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Today's Headlines
Thursday, 8/30/12




WPP Chief Predicts Obama Will Win U.S. Election
CNBC
Martin Sorrell, CEO of the world's largest advertising company, said he believes Barack Obama will win November's U.S. presidential election despite being impressed by opposition running mate, Paul Ryan. "I'm not sure it will be quite such a tight margin as people are predicting."

Media Books for Summer Reading
Twitter: Romney Plans Pricey Ad Buy for Thursday
Click Z
On Thursday, when Mitt Romney gives his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the Romney digital team will be aiming for big Twitter buzz. The Romney camp will enter the Twitter advertising domain usually reserved for big brands: the Promoted Trend.

Google Seeks to Sell Unit to Cable-TV Providers
Bloomberg
Google is said to be planning to sell the unit within Motorola Mobility that sells set-top boxes and other equipment to cable TV providers and has hired Barclays to seek buyers. Motorola Mobility's Home Business unit might fetch about $2 billion. The sale is in the very early stages.

TiVo Growth Steps Up, Aided by Cable Operators
Wall Street Journal
TiVo reported that its total subscribers jumped 41% in the second quarter, as the video-recording pioneer continued to add more users through deals with cable and satellite companies. But TiVo continues to face heavy litigation costs, including a battle with Verizon.

Pandora: We're Positioned for Mobile Ad Growth
CNBC
Pandora Media should see continued growth in its mobile revenues as marketers spend more on mobile advertising, said CEO Joseph Kennedy after the Internet radio firm announced better-than-expected quarterly earnings. "Consumers are spending [more] time on mobile."

Study: Mobile Media Content Access is Soaring
Hollywood Reporter
The market for mobile entertainment content soared in the past year, according to a new study by Millennial Media and comScore. Downloads of music, movies, TV shows and e-books were the single largest segment of digital purchases. Overall, entertainment spending grew 133%.

Facebook Co-Founder Moskovitz Selling Shares
Reuters
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has sold more shares in the one-time consumer-Internet darling. Moskovitz has been selling shares at the rate of 150,000 a day since Aug. 19, the first day since Facebook's IPO that certain insiders were allowed to sell their shares.

Yelp Shares Surge as Insiders Hold On to Stock
Associated Press
Yelp's early backers apparently still have a high opinion of the online business review service, much to Wall Street's relief, after insiders at several other Internet companies dumped some of their shares at the first opportunity. Yelp's stock price is up more than 22%.

Yahoo Fires Bureau Chief for Romney Remarks
Associated Press
Yahoo News fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught on an open microphone saying that Mitt Romney and his wife, at the Republican convention in Florida while a hurricane was approaching Louisiana, were "happy to have a party with black people drowning."

Fox Broadcasting Names Chief Operating Officer
Los Angeles Times
Fox Broadcasting has elevated its longtime marketing and public relations executive Joe Earley to a new post as chief operating officer. The promotion is the first major move by Kevin Reilly, who himself was recently promoted to Fox Broadcasting entertainment chairman.

Nickelodeon Ousts 'Dora' Creator in Shake-Up
Los Angeles Times
Reeling from its spectacular ratings fall, Nickelodeon has pushed out animation chief Brown Johnson, the exec most responsible for creating the network's cartoon sensation "Dora the Explorer." Johnson was key to Nickelodeon's enormous success during the last decade.

Dick Clark Productions Near Sale to Guggenheim
Hollywood Reporter
Guggenheim Partners is said to have entered final negotiations to acquire Dick Clark Productions. The deal for the production company behind the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards and other TV programming is expected to close in the next week or two.

Hachette, HarperCollins E-Book Deal Gets Larger
Associated Press
Attorneys general in 55 jurisdictions who claim there was a conspiracy to fix e-book prices said they have joined a $69 million settlement of antitrust claims against Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Shuster. The publishers also will pay $7.5 million to states to cover costs.

Tribune Creditor in Appeal to Halt Reorganization
Chicago Tribune
Seeking to delay Tribune's emergence from bankruptcy without posting a required $1.5 billion bond, Aurelius Capital has filed an 11th hour appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. A similar emergency motion by Aurelius was denied Monday by a U.S. District Court in Delaware.

New York Times Corporate Rating Outlook Reduced
Bloomberg
The New York Times's outlook for its corporate debt rating was reduced to "stable" from "positive" by Moody's Investors Service, citing falling print sales and slow progress in reducing debt. The Times has been shedding businesses to pay down debt and focus on its flagship product.

Craigslist: A 'Crime Cesspool' as Robberies Increase
San Francisco Chronicle
The San Francisco area is seeing a growing number of Craigslist robberies, dubbed by police "robberies by appointment." Craigslist insists that such activity is "extremely low." The site is responsible for "hundreds of millions of safe transactions," said CEO Jim Buckmaster.

Huffington Post Opens 'Lab' for News Experiments
TechCrunch
News publishers are becoming tech companies, right down to the Google Labs-style experimental sites. HuffPost Labs is unveiling its first project: Highlights, a collection of the most popular sentences from articles and blog posts across the Huffington Post empire.

Reddit Hosts Surprise Q&A Session with Obama
Washington Post
President Obama participated in a surprise open question-and-answer session Wednesday on Reddit, as the subject of one of the social news site's "Ask Me Anything" threads. Reddit experienced outages immediately following the announcement, due to increased traffic.

Wall Street Journal Columnist Noonan Starts Blog
Politico
Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan has started a blog. Out of the gate, Noonan "is actually proven to have a great knack for the medium — a mix of opinion and reporting, first-person informal, relatively frequent. Not bad for a 61-year-old veteran of the long form."

New York Times Style Magazine Seeks New Editor
WWD
New York Times execs are said to be in talks with possible successors to Sally Singer, who is stepping down as editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Among the names being bandied about: Deborah Needleman, Michael Hainey and Stuart Emmrich.

