Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, Hachette End Dispute | CNN Picks Up Three Originals

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Hachette, Amazon Establish New Multi-Year Contract (GalleyCat)
Hachette Book Group and Amazon have established a new multi-year agreement. The two companies have been locked in a dispute since April. THR The companies have reached a new agreement covering eBook and print sales in the U.S. The two were reportedly in a standoff over eBook revenues, with the online retailer reportedly delaying shipments, reducing discounts and preventing people from preordering Hachette titles. Mashable The dispute began when Amazon stopped taking preorders for Hachette titles. Since that time, the two have dialed up the rhetoric, with Hachette authors Malcolm Gladwell and James Patterson criticizing Amazon, while the online retailer charged that Hachette was “stonewalling” about making a deal. WSJ Neither side claimed victory and it may be that both Hachette and Amazon made concessions in the end. Under the new eBook agreement, which will take effect in early 2015, Hachette will set the prices of its consumer titles. The companies said Hachette will get better terms when it “delivers lower prices for readers.” Amazon said on Thursday it has resumed treating Hachette titles as it did before the dispute. NYT The conflict, which played out in increasingly contentious forums as the year progressed, left wounds too deep for true celebration Thursday. Amazon has been cast as a bully in publications across the ideological spectrum, and a large group of authors is calling for it to be investigated on antitrust grounds. Its sales were hit by the dispute, analysts said. Amazon’s supporters publicly questioned the need for Hachette, the fourth largest publisher, to exist in an era when anyone can publish themselves digitally, an accusation Hachette was reluctant to respond to. And even if Amazon got less in the deal than it originally wanted, it still controls nearly half the book trade, an unprecedented level for one retailer. And the dispute showed it is not afraid to use its power to discourage sales.

CNN Picks Up Three Original Programs (TVNewser)
CNN has extended three original series for additional seasons. This Is Life With Lisa Ling, Somebody’s Gotta Do It With Mike Rowe and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown will each return next year. Capital New York The renewals allow the cable news channel to stock up on primetime series as it prepares to double its originals output next year. New shows for 2015 include High Profits, about marijuana entrepreneurs in Colorado, a new series hosted by Bill Weir, and The Seventies. THR / The Live Feed Announced by CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker on Thursday, none of the pickups comes as much of a surprise. Bourdain has become the face of the network since his departure from the Travel Channel. And Parts Unknown’s 2015 return will mark its sixth season on CNN. Ling and Rowe’s series have also been ratings successes in their freshman seasons. Both shows having premiered in recent months, Rowe in particular got a huge launch in his Wednesday time slot. Variety In its Wednesday 9 p.m. airings to date, Somebody’s Gotta Do It has averaged 804,000 viewers — a big improvement over the audience that Piers Morgan Tonight had drawn in the same time slot. By next year, CNN said it intends to have a dozen unscripted series on the air.

Viacom Plans to Boost Non-Nielsen-Based U.S. Ad Sales to 50 Percent (THR)
Viacom is looking to “significantly” grow its U.S. advertising revenue that doesn’t depend on Nielsen ratings and is confident about the appeal of its networks, CEO Philippe Dauman said on his company’s earnings conference call Thursday. WSJ The company, which owns channels such as Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central, on Thursday reported a 5 percent drop in domestic advertising revenue for its September quarter as a result of weak ratings. Dauman pledged to increase the percentage of ad sales that aren’t dependent on traditional ratings from measurement specialist Nielsen to 50 percent in the next three years, up from 30 percent in the fiscal year that ended in the most recent quarter. NYT Ratings for Viacom’s networks tumbled 15 percent during the quarter that ended in September, according to Nielsen data compiled by Bernstein Research. Dauman said a large portion of the viewing of Viacom networks was through mobile apps, gaming devices and other platforms that traditional Nielsen ratings do not include. Variety Viacom said fourth-quarter net income slipped 8.9 percent, even as revenue from the company’s various cable networks rose due to stronger affiliate fees and filmed-entertainment revenue rose. The company said net income came to $732 million, or $1.72 a share, compared with $804 million, or $1.68 a share.

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The Intercept Loses Its Editor-in-Chief as First Look Crumbles (Mashable)
John Cook is out at The Intercept, the investigative news site helmed by Glenn Greenwald and backed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar under the First Look Media umbrella. Cook will return to Gawker in an investigatory role after less than a year at The Intercept, according to Vanity Fair’s Sarah Ellison, who broke the news on Twitter. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Cook, who joined First Look in March, will return to Gawker to oversee investigations and will report to Joel Johnson, Gawker’s editorial director. The media company created by Omidyar had high ambitions to create multiple digital magazines focused on different topics, but thus far only The Intercept managed to get off the ground. HuffPost This is the second time Cook has returned to the Gawker fold. He left Gawker in 2010 to join Yahoo! News, but returned to the site that same year. Cook’s departure comes on the heels of Matt Taibbi leaving First Look Media before he was able to launch The Racket, which was expected to be the company’s second digital magazine.

