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ESPN Radio Host Heads to Sirius XM After On-Air Rant
Stephen A. Smith is said to be leaving ESPN-98.7 FM to join Sirius XM's "Mad Dog Radio" channel, where he will host his own show. Smith will be joining the uncensored world of satellite radio following his remarks implying that some women should be blamed for domestic violence.
Fox News Anchor Pleads Guilty to Disorderly Conduct
Gregg Jarrett, a Fox News weekend anchor, has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after a May arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport in which a police video showed he struggled with officers. At the time of his arrest, Fox News said Jarrett was dealing with personal issues.
Time Warner Cable Office Evacuated in Envelope Scare
The Time Warner Cable office in Palm Springs, Calif., was evacuated after receiving an envelope containing a suspicious powder. The powder turned out to be nothing more than sugar, according to police. Authorities said there was no reason to believe the envelope was sent by accident.
NBCUniversal Former Exec Predicts Media 'Forest Fire'
Lauren Zalaznick: "The great media companies today are going to remain the great media companies of the future. But they are going to be joined by the emerging great media companies of today. The great middle is what is going to suffer the most. Every so often there is a forest fire ..."
Sinclair Deal for Allbritton TV Stations Wins Approval
U.S. regulators have announced their approval of Sinclair's $985 million purchase of Allbritton TV stations. The stations include seven ABC network affiliates that cover nearly 5% of U.S. TV households and NewsChannel 8, a 24-hour cable and satellite news network in the Washington, D.C., area.
Townsquare Media Radio Station Operator Goes Public
Shares of radio station operator Townsquare Media fell some 7% in their market debut, valuing the company at about $172 million. The Greenwich, Conn.-based firm's IPO raised about $91.3 million. Townsquare also operates digital platforms and organizes live events.
Comcast Quietly Steps Up Its Game on Internet Speeds
Wall Street Journal
Comcast has quietly begun extending fiber optic cable all the way to customers' homes in certain parts of its service area, a significant shift that could help it better compete with all-fiber providers like Verizon and Google on Internet speeds. Fiber networks are also easier for upgrades.
CBS Local Media Acquires Digital Media Firm Eventful
CBS Local Media has acquired Eventful, a San Diego-based digital media company that provides platforms for live, digital and broadcast events. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Eventful's 55-person staff is expected to be integrated into the CBS Local Media team.
Clear Channel Parent Posts Loss on Higher Expenses
San Antonio Business
CC Media Holdings, parent of media giant Clear Channel, has reported a quarterly loss, which it chalked up to higher expenses for its radio division and a major debt payment. "Our growing digital and events businesses continued their strong momentum," said CEO Bob Pittman.
CBS to Get $16 Million New York Subsidy for Colbert
CBS is eligible to receive at least $16 million in tax credits and grants from the state of New York for its commitment to keep "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan. CBS may receive as much as $5 million grant to defray costs to renovate the theater.
NBC 'Meet the Press' Set to Replace Moderator Gregory
New York Post
Page Six: "David Gregory's time is nearly up at 'Meet the Press,' and he could be replaced as moderator of the nation's longest-running TV show soon after the November midterm elections. There are serious concerns about the losing battle to turn around the show's sinking ratings."
Turner CEO Plots Turnaround Plan as TNT Shrinks
New York Post
Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin might want to move up the timeline for his turnaround plan, called "Turner 2020." While new shows have handed its biggest entertainment network, TNT, some early wins this summer, average year-to-date ratings are down sharply in its target demo.
ABC 'Scandal' Creator Hosts Fundraiser with Obama
President Obama attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Los Angeles home of Shonda Rhimes, creator of ABC's "Scandal." Series star Kerry Washington was a special guest. About 450 people attended at ticket levels ranging from $1,000 to $32,400 per person.
Comedy Central Host Stewart Seeks to 'Buy' CNN
Jon Stewart has announced on "The Daily Show" a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $10 billion to acquire CNN. The move is a reaction to the news that Rupert Murdoch attempted to buy Time Warner, the news network's owner. The effort includes a website, LetsBuyCNN.com.
