Today's Headlines
Thursday, 4/24/14

Apple CEO: We're on the Prowl for More Acquisitions
Apple's Tim Cook told analysts that the company has made 24 deals in the last 18 months. "We're on the prowl, I suppose you could say. ... You can bet that you will continue to see acquisitions some of which we'll try to keep quiet and some of which seems to be impossible to keep quiet."

News Corp Digital Exec Snapped Up by Snapchat
Nick Bell, SVP for digital product at News Corp., has confirmed that he is joining Snapchat in a new role. The move comes after Bell has been piloting the media giant's smartest moves in digital for the last four years. It is not yet clear where Bell and his new colleagues will take the app.

Report: Americans Now Use Digital More Than TV
Media Life
Last year Americans spent more time with digital media than any other medium, for the first time ever. A new report from eMarketer found that U.S. adults spent 43.4% of their major media time with digital devices in 2013. Digital outpaced TV, which declined in percentage of media time.

Viacom Study Says TV Must Be More Social, Mobile
Television remains the king of media, according to a new global research project by Viacom. "But it needs to be SMART social, mobile, accessible, relevant and tailored. More opportunities to watch content on multiple devices increases the amount of time spent viewing."

NBC: Olympics Show Wide Use of Second Screens
Associated Press
More than half of the people who watched the Sochi Olympics on NBC also used a computer, tablet or smartphone to get information about the games while the TV was on, according to network research. "It's not 25-year-olds who wear black and live in Williamsburg. This is America."

Amazon Deal with HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals
For Internet TV companies, HBO has become something of a holy grail. Amazon's new deal to run classic HBO programming puts the tech giant ahead of other Internet TV outfits that make devices. It also constitutes a big coup as Amazon distinguishes itself from Netflix.

Netflix to Debut Original Spanish-Language Series
Netflix has announced its first original Spanish-language TV series, a bid by the video-streaming company to attract subscribers in Latin America and U.S. Spanish speakers. The series, a 13-episode comedy about a family feud among the heirs to a soccer club, will debut in 2015.

Time Warner Cable Makes Comcast Deal Look Smart
Time Warner Cable slowed subscriber losses at its TV business last quarter, making Comcast's proposed $45 billion takeover look like a smarter bet. TWC added 148,000 net residential customers for its Internet, voice and TV service the most in more than seven years.

Yahoo to Host Global Hub for New Fox Film 'X-Men'
Yahoo has partnered with 20th Century Fox to create a global content hub for the new release "X-Men: Days of Future Past." The hub will showcase behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and screen an exclusive video series. Yahoo will also live-stream the film's global premiere.

Sony, Mattel Plan Live-Action Film Based on Barbie
Sony Pictures has found what it believes will be its next franchise. The studio has entered a partnership with Mattel on a live-action comedy based on Barbie, the top-selling doll. "This is no development deal, it's moving very quickly." Studio chief Amy Pascal oversaw the deal herself.

Disney Theme Park's Homeless Families Struggle
Associated Press
A growing number of families are living in cheap motels in Florida's tourist corridor because they can't afford housing. While tourists pay nearly $100 apiece to enter Orlando's theme parks, they may be waited on by the homeless. Starting pay at Walt Disney World is $8.03 an hour.

Clear Channel Estimated to Lay Off 300 Employees
Tampa Bay Business
Clear Channel's sales staff layoffs were part of a larger round of cutbacks that may not be the last before the year is through. One analyst estimated that the radio giant let go about 300 sales employees nationwide last week. More layoffs have been predicted to come before the year's end.

Sirius XM Adding Subscriptions from Car Owners
Sirius XM has reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue as car owners increasingly signed on for subscriptions after their initial free access expired. The satellite radio provider added 173,480 paying customers in the quarter, raising the total to 25.8 million.

MTV Video Music Awards to Return to Los Angeles
The MTV Video Music Awards, one of the music industry's top televised showcases, will return to Los Angeles from New York City. The show, which is popular among MTV's young viewers prized by advertisers, will take place August 24, the day before the Emmy Awards.

Vevo Sees Big Rise in Streaming of Music Videos
Vevo has seen a nearly 50% increase in the number of music videos streamed each month, said CEO Rio Caraeff. The online music video hub hit a monthly average of nearly 6 billion views in December. "Mobile, tablet and television are where the views are happening."

FCC: Net Neutrality Death Reports 'Flat Out Wrong'
The Verge
The Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that will reportedly destroy the concept of net neutrality, making it OK for Internet service providers to establish a "fast lane" and charge additional tolls. But the FCC has called those reports "flat out wrong."

Facebook Finance Chief to Depart as Revenue Jumps
Facebook CFO David Ebersman is leaving the social networking giant on a high note, as the company's first-quarter sales and profit blew past estimates. The company said that Ebersman will depart by year-end, to be succeeded by former Zynga CFO David Wehner.

New York Times Revenue Hit by Digital Product Costs
New York Times
The New York Times said that its first-quarter revenue rose from a year ago, with an increase in advertising sales and the addition of digital subscribers. The year "is off to a good start." But quarterly profit declined because of spending on growth initiatives.

Gannett Revenue Rises Amid Move Away from Print
USA Today
Gannett's first quarter revenue and operating income rose from a year ago following the acquisition of former rival Belo. The revenue of the company's broadcasting division nearly doubled with the integration of Belo's TV stations. Gannett has sought to lessen its dependence on print.

McClatchy Suffers as Printing Equipment Depreciates
Charlotte Observer
McClatchy reported a loss in the first quarter, largely because of a decline in advertising revenue and accelerated depreciation of printing equipment. Newspaper circulation revenue rose slightly and digital-only revenues were up 12% compared with the first quarter of 2013.

