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Today's Headlines
Tuesday, 4/15/14



Disney Wins Backing of Maker Studios Over Relativity
Bloomberg
Disney's $950 million agreement by buy Maker Studios was reaffirmed by the online video company, putting a quick end to a last-minute offer from Relativity Media. Maker said its board and a majority of shareholders approved the sale, which should close in a few weeks.

Lions Gate Partners with Online Outfit RocketJump
Associated Press
Another Hollywood studio has tied up with a video creator that has made it big on YouTube. Lions Gate Entertainment has announced a multi-year partnership with RocketJump Studios, maker of hit online show "Video Game High School," which is now in its third season.

Sony: Fincher Out of Steve Jobs Movie in Fee Fight
Hollywood Reporter
Sony Pictures is looking to replace David Fincher as director of its highly anticipated Steve Jobs movie due to his aggressive demands for compensation and control. Fincher is said to be seeking a hefty $10 million up front in fees, as well as control over marketing.

Google to Buy Drone-Maker Startup Titan Aerospace
USA Today
Google has agreed to acquire Titan Aerospace, a 2-year-old startup maker of high-altitude drones, to help the Internet giant collect aerial images. Google's gain comes at the expense of Facebook, which earlier this year was in talks to buy the company for a reported $60 million.

Yahoo, Vevo Expand Tie-Up in Video, Programming
TechCrunch
Yahoo and Vevo have expanded their partnership through a deal that will bring Vevo's videos, live concert events and other original programming to Yahoo's own video streaming service, Yahoo Screen. "Yahoo has the potential to be one of our largest partners," said Vevo.

AOL Rejiggers Website with Video Front and Center
CNET
AOL has reformatted its website to highlight video from owned properties like Huffington Post and a bunch of content partners, including ESPN, the Wall Street Journal and Vogue. The move is the Internet company's latest gambit to become a video-advertising leader online.

YouTube Plans to Make Its 'Stars' Real-Life Famous
Advertising Age
YouTube has plenty of "stars" some even have audiences that rival cable TV in the young demo advertisers covet. But can you name any of them? YouTube's new CEO Susan Wojcicki aims to fix that problem with TV ads, billboards, subway wraps and magazine pages.

Google Seeks New York Offices to Hold 3,000 Workers
Wall Street Journal
Google is said to be doing a search to expand further in New York City for enough space to hold more than 3,000 employees. The Internet firm has been in talks with landlords about leasing as much as 600,000 square feet in Manhattan about half the size of the Chrysler Building.

Yahoo Under Pressure as Alibaba Prepares for IPO
MarketWatch
Yahoo will report Tuesday on a quarter in which the big news for its investors was not about Yahoo, but Alibaba, the Chinese Internet giant of which the web portal owns a big stake, and is preparing to go public. The view of Yahoo's core business remains downbeat.

Twitter Founders, CEO Say They Aren't Cashing Out
CNNMoney
Twitter's founding fathers became billionaires on paper when the social media company went public. But Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams said they have no plans to turn those paper gains into cash once they have the chance in May. CEO Dick Costolo has no plans to sell either.

Google Patents Contact Lens with Built-In Camera
Mail Online
Google has patented a smart contact lens that could see its Glass wearable computer fit inside a smart lens. The move opens the possibility of its Glass system being shrunk down significantly, offering features such as "super zoom" to wearers and even helping the blind to see.

MSNBC, NowThis News Team for 15-Second Series
TechCrunch
Following the news in January that NBCUniversal News invested in mobile news startup NowThis News, the companies have unveiled their first collaboration a show called "15 Seconds to Truth." Each segment will be 15 seconds long, focusing on top stories of the day.

Comcast Basic Cable-TV Prices Up Most, Report Says
New York Post
Time Warner Cable was the only major pay-TV company to reduce the price of basic cable TV over the past four years, according to a new report by Free Press. Meanwhile, Comcast, which moved in April to buy TWC for $45 billion, raised its advertised basic TV rates by 68%.

