Morning Media Newsfeed: Body of WSJ Reporter Found | Empire Nets Huge Ratings

Body of missing WSJ reporter found. Empire nets best first-season ratings in a decade. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Body of Missing Reporter Found in New Jersey (WSJ)
David Christopher Bird, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was missing for more than a year, has been found dead near the site of his disappearance, New Jersey police said. FishbowlNY According to the WSJ, canoers found a body in northern New Jersey’s Passaic River on Wednesday. It was identified as Bird through dental records on Thursday, police said. New York Post An investigation into the cause of death is under way. A website launched by Bird’s anguished family said he went out for a walk after helping relatives take down the Christmas decorations, then never returned. Dozens of law-enforcement agencies were involved in the search over the past 14 months, from local police to the FBI. New York Daily News Police previously searched the area where the body was found, Long Hill Township Police chief Michael Mazzeo told the Daily News. Authorities combed the woods, river and train tracks near Bird’s home but found no leads after his disappearance. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Bird had worked for the Journal, covering energy markets, for more than two decades.

Empire Finale Breaks Twitter, Sets Records (LostRemote)
And they say appointment viewing is dead. The two-hour finale of Empire was huge. According to Nielsen, the finale scored a 6.4 rating and 16.5 million viewers, which means the show’s ratings went up 11 percent since last week. Early reports are that the finale drove 2.4 million tweets. Deadline Wednesday night’s airing of the hip hop family drama delivered the best first-season result any new series on any broadcast network has had since the Shonda Rhimes-created Grey’s Anatomy ended its debut cycle on ABC in 2005. THR / The Live Feed Empire premiered Jan. 7 to a 3.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers. It subsequently grew its viewership every week for each of the 11 episodes that followed — and, with the exception last week’s penultimate outing, Empire also managed the same feat in the key demo. Variety The entire first season of Empire is now on Hulu, under a pact with Twentieth Century Fox Television giving the Internet TV site exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to the show. CNN Its soundtrack scored a rare success this week, debuting in the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s top 200 album chart, topping Madonna’s Rebel Heart.

Reuters Names Kevin Krolicki Washington Bureau Chief (FishbowlNY)
Reuters has named Kevin Krolicki as its Washington bureau chief. Krolicki was most recently Reuters’ Tokyo bureau chief, a role he had held for the past three years. FishbowlDC Krolicki has been with Reuters since 1996 in many different roles, including West Coast equities editor-in-chief, West Coast bureau chief and Detroit bureau chief. Poynter / MediaWire Krolicki replaces Marilyn Thompson, who left the company in January to become a deputy editor at Politico. Krolicki’s appointment is the latest in a rapid succession of job moves at multiple news organizations as they shuffle staffers to cover the 2016 presidential campaign. Politico, Reuters, The New York Times, CNN, The Washington Post, The Associated Press and others have all made appointments in recent months in advance of the presidential contest.

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MGM Touts Record Profits in 2014 (THR)
MGM Holdings on Thursday reported net income of $156 million for calendar year 2014, which chairman/CEO Gary Barber described as “its highest annual profits in its modern history for the second consecutive year.” Variety Revenue at the entertainment company behind 007 and The Hobbit hit $1.44 billion, down 5.8 percent from $1.53 billion in the previous year. Net income at the company topped out at $156 million for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, up 27 percent from $122.2 million in 2013. Deadline MGM’s financial results, delivered to debt-holders, are complicated by the acquisition in September of a 55 percent stake in United Artists Media Group — a joint venture with Mark Burnett, Roma Downey and Hearst Productions. With that in the mix, MGM generated earnings of $41.7 million, up 241.2 percent vs. the last three months of 2013, on revenues of $559.1 million, up 20.6 percent.

Michael Oreskes Named NPR News Chief (FishbowlNY)
Michael Oreskes has been named NPR’s senior VP of news and editorial director. Oreskes comes to NPR from the AP, where had most recently served as VP and senior managing editor. Poynter / MediaWire Oreskes replaces Chris Turpin, who was named interim senior vice president of news after Margaret Low Smith departed for The Atlantic. Turpin, who was previously the executive producer of “All Things Considered,” will become vice president of news at NPR in charge of news programs, newscasts, news operations and collaborative coverage, among other things. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Oreskes has been vice president and senior managing editor of The Associated Press since 2008. Before AP, he was at The International Herald Tribune and spent more than two decades at The New York Times. NYT He will start his new job at the end of April, overseeing 200 newsrooms and 1,500 journalists at NPR member stations, the network said in a statement. NPR, which has been lauded for its efforts to expand on the Web, has 26 million radio listeners and more than 30 million unique visitors a month online, according to its own figures.

