
Meredith CEO Steve Lacy took the ALS ice bucket challenge, accepting it from fellow Des Moines business leaders Kyle Krause of Kum & Go and Larry Zimpleman of Principal Financial Group. Meredith staffers poured the ice water on Lacy, who also made a donation to the ALS Association.

News Corp Pumps Typewriter Sounds Into Newsroom
Independent
To the surprise of journalists at the Times of London, a speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, aiming to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The development was described as a "trial" by publisher News UK.

Spanfeller Media's Daily Meal Hires Martha Veteran
New York Post
Alanna Stang, who was editor in chief of Whole Living until it was closed by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia in 2012, has landed at Spanfeller Media's The Daily Meal. Stang has been tasked with trying to move the site out of the No. 27 position in the food category.

BuzzFeed Video Expected to Increase in Importance
USA Today
BuzzFeed new president Greg Coleman said he thinks eventually, BuzzFeed Video will be as important — if not more important — than buzzfeed.com. That's because video content is shared so easily. And "shareability" has been BuzzFeed's stock in trade from the get-go.

Vox Media May Open Content Management System
New York Observer
Vox Media, the network of news sites that includes The Verge and SB Nation, runs its own content management system called Chorus. In a recent post about the future of blogging, editorial VP Lockhart Steele hinted that Vox could open up Chorus to the rest of the publishing world.

Gannett Looks to Ignite Return of Giant Banner Ads
Wall Street Journal
Gannett is set to unveil a bold new ad placement that is very much in conflict with the "subtle is better" trend of the moment. USAToday.com and a slew of other Gannett sites will begin running what the company has dubbed Gravity ads, which take over a person's computer screen.

Time Inc's Travel + Leisure Taps Branded Content Pro
New York Observer
Nathan Lump has been named editor of Time Inc.'s Travel + Leisure. He replaces Nancy Novogrod, who announced last month that she was stepping down from the travel title, where she had spent two decades. Lump has been Conde Nast director of branded content since January.

Washington Post to Help Online Readers 'Get There'
Capital New York
The Washington Post has unveiled an online vertical dedicated to personal finance. "Get There" is helmed by reporter Jonnelle Marte, who joined the Post in May from MarketWatch. Marte calls the section "a new destination for stories about money and its power to transform our lives."

Re/code Tech News Site Adds Sponsored Content
Re/code
Walt Mossberg: "Readers may notice a new feature here on Re/code. It's called 'Sponsor Content,' and is, for us, a new form of advertising. Known broadly as 'native advertising,' this is a category of ad that takes the form of an article written by, or commissioned by, an advertiser."

New York Times, HuffPost to Face Church Protesters
Village Voice
The Westboro Baptist Church plans to return to New York City next month, according to its picket schedule. On Sept. 9 and 10, the protest-happy church group said it will picket the New York Times, Viacom, Reuters and the Huffington Post. The group will also stop by Facebook.

Time Inc CEO: Magazines as a Print Business Will Die
New York
Given the crushing debt load, many inside Time Inc. anticipate extreme budget cuts. In recent months, according to sources, there have been talks about converting Time magazine to a biweekly. Said CEO Joe Ripp: "The reality is, magazines as a print business will ultimately die."

Conde Nast's Vogue Unveiling Makeover to Its Website
New York Times
On Wednesday, Vogue is expected to unveil a new website possessing "the authority and the vision of the print magazine," according to chief Anna Wintour. Digital editor Sally Singer is planning "a new Vogue under the auspices of Vogue," presenting news at a faster pace.

Atlantic Media's Quartz Rolls Out Second Major Redo
Quartz
Quartz senior editor Zachary M. Seward: "We just shipped version 3.0 of Quartz. It's our second major redesign in as many years, a rapid pace of reinvention that makes good on our promise to continually evolve and improve on what a purely digital news organization can be."

Rodale Seeking a Chief for Women's Health Magazine
WWD
Rodale remains on the hunt for a new editor in chief for Women's Health, one of its biggest titles, following the departure of Michele Promaulayko, who will head up Yahoo Health. Promaulayko told her bosses at Rodale on Aug. 12 of her plans to jump to Yahoo, in a "surprising" move.