Univision Sees Profit Soar From World Cup Soccer
Los Angeles Times
Boosted by the popularity of its soccer telecasts, Univision's second-quarter profit more than doubled compared to the previous year. Owners Haim Saban and a group of private-equity firms have been searching for an exit in their seven-year investment in the Spanish-language media giant.
Clear Channel to Start Targeting Ads on iHeartRadio
Up until now, Clear Channel stations on iHeartRadio have been inserting local and national commercials. The company has announced that it will work with tech firm AdsWizz to insert more targeted ads on its 840-plus stations. Clear Channel reaches over 245 million monthly listeners.
FXX: 'Simpsons' Marathon, Digital Simpsons Coming
The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be followed this fall by a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. A "Simpsons World" website and app will offer on-demand access to all 500-plus episodes.
BSkyB Near Deal to Create Pay-TV Giant in Europe
BSkyB is said to be finalizing plans to create a European pay-TV giant, bolstering parent company 21st Century Fox's pursuit of Time Warner. The British pay-TV firm is set to seal the takeover of sister companies in Italy and Germany over the next two weeks, producing a financial windfall.
AMC, Discovery Brace for Changes Amid Big Mergers
New York Times
In the current environment, none of the major media giants will likely try to acquire lesser players such as AMC Networks or Crown Media, according to Wall Street advisors. Adding smaller cable network groups would give the big companies no more leverage than they already have.
Comcast, ESPN Reach Deal Over New SEC Network
Comcast has reached a deal with ESPN to carry the new SEC Network. The college sports network dedicated to coverage of the Southeastern Conference launches on Aug. 14. The addition of Comcast means the SEC Network will be available in at least 46 million households nationally.
CBS Eyes Big Gains in $275 Million NFL Rights Deal
Despite the $275 million CBS dropped to win the rights to televise the NFL this fall, chief Les Moonves is already seeing dollar signs. "This is a sure thing." To maximize CBS' football promotion, Moonves said CBS viewers will see NFL themes in some of the network's other programming.
CNN Pulls Reporter from Israel After 'Scum' Comment
CNN pulled reporter Diana Magnay out of the Middle East after she referred to a group of Israelis who had allegedly threatened her while reporting on Gaza as "scum" in a tweet. The news network said in a statement that she was referring specifically to those who threatened her.
NBC Sends Reporter Back to Gaza After Sudden Exit
NBC said it was sending Middle East correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin back to the Gaza strip after he left the region for unexplained reasons following his eyewitness report on the killing of four Palestinian boys. The network praised Mohyeldin for his "extraordinary reporting."
ABC Journalist Departs to Join Couric at Yahoo News
New York Times
Bianna Golodryga, a weekend anchor for ABC's "Good Morning America," will join Yahoo News as a news and finance anchor alongside the website's big-name video hire, Katie Couric. The move comes as Yahoo seeks to establish itself as a news organization, amid a spate of prominent hires.
Time Warner Cable in Stalemate Over SportsNet LA
Los Angeles Times
No progress has been made in the standoff between Time Warner Cable, which is distributing the new Los Angeles Dodgers-owned channel SportsNet LA, and local pay-TV providers including DirecTV, Dish, Charter and Cox. "It is unlikely that we are going to get a deal done."
Sinclair Broadcast to Launch College Sports Network
Sinclair Broadcast Group plans to launch a college sports network to air on the TV stations the company owns. The new American Sports Network, or ASN, will show live events, including football, basketball, soccer and other sports, from more than 50 colleges and universities.
CBS Considers Host from Politics for Late-Night Show
CBS plans to take an open approach to replacing Craig Ferguson in late-night, including the possibility of a host from the world of politics. Details of the transition from Ferguson to a yet-to-be-found replacement remain undecided. "We're looking at it through a very different lens."
ABC's 'The View' Drops Behind CBS Rival 'The Talk'
Rosie O'Donnell can't get back to "The View" fast enough for ABC. The network's signature daytime program has fallen behind its CBS rival, "The Talk," for the first time ever among women 18-49 and 25-54. The victory comes at a time of turmoil for "The View."
MSNBC's Malaysian Plane Coverage Pranked On Air
A Howard Stern fan lied his way onto MSNBC's coverage of the Malaysian plane crash, telling host Krystal Ball by phone that the aircraft was "shot down by a blast of wind" from Howard Stern. The prankster told MSNBC's screener he was calling from the U.S. embassy in Ukraine.
