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DirecTV, Zynga Among Brands Predicted to Disappear
24/7 Wall St
The financial news website 24/7 Wall St has released its annual list of U.S. brands it predicts will disappear before the end of the next year. This year's list, which includes Time Warner Cable and DirecTV, "reflects the fact that mergers and acquisitions are at unprecedented levels."
HBO 'Game of Thrones' Earns Leading 19 Emmy Nods
The fantasy saga "Game of Thrones," defying the Emmy Awards' grudging respect for genre fare, has emerged as the leader in the nominations with 19 bids, including best drama series. The meth kingpin drama "Breaking Bad" is next in line with 16 bids for its final season.
CBS News 'Rathergate' Film to Star Redford, Blanchett
Robert Redford has signed on to play Dan Rather in "Truth," a film based on the 2005 memoir "Truth and Duty," written by Rather producer Mary Mapes, about the 2004 "Rathergate" scandal concerning reports about George W. Bush. Cate Blanchett is attached to play Mapes.
BBC Unveils 'Pop-Up' News Service on Social Media
After years of criticism over the retreat from foreign language services, the BBC World Service plans to tackle the censorship regime imposed by the Thai military with a news service distributed on social media. The goal is "to bring trusted news and information to people inside Thailand."
Discovery-Backed Studio Preps Films by YouTubers
Los Angeles Times
Backed by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, New Form Digital studio has announced a new partnership with some of YouTube's most famous personalities to develop and fund 14 short films. "We want to create scripted cinematic storytelling for the digital generation."
Clear Channel Promotes Exec to Oversee Tech, Digital
Clear Channel has promoted digital chief Brian Lakamp to president of technology and digital ventures, charged with "leading the overall technology platform and capabilities" for the company. Lakamp will also oversee Clear Channel's relationship with Silicon Valley.
Discovery to Redo Fitness Network as Life Channel
Discovery said its fitness network will undergo a transformation to Discovery Life Channel early next year. The new network will focus on "ordinary people in extraordinary situations as they overcome hardships." These include medical mysteries and "extreme human conditions."
Al Jazeera America Leaders Say Viewership Will Grow
Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris said he is surprised by how good the network is. The journalistic performance of the channel hasn't been reflected by its audience size, though. AJA president Kate O'Brian calls the news network's corporate parents "extremely supportive."
CBS' Letterman Walks Out of His Interview with Rivers
Joan Rivers made news last weekend after she cut short an interview with CNN's Fredricka Whitfield and walked off the set. During an appearance on "The Late Show," Rivers was attempting to tell David Letterman what happened when he pulled the same stunt on her.
ABC's 'The View' Said in Deal for O'Donnell to Return
"Rosie O'Donnell has made her deal with 'The View.' We're told the show will make the announcement shortly. As we reported, producers are also looking for a Latina and a conservative. Two conservative candidates who are being scoped are Abby Huntsman and Margaret Hoover."
BBC Worldwide Issues Plea in Internet Leak of Scripts
BBC Worldwide has issued a statement after five scripts from the upcoming season of "Doctor Who" were leaked online, apologizing for the breach and asking fans who saw the material not to divulge any spoilers. "We would like to make a plea to ... not share it with a wider audience."
'Conan' Racks Up 3 Million Hits on Chinese Video Site
The U.S. late-night talk show "Conan" has racked up more than 3 million hits since its debut less than two weeks ago on an online video site in China. The comedy show hosted by Conan O'Brien and featuring celebrity interviews is available on the website of Sohu Video.
MTV Creates Social Media-Powered Music-Video Chart
MTV has turned to the global throng of Internet users to establish a new socially-powered music-video chart. "Your MTV Top 20" will be compiled based on fan interactions with the most popular global music videos from across MTV's own properties, including websites and apps.
ESPN Sued for $10 Million by Sleeping Yankees Fan
New York Post
A sleepy Bronx Bombers fan has filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit after he was mocked by two ESPN announcers for snoozing in his seat at Yankee Stadium. The suit claims ESPN's Dan Shulman and John Kruk unleashed an "avalanche of disparaging words" over his televised nap.
Fox Challenges Dish Network's Slingbox Technology
Bolstered by a victory for broadcasters against Aereo, Fox has challenged the legality of a Dish Network feature that allows subscribers to watch station feeds on devices outside the home. Fox claims that its stations are harmed because Nielsen does not measure ratings from the devices.
Fox Sports to Face Challenges with 2018 World Cup
Viewers have been watching the 2014 World Cup on ESPN in record numbers. But Fox Sports will have to deal with several issues when it airs the sporting event in 2018. Russia will host the next World Cup, meaning there will be a major time difference. "Viewership will be lower."
Sirius XM's Fired Shock Jock Won't Return to Radio
Anthony Cumia, co-host of the "Opie and Anthony Show," is not expected to return to radio after Sirius XM terminated the shock jock over a series of racially charged "hate-filled" tweets. Cumia is said to be planning a live podcast-style broadcast from his Long Island home studio.
