Morning Media Newsfeed: HBO Subject Arrested | FCC Halts TWC-Comcast Review

Robert Durst, HBO's Jinx subject, arrested for murder. FCC halts TWC-Comcast, DirecTV-AT&T merger reviews. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Robert Durst of The Jinx Arrested on Murder Warrant, Recorded Saying He ‘Killed ‘Em All’ (Deadline)
Less than 24 hours after he was arrested in New Orleans in connection with a 2000 murder, Robert Durst was heard on tape Sunday in the final episode of HBO documentary series The Jinx: The Life And Deaths of Robert Durst admitting he “killed ‘em all, of course.” Variety Durst, 71, has been a suspect in the unsolved killing of Susan Berman in Los Angeles 15 years ago. The documentary series recounts the wild details of Durst’s life — from his affluent upbringing in New York to sordid fall and imprisonment in Texas in connection with an unrelated case — and seeks to examine whether one of the heirs to a real estate fortune has been involved in as many as three murders during the past 30-plus years. A lawyer for Durst suggested that the timing of the arrest was staged to coincide with the finale of the six-part HBO series. Durst cooperated with the filmmakers, Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling. Jarecki previously directed a fictionalized version of Durst’s story, 2010’s All Good Things. LA Times / LA Now The HBO documentary series appeared to have jolted the cold case and Durst was arrested on a murder warrant related to Berman’s slaying. A source in law enforcement said information uncovered in the program played a role in the investigation. NBC News The new warrant came after a three-year joint probe by the FBI, LAPD, New York State Police, NYPD and Westchester County (NY) District Attorney. Durst’s lawyer, Chip Lewis, told NBC News that his client was arrested at the JW Marriott hotel in New Orleans on Saturday night. Durst was held without bail at an initial hearing in magistrate court on Sunday, and is expected to appear again for an extradition hearing on Monday morning. Federal officials said that Durst was in the lobby, mumbling, when he was arrested, and had been registered under a false name with a fake ID, having paid for the room in cash. NYT Investigators involved in the case said they feared that the renewed attention brought by The Jinx would lead him to try to flee the country. Durst will plead not guilty, said one of his lawyers, Dick DeGuerin, who helped win Durst’s acquittal in Galveston in 2003 and who said he expects to head Durst’s defense team in Los Angeles. TVNewser Fox News Channel was first with the news Sunday morning of the arrest of Durst. Jeanine Pirro, the Fox News host, investigated the Durst case as Westchester County district attorney, and reported the arrest at 10:32 a.m. Fox News produced a Pirro-led hour on the arrest and the Durst case at 10 p.m.

FCC Puts Review of Comcast-Time Warner, AT&T-DirecTV Deals on Hold (WSJ)
The Federal Communications Commission is putting its review of Comcast Corp.’s deal for Time Warner Cable and AT&T Inc.’s planned acquisition of DirecTV on hold, pending a court decision related to the disclosure of video-programming contracts. THR Comcast responded that it understands the reason for the break and that it still believes the ongoing regulatory review of the proposed combination of the No. 1 and No. 2 U.S. multisystem cable operators can be completed soon. Variety The FCC was set to reach the end of the 180-day review period for the Comcast-TW Cable merger at the end of this month. Major media companies like CBS, the Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox are challenging the FCC’s plans to allow third parties to review programming contracts and other information as part of the merger review. Those third parties would still be bound by a protective order, although media companies say they fear that the information will be used in future rights negotiations. The FCC has argued that the information is necessary to enable outside parties to give input on the proposed mergers. Deadline The FCC stopped the clock on the Comcast and AT&T deals for 42 days ending Dec. 3, and stopped the Comcast one for an additional 21 days ending Jan. 12.

Gawker Sues Department of State (Gawker)
Friday, Gawker Media filed a Freedom of Information Act complaint in U.S. District Court against the Department of State, seeking email correspondence between former deputy assistant secretary of state Philippe Reines and members of the news media. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The lawsuit came two days after the Associated Press filed a similar motion to force the release of Hillary Clinton’s private emails during her tenure as secretary of state. The State Department has so far declined comment on both lawsuits. Poynter / MediaWire Specifically, the complaint requests “agency records memorializing email communications between [Reines] and representatives of the news media.” In 2012, Gawker Media filed a request for correspondence from Reines, who worked for Clinton. As of yet, Gawker Media has not received them, John Cook, executive editor for investigations at Gawker Media, wrote. THR / Hollywood, Esq. Two years after the request, Gawker published a story on its website about a hacker claiming to have compromised the email account of Sidney Blumenthal, a Clinton aide. The article raised the issue that Clinton was receiving emails from Blumenthal at a private account and mused, “While it’s not strictly a violation of the [Presidential Records Act] and FOIA for Clinton to conduct official business on a non-government account, the law requires that those emails be archived along with her @state.gov communications.”