NikkiFinke Goes Silent in Legal Dispute with Penske
New York Times
Nikki Finke has stopped writing about the movie industry while she and former employer Penske Media are said to be trying to reach a legal settlement. In June, Finke started her own site, NikkiFinke.com, reporting on Hollywood in apparent defiance of a noncompete agreement.

BuzzFeed, HuffPost: How the Sites Really Stack Up
Forbes
BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post make for an easy comparison, sharing some co-founders and a viral content strategy built around a high-low mix, among other commonalities. Said founder Arianna Huffington: "The media loves to perpetuate a narrative of competition."

New York Times Digital Subscription Growth Slowing
Re/code
The New York Times has bet on digital subscriptions to play a central role in its long-term future. But while selling access to the paper's web and mobile versions was an initial hit, growth is slowing — and may stop altogether if the company's earlier projections are correct.

Daily Mail Solves Internet Paradox with 'New Product'
USA Today
Mail Online, with 180 million unique visitors a month, is not only the world's most-trafficked English-language newspaper website. It is quite possibly the first time a traditional print organization has solved the paradox of digital migration. "A new medium is better served by a new product."

Opinion: Newspapers Have Changed; Demise Is a Myth
Idaho Statesman
Caroline Little, CEO of the Newspaper Association of America: "Newspaper media are enjoying the largest audiences ever. There is one fact that always tends to be obscured or outright ignored: Newspapers are still making money, and newspapers remain a good investment."

Conde Nast Names Chief Marketing Officer in Shakeup
New York Post
Conde Nast has continued to shake up its management ranks by naming longtime Vanity Fair publisher Ed Menicheschi as chief marketing officer and president of the Conde Nast Media Group. Menicheschi replaces exec Lou Cona; no replacement has been tapped yet at VF.

Time Inc's People Magazine Is Racist, Lawsuit Says
New York Post
A new lawsuit has claimed that People magazine is a bastion of racism led by white bosses who think stories about blacks don't interest their "white middle-class" audience. Tatsha Robertson was People's first and only black senior editor until she was fired, the suit said.

Rodale Nabs Saveur Editor to Revamp Magazine Title
New York Times
James Oseland, editor in chief of the food magazine Saveur, will leave his position to join Rodale to start a new magazine brand. Oseland will transform the 62-year-old Organic Gardening magazine into Organic Life. The new title will cover "food, garden, home and well-being."

Hearst's House Beautiful Gets 'Colorful' in Redesign
MediaPost
House Beautiful's September issue has unveiled an updated layout that brings color to the front of the magazine in a paint index. All the colors featured in the issue are revealed in the table of contents, alongside the name of the paint and page number where it is featured.

Playboy Gives Website a Facebook-Friendly Makeover
Advertising Age
Playboy has a new website that the publisher hopes you might even share with your mom on Facebook. The 60-year-old men's magazine is revamping its site to focus on content that is not overly "adult." The new Playboy.com more closely resembles GQ or Esquire.

Conde Nast's Wintour Takes the Ice Bucket Challenge
New York Times
The ALS ice bucket challenge, for which participants douse themselves with ice-cold water and dare others either to do the same within 24 hours or to donate to an ALS charity, has been dominating social media. Even Vogue's Anna Wintour gamely sat for a spattering.

Spin Media Eyes Event Strategy for Online Publications
Capital New York
Stephen Blackwell, the new CEO of Spin Media, a collection of online music and lifestyle titles such as Celebuzz and Stereogum, said he believes that events will be a promising strategy for the company. Titles Spin and Vice have been hosting events for decades, he noted.

MailOnline Becoming DailyMail.com to End 'Confusion'
Advertising Age
MailOnline, the website of British tabloid Daily Mail, recently hired BuzzFeed exec Jon Steinberg to lead the business side of its North American operations. Steinberg plans to beef up staff, as well as migrate MailOnline to DailyMail.com, to fix "confusion around the brand."

Essay: Daily Printed Newspapers Are Facing Last Call
Medium
Clay Shirky: "Maybe 25 year olds will start demanding news from yesterday, delivered in an unshareable format once a day. Perhaps advertisers will decide 'Click to buy' is for wimps. Mobile phones: could be a fad. After all, anything could happen with print. Hard to tell, really."

>> MORE



 
TELEVISION & RADIO
 
Turner Broadcasting Offers Buyouts Ahead of Layoffs
CNNMoney
Seeking to reduce costs at channels like TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and CNN, Turner Broadcasting has announced a voluntary buyout program for about 6% of its U.S.-based employees. The effort is expected to eventually involve layoffs and other cost-cutting measures.