Fox's 'Glee' Stars Colfer, Michele Hacked on Twitter
It's probably time for the stars of "Glee" to change their Twitter passwords. One day after Chris Colfer's Twitter was hacked, a curious message popped up on Lea Michele's Twitter page announcing that she was pregnant. The tweet was soon deleted. "I was hacked!" she later tweeted.
Disney's ESPN Near Ratings Record for World Cup
New York Post
While the U.S. team lost to Belgium in its final World Cup performance, the match was a big TV ratings winner for ESPN. The Tuesday telecast's workday time slot meant the sports network's coverage of the game was only the second most-watched World Cup match so far.
Analyst: TV Everywhere a Horrible Viewer Experience
TV Everywhere? More like Advertising Everywhere. The same, un-skippable ads are running multiple times during program commercial breaks, according to BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield. "It's almost like the networks are trying to drive you to Netflix or Amazon Prime."
Weinstein Company to Consider Spinning Off TV Unit
New York Times
Just seven months after declaring an ambitious thrust into television, the Weinstein Company, best known for its Oscar-winning film operation, is exploring plans to spin off its TV division into a separate company that could be sold to a strategic partner or taken public.
Vice Media Moving to New Headquarters in Brooklyn
Wall Street Journal
Vice Media, the online-content company that has grown into an international symbol of hipness, is doubling the size of its presence in its Brooklyn neighborhood. The company's move to a 60,000-square-foot former industrial building will allow it to add 525 employees.
Fox Sports Bets Next World Cup Will Be Bigger in U.S.
In October 2011, Rupert Murdoch's Fox Sports outbid Disney's ESPN and Comcast's NBC for the U.S. English-speaking rights to the next World Cup, counting on even greater soccer mania four years from now. This year's World Cup has been a smash for ESPN and Univision.
ABC News: Knife-Wielding Man Threatens Host Strahan
New York Post
A knife-wielding homeless man outside ABC's studios in Times Square declared that he wanted to "kill Michael Strahan, the New York Giants football legend and part-time co-host of "Good Morning America." A police officer intervened and knocked the blade from the man's hand.
Fox Networks Forms Production Firm with Berman
Los Angeles Times
Gail Berman has formed a production partnership with Fox Networks Group, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The deal is a homecoming of sorts for Berman. She was Fox Broadcasting's head of entertainment from 2000 to 2005, a time of success for the network.
Travel Channel Pulls Show After Rant on Instagram
About a week after Travel Channel star Adam Richman got into an expletive-filled war of words on Instagram over a picture related to his weight loss, the network pulled his upcoming series, "Man Finds Food," from the schedule. Richman "did not take too kindly to criticism."
ESPN, Univision Seek to Halt Rival World Cup Clips
Wall Street Journal
World Cup rights-holders are trying to stop digital rivals who are helping themselves to highlights from this summer's tournament. Sports website SB Nation has had two accounts suspended on Vine, after receiving a complaint from a media-protection firm working for Univision.
Fox News Enjoys Long Run of Ratings Domination
Fox News is marking its 50th consecutive quarter as the top cable news network. This goes all the way back to 2002, when the media and political worlds were very different. Fox's ratings have increased while those of its cable competitors, as a group, have mostly stayed flat.
NBC Triumphs in Zimmerman Defamation Lawsuit
A Florida judge has rejected George Zimmerman's lawsuit seeking damages from NBC for allegedly portraying him as racist in a series of news reports about the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin. The judge ruled that Zimmerman is entitled to no money from NBC.
Fox Wants Aereo Ruling Applied to Dish's Hopper
Fox is trying to use the U.S. Supreme Court's new ruling against TV technology startup Aereo in its legal battle against Dish Network. Dish "engages in virtually identical conduct when it streams Fox's programming to Dish subscribers over the Internet," said Fox.
Disney's ESPN Scores 10.8 Million World Cup Viewers
Germany's 1-0 victory over the U.S. in soccer's World Cup on ESPN was seen by 10.8 million viewers, Disney's sports network said. Univision reported an audience of 3.4 million. The game scored ESPN's second-highest Nielsen rating and third-largest audience for the World Cup.
Tribune Hopes to Turn WGN America Into Cable Network
New York Times
Tribune plans to turn its superstation WGN America into a full-fledged cable network, with its first original drama, "Salem," and a new series, "Manhattan" on the way. "WGNA is a big part of our overall strategy," said Tribune president Peter Liguori, who led FX network in its early days.
BET: Man Killed in Shooting at Awards Pre-Show Party
CBS Los Angeles
A man was killed and four others were injured in a shooting during a pre-show party for Viacom's Black Entertainment Television Awards in East Hollywood. Officials say the gunman remains at large. The shooting was the second attack reported at a BET-related event over the weekend.
