Today's Headlines
Wednesday, 10/1/14

New York Times to Cut 100 Jobs, Shutter Opinion App
New York Times
The New York Times plans to eliminate about 100 newsroom jobs, as well as a smaller number of positions from its editorial and business operations, the newspaper announced. Also, NYT Opinion, a new mobile app, will shut down because it is not attracting enough subscribers.

Fox: Murdoch Daughter to Step Down from TV Group
Financial Times
Elisabeth Murdoch will step down as chairman of Shine when it merges with Endemol and Core Media, ending a 13-year relationship with the TV production group. The daughter of Rupert Murdoch, who founded Shine in 2001, was at one stage seen as a potential successor to her father.

Disney, Amazon to End Dispute Over DVD Preorders
Wall Street Journal
Amazon appears to be close to settling a nearly two-month dispute with Disney during which the e-commerce giant stopped offering the entertainment company's DVDs for preorder. Among the subjects at issue were pricing and promotion on the Amazon website.

Facebook to Screen Short Films Based on 'Twilight'
New York Times
Five aspiring female directors will be chosen to make short films based on characters from Lions Gate's vampires-and-werewolves saga "Twilight," which will be shown next year on Facebook. The mini-movies will be financed by Lions Gate and its production partners.

Netflix's Film Move Spurned by Major Theater Chains
New York Times
Regal Cinemas and Cinemark said they will not screen next year's sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the first major motion picture that will make its debut on Netflix and on a select number of Imax screens. "We believe the choice for truly enjoying a magnificent movie is clear."

AT&T, Chernin Name Execs to Run Web Video Venture
Otter Media, the web video venture created by AT&T and the Chernin Group, has named American Airlines veteran Virasb Vahidi as CEO. Also, Tom Pickett, a top content exec who recently exited YouTube, will run a group within Otter focused on niche video subscription services.

Comcast Seen Positioned to Launch Online Service
Moving its set-top boxes and DVRs to a cloud-based delivery system positions Comcast to eventually offer a streaming video package both inside and outside of its markets. "Comcast is fully prepared and technologically capable of launching an over-the-top video service."

Google, YouTube Prep New Online Music Offerings
Google's YouTube is expected in the coming weeks to unveil new subscription and advertising-supported music offerings able to play several tracks in a row. Also coming soon: an update of Google's existing $10-a-month All Access subscription-music streaming service.

Yahoo Earns $9.4 Billion Windfall from Alibaba's IPO
Yahoo earned $9.4 billion by selling 140 million shares in Alibaba's IPO, according to a regulatory filing. The company's windfall represents a blockbuster investment and a huge opportunity for CEO Marissa Mayer. She has yet to say what she will do with the money.

AOL CEO: We've Already Had 'Worst Merger in History'
Should AOL merge with Yahoo? While AOL CEO Tim Armstrong declined to comment on the issue, he said his company has a long, tortured history with one ill-conceived merger: the one between AOL and Time Warner in 2000. "We had the worst merger in history. We turned it around."

Viacom TV Networks to Be Dropped by Suddenlink
Suddenlink plans to drop Viacom channels including Nickelodeon and MTV in a dispute over fees. The cable provider said that Viacom is demanding an almost 50% increase in payments for its programming even as the audience for its main channels has declined in the last several years.

FCC Votes to Do Away with Sports TV Blackout Rule
The Federal Communications Commission has voted to eliminate a decades-old rule that has prohibited pay-TV providers from airing some home sports games, such as NFL football, if tickets to those games did not sell out. The rule in recent years faced criticism that it was outdated.

FCC Mulls Move to Ban NFL Redskins Team Name
The Federal Communications Commission is said to be considering whether to punish broadcasters for using the moniker of the Washington NFL team, the Redskins, a word many consider a slur to Native Americans. Use of the word is described as "akin to broadcasting obscenity."

Comcast Removes GE Logo Atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza
Wall Street Journal
Workers have dismantled the familiar GE logos from atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Comcast, the new owner of NBCUniversal, sought approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to replace the logo atop one of the city's most iconic skyscrapers.

NBCUniversal Shakes Up Management at E! Network
Wall Street Journal
NBCUniversal has shaken up the management at its cable network E!, after several years of ratings declines. Exiting is Suzanne Kolb, who served as the channel's president for three years. Frances Berwick will add E! and the Esquire Network to her oversight of Bravo and Oxygen.

CBS, NBC, ABC Lure More Viewers in Premiere Week
Associated Press
CBS, NBC and ABC all had more viewers last week than during the first week of the 2013 fall TV season, according to the Nielsen's measurement of people watching live or before midnight on the same evening. Only Fox saw its numbers slip among the four largest broadcast networks.

Fox's 'Gotham' Tops Piracy of Fall Show Premieres
"Gotham," the Batman prequel series that debuted on Fox last week, has the dubious distinction of far exceeding file-sharing activity of any other new fall TV show. From Sept. 17 to Sept. 29, the pilot episode was downloaded via torrent networks worldwide some 1.33 million times.