ABC News Making Changes at Two Top Broadcasts
Associated Press
ABC News has made leadership changes behind the scenes at its top two broadcasts. Tom Cibrowski, the top exec behind "Good Morning America," will become a top deputy to news president James Goldston; Michael Corn will replace Cibrowski as senior executive producer at "GMA."

NBC News Chief's Remark Infuriates Execs, Talent
New York Post
Page Six: "NBC News president Deborah Turness had to apologize after infuriating top execs and talent by announcing the network news organization had been asleep for 15 years. Turness dropped the tactless clanger in a New York Times interview on Sunday."

ESPN Reports Gay Football Player's Showering Habits
Daily News
ESPN reporter Josina Anderson was asked on air about how openly gay Michael Sam was fitting in with his Rams teammates. Anderson, however, explained little about Sam's ability to fit in and a lot about his showering habits, stirring heavy criticism on social media.

DirecTV, NFL Nearing New Billion-Dollar Rights Deal
SportsBusiness Journal
The NFL is said to be on the verge of a deal with DirecTV for its Sunday Ticket package that will see its average annual rights fee increase to between $1.3 billion and $1.4 billion over the next decade. The new Sunday Ticket deal will allow authenticated users to stream the games.

NBC Emmys TV Audience Drops with Monday Switch
Reuters
After moving up a month and switching to a weekday evening, Monday's Emmy Awards, hosted by Seth Meyers, attracted 15.6 million viewers, a drop from last year's Sunday night show. The 2013 broadcast, which took place in September on CBS, drew 17.6 million viewers.

MTV Video Music Awards Ratings Down With No Miley
Associated Press
Without Miley Cyrus's twerking to get tongues wagging, ratings for MTV's Video Music Awards took a tumble. The show reached 8.3 million viewers Sunday — down from the 10.1 million who saw last year's. The VMAs live or die depending on whether they create a pop culture moment.

Warner Bros Mulls 'Full House' Revival with Stamos
TV Guide
Could a "Full House" return be in the works? The sitcom, which aired on ABC from 1987 to 1995, is still a ratings juggernaut via repeats on Nick at Nite. Warner Bros. TV is mulling a new take on "Full House," with some of the original cast. Leading the charge is John Stamos.

Oprah to Play Brothel Madam in New Lee Daniels Film
ET
Oprah Winfrey has plans to return to the big screen. Winfrey will portray Richard Pryor's grandmother, Marie Carter, in Lee Daniels's new biopic on the comedian. Pryor grew up in a house of ill repute run by his grandmother. Oprah hinted of her involvement in the film on Instagram.

Clear Channel Expands Long-Term Deal with Lopez
MediaPost
Clear Channel and entertainment personality Mario Lopez announced that they have expanded their long-term partnership, with a number of new high-profile projects and appearances. Among other duties, Lopez will work with Clear Channel on the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Festival.

Tribune Media Names Digital Leader for New Strategy
Re/code
Tribune Media has brought in a new digital leader: John Batter, who has been running streaming video service M-Go, is in. Shashi Seth, the former Yahoo exec who has been running Tribune Digital Ventures since May 2013, is out. The move indicates a shift in Tribune's digital strategy.

ABC 'Modern Family,' AMC 'Breaking Bad' Top Emmys
Forbes
Despite talk of 2014 being the year the Internet was going to leave a mark at the Emmy Awards, Netflix was pretty much shut out. Both "Orange is the New Black" and "House of Cards" took back seats to traditional broadcast and cable fare like "Modern Family" and "Breaking Bad."

Fox News Hits Ratings Highs as MSNBC Sputters
Variety
A busy week in news was a good one for Fox News Channel, which logged its second highest-rated frame of the year, but a weak one for MSNBC, which found itself deep in third place. Tune-in was above average across the news board due to coverage of the protests in Ferguson, Mo.

CNN Gay Anchor Quest Recommends Coming Out
Talking Biz News
In the two months since CNN anchor Richard Quest confirmed to viewers that he is gay, his work as a business reporter has improved, he told a group of LGBT media professionals at the annual National Gay and Lesbian Journalist's Association gathering in Chicago.