Dish Network, NBC Tensions Ease Over Ad-Skipping
Wall Street Journal
Dish Network is said to be in discussions with NBC over its "Hopper" ad-skipping digital video recorder, the latest sign that a two-year-old standoff between Dish and major broadcasters is easing. While the talks are under way, NBC is believed to have put its lawsuit against Dish on hold.
Amazon Paying CBS Big Bucks for Streaming Rights
CBS has been gearing up for another summer run with Amazon to deliver catch-up viewing on episodes of "Under the Dome" season 2 and the Halle Berry starrer "Extant." This summer, Amazon is said to be paying close to $900,000 per episode for each of the two series.
Cumulus CEO Sees Rdio Stake as Big Bet on Future
Cumulus Media, the second-largest U.S. radio station owner, took a 15% stake in Internet music service Rdio last year, in exchange for providing $75 million worth of promotional airtime. Cumulus is to sell ads for Rdio's free mobile service under the deal starting next month.
Nexstar, Sinclair Boosted by Court Kibosh of Aereo
The future of TV was at stake last week, as broadcasters awaited the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the case against Aereo. In the end, the justices put a kibosh on the startup. The ruling's biggest winners were Nexstar and Sinclair, pure plays in local broadcasting that also had the most to lose.
Vice News Grows Online Amid Courting by Big Media
New York Times
Vice, the youth-oriented news entity, has been expanding its web presence as it is courted by Fox and Time Warner. "There are rival sites courting the same demo, including Esquire. But that magazine online still looks like a magazine, and its 24-hour cable channel looks like Spike."
CNBC Ex-Host Deutsch Seeks His Own Reality Show
Donny Deutsch, the former CNBC talk show host, who sold the advertising agency founded by his father in 2006 for $265 million, is said to be shopping a reality show about himself. "All he wants to do is be on TV. It's the one thing he cannot seem to accomplish."
ESPN Live Stream Crashes During World Cup Match
Many U.S. users were unable to access ESPN's WatchESPN video-streaming service as the USA-Germany match in the World Cup kicked off on Thursday. An ESPN rep said the sports programmer was "investigating some limited issues due to unprecedented demand."
ABC's 'The View' Prepares for Change with New Hosts
Sherri Shepherd is leaving "The View" after seven years and freshman co-host Jenny McCarthy said she is right behind her. "If Sherri goes ... I go too," McCarthy tweeted. The exits mark a major upheaval for the daytime talk show a month after creator Barbara Walters' retirement.
NBCU Former Exec Zalaznick Tries News Aggregation
Los Angeles Times
Former NBCUniversal exec Lauren Zalaznick has been trying her hand at news aggregation. Zalaznick spends Sundays blasting out the LZ Sunday Paper, a collection of articles about women in the media and technology space to industry execs, taste-makers and reporters.
Scripps Leads $25 Million Stake in Online Tastemade
The biggest Food Network on TV wants a piece of the biggest food network on YouTube. Tastemade, a network of food-centric online video channels, has raised $25 million in a round led by Scripps Network Interactive. Scripps owns lifestyle TV channels, including Food Network.
SiriusXM, YouTube to Launch Hits Countdown Show
Music's big stars and emerging artists will get a new platform starting in July, thanks to "The YouTube 15," a weekly show being launched by SiriusXM and YouTube. The show will air on SiriusXM's Hits 1 channel every Friday at 6 p.m. ET and replay throughout the weekend.
ABC's Sawyer to Step Down as 'World News' Anchor
Diane Sawyer plans to leave the "World News" anchor desk and step into a new role creating innovative specials. David Muir will become anchor and managing editor of "World News" in September, and George Stephanopoulos will become chief anchor of ABC News.
Fox Limps to the Finish Line of Ad Selling Season
Wall Street Journal
Fox has essentially finished its ad sales selling for the upcoming fall season, and is said to be taking a nearly 15% reduction in overall ad volume. The weak outcome reflects sharp ratings decreases in the network's prime-time lineup last season, including at "American Idol."
Turner Broadcasting Sells Website TheSmokingSun
TheSmokingSun: "Forget Time Warner's reported interest in buying a stake in Vice Media. The multinational firm's single most important recent transaction as far as were concerned was its agreement to sell The Smoking Gun to us, the trio that runs this news outfit."
CNN: We Don't Talk About TV Anymore to Viewers
CNN doesn't talk about TV anymore not to viewers, not to advertisers and not among its staff, according to CNN International ad exec Petra Malenicka. "Cross-platform stands for over 80% of our ad revenue coming from Europe. No media company can afford to ignore this trend."
NBCUniversal Properties Wrap Upfront at $6 Billion
NBC broadcast has wrapped its upfront sales effort, securing $2.52 billion in advertising dollars across prime time, sports and late night. It's a significant gain over the $2.25 billion the network logged last year and due in large part to high commitments keyed to the Super Bowl.
Hearst Study: Local News Leads in Trustworthiness
A new study conducted by GfK for Hearst Television finds that TV viewers trust local news more than other media platforms, which makes local stations a favorable platform for advertisers. Along with trust, local news stations also have a "high level of viewer engagement."