Murdoch British Newspapers Hit with More Arrests
Telegraph
Tom Crone, former legal manager of the News of the World, has been arrested by police investigating the phone hacking scandal. Also: Patrick Foster, a former media reporter at the Times of London, has been arrested for allegedly hacking an anonymous police blogger.




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MAGAZINES & NEWSPAPERS

New York Times Leads Group in Mobile Patent Suit
Associated Press
The New York Times is spearheading a group of companies that oppose paying a $750,000 patent fee to use technology for sending text messages with web links to mobile phones. "In some ways, it's a tax for being on the Internet." The group includes Comcast and CBS.

Washington Post Invests in Education Tech Site
AllThingsD
EdSurge, a site that covers the boom in education technology, has raised a $400,000 seed round led by the Washington Post and NewSchools Venture Fund, along with angels including Allen & Co.'s Nancy Peretsman. EdSurge is run by veteran tech reporter Elizabeth Corcoran.

McClatchy Launches Tablet-Only Sports Magazine
Talking New Media
The Star-Telegram, McClatchy's daily newspaper serving Dallas-Fort Worth, has released a tablet-only sports magazine into Apple's Newsstand. DFW OT Sports is described as an experiment in digital publishing "that should be applauded by all newspaper professionals."

Newhouse Empire Shrinks Amid Frequency Cuts
New York Post
The Newhouse family is moving to chop the frequency of its Syracuse Post-Standard daily to three days a week, and insiders say it is now inevitable that the same move will eventually befall its other Northeast newspapers, including the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.

Star Tribune to Sell Land for Apartment Project
Star Tribune
The Star Tribune of Minneapolis plans to sell an acre of land in the heart of the city's warehouse district to a development group for the construction of a six-story apartment building. Terms of the sale weren't disclosed. The land being sold is currently an employee parking lot.

Wall Street Journal Eyes Tech Startups with Café
Marketing Week
The Wall Street Journal plans to target the technology sector by hosting a pop-up café in London's Tech City next month. The newspaper hopes to raise its profile with a series of events hosted by its tech editors and featuring speakers from the likes of Google and Facebook.

New York Times Style Magazine Editor to Depart
WWD
Sally Singer's brief stint as editor of T: The New York Times Style Magazine will come to an end on Friday. While some sources said Singer was asked to step down, others claim she chose to leave. The advertising sales team is said to have had a hard time selling Singer's T.

Time Magazine's Publisher Search Stretches On
Adweek
It's been close to two months that Time magazine has been without a publisher, and Time Inc. is still on the hunt for a new head for its namesake title. Time Inc. veteran Leslie Picard is said to be a strong contender for the job, which Kim Kelleher quit to run Say Media.

Variety Sale Hits a Snag as Bidders Balk at Price
New York Post
Billionaire Marc Lasry's bid to buy Hollywood trade Variety for around $30 million to $40 million is said to have hit a snag. The New York hedge-funder's Avenue Capital is reported to have lowered its bid after running numbers on the deal. "Everyone's been balking at the price."

News of the World Former Scotland Editor Detained
Scottish Daily Record
The former editor of the News of the World in Scotland has been detained by police. Bob Bird is being questioned by officers over "conduct" in relation to a 2006 defamation action by former member of Scottish parliament Tommy Sheridan against the News Corp. newspaper.

Sun's Prince Harry Photos Draw 3,600 Complaints
Guardian
The U.K. Press Complaints Commission has received 3,600 complaints about the Sun's publication of "embarrassing" photos of Prince Harry in Las Vegas. Most of the complaints are over an alleged invasion of privacy. The Sun is the only British newspaper to reproduce the images.

Gawker Mulls Buying Pic of Ryan Lochte Genitals
Deadspin
Gawker Media site Deadspin said it is in negotiations to buy a photo allegedly showing Olympic swimming star Ryan Lochte's private parts. The photo is a neck-down bathroom-mirror self-portrait. The image has "sparked an editorial debate in the Gawker Media newsroom."

Huffington Greets Guests at Her Personal 'Oasis'
Washington Examiner
Arianna Huffington personally greets guests at the Huffington Post Oasis at the Republican convention. "I love meeting people," she said. The Huffington Post is setting up pop-up stations at both party conventions, offering free massages, meals and make-up touch-ups.

Craigslist Tests Embedded Maps in Housing Ads
Talking Points Memo
Craigslist has begun testing embedded maps on advertisements for housing in San Francisco and Portland, Ore. The classified advertising site's ad maps use data from OpenStreetMap, a site that seeks to offer free and reliable location data compiled by volunteers.

New York Times Revamps Video Player for Online
Next Web
The New York Times has relaunched its online video player, designed for "optimal viewing across platforms and devices," including the web, mobile phones and tablets. Viewers can "discover content they were not expecting to find. It's just another way to experience our journalism."

Wall Street Journal Introduces WSJ WorldStream
BtoB
The Wall Street Journal has launched WSJ WorldStream, a news platform for short-form videos shot with smartphones by journalists from the Journal and Dow Jones & Co. The videos will be embedded in stories on WSJ.com and integrated into the Journal's live video programming.

Dow Jones's MarketWatch Names Acting Editor
Talking Biz News
Jonathan Krim, senior deputy managing editor of WSJ.com, has been named acting editor of MarketWatch. Krim has consulted with the Dow Jones & Co. financial news site on various initiatives "that have been instrumental in MarketWatch's significant audience growth."

Report: 300 U.S. Newspapers Erect Web Paywalls
News & Tech
The number of U.S. newspapers with metered paywalls or other digital-subscriber initiatives has more than doubled in the past year, as publishers race to boost their digital circulation revenues. Some 300 U.S. newspapers are now charging a fee to read their digital content.

