Morning Media Newsfeed: CNN Broadcasts to End in Russia | Obama Defends Net Neutrality

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CNN to End Broadcasts on Russian Cable, Satellite TV (USA Today)
CNN will not be seen on channels in Russia beginning next year, Turner Broadcasting said Monday. “Turner International is assessing its distribution options for CNN in Russia in light of recent changes in Russian media legislation,” the company said in a written statement. “We are bringing our existing distribution relationships to an end while we do that.” FishbowlDC The decision comes in the wake of an advertising ban on Russian cable and satellite TV stations. TVNewser The network’s newsgathering in Russia will not be impacted. CNN has been available to Russian viewers since the early 1990s. HuffPost / Reuters Russia launched on Monday a state-of-the-art media organization with hundreds of journalists abroad intended to wean the world off what it called aggressive Western propaganda — dubbing it with echoes of the Cold War, Sputnik. In a hi-tech presentation in a media center once used to host Cold War-era press conferences, one of President Vladimir Putin’s favorite journalists outlined plans meant to repair the damage done to Russia’s image during the crisis in Ukraine. Although Moscow denies reverting to Soviet-style techniques, Russian media executives acknowledge privately they are waging a propaganda war with echoes of the Cold War. The Guardian Meanwhile, Russia Today has been threatened with statutory sanctions by media regulator Ofcom after the Kremlin-backed news channel breached broadcasting regulations on impartiality with its coverage of the Ukraine crisis. Russia Today, or RT, was summoned to a meeting with Ofcom after it was found guilty of breaching the code governing U.K. broadcasters in a ruling published on Monday.

Obama’s Plan for Net Neutrality (SocialTimes)
Is there still hope for net neutrality? President Obama made a statement Monday morning in full support, asking the FCC to consider the Internet a public utility, which would mean no throttling or “fast lanes.” NYT The FCC, Obama said, needs to adopt the strictest rules possible to prevent broadband companies from blocking or intentionally slowing down legal content and from allowing content providers to pay for a fast lane to reach consumers. That approach, he said, demands thinking about both wired and wireless broadband service as a public utility. THR The debate over whether ISPs can make paid prioritization deals with digital services erupted in January when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decided the FCC had exceeded its authority in its anti-discrimination and anti-blocking rules adopted in 2010. The ruling found that the agency had impermissibly treated broadband providers as common carriers. The development caused FCC chairman Tom Wheeler to consider whether the FCC should choose reclassification as a course of action or allow broadband providers to sell special access under certain scenarios. Variety Wheeler has previously said the agency would consider reclassifying broadband under Title II — a move staunchly opposed by Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and other Internet service providers as an unnecessary step that would impose undue burdens and decrease investment in high-speed networks.

Rush Limbaugh Threatens Lawsuit Over DCCC Rape Email (Bloomberg / Politics)
Conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh is threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee over campaign emails sent that Limbaugh says incorrectly portrayed him as condoning campus rape. The Washington Post / Style In a letter to the Washington-based organization intended for delivery Monday morning, Limbaugh’s lawyer demanded a retraction and a public apology for the fundraising emails. The letter indicated Limbaugh will sue for defamation and business “interference” if his demand isn’t met. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In a letter to the DCCC last week, Limbaugh’s attorney Patricia Glaser demands an “immediate retraction and public apology” for removing “10 words completely out of context in order to attribute a false meaning” to Limbaugh’s statements about sexual assault. “[A] retraction and apology will mitigate against a subsequent lawsuit,” Glaser wrote in the letter to the DCCC. Glaser demanded the DCCC preserve all documents and data relating to the matter in preparing for litigation. The Washington Times The letter refers to a committee fundraising email in September which included the statement: “Let’s be clear: Rush Limbaugh is advocating for the tolerance of rape.” The email was distributed after Limbaugh mocked Ohio State’s new mandatory consent rules for those students wishing to have sex on campus.

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Politico Revamps Website (FishbowlNY)
Politico has revamped its website. The new features four “cover stories” and a lot less clutter than the previous version. As with most revamps, the site also has that mobile-like clickable menu in the upper left-hand corner. That menu allows easy access to the site’s blogs, multimedia features and event content. FishbowlDC Another new feature is the “fully responsive design” that customizes to whatever platform you may be using: desktop, tablet or mobile. The design is intended to make it easier to share stories and content from the website. One other feature, the Politico Timeline, enables you to easily scroll through the latest articles from Politico. “Today is the formal beginning of the biggest transformation of Politico in eight years,” wrote CEO Jim VandeHei in a memo to staff Monday. Capital New York On top of the website redesign, Politico will be upgrading its “structure, process and technology,” VandeHei said. The company is currently planning Politico Europe, its international expansion, with German media conglomerate Axel Springer AG.