Lee CEO's Large Bonus Moves Employee to Resign
Jim Romenesko
The news that Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck received a $700,000 bonus for refinancing the newspaper chain's debt upset one staffer. St. Louis Post-Dispatch carpenter Scott Bujnak resigned after 18 years at the Lee-owned daily. "That was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Washington Post Resurgent Under Owner Bezos
USA Today
It wasn't that long ago that the Washington Post was shedding staff and trimming ambitions. Now, under new owner Jeff Bezos, there is a spring in the newspaper's step once again. "It's really exciting around here. We're investing again and building a digital future for news."

Bloomberg Preps Push Into Luxury Online Content
Bloomberg News plans to make a heavy push into luxury coverage, starting with digital. According to an internal memo, Chris Rovzar, former digital editor of Vanity Fair, will help the company build its editorial for luxury. This includes developing content for Bloomberg's website.

Forbes Sale Flounders with Axel Springer Not Bidding
Forbes' effort to find a buyer is said to be running into trouble, with one potential bidder officially out of the running and two others no longer in active talks. Germany's Axel Springer, which publishes the Russian edition of the magazine, isn't involved in any process to buy the company.

Ebony Replaces Editor in Chief as Publisher Struggles
Crain's Chicago
The editor in chief at Johnson Publishing's Ebony magazine has exited at a time when the African-American publisher has struggled to steady its finances. Amy DuBois Barnett has been replaced by Mitzi Miller, who was editor in chief of the company's magazine Jet.

New York Magazine Website Crashes in Tech Glitch
Advertising Age
New York magazine's website was down for many users on Wednesday afternoon, the result of a "technical glitch," a spokeswoman said, declining to elaborate on the cause. New York introduced a site redesign last fall, with an eye towards attracting audiences outside of the city.

Time Magazine Says Beyonce Among 'Most Influential'
NBC Today
Time magazine has unveiled its 11th annual 100 Most Influential People in the World issue, with leading figures from politics and entertainment filling up a large portion of the list. Superstar Beyonce Knowles-Carter is showcased on the cover of the popular issue.

Hillary Bashes News Media for Entertainment Focus
Hillary Clinton has lamented the state of the news media, telling an audience at the University of Connecticut that journalism is now driven more by entertainment than fact-based reporting. "Journalism has changed quite a bit in a way that is not good for the country."

TechCrunch Adds 'Galleries' in Move Like BuzzFeed
TechCrunch has added online "galleries" to its website, admitting that "there is a stigma around these types of media formats, because they optimize for the advertiser." According to the tech news site's community manager, "everyone's going in the direction" of BuzzFeed.

Study: 'Social Deviance' Helps News Go Viral Online
Fast Company
A new study completed at the Columbia University J-school said there is a strong relationship between the "social deviance" of the event or topic in a headline and the number of retweets it gets on Twitter. Words like "arrest," "shooting" and "attack" all boosted retweets.

Recent Headlines
Media news by sector


Esquire Editor to Also Oversee Popular Mechanics
David Granger, editor in chief of Esquire magazine, has added another title: editorial director of Popular Mechanics. Granger will work with Ryan D'Agostino, former articles editor of Esquire, who will take the reins as editor in chief of PM to "redefine the authority" of the brand.

Muscle & Fitness Names Publisher Ahead of Revamp
American Media Inc. has named Christopher Dolan publisher of Muscle & Fitness magazine. The move comes in advance of the unveiling of a full redesign with the July/August issue that underscores the title's "heritage to cater to today's deeply engaged fitness enthusiast."

Businessweek Art Director's Exit Seen as Big Loss
Richard Turley, the art director responsible for Bloomberg Businessweek's innovative covers, layout and aesthetic, plans to leave the magazine for MTV. The move is seen as a major loss. Despite its impressive journalism, the weekly title "is known first and foremost for its look."

People Magazine Says Nyong'o Is 'Most Beautiful'
NBC Today
Lupita Nyong'o is People magazine's Most Beautiful person for 2014, the magazine has revealed. The Oscar-winning actress beams from a cover that promises "her inspiring story." This is the 25th year of People's Most Beautiful issue; last year's recipient was Gwyneth Paltrow.

Forbes Media Rumored to Lose Top Bidder in Sale
New York Post
Forbes Media's auction is rumored to have hit a bump and one-time front runner, China's Fosun International, may have dropped out. If Fosun has exited the bidding, it is unclear who is in the lead. The sale process that began in mid-November is now entering its sixth month.

Boston Globe Seeks to Sell Headquarters Building
Boston Globe
The Boston Globe has hired a commercial real estate broker to explore a sale of the newspaper's Morrissey Boulevard building and property. Globe CEO Mike Sheehan said: "Wherever our next home is, it will reflect our culture of excellence and the direction our business is headed."

Wall Street Journal Poised to Hire Tech Columnist
The Wall Street Journal is said to be close to hiring Quartz tech and science editor Christopher Mims as its newest tech columnist. Mims would replace its last tech columnist, Farhad Manjoo, who decamped for the New York Times in January a few months after arriving from Slate.

Financial Times Seeks Young Readers with Digital Ads
Press Release
The Financial Times has unveiled a digital advertising campaign to attract a younger generation of business professionals. "Almost half of traffic now comes from mobile devices. This campaign reinforces the FT's relevance to an audience which accesses news on the go."

Gawker Copyright Lawsuit by Tarantino Is Dismissed
Hollywood Reporter
Quentin Tarantino has suffered a setback in his effort to punish Gawker for linking to a copy of his unproduced screenplay "The Hateful Eight." A federal judge in California has granted the gossip website's motion to dismiss the director's copyright infringement lawsuit.