Charter Blasted for 'Simpsons' Tweet Amid Outages
New York Post
Charter customers blasted the cable company after it tweeted details of a "Simpsons" marathon rather than address an outage across its service area. Subscribers slammed the cable provider on social media for failing to keep up with customer-service calls and ignoring pleas for help.

Clear Channel Chief Heading to Burning Man Festival
New York Post
Bob Pittman is said to be firing up the Falcon 900 jet and heading to the Burning Man festival in the desert this week. The commercial radio kingpin has trekked to Nevada's Black Rock Desert for the better part of a decade to take in the community art and music festival.

CNN's Zucker: News Operation to Do Less with Less
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CNN chief Jeff Zucker has shared some not so encouraging words with employees, many of whom have been fearing jobs cuts. "We are going to do less and have to do it with less." His comments fed concerns among staffers at CNN and other operations of Turner Broadcasting.

CNN, Glenn Beck's The Blaze in Joint-Venture Talks
Wall Street Journal
CNN has looked beyond Vice Media in its quest for a partner to help revamp its struggling sister station, HLN. CNN execs have held talks in recent weeks with reps from Glenn Beck's The Blaze, a 24-hour news and entertainment network, about a potential joint venture to overhaul HLN.

Vice Media Chasing Hard News, Its Edginess Intact
New York Times
Vice Media has become deadly serious about doing real news that people — even young people — will actually watch. "A lot of the way in which news has traditionally been presented was not necessarily of interest to young people. We are just trying to change the world."

Al Jazeera Using Underhanded Maneuver, Gore Says
Variety
Current TV co-founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt said that Al Jazeera is withholding millions of dollars in an escrow fund from the sale of the TV channel "as a reservoir from which to pull money to buy favor with its distributors." Al Jazeera, they said, used an "underhanded tactic."

NBC News President Aims to Rouse Digital Presence
New York Times
Deborah Turness has plans to remake "Meet the Press" and convinced Matt Lauer to stay on at "Today." The NBC News boss will next take aim at the network's digital presence, indicating that no one at the company should be comfortable with the status quo. "Change isn't easy."

MSNBC Airs Most Initial Coverage of Ferguson Turmoil
Variety
MSNBC spent more time covering the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., than rivals CNN or Fox News Channel in the first week the story broke, according to a new study. Fox News devoted about half the airtime that MSNBC did to the events, the study said.

Sinclair Launches Division for Creating TV Content
Baltimore Business
Sinclair, which owns stations reaching well over one-third of U.S. TV households, said it is launching a division to create entertainment content. "The media landscape is evolving, and controlling distribution as well as the content is even more imperative to remain competitive."

MTV's Video Music Awards Enjoy Record Ad Sales
USA Today
Sunday night's MTV Video Music Awards show is said to have attracted unparalleled interest from advertisers, due largely to the telecast's rich and racy history. Thirty-second ad slots are believed to be in the $650,000 to $680,000 range. "The show is the Super Bowl for millennials."

ESPN Launches Score-Tracking App for Smartwatch
Variety
ESPN wants to grab sports fans by the wrist: The cable programmer has unveiled a real-time score app for the Pebble smartwatch. The app can track multiple games and causes the Pebble device to vibrate when it receives game updates and score changes.

Report: TV Dominates World Media Consumption
MediaPost
Worldwide, TV viewing remains the single biggest media activity. On average, 2.58 hours per day are consumed globally, according to GlobalWebIndex's new report of media consumption. The U.S. remains the biggest TV market. Plus, online TV viewing is continuing to rise.

CBS Plays Hardball with Over Station Affiliate Fees
Wall Street Journal
Last week CBS stripped an Indianapolis TV station of its affiliation after a fee dispute. The timing couldn't have been worse: The station's owner, LIN Media, was due to be acquired by Media General in the biggest TV-station merger of the year. Media General cut the price it is paying for LIN.

ESPN, MAC Enter 13-Year Media Rights Agreement
Associated Press
Mid-American Conference Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher said the league's new 13-year media rights agreement with ESPN provides long-term stability to the conference at uncertain time for college athletics. The MAC and ESPN officially announced the new deal this week.

Comcast Eyes College Market with TV via Computer
USA Today
Comcast is expected to announce the official launch and expansion of a service that allows students at seven colleges to watch live TV and video on-demand on their computers and mobile devices via campus Wi-Fi networks. The service won't mean any extra fees, Comcast said.

