Morning Media Newsfeed: Leno Set to Launch CNBC Show | NBC Courted Stewart for MTP

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Jay Leno Nears Deal to Launch CNBC Show (THR / The Live Feed)
Jay Leno is lining up his first regular television hosting gig since leaving The Tonight Show in February, and he’s staying in the NBCUniversal family. TVNewser Leno’s new show would air on CNBC in primetime and focus on his longtime love of cars. WSJ / CMO Today A CNBC spokesperson declined to comment. Both NBC and CNBC are units of Comcast Corp. Since he stepped down from The Tonight Show, he has continued to work as a stand-up comic. He is known for his love of automobiles and has a large collection of rare and classic cars. NYT No other details have been released pending completion of the contract, though the executives confirmed the show would not be comedy-based. Leno has been a regular presence on NBC.com with a motor-vehicle-obsessed show called Jay Leno’s Garage. Deadline Hollywood The news comes as the cable business network comes off its lowest-rated quarter of the year in primetime and the lowest-rated quarter in its history in the demo for the business day, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CNBC has been looking to broaden its primetime slate with reality TV formats. To date, its most successful such bid has been its reruns of ABC’s Mark Burnett-produced Shark Tank.

NBC Wanted to Hire Jon Stewart as Host of Meet The Press (New York / Daily Intelligencer)
Sunday marks Chuck Todd’s one-month anniversary in the anchor chair at Meet The Press. Despite an opening-week ratings spike, the Todd-helmed show has settled back into third place behind ABC’s This Week and CBS’ Face The Nation. This has been frustrating to NBC News executives, who at one point had considered going in a radically different direction with the show. Variety The first choice for peacock executives was originally the Daily Show host Jon Stewart. NBC News president Deborah Turness reportedly negotiated with Stewart about anchoring NBC’s Sunday morning interview program. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media An NBC News spokesperson declined to comment for Sherman’s piece, and James Dixon, Stewart’s agent, did not respond. Appointing a comedian to one of the most coveted jobs in political journalism may seem implausible, but Turness was desperate for a fix. With the show consistently ranking third behind ABC and CBS’ Sunday offerings, she had considered changing the name and even canceling it. THR / The Live Feed Stewart, meanwhile, has been on the festival circuit recently in support of his directorial debut, Rosewater, which debuted at the Telluride Film Festival in late August. Wednesday, Todd referenced the reported negotiations with a nod to the Daily Show’s end segment.

Patrick Modiano Wins Nobel Prize in Literature (The Telegraph)
French novelist Patrick Modiano has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in literature. He beat a competitive field that included Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Belarusian investigative journalist and author Svetlana Alexievich, and Syrian poet Adonis.The Washington Post / Style Blog The Swedish Academy received 210 nominations for this year’s Literature prize — 36 were first-time nominees. The committee’s deliberations are confidential and kept sealed for 50 years. Last year’s Nobel literature award went to Canadian writer Alice Munro. No American has won the literature prize since Toni Morrison in 1993.

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Twitter’s Head of News Vivian Schiller Exits (THR)
Less than a year after taking the reins as Twitter’s head of news, former NPR and NBC News exec Vivian Schiller has exited the company, she announced in a series of tweets on Wednesday, in which she described her time at the social network as “a fascinating experience.” Mashable Schiller announced her resignation on Twitter, saying she was stepping aside so the company’s new global head of media, Katie Stanton, could “reorganize as she sees fit.” Stanton was promoted to her current role at Twitter in July after overseeing the company’s international expansion efforts from Paris. WSJ / Digits During her brief tenure, Schiller worked to build out the company’s partnerships with news organizations from education to integrating the social media service into coverage. She worked with Dataminr, a New York data service, to help develop its first commercial product for news organizations. The product, which launched last month, mines the half a billion tweets populating Twitter each day for patterns that could lead to a breaking news event. Poynter / MediaWire Adam Sharp, who was head of government and nonprofits, will return to his role as the lead for news partnerships as well, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed.

Comcast Shareholders Approve Time Warner Cable Merger (TVNewser)
More than 99 percent of Comcast shareholders voted Wednesday morning in support of the company’s planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable. TWC shareholders, who are expected to vote on the merger Thursday, would get 2.875 shares of Comcast Class A stock for every one of their TWC shares. THR Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts has said he was “cautiously optimistic” that regulators would allow the acquisition of the second-largest U.S. cable operator by the largest cable company. Comcast on Wednesday said that subject to TWC shareholder approval and regulatory approvals, the deal is expected to close in early 2015. Variety The pact, valued at $45.2 billion, would create a behemoth among media companies, giving the new Comcast the most control over how content is distributed to a wide range of U.S. homes. The company would have a sizable presence in the nation’s two largest markets, New York and Los Angeles.

