Morning Media Newsfeed: Birdman Nabs Best Picture | O’Reilly Responds to Critics

Birdman takes top Oscar prize. Bill O'Reilly fires back at critics. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Birdman Wins Best Picture, Director at Politically Charged Oscars (Variety)
Politics took center stage at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, as winners and presenters used the widely watched telecast to draw attention to everything from civil rights to whistleblowing. It was also a very good night for Birdman, which beat out its chief competitor Boyhood for best picture, director, original screenplay and cinematography honors. HuffPost Alejandro González Iñárritu’s tale of a washed-up actor’s attempt to stage a career renaissance previously won top prizes from the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America. CBS News / AP All eight of the best-picture nominees took awards at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday: Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel for its hand-made craft; Whiplash for its pulsating pacing and J.K. Simmons’ drill-sergeant jazz instructor; The Imitation Game for adapted screenplay; Boyhood for Patricia Arquette’s moving mother; The Theory of Everything for its leading actor Eddie Redmayne; American Sniper for its war film sound editing; and Selma for Common and John Legend’s best song. TVNewser Neil Patrick Harris hosted the ceremony on ABC, but even TV newsers got in on the action. Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From The Red Carpet aired at 7 p.m. ET on ABC, hosted by Robin Roberts, Lara Spencer and Michael Strahan. ABC’s Good Morning America has all five anchors live from Los Angeles on Monday to recap the night. Meanwhile, CNN went all out, with Don Lemon and Michaela Periera co-hosting the network’s 90-minute pre-Oscars red carpet special Sunday. Over on Fox News Channel, entertainment correspondent Michael Tammero worked the red carpet. On Monday, CBS This Morning has Nancy O’Dell from Entertainment Tonight breaking down the highlights of the event. SocialTimes Facebook created a Trending Oscars experience for users looking to join the conversation. Facebook also teamed up with ABC Entertainment, allowing fans to ask nominees questions via the Facebook page for GMA, as well as incorporating real-time Facebook data on the most-buzzed-about nominees into the television network’s red-carpet broadcast. The Verge So I’m watching the Oscars on the Internet with my colleague Lizzie Plaugic and suddenly The Social Network starts playing. From the beginning. It appears ABC may also have forced some Oscars viewers to watch Jeopardy.

Bill O’Reilly on ‘Kill Zone’ Remark: ‘Simply A Slang Expression’ (TVNewser)
Bill O’Reilly explained a remark he made to TVNewser Thursday night, in which he says Mother Jones’ David Corn belongs “in the kill zone” for his critical piece on the Fox News host. O’Reilly said the phrase “is simply a slang expression.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media On Thursday, Corn published a report alleging that O’Reilly had lied about his experiences covering the Falklands War for CBS News in 1982. FishbowlDC Corn has been firing back at the Fox News host on Twitter ever since, attacking O’Reilly for spinning the story and name-calling. TVNewser Corn’s editors at Mother Jones emailed Fox News executives, asking that O’Reilly renounce the comment and apologize. TVNewser Two one-time CBS News colleagues battled it out on the two cable news media affairs programs Friday morning. In one corner, O’Reilly on Fox News’s MediaBuzz defending his coverage more than 30 years ago in Argentina when he was with CBS News. In the other corner, another former CBS News correspondent, Eric Engberg, on CNN’s Reliable Sources shooting down O’Reilly’s about his coverage. A fiery O’Reilly called in to MediaBuzz, taking a shot at Engberg’s work ethic: “His nickname was room service Eric… he never left the hotel,” O’Reilly said. Mediaite The Fox host accused Corn of being politically and personally motived to make such attacks. “Why does he have credibility anywhere?” O’Reilly shouted. “Why would CNN or anybody else taking anything he says seriously?”

HBO, Showtime Partner for Mayweather-Pacquiao Fight (THR)
Boxing fans will finally get a showdown between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. The two men have signed on for a May 2 fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after years of failed negotiations. Almost just as interesting, the event marks a rare revenue share for HBO and Showtime. Variety The fight is expected to clear well over $150 million and set new PPV records, which explains why Showtime and HBO put down their dukes. The moneymaking potential is so great that CBS Corp. prexy-CEO Leslie Moonves personally got involved in the negotiations between the fighters, the promoters and with his counterparts at HBO and Time Warner. Deadline Mayweather has an exclusive six-fight deal with Showtime and Pacquiao has a contract with HBO. This will mark only the second time the premium nets have worked together on a PPV bout. The other was in 2002 when then-heavyweight champ Lennox Lewis, who had an exclusive deal with HBO, knocked out ex-champ Mike Tyson, who was with Showtime.