CBS Expected to Lead as Broadcast Ratings Erode
MediaPost
Broadcast network TV ratings erosion could worsen next year, according to Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer of WPP's GroupM. One major factor will be where CBS lands. Many are predicting that CBS will return to the top broadcast TV network among key 18-to-49 viewers.

DirecTV, Dish Eye Political Cash with Customized Ads
Los Angeles Times
DirecTV and Dish Network will be looking for a landslide this fall in political dollars. For the first time, satellite broadcasters will be jockeying with other media outlets for a share of political spending that could top $3 billion this year. "We think we've built a better mousetrap."

>> MORE


 
INTERNET & DIGITAL MEDIA
 
Netflix, Dish File Objections to Comcast Mega Merger
Philadelphia Inquirer
Netflix and Dish Network are among the groups opposing the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal, based on documents filed right up to the deadline with U.S. regulators. According to Netflix, Comcast could become able to block new online video firms from "reaching critical mass."

Take-Two Interactive: Lohan Sued Us for Attention
Associated Press
The maker of the "Grand Theft Auto" video games said Lindsay Lohan sued to get attention when she asserted the games' latest installment features a character based on her. In Manhattan court papers, Take-Two Interactive said it wants the "Mean Girls" star to pay its legal fees.

Yahoo Searches for New Office Space in Los Angeles
Re/code
Yahoo is said to be looking at new office space in Los Angeles, including a complex in Hollywood, to consolidate its operations in Southern California. The hunt for a more tony address may reflect CEO Marissa Mayer's aggressive emphasis on media, including original content.

Google Acquires 'Star Trek' Visual Effects Firm Zync
TheWrap
Google has acquired visual effects firm Zync, a cloud rendering company with credits such as "Star Trek Into Darkness" and "Looper" under its belt. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but the tech giant said that Zync will be added to the Google Cloud Platform team.

Apple to Prepare New 12.9-Inch iPad for Early 2015
Bloomberg
Apple suppliers are said to be preparing to manufacture the company's largest-ever iPad, with production starting by the first quarter of next year. The new iPad is expected to have a screen measuring 12.9 inches diagonally. Current iPads have 9.7-inch and 7.9-inch displays.

Facebook, Twitter Users 'Shy Away' from Opinions
Associated Press
People who use Facebook and Twitter are less likely than others to share their opinions on hot-button issues, even when they are offline, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. The study suggests that Facebook and Twitter might actually encourage self-censorship.

Snapchat Gets $10 Billion Valuation; Still No Revenue
Wall Street Journal
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is said to have agreed to invest in Snapchat, an ephemeral messaging service, at close to a $10 billion valuation. Snapchat is in the process of raising a large investment round that would make it one of the most valuable tech startups.

Pinterest Adds New Dashboard to Entice Advertisers
Re/code
Pinterest has a new strategy for getting brands on its service: Show, don't tell. The online inspiration and discovery company has unveiled a new analytics dashboard, providing potential advertisers with a glimpse of their mobile and audience analytics for the first time.

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.

Facebook Takes Steps Against 'Click Bait' Articles
New York Times
Facebook has adjusted the way users see articles on its site to reduce what it called "click bait." The move is the latest development in a battle between the social networking giant and some news sites, which try to use the Facebook algorithm that ranks articles to their advantage.

Netflix Shares Reach All-Time High Ahead of Awards
CNBC
Netflix shares hit an all-time high on Monday as investors awaited the results of the Emmy Awards, where the company nabbed a record 31 nominations, in hopes that the streaming-video firm would beat cable and network shows, take home the statue and adds more subscribers.

Amazon Could Be ESPN of Video Games in Twitch Deal
Associated Press
Amazon hopes to become the ESPN of video games. The e-commerce giant has agreed to buy streaming platform Twitch Interactive for $970 million, as it seeks to take part in video gaming's growth as a spectator sport. "Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenom."

TiVo's New Box Targets Cord Cutters, Aereo Refugees
Fast Company
TiVo has swooped in to seize what it sees as a market opportunity, with a new box aimed at folks who get their TV via antenna rather than cable or satellite. The TiVo Roamio OTA has the ability to record four shows at once and enough hard-disk space for 75 hours of HD video.

