Morning Media Newsfeed: Horowitz Out at NBC News | Charles Champlin Dies at 88

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Jamie Horowitz Out at NBC News (TVNewser)
Jamie Horowitz, the recently-hired SVP and GM of the Today show, is no longer with NBC News. A source tells us Horowitz and his boss, NBC News president Deborah Turness, were not seeing eye to eye, leading to Horowitz’s departure from the network late Monday. THR / The Live Feed Originally set to join the network in December, Horowitz started taking meetings at Today in September, overseeing the network’s flagship morning show. Variety “He’s a talented producer and executive, but, together, he and I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right fit,” Turness said in a memo to staffers. In the wake of Horowitz’ departure, Turness said, she will continue working closely with Don Nash, the executive producer of Today, and Jen Brown, the vice president and general manager of Today.com. She expects to find a new general manager of Today, she said. Deadline Hollywood In August, NBC agreed to let Bill Wolff, VP primetime programs at MSNBC and executive producer of The Rachel Maddow Show, out of his contract to move to ABC, in order to get that parent company to allow top ESPN programmer Horowitz take the helm at Today. Before joining ESPN, Horowitz worked at NBC Sports; he started his TV career as an NBC Olympics researcher. Turness came to the network from the U.K. in August 2013 to help turn around the news division’s once-dominant but now struggling franchises. NYT Early reports of new turbulence at Today were especially upsetting for NBC News because the show is the news division’s biggest profit center, and NBC has been touting a comeback in the ratings for the show, which has trailed ABC’s Good Morning America since Today lost a seemingly impregnable lead in the morning ratings in 2012. Turness has been portrayed as embattled in some reports, and Horowitz’s name surfaced quickly as a possible successor, despite his short tenure and the fact that he has no network news background.

Charles Champlin Dies at 88; Former LA Times Arts Editor, Critic (LA Times)
Charles Champlin, the former Los Angeles Times arts editor, film critic and columnist whose insightful, elegantly written reviews and columns informed and entertained readers for decades, died Sunday at his Los Angeles home. He was 88. FishbowlNY Champlin worked at the Times from 1967 to 1991, joining the paper after stints at Life and Time. Post-retirement, he continued to contribute the paper and also wrote two books. THR Champlin died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. Champlin, who also hosted TV shows for Los Angeles public station KCET, PBS and Bravo, also suffered from macular degeneration, diagnosed in the late 1990s, which he described in his 2001 book, My Friend, You Are Legally BlindVariety Champlin started at the Times as entertainment editor and columnist. He was the main film critic from 1967 to 1980, during a time which saw the creation of the movie ratings system was instituted, the groundbreaking movies of the 1970s, and during which directors such as George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese first made their mark. He later covered books and arts before retiring in 1991 but continued to contribute to the Times as well as to Variety. In 1975, he co-founded the Los Angeles Film Critics Association with Ruth Batchelor and served as its president for many years.

Time Apologizes for Suggesting ‘Feminist’ Should Be Banned (FishbowlNY)
When Time asked readers to vote on words and/or phrases that should be banned in 2015, we immediately wondered why “feminist” was included. Making matters worse, “feminist” was leading in Time’s poll. Mediaite The term appeared among terms like “disrupt” and “obvi.” After some major backlash, much of it from female journalists, Time editor Nancy Gibbs has issued an apology for the inclusion. HuffPost The poll had briefly explained that “feminist” was included because it’s become a “thing” that every celebrity has to “state their position on.” Gibbs’ note read, “While we meant to invite debate about some ways the word was used this year, that nuance was lost, and we regret that its inclusion has become a distraction from the important debate over equality and justice.”

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Gannett Names Alison Engel VP of Finance (TVNewsCheck)
Gannett Co. Monday named Alison “Ali” Engel, formerly senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of A.H. Belo Corp., as its vice president of finance, reporting to Gannett President-CEO Gracia Martore. TVSpy Gannett acquired the 20-station Belo TV group for $2.2 billion back in December 2013. This past August, the company announced it was splitting its broadcasting and newspaper businesses. CNNMoney Engel joined Belo Corp. in 2003 as director/accounting operations. She served as corporate controller from February 2005 to December 2005 and as vice president/corporate controller from January 2006 to July 2008.