Study: Newspaper Olympic Coverage Bests Twitter
Media Week
Nearly three in 10 U.K. online adults went to newspaper websites to follow the Olympics, surpassing Twitter and Facebook, according to new research commissioned by newspaper marketing body Newsworks. "More readers turn to news brands at times of big national events."

Tribune Challenge to Stay Bankruptcy Exit Denied
Chicago Tribune
An emergency motion by junior creditor Aurelius Capital to stay Tribune's emergence from bankruptcy for six months has been denied. If the Wednesday deadline passes, Tribune can begin to move forward under a reorganization plan to hand ownership over to senior creditors.

Buzzmedia Acquires Four Punk-Rock Music Sites
Los Angeles Business
Spin magazine owner Buzzmedia has acquired four punk-rock websites to form a new suite of online music properties. The sites — Under The Gun Review, Alter The Press!, PropertyOfZack and Punknews.org — will join Buzzmedia's AbsolutePunk to form a hub called AbsoluteVoices.

Meredith Taps Digital Sales Exec for Allrecipes Site
Adweek
Meredith has made a big bet on digital, and now it's hired an industry veteran to take advantage of it. Carolyn Bekkedahl has been named senior VP of digital sales, a new position for Allrecipes.com, the food site that Meredith bought from Reader's Digest Association.

Backstage Rolls Out Redo of Website, Print Edition
Fishbowl LA
Backstage magazine's website has been redesigned to compete more directly with Gary Marsh's Actors Access and NowCasting.com. "Now, actors can connect directly with casting opportunities on backstage.com." Also, the 52-year-old title's print edition will be redesigned.

Bloomberg Launches Glossy Mag for Conventions
WWD
Bloomberg LP has launched Bloomberg Insider, a glossy magazine running for the duration of the Republican and Democratic conventions, with stories by staffers from various company divisions. The title is meant to "elevate the visibility of Bloomberg and showcase [our] resources."

New York Times Sells About.com to Diller's IAC
New York Times
The New York Times has agreed to sell the About.com information website to Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp for about $300 million in cash. The Times bought the business in 2005 for a little over $400 million. But About.com suffered from a decline in traffic last year.

Variety Sale Held Up by Financial Inconsistencies
The Deal
Reed Business Information announced the auction of Variety, the Hollywood trade publication, back in March. Financial inconsistencies are said to be holding up due diligence. The asset, previously part of a 50-magazine portfolio, must be evaluated as a standalone business.

Valassis Gets Rate Break as Newspapers Protest
Crain's Detroit
The U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission has approved a plan to give direct-mail giant Valassis a lower price for circulars it puts in the mail, handing newspapers the latest challenge to their traditional business. The Newspaper Association of America calls the deal "damaging."

Tribune Creditors Aim to Get Appeal Bond Dropped
Chicago Tribune
With only days to come up with a $1.5 billion bond to keep Tribune from exiting bankruptcy, junior creditor Aurelius Capital has filed a motion with the U.S. District Court in Delaware seeking to have the bond requirement removed. Appellants must post the bond by Wednesday.

USA Today: No Plans to Charge for Online Content
Bloomberg
USA Today has no plans to charge for online content or mobile apps, said chief Larry Kramer. "We have not considered that possibility." Publisher Gannett has transferred about half of its 82 newspapers to a pay model, though USA Today's website hasn't been part of that shift.

Washington Post's Slate Magazine Names Publisher
Adweek
Slate, the Washington Post's online magazine, recently created a dedicated sales force to capitalize on its traffic growth, and now it's getting a new publisher to lead it. Matt Turck, the VP of sales and marketing who built up the new team, will start in the new role Sept. 10.

Wall Street Journal's Free Wi-Fi to Collect User Data
paidContent
The Wall Street Journal has begun offering free Wi-Fi in more than 1,300 hotspots in New York plus more in San Francisco. "We're always looking for ways to give people the opportunity to sample the Wall Street Journal." The service is expected to garner valuable customer data.

Murdoch Orders Sun to Publish Prince Harry Photos
Independent
Rupert Murdoch ordered his U.K. Sun tabloid to publish "embarrassing" photos of Prince Harry against the wishes of the royal family because he wanted to send a warning shot to the Leveson inquiry on press ethics, sources said. The Sun's move has sparked criticism and praise.

Vanity Fair Taps Top Tech Scoopmonger Swisher
Wired
Kara Swisher, one of tech's best known and most aggressive journalists, agreed to write profiles and tech-related features for Vanity Fair magazine after overtures from longtime editor Graydon Carter, she said. Vanity Fair is "a great place to write bigger and longer pieces."

Glamour to Publish Interview with President Obama
WWD
Add Glamour magazine to the list of nonpolitical publications that have scored an interview with President Obama. Editor in chief Cindi Leive flew to Portland, Ore., last month to sit down with the president for an interview that will appear in the magazine's November issue.

Forbes 'Reinvents' Its Digital Publishing Platform
Journalism.co.uk
Since the start of the "reinvention" of Forbes.com two years ago there have been significant changes, not just to the production and presentation of content online, but also in the way its content is being consumed and reached across the web. Traffic via social and search has risen.

Advertising Age to Reduce Size, Focus on Analysis
New York Times
Advertising Age, the trade publication covering Madison Avenue, will soon introduce a significant redesign, aiming to redirect its editorial focus in a digital world toward analysis from breaking news. Its size will be pared from 10.44 inches by 14.5 inches to 10 inches by 13 inches.

Old Media Remains Most Trusted for News, Poll Says
Los Angeles Times
Facebook and Internet portals such as Google and Yahoo increasingly provide Americans their gateway for news, but the bulk of voters who catch up on current events daily turn to traditional sources, according to a new poll by USC Annenberg and the Los Angeles Times.

Time Inc Sees 'Urgency' in Digital Video Overhaul
New York Post
Time Inc. CEO Laura Lang has tapped a trio of top execs to lead several high-level strategy groups, following a three-month study by management consultant Bain & Co. One area of study is digital video, spanning from video on websites to smartphones to YouTube channels.