Amazon Greenlights Another Batch of Kids TV Pilots
CNET
Amazon Studios, the Hollywood arm of the e-commerce giant, has cleared five more kids TV pilots for production, joining a panoply of children's programming for the service. Like Netflix, its bigger rival in subscription streaming video, Amazon seeks to create more programming.

Aereo Loses Appeal for Cable-TV Service Recognition
CNET News
Aereo's fight for survival was dealt a setback when a federal court rejected the streaming TV service's argument that it should be recognized as a cable-TV service. The shuttered company will have to take its case to a federal district court to continue its cable-TV defense.

Netflix to Premiere Journo Foley's Final Film This Fall
New York Post
James Foley's legacy as a freelance photojournalist will live on. On Oct. 24, Netflix will premiere Foley's final piece, "E-Team," in which he served as one of the film's cameramen. The documentary debuted at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year to rave reviews.

Twitter Spreads Ferguson News Before TV Networks
Financial Times
The story of the protests in Ferguson, Mo., was told first on Twitter with almost 1 million tweets sent before CNN had spent a single minute reporting them, according to Pew Research Center. Twitter shows that social media is intruding even further into the territory of TV.

Facebook to Launch 'Mentions Box' at Emmy Awards
Mashable
Facebook will debut the Facebook Mentions Box, an interactive device that celebrities will wield to answer questions from fans from the red carpet at the Emmy Awards. Celebs will shake the device, causing a question to appear on the screen. The celeb will then record a video response.

IAC Making Moves to Own Online Dating Marketplace
SF Gate
Online dating has become a saturated marketplace in which one behemoth — Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp — has staked out a near monopoly. IAC counts heavyweights Match, OkCupid and Tinder among its portfolio. The company "owns online dating; they have been very aggressive."

Amazon Prepares Ad Program in Challenge to Google
Wall Street Journal
Amazon has been gearing up to directly challenge Google's dominance of the online advertising market, developing its own software for placing ads online that could leverage its knowledge of millions of web shoppers. Amazon may begin testing the new platform later this year.

Twitter Expected to Unveil 'Buy' Button Within Tweets
Re/code
Twitter's long-awaited plan to let users make purchases right from a tweet is said to be nearing, with payments startup Stripe having a role. Later this year, Twitter is expected to unveil "buy" buttons within tweets, allowing shoppers to enter payment data without leaving the service.

Report: Most Digital Media Use Is Within Mobile Apps
TechCrunch
U.S. users are spend the majority of their time consuming digital media within mobile apps, according to a new study from comScore. The finding means that mobile apps — including No. 1 app Facebook — eat up more of our time than desktop usage or mobile web surfing.

YouTube to Add Pac-12 Channel for International Fans
TechCrunch
The Pac-12 conference plans to launch a live YouTube channel for international fans, featuring 24/7 coverage of the conference's sports teams. Fans in 27 countries will be able to watch live games, studio shows and re-broadcasts of games for $100 per year or $15 per month.

Google Ventures Invests in Virtual-Reality Firm Jaunt
Variety
Google Ventures has taken a stake in virtual-reality tech startup Jaunt, which is building a system for 360-degree 3D viewing of movies, TV shows and video games. Jaunt's cinematic VR system captures video using algorithms and computational photography.

EBay Mulls Spinoff of PayPal as Soon as Next Year
The Information
Activist investor Carl Icahn's quest to compel eBay to spin off its PayPal unit ended with a whimper in April. But the maneuvering seems to be just beginning. EBay is said to be telling contenders for the job of PayPal CEO that it is considering spinning off the payments business.

SoundCloud Streaming-Music Site Adds Advertising
Los Angeles Times
SoundCloud, a popular destination for music on the web, has gone commercial. The Berlin-based company said it will start placing ads on its service as part of an effort to generate revenue, some of which will go to record labels and artists that sign up for its program.

Twitter in Censorship Dilemma Over Graphic Images
Bloomberg
While Twitter has taken pains to remove images of the death of James Foley, the journalist who was beheaded by Islamic militants, some photos of the body of Michael Brown, the teenager who was killed by police in Ferguson, Mo., remain on users' streams.

AOL's HuffPost Bashed for Crowdfunding Journalism
The Awl
AOL's Huffington Post said it plans to continue on-the-ground reporting from Ferguson, Mo., in an effort crowdfunded by its readers. "But can't AOL — a large, sprawling media company that owns a lot of things that generate a lot of revenue — find the money somewhere?"

