Morning Media Newsfeed: Lack’s Return to NBC News Official | FNC Hires Alveda King

Andy Lack named chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. Fox News hires Dr. Alveda King. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Andy Lack Named Chairman of NBC News, MSNBC (TVNewser)
Andy Lack is returning to NBC as chairman of NBC News and MSNBC. Current News Group chairman Pat Fili-Krushel will move upstairs at 30 Rock to work alongside NBCU CEO Steve Burke, who brought her to the network in 2011. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Fili-Krushel was made chairman of the NBC News Group in 2012, overseeing NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. Lack, who was president of NBC News from 1993 to 2001 and created MSNBC in 1996, will only oversee those channels. CNBC president Mark Hoffman will report directly to Burke. Capital New York Lack, who also briefly served as NBC’s president from 2001-2003, subsequently left to take over Sony’s U.S. music business, and later to lead Bloomberg Media. After leaving Bloomberg last year, he joined the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a U.S.-backed agency which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and Radio and TV Marti. The BBG announced his departure Wednesday. HuffPost Lack rejoins NBC News during a period of scandal and uncertainty. In February, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was suspended for six months after Stars And Stripes outed the anchor for fabricating details about his experience as a reporter during the Iraq War. As the network mulled Williams’ fate, Lack reportedly convinced Burke to leave open the possibility of the anchor’s return. New York Post / Page Six Katie Couric is reportedly angling for a return to NBC after the network announced that Lack, who helped make her a star at Today, is back in charge. Couric, the co-host of Today from 1991 to 2006, could make a return to the Peacock Network because of her continuing close friendship with Lack. Adweek Lack, as many have noted, took over the network the first time amid a much more damaging and disturbing scandal than the one currently plaguing Williams and his producers — the newsmagazine program Dateline faked footage of a car engulfed in flames for an investigative report on manufacturing defects at General Motors.

Fox News Channel Signs MLK’s Niece, Dr. Alveda King (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has signed Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to a contributor role. King will be featured across FNC’s programming, offering social and cultural commentary. Mediaite Network chairman Roger Ailes added: “Alveda has brilliantly carried the legacy of the King family to the next generation and has been a source of inspiration for many Americans. Her passion and mission for social change will be a valuable contribution to our network.” King has made appearances on Fox News before. HuffPost King is a prominent anti-abortion activist and serves as director of African-American outreach at Priests for Life. She has also courted controversy by speaking out against LGBT rights, proclaiming in 1998 that “God hates homosexuality” and comparing gay marriage to genocide in a 2010 speech. THR Serving just one term in Georgia’s House of Representatives (between 1979 and 1981), King comes to the network with a résumé that includes status as a senior fellow at Howard Center for Family, and she belongs to the National Black Pro-Life Coalition (NBPC), the Coalition of African American Pastors and the Judeo-Christian Coalition for Constitutional Restoration. She’s received multiple awards for her activism and authored several books, including 2014 title King Rules: 10 Truths for You, Your Family, And Our Nation to Prosper.

Taxpayer Subsidy Allows Time Inc. to Slash Jobs (WNYC)
Time Inc., the publisher of Time, Sports Illustrated, People and many other magazines, is planning a move from Midtown to downtown Manhattan, with the help of public subsidies. The terms of the deal allow Time to cut close to one third of its jobs, with no penalty. Last year, Time was reported to be looking for a smaller headquarters in New Jersey. New York State responded by awarding the publisher a package of grants and tax breaks worth $10 million to stay in New York. Mediaite In return, Time would invest $150 million in a lower Manhattan revitalization program, thanks to, according to a spokesman, an “attractive lease” in a building where “its main headquarters will be located for many years to come.” But the terms of the project, revealed in documents obtained by WNYC, allow Time to slash its workforce to 2,000 employees, and according to its filing, Time currently employs 2,917 people. New York Post The 2,000 employee level “doesn’t mean we plan to cut that many,” said a spokesman. “It is designed to be the floor to give us flexibility. The alternative was to take all those jobs and move them all to New Jersey.”

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Tribune Media Posts Higher Fourth-Quarter Financials, Unveils Dividend (THR)
Tribune Media, the entertainment company that was created by last year’s split of the Tribune Co., on Friday reported higher fourth-quarter financials and unveiled a $650 million special dividend and plans for a regular quarterly dividend. Variety The company said Friday it would declare a special cash dividend of $6.73 per share next month for a total of $650 million, most of which will go to private equity firms that converted the company’s debt to equity after Tribune emerged from bankruptcy. Tribune also said it expects to pay a regular quarterly dividend of 25 cents per share starting with the second quarter of this year. WSJ Tribune Media posted upbeat revenue guidance for the year, as higher advertising revenue and retransmission fees helped its earnings more than double in the December quarter. For the full year, the company expects revenue between $2 billion and $2.03 billion, above the $1.87 billion that analysts had called for.