ABC's 'Get Away With Murder' Breaks DVR Records
Hollywood Reporter
"How to Get Away With Murder" appears to be the surest bet among this fall's crop of new series thus far. The Shonda Rhimes-produced ABC drama stands as the top freshman performer in the adults 18-49 demo and boasts the biggest DVR viewership increase in history.

Fox News Lineup Draws Highest Ratings in Decade
Fox News Channel, benefiting from a retooled line-up featuring Megyn Kelly and viewer interest in the widening conflict in the Middle East, has posted its best prime-time ratings in a decade. "The Kelly File" has emerged in its first year as the network's second-most-popular program.

UBM to Buy Advanstar Trade Shows for $972 Million
UBM said it will buy trade show organizer Advanstar for $972 million, becoming the top U.S. events organizer by revenue. Advanstar operates 54 trade shows and about 100 conferences annually, including the Magic fashion trade show in Las Vegas, the largest U.S. fashion convention.

Reddit Raises $50 Million from Snoop Dogg, Investors
Reddit has raised $50 million from stars such as rapper Snoop Dogg and actor Jared Leto, in a deal that will see investors giving 10% of their shares back to the social news website's user community. The giveaway is intended to reward the Reddit community for its "central role."

Angie's List Online Review Service to Explore Sale
Angie's List, the fast-growing consumer-review service, is said to have hired investment bankers to explore strategic options, including a sale. However, the company "is not wedded to selling" and might decide not to pursue a deal. Angie's List has never turned an annual profit.

Food52 Cooking Site Raises $6 Million in Funding
Crain's New York
Food52, the recipe and cookware website co-founded by New York Times food writer Amanda Hesser, has expanded its offerings and moved to new quarters on the heels of raising $6 million. The round included Scripps Networks Interactive, parent company of the Food Network.

BuzzFeed, Mashable Execs Sound Off on Native Ads
New York Post
Native advertising is one of the biggest trends on Madison Avenue, but some believe it's time to retire the buzzword. "Native sounds deceptive," Mashable's Seth Rogin said during an Advertising Week panel. BuzzFeed's Andy Wiedlin agreed: "I'm with you on the jihad, Seth."

Yahoo's Digital Magazines Insist Content is Working
Wall Street Journal
Yahoo, under pressure to find advertising growth, this year launched a series of digital magazines. Premium brands have signed on to advertise. But is the content working? "In terms of viewership – the numbers, the readership – they're crazy," said David Pogue of Yahoo Tech.

Wenner, Bauer Absent from Magazine Media 360 Effort
New York Post
The CEOs of more than 30 consumer magazine publishers are on board for the MPA's Magazine Media 360 — the new measurement tool that for the first time tracks both the print and digital readers. But two publishers are notable for their absence: Wenner Media and Bauer Publishing.

Conde Nast Office Move to Revitalize Lower Manhattan
Hollywood Reporter
When Conde Nast moves to 1 World Trade Center next month, its tastemakers will find themselves in a far from glitzy neighborhood. But real estate watchers believe the arrival will hasten the area's upscale transformation. Time Inc. will join Conde way downtown in 2015.

New Yorker's First Animated GIF Cover Earns Praise
"Classy." "Lovely and understated." "So beautiful it'll make you cry." Those were some of the early reviews of The New Yorker's magazine cover this week. It's not the first time a New Yorker cover has earned praise, but the difference is that this time the cover is a GIF.

MailOnline Names CNN Veteran Morgan Editor at Large
Mail Online
MailOnline has announced that Piers Morgan will join the website as editor at large. Piers, one of the best known journalistic faces on both sides of the Atlantic, joins MailOnline from CNN where he was host of "Piers Morgan Live" from 2011 until 2014. He will write several times a week.

Wall Street Journal, India's Mint to End Partnership
The Wall Street Journal and HT Media's business newspaper Mint have ended their seven-year partnership. Both groups said in internal memos that it would have no impact on their respective operations. The Journal once explored buying a stake in Mint and had engaged bankers.

Washington Post: Graham Era Ends at Newspaper
Washington Post
Tuesday was Katharine Weymouth's last day as publisher of the Washington Post. "Everyone assumed the Grahams would own the Post forever. It's the end of an era." New owner Jeff Bezos "has shown a willingness to re-invigorate in a way that the Grahams simply couldn't."

Recent Headlines
Media news by sector


News Corp to Acquire Real-Estate Website Firm Move
Associated Press
News Corp. is spending about $950 million to buy the online real-estate business Move in a deal that aims to speed up the media company's digital expansion. Move operates the website and News Corp. said it displays more than 98% of all U.S. listed for-sale properties.

Hearst's Cosmopolitan Assumes Control of Seventeen
Hearst has created a new "Millennial Group" to better showcase the editorial and marketing common denominators between Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. Cosmo top editor Joanna Coles will extend her duties to Seventeen; Ann Shoket, editor of Seventeen, will leave the magazine.