Fox, Cox to Swap TV Stations in Three Major Markets
Fox Television Stations will become a power in San Francisco, as a result of a planned station-swap deal with Cox Media Group. Fox will pick up San Francisco-area affiliate KTVU and independent KICU and give Cox WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston, which will remain Fox affiliates.
ABC Former 'GMA' Host Lunden Has Breast Cancer
Joan Lunden said she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and has begun chemotherapy Lunden, 63, made the announcement on ABC's "Good Morning America," which she co-hosted from 1980-97. Lunden, who now works as a health advocate, said she expects to make a full recovery.
Seacrest's New Deals Put Him on Four TV Networks
Ryan Seacrest has inked a one-year deal with NBCUniversal that includes manning the major awards show red carpets. Seacrest also has a pact to host and executive produce CBS' "Fashion Rocks," which means he now has partnerships at each of the Big Four broadcast networks.
Townsquare Media Files for IPO of Up to $144 Million
Radio station operator Townsquare Media has filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to about $143.8 million in an initial public offering. The Greenwich, Conn.-based company runs radio stations, digital and social platforms and organizes live events in small- and mid-sized markets.
Fusion Inks TV Deal with Messaging App Whisper
Whisper users' anonymous postings may begin to show up on TV. Fusion, a media network aimed at millennials, has entered a partnership with the app to use its content to stimulate conversation on its programs. The arrangement marks the first content-sharing deal for Whisper.
ESPN, Univision: U.S.-Portugal Match Sets Records
Some 18.2 million U.S. viewers watched the United States tie Portugal during a World Cup match Sunday night, making it the most-viewed soccer game by a U.S. audience. ESPN has been setting records during the World Cup in Brazil where some games have aired during U.S. prime time.
CNN Partnership to Study Drone Use for Reporting
CNN and the Georgia Institute of Technology plan to jointly study how to operate unmanned aerial vehicles safely and effectively, seeking to speed up government rule-making about the use of drones in newsgathering. The partners will share data with the Federal Aviation Authority.
Dish Network Cuts Wire Clutter with Wireless Joey
Dish Network has launched the Wireless Joey, giving consumers the ability to watch TV virtually anywhere in and around their homes without the need for wires. Dish subscribers will be able to lease Wireless Joeys for $7 per month per device, plus a one-time $50 fee.
Scripps Hires Twitter Sales Exec for Digital Position
E.W. Scripps has named former Twitter sales exec J.B. Kropp as its VP-digital strategy and business development. Kropp is the third exec to depart Twitter in recent weeks, including No. 2 exec and COO Ali Rowghani. Kropp said his move wasn't related to issues at Twitter.
ESPN Unveils 'Future-Proof' Studio for SportsCenter
After breaking ground more than two years ago, ESPN has finally unveiled its Digital Center 2. In the 194,000-square foot building, the sports media giant plans to operate five studios, one of which is now officially the new home of SportsCenter. "DC-2 was built to be future-proof."
ABC Finishes Upfront Deals with Single-Digit Increases
ABC has confirmed that it is done with upfront negotiations. An industry source places the CPM increases between 4% and 5%. The network has some strong contenders in its lineup, notably a new Shonda Rhimes drama and other shows aimed at underserved non-white audiences.
Al-Jazeera Journos Sentenced to Seven Years in Egypt
An Egyptian court has convicted three journalists from Al-Jazeera English and sentenced them to seven years in prison each on terrorism-related charges, stirring criticism that the verdict was a blow to freedom of expression. The three have been detained since December.
Vice, Fox Home Entertainment Team to Distribute Film
"Fishing Without Nets," the Somali pirates docudrama that debuted at Sundance, has been acquired for distribution in a deal between 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment and Vice, the youth media company and content creation studio that produced the project.
BreakingNews App Update Includes Proximity Alerts
BreakingNews, a business within NBC News Digital, has unveiled "proximity alerts," meaning the app will send a notification to users' mobile devices when news breaks near them no matter how far from home they may be. "We're marrying technology with editorial judgment."
HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Finale Sets Piracy Record
The season finale of the fourth season of "Game of Thrones" has set a new piracy record, with a quarter of a million people sharing a single file. The fourth season of the hit HBO show has been the most-viewed season so far, through both official channels and among pirates.
AMC Networks to Prep Subscription Video Websites
AMC Networks has vaulted into the top tier of TV programmers with shows such as "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad." Now, the company is said to be preparing to break from the cable-TV business model and launch several video websites, each focusing on a different progamming genre.
Univision, Twitter Team for World Cup Video Tweets
Univision has announced a deal with Twitter for the first sponsored video-tweet campaign tied to the World Cup. McDonald's and State Farm are the initial sponsors. Univision's @UnivisionSports handle will tweet real-time highlights, and targeted users will receive sponsored tweets.