Funny or Die Launches News Hub (THR)
Funny or Die is tackling the news with the Wednesday launch of its newest content vertical. Funny or Die News will feature daily editorial content about current events from the comedy website. Mediaite The content ranges for straight-ish news stories to explainers to what’s happening in late night. While they do have purely silly posts, there are an interesting number of posts just giving a twist on actual news. TheWrap “We are very excited to discover and explore, crafting a world where news junkies and humor fans can find common ground,” editor-in-chief Dan Abramson wrote in a note to readers. Abramson and news editor Nate Dern will lead a staff including writers Matt Klinman, John Howell Harris and Melinda Taub. Readers can expect “anywhere from 5 to 1,000 stories daily.”

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Lisa Desjardins to PBS NewsHour (FishbowlDC)
PBS NewsHour executive producer Sara Just Wednesday announced the hire of Lisa Desjardins as a politics reporter and editor for the nightly news magazine with Gewn Ifill and Judy Woodruff. TVNewser Desjardins, who starts Monday, was laid off from CNN in August after nine years with the network. She worked first with CNN Radio and later CNN TV. Before CNN, Desjardins reported for the AP, Reuters and WIS-TV in Columbia, S.C. She came into the spotlight after her departure from CNN for producing the best exit video in recent memory.

Nathan Lump Making Changes at Travel + Leisure (WWD / Memo Pad)
New Travel + Leisure editor-in-chief Nathan Lump is putting his stamp on the Time Inc.-owned glossy. According to sources, Lump dismissed five people on the edit side on Monday. Layoffs included the magazine’s executive editor, style director, special correspondent, new media editor and the features director. FishbowlNY While Lump has cut five, he has added one — Jeffries Blackerby began his role as executive editor this past Monday. He joined from Condé Nast Traveler, where he served as deputy editor.

Viacom to Roll Out Spike in International Markets, Starting With U.K. (THR)
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman told reporters in London Wednesday that the company will launch the Spike network in the U.K. as the first step in the brand’s international expansion. Variety Spike’s U.K. schedule will combine repeats of Channel 5 shows alongside U.S. content. The move is another example of the synergies Viacom hopes to achieve in Britain in the wake of buying a U.K. free-to-air terrestrial network. Viacom paid $725 for C5 in May amid bidding from other U.S. media groups including Discovery and NBCUniversal.

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IBT Media Claims Newsweek Is Profitable (FishbowlNY)
IBT Media has announced that Newsweek is — for the first time in years — profitable. When IBT bought Newsweek last year, the company said it would relaunch the print edition as a “premium product.” At the time we laughed at this idea, but apparently the plan worked. Capital New York The magazine, saddled with industry-wide print losses, growing competition on the Web and the waning relevance of the newsweekly format, was reportedly losing close to $30 million annually when The Washington Post Co. put it up for sale in 2010.

CQ Roll Call’s Dave Rapp to Depart After 2014 Election (FishbowlDC)
CQ Roll Call EVP and managing director Keith White informed staff Wednesday of Dave Rapp’s departure as chief content officer after the midterm elections. In his email announcing the news, White referenced a “discrete timeframe” Rapp stipulated when he rejoined CQ Roll Call in 2012 as editor. In November 2013, he was promoted to the newly created position of chief content officer.

Rolling Stone Adds Two (FishbowlNY)
Rolling Stone has named Mark Oltarsh associate publisher and Kerri Bergman as head of marketing. Both will report to Michael Provus, the glossy’s publisher. Oltarsh was most recently the founder and CEO of TrafficJam, a data management platform. Bergman most recently served as Billboard’s executive director of marketing. She had been with the company since 2008.

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Michael Caine, Doris Kearns Goodwin And All Is Forgiven, Michael Wolff (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
The usual suspects who flocked to Michael’s Wednesday were so busy tucking into their Cobb salads they didn’t even notice there was a genuine knight in their midst. No, it wasn’t Michael Bloomberg (he’s off at Vanity Fair’s inaugural New Establishment Summit in San Francisco, as are, I suspect, several other Wednesday regulars). None other than Michael Caine slipped in after the room had filled up to meet agent Boaty Boatwright.

CBS News Takes Huge Risk, Sends Reporter Undercover to Syria (HuffPost / AP)
CBS News reporter Clarissa Ward traveled undercover to Syria to interview two Westerners fighting against the U.S. for stories airing this week, a risk the network took despite the backdrop of kidnappings and beheadings by Islamic state fighters. Ward’s stories, about a former Dutch Army fighter and an American who are fighting for rebel groups in Syria, aired Tuesday and Wednesday on the CBS Evening News.

Vice News Hires Environment-Focused Midterms Reporter (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Vice News has hired Ari Ratner as special political correspondent focused on environmental issues in the midterm elections, the network announced Wednesday. Ratner, currently a fellow with New America, will travel to states like Colorado, West Virginia and Kentucky to report on how environmental issues like coal and the Keystone XL pipeline play into the upcoming elections.

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