Time Inc's People Leads in New Magazine Measurement
The MPA - the Association of Magazine Media's new Magazine Media 360 measurement includes print and digital editions, web traffic, mobile traffic and unique video views. Of the leading six magazine titles in total audience, People comes out on top, with a healthy lead over its nearest rival.

Conde Nast Entertainment: We're in 'Selfie Brand' Age
Stream Daily
Conde Nast Entertainment head Dawn Ostroff oversees The Scene, where she aims to transform the company's magazine brands into new digital formats for a younger audience in the age of what she calls "the selfie brand." Millennials want experiences that are easy to share, she said.

Crain's New York Launches 5Boros Magazine, Website
Crain's New York
Crain's New York Business has launched a spinoff title, Crain's 5boros, a consumer lifestyle magazine covering food, fashion, retail and more. The quarterly covers neighborhoods in every borough of the city. A companion website with a blogger network has also launched.

Financial Times Sees Opportunities in Smart Watches
The Drum
Publishers would be "fools" to disregard the opportunities of wearables, said Financial Times CTO John O'Donovan, as the FT makes its first move into smart watches. "It's hard to predict how big the watch platform will be. Smart watches are going to change the way you read content."

News Corp: We Have Overcome Our 'Mafia' Image
Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper arm once was seen by the public as "some sort of Sicilian-style family organization," admitted company communications exec Guto Harri. But News U.K. has "cleaned up" its act, becoming "a team player determined to sort out its problems."

Tribune's Los Angeles Times Wins Top Online Honor
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times has been honored by the Online News Association for general excellence, taking home the top award for large news websites. The Times relaunched its site in May. The site has been called a "textbook case study of how the modern newspaper site should look."

Washington Post Legendary Editor Bradlee in Hospice
Huffington Post
Ben Bradlee, former editor of the Washington Post, is suffering from advanced dementia and is in hospice care, his wife Sally Quinn disclosed in an interview with C-SPAN. Bradlee, 93, secured a place in history with his stewardship of the Post through the Watergate scandal.

Hearst Forming New Group for Publishing Services
Hearst wants to help other magazine publishers — and pump up the productivity of its own operations in the process. The group has formed a publishing service targeting medium to large-sized publishers with titles that have circulations between 300,000 and 1 million.

Time Inc's People Gets Photos of Clooney Wedding
People magazine has obtained the exclusive rights to the wedding photos of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin. The news was confirmed by Clooney's camp. The couple's wedding was held in Venice on Saturday night. Clooney and Alamuddin will also have a civil ceremony Monday.

Conde Nast Names Epicurious Executive Director
Following Bon Appetit’s recent takeover of Epicurious and the ensuing departure of editor in chief Nilou Motamed, the website's director of product, Eric Gillin, has been promoted to the new position of executive director. Gillin will continue to oversee Epicurious' coming redesign.

Forbes Unveils 33rd Annual 'Forbes 400' Rich List
Bill Gates has retained the top spot on the new Forbes 400 list, at $81 billion, up $9 billion from 2013. Some 27 newcomers made it into the ranks, including WhatsApp's Jan Koum, at $7.6 billion. The biggest gainer was Mark Zuckerberg, whose net worth grew $15 billion since last year.

Magazine Trade Group Adds Digital to Print Metrics
Advertising Age
Stuck in a decline in print advertising, magazines have adopted a new way of measuring themselves. The MPA - the Association of Magazine Media has introduced Magazine Media 360, which will combine print and tablet audience, visitors to web and mobile sites and video views.

Women's Magazines Leader Carter Dies at Age 86
New York Times
John Mack Carter, who had the distinction of editing all of the so-called Big Three women's magazines, died on Friday at his home in Bronxville, N.Y. Carter edited McCall's from 1961 to 1965, Ladies' Home Journal from 1965 to 1974 and Good Housekeeping from 1975 to 1994.

Time Inc Grows Traffic to with Partnerships
Digiday is in the midst of a traffic explosion, with its multiplatform audience soaring 90% to 25 million monthly uniques in the past year, according comScore. One big contributor: a modified platform approach that has Time running articles from around 30 content partners.

Hearst Relaunches Town & Country Travel Spin-Off
New York Post
Klara Glowczewska, who was ousted as editor in chief of Conde Nast Traveler last year, achieved a measure of revenge with the debut of Hearst's relaunched Town & Country Travel. She kicked off the debut issue with a reception in the brand new Tea Room at the Plaza.

Conde Nast's Epicurious Editor Departs After Revamp
Epicurious editor in chief Nilou Motamed has been let go less than a year after she was hired by Conde Nast to take the online recipe hub in a more lifestyle-focused direction. Last month Conde Nast announced that company sibling Bon Appetit would take control of Epicurious.