Turner Broadcasting Gets Makeover for 'New Voices'
Los Angeles Times
Turner Broadcasting, parent of TBS, CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, HLN and TruTV, has been shaking things up. There have been several high-profile departures some voluntary and some not and more changes are in the works. "This effort will bring new voices."

AMC 'Mad Men' Season Debut Disappoints in Ratings
Reuters
"Mad Men," facing a night of stiff competition on cable TV, drew 2.3 million viewers to the premiere of its seventh and final season. Sunday's hour-long episode was unable to match the 3.4 million that watched its sixth season premiere last year, according to data from Nielsen.

Clear Channel Says Radio Personalities Still Relevant
Adweek
Radio isn't dead. It just hasn't been advertised correctly, according to Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman. "We do fantastic stuff, but we never told anyone about it so sort of shame on us. We got what we deserved. But now, we are speaking up and we are explaining stuff."

Univision Debuts Web Video Network for Millennials
Adweek
Univision has launched an English-language video channel called Flama, with an eye on Hispanics age 15 to 30. The initiative builds on the youngster-targeted, English-language TV channel Fusion, which Univision debuted last fall in conjunction with Disney.

Aereo Battle Moves Broadcasters to Seek a 'Plan B'
Wall Street Journal
TV broadcasters have begun to consider contingency plans in case they lose their Supreme Court battle against online video startup Aereo. CBS is said to have the ability to launch a service that would stream programming over the web simultaneous with its TV broadcasts.

Netflix Speeds Surge for Comcast Users After Deal
CNNMoney
Netflix's deal with Comcast has paid off. Streaming speeds for Comcast users jumped nearly 50% last month after Netflix reluctantly agreed to pay up for a direct connection to the Internet service provider's network. Netflix has been engaged in similar talks with Verizon and others.

Axel Springer Working with Banks on Digital Unit IPO
Bloomberg
Axel Springer, Europe's biggest newspaper publisher, is said to be working with JPMorgan and Citigroup on an initial public offering of its digital-classifieds business. Axel Springer Digital Classifieds could be valued at about $4.1 billion in a share sale.

Bauer Media Invests in Swedish Digital App Lifesum
Bloomberg
Bauer Media and SparkLabs Global Ventures have led a $6.7 million investment in Swedish digital health startup Lifesum, which helps users count calories and lose weight. Lifesum has more than 4 million members for its app. Bauer publishes more than 600 magazines.

Tribune Publishing CEO Could Get $2 Million in Sale
Crain's Chicago
Tribune Publishing new CEO Jack Griffin may earn as much as $3.5 million annually, and could be owed $2 million if he exits after a sale of the company. Griffin is slated to earn a $1 million salary, a potential bonus of the same amount and a $1.5 million stock award each year.

Philly Inquirer Investor Offers $77 Million for Control
Associated Press
George Norcross, a politically-powerful investor in Philadelphia's Inquirer and Daily News, has pledged to pay at least $77 million to wrest control of the newspapers from rivals. The current owners, split into two warring factions, are selling the company at auction to regroup.

News Corp: Coulson Testifies in Phone-Hacking Trial
Wall Street Journal
Andy Coulson, former spokesman for British prime minister David Cameron, has taken the stand for the first time in the phone-hacking trial, seeking to defend himself against charges that he knew about illegal tactics to pursue scoops while editor of News of the World.

Boston Globe Wins Pulitzer for Coverage of Bombings
Boston Globe
The staff of the Boston Globe was awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the bombings a year ago near the Boston Marathon finish line. Other awardees included the Washington Post and the Guardian, for their stories about U.S. government surveillance.

Penske Media Promotes HollywoodLifer to New Position
WWD
Penske Media has promoted William Earl, executive editor of HollywoodLife.com, to senior editor of PMC Brands. In the newly-created role, Earl will work with managing editors across all PMC brands to "enhance site metrics and advise on editorial operations."



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MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS
 
Tribune Publishing to Take On $325 Million in Debt
Chicago Tribune
Tribune's newspaper division will carry at least $325 million of debt when it spins off as a standalone company, according to a filing with U.S. regulators. The bulk of that figure is a $275 million dividend that Tribune Publishing will pay to its parent company.