Yahoo Updates Android App with Digital Magazines
Next Web
Yahoo has updated its Android app with integration of the company's digital magazines: Yahoo Food, Yahoo Tech, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Beauty and Yahoo Health. Lately, the Internet giant has been pushing very hard to get its mobile apps up to snuff.

Netflix's 'Orange' Pirated More Than 60 Million Times
GigaOm
"Orange is the New Black" isn’t just popular with Netflix's 50 million subscribers: Episodes of the show were downloaded from P2P networks 60.8 million times in the second quarter of this year. The distinction made "Orange" the third-most popular TV show on file-sharing networks.

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ADVERTISING & MARKETING
 
Report: Media Giants to Rely Less on Ad Revenues
MediaPost
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."

Advertising Week to Get an Extra Jolt of Star Power
New York Post
New York's Advertising Week plans to ramp up the star wattage. Compared to the Cannes Lions ad festival on the French Riviera, the city's annual industry gathering has been a more buttoned-down affair. But organizers aim to add sizzle to the 11th edition, kicking off Sept. 29.

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.

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."

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MEDIA COMPANIES
 
Comcast: Time Warner Cable Deal to Close in 2015
Bloomberg
Comcast said it expects its planned $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable to be completed early next year. The timing is due to the company's current expectations about regulatory approvals. Comcast previously said that the deal may be completed by the end of 2014.

Time Warner Cable Paying $1.1 Million for Violation
Reuters
Time Warner Cable will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation that found the cable and Internet provider did not properly report multiple network outages. The FCC found that the company "failed to file a substantial number of reports."

Liberty Global Set to Win EU Approval for Ziggo Bid
Bloomberg
Liberty Global is said to be poised to win European Union approval to buy Dutch cable operator Ziggo after it pledged to sell premium TV channel Film 1. Concessions by billionaire John Malone's company are expected to enable it to dodge formal objections to the $6.5 billion deal.

Report: Media Giants to Rely Less on Ad Revenues
MediaPost
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."

Time Warner's Turner to See 550 Buyouts, Layoffs
TheWrap
Some 550 buyouts are expected to be offered at Time Warner's Turner division this week, with a couple of hundred of those at CNN and HLN, which will lead to layoffs if they are not taken voluntarily. The company will "start 2015 more streamlined, nimble and efficient."

Disney Seeks Drone-Related Patents for Air Shows
Reuters
Disney has filed for drone-related patents that it said could lead to an era of aerial movie screens and larger-than-life puppets flying through the sky. The entertainment giant joins a list of companies pressing the U.S. government to allow commercial use of small unmanned flight systems.

Fox's BSkyB Eyes Tech Investments in Silicon Valley
Pando Daily
Twenty-First Century Fox-controlled BSkyB plans to open an office in San Francisco with the purpose of finding tech investments and partnerships. Heading up the post will be Hilary Perchard, an 11-year veteran of the Sky organization who moved to the Bay Area in March.

AT&T Agrees to Conditions for Purchase of DirecTV
New York Post
AT&T is said to have agreed with the Justice Department on conditions paving the way for it to acquire DirecTV. The company had agreed in May to buy the satellite-TV company for $48.5 billion. Being able to work out a deal with the regulators is seen as a good sign for Comcast.

Comcast Exec Hails Mega Merger as 'Pro-Consumer'
TheHill
Comcast has repeated its promises about the benefits of its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, as the first round of public input on the deal came to a close. In a blog post, EVP David Cohen wrote that the deal "is pro-competitive and strongly in the public interest."

Disney's 'Guardians' Becomes Summer's Top Movie
Associated Press
Marvel's space adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy" has passed "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to become the summer's biggest domestic hit, with a box office total of $252 million. The Disney release — an unlikely August sensation — "couldn't have come at a better time."

Sony's PlayStation Network, Chief Targeted in Attack
USA Today
Sony said its PlayStation Network went down due to an outside attempt to "overwhelm" the online service, part of a bizarre tale that included the flight of Sony Online chief John Smedley being diverted for security reasons. A group called Lizard Squad claimed his flight had explosives on board.

Viacom's MTV: No Connection to Shooting at Event
USA Today
Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was shot early Sunday morning at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party in West Hollywood, Calif. The nightclub party was hosted by VMAs nominee Chris Brown. MTV said in a statement: "MTV has no affiliation nor is connected to this event in any way."