DC And Marvel, Beware: Valiant Is to Make Films (NYT)
DC’s Justice League and Marvel’s Avengers are going to have to make room for even more heroes coming to the big screen. The independent comic book publisher Valiant Entertainment and the Beijing-based DMG Entertainment announced on Sunday a nine-figure investment and partnership for feature-film financing as well as publishing, television and licensing opportunities. THR / Heat Vision As a result of that investment, Valiant and DMG will develop both movies for release in the U.S. and China, as well as new projects specifically for the Asian market, including “Chinese-language publishing, animation and theme parks, as well as toys and apparel.” Variety Valiant was formed 25 years ago by comic book creators including former Marvel editor-in chief Jim Shooter and Iron Man artist Bob Layton, and has sold more than 81 million comics.

Laurel Pinson Named Glamour Digital Editorial Director (FishbowlNY)
Laurel Pinson has been named Glamour’s digital editorial director. Pinson comes to the magazine from Stylecaster, where she served as editor-in-chief. WWD / Memo Pad Pinson, who will start her new gig on March 30, will report to Anne Sachs, executive digital director, and will oversee all editorial and social media content for Pinson fills the role left vacant by Sachs, after the site’s former executive digital director, Mike Hofman, moved to Condé Nast sister pub GQ to head up digital there.

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Former Fox Exec ‘Front Runner’ to Be President of People, EW (New York Post / Media Ink)
Former Fox and News Corp. executive Richard Battista is said to be the front runner to be named to the newly created position of president of the People and Entertainment Weekly Group at Time Inc. FishbowlNY Battista is currently the CEO of Mandalay Sports Media, a role he has held since 2013. He previously spent 18 years at Fox and News Corp., and from 2008 to 2010 he served as president of National Cable Networks. In that role, Battista oversaw such popular networks as FX and National Geographic.

Brooklyn-Based Digital Magazine Bklynr Folds After Two Years (Capital New York)
After 44 issues, the Brooklyn digital magazine Bklynr announced on Thursday that the publication was shutting down. In an email to staff and contributors, founding editors Thomas Rhiel and Raphael Pope-Sussman announced the end of Bklynr’s run, citing time constraints as an issue. Both men have full-time jobs outside of the magazine. FishbowlNY The publication is closing things down with one final (larger) issue set for later this month. The only silver lining for the magazine’s contributors and part-time editors is that the decision is not primarily motivated by finances.

Netflix Negotiates 2015 Spain Launch (Variety)
Adding another major territory to its European rollout agenda, Netflix looks to be negotiating for a second-half bow in Spain in either late summer or fall. Per one source, Netflix has already closed deals with Hollywood major studios for Spanish rights with a start date for product of Sept. 1.

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CBS’ Lara Logan Home, Recovering (TVNewser)
CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was hospitalized two weeks ago with internal bleeding, but she is home and doing OK. Sources say that she is expected to eventually return to work once her condition improves.

Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto to Present U.S. Premiere of Banned Indian Rape Documentary (THR)
Meryl Streep and Freida Pinto will present the U.S. premiere of India’s Daughter by British filmmaker Leslee Udwin, which has been banned from telecast in India.

NYT Reporter Eric Lichtblau Joins Paper’s 2016 Team (HuffPost)
Eric Lichtblau, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at The New York Times, is joining the paper’s 2016 election team to cover money and politics, according to a staff memo circulated on Friday.

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Pivot Promotes Exec Jennie Morris (Variety)
Pivot has promoted exec Jennie Morris to executive vice president of acquisitions, research and network operations, the network’s general manager Kent Rees announced Friday.

Chris Matthews Says He Will Be ‘Transparent And Fair’ if Wife Kathleen Runs for Congress (HuffPost)
Chris Matthews assured viewers that he would continue to remain balanced despite wife Kathleen Matthews’ plans to run for Congress. “It’s important in my position here for me to be as transparent as possible,” he said on Hardball.

China’s Wanda Showcases Planned Qingdao Studio in LA (THR)
Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda presented its planned Wanda Qingdao Studios facility, which is due to open in April 2017, and will be the world’s largest film and television studio, spreading across 494 acres.

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