Time Inc Expected to Name Media Honchos Directors
New York Post
Media veterans are set to join former Sony chief Howard Stringer on the board of the soon-to-be separate Time Inc. They include USA Networks founder Kay Koplovitz, former Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons and former National Geographic Society media head John Fahey.

Entertainment Weekly's New Editor Adding to Staff
Entertainment Weekly new editor Matt Bean has continued to staff up at the Time Inc. magazine. Last week, he tapped Kyle Ryan of The Onion A.V. Club as editor of; on Monday, he announced a new round of hires and promotions in a memo to employees.

Vogue's Website in Expansion Mode for September
Vogue is in the process of expanding its website. The Conde Nast magazine is amassing a bigger staff comprised of a mix of new hires and existing employees. The shift will culminate in the unveiling of a new version of the site in September during New York Fashion Week.

New York Times Unveils Explanatory Journalism Site
The New York Times has launched The Upshot, a website that editor David Leonhardt said will offer a combination of data journalism and explanatory reporting and also try to go head-to-head with new high-profile projects like Ezra Klein's Vox and Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight.

Slate Models Subscription Service on Amazon Prime
Washington Post
Slate has announced a new subscription model. Called Slate Plus, it keeps most of the online magazine's content available for free, but offers subscribers bonuses such as online chats with reporters. "It's not a paywall," said editor David Plotz. "Our model is Amazon Prime."

Reuters Prominent Writer to Exit for Internet Venture
New York Times
Felix Salmon, a prominent writer at Reuters on finance and the news media, said he plans to leave the news agency. Salmon declined to release details of his new job, but in an email sent to colleagues explained he was "off to do exciting things on the Internet."

Time Inc, Conde Nast Join Digital Video NewFronts
The NewFronts, digital media's answer to the TV upfronts, has an unlikely set of participants magazine publishers lured by the siren call of advertising earmarked for video. Companies including Time Inc., Conde Nast and National Geographic Society want in on the action.

Vogue Done with Photog Richardson After Charges
A spokeswoman for Vogue said that the magazine will no longer work with Terry Richardson, in the wake of new allegations that the celebrity photographer offered a model the chance to be in the magazine in exchange for sex. "We have no plans to work with him in the future."

SI Swimsuit Issue Top Editor Starts Lifestyle Blog
After 13 years as senior editor of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Diane Smith has launched her own blog Diane Smith Swim a la Mode, Keep Chic on the Beach. "Right now it's just a labor of love," said Smith, who hopes to attract sponsors. Smith left Time Inc. last year.

Vogue 'Kimye' Cover Shoot Video Sparks Lawsuit
Daily News
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on the cover of Vogue has hit a sour note with a wannabe Michael Jackson from the 1970s. Ricky Spicer has sued publisher Conde Nast for filming a video about the controversial cover that used a sample of his voice without permission.

News Corp's Sun Making Libel Payout to Comedian
Press Gazette
Russell Brand has won libel damages from the U.K.'s Sun and pledged to donate to the Hillsborough Justice Campaign. The comedian had launched legal action after the Sun on Sunday carried a front-page story claiming he had cheated on girlfriend Jemima Khan with a model.

Guardian Hires Yahoo Exec for Multichannel Strategy
Media Week
The U.K.'s Guardian News & Media has hired Yahoo's Sam Coleman in the role of head of client development. Coleman is currently group planner at Yahoo, responsible for the retail team, where he has developed strong relationships with planners and clients.

Los Angeles Times Locked Down After Man's Threat
Associated Press
A man suspected of making threatening statements about a shooting and forcing the lockdown of the Los Angeles Times building was being held Saturday for a mental health evaluation, police said. The man works at a call center that rents office space in the Times building.

Boston Globe Rolls Out Redesign for
Press Release has unveiled a redesigned website for desktop and mobile platforms. The new "features an elegant black and white design that is crisp and modern, with a continually updated stream of news and feature stories that focus on all things Boston."

Report: U.S. Newspaper Revenue Declined in 2013
Associated Press
U.S. newspaper industry revenue fell last year, as increases in circulation revenue weren't high enough to make up for shrinking demand for print advertising, according to the Newspaper Association of America. The industry trade group said revenue fell 2.6% to $37.6 billion.

Blogger Gets Same Libel Protections as Newspapers
Blogs devoted to disseminating information to the public are entitled to the same rights in libel cases as mainstream media companies, a Florida appellate court has ruled. The decision upheld an order dismissing a libel lawsuit brought against the author of the blog Public Intellectual.

New York Times Critic Bashed by Franco on Instagram
James Franco has unloaded on New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley in a comment on Instagram. Franco, who stars in the new Broadway production of "Of Mice and Men," posted remarks about Brantley after the critic described the actor's performance as lukewarm.

Los Angeles Register Debuts with Upbeat News Mix
L.A.'s latest metro daily has launched with a mix of soft-tilting news and features, along with columns from familiar names such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and former Los Angeles Times sportswriter T.J. Simers. The Los Angeles Register aims to be "the new voice of L.A."

Denver Post Taps Whoopi to Write Cannabis Column
Associated Press
Whoopi Goldberg said she is in love with her marijuana-vaporizing pen. In her new column for the Denver Post's Cannabist website, the Oscar-winning entertainer writes that her "vape pen" relieves the devastating glaucoma headaches she suffers without a marijuana high.

Time Inc's All You Magazine Names Willdorf Editor
Time Inc.'s budget-friendly shopping title All You has a new editor, Nina Willdorf, who was promoted from her role as executive editor. She will report to Clare McHugh, group editor of both All You and Health. All You recently expanded beyond its Walmart-only distribution.

