Morning Media Newsfeed: AJ Journalists Arrested in Paris | Goodman Out at Paramount

Al Jazeera journalists arrested in Paris. Adam Goodman exiting as president of Paramount. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Al Jazeera Journalists Arrested in Paris for Flying A Drone (WSJ)
Three journalists for Al Jazeera were arrested in the French capital Wednesday after flying a drone in a park on the western edge of the city, a spokeswoman for the Paris prosecutor’s office said. The Associated Press / The Big Story The arrests came after unidentified drones flew over the Eiffel Tower and key Paris landmarks for a second night running. It’s further baffled French authorities who are investigating a spate of unidentified flying objects in the Paris skies at a time of high security across the country. The Guardian The prosecutor’s office said the three foreign nationals, aged 70, 54 and 36 were taken into custody on Wednesday afternoon after police spotted the drone flying in the Bois de Boulogne woods in western Paris. They can be held for a maximum of 24 hours under French law. Flying drones without a license in France is illegal and carries a maximum one-year prison sentence and a €75,000 (£55,000) fine. Mediaite Police say no link has been yet discovered between the three journalists’ drones and the mysterious nighttime flights. Parisian authorities are especially cautious following the recent terrorist attacks against the Charlie Hebdo office and a kosher deli two months ago, not to mention some still-unsolved drone sightings above nuclear plants last fall and outside the Elysee Palace, the president’s residence, last month. NBC News Al Jazeera later said on Twitter that the three “have been held by police in Paris while filming a report on the city’s recent mystery drones.”

Adam Goodman on His Way Out at Paramount (TheWrap)
Adam Goodman is on his way out as president of Paramount Film Group, multiple individuals familiar with the situation have said. “The studio is currently reviewing its creative organization,” said an individual familiar with the studio’s thinking. THR Goodman has a year left on his contract but won’t survive much longer. While the studio hasn’t necessarily suffered a major financial box office bomb of late, Paramount chairman-CEO Brad Grey and vice chairman Rob Moore apparently aren’t satisfied with the controls on production costs, according to a source with ties to the studio. “They keep going over budget,” an insider said. Variety Goodman has been at the studio since 2008 and played a vital role in shepherding a number of key projects to the screen, such as their recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol and the Paranormal Activity franchise. Last summer brought about Transformers: Age of Extinction, the highest-grossing film at the global box office. However, Paramount has scaled back the number of films it produces annually, which has caused its market share to shrink. Last year, it had the sixth largest share of the overall domestic box office pie, behind its major studio rivals. LA Times / Company Town Viacom, Paramount’s parent, last month told Wall Street that it plans widespread restructuring that will lead to job cuts. It was unclear whether Goodman’s departure is related to cost-cutting at the company. Viacom has been grappling with lower ratings at its key television networks, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, and company executives are intent on reducing expenses. The Viacom filmed entertainment unit reported a $60 million operating loss in the October-December 2014 quarter on $720 million in revenue.

Defenders, Detractors Keep Bill O’Reilly in The Headlines (Media Matters)
Bill O’Reilly has claimed repeatedly that he witnessed the execution of nuns while reporting in 1981 on the civil war in El Salvador, an apparent fabrication that is at odds with both history and what O’Reilly himself has said about arriving in the country after the event took place, according to new information unearthed by Media Matters. The Fox host has faced withering scrutiny from historians, former colleagues and others for having exaggerated his claims of being in a “combat situation” during the Falklands War. TVNewser Meanwhile, the Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove talked with several defenders of the bombastic Fox News host, while the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi talked with a communications expert about how the whole mess may be viewed inside Fox News. The network released a statement that “Chairman & CEO Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of O’Reilly.” HuffPost The Fox host also said during a 2009 interview on WVVH-TV’s American Dream show that he arrived in El Salvador “right after” the murders. “O’Reilly could not possibly have witnessed the murder of the churchwomen if his own timeline is to be believed,” Media Matters argued. Mediaite Media Matters has authored a new petition calling for him to be punished in the same way NBC News disciplined Brian Williams earlier this month. The petition, which is being hosted by MoveOn.org and already has nearly 10,000 signatures, calls on Fox to “hold Bill O’Reilly accountable for deceiving viewers about his ‘combat zone’ experience.”

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Nickelodeon Unveils Subscription Service for Preschoolers at Upfront (Adweek)
Starting March 5, Nickelodeon will debut a streaming service for TV’s smallest viewers: Noggin, a preschool-targeted, ad-free app that will stream reruns. Ad Age The service will cost $5.99 per month and will be available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch starting March 5. It will feature on-demand long- and short-form educational series and preschool music videos, all without ads. B&C The kids unit of Viacom said the over-the-top service will also be offered to authenticated subscribers of its current distributors. Noggin will have long- and short-form content including material from the Viacom library such as Blue’s Clues, Little Bear and Ni Hao, Kai-Lan.