Rodale Hands Walking Papers to Prevention Editor
New York Post
David Zinczenko, head of Rodale's healthy living group, is shaking up Prevention, handing walking papers to editor in chief Diane Salvatore. The magazine has not named a replacement. "We've made the decision to take Prevention in a new direction," Zinczenko said.

Conde Nast Launches Russian Edition of Allure
WWD
Conde Nast International has unveiled the debut edition of Allure Russia, with the title's September issue. The beauty-focused Allure is the ninth magazine to be published by Conde Nast Russia, following the launch of titles including Vogue, Glamour, GQ and Conde Nast Traveller.

Hearst Names Top Sales Exec for Integrated Media
The Wrap
Hearst Interactive Media has promoted Jeff Hamill to executive VP of sales and marketing. Hamill, a 30-year Hearst veteran, will run group advertising sales, marketing efforts and corporate research for the company's 20 magazine brands. "Jeff has been an incredible asset."

Bonnier Creates Accelerator Program for Startups
Advertising Age
Bonnier, the publisher of magazines including Popular Science, is beginning an effort to identify promising early-stage startups in the media space. The new Bonnier Innovation Lab will select four startups to receive at least $25,000 in seed funding, as well as services and support.

Atlantic's Business News Venture Nearing Launch
TalkingBizNews
Kevin Delaney, editor of the Atlantic's new business news venture Quartz, has sent an email to potential readers who signed up online: "We're approaching the launch in just a matter of weeks. We've been focused on identifying the seismic themes of today's global economy."

CNN, Time Magazine Launch App for Conventions
min
Time Warner has introduced a CNN-Time "Convention Floor Pass" app, a mobile tool that will provide information on the political conventions. The app's offerings include 24/7 breaking news updates and alerts, daily analysis and commentary, and early access to CNN-Time polls.

New York Magazine's The Cut Loses Editorial Chief
WWD
Editorial director Stephanie Trong has left The Cut, New York magazine's fashion blog-turned-website, after only a year. A spokeswoman said Trong had been on personal leave and decided not to return. Sources have speculated that Trong was asked not to come back.

Glam Media Signs Up Greene for Foodie Website
Forbes
Gael Greene, the "legendary" former food critic for New York magazine, plans to join Foodie.com, the cooking-and-eating community started in February by Glam Media. Greene has signed on to be part of a board of advisors. She will also be contributing to Foodie as a writer.

Gannett's USA Today Eyes Fees for Mobile Apps
Bloomberg
USA Today may charge for mobile apps on smartphones and tablet computers, according to Larry Kramer, president and publisher. "There is not going to be just one business model anymore. If people want it on their cell phone, they may have to pay for it on their cell phone."

>> MORE




TELEVISION & RADIO

ESPN, Major League Baseball in $5.6 Billion Deal
SportsBusiness Daily
ESPN has agreed to a deal that locks down Major League Baseball rights into the next decade. The eight-year deal is worth $5.6 billion, approximately doubling the amount ESPN currently pays the league. The new deal includes TV, digital, international and radio rights.

Liberty Media Increases Stake in Sirius XM Radio
Wall Street Journal
Liberty Media has raised its stake in satellite-radio operator Sirius XM Radio to 48.8% from 48.1%, according to a regulatory filing. If Liberty gets U.S. blessing to take absolute control, the company will be freed to replace Sirius management and pursue other options.

CBS Sees Older Viewers Becoming More Important
Bloomberg
CBS, derided by rivals for attracting TV viewers too old for advertisers to care about, says 54 is the new 49. The last of the U.S. Baby Boomers turn 48 this year, moving into the sweet spot for luxury cars, financial services and pharmaceuticals, three of CBS's largest ad categories.

NBC Veteran to Oversee Digital for Shine America
Hollywood Reporter
After 19 years at NBCUniversal, Vivi Zigler is heading to News Corp.'s Shine America. The exec has been named president of Shine 360° & Digital at Shine America, where she will run digital operations. "Shine is a company that thinks multiplatform, multidiscipline," she said.

MTV to Ramp Up Digital for Video Music Awards
Broadcasting & Cable
MTV has added new features and expanded others as part of its digital efforts for the Video Music Awards on Sept. 6. Additions this year include a CoverGirl sponsorship for an expanded Facebook Timeline Tracker and a tool allowing users to create and share animated GIFs.

Time Warner Cable Ups Speeds as Google Looms
Bloomberg
Time Warner Cable plans to expand fiber-optic lines to businesses in New York. "We're positioning New York City as a much more tech-savvy place to work." The company faces a threat from Google in Kansas City, where the Internet giant is testing its own fiber-optic network.

Comcast Veteran Joins Second Screen TV Startup
Next Web
Yap.TV, a startup that lets broadcasters and content owners manage their second screen experience, has named former Comcast VP Todd Brown as chief revenue officer and EVP of business development. According to Brown, Yap.TV has "a vision for the future."

Fox Refines Strategies for Digital Series Premieres
Variety
"Ben and Kate" and "The Mindy Project" can be streamed on numerous digital platforms prior to their Sept. 25 premiere on Fox. The two new comedies will be available via Yahoo, Fox.com, IMDB and Hulu, as well as the 70 other sites that host the Hulu player, including Facebook.

ABC: Roberts to Start Medical Leave from 'GMA'
Associated Press
Robin Roberts said Friday will be her last day co-anchoring "Good Morning America" for a while, making official the start date for her extended medical leave from the ABC morning show. Roberts told viewers in July that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease.

ABC's 'Katie' Will Be Similar to 'Oprah,' Couric Says
Newsweek
Katie Couric's new ABC syndicated daytime talk show debuts Sept. 10. "Katie" will "explore important issues in the way that Oprah did," said Couric. She adds: "Comparisons are inevitable. I'm a very different person from Oprah, with my own sensibilities and life experience."