Media Industry Newsletter Folds Magazine Boxscores
New York Post
Media Industry Newsletter, which has been chronicling the ad page performance of the magazine industry for 67 years through its boxscores, said that last Monday's edition was the final version. Magazine Publishers of America is unveiling a new way of calibrating performance.

Parade Magazine Sees Job Losses Under New Owner
New York Post
Most of the editors and writers at Parade, the Sunday newspaper magazine, had their final day on Friday as none on the editorial side have been offered jobs by new owner Athlon Media. However, two promotions were announced, including the elevation of Lisa Delaney to SVP.

New York Times Ex-Editor Abramson to Talk Media
Boston Globe
New York Times media critic David Carr and former top editor Jill Abramson will headline what is bound to be a quotable night at Boston University next month. Carr and Abramson will talk about the future of the media during an event sponsored by Boston public radio station WBUR.

Obama's Media Diet Is Heavy on Print, Online News
Capital New York
Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director-turned assistant to the president, shed some light on his boss' media habits during a Q&A session at BuzzFeed headquarters. Obama "reads the daily news ... both print and online." He singled out the New York Times as a daily read.

Google Posts 'Dear Rupert' Response to News Corp
Next Web
Google has responded to an open letter, written by News Corp. for the European Commission, which criticizes the company and claims its search engine negatively impacts news organizations. "Google is of course very popular in Europe, but we are not the gatekeeper to the web."

News Corp, Daily Mail Settle Copied-Stories Dispute
Financial Times
News Corp. and MailOnline have settled an Australian legal dispute over the alleged lifting of celebrity exclusives, with both sides claiming victory. The spat related to the business model of MailOnline, which like other digital publications relies on quickly replicating rivals' stories.


US Mulls Redefining 'Television' to Include Internet
The Federal Communications Commission has begun to consider whether to treat certain online video services like pay-TV providers. The move would help online services get cheaper access to network programming. "It could pose significant challenges to the traditional cable-TV bundle."

BSkyB Invests in Native Ad Company Sharethrough
Earlier this month, Sharethrough announced its European expansion, and it jumpstarted those efforts by acquiring London-based competitor VAN. Now it looks like Sharethrough will also be getting help from one of the region's big media companies — British Sky Broadcasting.

AMC Near $200 Million Deal for Stake in BBC America
AMC Networks is said to be near a deal to acquire almost 50% of BBC America for about $200 million. BBC Worldwide would retain control. AMC Networks, which owns the AMC, Sundance and IFC channels, would add BBC America to its roster of networks when it negotiates for fees.

NBC Football Commands Highest Ad Prices on TV
Associated Press
NBC's "Sunday Night Football" charges $627,300 for a 30-second advertisement, more than any other program in prime-time broadcast TV, according to Advertising Age. On its heels is CBS' new Thursday night football telecast, being shown this fall for the first time, at $483,333.

ESPN Insiders Call FiveThirtyEight Website a 'Disaster'
ESPN insiders are said to be talking about the struggles of FiveThirtyEight, the website created by analyst Nate Silver. "It hasn't even been online for a year yet, but from lack of revenue to lack of traffic to lack of advertising, it is already being billed as a 'disaster' by some at the network."

CNN Makes Aggressive Push in Original Digital Video
CNN has no shortage of TV content, but the broadcaster has nevertheless made an aggressive push into original digital video. CNN Digital Studios has trotted out three web series and has more in the pipeline. "We got rid of the notion that digital doesn't stack up to the quality of TV."

Comcast Names Exec to Fix Customer Experience
Multichannel News
Comcast, deep in the throes of the regulatory approval process for its pending merger with Time Warner Cable — and still licking its wounds after a few high-profile service stumbles — has named company veteran and X1 developer Charlie Herrin SVP of customer experience.

Starz Cable Network May Not Find Merger in Its Future
Wall Street Journal
Starz has been seeking a buyer. But when it comes to bulking up, big media companies "have more incentive to combine with even bigger media companies than they do to pick up stragglers." Also, Starz "is still in the early stages of its original-programming strategy."

ABC Cheers, Fox Groans After Fall TV Premiere Week
New York Times
In the early days of the new fall TV season, Fox's only bright spot was "Gotham," while ABC's Thursday night of dramas posted impressive ratings. "How to Get Away with Murder" was so potent on its Thursday premiere that no other drama topped its ratings.

NBC 'Saturday Night Live' Creator Finds New Profits
New York Post
Lorne Michaels has found another way for his company, Broadway Video, to profit off of "Saturday Night Live." Michaels, who owns the rights to "SNL" skits, cuts a deal with sponsors to do commercials, and show writers and performers both participate in the agreement.

Oprah Scheduled for Dedication at Newhouse School
Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications has received an $18 million technology upgrade and face lift for one of its three buildings. Oprah Winfrey will be the featured guest when the new facilities at Newhouse are dedicated Monday afternoon.