Politico Names Scott Rothrock Chief Technology Officer (FishbowlDC)
Scott Rothrock has been appointed Politico’s chief technology officer, according to a press release from the news company. Poynter / MediaWire Rothrock, formerly vice president of engineering for business intelligence company Appfluent, has also worked at The Washington Post, AOL, Cox and Verizon. Rothrock replaces Ryan Mannion, who left Politico for the digital magazine Ozy in June.

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Time Makes Several Hires, Promotions (FishbowlNY)
Time has made several new hires and promotions. Julie Shapiro has been named a news editor on the global continuous publishing desk. She previously worked for DNAinfo. Capital New York The other hires include Bloomberg View engagement editor Kirsten Salyer, joining as deputy ideas editor; Dana Lacey, who worked at the software startup ScribbleLive before being named partnerships editor; freelance writer Eliza Berman, who joins as Time.com associate editor; Tyler Borcher, joining as audience engagement editor; and Fast Company editor assistant Miles Kohrman, arrived at Time as homepage editor.

Bloomberg Changes Editorial Management Structure (FishbowlNY)
Bloomberg LP has made some editorial management changes designed to unify the newsroom. In a memo to staffers, new Bloomberg editor-in-chief John Micklethwait announced that he was forming an editorial management committee. Poynter / MediaWire The committee will be composed of Micklethwait, deputy editor-in-chief Reto Gregori, and new editorial chief content officer Josh Tyrangiel, All main editors will now report directly to this committee. In addition, Bloomberg will physically move its digital news section next to the journalists who write for Bloomberg News.

Endemol Shine Hires Adrian Sexton as COO of U.S. Digital Unit (Variety)
Endemol Beyond USA, the digital division of Endemol Shine North America, has hired Adrian Sexton — formerly with Participant Media and Lionsgate — as chief operating officer. Deadline Endemol Beyond USA is focused on digital video distribution on channels such as AOL, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Yahoo! and YouTube. Sexton, formerly EVP of digital for Participant, will oversee new strategic partnerships and investments, business development, strategy, sales and distribution opportunities.

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Thomas Roberts Improves MSNBC Hours Double Digits (TVNewser)
In the two-and-a-half weeks since Thomas Roberts began anchoring the 1-3 p.m. ET hours, MSNBC has seen its viewership grow double digits compared to the programs which previously aired at that time.

7.3 Million Watch Sound of Music Special on ABC (TVNewser)
Diane Sawyer‘s 20/20 special The Untold Story of The Sound of Music tied CSI: Cyber in the two younger demos: adults 18-49 (1.4/5) and adults 25-54 (2.0/6) and averaged 7.32 million total viewers

CNN’s 2016 Team Grows, Adds Sara Murray (FishbowlDC)
Another day, another hire for CNN as the network has added Sara Murray to its ever-growing political team.

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The Talk Edges The View in Total Viewers, Women 18-49 for First Time (Deadline)
For the second time, CBS’ The Talk has won the battle for total viewers over ABC’s embattled The View. This time, the CBS talker also topped its ABC rival in the key women 18-49 demographic, marking the first time The Talk has come up on top in both categories the same week.

Top Gear Co-Presenters Refuse to Continue Show Without Jeremy Clarkson (Variety)
Top Gear presenters James May and Richard Hammond refused to shoot the show while their co-host Jeremy Clarkson was suspended. The Guardian Clarkson has launched into an expletive-laden tirade against BBC bosses, following his suspension from Top Gear. Clarkson hinted that he expected to be sacked as a result of the internal investigation into an alleged fracas with a program producer.

Viacom to Rebrand U.K.’s Channel 5 (THR)
Viacom’s Viacom International Media Networks said Thursday that it has named Kerry Taylor the first-ever chief marketing officer for its operations managed out of the U.K.

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