New York Times Sued by Texas Monthly Over Hire
New York Times
Emmis Publishing, publisher of Texas Monthly, has filed a lawsuit against the New York Times related to the newspaper's hiring of the magazine's departing editor in chief, Jake Silverstein. The suit accuses the Times of inducing Silverstein to breach his employment contract.

Digital First Media Appoints Butler Editor in Chief
Mercury News
David Butler, editor and SVP of the Bay Area News Group, has been named editor in chief of Digital First Media. Butler will oversee the news and content operations at the company's 75 daily newspapers as well as all weekly and digital newsgathering operations across the country.

Freedom Preps Launch of Los Angeles Newspaper
Orange County Register
The Los Angeles Register, a new daily newspaper, will debut Wednesday in Freedom Communications' latest expansion in Southern California. Publisher Aaron Kushner said he is launching a Los Angeles paper because it makes "good business sense."

Tribune Newspaper Spinoff Stirs Experts' Concerns
Los Angeles Times
Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) said that six media experts he consulted have serious concerns about the fate of the Los Angeles Times under Tribune's plans to spin off the newspaper and seven others. Waxman has called on company execs to change the terms.

Guardian's Free 'Robot Newspaper' Comes to U.S.
Digiday
The U.K. Guardian newspaper only has a digital presence in the U.S., but starting Wednesday, it will experiment with a robot-generated print edition. The paper is to be called #Open001 and will be distributed for free at U.S. media and advertising agency offices.

Time Inc Names Editor in Chief of Southern Living
Adweek
Sid Evans has been named editor in chief of Southern Living. He will continue oversight of Cooking Light, Coastal Living, Sunset and This Old House. Evans succeeds Lindsay Bierman, who is leaving to become chancellor of the University of North Carolina's School of the Arts.

Net-A-Porter Names Editor of Style Website Mr Porter
WWD
The Net-a-porter Group has tapped John Brodie as editor in chief of its online men's style website Mr Porter. Brodie, who starts his new job in mid-May, succeeds founding Mr Porter editor Jeremy Langmead, who last November said he would leave the site for Christie's.

Popbitch Email Newsletter Expands Into iPad Magazine
New York Times
Popbitch has used a business model others are now catching up to, but the gossipy email newsletter has entered new waters with an iPad magazine for $2.99 an issue. Its supporters provided some $50,000 in development money for the initiative through Kickstarter.

Online News Startups Face Backlash from Journalists
Digiday
A flurry of journalists have been launching news sites lately, each with a formidable amount of hype. But rather than applaud this as a golden age for journalism, the media echo chamber was quick to pull out the knives. "Newness usually disappoints. There's also jealousy."

Yahoo to Poach Zee from Hearst's Elle Magazine
WWD
Joe Zee appears to be getting closer to the exit at Hearst Tower. While it has been widely reported Zee has been in talks with Yahoo to head up its fashion website, Elle's creative director is said to have accepted an offer from the web giant. For Elle, Zee's exit would be a big blow.

Time Inc Kicks Off Investor Road Show Next Month
WWD
Time Inc. plans to kick off its formal presentation to potential investors in May, roughly a month before the company is slated to spin off from parent Time Warner. Top execs Joe Ripp, Jeff Bairstow and Norman Pearlstine are expected to be involved in the road show.

Conde Nast in Deal for Feature Film of Wired Article
Deadline
Conde Nast Entertainment and Parkes/MacDonald Productions have partnered on the drama feature "See No Evil," based on a Wired magazine article. The drama centers on a car-stereo installer who designs secret compartments used to conceal drugs and weapons.

Digital First Media Cuts Jobs at Salt Lake Newspaper
Salt Lake Tribune
The Salt Lake Tribune has cut eight newsroom jobs, eliminated its faith section and announced plans to drop other print features, as part of cost reductions ordered by owner Digital First Media. The Tribune plans to overhaul its website in an effort to build its online audience.

News Corp Editor Knew of Missing Girl's Voice Mail
BBC News
News of the World former top editor Stuart Kuttner has told the London phone-hacking trial he knew the newspaper had a voice mail from missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone at the time of her disappearance. But he denied authorizing reporters to hack phones, including Milly's.