Hearst's Esquire, Elle Swap Writers for One Issue
Two Hearst magazines are totally hooking up. Esquire, an 82-year-old American men's title, has sparked a spring fling with Elle, a 69-year-old French expat. Both have carved out space in their pages to allow the other to hold court on what men and women really think.

Axel Springer Accuses Google of Seeking 'Superstate'
Financial Times
The head of Europe's biggest newspaper publisher has accused Google of seeking to establish a digital "superstate" free from constraints of antitrust regulators. In an open letter to Google chief Eric Schmidt, Axel Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner said: "We are afraid of Google."

Financial Times Sets Up Editorial Complaints System
Financial Times
The Financial Times "has been a longstanding member of the Press Complaints Commission, which is due to expire. Readers will no longer have recourse to the PCC as an independent service for dealing with complaints. In its place, we will set up a new mechanism."

New York Times Promotes Mobile App via Starbucks
Mobile Marketer
The New York Times has teamed up with Starbucks on a promotion that doles out free access to the publisher's newly launched mobile news product. Starbucks' My Starbucks Reward members can receive 12 weeks of access to the New York Times's NYT Now mobile app.


Comcast, Charter Near Complex Subscriber Deal
Wall Street Journal
Charter could acquire nearly 4 million extra subscribers in a two-stage deal under discussion with Comcast. Charter and Comcast are in advanced talks on a complex deal that would be contingent on the latter's completion of its proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable.

Dish Targets Summer Debut for Internet-TV Service
Dish Network is said to be targeting a summer debut for its Internet-TV service in the U.S. Dish is reportedly telling programmers, including NBCUniversal, that a late summer release date is possible. Dish already signed up Disney for the service last month.

NBCUniversal Former Exec Joins Board of Shazam
Lauren Zalaznick, a former top cable exec at NBCUniversal, has joined the board of U.K.-based Shazam Entertainment, a maker of apps that lets consumers identify music, TV shows and ads with a mobile device. "Lauren's expertise will bring tremendous value to Shazam."

CBS: Letterman Introduces 'Late Show' Successor
New York Times
David Letterman introduced his successor, Stephen Colbert, on his "Late Show with David Letterman" Tuesday night on CBS with a monologue joke and some cordial conversation. Colbert revealed that he was once turned down in his effort to be an intern on Letterman's show.

HGTV, DeGeneres to Launch Design Contest Series
Hollywood Reporter
Ellen DeGeneres is getting into the cable business. The talk-show host and producer has teamed with HGTV to launch a furniture design competition series. "Ellen's Design Challenge" marks DeGeneres' A Very Good Production banner's first foray into producing for cable.

Oprah's Bitter Stepmother Lashes Out in Interview
Barbara Winfrey said she has until May 29 to vacate the $1.4 million Nashville house that was her home during her 14-year marriage to Oprah's father, Vernon. "I don't understand how I could have made her so angry that she would kick me out on the street. But that's Oprah."

CNN Anderson Cooper's 'Stalker' Appears in Court
New York Post
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper's alleged stalker has backed out of pleading guilty to menacing charges, saying he never intended to harm the journalist. Alex Hausner of Queens, N.Y., could have been released from jail the same day if he copped to a charge of felony menacing.

Vice Media Journalist Is Held by Gunmen in Ukraine
Associated Press
Pro-Russian gunmen in eastern Ukraine said they are holding Vice News journalist Simon Ostrovsky, who is "suspected of bad activities." Vice is in contact with the U.S. State Department and other authorities "to secure the safety and security of our friend and colleague."

NBC Adds Weir, Lipinski to Kentucky Derby Reports
Associated Press
NBC has added Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski to its Kentucky Derby telecast as fashion correspondents. The two figure skaters, who were the breakout stars of NBC's Sochi Olympics broadcast team, will comment on the fashionable outfits worn by members of the audience.

VH1 Lays Off Majority of New York Development Team
Hollywood Reporter
VH1 has let go of more than 10 on its development team in New York. The restructuring comes as the network's prime-time viewership is up more than 30% in the key 18-49 demo, and new programming chief Susan Levison looks to put her stamp on the Viacom-owned network.

Comcast Could Dominate Political Ads After Merger
Washington Free Beacon
Comcast could dominate the market for local political advertising if the proposed merger with Time Warner Cable is approved, according to industry sources. The merger's impact on the $5.4 billion local cable ad market "has been largely absent from public debate."

AT&T Expands High-Speed Internet Service Rollout
Wall Street Journal
AT&T has expanded its planned rollout of high-speed Internet service to as many as 100 cities, amid tougher competition as rivals in the cable industry bulk up. The telecom giant said it will now target major metropolitan areas including Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Aereo's Business Model Hard to Kill, Analysts Say
New York Post
Industry analysts say it might not matter if Aereo loses its battle against broadcasters in the Supreme Court. "We believe it will only be a matter of months before some new Aereo-like service emerges with a work-around specifically designed to adhere to the court ruling."

TiVo Says Networks Missing Out on Millions in Ads
Media Life
The broadcast networks have some numbers to back up their contention that they're getting hosed on delayed viewing. A new study from TiVo claimed that the networks have lost out on nearly $90 million in advertising for the top 10 most-TiVoed shows on the Big Four alone.

Discovery Sells HowStuffWorks at 82 Percent Loss
Discovery has sold HowStuffWorks, a website that explains the science behind everything from magnets to Silly String, for $45 million, taking an 82% loss seven years after acquiring the asset. InfoSpace owner Blucora acquired HowStuffWorks in an all-cash deal.