T: The New York Times Style Magazine Names First Associate Publisher (FishbowlNY)
T: The New York Times Style Magazine has named Amanda Smith associate publisher, a new role at the magazine. NYT Smith joined The New York Times more than one year ago as advertising director. Poynter / Top Stories Before that, she was American fashion director at Vogue and worked at The Wall Street Journal. Smith has been instrumental in creating growth at the magazine, according to a statement by T Magazine publisher Brendan Monaghan.

Japan’s SoftBank Launches New TV Streaming Service (THR)
Japanese Internet and mobile giant SoftBank launched a new pay TV service called BBTV Next on Monday. The new service allows subscribers to choose three channels — Disney, BBC World News and Music Japan TV — for viewing on smartphones, tablets and computers for $9.15 (¥1,058) a month. Variety The service allows users to sign up for individual specialty channels instead of the standard channel bundle. SoftBank recently held acquisition talks with DreamWorks Animation.

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NBC Under Pressure as Another Woman Accuses Bill Cosby of Rape (Variety)
NBC is under mounting pressure to act in regards to the sitcom it is developing with Bill Cosby amid allegations of rape leveled at the comedian by multiple women. NBC would not comment on the status of the untitled project, but few believe that it has a chance of moving forward in light of new statements by two women who claim they were sexually assaulted by Cosby decades ago. Deadline Hollywood Back in July, NBC executives touted the project as being on track for a series launch in summer or fall 2015.

TVGN Sets January Launch for Pop (Deadline Hollywood)
TVGN’s previously announced rebrand to Pop becomes official on Jan. 14. That’s when the CBS/Lionsgate joint venture takes on its new on-air look and creative design that celebrates “the fun of being a fan.” Variety Pop will launch with programs that celebrate the continuing ability of such, well, institutions, as New Kids On The Block and Everybody Loves Raymond. And it will debut with some new programs in tow: a comedy series featuring Eugene Levy as well as a reality program that examines the ability of former soap stars from daytime and primetime to produce a new sudser.

How The GOP Used Twitter to Stretch Election Laws (CNN)
Republicans and outside groups used anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data ahead of the midterm elections, CNN has learned, a practice that raises questions about whether they violated campaign finance laws that prohibit coordination. Mediaite While the law states that super PACs and nonprofits can freely spend money on political ads, they can do so as long as they’re not coordinating with the campaigns itself. However, Republicans were using anonymous Twitter accounts to share internal polling data publicly — and, likely, the data was intended for outside groups.

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New York Times Buyout Watch, 2014 (Capital New York)
With a looming deadline for New York Times buyout applications, details about employees who have taken the package — or are believed to be strongly considering it — are starting to trickle out. For starters, two top business-side executives, Yasmin Namini and Tom Carley, have opted for the buyout.

The Walking Dead‘s Ratings Thrash Sunday Night Football for Third Week in A Row (Deadline Hollywood)
For a third consecutive week and the fourth time this season, The Walking Dead has solidly beat Sunday Night Football among adults 18-49. In the sixth episode of its fifth season, the blockbuster AMC series drew a 7.3 rating among the key demo while the New England Patriots’ 42-20 win over the Indianapolis Colts got a 6.2.

Dateline NBC Wins Friday Night (TVNewser)
Dateline NBC was the most-watched show in primetime Friday, drawing 7.97 million viewers. The show also won the adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 demos in the 8-9 p.m. ET/PT time period. In fact, the show drew its best 18-49 rating in seven months.

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Comedy Central Taps MTV Exec to Run Creative (THR)
In a continued bid to cut through the growing clutter, Viacom-owned Comedy Central has tapped Lu Chekowsky as senior VP of brand creative. In her new position, which she will assume in mid-December, Chekowsky will lead Comedy Central’s in-house creative team.

Russian Agency Looks to Meet With Twitter, Facebook on New Laws (WSJ / Digits)
The Russian government agency looking to enforce new restrictions on the Internet has asked Twitter and Facebook to send representatives to Russia to discuss the laws.

Universal Expands China Ambitions as It Opens Beijing Office (Variety)
Universal is to step up movie co-production and consumer products sales in China, as it also expands co-distribution efforts. The moves were announced by Universal Pictures boss Jeff Shell as the company formally opened a Beijing office.

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