New York Times's Social Ad Product Fades Away
Digiday
The New York Times's Ricochet has stopped rebounding. When it launched in 2012, the Times touted the social advertising program as a "new model of digital marketing." Alas, the good times didn't last. "The enthusiasm in the marketplace wasn't matched by the uptake by advertisers."

Time Inc Wants Stringer, Other Execs to Join Board
Bloomberg
Time Inc., the magazine publisher that will be spun off by the end of June, is said to have asked Howard Stringer to become a board member. Stringer retired as CEO of Sony in 2012. Time Inc. boss Joe Ripp has reached out to a number of execs to sit on the company's board.

Hearst Eliminates Ad Sales Staff at Country Living
Advertising Age
Hearst has cut the advertising sales team at Country Living magazine. Its duties will be handled by staff at sibling titles Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day, among others. Country Living recently moved its editorial office to Birmingham, Ala., and hired a new editorial team.

Conde Nast Leads in Webby Awards Nominations
WWD
Every magazine publishing company crows about the number of ASME nominations its titles receive, so what about the Webbys? The awards for best in digital media, which will be held May 19 in New York, gave the most nominations to Conde Nast Entertainment, with 14.

>> MORE



 
TELEVISION & RADIO
 
FCC Chairman Hard to Peg Down on Media Issues
Washington Post
After six months in the job, Tom Wheeler, chairman of Federal Communications Commission, has been hard to peg down on some media and telecom issues. "He's been very much treading a middle line. Every side can find something they like in what he says."

Turner Exec Becomes Part Owner of Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, has been named co-owner and CEO of the Atlanta Hawks. At Turner, Koonin led network re-brandings with TNT: We Know Drama and TBS: Very Funny. "It is no secret that I have a passionate love of sports," he said.

NBC Tops Among Key Viewers Amid Sports Push
MediaPost
With just about a month and a half left of the 2013-2014 TV season, NBC still sits in first place among key 18-49 prime-time viewers. This is largely the result of the broadcaster's push with sports programming, specifically the Sochi Winter Olympics this past February.

Sirius XM Shakes Up Country Music's Star System
Wall Street Journal
Country radio stations have long had a particularly cozy relationship with the big record companies, making it difficult for independent artists to break through. But new music services from Sirius XM and others have started to disrupt Nashville's long-closed ecosystem.

Al Jazeera America's Low Ratings Lead to Layoffs
New York Post
Al Jazeera America, which launched less than a year ago, has slashed expenses and laid off staff as it struggles to gain a foothold. "They're not making their numbers. They have a really convoluted background of people in from Qatar. They don't get the U.S. market."

MTV Movie Awards a Hollywood Studio Plug-Fest
Associated Press
Last year, the MTV Movie Awards moved up its broadcast date from June to April to incorporate a summer movie plug-fest. Sunday night's show cemented that change, as clips from anticipated blockbusters debuted. The ceremony has become an important event for Hollywood studios.

AMC 'Mad Men' Creator Discusses Ads, Social Media
Fast Company
Matthew Weiner said he sees resonance between the advertising business of "Mad Men" and the emergence of social media, which has blown up since the AMC series debuted. "I do feel that it's a bit of a one-directional conversation, and that it may create loneliness."

CBS: Colbert Will Replace Letterman on 'Late Show'
CBS News
CBS didn't waste much time finding a new host for the "Late Show." Exactly a week after David Letterman announced plans to retire, Stephen Colbert has been named his successor. Colbert "is one of the most inventive and respected forces on TV," said CBS chief Les Moonves.

NBCUniversal, Fox in Renewal Talks with Seacrest
Variety
Ryan Seacrest has begun talks about his future at both Fox Broadcasting, where his two-year deal at "American Idol" is coming to an end, and NBCUniversal, where a contract covering his contributions to network-related properties including "Today" expires this month.