Clear Channel Launches 'Audio' to Lure Political Ads
Clear Channel has unveiled new products to help political campaigns target likely voters more efficiently. The radio giant's new Audience Delivery Optimizer, or AuDiO, is an ad optimization tool intended to help campaigns target specific voter segments with radio.
CNN's New Programming Meets Ad-Buyer Resistance
CNN recently unveiled the slogan "go there," but some ad-buying execs may not want to follow that command. As the cable-news outlet begins to hold upfront conversations, several ad buyers say the channel is meeting with resistance, due to the reworking of its programming.
Fox News Hillary Interview Attracts 2 Million Viewers
New York Times
Apparently the Fox News audience was intensely interested in what Hillary Clinton had to say about her new book. Clinton's appearance on Tuesday drew just over 2 million viewers during the half-hour it was broadcast, representing an increase of 23% over the previous day.
Vice Media Predicts Video Streaming Will Dominate
Online video will come to eclipse conventional TV broadcasting, as audiences move to where they can shape what they want to see, said Eddy Moretti, chief creative officer of Vice, speaking at Cannes Lions. Video streaming "will be the dominant distribution platform in advertising."
Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Reaches 50 Million Users
Clear Channel's iHeartRadio seems to have found a way to thrive at a time when its peers in the record industry are struggling. Clear Channel announced that the service has passed 50 million registered users, a mark it reached much faster than rivals like Spotify or Pandora.
ESPN, Univision Set Records in World Cup Viewership
More than 11 million U.S. viewers tuned in to watch the United States beat Ghana during a World Cup soccer match on Monday, setting a new record for soccer viewership on ESPN. The game also set a record at Univision, the Spanish-language broadcaster, attracting 4.8 million people.
PBS to Air, Stream Shorter Version of 'Sesame Street'
New York Times
PBS plans to begin broadcasting and streaming a half-hour version of "Sesame Street," in a nod to the realities of increased mobile and online viewing. The traditional hour-long version of the much-lauded show for preschoolers will continue to be broadcast in the morning.
Dr Oz Scolded by Senators Over Weight-Loss Scams
Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz has offered to help "drain the swamp" of unscrupulous marketers using his name to peddle so-called cure-alls to millions of Americans desperate to lose weight. Oz was scolded for claims he made about weight-loss aids on "The Dr. Oz Show."
Comedy Central 'Colbert' Staffers Form Tech Startup
Software developers are hiding among the comedians on Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report." After several people involved with the show reworked a software program used for producing segments, they formed a tech startup, Scripto, to license the program to other TV shows.
HBO Chief Named Cannes' Media Person of the Year
The Cannes Lions advertising festival has named HBO chief Richard Plepler as Media Person of the Year 2014. The accolade is presented to "an influential figure in the development of today's media." Plepler helped prove that "reports of the death of TV were premature."
Viacom, 60 Cable Firms Part Ways in Middle America
Wall Street Journal
About 60 small cable companies in middle America said they and their customers are surviving fine without Viacom after a fee dispute. "Quite frankly, I can't say I did notice," said one customer, adding that he hadn't watched Viacom channels in at least a dozen years.
Comcast Turning Home Routers Into Wi-Fi Hotspots
If you're a Comcast cable customer, your home's private Wi-Fi router is being turned into a public hotspot. So far, the company has turned 3 million home devices into public ones. By year's end it plans to activate the feature on another 5 million. The upside is "Internet everywhere."
Aereo: Supreme Court Ruling Could Alter TV Forever
Aereo CEO Chet Kanoji said his company charges for technology not TV content, and therefore is not infringing on copyrights. He refuses to say what would happen if Aereo loses its case at the Supreme Court. "You sort of tune everything out and focus on what needs to happen."
Tribune Ready to Make News Again as a Broadcaster
Tribune shares could be worth 25% more once it hives off its publishing, if it can realize more of the value in its various assets. Upcoming strategic shifts will turn the company into a "pure play broadcaster." And CEO Peter Liguori has other moves underway that could boost valuation.
Univision Exec Implicated in Nielsen Ratings Scandal
Los Angeles Times
Nielsen has widened its investigation into a ratings scandal in Los Angeles and uncovered evidence that a Univision radio exec allegedly has been manipulating ratings. The measurement giant calls the breach "a serious violation." Months of ratings may have been compromised.
Clear Channel Ups Personal Options for iHeartRadio
Clear Channel has unveiled the latest version of its free digital music service, iHeartRadio 5.0, with enhanced capabilities for personalization. The new version includes a listening option, "For You," which adds a genre selection tool for more tailored station recommendations.
Martha Stewart Case: Judge Rules Against JC Penney
J.C. Penney "interfered" with a deal between its rival Macy's and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, a judge has ruled. "At best, one can only describe such conduct as adolescent hijinks in the worst form," he said of J.C. Penney. Macy's said it was "delighted" by the order.
Food Network Drops TV Show by Paula Deen's Son
New York Post
Jamie Deen, son of former Food Network personality Paula Deen and host of "Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen," will not have his show renewed, sources said. Last June, Food Network canceled Paula's two shows due to low ratings after it was learned that she used a racial epitaph.