CNN, New York Times Urged to Merge by Analyst
InvestorPlace
Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes "probably would buy" the New York Times to bolster the company's flagging CNN network — if the publisher were for sale. Even though it's not, the case for CNN and the New York Times to joins forces "remains compelling" and "simply makes sense."

Fox Asks Court to Ban Dish Ad-Skipping Features
Reuters
Fox Broadcasting has asked a court to put a stop to features on Dish's digital video recorder that let consumers skip commercials because it is hurting its business. Fox is seeking a preliminary injunction against Dish because it is "likely to suffer irreparable harm."

Report: TV Ad Campaigns Fail to Reach Audiences
Financial Times
As much as 75% of TV advertising is viewed by just 20% of its target audience, according to a report by ad targeter Simulmedia. Unilever's $6.3 million TV ad campaign for its Axe body spray was not seen by 60% of the 18 to 24-year-olds it was intended to reach, the report said.

TV Guide Updates App for Curation, Social Features
Digital Trends
TV Guide has released a major update to its iOS app, which includes a listing of sources for watching favorite TV shows offline and online, social features and video curation. The feature known as "Watchlist" saves TV shows and notifies the user of where they can be watched.

NBC Affiliate in Utah Declines to Air 'New Normal'
Deseret News
KSL-TV, an NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City, Utah, will not air "The New Normal," a new sitcom about a single woman's life as a surrogate mother for a gay couple. "For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time."

Fox, Dodgers in Talks on Multi-Billion Dollar TV Deal
Reuters
News Corp.'s Fox Sports and the Los Angeles Dodgers professional baseball team are said to have begun preliminary talks on a multi-billion dollar deal for cable TV. The deal being discussed is believed to include joint ownership of English- and Spanish-language channels.

CNN Seeks Boost with HBO Sports, News Programs
New York Times
As Time Warner attempts to reinvigorate its 24-hour cable news channel, the company has pushed for CNN to incorporate HBO's sports and documentaries into its lineup of news programs. "We're moving toward doing more original long-form programming on the weekends."

MTV Eyes Snooki's Baby for 'Jersey' Appearance
Associated Press
"Jersey Shore" star Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi has given birth to her first child, a boy. In a statement, MTV congratulated Polizzi and looked toward the newborn's possible appearance on the network's hit reality TV show: "We look forward to Lorenzo's first trip to the Jersey Shore."

Oprah Ratings Up with Book Club, Celeb Interviews
New York Post
The book club is back; so are the blockbuster celebrity interviews. Life is looking good again for Oprah Winfrey. Total day viewership for her OWN network has risen from 52,000 in 2011 to 66,000 in the target 25-to-54-year-old women's demographic, according to Nielsen.

Dish Network Accused of Violating 'Do Not Call' List
Reuters
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is suing Dish Network, accusing the satellite TV provider of violating telemarketing rules by calling millions of customers who had asked not to be contacted by the company. The FTC alleges that Dish has called millions of people since 2007.

Cablevision, Dish Blackouts Give Ad Guys Angina
New York Post
Escalating programming battles are said to be hurting TV ratings, disrupting scheduled commercial time and jacking up advertising rates. The situation is bad enough that some Madison Avenue execs said it threatens to upend the entire pay-TV business model.

CNN, Time Magazine Launch App for Conventions
min
Time Warner has introduced a CNN-Time "Convention Floor Pass" app, a mobile tool that will provide information on the political conventions. The app's offerings include 24/7 breaking news updates and alerts, daily analysis and commentary, and early access to CNN-Time polls.

Fox News Reveals Author of Bin Laden Raid Tell-All
Fox News
The author of an insider account of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden has been identified by Fox News as a 36-year-old former Navy SEAL. The book, "No Easy Day," is set to hit shelves on Sept 11. It is penned under the pseudonym "Mark Owen," according to the publisher.

CNN Taps Filmmaker Spurlock for Weekend Series
Associated Press
Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock is coming to CNN for a new weekend series, "Inside Man," which will take a close look at American life. Spurlock is best known for his Oscar-nominated film "Super Size Me," where he subsisted on only McDonald's food for 30 days.

Univision Plans TV Forums with Obama, Romney
New York Times
Univision's request for a presidential debate may have been rejected, but the Spanish-language network has succeeded in securing both President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney for "Meet the Candidate" forums. The candidates will participate in separate Q-and-A sessions.

Current TV to Share Half of the Screen with Twitter
Advertising Age
Current TV is handing over half of its screen to Twitter during the conventions. The news channel will pair convention coverage on the left side of the screen with a Twitter feed on the right. "It's hard to compete with the big networks. We need to do something that looks different."

Sirius XM Loses Bid to Halt Liberty Media Takeover
Bloomberg
Sirius XM Radio shareholders have lost a bid to stop Liberty Media from seeking to acquire a controlling stake in the satellite-radio provider after a judge denied their request to block further share purchases. The shareholders' request was deemed "a bit of a stretch."

Study: TV Reruns Losing Viewers Amid New Options
Los Angeles Times
Prime-time network reruns, once a reliable source of ratings and advertising revenue, are losing their appeal as the media landscape becomes more crowded, according to a study by ad agency RPA. Also, the major networks are struggling to hold on to younger viewers.

CNN, Facebook Launch 'I'm Voting' App for Users
VentureBeat
Want to tell all your Facebook friends that you're voting this year? CNN and the social network want to make that easy for you with the new "I'm Voting" Facebook app. The news network plans to use data produced from the app as a sort of "second screen" for its news segments.

>> MORE



INTERNET & DIGITAL MEDIA

Hulu 'Morning After' Taps Old Spice Guy as Host
Adweek
Isaiah Mustafa, best known as the towel-wearing star of the Old Spice commercials, has been named host of "The Morning After," a pop-culture show airing on Hulu, the video site. According to Mustafa, the five-to-seven-minute show "speaks to those who sit in an office job."