CBS Mulls Hiring a Woman to Host 'Late Late Show'
Bloomberg
CBS is considering hiring a woman for "The Late Late Show," as the TV network weighs a complete remodeling of its programming for night owls. "12:30 is up in the air," said chief Les Moonves. Chelsea Handler has let CBS know she is interested in the late-night broadcast.

CNN: Talk-Show Format No Longer Viable at 9 PM
CNNMoney
CNN said it will begin to devote the 9 p.m. hour to new taped shows starring Mike Rowe, Anthony Bourdain and others. The new strategy represents a shift away from the talk-show format the network has featured in the time slot for 30 years. "That genre is no longer viable."

HLN Ties Up with Twitter as Media Hub for Millennials
Advertising Age
HLN has unveiled a partnership with Twitter, giving the CNN sibling network further license to visualize the microblogging firm's data live on air. HLN is working with Twitter on a "Tweet DVR," which will capture live tweets about programs and insert them in consumers' DVR playback.

ABC's 'Good Morning America' Picks Up ESPN Host
Hollywood Reporter
ESPN personality Tony Reali has re-upped his deal with the cable network, and scored a regular gig on "Good Morning America" in the process. Reali's extension has given him the role of contributor on corporate sibling ABC's morning flagship. Reali will relocate to his native New York.

Fox News Chief's Suburban Newspaper in Dispute
New York
Roger Ailes may be the head of the most polarizing media organization in the country but lately that title has belonged more to his family's Putnam County News & Recorder than it has to Fox News. The Ailes-owned newspaper has become embroiled in a local controversy.

Comedy Central Staffer Mistakenly Killed by Police
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles County Sheriff deputies mistakenly shot and killed an aspiring TV producer they thought was a stabbing suspect. In fact, "Tosh.0" staffer John Winkler had gone to a neighbor's apartment in West Hollywood where a man was holding people hostage and tried to help.

ABC News Names BBC Veteran Goldston President
ABC News
ABC News SVP James Goldston has been named president, replacing Ben Sherwood, who was recently promoted to co-president, Disney/ABC Television Group. Goldston will be responsible for all editorial and business aspects of the news division, including ABC News programs.

>> MORE


 
INTERNET & DIGITAL MEDIA
 
PonoMusic Startup Raises Big Bucks on Kickstarter
Mercury News
Neil Young turned to the people to help fund his PonoMusic project, via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. And they have definitely responded, making the music service one of the most successful campaigns in Kickstarter history, raising some $5.75 million.

IAC Buys Back Stake in Mobile Dating App Tinder
Bloomberg
IAC/InterActiveCorp has bought back 10% of mobile-dating site Tinder. The company purchased the stake from venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya. IAC had $3.02 billion in sales last year, with more than a quarter of that coming from its primary dating site Match.com.

Aereo Expands Ahead of Date with Supreme Court
CNBC
Aereo is just days away from a decisive Supreme Court battle against the major broadcasters, but that's not stopping the company from expanding. Said CEO Chet Kanojia: "I am 100% convinced that if you look at it as a matter of law and as a matter of policy we are dead right."

Amazon Preps Release of Smartphone for Holidays
Wall Street Journal
Amazon is said to be preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of this year, part of a push into hardware that would pit it against Apple and Samsung. The retailer reportedly aims to begin shipping phones by the end of September, ahead of the holiday shopping season.

Facebook Readying Service to Provide 'E-Money'
Financial Times
Facebook is said to be seeking authorization to become an "e-money" institution. The social network is reportedly weeks away from obtaining regulatory approval in Ireland for a service allowing users to store money and use it to pay and exchange money with others.

Report: 44% of Twitter Accounts Never Send a Tweet
Wall Street Journal
A report from Twopcharts, a website that monitors Twitter account activity, has stated that about 44% of Twitter accounts have never sent a tweet. The report also said that 30% of existing accounts have sent 1-10 tweets. Only 13% of the accounts have written at least 100 tweets.

Groupon Adds In-Store Coupons to Freebie Offers
ClickZ
Groupon has expanded its e-commerce offering with the addition of in-store coupons to the freebies section of its website. The move gives national retailers and marketers a "programmatic way to reach millions of potential customers with targeted promotions."