NBC Developing 'Event' Series About The Beatles
NBC is said to be in early stages of development of an eight-episode "event" series about the Beatles that will tell the story of the legendary rock 'n' roll band. The series is part of the network's push into event programming that includes live productions like "The Sound of Music."
CBS Wraps Up Upfront Deals with Lower Increases
Wall Street Journal
Major TV networks are wrapping up their ad sales negotiations from the upcoming season and in many cases are striking advertising deals that are weaker than last year. Some ad buyers say CBS negotiated roughly 5% increase in ad prices, short of the 7.5% increase it won last year.
HLN Sees Daytime Emmy Awards Move to Internet
The Daytime Emmy Awards are heading to a new home on the Internet. The awards aired on the HLN cable network the past two years. But when the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and various cable outlets couldn't strike a deal, the academy moved the show online.
CNN: Car Crashes Through Headquarters Window
Police have alleged a driver was high when he drove through a large plate-glass window at CNN's world headquarters in downtown Atlanta early Friday morning. Gerlmy Javon Todd, 22, was charged with DUI, marijuana possession and reckless driving. There were no injuries.
Al Jazeera Unveils Standalone Online Video Service
Capital New York
Al Jazeera bas quietly launched Al Jazeera +, its digital video news channel. Dubbed "AJ+" for short, the service seems to be cut from the same cloth as video startups like NowThis News and Vice News. A handful of clips posted to its YouTube channel give a taste of what is to come.
Radio Star Kasem, King of 'Top 40' Countdown, Dies
Wall Street Journal
Casey Kasem, whose smooth voice encouraged radio listeners to "keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars," died Sunday. He was 82. Kasem "ushered in the concept that you can have a national personality on a radio station," said Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman.
NBC News Raises Eyebrows with Chelsea's Salary
Chelsea Clinton is said to have earned an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year. Clinton joined NBC News as a special correspondent in 2011. She has worked on various service-related feature assignments.
CBS News Coworkers 'Resented' Katie Over Salary
According to Sheila Weller's forthcoming book, "The News Sorority," resentment toward Katie Couric was immediate upon her arrival at CBS News. Couric "received a large salary while others were asked to take pay cuts." Former CBS staffers "described her as abrasive."
Discovery's Hub CEO to Exit as Kids TV Gets Tough
Los Angeles Times
Margaret Loesch, CEO of the Hub, a kids network co-owned by Discovery and toymaker Hasbro, plans to depart at the end of the year. Launched in October 2010, the Hub has struggled to compete against Viacom's Nickelodeon and Disney's Disney Channel and Disney XD.
Comcast to Double Live Content via TV Everywhere
Originally, TV Everywhere was used for video-on-demand streaming. Now, there is a big move to deliver live, linear programming via devices. The number of programmers delivering live streams will double to 75 this year, according to Comcast video services GM Matthew Strauss.
NBC 'Today' Extends Lauer Contract Amid Upheaval
New York Times
NBC's "Today" show has issued a new endorsement of anchor Matt Lauer, signing the veteran newsman to a contract extension that will keep him in place on the morning show for what the network described as multiple more years. The news comes after a period of upheaval at the show.
ESPN, Univision Enjoy Strong Ad Sales for World Cup
ESPN and Univision will say farewell to their U.S. World Cup rights at the end of the Brazilian tournament, but both media companies are in fine form when it comes to advertising sales for the 2014 event. The two are "virtually sold out," with deals across varied sectors.
Comcast to Test Video Service Taking On YouTube
Comcast plans to test a new platform for the distribution of online videos through its new X1 cable set-top boxes by the end of the year, according to company SVP of video Matt Strauss. The service, he said, will be similar to YouTube, allowing content creators to upload videos.
Analyst: U.S. Media Rules Should Consider Digital
Broadcasting & Cable
U.S. regulators should consider including pay TV and online video as relevant local market competitors to broadcasting. That is according to media analyst David Bank, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets, in prepared testimony for a hearing on media ownership.
Clear Channel Blasted in Media Ownership Debate
Los Angeles Times
A rep for the National Hispanic Media Coalition, speaking at a hearing on U.S. media-ownership rules, blasted Clear Channel, arguing that the radio industry is already too consolidated. Listeners of Clear Channel stations are "fed a steady diet of racism and stereotyping."
HBO's Oliver Helped to Bring Down FCC Website
John Oliver called on viewers of his HBO show to comment on the website of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and it is likely the flood of posts brought down the aging site, not a hack, according to a new report. The FCC "received a surge in the volume of visits."
Paula Deen to Launch Cooking Network on the Web
Wall Street Journal
Paula Deen will launch in September the Paula Deen Network, a subscriber-based Internet network that will run a variety of exclusive videos. Deen and guests will be featured cooking in front of an audience from a production studio near her home in Savannah, Ga.