ESPN Networks to Broadcast 'Dota 2' Championships
E-sports have caught the attention of ESPN. Valve said it is partnering with the sports media behemoth to broadcast the International Dota 2 Championships. The tournament will be carried live through ESPN3, available through smartphones and tablets and streaming devices.
MTV Announces Award-Show Nominees via Snapchat
MTV used Snapchat to reveal the nominees for its Video Music Awards, with stars from the network's shows making cameos in the clips. The nominees include Beyonce, who is up for eight awards. Last year's VMA nominees were announced via Vine videos.
Aereo's Bid to Go Legit as Cable Company Hits a Snag
Crain's New York
Aereo has hit a roadblock in its attempt to reinvent itself as a cable company. The U.S. Copyright Office has told the streaming video service that it "does not believe Aereo qualifies" for a license to transmit broadcast TV programming. Internet "retransmissions fall outside the scope."
Clear Channel Sued by Former Intern Over Lack of Pay
A former intern for Clear Channel has filed a lawsuit against the radio giant, alleging that she performed the job of a paid employee in her unpaid internship and should have been compensated as such. The plaintiff, Liane Arias, worked in Clear Channel promotion and marketing in 2011.
Sirius XM Taps Zuckerberg to Host Technology Show
Wall Street Journal
Former Facebook exec Randi Zuckerberg sister of Mark Zuckerberg has spent the last few years writing books and blogs posts decoding cutting-edge technology. Now she is embracing a retro medium: satellite radio. This summer she will begin hosting a weekly show on Sirius XM.
Comcast's 'TV Everywhere' Boosted by World Cup
The 2014 World Cup made millions of soccer fans out of Americans. It has also initiated them into the joys of "TV Everywhere." Comcast Xfinity subscribers watched 13 million live streams of matches, working out to about 90,000 streams for every hour of match coverage.
HBO Valued at $20 Billion by Fox Seeking Netflix Killer
Rupert Murdoch wants HBO so badly, he's willing to buy all of Time Warner to get it. HBO is said to be one of the main reasons, along with rights to sports programming and international content distribution, that Murdoch's 21st Century Fox offered $85 a share for Time Warner.
CNN Could Be Worth $5 Billion If It Is Put Up for Sale
If Rupert Murdoch succeeded in buying Time Warner and CNN was put up for sale, the cable news network could be worth $5 billion, according to one analyst. Disney, which does not have a cable news channel, could be a potential bidder for CNN. CBS is another possible suitor.
ESPN Could See New Game in Fox-Time Warner Deal
21st Century Fox's plan to buy Time Warner could create an upheaval in the sports TV world, creating the first meaningful challenge to Disney's ESPN. A deal would give Rupert Murdoch college basketball's "March Madness" tournament, prime time NBA games and MLB games.
'Big Four' Networks Rebound in Must-Keep TV Survey
ABC remains the top "must-keep TV" channel in America, according to this year's survey from Solutions Research, followed closely by CBS. NBC beat out Fox to take the No. 3 spot. However, millennials continue to be less likely to want to include one of the big four in their top channels.
CNN Tests New '10 O'Clock Show' with Three Anchors
CNN is said to be testing a new show featuring Alisyn Camerota, Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. The three anchors have taped a pilot dubbed "The 10 O'Clock Show," based out of New York. It is not clear whether it would be a potential prime time program on the news network.
CBS Sports Announcers Don't Have to Say 'Redskins'
CBS Sports exec Sean McManus: "We do not tell our announcers what to say or not say. Up to this point, it has not been a big issue for us. But we probably will not end up dictating to our announcers whether they say Redskins or don't say Redskins. We leave that up to them."
BBC News to Cut 415 More Jobs Amid Belt Tightening
BBC News plans to cut 415 jobs as cost-cutting measures continue. The move is part of efficiency savings required after the license fee was frozen in 2010. News head James Harding has also set out restructuring plans to put the BBC "at the forefront of news for the digital age."
Clear Channel Brings Outdoor Ads to Life on Phones
Clear Channel Outdoor has launched a tech platform for connecting out-of-home advertisements with smartphones. The platform turns outdoor structures like mall kiosks and airport signs into digital interfaces that passersby can activate through mobile location sensors.