YouTube's Maker Studios Attracts Bid from Relativity
Wall Street Journal
Relativity Media has made a bid to buy Maker Studios, the online-video producer that is preparing to vote Tuesday on a separate bid from Disney. The offer is a last-minute attempt to spoil the Disney deal. Maker is seen as one of the hottest commodities in YouTube entertainment.

Google Becomes a Master of Washington Influence
Washington Post
Nine years ago, Google opened a one-man lobbying shop, disdainful of Washington, D.C.'s pay-to-play culture. Since then, the company has soared to near the top of the capital's lobbying ranks, placing second to General Electric in corporate lobbying expenditures in 2012.

Yahoo Board Seat Vacated by Tribune CEO Liguori
Deadline
Peter Liguori has told Yahoo that he won't seek re-election at the next annual meeting, when his term expires. The Tribune CEO joined the board in 2012. Yahoo had hoped that the appointment of an independent director would help to derail a planned proxy fight by Daniel Loeb.

Vevo Music Video Investment Eyed by DreamWorks
Re/code
DreamWorks Animation, which has been looking to expand its business beyond movies, is said to be interested in acquiring a stake in Vevo, the online music video service. Liberty Media and the Chernin Group are also said to be in early talks with Vevo's owners.

Aereo Coming to Google's Chromecast Next Month
Mashable
Aereo is coming to the Chromecast. An upcoming update to the Aereo for Android app will add support for Google's $35 dongle. This will let subscribers of the streaming TV service fling their live TV or cloud DVR programs from a phone or tablet to Aereo with the tap of a button.

Twitter, Facebook Wield Little Impact on TV Watching
New York Times
A study by the Council for Research Excellence, a Nielsen-funded group, has contradicted the notion that Twitter and Facebook conversations are a big factor driving people to TV shows. Social media impact "was still relatively small compared to traditional promotion."

Google, YouTube Try to Prove TV Needs Their Help
TheWrap
Google has published a white paper demonstrating the popularity of TV-related videos and stories on Google and YouTube. The Internet giant believes TV networks should view YouTube as an indispensable tool and a cornerstone of their marketing campaigns.

BuzzFeed's Pitch to TV Networks: Use Our Brand
Wall Street Journal
BuzzFeed has offered to let TV networks use its brand name for on-air and digital promotions for their shows. Cable channels IFC and Bravo have signed on as launch partners. The service is part of an expansion of an existing BuzzFeed marketing offering to TV networks.

Apple's iWatch Expected to Cost More Than $1,000
New York Post
Apple's long-rumored iWatch could come with an eye-popping price. One company watcher has predicted that the tech giant will sell the device as a luxury accessory. "The most expensive model of the iWatch line will carry a price tag of several thousand U.S. dollars."

Google Glass Eyewear Going on Sale for One Day
TheVerge
Google plans to make its biggest push yet to get Glass in the hands of as many people as possible. The company will open up its "Explorer Program" and make the eyewear available for purchase on one day only. Next Tuesday's limited-time offer is for U.S. residents.

Amazon Acquires Digital-Comics Hub ComiXology
USA Today
Amazon has made a big move in the growing world of digital comic books. The online retail titan is acquiring ComiXology, the top platform in digital comics, for an undisclosed amount. The new deal will allow Amazon to "corner the market" on digital comics.

Yahoo to Poach Zee from Hearst's Elle Magazine
WWD
Joe Zee appears to be getting closer to the exit at Hearst Tower. While it has been widely reported Zee has been in talks with Yahoo to head up its fashion website, Elle's creative director is said to have accepted an offer from the web giant. For Elle, Zee's exit would be a big blow.

>> MORE


 
ADVERTISING & MARKETING
 
TV 'Upfronts' Face Middling Outlook as Web Erodes
Wall Street Journal
Amid shrinking audiences and intensifying competition for advertising dollars from online video outlets like YouTube and Yahoo, the overall volume of "upfront" financial commitments to networks for the fall season are likely to be essentially flat, according to analysts.