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Machinima Cuts Staff, Shuts Some Channels After New Financing (Variety)
Just because Machinima secured $24 million in new funding doesn’t make it immune to some belt-tightening. The digital content network laid off 13 of its 90 employees Friday, according to sources, as well as a few part-time staffers. THR The company laid off production employees from shows such as Respawn, TFTW and certain programs on Machinima LIVE. “As Machinima positions itself for the future, we must focus resources toward high-growth opportunities,” read a statement from a company spokeswoman. Boston Herald Staff assembled at Machinima headquarters Friday were told that the cuts were necessary due to the declining popularity of the programming with users and advertisers. The layoffs were the first round of cuts at Machinima since CEO Chad Gutstein came in nearly one year ago. Prior to his hire, the struggling company withstood several rounds of layoffs.

Discovery Communications Exec Eileen O’Neill Leaving Company (THR)
Longtime Discovery Communications executive Eileen O’Neill has announced that she’s leaving the company after 25 years. Deadline In August, Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav named the well-respected O’Neill, who had been head of Discovery Channel and who also had overseen the growth of TLC, to the new post of global group president at Discovery Studios in one of those executive shakeups for which Zaslav is so well known, and which do so much to keep Discovery staffers on their toes. Variety A person familiar with the company characterized the departure as a move by O’Neill to open a new chapter after working her way up the ranks at Discovery Communications. She has been a force within the company, once known for its focus on straitlaced fare about science, geography, nature and human curiosity, and was instrumental in getting Discovery to broaden its palette.

José Díaz-Balart to Lead Obama Town Hall on Immigration (TVNewser)
Telemundo and MSNBC anchor José Díaz-Balart will lead a town hall discussion with President Barack Obama this week on immigration. On his MSNBC show Friday morning, Díaz-Balart said the president will “discuss his executive actions on immigration and provide critical information about their impact on families and communities throughout the country.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Díaz-Balart hosts The Rundown With José Díaz-Balart from Miami, and the town hall will be held at Florida International University. Díaz-Balart has interviewed Obama 10 times, most recently in December on his MSNBC show.

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SNL 40 Ratings Soar in Live+3 (Deadline)
Live+3 stats are in, and it’s really good news for SNL 40 and NBC. The Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary special jumped to a 9.2 rating in adults 18-49 and 26.5 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. The 9.16 rating in adults 18-49 is a 17 percent increase over the show’s 7.83 in next-day Live+Same Day Nielsens. The 26.5 million is a 14 percent jump vs. L+SD 23.1 million. Variety When NBC first issued ratings highlights on Monday, the SNL special rated as the net’s top telecast in the demo since the Will & Grace finale in 2006. But the additional viewers garnered from three days’ worth of DVR playback elevated it to the Peacock’s best ratings since a November 2004 episode of ER (9.4).

Media Representatives Meet With Eric Holder (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Attorney General Eric Holder met with a group of journalists and media industry representatives on Thursday as part of their ongoing discussions about Justice Department relations with the media. The journalists “expressed appreciation for the attorney general’s willingness to undertake further revisions to the Department’s media guidelines,” which have new language about when it is appropriate to subpoena reporters and search newsrooms, according to a readout of the meeting.

Two And A Half Men Series Finale Draws More Than 13 Million Viewers (Variety)
A few million Two And A Half Men fans who abandoned the show in recent years turned out for the show’s series finale Thursday, teaming with The Big Bang Theory and the premiere of the rebooted Odd Couple to lift CBS to its strongest performance on the night since Thursday Night Football in late October.

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Morning Show Ratings: Week of Feb. 9 (TVNewser)
CBS This Morning had its biggest audience in 11 years two weeks ago, since the week of Feb. 6, 2004. CTM was also the only morning show to grow compared to the same week last year.

New York Fashion Week on Instagram: More Than 20.8 Million Engagements (SocialTimes)
New York Fashion Week has exploded on Instagram, with visual marketing platform Curalate reporting that 193 percent more images were shared during the fall and winter 2015 event this month than during the spring and summer 2015 session last September.

Politico’s Wave of Staff Moves (FishbowlDC)
Politico announced a wave of hirings and promotions on Friday morning, per a staff memo from Susan Glasser. The list of moves includes Luiza Ch. Savage, currently the Washington bureau chief for Maclean’s magazine, joining as editorial director for events.

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Why Journalists Are Struggling to Cover Libya (CJR / Behind The News)
The crisis in Libya seized world media attention again this month after self-declared Islamic State militants released a video showing the execution of 21 hostages, including at least 20 Coptic Egyptians. Airstrikes in Libya by Egyptian, Libyan and United Arab Emirates jets, as well as dire pronouncements by European officials, added to a heightening sense of crisis. The execution and airstrikes underscored a serious problem facing the media: how to reliably report news from a country where a complex armed conflict has made several important locations off-limits to outsiders.

60 Minutes Pays Homage to Bob Simon in Moving Tribute (New York Post)
60 Minutes paid homage to the “extraordinary career” of its late veteran correspondent, Bob Simon, in a touching tribute that aired Sunday night.

Warner Bros Hit With New(ish) Gravity Lawsuit By Rizzoli & Isles Author (Deadline)
Like one of the characters from the books that the TNT series is based on, Rizzoli & Isles author Tess Gerritsen won’t give up the fight. Gerritsen filed an amended complaint in the matter last week, as she said she would.

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