ABC: Our Fall Schedule Reflects 'Authentic' America
ABC's fall slate includes new series about black, Asian-American and Hispanic families. But calling the network's choices a case study in diversity is to miss the point, said entertainment head Paul Lee. "That's not so much diversity as authenticity when you reflect America."
NBC, ABC Benefit from Late-Night Hosts' Web Videos
New York Times
A brand survey by YouGov found that it is "absolutely the case" that the online video clips posted by late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel have the potential to boost the perceptions of their respective broadcast networks. "They may be providing a halo effect."
CBS Chief, Interactive Head Discuss Network's Future
CBS makes more money per streaming viewer than per TV viewer, according to CEO Les Moonves and interactive head Jim Lanzone. The company's online division is seeing about 200 million users a month in China, they said, adding that international business is "exploding."
Fox News Host's Racial Slur Stirs Up Chinese Media
Bob Beckel, a host on Fox News Channel, is said to have used a racial slur when speaking of China's threat to U.S. security. The remark prompted an outcry from Chinese Americans and calls for him to resign. The clamor may get louder now that Chinese media have picked up the story.
Sinclair Moves Closer to Finalizing Allbritton TV Deal
Wall Street Journal
Sinclair moved closer to closing its long-pending $985 million purchase of the Allbritton family's TV holdings, after agreeing to settle a Justice Department lawsuit requiring it to divest one of the seven stations it agreed to buy. Abritton's ABC affiliate in Harrisburg, Pa., is to be divested.
Comcast Buys 'Smart Internet' Startup PowerCloud
Last year, Skydog was an interesting Kickstarter project promising a cloud-based router built to give better individual control over your connected devices. Now, parent company PowerCloud Systems has been acquired by Comcast as a part of its quest to provide "smart Internet."
NBCUniversal's Oxygen Unveils New Logo, Tagline
As NBCUniversal continues to look at revitalizing its cable portfolio, the latest network to get a rebrand is the female-targeted Oxygen, which has debuted a new logo and tagline, "Very real." Under the rebrand, Oxygen will focus on "authentic, proudly imperfect and diverse characters."
ESPN, Univision Set Records for Final of World Cup
Germany's victory over Argentina in soccer's World Cup final drew record TV audiences. Disney's ESPN said its telecast on ABC averaged 17.3 million viewers, while Univision's broadcast averaged 9.2 million. The networks said those figures were records for a World Cup final.
Univision Becomes Takeover Bait Amid World Cup
Buoyed by its World Cup success, Univision's profile has been increasing on Main Street and, perhaps, on Wall Street. With major broadcasting companies anxious to tap into the fast-growing Hispanic-American market, Univision may find renewed interest as a potential takeover target.
Fox Broadcasting Loses Bid to Halt 'Dish Anywhere'
Fox Broadcasting has lost again in its attempt to stop Dish's Hopper with Sling, also known as "Dish Anywhere." Fox's bid came after it was denied a preliminary injunction on the initial Hopper, an ad-skipping DVR that broadcasters contended was an unlicensed video-on-demand service.
Sirius XM Taps 'View's' Exiting McCarthy for Series
We haven't heard the last of Jenny McCarthy, even though her stint on ABC's "The View" is ending this summer. Sirius XM announced that she will host a limited-run, one-hour weekly series starting Wednesday. The series will be called "Dirty, Sexy, Funny with Jenny McCarthy."
CNN Hires Ex-Fox Newser Camerota as Contributor
Former "Fox & Friends" co-host Alisyn Camerota has joined CNN after 16 years at Fox News, the news network said. The veteran TV journalist began her new role as anchor at CNN on Monday after parting ways with Fox News in March. Camerota had joined Fox News in 1998.
Univision Scores Big with Exposure from World Cup
New York Times
Univision spent about a half-million dollars on new technology to makes its system faster, and its World Cup broadcasts have beaten ESPN's and ABC's to viewers, if only by a matter of seconds. "Who doesn't want to yell 'Goal!' five or six seconds before their neighbors?"