Univision Owners Mulling Sale, Initial Public Offering
Financial Times
The private equity firms that control Univision, the largest U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster, are said to be considering a sale or initial public offering after seven years of ownership. CBS, 21st Century Fox, Disney and Time Warner could all benefit from Univision's assets.

DirecTV Shareholders Approve Acquisition by AT&T
Wall Street Journal
DirecTV's shareholders have approved the satellite-TV provider's proposed acquisition by AT&T. The deal, which still requires U.S. regulatory approval, is expected to close in the first half of next year. The deal comes as more people rely on Internet-connected devices.

Discovery Takes Control of Hub Network, Will Rebrand
Discovery has acquired control of The Hub from partner Hasbro and will rename the children's TV network Discovery Family Channel as it looks to broaden its family and children's programming. Discovery's stake increased to 60% from 50%, while Hasbro's dropped to 40%.

MTV Veteran to Create Video Technology Incubator
Fred Seibert, a veteran of cable and online programming, is working on a new project to incubate ideas and products that he hopes will change the way people consume video content. His new company, Thirty Labs, was formed with backing from fellow media veteran Jon Miller.

ESPN Suspension of Host Simmons Backfires Online
ESPN's suspension of popular host Bill Simmons has proven problematic for the media company's own brand. Not only have users rallied to support Simmons, but the move has made ESPN seem more interested in protecting its image than addressing domestic violence issues.

Al Jazeera Offers News Game to Lure Youth Audience
Al Jazeera has launched its first-ever news game — an interactive feature in which the user takes the role of a journalist investigating the illegal fishing trade in Sierra Leone. The project aims to appeal to younger audiences. "There's a huge appetite to participate in media."

Clear Channel Spectacolor Takes Steps Into Producing
Associated Press
Clear Channel Spectacolor, an outdoor advertising giant with massive billboards and digital screens across Times Square, has taken the unprecedented step of helping produce a theatrical venture — the new Broadway revival of "Side Show." "We market great theater."

NPR Streams 'Gone Girl' Thriller's Soundtrack Online
Daily News
Planning to see "Gone Girl"? Get in the mood by listening to the film's spine-tingling soundtrack. Even though the collaboration between Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor won't be released until Sept. 30, the soundtrack has been made available to stream online on NPR's website.

CBS' Moonves Hints of Interest in Ambassadorship
Hollywood Reporter
Although Les Moonves said he never was made a formal offer, he and former President Clinton once talked about the possibility of Moonves becoming the ambassador to Spain. "You have to be very rich to be an ambassador," said the CBS CEO. "I wasn't rich then."


Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood with Weinstein Film
New York Times
Netflix and the Weinstein Co. said they plan to release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" simultaneously on the streaming service and in select Imax theaters. The film will be the first major motion picture to make its debut on Netflix and in movie theaters at the same time.

Yahoo Investors Could Reap $11 Billion in Breakup
Yahoo shareholders are inching closer to a potential $11 billion windfall. Activist fund Starboard Value stepped up pressure on Yahoo last week to break itself up, a move analysts say could amount to an $11 billion market value gain. The idea lays out a plan for rewarding investors.

AOL CEO Weighs In on Push to Merge with Yahoo
Starboard Value's pressure on Yahoo to explore a merger with AOL is none of Tim Armstrong's business, the CEO said. "The Yahoo-Starboard situation is a Yahoo-Starboard situation. Our relationship with Starboard in the past. Our focus has been about driving AOL's strategy."

Netflix Enters Deal with Internet TV Platform YouView
Financial Times
Netflix is to sign a deal with U.K. telecoms groups, including BT, to make its TV shows and films available on their set-top boxes. The streaming service has agreed a partnership with YouView, the Internet TV platform that is owned by a consortium of telecoms groups and broadcasters.

TiVo Debuts Android App to Stream Shows on Devices
TiVo has introduced a mobile app for users to stream TV content on their Android smartphones and tablets, adding to a similar service it offers on Apple devices. The new app lets consumers with devices using Google's operating software connect with their TiVo set-top box at home.

Facebook's Sandberg, Yahoo's Couric Talk Mobile
Marketing Land
It's a mobile world, and both Yahoo News' Katie Couric and Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg are doing their best to help their companies adapt. The two execs chatted at an event during New York's Advertising Week festival. "People are obsessed with their phones," Sandberg observed.

Google Plans Roll Out of Full-Screen Ads for Mobile
Google has unveiled new tools and four new mobile advertising formats. The new hard-to-miss formats include resizing ads that start out as a smaller ad and can expand to fill the entire mobile screen. Advertisers are keen to see which company will make mobile ads more engaging.

AOL, Publicis Tie-Up to Include Programmatic Video
Publicis and AOL are expanding their partnership on marketing efforts struck in 2013 to include programmatic video and linear TV. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said the expanded agreement "is the start of enabling global video advertising to scale to global consumers — offline or online."