HBO's John Oliver Show to Make Debut on Sunday
Both global news and late-breaking stories from TV networks' Sunday talk shows will provide plenty of fodder for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver," which premieres on HBO on April 27. The weekly Sunday-night news comedy show will skewer current events.

NBC to Telecast Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Awards
Associated Press
Pharrell, Drake and Blake Shelton are among the A-listers set to perform at the first iHeartRadio Music Awards. Clear Channel announced that Kendrick Lamar, Shakira, Ed Sheeran and Arcade Fire will also take the stage at the May 1 show, set to air live on NBC.

Comcast, Time Warner May Sell Subscribers to Charter
Financial Times
Comcast and Time Warner Cable have entered negotiations to sell cable assets worth up to $20 billion to Charter Communications in a deal aimed to allay Washington's concerns about their proposed merger. The discussions are said to be at an early stage and no deal is certain.

Fox Cable Exec Fired Over Flight 370 Charity Email
Associated Press
A Fox exec who used her company email account to plan aid for loved ones of the missing Malaysian airplane's passengers has been fired. Darlene Tipton, VP of standards and practices for Fox Cable Networks, said she had wanted to arrange swift financial aid to families.

NBCUniversal, Seacrest Expected to Part Ways at E!
Hollywood Reporter
Ryan Seacrest is said to be considering some significant changes to a portfolio that reportedly earns him $61 million annually. While gigs including "American Idol" and his morning radio show are likely to continue, others such as E! red carpet duty will come to an end.

Discovery Cancels Everest Live Jump After Tragedy
USA Today
After a deadly avalanche Friday on Mount Everest that left at least 13 dead and three missing, Discovery Channel has canceled its live jump broadcast from the mountain, which was scheduled for May 11. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Sherpa community."

NBC Eyes Host Gregory as 'Meet the Press' Struggles
Washington Post
The granddaddy of Sunday-morning Beltway blabfests isn't just not No. 1 it's No. 3 and in the midst of a three-year slide. During the first three months of this year, "Meet the Press" finished behind rivals "Face the Nation" and "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."

ABC 'GMA' Promotes Lara Spencer to Co-Host Billing
Associated Press
ABC has promoted Lara Spencer to co-host of "Good Morning America." The lifestyle anchor since returning to the show in 2011 now has billing parity with Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos. Her promotion comes as "GMA" continues to beat NBC's "Today" in the ratings.

NBC 'Today' Expanding to Sirius XM Starting in June
New York Times
NBC and Sirius XM plan to announce a deal to begin simulcasts of NBC's morning news show on the satellite radio service, beginning June 26. Viewers of "Today" will have the opportunity to become listeners in a move clearly intended to reach commuters in cars on the way to work.

AMC 'Mad Men' Sees Ratings Jump with DVR Viewing
The seventh-season premiere of "Mad Men" clocked 3.7 million viewers when Live+3 viewing stats were added in a 62% jump from the previously reported 2.3 million for Live+Same Day. "Mad Men" has been described as one of television's most DVR'd series.

ABC to Remove Singer's Name from Ads for Show
Amid the controversy swirling around Bryan Singer, ABC has confirmed that it will re-edit commercials for its new drama "Black Box" to remove any mention of the "X-Men" director, who serves as the TV show's executive producer. "Black Box" is scheduled to premiere April 24.

Al Jazeera America Documentary Series Joins Lineup
Multichannel News
Al Jazeera America has co-produced "Hard Earned," a six-part documentary series that follows five U.S. low-income families. AJA president Kate O'Brian has said she is trying to establish the network as "a place where you get really great documentaries."

BBC Enjoys Record in Web Traffic, Twitter Sharing
Broadcasting & Cable
Traffic to hit record levels for U.S. and Canada in March, with 38 million unique visitors, up 37% from February 2014. Globally, the BBC also noted that it is the most-shared news brand on Twitter, with its stories being shared a record 2.71 million times in March.

Clear Channel Laying Off Employees in 'Alignment'
Clear Channel has begun an "alignment" of radio-station sales staffs at the local market and cluster levels. Markets of all sizes are believed to have been impacted. Some 22 people were rumored to be affected. The company remains tight-lipped about the number of jobs shed.

HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Sets New Piracy Record
World Screen
The latest episode of "Game of Thrones" has broken the record for the most people sharing a file simultaneously via BitTorrent. The episode had more than 193,000 people sharing a single copy a new record for illegal file sharing. Most downloaders came from Australia.

A&E, History Launch Live TV Streaming Initiatives
Episodes of A&E's "Storage Wars" and "Bates Motel" and History's "Vikings" and "Swamp People" are now available to watch live online and mobile devices, for most pay-TV subscribers. "This is just another stage in our evolution of TV Everywhere," said A+E Networks.

Netflix Urged to Weigh In on Comcast-TWC Merger
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), an outspoken critic of the possible Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, has urged Netflix to weigh in on the deal. "As a popular provider of Internet content that competes directly with Comcast, Netflix is uniquely positioned to gauge the risks."

IAC's Diller Says Broadcasters Don't Own Airwaves
Wall Street Journal
Barry Diller, in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece: The Supreme Court case over Aereo "goes against everything the broadcast industry has agreed to over the past 100 years. ... It is unfortunate that the broadcasters have aligned themselves against competition and the consumer."

Discovery Drops Out of Bidding for UK's Channel 5
Discovery has dropped out of the bidding process for the U.K.'s Channel 5. The company offered about $588 million for the broadcaster owned by Northern & Shell. BSkyB, the satellite pay-TV service controlled by Rupert Murdoch, had been working with Discovery on the offer.