Starz Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Subscribers Rise (THR)
Premium TV company Starz, in which Lionsgate recently agreed to take a stake, on Wednesday reported improved fourth-quarter earnings and subscriber figures. The company, led by CEO Chris Albrecht, posted quarterly earnings of $77.4 million, compared with $72.5 million, or $80 million in earnings attributable to stockholders, compared with $73.3 million in the year-ago period. The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Variety Albrecht talked up the mutually beneficial potential of its new relationship with Lionsgate following a stock swap deal orchestrated this month by Starz’s dominant shareholder, John Malone. Malone swapped a 14.5 percent stake in Starz in exchange for a seat on the Lionsgate board. On Starz’s quarterly earnings call Wednesday, Albrecht predicted that Starz and Lionsgate would look for ways to work together on programming and other initiatives now that they are “cousins” through the Malone connection. “Maybe we’ll even be kissing cousins,” Albrecht said. TheStreet “The people who have reported that [Malone] has a growing and new appreciation for content are probably seeing some of the same things that I’m seeing,” Albrecht said. “I think that as distribution aligns, it’s important for content makers to align — whether that means companies merge or whether they partner.” On Wednesday, shares of Starz rose 5.1 percent to $33.20, extending their advance this year to 12 percent.

ABC News Adds to National Security Team With John Cohen (TVNewser)
In the morning editorial meeting Wednesday, ABC News president James Goldston announced the addition of John Cohen as a contributor covering national security, counter-terrorism and law enforcement. FishbowlDC Cohen has plenty of national security experience, as he was a senior policy adviser to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, as well as former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano.

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Daily News Staffer Is Poynter’s Next Chief Media Correspondent (FishbowlNY)
When James Warren joins Poynter in April as the institute’s new chief media correspondent, he will continue to write for the New York Daily News on Sundays as a contributing editor. He is currently the paper’s Washington, D.C. bureau chief. Poynter / MediaWire Warren is a former managing editor and Washington bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune. Warren was also a media columnist for the Tribune and a television analyst on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Al Jazeera America. In his new role, Warren will be the lead media news reporter for Poynter covering breaking news and writing in-depth stories on major issues. He will also write the Morning MediaWire, Poynter’s newsletter roundup of media news.

Magazine Newsstand Sales Stabilize (FishbowlNY)
According to MagNet’s latest study, magazine sales have somewhat recovered from the loss of distributor Source Interlink Distribution. For 4Q 2014, single-copy magazine sales from the top 15 publishers were down 9 percent compared to the same period in 2013. WWD / Memo Pad Newsstand sales for magazines fell 11 percent in 2014, but those losses have slowed, as the supply chain has begun to stabilize. Publishers such as Time Inc. and American Media Inc. were harmed the least, with respective sales dips of 3.4 percent and 2.8 percent. Publishers hit the hardest included Hearst with an 18.8 percent decrease, followed by Condé Nast (down 14.8 percent), Wenner Media (down 13.7 percent), Rodale (down 12.8 percent) and Meredith (down 10 percent).

Cablevision Grows Earnings, Loses Subscribers in Fourth Quarter (THR)
Cablevision Systems on Wednesday reported improved fourth-quarter financials as it continued to lose pay TV and telephony subscribers. Cablevision lost 34,000 pay TV subscribers in the fourth quarter after a third-quarter loss of 56,000. The company ended 2014 with 2.68 million video subscribers and 3.12 million overall subscribers. WSJ Liberty Media Corp.’s profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter, boosted by higher membership as well as gains from its cable business spinoff and its ownership stake in satellite-radio provider SiriusXM Holdings Inc. It affirmed its financial projections for the year and expectation of ending the year with an additional 1.2 million subscribers.

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Jane Turton Named CEO of Production Firm All3Media (THR)
Jane Turton has been named the new CEO of U.K.-headquartered production firm All3Media, which Discovery Communications and Liberty Global acquired last year. The All3Media board said Thursday that the managing director has been promoted to the CEO role with immediate effect “to lead the global production company into its next phase of growth and creative excellence.”

Top Cable News Shows in February Were… (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has claimed the top 14 cable news programs in total viewers for 12 consecutive months, dating back to March 2014. FNC also claimed nine out of the top 10 programs in the key adult 25-54 demo for February 2015. The O’Reilly Factor is up 22 percent in the demo compared to the same month last year, and has been No. 1 for 171 consecutive months.

Slate Launches Podcasting Platform (FishbowlNY)
Slate has unleashed the power of its podcasts with the debut of Panoply. Panoply is a semi-open podcasting platform that will allow other companies to access Slate’s podcast resources, including sales, production, and audience development and distribution.

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Ad Bigwig Walter Coyle on Why The Oscars Are Still Important (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
I was joined Wednesday by Walter Coyle, president of Pedone Media and Cynthia Lewis, who, because she knows everyone in the media business, suggested we meet.

GigaOM Executive Editor Tom Krazit to Step Down (Poynter / MediaWire)
Tom Krazit, executive editor at GigaOM, is leaving the news organization on Friday, he wrote on Medium Wednesday. Krazit arrived at GigaOM in 2012 after the news organization purchased paidContent parent company ContentNext. He was news editor for more than a year before becoming executive editor in September 2013.

BBC TV Boss Dismisses $155 Million Offer for Youth Network (THR)
The BBC’s director of television Danny Cohen has dismissed a publicized $155 million offer for the corporation’s youth-oriented network BBC Three, which is set to move online.

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