NBC Reteaming with Cosby for New Family Comedy
More than 20 years after "The Cosby Show" ended its run on NBC, Bill Cosby is returning to the network to headline a new family comedy. Cosby is teaming with former "Cosby Show" producer Tom Werner of Carsey Werner for a new family comedy in which he would star.
CNN Eyes Religious Scholar for Possible New Show
CNN said it is in talks with religious scholar Reza Aslan for a possible series. The word came after Aslan, who recently wrote a book about Jesus, tweeted a hint that he expects to join the cable news network. Asked for details, Aslan said more information would be coming soon.
Fox Business Journalist Thrown Out of Sun Valley
New York Post
Charlie Gasparino, a correspondent with Fox Business Network, managed to get himself booted from the exclusive Sun Valley media conference after two run-ins with security. "I know that these are big moguls, but I've never seen a company hire a bigger bunch of storm troopers," he said.
ABC's 'The View' Considering Curry for Co-Host
New York Post
Add Ann Curry to the names being bandied about to fill the empty chairs on "The View." The former "Today" host reportedly is being considered as a possible co-host. Other candidates include Mario Cantone, Bernadette Peters, Leah Remini, S.E. Cupp and Meghan McCain.
NBC Camera Fire Injures Six at Rockefeller Plaza
NBC 4 New York
A piece of camera equipment at the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza caught fire Sunday evening, and embers from the fire landed on several visitors on the observation deck, causing slight burns. It is not yet clear what sparked the fire to the camera, which belongs to NBC 4 New York.
ABC Appoints First Chief for Programmatic Ad Sales
ABC has hired Mike Dean as its first head of programmatic and data-driven ad sales. During its upfront in May, ABC announced it would test a new level of data-driven ad sales for its online video inventory this summer. Dean joins ABC from the online video ad platform Videology.
ESPN to Offer Tiger-Only Broadcast at British Open
ESPN's coverage of next week's British Open will include an exclusive Tiger Woods broadcast. The feed will follow Woods for each round, available on ESPN3. "Like it or not, Tiger is the main draw. Offering viewers the all-Tiger experience makes perfect sense."
HBO, Netflix Duke It Out for Emmy Award Nominations
Wall Street Journal
HBO led the pack in nominations for the 66th annual Emmy Awards. Its "Game of Thrones" received 19 nods alone. But Netflix is coming on strong. The on-demand streaming company notched 31 nominations, more than double its total from when it burst onto the scene last year.
Cinemax Hoping to Shed 'Skinemax' Rep with Drama
The Steven Soderbergh-helmed "The Knick" is the most ambitious effort in Cinemax's attempt to rebrand itself as a channel with original programming on par with HBO. Time Warner and HBO execs are hoping the show will be similar to what "House of Cards" became for Netflix.
CNN to Develop Talent Complementing On-Air Stars
Capital New York
CNN intends to try and develop on-air talent of its own to complement its roster of well-known names. "Going forward we would like to create some of our own," said CNN chief Jeff Zucker, "and that is something you will probably see us try over the next year or two."
ABC: O'Donnell Returns to 'The View' in September
Rosie O'Donnell will return to ABC's "The View" this September for a second act. ABC announced via Twitter that O'Donnell will join Whoopi Goldberg on the nearly empty couch at the daytime chatfest. O'Donnell spent a combative eight months on "The View," ending in 2007.
CBS' Simon & Schuster Sees Hillary Memoir Toppled
New York Times
Edward Klein's "Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas," a 320-page unauthorized and barely sourced account, has toppled Hillary Clinton's new memoir, "Hard Choices," from its spot on the best-seller list. Clinton's multimillion-dollar advance has put added pressure on her publisher.
Comcast Mega Takeover Must Be Blocked, Dish Says
Los Angeles Times
Dish Network wants the government to block Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable. In meetings with top Federal Communications Commission officials, Dish said the deal "presents serious competitive concerns for the broadband and video marketplaces."
Dish, Ergen Sued for $1.5 Billion Over LightSquared
Harbinger Capital Partners has sued Dish Network and its chairman, Charles Ergen, for at least $1.5 billion, accusing them of trying to strip the hedge fund of its control of bankrupt wireless company LightSquared. The suit claims Ergen violated a federal anti-racketeering law.
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.
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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