YouTube Updates Xbox Live App for Speed, Ads
VentureBeat
YouTube has released an update to its app for the Microsoft Xbox Live that gives the video player a significant speed boost. Among other additions, the app can now display advertising within videos. The video site has also added music video channels to the service.

Google Uses Home Page to Push Its Own Tablet
New York Times
Google's stark white home page — the most-viewed website on the Internet — would be any advertiser's dream. Google is taking full advantage of that for itself by running an ad for the Nexus 7, the company's $199 tablet computer that competes with the Kindle Fire.

Amazon's Zappos Merges Pinterest, E-Commerce
Bloomberg
Amazon's Zappos online store has created a service that recommends purchases based on what users post on Pinterest, a move to parlay the popularity of the social-sharing site into e-commerce sales. The new web page is called PinPointing and suggests Zappos products.

Twitter in Legal Battle Over Ownership of Tweets
CNBC
Who owns your tweets? And what about all of that personal information you have given Twitter? Those questions are the focus of a battle the microblogging company is waging with a New York State judge. Twitter says that its users own their tweets; the court says Twitter does.

Apple's Samsung Dispute Part of War with Google
San Jose Mercury News
While Apple won a billion-dollar jury verdict last week in a patent dispute with Samsung, the trial was just one front in a broader war between the iPhone-maker and Google, experts said. Google's Android mobile software outranks Apple's as the leading smartphone platform.

Google Reveals Relationship with Stanford Professor
The Verge
Google has followed up with a judge's order to disclose anyone it might have paid to influence coverage of its trial against Oracle. The list includes well-known Stanford professor Mark Lemley, who is often quoted without mentioning his relationship with the Internet giant.

Twitter Seeks to Protect Occupy Wall Street Protester
Wired News
Twitter has filed an appeal asking for a New York court to reconsider rulings ordering it to turn over tweets and information on accounts used by Malcolm Harris, an Occupy Wall Street protester. According to Twitter, Harris's tweets are protected by the Fourth Amendment.

Facebook, Twitter Get Cozy at Republican Convention
ClickZ
Most of the companies at the Republican convention are traditional media outlets with spaces for their reporters. Facebook and Twitter are also present. The two social media firms are sharing a space. "Our goals here are the same — to facilitate open engagement."

AOL Unveils $600 Million Buyback, Special Dividend
Bloomberg
AOL has announced a $600 million accelerated stock buyback agreement and a special cash dividend of $5.15 a share, the final steps in returning about $1.1 billion to shareholders. This month AOL rose to its highest value since it was spun out of Time Warner in 2009.

Yahoo Hires Amazon Veteran as Marketing Chief
AllThingsD
Kathy Savitt, founder and CEO of Seattle-based Lockerz, has been named chief marketing officer at Yahoo. Savitt marks one of Marissa Mayer's most senior appointments since she took over as CEO. Savitt is a former Amazon VP of strategic communications, content and initiatives.

Pinterest, Instagram Global Market Share Grows
Search Engine Watch
Pinterest and Instagram have taken over in the race among niche social networks, both experiencing astronomical growth rates around the world, according to new data from Experian. "They haven't tried to be 'another Facebook.' They both identified a gap in the market."

YouTube: Larry King to Anchor Political Coverage
TV Newser
Former CNN host Larry King will be anchoring live election coverage this year, competing with his old friends at the cable news network. King will anchor coverage on YouTube during both the Republican and Democratic conventions. On election night, he will anchor a live special.

Apple Expected to Unveil 'iPad Mini' in October
AllThingsD
Apple's next generation iPhone and its so-called "iPad mini" will debut at two separate events this autumn, rather than a single one as has been widely speculated, according to several sources. The iPhone event is said to be Sept. 12, with the "iPad mini" event expected in October.

Facebook Hires Gehry to Design New Campus
PC World
Facebook has commissioned world-renowned architect Frank Gehry to design its first custom-built campus. The new facility, in Menlo Park, Calif., will house 3,400 engineers in a single building — and allow both Gehry and Facebook to make a distinctive mark on Silicon Valley.

Reddit Founder Plans 'Internet 2012' Bus Tour
CNN
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of social sharing site Reddit, has been raising funds for the Internet 2012 Bus Tour. "From taxes, to health care, to immigration —Democrats and Republicans can't seem to agree on anything. Both sides should be championing the open Internet."

Apple Gets More Than $1 Billion in Samsung Suit
San Francisco Chronicle
A federal jury has decided that Samsung ripped off the technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad, in a verdict that could have major implications for the future of smartphones and tablet computers. Apple was awarded damages of nearly $1.05 billion.

YouTube to Cut Weak Professional Video Channels
New York Post
YouTube kicked off an ambitious plan last February to establish dozens of professionally produced channels. The video site now plans to cut some of the less successful channels. "They'll cull the herd and work with the best. They're going to be deciding on new people to fund."

Amazon Adds NBC Shows to Prime Video Lineup
Associated Press
Amazon has added NBC shows to its roster of free videos that can be watched online by customers who pay $79 a year for unlimited free shipping on goods bought at the online retailer. The deal adds prior seasons of TV shows such as "Parenthood" and "Heroes."

Twitter: India Threatens to Take Action Against Site
Voice of America
The government of India is threatening to take action against Twitter unless the social media website fails to remove material officials fear could further inflame ethnic tensions. The directive comes after false Internet reports caused thousands to flee cities across India.

Facebook Doubles Speed of App for Mobile Devices
Bloomberg
Facebook is updating its app for Apple's iPhone and iPad to make it faster for users who access the service via mobile devices. The software aims to double the speed for starting the app and scrolling through the news feed. The new update is "focused on one thing: speed."

