Morning Media Newsfeed: Fager to Step Down, Return to 60 Minutes | WaPo, Kindle Partner Up

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Jeff Fager Stepping Down as Chairman of CBS News, Returns Full Time to 60 Minutes (TVNewser)
Jeff Fager is leaving his role as chairman of CBS News and turning his “full attention” to 60 Minutes. FishbowlDC Fager served as CBS News’ chairman for four years, and had worked as the executive producer of 60 Minutes for seven years before that. THR / The Live Feed Fager has also extended his current contract as executive producer through 2019. As for a replacement, president David Rhodes now assumes sole leadership of CBS News. Fager assumed the role of chairman at a pivotal time for CBS, on the eve of Katie Couric’s exit from the CBS Evening News. June of 2011 saw current anchor, and longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, Scott Pelley, assume the role of lead anchor for the nightly news telecast. NYT CBS cast the moves as an orderly transition that was set in motion four years ago when Leslie Moonves, the CBS chief executive, asked Fager to take over supervision of the news division while remaining as executive producer of 60 Minutes. In his own memo, Fager said of Rhodes, “I hired him almost four years ago with this moment in mind, and he has exceeded all expectations.” Capital New York Fager’s dual roles as chairman of CBS News and E.P. of 60 Minutes did lead to some controversy. Last year, a flawed report about the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya led to an internal investigation and the suspension of Lara Logan, who has since returned to the network.

Bezos Introduces New Kindle App for WaPo (FishbowlDC)
Jeffrey Bezos has finally brought Amazon and The Washington Post together. The two companies will collaborate for the first time since the Amazon founder bought the Post for $250 million a year ago. The Washington Post The Post has unveiled a new tablet application exclusively for Amazon Fire owners that will package news in distinct morning and evening editions with updates for major breaking stories. The app, which will not include a local news section, is aimed at building a wider national and international audience for the newspaper by tapping into the Amazon Fire customer base. And Amazon said it hopes content from the Post will make using its tablet more appealing and bring more value to customers. NYT The app will be free for Kindle Fire owners for six months, and will then cost $1 for the next six months. A $4 version of the app will be available for Android and iOS next year. Russell Grandinetti, the Amazon executive who oversees the Kindle, declined to specify the number of Kindle Fire users who would receive the app but said that it would be in the millions. GigaOM The app was designed as part of an initiative called “Project Rainbow,” Businessweek reported in October, run by Kerry Lauerman, the former editor-in-chief of Salon.

CBS, Dish Agree to Short-Term Contract Extension (THR)
CBS and Dish Network, engaged in contract negotiations over a deal that was set to end Thursday night, have agree to a short-term extension, avoiding what could have been a blackout — including live NFL games — if 14 local CBS stations in some of the biggest markets in the country were to go dark. Deadline The extension keeps CBS on Dish until Tuesday afternoon. Two days earlier the network was much more verbal, when it turned up the heat on Dish as the companies negotiate an extension of the broadcaster’s carriage agreement. “Dish has been deliberately dragging its feet for months,” CBS said Tuesday in a statement aimed at its customers. Variety The crux of the negotiations involves the expiration of Dish’s deal to carry CBS’ 29 O&O stations in 17 local markets. The talks have been on and off for months. In the past few days, the sides have been deeply engaged in talks.

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HuffPost Said to Be in Talks to Host Jill Abramson Journalism Start-Up (NYT)
Jill Abramson, a former executive editor of The New York Times, and journalist Steven Brill are in talks with The Huffington Post to host a new journalism site that would run long articles monthly and pay writers advances of up to $100,000, according to people briefed on the discussions. FishbowlNY Abramson and Brill have discussed a potential deal with Arianna Huffington and AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, in which HuffPost would “host” the new site. The TBD site from Abramson and Brill will be subscription-based (likely about $3 per month) and will feature one long-form story each month. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Brill said that he and Abramson were having conversations with several potential backers, three of which are “fairly serious and reaching a decision point.”

Valleywag Lead Editor Nitasha Tiku Joins The Verge (Business Insider)
Less than one month ago, Nitasha Tiku was promoted to editor-in-chief of Gawker’s tech lifestyle section, Valleywag, in place of Sam Biddle. Now, she’s been poached by another technology lifestyle publication, The Verge. FishbowlNY Tiku’s move comes on the heels of Emily Yoshida’s debut this week as the Verge’s entertainment editor (after a reverse cross-country relocation). Poynter / Top Stories Tiku will work alongside Casey Newton, who was recently appointed the Verge’s Silicon Valley editor. Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel said he wanted its West Coast operation to be more than a “trade publication,” citing competitors like Re/code and TechCrunch. Instead, he said, he wanted to examine “the culture and the companies” of Silicon Valley.