Facebook Hints Oculus Rift May Expand to Movies
Cory Ondrejka, Facebook's VP of mobile engineering, has addressed his company's pending relationship with Oculus Rift. Ondrejka said he believes the virtual reality firm will focus not only on video games but also expand into films. "I am thrilled to imagine what's going to happen."

AOL to Stream Free Movies in Pact with Miramax
AOL has inked a deal with Miramax to deliver a selection of its full-length films to U.S. users, available to watch for free (with ads) across a range of devices. The pact will lead up to the launch of a new movies section that will be featured across the AOL On Network for video.

Netflix Plans Expansion of Web Service to France
Netflix, pressing ahead with its international expansion, is said to be planning to introduce its online video service in France by year-end. The subscription service has reportedly concluded talks with French regulators about how to pay for content and comply with streaming rules.

Amazon, HBO in Online Deal for Classic TV Shows
Associated Press
Amazon has teamed up with HBO, the first streaming arrangement agreed to by the cable network, in a deal that will make available to its prime members classic shows like "The Sopranos." Prior seasons of other HBO shows will become available about three years after airing on HBO.

YouTube Product Head Expected to Exit Company
Shishir Mehrotra, YouTube's head of product, is expected to depart the company, and has moved to an advisory role at the online video giant. The move is seen as significant. Mehrotra is "a very big deal," responsible for engineering, user experience and monetization.

Tumblr Says Its Social-TV Activity Bests Twitter's
Advertising Age
Twitter got its advertising business off the ground by selling marketers on the premise that its service complements TV. Now, Tumblr appears to be treading a similar path. The Yahoo-owned blogging platform commissioned a study that says its social-TV activity surpasses Twitter's.

Aereo to Justices: Kill Us, and You'll Kill the Cloud
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday about the legality of Aereo. While the case has been largely framed as a fight over the future of television, Aereo argues that it is also vital to the world of cloud computing. The notion seemed to resonate with some of the justices.

AOL's Top Communications Exec Departs Company
Advertising Age
AOL and Peter Land, its head of communications, have parted ways. Land, who joined AOL from Pepsico in April 2013, did not have it easy in his year at the company. Over the past 12 months, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong had a number of public miscues that gained national attention.

Facebook, Google, Twitter Vie for Mobile App Ads
Facebook is expected to present plans for a mobile advertising network, and in so doing turn on an additional revenue stream that could mint it billions more in ad revenue but not if Google and Twitter have a say in the matter. The app business, however, "is not super gigantic."

LinkedIn Wooing Brands to Become Publishers
LinkedIn has begun ramping up efforts to attract marketers to embrace "always-on" publishing on the platform. The business network hopes to encourage companies to create their own brand journalism initiatives and then pay it to promote and target their stories.

Yahoo Hires Conde Nast Veteran for Digital Mags
Yahoo has tapped Susan Kittenplan as executive editor of media initiatives. Kittenplan will oversee editorial strategy and work with editors to develop Yahoo's new digital magazines. Kittenplan comes to Yahoo from her own company, Catalyst. She was previously with Conde Nast.

Amazon's Bezos Sees Net Worth Take a Big Dive
Jeff Bezos will have lost more money than anyone else on earth in 2014 if his net worth declines by just $200 million, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The Amazon founder, who has most of his wealth tied up in company stock, has lost $6.3 billion so far this year.

Facebook, Twitter Top Actors in Dialogue with Fans
These days, a performer's social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing campaigns for films and TV shows. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of his monster presence on Facebook. Justin Timberlake is tops on Twitter.

Netflix Preps Price Hike, Opposes Comcast Merger
Netflix reported first-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations. But the bigger news was that the company said it plans to raise prices for subscribers and opposes Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. "Comcast could control high-speed broadband."

Pandora Unleashes Sales Force on Local Ad Markets
Crain's New York
Pandora Media stands out in the streaming-music field in an important way: It's better than anyone else at siphoning off the billions of advertising dollars that flow to AM/FM radio. And it's gunning for more. Pandora has sales teams in 35 markets and plans to enter even more.

AOL Users Complaining of Hacked Email Accounts
Los Angeles Times
AOL users have complained that their email accounts have been hacked and are being used to send out spam. AOL said it is working on resolving the issue. The company "takes the safety and security of consumers very seriously, and we are actively addressing consumer complaints."

Twitter Veteran Dorsey Finds Square a Harder Sale
Wall Street Journal
Jack Dorsey co-founded Twitter, one of the world's most valuable social media companies. His second act, Square, is proving tougher. Losses have eaten up a big chunk of the money the mobile-payments startup has raised. Square reps recently held acquisition talks.

Groupon Eyed by PETA to Pressure Circus Deals
Chicago Tribune
PETA has purchased 359 Groupon shares for $2,000 in hopes that it can influence what circus companies are allowed to run deals on the site. The animal rights activist group plans to address the Groupon annual meeting about setting strict standards for circus ads.

Reddit Downgrades Tech Category After Censorship
BBC News
Social news site Reddit has downgraded the status of its technology section after a censorship dispute. The category is no longer a "default subreddit." The move follows a report that revealed headlines posted to the area had been secretly deleted if they featured certain words.

Aereo Court Brawl with Broadcasters Begins Tuesday
New York Times
Should Aereo win its Supreme Court battle, the $3.3 billion in retransmission fees broadcasters now receive from cable companies will be in doubt, and broadcasters might become cable networks. "No business is immune to disruption, but TV is particularly ripe."

Netflix Uses 'Secret Sauce' to Predict Show Success
Netflix has projected reaching 48 million subscribers when it reports first-quarter earnings Monday. The technology company used a "secret sauce" to predict which programs would have the best chance of success the data it gathers from its members' viewing habits.