Internet Ad Sales Surpass Broadcast TV for First Time
CNET
Internet advertising soaked up record revenues of $42.8 billion in 2013, the Interactive Advertising Bureau said in a new report. A 17% increase over 2012's results, last year's number helped the online ad industry beat the $40.1 billion in sales seen by traditional TV advertising.

Report: Internet Ad Spending to Reach $121 Billion
TechCrunch
Global advertising spending is on track to grow 5.5% this year to $537 billion, with Internet ads accounting for nearly one-quarter of that figure, at $121 billion, according to forecasts from ZenithOptimedia. Also, Zenith predicts that by 2015 Internet display will overtake paid search.

Clear Channel to Take Interactive Billboards Global
Financial Times
Clear Channel Outdoor plans to equip 56,000 outdoor advertising sites around the world with "near-field communication" capabilities, transforming billboards into interactive "launch pads." Scanning smartphones over special tags on the billboards will deliver targeted ad messages.

Report: Digital Ad Spending Poised to Overtake TV
Media Life
Digital ad spending has overtaken radio, magazine and newspaper spending over the past few years. Now, it's poised to slip ahead of the one medium that has long been ahead of everything else. In 2018, digital's share will surpass television's, according to eMarketer.

CBS Unveils Digital Network in New York Subway
MediaPost
CBS Outdoor formally launched its new digital out-of-home network this week, based in New York City subway stations, with Turner Broadcasting as launch partner. The "digital underground" network includes 10 large digital dioramas in locations throughout the subway system.

Report: Mobile Ad Spend to Overtake Newspapers
Financial Times
U.K. advertising spending on mobile devices will overtake spending on newspapers this year for the first time, according to a report by eMarketer. The research group forecasts that in 2015, mobile will overtake all of print, including magazines. In 2016 it will overtake TV.

WPP Invests in Online Content Marketer Percolate
Financial Times
WPP is buying a minority stake in Percolate, an advertising technology company specializing in content for digital and social media. The investment highlights the strong demand from advertisers for new types of online content amid the proliferation of media.

U.S. Considers Limiting TV Ads' Lists of Drug Risks
Daily News
Are you tired of TV ads for prescription medicines that warn of nausea, insomnia and suicidal thoughts? So is the U.S. government. The Food and Drug Administration will begin a study to find if such lengthy verbal citations can be shortened to the benefit of tuned-out consumers.

'Addressable TV' Ads Target Specific Individuals
Associated Press
Addressable TV, an emerging technology, allows advertisers to pay some broadcasters to pinpoint specific homes. "With a traditional TV buy you can end up paying for a lot of eyeballs you don't care about. Addressable TV is a powerful tool for those that are equipped to use it."

P&G Holds Early Gold in Social Media at Olympics
USA Today
If there's a gold medal for social media, it would likely go to Procter & Gamble. The consumer product giant, maker of such familiar brands as Tide and Charmin, appears to be the most buzzed-about brand of the Sochi Games. At least, as measured by YouTube views.

Google in Ad Measurement Deal with comScore
USA Today
Google has entered a major advertising deal with comScore to help the Internet giant win more business from big brands. Google is integrating comScore's measurement technology into its DoubleClick ad business, letting advertisers track online ads in near real time.

Rubicon Files for $100 Million Internet-Ad IPO
Bloomberg
Rubicon Project, whose online-advertising platform reaches 96% of Internet users in the United States, filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering. The Los Angeles-based company plans to use the funds raised in the IPO for marketing and research and development.

>> MORE


 
MEDIA COMPANIES
 
Disney's 'Captain America' Outguns 'Rio 2' from Fox
Bloomberg
Disney's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" led ticket sales for a second week, holding off Fox's "Rio 2," as audiences rewarded Hollywood studios for releasing their biggest films early. "The key takeaway is this is turning into a huge month and bodes well for the industry."

Viacom Scrambles to Find a Successor to Colbert
Wall Street Journal
Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" has helped define the channel's brand and has become a key part of its schedule. The Viacom network is now scrambling to figure out a replacement for Stephen Colbert. The new host will need to appeal to the channel's 18-34 audience.