Sony to Launch Web TV Service PlayStation Vue, Unveils Content Partners (THR)
Sony Corp. said Thursday that its long-awaited cloud-based TV service would start in a soft beta launch in New York City this month. The service will be called PlayStation Vue and be accessible via PlayStation gaming consoles. GigaOM Sony is aiming for a commercial launch within the first quarter of 2015. The service will offer live and on demand programming from most but not all major broadcasters as well as a number of cable channels, and aims to win over PlayStation users with traditional cable TV subscriptions through features like a cloud DVR and a modern UI. WSJ / MoneyBeat It will offer channels from some of the biggest media names, including CBS Corp., Viacom Inc., Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal, 21st Century Fox, and Discovery Communications. Notable exceptions are Walt Disney Co., and Time Warner Inc.

Part II of Navy SEAL Report Is Most-Watched Fox News Doc Ever (TVNewser)
Part II of Peter Doocy’s The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden drew a preliminary 3.37 million viewers Wednesday night, topping even Part I on Tuesday night and making it the most-watched documentary on Fox News ever. FishbowlDC It was the network’s most-watched 10 p.m. slot of the year, excluding the State of The Union and midterm election coverage last Tuesday. The segment features an exclusive interview with former Navy Seal Rob O’Neill, the man who claims to have made the fatal shot that killed Bin Laden and ended a nearly decade-long, international manhunt. Deadline Hollywood Approximately 3.370 million people watched the special Wednesday night, with 586,000 viewers in the news demo, according to early stats.

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck Returns to Fox Following Surgery (TVNewser)
Thursday, Elisabeth Hasselbeck tweeted, “Full of #gratitude to be back TOMORROW 6am EST on @foxandfriends ! Morning are #BetterWithFriends like all of you!” Deadline Hollywood A network rep confirmed she’ll be back on the show Friday and will address her time off. On Oct. 15, Fox And Friends announced Hasselbeck was taking time off after having surgery the previous day, and that she would be out for a “couple weeks.”

Reddit Chief Executive Resigns as Company Shuffles Top Ranks (NYT / Bits)
Reddit, the popular online community message board, wants to grow up into a viable business. Now, it is going to try to accomplish that under new management. SocialTimes As a result, CEO Yishan Wong has resigned from his position. Ellen Pao, the company’s head of strategic partnerships, will serve as interim CEO as the site looks for a replacement. Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, is returning to the company as executive chairman. He had been partner at Y-Combinator, and will transition to a part-time role there. Dan McComas is being promoted to SVP of product. He founded redditgifts, the site’s popular gift exchange.

Travel + Leisure Getting A Facelift (New York Post / Media Ink)
New Travel + Leisure editor Nathan Lump is shaking up the staff, bringing in a new design team to redesign the title next year. FishbowlNY Lump has added Gretchen Smelter, most recently creative director of Women’s Health. Jesse Ashlock, who previously served as online director of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, is joining T+L as features director. Additionally, Jane Bishop has been named the new style director.

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StoryTracker Is A New Tool to Track How News Homepages Change (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Hopefully you know about PastPages, the tool built by LA Times data journalist Ben Welsh to record what some of the Web’s most important news sites have on their homepage — hour by hour, every single day. Ben is back with a new tool called StoryTracker, “a set of open source tools for archiving and analyzing news homepages,” backed in part by the Reynolds Journalism Institute at Mizzou. The potential uses for researchers are obvious, but I could also imagine plenty of real-time uses.

TV Networks Ask Courts to Keep Contracts Private in Comcast Merger Review (Re/code)
CBS, Walt Disney Co. and other media companies asked a federal appeals court Thursday to help keep their programming contracts private during the government’s review of Comcast’s deal to acquire Time Warner Cable and AT&T’s deal to acquire DirecTV.

Condé Nast Agrees to $5.8 Million Settlement in Suit Over Intern Pay (Reuters)
Condé Nast agreed on Thursday to pay $5.8 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by thousands of former interns at the publisher who said they were underpaid for work at the company’s high-end magazines.

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ITV Posts Q3 Revenue Growth Amid Decline in Audience Share (Deadline Hollywood)
More than four-and-a-half years into a five-year transformation plan, ITV is continuing to deliver strong growth, but is also facing a ratings decline in the UK. The group said Thursday morning that its Q3 2014 revenues were up 8 percent to £1.8 billion ($2.84 billion) over the nine months ended Sept. 30.

Jay Caspian Kang Leaving The New Yorker for NYT Magazine (Capital New York)
Jay Caspian Kang is leaving his current job at to join The New York Times Magazine as a contributor. While Kang will not be on the magazine’s staff, his writing will appear regularly.

DirecTV Launches 4K UltraHD Video-on-Demand With 19 Titles (Variety)
DirecTV is the first pay-TV provider to deliver 4K UltraHD content to subscribers — although the satcaster trails both Sony’s and Netflix’s forays in delivering TV shows and movies in the next-generation video format.

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