Report: Digital Video Making Leap from Tablet to TVs
Financial Times
A growing number of U.S. homes are utilizing streaming devices, such as the Apple TV box, Google's Chromecast and Roku, or Internet connected televisions to watch online video, according to Frank N. Magid Associates. "We have a belief that television is becoming unboxed."

Google Says YouTube Users Watch Less Television
Looking to shift more media execs' minds to digital from TV, Google has said that nearly one-fifth of those watching YouTube are watching less television. A U.K. study found 19% of YouTube viewers are paying less attention to TV and that 17% are watching less TV overall.

Apple, Google Vie to Offer Exclusive Videogame Apps
Wall Street Journal
The battle between Apple and Google for mobile dominance has spread to the most lucrative genre of apps: videogames. The two tech giants have been wooing developers to ensure that top-tier game titles arrive first on devices powered by their respective operating systems.

Facebook to Launch Mobile Ad Network This Month
Facebook is expected to unveil plans for a mobile advertising network at its F8 developer conference, which kicks off in San Francisco on April 30. The social network will pitch the ads to publishers and developers as a way to leverage its vast database of user data for ad targeting.

LinkedIn Growing as Rival Social Networks Sputter
LinkedIn's announcement on Friday that it now has more than 300 million users suggests the professional social network is growing its base at a faster rate. In contrast, two other social media giants, Facebook and Twitter, have struggled with slower user growth rates.

Twitter, Selfies Fuelling U.S. College Campus Riots
Wall Street Journal
At least 10 riots have rocked colleges in the past two months, resulting in hundreds of arrests and dozens of injuries amid a growing sense that social media are helping to fuel student misbehavior. "This is new as far as I can tell. We don't even have a name for this yet."

YouTube, Instagram Creating New World of Celebrity
New York
The Internet has created a parallel universe of celebrity via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Vine, Tumblr and other platforms. "For teenagers, there exists a whole other set of idols," such as King Bach, Michelle Phan and Lohanthony. "It's a total rethinking of how to be a celebrity."

Netflix Linked with Rise in Cord-Cutting, Report Says
A report by consumer data firm Experian has shown a direct link between the availability of the likes of Netflix and Hulu and an increase in consumers cutting the cable cord. More cord-cutting is expected "as devices like Roku, Apple TV and Google Chromecast become more common."

Aereo CEO Speaks on Future of Company, Industry
Associated Press
Chet Kanojia: "The Internet is happening to everybody, whether you like it or not. It happened to books, it happened to music people, it happened to Blockbuster. There is nothing in our Constitution that says there is a sacred set of companies that will never be affected by new technology."

Amazon Should Acquire Sears, Retail Expert Says
Amazon excels in the digital forum, but faces limitations in terms of its physical footprint. Meanwhile, Sears is struggling to stay relevant in an era of online shopping and low-cost fashion. To solve these issues, retail expert Robin Lewis suggests Amazon should buy Sears.

Pandora Sued by Record Labels for Infringement
New York Times
The music industry has opened a new front in its war against Pandora Media: royalties for songs made before 1972. Several major record companies have accused Pandora of violating copyright protections by using recordings of older songs without permission.

Yahoo's Couric Sees the Web as 'Step Up' from TV
Hollywood Reporter
Katie Couric, Yahoo's global anchor: "A lot of people are intrigued by the prospect of doing something on Yahoo. I think they appreciate the fact that they would be talking to someone who's experienced. So I think that may balance any discomfort they feel about the web."

YouTube Adds 85,000 Newsreels from British Pathe
NBC News
Before YouTube, before even TV, the way people got their news presented visually was through newsreels shown at movie theaters. British Pathe, the premier archive of these newsreels, has brought things full circle by bringing its 80-year collection to YouTube for free.

Twitter Broadens Ad Reach Through App-Install Ads
Twitter has taken a significant step towards broadening its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network, as well as through MoPub, the mobile-ad network the microblogging firm acquired last year for some $350 million.

Facebook to Roll Out Feature for Sharing Location
Associated Press
U.S. Facebook users will soon be able to see which of their friends are nearby using a new feature. The "Nearby Friends" offering must be turned on by the user, so people won't broadcast their location unknowingly. It will use a smartphone's GPS to tell friends you are close by.

IAC's Plots Comeback Amid Challenges
When was launched in 1997, Google didn't exist. Now part of IAC, the once-iconic Internet brand has become a rehabilitation project and a case study in whether an Internet 1.0 "explainer" site can find its footing again in a vastly different world of digital media.


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
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
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
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
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.


Old Media's Bubble Bursts Amid Modest Outlook
The likes of Viacom, Time Warner and 21st Century Fox all posted phenomenal share-price performances during 2013. But so far this year, most of the major media stocks remain underwater while the S&P 500 has risen. Higher prices have become "harder to justify."

Time Warner Reveals Board of Publishing Spinoff
New York Post
Time Warner has revealed the full 10-member board of Time Inc. ahead of the planned spinoff of the publishing unit. In addition to chairman and CEO Joe Ripp, the headliners include Howard Stringer, former CEO of Sony, and Kay Koplovitz, founder of USA Networks.

Disney's 'Star Wars' Film Production Under Way
The first "Star Wars" movie to be made under Disney has begun shooting in Abu Dhabi, according to Alan Horn, chairman of the company's film division, who said the casting will be announced soon. Filming thus far has involved secondary scenes. The movie is due out in 2015.

Fox Plans Movie Based on Hearst's 'Flash Gordon'
Hollywood Reporter
Flash Gordon could be rocketing back to the big screen. Twentieth Century Fox has closed a deal to pick up the screen rights to the pulp comic-strip hero in a package that has John Davis ("Chronicle") producing. Davis spent more than a year nailing down the rights from Hearst.