Microsoft Unveils New Corporate Logo, Stirs Criticism
Puget Sound Business
Microsoft has unveiled a new logo, marking the first time in 25 years the software giant has made a design change. The new logo draws on the heritage of Microsoft's "brand values." Critics have pointed out that the logo font and color palate are similar to Google's.

Groupon Exodus of Execs Continues with Senior VP
Reuters
Lee Brown, who oversees national sales at Groupon, has decided to leave the daily deals company, following other execs who left the firm this year. Groupon has lost about three quarters of its market value since the company's IPO last year on concerns that growth is slowing.

Amazon to Unveil New Kindles at Press Conference
CNET News
Amazon has sent out invitations for a Sept. 6 press conference in Santa Monica, Calif., where the company is expected to introduce new Kindle devices. Whether Amazon will introduce a larger 10-inch tablet to compete directly with the Apple iPad remains a possibility.

Zynga Seen at 'Worst Value' Among Internet Media
Bloomberg
Zynga's operations are getting the least credit in public markets among Internet media companies, and management's refusal to consider a sale as growth slows is blocking an avenue for shareholders to recoup losses. Zynga shares are priced at the worst valuation in the industry.

Facebook Co-Founder Moskovitz Sells Off Shares
Associated Press
Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz has shed 450,000 shares of the company for proceeds of about $9 million — a tiny chunk of his total stake. Moskovitz was Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate when they founded Facebook in 2004. He left the company four years later.

Report: Tablet Sales to Reach 450 Million by 2016
Business Insider
Tablets and smartphones will not completely displace personal computers. But they will soon overwhelm them in unit sales. In a new report from BI Intelligence, tablet sales are estimated to reach 400 million units by 2016. Also, tablet owners "consume a huge amount of content."

Netflix Deal to Bring Indie Films to U.S. Customers
Next Web
Netflix has pushed ahead with movie licensing deals, announcing a partnership with the new multi-platform distribution label Radius-TWC, an outfit backed by the Weinstein Company that will bring new indie films, such as "Bachelorette," to U.S. customers in early 2013.

IAC's Diller Files Lawsuit Over BarryDriller Website
Hollywood Reporter
The broadcast networks aren't the only ones suing Alki David over BarryDriller.com, a new digital distributor of TV stations. Now, media mogul Barry Diller himself has filed a lawsuit against the company for violating his publicity rights and implying a false endorsement.

>> MORE



ADVERTISING & MARKETING

Report: TV Ad Campaigns Fail to Reach Audiences
Financial Times
As much as 75% of TV advertising is viewed by just 20% of its target audience, according to a report by ad targeter Simulmedia. Unilever's $6.3 million TV ad campaign for its Axe body spray was not seen by 60% of the 18 to 24-year-olds it was intended to reach, the report said.

Advertisers Cautious of Move to Mobile Devices
Financial Times
Internet users may be flocking to mobile devices, but profits have been scarce as many advertisers remain wary of the new medium. For now, advertising rates are "terrible," with CPMs running at 35 to 40 cents. Most Internet execs claim that this is a temporary state of affairs.

Report: Digital Ads to Surpass Newspapers' This Year
Media Week
This year, not the next, will be the point at which digital overtakes newspapers' share of the global advertising market to become the second largest medium, according to the latest forecast from Carat. Digital will take a 15.3% share this year with newspapers at 14.4%.

Nielsen: Digital Leads Global Rise in Ad Spending
BtoB
Global spending on advertising across most media is growing, with digital seeing the largest boost, according to a report from Nielsen. However, North American magazine advertising was down 5.3% in the first quarter, while newspaper ad spending dropped 2.1%.

Report: TV Stations 'Super-Gouge' Super-PACs
Bloomberg
This autumn, when political candidates and groups will be demanding ad space, super-PACs can expect TV stations to begin charging what media consultant Peter Fenn calls "super-gouge rates" of as much as four times what candidates pay. "Stations are rabid for this money."

Twitter is Still Explaining Itself to Big Advertisers
AllThingsD
Twitter won't talk publicly about its efforts to sell advertising. But one can get a glimpse of what the microblogging service is doing via a pitch deck it recently used to woo a big publicly traded company. Twitter "is still doing lots of basic explaining about what it is and how it works."

WPP to Acquire Indie Digital Ad Agency AKQA
Financial Times
WPP has agreed to acquire AKQA for about $540 million, adding one of the largest and most highly regarded independent digital agencies to the world's largest advertising and marketing group. The acquisition is seen as a strategic coup for WPP CEO Martin Sorrell.

MagnaGlobal, ZenithOptimedia Revise Ad Outlooks
BtoB
Two major media forecasters, MagnaGlobal and ZenithOptimedia, have downgraded their global advertising estimates for the year. MagnaGlobal attributes the downgrade to Western Europe's "shaky economy." ZenithOptimedia sees advertisers becoming more cautious.

IAB: Internet Ad Revenues Hit Record $8.4 Billion
Next Web
Internet advertising revenues set a new record in the first quarter of 2012, totaling some $8.4 billion during the three month period, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. "More online consumers than ever are taking to the Internet to navigate their daily lives."

Mobile Ads Eluding Facebook, Other Businesses
USA Today
Mobile advertising will be crucial to the growth of many companies, including the newly public Facebook, though few businesses have been able to capitalize on the promise. Some speculate that the popularity of such devices, in part, comes from their lack of ads.

Facebook: Jury Still Out as Ad Medium, Execs Say
Reuters
General Motors' decision to stop advertising on Facebook may be a wake-up call for the No. 1 social network, but leading advertising execs say it is far too early to know if the site will take off as an ad platform. "There's a lot of potential but it's not a slam-dunk."

Amazon Sells Ads on Kindle Fire Welcome Screen
Advertising Age
Amazon is said to be pitching ads on the welcome screen of the Kindle Fire device, its best-selling product. Amazon has been telling ad agency execs that they must spend about $600,000 for any package that includes such an ad. The ad campaigns would run for two months.