Newsmax TV Secures Distribution with Dish Network
Newsmax Media has reached a distribution deal with satellite-TV provider Dish Network for its new channel, Newsmax TV. The announcement comes a few weeks after the conservative news website announced it was launching its cable channel initially in a deal with DirecTV.
MSNBC is 'Least Trusted' TV News Source, Poll Says
A new Brookings and Public Religion Research Institute poll found that, among all TV news sources, MSNBC is "most trusted" by the fewest number of people. An analysis of the data gleaned that Fox News, while the "most trusted," also had the most deeply polarized fanbase.
Fox News Retracts Fraud Claim Against Former Exec
When Fox News chief Roger Ailes fired advisor Brian Lewis last year, the channel claimed that the exec was terminated over "financial irregularities" and "breaches of his employment contract." Now, nearly a year later, Fox News has said "those claims about Lewis were untrue."
HLN: Can It Draw Millennial Viewers to Stave Off Vice?
HLN is known for its coverage of high-profile criminal trials, like the Jodi Arias murder case. In February, the news network said it was rebranding as a home for the social media generation. The push is relatively new. But thus far much of HLN's schedule looks the same as before.
CBS's Tony Awards Telecast Takes Dip in Ratings
The Tony Awards with hopping host Hugh Jackman couldn't leapfrog last year's show in the ratings. The telecast had an average viewership of 7.02 million, a dip from last year's 7.24 million. The broadcast was up against Game 2 of the NBA finals, which pulled in 15 million on average.
ABC to Shutter Live Well Digital Lifestyle Network
ABC plans to discontinue its Live Well digital network, a national lifestyle channel, by January 2015. "We made a strategic decision that our priority must be local content." Live Well, launched in 2009, airs on the digital subchannels of all ABC owned-and-operated TV stations.
NBC to Argue for Dismissal of Zimmerman Lawsuit
The judge in George Zimmerman's defamation lawsuit against NBCUniversal is scheduled to hear arguments June 19 on a request by the media company to dismiss the case. The case had been postponed pending the conclusion of the Trayvon Martin shooting case.
AT&T Settles Suit Over Refusal to Carry Al Jazeera
AT&T has settled a lawsuit over its refusal to carry Al Jazeera's U.S. cable-news channel on its pay-TV service. The accord is expected to allow Al Jazeera America onto the U-verse offering. The deal underscores the growing importance to TV distributors of programming networks.
Fox News' Kelly Surpasses O'Reilly for Entire Week
It might be known as the week that saw an earthquake at Fox News Channel, as Megyn Kelly beat the almost unbeatable Bill O'Reilly in the key news demo. The 9 p.m. "Kelly File" drew 413,000 adults 25-to-54 last week, ahead of the 8 p.m. "O'Reilly Factor's" 402,000.
Disney Junior Plans TV Series Based on 'Lion King'
Wall Street Journal
Disney Junior is developing an animated TV series based on the 1994 film hit "The Lion King," aiming to draw pre-schoolers with one of its parent company's best-known properties. "The Lion Guard," debuting in November 2015, will be like "'The Lion King' meets 'The Avengers.'"
ESPN Goes Big in Digital for Coverage of World Cup
The 2014 World Cup is expected to be the most-watched soccer competition ever, thanks in part to ESPN's boost of its digital offerings. The sports media giant plans to integrate its digital side with TV coverage more deeply than ever before. "Projections are gigantic."
CBS's Tony Awards Show Trots Out Hollywood Stars
This year's Tony Awards, honoring the best of Broadway, was hosted again by actor Hugh Jackman. Hollywood stars on hand to help present awards included Bradley Cooper, Kevin Bacon, Clint Eastwood, Kenneth Branagh, Emmy Rossum, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Zachary Quinto.
Clear Channel's Pittman Rises to $5 Million Challenge
Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman has set about talking up radio's value to an advertising industry still loyal to TV and more excited by digital music. The $5 million investment he made in the company's equity worthless unless he can wrestle its debts means he has much at stake.
Al Jazeera America Seeks to Avoid Unsealing Lawsuit
Wall Street Journal
Al Jazeera America wants to avoid unsealing a lawsuit it filed last year accusing AT&T of improperly keeping the news channel off the U-verse cable-TV lineup. The newest entrant to the U.S. news market said it would suffer competitive harm if details of its gripe were made public.
CNN's Bourdain Seen as New Face of News Network
"Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" has become a hit on CNN. Bourdain "is a post-news newsman for people who don't want news." The celebrity chef and author "is becoming the face of the new non-news CNN," which is "clearly trying" to transform into the Discovery Channel.
CNBC Says Brand is Profitable in Digital Worldwide
Talking Biz News
CNBC president Mark Hoffman: "We're now profitable in digital everywhere in the world. Digital has become a big part of our investment strategy, and we are not slowing down. ... We were a moribund basic cable channel in the U.S. Now we are a multimedia brand with no hidden agenda."