Microsoft Plans Flagship Retail Store on Fifth Avenue
Five years after kicking off its retail-store push, Microsoft officials have confirmed that the company will create a flagship retail store in New York City. Microsoft will open a full-size store on Fifth Avenue. Execs did not provide a date as to when the store will open.

Instagram Founder Systrom Joins Board of Wal-Mart
Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom has joined Wal-Mart's board of directors as its 15th member. He won't be the lone tech exec either: Systrom joins Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer as a board member of the world's largest retailer. "Kevin's digital expertise will be invaluable."

EBay to Spin Off PayPal Into Public Company in 2015
EBay plans to spin off PayPal, its fast-growing payments unit, into a publicly traded company in the second half of 2015. "A thorough strategic review with our board shows that keeping eBay and PayPal together beyond 2015 clearly becomes less advantageous to each business."

Yahoo, AOL Center Stage During Advertising Week
New York Post
Madison Avenue will keep an eye on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and AOL boss Tim Armstrong this week, as their struggling Internet giants feel the pressure to merge. The two will be on display in New York, where thousands of ad execs will descend for the Advertising Week event.

BitTorrent to Sell New Album from Radiohead Singer
Radiohead singer Thom Yorke has released an album via BitTorrent, marking the first time the online file transfer system often associated with piracy has been used to sell music. Users will be charged $6 to have access through BitTorrent to a "paygated" bundle of files.

YouTube Star in Deal to Expand Into Music Business
Michelle Phan, the YouTube makeup sage, has joined forces with Cutting Edge Group, the owner of the Varese Sarabande label, to create Shift Music Group. The joint venture aims to finance music projects and support them across social media platforms. Phan is "the ultimate DJ."

Google VP for YouTube Content Departs for CEO Post
Wall Street Journal
Tom Pickett, Google's VP for YouTube content, said he is leaving the video-streaming service. Pickett told employees he was leaving to take the CEO post at another company that he did not name. More than a dozen top managers and execs have left YouTube this year.

Yahoo Veteran Aims to Build 'Yahoo for Men' at Scout
James Heckman, CEO of Scout: "I don't feel it's an overreach to say we're building the Yahoo for men. We're not pursuing A-market Silicon Valley, New York hipster types, but rather men where America is. We have a hyper-focus on college football, college basketball, NFL, hunting."

Apple iPhones Not So Bendy, Consumer Reports Says
USA Today
If you swing into your car seat and forget that your new Apple iPhone 6 is in your back pocket, is it going to bend? That depends, according to Consumer Reports, which put the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and rivals to a "stress test" to see how much weight it took to bust them.

Amazon Grocery Deliveries Coming to New York City
Amazon is said to be preparing to start its Fresh grocery delivery business in New York City as early as next month, as the online retailer takes aggressive steps toward making its same-day delivery service national. The company has been building up food inventory in Avenel, N.J.

Twitter, Facebook Influence Waning Among Shoppers
Wall Street Journal
Retailers like Wal-Mart and Target have invested more of their marketing and technology dollars into social media campaigns in an effort to increase sales. But new research from consultancy Capgemini has suggested that social media doesn't carry the expected punch with consumers.

Facebook Taps Vast User Data for New Ad Platform
New York Times
On Monday, Facebook will roll out a rebuilt advertising platform, called Atlas, that will allow marketers to tap its knowledge of its users to direct ads to those people on thousands of other websites and apps. Atlas "can track people across devices, weave together online and offline."

Ello Offers No-Ads Alternative to Social Networking
New Yorker Jon Harney signed up for Ello because of what the new online social network doesn't offer — advertising. "I don't want to see ads, I just want to see people posting interesting stuff." Ello, which debuted Aug. 7, is said to receive some 45,000 requests an hour.

Yahoo-AOL: Growth Seen Elusive in Merger Proposal
A proposed AOL and Yahoo merger could help the companies compete in advertising. But even combined, they would remain but a shadow of the Internet powerhouses they once were, analysts said. Yahoo-AOL would be a No. 3 player in display ads behind Google and Facebook.

Apple Says Bending of New iPhones 'Extremely Rare'
USA Today
Apple said a total of nine customers contacted the company complaining their iPhone 6 Plus was bent, following a flurry of social media posts about malleable smartphones. The new devices "meet or exceed all of our high quality standards." Also: Watch people try to bend the iPhone.

Netflix May Not Hurt Ad-Supported TV, Report Says
Advertising Age
Ownership of devices that access Netflix, YouTube and other web-based services on big-screen TVs has increased tenfold since 2010 to 21% of U.S. households, according to a new report by GfK. But the trend has not yet had much impact on ad-supported broadcast or cable TV.

Amazon Prime Poised for 'House of Cards' Moment
Is Amazon about to have its "House of Cards" moment? On Friday Amazon Prime Instant Video will premiere the first season of "Transparent." The series has already received an extraordinary amount of critical acclaim. Some reviewers say it is the best new show this fall.