Fox's Murdoch, Son in Spat Over Move to Big Apple
Sydney Morning Herald
Rupert Murdoch threatened to fire his son James unless he moved to News Corp.'s home city of New York, during a meeting to restore their relationship after the British phone-hacking scandal. The revelation came in the new book "Hack Attack," by Guardian reporter Nick Davies.

Time Warner's HBO Sees Emmy Awards Gain Luster
New York Times
HBO, which racked up 99 nominations, the most of any network, will face off against broadcasters, cable networks and Netflix at this year's Emmy Awards. "Television is no longer the creative backwater," said HBO exec said Michael Lombardo. "Accordingly, the Emmys mean more."

Comcast Asked by FCC for More Merger Review Data
Reuters
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has asked Comcast for additional details about its video and broadband operations, to review the company's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. Notably, the FCC asked numerous questions about Comcast's broadband business.

Hollywood Laments Summer's Plummeting Box Office
Financial Times
After a record summer in 2013, box-office receipts for this year's peak moviegoing season have fallen by more than 15%. "It comes down to the product on the screen, and the product on the screen hasn't delivered." Still, "there is quiet confidence that things will improve next year."

Viacom, Disney Films May Save Hollywood's Summer
Businessweek
Summer 2014 was a big disappointment for Hollywood. However, there has been some good news of late: Revenues for August are on track to break $1 billion for the first time ever, helped by Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Time Warner's HBO Could Rake In $600 Million Online
Re/code
When will HBO start selling subscriptions to web subscribers, just like Netflix? There are two interesting ways it could play out, according to Kannan Venkateshwar of Barclays Capital. Both options could generate up to $600 million in new earnings, the analyst estimated.

Viacom Sued by 'Naked' Reality Series Cast Member
EW
A woman who went on "Dating Naked" has filed a $10 million lawsuit after Viacom's VH1 channel apparently showed her too naked. New York model Jessie Nizewitz said she was humiliated on social media after the freshman reality series flashed her body during one segment.

Comcast Mega Merger Opposed by Consumer Groups
TheHill
Consumer advocacy groups have filed a formal petition asking regulators to reject Comcast's proposed $45 billion deal to merge with Time Warner Cable. "Denying the merger in its entirety is the only effective way to protect competition and consumers and serve the public interest."

Channel 4 Chief Sees Threat from US Media Moguls
Independent
David Abraham, chief exec of the U.K.'s Channel 4, has warned that British TV could "wither" under the dominant influence of American media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch and John Malone. "U.S. entities [are] queuing up to buy our producers and now our broadcasters."

Report: TV Dominates World Media Consumption
MediaPost
Worldwide, TV viewing remains the single biggest media activity. On average, 2.58 hours per day are consumed globally, according to GlobalWebIndex's new report of media consumption. The U.S. remains the biggest TV market. Plus, online TV viewing is continuing to rise.

Media Bigs in Race to Scoop Up Indie TV Studios
New York Post
Prices for independent TV studios have been soaring this year, as big media companies rush in to gain control of hot shows. Programmers are watching carefully as a growing number of producers take their work directly to new players such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Comcast-Time Warner Cable Tie-Up Faces Threat
Bloomberg
A fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and its rivals that has left Los Angeles Dodgers games blacked out for most fans has threatened to undermine the cable company's merger with Comcast. Concerns over the combined company's heft could lead regulators to block the deal.

CBS Plays Hardball with Over Station Affiliate Fees
Wall Street Journal
Last week CBS stripped an Indianapolis TV station of its affiliation after a fee dispute. The timing couldn't have been worse: The station's owner, LIN Media, was due to be acquired by Media General in the biggest TV-station merger of the year. Media General cut the price it is paying for LIN.

Disney Unveils 'Star Wars' Game for Mobile Devices
New York Times
Disney Interactive has announced "Star Wars: Commander," a free-to-play game for mobile devices. The promise of "Star Wars" — once plugged into Disney's vaunted franchise management system — is one reason the entertainment giant's stock price has risen 18% this year.

Time Warner's Turner Tells Staffers to Expect Layoffs
Capital New York
In a memo to employees, Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin said that the company will unveil a new corporate structure "in the next two months." He suggested that there will be layoffs across the entire operation, which includes CNN, TNT, TBS, Turner Sports and Cartoon Network.

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