AT&T, Chernin Invest $500 Million to Take On Netflix
AT&T and media investment firm the Chernin Group are putting up $500 million for the creation and development of video streaming services. The companies will look "to acquire, invest in and launch" so-called over-the-top services that provide consumers with online content.

Comcast Adds Cable Customers, Bucking Industry
Comcast added video customers for a second straight quarter, bucking the industry trend of losing TV subscribers. Subscriber growth and the Winter Olympics helped first-quarter profit. Comcast is about to get bigger if its proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable is approved.

Time Warner's Bewkes Gets 27 Percent Pay Bump
USA Today
Jeff Bewkes's 2013 compensation was valued at $32.5 million, up about 27% from 2012, Time Warner said in its annual proxy. The CEO's pay package and equity gains trailed several media barons. Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman received compensation valued at $37.2 million.

Disney, Fox Veteran Execs Face Abuse Charges
The man who has sued "X-Men" director Bryan Singer over claims he was abused when he was age 15 has filed lawsuits against three other Hollywood bigwigs, also charging assault. The men named in the new suit were Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard.

Sony's Steve Jobs Movie Eyes Leonardo DiCaprio
Hollywood Reporter
Moving fast to replace David Fincher on its highly anticipated Steve Jobs movie, Sony Pictures is in talks with Danny Boyle to direct the biopic of the late Apple co-founder. Boyle is said to have approached Leonardo DiCaprio to star. Sources caution that deals are not done.

Disney's 'Captain America' in Historic Brand Building
"Captain America: The Winter Soldier," was No. 1 for a third weekend in the U.S. and Canada, with sales of $26.6 million. "This is historic brand building. Since the release of 'Avengers,' we're seeing this trickle-down effect where every movie that comes out after is benefiting."

Fox's 'X-Men' Unlikely to Be Hurt By Director Scandal
Daily News
Just how much the salacious lawsuit filed against "X-Men: Days of Future Past" director Bryan Singer will taint his movie at the box office remains an X-factor. But Industry insiders say they think few movie-goers will associate the scandal with one of the biggest popcorn flicks of the summer.

Disney Says Online Offerings Boost ESPN Audience
Disney execs said consumers who listen to ESPN radio and interact with the sports channel's websites spend triple the amount of time with the company as those who just watch the TV network. "It's exploded the misconception that digital media would cannibalize TV."

Comcast: Binge Watching Helps Ratings of Live TV
The best way to hook someone into an existing series of stories is to make sure they can start from the beginning. The same is also true of TV shows, and Comcast has the data to back it up. Time-shifted content "is beneficial to the industry-standard TV ratings for new episode premieres."

Vodafone, Netflix in Talks Over Access to Movies, TV
Vodafone, the world's second-largest mobile carrier, is said to be in talks with Netflix to offer subscribers access to streaming movies and TV shows. A deal would give Vodafone customers free access to Netflix content for a period of time. Talks are believed to be at an early stage.

Fox Chief Murdoch Tries Out Virtual Reality Headset
According to the "Murdoch Here" Tumblr account, the media mogul and his team visited interactive advertising agency Framestore in New York this week. While there, the octogenarian chairman tried out the "Game of Thrones" virtual reality experience on the Oculus Rift.

Disney-Maker: New Lawsuit Seeks to Unwind Merger
Hollywood Reporter
Former Maker Studios employee Andy Faberlle has hit the digital studio with a new lawsuit that demands a rescission of the Disney merger. His suit makes many of the same fraud claims made by ex-CEO Danny Zappin. Members of Maker's board "orchestrated a scheme," he said.

Fox, News Corp's Murdoch in $40 Million Settlement
Sydney Morning Herald
The final chapter of long-running legal action over failed Australian telecom One.Tel has come to an end, with one-time directors James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch agreeing to a $40 million settlement with liquidators. Packer and Murdoch blew up $1 billion on the investments.

Fox 'X-Men' Franchise Director Accused of Abuse
Daily News
Bryan Singer has been slapped with a shocking lawsuit, but denies the allegations. The film director's lawyer said "it is obvious that this case was filed in an attempt to get publicity," given that the newest installment of the "X-Men" franchise is due to arrive in theaters next month.

IAC's Diller Talks Murdoch, Aereo, Internet's Future
Hollywood Reporter
Barry Diller: "Unless you get doused in the Internet which is such an iterative process it's unlikely that you'll ever understand it in a way to make use of it. The converse is true: I've not seen one [technology-based] entity make that bridge to 'programming entertainment.'"

Disney: Man to Plead Guilty in Insider Trading Case
Associated Press
A man will plead guilty to securities fraud and pay regulators $801,000 for using insider information to profit from Disney's $4 billion acquisition of Marvel in 2009. Toby Scammell learned from his Disney-employee girlfriend that the company would buy a well-known firm.

Warner Bros Taps White House Veteran for PR Post
Dee Dee Myers, the first woman to serve as White House press secretary, has been named EVP of corporate communications and public affairs at Warner Bros., producer of the Washington TV drama "West Wing." Myers replaces Sue Fleishman, who is leaving the studio.

Disney Wins Backing of Maker Studios Over Relativity
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.

Hollywood Reporter Names 'Most Powerful' in Media
Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter's fourth annual list of influencers honors the men and women who shape the media message and interpret the sweep of the culture. New entries this year BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti and Ben Smith, Vice Media's Shane Smith and Gawker's Nick Denton.




Copyright 2000-2014 I Want Media Inc. All rights reserved.