Twitter to Launch Targeted Ads for Motion Pictures
Hollywood Reporter
Twitter is said to be preparing to beta test targeted advertisements for users who are passionate about movies. If a studio had a sci-fi epic coming out, it could tell Twitter to show its ads to people who have been chatting about "Guardians of the Galaxy," for example.

YouTube Launches Prime Time Ads for Vice News
YouTube channels Vice News, Zoella and the Slow Mo Guys will soon be familiar to millions more Brits, thanks to mainstream advertising campaigns funded by Google's online video service. YouTube is paying to run TV, print and billboard ads in the U.K. for the three channels.

Google Book Reveals How Tech Giant Really Works
Wall Street Journal
Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, doesn't have many regrets about his time managing the tech behemoth. In a new book, "How Google Works," Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, a former VP of products, describe how the company steers its workforce.

Yahoo Faces Moment of Decision After Alibaba IPO
New York Times
Yahoo could use the proceeds from the Alibaba share sale to go on an acquisition spree to help reinvent itself. But many investors have been underwhelmed by previous takeover efforts. Now restive shareholders are clamoring to receive the bulk of the cash from the stake sale.

Facebook Near EU Approval of Deal to Buy WhatsApp
Facebook is expected to win unconditional EU approval for its $19 billion offer for mobile messaging startup WhatsApp. The landmark acquisition — the largest in Facebook's 10-year history — will give the social network a firm foothold in the fast-growing mobile messaging market.

Report: US Music Sales Drop as Habits Shift Online
New York Times
According the Recording Industry Association of America, just under $3.2 billion in music sales was recorded in the first half of 2014. That is down 4.9% from the same period in 2013. But a closer look at the numbers shows how much music consumption patterns are changing.


WPP's Sorrell: Google, Facebook Are Media Owners
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell: "Google and Facebook are media owners. They like to say they're technology companies but they're masquerading as technology companies. They're media owners. They have a platform that drives volume and traffic to their own media properties."

Study: Programmatic Ad Buying to Reach $21 Billion
Wall Street Journal
Automated ad buying, in which marketers use computerized systems to target users based on consumer data and Web-browsing histories, is expected to jump 52% this year to $21 billion globally, according to a study scheduled to be released by Interpublic Group's Magna Global.

Traditional Media to Lose More Ads, Forecaster Says
Global advertising spending is on a healthy expansion track, with much of it coming from the rapid consumer adoption of digital media, according to the new forecast from ZenithOptimedia. The big losers in terms of ad market share will be the major traditional media, including TV.

WPP Increases Investment in Ad Tech Firm AppNexus
Wall Street Journal
WPP has agreed to invest $25 million in AppNexus in a deal that will raise its stake in the ad tech company to nearly 15%. The deal highlights the ad holding company's support for "independent" solutions. "The only alternative to AppNexus is to align with Facebook or Google."

Procter & Gamble Cancels On-Field Promo with NFL
Associated Press
Procter & Gamble has canceled an on-field breast cancer awareness promotion it had planned with the National Football League. The consumer products maker is the latest major sponsor to show concern over the NFL's handling of domestic abuse charges against several players.

Report: Digital Ad Spending to Surpass TV by 2017
Digital advertising expenditures will surpass TV spending by 2017 — and the phenomenon is already occurring in some of the world's largest ad markets. One-third of all ad expenditures are currently allocated to digital, according to Interpublic Group CEO Michael Roth.

Publicis CEO to Go After Decades at French Ad Giant
Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy will step down after 2016 following a failed $35 billion merger with Omnicom Group and more than 40 years at the French advertising company. No successor was named in today's statement. Publicis is the world's third-largest ad company.

Amazon Tops List of Google's US Search Advertisers
Advertising Age
Amazon spent $157.7 million on Google U.S. search ads in 2013, by far the most by any company. It may raise a few eyebrows to see Amazon atop the list. Over the past few years Amazon has ramped up its business of selling search and display ads on its own and others' sites.

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

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

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

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

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

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


Netflix Takes Aim at Hollywood with Weinstein Film
New York Times
Netflix and the Weinstein Co. said they plan to release a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" simultaneously on the streaming service and in select Imax theaters. The film will be the first major motion picture to make its debut on Netflix and in movie theaters at the same time.

Legendary Pictures Stake Eyed by Japan's SoftBank
Hollywood Reporter
Japan's SoftBank has backpedaled from an active negotiation to acquire DreamWorks Animation, but it is not done shopping in Hollywood. The aggressive conglomerate is said to be closing in on a deal to make a significant investment in Thomas Tull's Legendary Pictures studio.

DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks with SoftBank
Hollywood Reporter
Japan's SoftBank is said to be in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion. SoftBank has been in the news lately because of its $20 million investment in Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, a stake now worth a minimum of $60 billion.

Fox's Murdoch Annual Pay Increases to $29.2 Million
Hollywood Reporter
Rupert Murdoch's annual compensation for his role as chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox amounted to $29.2 million, a 1% gain over the previous year. The company has disclosed his pay for the first year since the split between 21st Century Fox and News Corp. became effective.