Fullscreen to Buy Online Video Producer Rooster Teeth (Reuters)
Media company Fullscreen has agreed to acquire Rooster Teeth, an 11-year-old online production studio based in Austin, Texas that created the long-running video series Red vs. Blue, executives of the companies said. Fullscreen, one of the biggest networks on YouTube, is majority-owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group. Mashable With Rooster Teeth, Fullscreen is gaining 8 million subscribers, a merchandise and live-events business, and a production company capable of creating live-action shorts, serial comedies and animation, the companies said Monday in an emailed statement. A sales price and other financial terms weren’t provided. THR Rooster Teeth was founded in 2003 and is led by Matt Hullum and Burnie Burns. The Austin-based company was part of the Machinima ad network until it went solo last year.

Associated Press Demands FBI Never Again Impersonate Media (HuffPost / AP)
The Associated Press is demanding assurances that the FBI will never again impersonate a member of the news media. The demand was made in a letter Monday from Gary Pruitt, the AP president and CEO, to FBI director James Comey and attorney general Eric Holder. The letter comes days after Comey revealed that an FBI agent in Seattle in 2007 had portrayed himself as an AP journalist during an investigation into a teenager suspected of making bomb threats at a high school. Mediaite Pruitt wants to know who authorized the investigation and the impersonation of a journalist, and whether the FBI continues these practices. Comey had defended the practice and considers it appropriate.

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HuffPost Partners With Hulu (FishbowlNY)
Hulu users, get excited: The company has entered into a three-year partnership with The Huffington Post to bring HuffPost Live content to the streaming network. THR Beginning Monday, four episodes of the one-hour news interviews have been made available. They include interviews with Survivor host Jeff Probst, Saturday Night Live veteran Bill Hader and Portlandia stars Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. New episodes will be made available every day.

Time Warner’s Ten Play (Australian Financial Review)
Time Warner approached embattled Australian broadcaster Ten Network about an A$680 million takeover bid in another sign big American media companies are ­turning to regions such as Australia for growth. THR The AFR report cited a letter from Time Warner senior VP James Burtson to investment bank Citi, which is advising Ten, to “express our interest in pursuing a possible acquisition” of the free-to-air network.‎ Variety Youth-focused, Ten last month posted an annual loss of A$168 million (U.S.$144 million). The company is publicly listed in Australia and counts Lachlan Murdoch, Gina Rinehart and James Packer among its backers.

NBC News Teams Anew With Facebook to Promote Ebola Journalism Effort (Variety)
NBC News and Facebook have joined forces several times in the recent past — in January, 2012, for example, NBC streamed its coverage of a Republican presidential debate on the popular social network — and they are coming together again for a journalistic project that aims to draw more attention to victims of the Ebola pandemic. Deadline Hollywood Every hour a new story will be available on and on-air coverage will continue through NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams. No mention was made of NBC News’ chief medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman, who has been off the air despite her up-close-and-personal connection to the story, even after wrapping her legally imposed quarantine last month.

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Three TV Veterans to Launch Justice Network (TVNewser)
Three TV veterans are joining forces to launch Justice Network. Steve Schiffman (Nat Geo), Barry Wallach (NBC) and John Ford (Discovery) are partnering with law enforcement agencies to launch a network devoted to mystery programming. The first project is a series of 90-second crime PSAs. Their first partner is Gannett Broadcasting. Justice Network launches in January.

NBC Shoots Down Rumors of Today, Natalie Morales Beef (TVNewser)
Today show executive producer Don Nash has shot down a New York Post report that Natalie Morales is planning on leaving the show over a power struggle. The Post reported that Morales’ reps have been looking for other opportunities after an internal strife with fellow host Tamron Hall and NBC News president Deborah Turness. New York Post / Page Six An NBC source told Page Six, “There’s a lot of tension. Natalie and Tamron are competitive, and there was a big blow-up in October between the two. Deborah has an issue with Natalie and has sided with Tamron. There has been zero communication between Deborah and Natalie for a long period of time. It’s the talk of NBC staff.”

Glamour Helps Send Girls to Secondary School (FishbowlNY)
Glamour is a powerful brand and it’s using that influence to do some good in this world. The magazine has launched Girl Project, a partnership with several nonprofits to help raise money that will be used to advance the education of young girls.

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Joyce MacDonald Leaves National Public Media (Poynter / Top Stories)
Joyce MacDonald, National Public Media’s interim president and CEO, has left to become vice president of journalism at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, according to a memo from NPR CEO Jarl Mohn.

Slate Corrects Fareed Zakaria Column (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Slate has appended an editor’s note to a 1998 column by Fareed Zakaria after the plagiarism watchdog Our Bad Media revealed that the column borrowed language from another author without citation.

Facebook Messenger Reaches 500M Monthly Users (AllFacebook)
Facebook vice president of messaging products David Marcus announced in a post on the social network that its Facebook Messenger applications topped the 500 million monthly active user milestone.

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