Report: Internet-TV Delivery to Surpass Over-the-Air
For the first time ever, the percentage of U.S. households relying only on the Internet for TV programming is about to beat out the percentage of those that rely exclusively on an antenna, according to a study from the Consumer Electronics Association. "We are at a pivotal point."
Survey: Consumers 'Miserable' Over Cable-TV Service
A survey of subscribers of U.S. cable providers by consulting firm cg42 has found that more than half of Americans would abandon their cable provider if they felt they could. Of all the industries the firm has studied, "these are the highest levels of frustration we've ever seen."
ESPN: MLB to Help Streaming of World Cup Soccer
Four years ago, ESPN hired New York-based Major League Baseball Advanced Media to do the background work for live streams on ESPN3, its 24-hour broadband network. This year for the first time, ESPN will live stream all 64 matches of the FIFA World Cup.
Univision Vows More Colorful Coverage of World Cup
Wall Street Journal
Spanish-language network Univision Deportes plans to compete hard for English-speaking World Cup fans by offering what it says is a more colorful, intense experience. "We think that watching the game in Spanish is just more fun." Many English-language media commentators agree.
CBS News Nabs Advance Look at Hillary's Memoir
Hillary Clinton's long-awaited memoir, "Hard Choices," isn't scheduled to be released until June 10. But CBS News has obtained a copy. The book is being published by CBS-owned Simon & Schuster. The new title "offers rich detail" of Clinton's tenure as secretary of state.
NBC's 'Jimmy Fallon' Trounces Rivals in Late Night
Nearly four months since its debut, "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon" still maintains a hefty lead over the competition. The show's season average since Feb. 17, when Fallon took over hosting the show from Jay Leno, puts him at 4.23 million 18-49 viewers.
MSNBC Cancels Finney Political Talk Show 'Disrupt'
MSNBC has cancelled its 4 p.m. weekend political show "Disrupt with Karen Finney" just shy of its first anniversary. Finney will remain with MSNBC as a contributor, the network said. "Disrupt" regularly finished fourth in its time slot in both total and demo viewers.
HBO's 'Thrones' is Top Show in Network's History
"Game of Thrones," HBO's fantasy epic, has surpassed "The Sopranos" as the cable network's most popular series ever. Episodes in the fourth season have an average audience of 18.4 million, including repeat showings, video on demand and mobile streaming.
Discovery CEO Feted for Leadership at Mirror Awards
Oprah Winfrey and Tom Brokaw paid tribute to David Zaslav via video, as the Discovery CEO's alma mater, Syracuse University, saluted him at the annual Mirror Awards luncheon. Zaslav was presented a leadership award at the event honoring excellence in journalism about media.
A&E to Air Hollywood Reporter's 'Roundtable' Series
A&E and the Hollywood Reporter have teamed up to produce "The Hollywood Reporter Roundtables," a series featuring TV's top Emmy contenders in discussions leading up to the nominations. Telecast as a four-part series, the roundtables will kick off on June 8.
Cable-TV Apps Exploding in Popularity, Report Says
A report from Adobe Digital Index shows that TV Everywhere viewership has leaped 246% year-over-year. While users may not recognize TV Everywhere by its industry-wide branding, fans of apps like HBO Go, Watch ESPN, Watch ABC, and FX Now are supporting the cause.
NBC, CBS, Fox, CW Kick Off 2014 Upfront Ad Market
Los Angeles Times
Fox, NBC, CBS and CW are said to have begun selling their commercial slots for the upcoming TV season as part of the annual auction known as the upfront market. The ad market appeared to be moving a bit slowly with both sides giving ground on key points to secure deals.
CBS News' Logan Returning to Work at '60 Minutes'
Lara Logan is back to work at CBS News' "60 Minutes" more than six months after being ordered to take a leave of absence for her role in a disputed story on the deadly 2012 raid at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. Her report led to an internal CBS investigation.
Tribune's WGN-TV May Lose Chicago Cubs Baseball
The Chicago Cubs plan to announce that they are ending a 90-year run on WGN-AM, but that may not be the only change. WGN-TV, the Cubs' TV home since 1948, is on notice. The team might drop both Tribune stations after being under the same corporate umbrella for three decades.
Vice, Fremantle to Launch Online Food Network
Vice Media and Fremantle Media will create a new online hub dedicated to food video programming, articles and events, the two companies said. Vice already produces food-focused digital series. "Today's youth are the driving force behind the food culture explosion."
NBC's Fallon Seizes Social Media for 'Tonight'
Jimmy Fallon's social-media team has ramped up the "The Tonight Show's" social-media engagement positioning NBC's late night for dominance online even before the new host made his debut on Monday night. Fallon has grabbed "all of the Leno social channels."
CBS: TV Networks Could Create Their Own Aereo
CBS chief Les Moonves said he expects the TV networks to win their copyright fight against TV-over-Internet outfit Aereo. But if they don't, creating their own version of Aereo is an option. "Obviously, the networks collectively could do their own version of Aereo."
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