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Obama Visit Boosts Jimmy Kimmel Live! to Fourth Largest Audience Ever (Deadline)
A bit of presidential star power surged up late night for ABC on Thursday against mixed competition. The first sitdown visit from Barack Obama to Jimmy Kimmel Live! put the show easily in the top spot both in viewers and adults 18-49. The presence of POTUS helped pushed Kimmel up to his fourth biggest audience ever with 3.915 million tuning in. That was 34 percent better than Thursday night’s encore of rival Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show over on NBC and 32 percent better than a new Late Show With David Letterman on CBS. THR / The Live Feed Among adults 18-49, Kimmel was also up, averaging nearly 1.2 million viewers in the key demo. Kimmel also saw his online stock climb on Friday, with President Obama’s delivery of “Mean Tweets” already topping 2 million views in less than a day. LostRemote Kimmel rarely makes the list of top social TV moments, but all of that changes when President Obama is a guest. Kimmel’s signature “Mean Tweets” continued to rack up views for the rest of the weekend (also a great social TV win for Twitter).

Facebook’s Acquisition of TheFind Aimed at Boosting Search, Relevancy of Ads (SocialTimes)
Facebook’s latest acquisition may help bolster its efforts in search and advertising, as the social network announced its addition of TheFind. WSJ / Digits The acquisition comes as Facebook has begun testing “buy” buttons that lets advertisers sell products through advertisements on the social network. TheFind is an app that crawls the Internet to offer consumers a personalized shopping experience based on their social profile and the way they shop. Re/code Facebook is shutting the service down, but some of TheFind’s employees are joining the Facebook ads team, where they and their technology are expected to try to improve ads on Facebook that feature products, according to a person familiar with the deal. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Adweek “TheFind’s talented team has built a successful search engine that connects people to products,” Facebook said in its announcement. “Together, we believe we can make the Facebook ads experience even more relevant and better for consumers.”

Dennis Maguire Exiting as Paramount’s Home Entertainment Chief (Variety)
Dennis Maguire, who has served as president of worldwide home media distribution for Paramount Pictures since 2011, is leaving the studio. The exit is part of a companywide restructuring by Viacom, which has impacted the company’s cable networks, as well as the film studio. THR The studio plans to announce a replacement in the coming weekends, a studio spokesperson said. Maguire joined Paramount in October 2006 as president of Paramount Home Entertainment International, and is credited with restructuring the international team, which reached more than $1 billion in annual revenues for the first time in 2007. Deadline Maguire oversaw the global sales, marketing and distribution of DVD, digital, VOD and TV licensing of studio content on all platforms. He also worked to build on Paramount’s business interests in Russia and China through respective partnerships with Universal and Warner Bros.

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Vice Names Four Contributing Editors (FishbowlNY)
Vice has named four new contributing editors to its team — Jean Friedman-Rudovsky, Molly Crabapple, Christopher Ketcham and Clancy Martin. Friedman-Rudovsky was most recently a freelance journalist. She previously worked as a reporter for Time. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Marie Claire, Science, Foreign Policy and more. Poynter / MediaWire Crabapple was a columnist for Vice. Ketcham has contributed to Vice, Harper’s and Vanity Fair. Martin is a Canadian philosopher.

Top Gear Temporary Plans Set as Jeremy Clarkson Fate Mulled (Deadline)
BBC America Friday said it will premiere the two-part special, Top Gear: The Perfect Road Trip Italy, starting Monday — replacing previously scheduled episodes of Season 22. Meanwhile, nearly 1 million furious fans have signed a petition to reinstate suspended show host Jeremy Clarkson.

Russia Investigating Comment by Fox News Military Analyst (Mediaite)
Russia’s Investigative Committee is looking into comments made by Fox News military analyst and former U.S. Army major general Robert Scales about the U.S. possibly needing to “kill Russians” to send a message. Last week, Scales appeared on Fox Business Network to discuss Ukraine with Lou Dobbs. Dobbs asked him about the effect of U.S. troops being deployed to Ukraine.

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48 Hours Launches New Franchise Based on Unsolved Murders (TVNewser)
The team behind 48 Hours is launching a new, short-run series focusing on unsolved murders. The first episode, “48 Hours: Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?” aired on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET.

Slapdown: FNC’s Bill O’Reilly Beats NBC’s The Slap (TVNewser)
On Thursday night, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly beat everyone else in cable news. O’Reilly crushed his competition at 8 p.m., with Anderson Cooper, Chris Hayes and Nancy Grace nowhere close to O’Reilly’s nearly 3 million total viewers. In fact, that number put O’Reilly in front of NBC’s The Slap, a star-studded and highly promoted drama airing as a miniseries.

Quartz Promotes Zach Seward (FishbowlNY)
Atlantic Media’s business site Quartz has promoted Zach Seward to VP of product and executive editor. He most recently served as product director and senior editor.

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Dismissal of Two Mexican Journalists Draws Accusation of Attack on Media (WSJ)
A leading Mexican journalist who uncovered an alleged conflict of interest involving the purchase of a mansion by the wife of President Enrique Peña Nieto said Friday that the firing of two members of her investigative team is an attack on press freedom.

NYT Settles Grievances With Fired Employees (New York Post)
Fourteen people who filed grievances after they were fired late last year as part of the down-sizings at The New York Times have reached a settlement and avoided arbitration.

TiVo Completes Acquisition of Aereo Trademarks, Customer Lists for $1 Million (Variety)
TiVo’s purchase of certain assets from Aereo — the Internet TV streaming startup that was forced to shut down last year after losing a copyright-infringement case brought by broadcasters — for about $1 million has been approved by federal bankruptcy court.

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