Dish Responds to Criticism of Ad-Skipping DVR
Bloomberg
Dish Network said it has "respect" for broadcast networks after executives at NBC and Fox questioned the company's motive for letting subscribers automatically skip ads. The second-largest U.S. satellite-TV service has "respect for the advertising model."

Nielsen: TV Holds Lion's Share of Ad Dollars
Nielsen Wire
American advertisers and consumers have a huge appetite for television, as TV holds the lion's share of ad dollars and consumers' media time, according to Nielsen. Ad spending for TV reached $72 billion in 2011, more than all other ad platforms combined.

Study: Mobile Ad Revenue to Reach $11.6 Billion
BtoB
Mobile advertising revenue will reach some $11.6 billion this year, up 85.4% over last year, according to a new forecast from Strategy Analytics. The report projects that 125 million Americans will access social networks via mobile handsets in 2012.

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MEDIA COMPANIES

Liberty Media Increases Stake in Sirius XM Radio
Wall Street Journal
Liberty Media has raised its stake in satellite-radio operator Sirius XM Radio to 48.8% from 48.1%, according to a regulatory filing. If Liberty gets U.S. blessing to take absolute control, the company will be freed to replace Sirius management and pursue other options.

News Corp 'Top Job' Is Not for Murdoch Daughter
BBC News
Elisabeth Murdoch said she has "absolutely no ambition" to succeed her father Rupert in the "top job" as the head of News Corp. Murdoch runs the TV production firm Shine. She added: "Everyone likes the idea of a soap opera, and it's really not that. The reality is we are a very close family."

Viacom Loads Ads on Channels as Viewers Exit
Wall Street Journal
Fewer people have been tuning into some of Viacom's cable channels, so the company has increased air time for commercials to maintain revenue. Nickelodeon and Comedy Central boosted the amount of ad time they aired in the first half of 2012 by 9% from a year earlier.

Martha Admits to 'Big Disconnect' Amid Declines
Wall Street Journal
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has posted losses for eight of the past nine years, as the company faces the combined headwinds of an aging brand and a general decline in the magazine industry. Founder Martha Stewart blames her own diminished role for "the big disconnect."

Murdoch Daughter Attacks News Corp in Keynote
Guardian
Tensions within the world's most powerful media family were laid bare during Elisabeth Murdoch's keynote address at the Edinburgh Television Festival. Murdoch set out her own vision of media leadership, criticizing her father's News Corp. for operating with an absence of values.

News Corp Chief Digital Officer Miller to Step Down
AllThingsD
News Corp. has announced that Jon Miller, the company's chief digital officer since 2009, will leave his position in September as the media giant moves toward its planned separation into two companies. Miller will serve as an outside advisor to News Corp. through fall 2013.

Disney Brings More Live Content to Comcast Xfinity
TechCrunch
Disney is getting in on the TV Everywhere game in a big way, by bringing even more of its live kids content online with Comcast's Xfinity TV website. The move will help Disney reach its viewers on new platforms, and offer up new ways for them to access its content online.

Sony to Cut 1,000 Jobs to Reduce Costs in Mobile
Bloomberg
Sony plans to eliminate about 15% of its mobile-phone unit's workforce to reduce costs at a business that trails Apple and Samsung. The reduction of about 1,000 jobs will mainly be in Sweden. The unit's headquarters will move to from Lund to Tokyo, where Sony is based.

Time Warner, News Corp Donations Favor Obama
New York Times
Time Warner, News Corp., Comcast and other major media companies, driven largely by their Hollywood film and TV businesses, have made larger contributions to President Obama than to his rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney, according to a report by the Center for Responsive Politics.

Viacom Battles The Situation Over Who Owns 'GTL'
Hollywood Reporter
MTV owner Viacom has taken on Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino over trademarks to phrases he utters on the hit show "Jersey Shore." Viacom told the trademark board that the series has led to many catchphrases including "gym, tanning, laundry," "grenade" and "smush."

News Corp: Murdoch Daughter to Deliver Keynote
Telegraph
Elisabeth Murdoch will step into the spotlight Thursday evening to deliver the annual James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture, the most prestigious speech in the British TV industry calendar. She is said to be seeking to "impress upon the News Corp. board that she is a heavyweight."

Weinstein Targeted in Extortion Scheme by Actor
Smoking Gun
In an extortion scheme busted up by federal agents, a fledgling actor threatened to kill members of movie producer Harvey Weinstein's family unless the Hollywood titan wired millions to an offshore bank account. Weinstein was one of several business titans allegedly targeted.

MGM Poised to Go Public After Bond Film 'Skyfall'
Financial Times
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer will release "Skyfall," the 23rd James Bond film, in November. The new Bond film could propel an initial public offering of the revered studio, with MGM appointing advisers to explore a return to the public markets two years after it emerged from bankruptcy.

News Corp Phone-Hacking Victims to Be Revealed
Independent
Up to 600 alleged phone-hacking victims of the News of the World are about to be named by prosecutors for the first time, a move likely to heighten investor dissatisfaction with parent News Corp. The list is expected to reveal more well-known actors, pop stars and politicians.

Viacom Sued for VH1 Web Post of Photo from TMZ
Hollywood Reporter
Viacom is being sued for copyright infringement over a photo of actress Demi Moore that appeared on VH1's website. The post appears to be a story that riffed off of a TMZ article. The National Photo Group claims that Viacom copied the image from its client's website.

Viacom Overpaid Chairman and CEO, Lawsuit Says
Bloomberg
Viacom has wrongly overpaid chairman Sumner Redstone, CEO Philippe Dauman and COO Thomas Dooley, shareholder Robert Freedman claims in a lawsuit. "Excessive compensation constitutes disloyalty, waste and is not the product of a valid exercise or business judgment."

>> MORE



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