Sony Redo of CBS Series 'Equalizer' Tops Box Office
With Denzel Washington driving the star vehicle, "The Equalizer" rolled to a weekend win, giving Sony Pictures a successful big-screen rendition of the 1980s CBS TV show. And if the studio can convince the sequel-shy Washington to agree to a series, Sony has designs on a franchise.

Time Warner Gets US Demand in Probe of Comcast
Time Warner and Netflix are said to be among at least four companies to receive demands for information from the U.S. Justice Department in its review of Comcast's bid for Time Warner Cable. "It means that the competitive concerns that have been raised are viewed as credible."

Universal Music in Deal to Embed Ads in Music Videos
Universal Music Group, the world's largest record label, advertising agency Havas, and ad tech company Mirriad have teamed up to weave advertising campaigns directly into streaming music videos, including ones from years ago. "Plainly stated, music video product placements work."

Viacom Faces Cable Carriage Battle with Suddenlink
Multichannel News
Suddenlink customers could lose access to Viacom networks like MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon if the cable operator does not reach a carriage agreement by Tuesday. Viacom "still demands a significant pay increase, despite declining viewership," Suddenlink said.

Fox's Murdoch Daughter Future Role Seen in Question
Elisabeth Murdoch's future within 21st Century Fox has come into question on the heels of the news that former BSkyB chief Sophie Turner Laing will lead the production powerhouse that Fox is assembling with Apollo Global Management. A rep for Fox declined comment on Murdoch's role.

Disney's New ABC App Lets Multitaskers Post Clips
New features added to the Watch ABC app include allowing mobile-phone or tablet users to post messages or read comments on Twitter and Facebook while watching a show on the same screen. Also, viewers can post show clips on social media. "I think you'll see a lot more of this."

Hollywood Production Firms Win OK to Use Drones
Los Angeles Times
Hollywood will soon have a new angle on capturing aerial footage. The Federal Aviation Administration has approved exemptions that would for the first time allow six aerial photo and video production companies to use drones. The announcement is "a significant milestone."

Disney Accused of Stealing 'Frozen' in New Lawsuit
You might have thought Disney's "Frozen" was about an ice princess. But it's actually one woman's true-life story, according to a new $250 million lawsuit. Isabella Tanikumi has claimed that the highest grossing animated film of all time was based on her 2010 autobiography.

NBCUniversal Faces Claims of James Bond Knockoff
NBCUniversal must face a lawsuit by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the producers of the James Bond franchise that a screenplay for a movie in development, "Section 6," is an Agent 007 knockoff. A judge in Los Angeles denied NBCUniversal's request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Warner Bros Former Film Chief Gets Chinese Funds
Wall Street Journal
Studio 8, a Hollywood startup run by former Warner Bros. film chief Jeff Robinov, is said to have won $200 million from China's Fosun Group. The deal marks the largest investment to date by a Chinese company in U.S. film production. "Everybody should be looking at China for growth."

Universal Pictures Ex-Exec to Join Startup Studio
Wall Street Journal
Adam Fogelson, former chief of Universal Pictures, has landed at a new studio targeting a market that the major studios have all but abandoned: mid-budget movies. The yet-to-be-named firm is run by producer Robert Simonds and backed by TPG Capital and China's Hony Capital.

21st Century Fox Unlikely to Bid for Starz Network
Starz is said to have hired investment bank LionTree Advisors to seek potential buyers for the pay-TV channel. Execs with 21st Century Fox reportedly met with Starz but are unlikely to make a bid. Starz, with a $3.3 billion market value, was spun off from Liberty Media in 2013.

Comcast Accuses Netflix, Discovery of 'Extortion'
Comcast has accused companies criticizing its $45.2 billion bid for Time Warner Cable of "extortionate" demands and cited video streamer Netflix and programmer Discovery as examples. The comments, filed with U.S. regulators, were part of its defense of the big cable deal.

CBS' Moonves Hints of Interest in Ambassadorship
Hollywood Reporter
Although Les Moonves said he never was made a formal offer, he and former President Clinton once talked about the possibility of Moonves becoming the ambassador to Spain. "You have to be very rich to be an ambassador," said the CBS CEO. "I wasn't rich then."

Time Warner Forced to Defend Growth Strategy for HBO
Los Angeles Times
Time Warner has found itself defending its HBO strategy. Rupert Murdoch's recent takeover offer for Time Warner prompted Wall Street to question whether HBO is being properly managed. The company plans to shed more light on its strategy during an investor day on Oct. 15.

Fox's Murdoch Talks Dropped Bid for Time Warner
Los Angeles Times
Rupert Murdoch has shared some of his thoughts on U.S. and British politics, the Scottish referendum for independence — and why he aborted his company's $80-billion bid for Time Warner. "With all the uncertainties in the world, I didn't want to be carrying that degree of debt."




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