Comcast Takeover Bad for America, Senator Says
CNN
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.): "The danger in allowing Comcast to accrue even more power is not purely hypothetical. The company is already using its dominant position to dictate terms to content providers. Content not owned by Comcast could become harder to find online."

Disney's Iger Ranks as Second Highest-Paid CEO
New York Times
Oracle's Larry Ellison had the highest total compensation among CEOs in 2013, according to a pay study from Equilar. At $78.4 million, Ellison's pay was more than double that of the second-ranked exec, Bob Iger of Disney, and triple that of the third-place finisher, Rupert Murdoch.

Fox, News Corp's Murdoch Talks Ex-Wife, Facebook
Time
In a wide-ranging interview with Fortune, media mogul Rupert Murdoch talked extensively about social media, and admitted that News Corp.'s decision to not hire Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg was a mistake. He also discussed his ex-wife and his 2016 presidential pick.

CBS's Moonves Buys Mansion on 'Billionaires Beach'
New York Post
CBS chief Les Moonves has bought Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's home on Malibu's prestigious Carbon Beach for $28 million. Carbon is dubbed "Billionaires Beach" because it is also home to the likes of Larry Ellison, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Disney's Maker Studios Buy Threatened by Ex-CEO
Wall Street Journal
Maker Studios former CEO Danny Zappin and three other former execs have filed a lawsuit aiming to prevent a shareholder vote to approve a takeover bid by Disney. The group claims some Maker directors had issued shares to themselves to dilute Zappin's ownership.

Viacom to Offer Advertisers Social Media Guarantees
Advertising Age
Viacom has begun taking steps toward offering advertisers guarantees for the social media impact it can give them. The company plans to underpin the guarantees with data on social activity across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Google + and YouTube in real time.

Sony, Warner Music Labels Gang Up on MegaUpload
CNET
The Recording Industry Association of America has filed a lawsuit against MegaUpload just three days after the Motion Picture Association of America filed a similar suit against the defunct file-sharing service. The suit accuses MegaUpload of "massive copyright infringement."

Big Media Won't Stand Up to Comcast's Big Merger
BuzzFeed
CBS, Time Warner, Viacom and other media giants weren't at Comcast's U.S. Senate panel hearing regarding the merger with Time Warner Cable. Comcast paid out $9.1 billion on programming last year. The bulk of that money went to the companies that suddenly lost their tongues.

Comcast Says It Represents the American Dream
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast EVP David Cohen told U.S. senators at a hearing on the merger with Time Warner Cable that his company represented the "American dream." Acquiring TWC will provide "the scale to innovate." However, the proposed deal faced "a high degree of skepticism."

21st Century Fox Enters Internet-TV Deal in Italy
Bloomberg
Telecom Italia, the country's largest phone company, is teaming with Rupert Murdoch's Sky Italia for an Internet-TV service to attract broadband subscriptions. Starting next year, Telecom Italia clients with a My Sky HD decoder will have access to Sky's TV programs over the web.

Hearst CEO Swartz Shares Vision of Media Future
Fox Business
Hearst CEO Steve Swartz: "We love the magazine business; we love the newspaper business; cable TV is obviously our biggest business. But, for us, our second biggest source of profits is business information. Technology enables business information to be even stronger."

Time Warner Dumps $1.4 Billion Debt on Time Inc
New York Post
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has revealed that the $1.4 billion in debt and loans that will be assigned to Time Inc. in its spinoff will be used in large part to pay the parent company for IPC Media, a British publishing subsidiary. IPC is still carried on Time Warner's books.

Comcast: We Need Merger to Compete with Google
Ars Technica
Comcast, attempting to explain why its proposed $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable would be good for consumers, said it needs extra scale to compete against Google, Netflix and other companies in broadband and video. "The point is, Google is coming."

Disney, Time Warner on Superhero Collision Course
Bloomberg
Disney has thrown down the gauntlet at Warner Bros. by scheduling the next Captain America film to open on May 6, 2016 the same day its competitor releases a combined Superman-Batman movie. The move suggests competition for top dates remains fierce.

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