Scott Brown to Rejoin Fox News on Outnumbered (Boston Herald / BizSm@rt)
Former U.S. senator Scott Brown, who lost his bid to unseat New Hampshire senator Jean Shaheen, is rejoining Fox News as a contributor. Brown will make his first appearance Tuesday as the “One Lucky Guy” on Outnumbered (noon-1 p.m. weekdays), Fox News has confirmed. That show features a revolving cast of four women panelists and one man discussing current events. HuffPost Brown first joined Fox News as a contributor in February 2013. His contract was renewed in February 2014, but the network cut ties with Brown in March 2014, after he took steps toward another Senate run. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In his previous run as a contributor with the network, Brown earned a total of $136,538 from Fox, according to a personal financial disclosure document filed with the Senate Ethics Committee.

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Bill Cosby Pushes AP Reporter to Exclude Rape Questions (FishbowlNY)
Bill Cosby’s strategy to just keep quiet about the seemingly never-ending rape allegations is not working. Cosby must think his tactic is smart, because he even pressured an AP reporter to delete questions about the rape from a video interview. On Nov. 6, an AP reporter asked Cosby about the allegations during an interview about his art collection. As the interview ended, the camera was still running. Cosby then tried to pressure the reporter to omit the rape questions. PRNewser These allegations come as Cosby was meant to be promoting now-canceled projects and a stand up tour that’s proceeding as planned. In keeping his silence, he’s also declined comment during an interview with NPR, canceled appearances on talk shows and let his lawyers speak for him, even on his own website.

Ayman Mohyeldin Moves to New York, Will Fill-in Anchor for MSNBC (TVNewser)
NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin announced via Instagram an expanded role at the network, moving to New York where he will do fill-in anchoring at MSNBC, while also continuing in his role as foreign correspondent for NBC News. Mediaite Mohyeldin was the subject of some controversy last summer when he was pulled from Gaza following an emotional report about an Israeli attack that killed four Palestinian children. He was quickly reinstated, and NBC denied that his removal had to do with any snarled Israeli-Palestinian politics.

Hachette Book Group Forms Contract to Acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (GalleyCat)
Hachette Book Group has established an agreement to acquire Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. The executives have designated Black Dog & Leventhal to be a new division at the Hachette Books imprint. J.P. Leventhal founded the company in 1993; it specializes in publishing illustrated books and creative non-fiction titles. Hachette plans to retain the management team, with Leventhal as publisher, Maureen Winter as associate publisher and Rebecca Koh as editorial director.

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Fox News Channel to Air Killing Kennedy (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel will air the film Killing Kennedy on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 9 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated film, based on the book Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard, originally aired on the National Geographic Channel and drew a record audience of 3.4 million viewers.

Jay Leno’s Decision to Cancel on Newtown Group Sparks Further Outrage (FishbowlNY)
Former Tonight Show host Jay Leno has faced backlash after canceling out of a commitment to emcee a dinner in late January as part of the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s annual SHOT convention in Las Vegas.

A Lesson in Manners: D.C. Press Covering Royals Told to Dress Properly (FishbowlDC)
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, are set to visit New York and Washington on Dec. 7 and 8, and apparently, there is worry that the generally underdressed and informal American press won’t be appropriately attired to greet the royals.

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Halifax Media Group Will Be Bought for $280 Million (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
Halifax Media Group, owner of the Herald-Tribune and 35 other newspapers and affiliated websites, has agreed to be acquired by New Media Investment Group Inc. for $280 million.

Sky, UTA Part of $13 Million Investment in Online Video Site Pluto.TV (Deadline)
Online video site Pluto.TV has announced a $13 million Series A investment round led by U.S. Venture Partners, alongside UTA and previous investors Sky plc, Chicago Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital and Luminari Capital.

New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent (Mother Jones)
The New York Times indicated Thursday that it’s getting close to a round of forced layoffs of its journalists. The newsroom-wide email sent Thursday morning details responses to employee questions about a scheduled buyout program from Janet Elder, a deputy executive editor at the company.

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