Morning Media Newsfeed: Net Neutrality Passes at FCC Vote | Daily News Explores Sale

Net neutrality wins at FCC vote. New York Daily News explores possibility of sale. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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Net Neutrality: FCC Reclassifies ISPs as Common Carriers (SocialTimes)
After months of planning and political wrangling, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has finally voted on net neutrality rules to reclassify Internet service providers as “common carriers,” which means that ISPs are subject to the same rules as other utilities. FishbowlDC It was a 3-2 decision. This vote preserves for now the principle of net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers should not be able to provide preferential treatment, such as Internet fast lanes to those willing to pay for it, or slow down or block the sites of those who are not willing to pay for faster speeds. Court challenges to the rules are expected. Deadline Supporters say the changes are essential to protect competition as media and communications increasingly reach people via a handful of cable and phone companies — often local monopolies or oligopolies. The Internet “has redefined commerce and entertainment” and is “the ultimate vehicle for free expression,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. It “is too important to be left without rules and a referee on the field.” WSJ The FCC also voted to overrule laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service. Netflix said the day was a win for consumers. Telecom and cable industry groups said the decisions opened the door to heavy-handed regulation that would hurt innovation. The Verge President Obama said, in a statement, that the FCC’s decision “will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs.” Adweek Mitchell Baker, executive chairwoman of Mozilla, was optimistic: “This is an enormous step forward in helping us all protect the openness and innovation that has made the online life and the Internet so remarkable to date.” Comcast, which will probably have to radically realign its blueprint for the next few years, issued a fairly imperious statement asserting the exact opposite of Baker’s assessment; that the openness of the Web thus far has entirely been a function of market freedom. The New Yorker It is a substantial achievement for the Obama Administration and Wheeler, and also for the many groups that fought hard for the outcome. But it also is a moment to reflect back on the process over the last year that led here, and figure out why what so many people thought they knew turned out to be wrong.

Zuckerman Seeks Buyer for NY Daily News (Financial Times)
Mort Zuckerman, the billionaire real estate mogul, has hired Lazard to find a buyer for the New York Daily News, the tabloid newspaper he has owned since 1993. FishbowlNY Zuckerman began by explaining that although he had not been in the market, a recent inquiry about interest in selling the paper led him to decide to more formally look into the possibility. Capital New York “I have not come to this decision easily,” Zuckerman wrote to staff Thursday. “But I believe the immense hard work in turning the business around in an extremely challenging period for the industry, has put the Daily News in as strong a position than it has ever been, particularly online.” WSJ With splashy photos, screaming headlines and a tabloid format that appeals to subway commuters, the Daily News has long had a prominent place in New York’s media scene, offering up a mix of political, celebrity and sports news. It has been engaged for decades in a cutthroat battle for supremacy with the New York Post, which is owned by News Corp. Both papers have struggled financially. NYT The Daily News’ print and digital circulation was 427,452 on weekdays and 558,057 on Sundays for the six months ending in September, the most recent figures available, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. The Post had a circulation of 497,878 during the week and 454,007 on Sunday, by the same measure.

Jay Carney to Amazon (Politico)
Former White House press secretary Jay Carney joins Amazon on Monday as senior vice president for Worldwide Corporate Affairs. The new position brings the e-commerce giant’s worldwide public relations and public policy shops into one department under Carney. PRNewser The company’s PR chief Craig Berman and VP of public policy (aka top lobbyist) Paul Misener will report to Carney and he will report directly to Jeff Bezos himself. Mashable Carney, a former Moscow correspondent for Time magazine, stepped down from his post as White House press secretary last May and was at one point rumored to be considering taking a top PR job at Apple. He later joined CNN as a political commentator in September, a role that he is now said to be forfeiting for Amazon. Mediaite Carney isn’t the only former Obama official to take a job in Silicon Valley: David Plouffe, a campaign manager in 2008 and 2012, recently took a job at Uber as its “campaign manager.”

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Greg Gutfeld Leaving Red Eye for New FNC Show (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel has announced that Greg Gutfeld will be leaving Red Eye to host a new one-hour weekend primetime show. Gutfeld will sign off from Red Eye Friday night, hosting his final episode of the late-night show at 3 a.m. ET. Capital New York Gutfeld will continue on The Five, and will make regular appearances on The O’Reilly Factor. A rotating slate of guest hosts will fill in on Red Eye after Gutfeld’s last show. The show in development, which does not have a name or timeslot, will highlight “Gutfeld’s whimsical nature and political satire,” according to the announcement from Fox. It will also “focus on his strong libertarian values and social commentary.” Variety Prior to joining FNC, Gutfeld was a staff writer at Prevention and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health magazine. He later became the editor-in-chief of Stuff. Gutfeld led Maxim in the U.K. and was a contributor to the Huffington Post. He is the author of several books, including The Bible of Unspeakable Truths, The Joy of Hate and most recently Not Cool: The Hipster Elite And Their War on You.

The Walking Dead Powers AMC Networks’ Q4, Full-Year Earnings (Variety)
The Walking Dead drove a nearly 25 percent gain in advertising revenue at AMC Networks in the fourth quarter, powering the cable group’s earnings and revenue well past Wall Street’s expectations. AMC Networks said Thursday that fourth quarter ad revenue at its five U.S. cablers grew 24.3 percent to $255 million, led by AMC, which saw more record ratings from the first half of the zombie drama’s fifth season in October-November. WSJ / CMO Today Excluding gains from a recently acquired stake in BBC America, ad growth was in the mid-teens. Executives also highlighted demand for other shows like IFC’s Portlandia and BBC America’s Doctor Who and Orphan Black as contributors to the company’s ad growth in a soft advertising marketplace. Deadline The programming company reported net income of $77.62 million, up 119 percent versus the last three months of 2013, on revenues of $609.4 million, up 40 percent. Analysts expected the top line to hit $602.4 million. Earnings from continuing operation, at $1.06 a share, beat Wall Street’s target for 99 cents.

Sony Pictures Fires Digital Chief Bob Osher (Variety)
Sony Pictures Digital president Bob Osher, who oversaw Sony Animation and Imageworks for the past seven years, has been fired, according to knowledgeable sources. THR The move was months in the making and likely not a surprise to astute Sony watchers. That it happened the same week as Tom Rothman taking the reins from fired Amy Pascal shows that Sony is in full housecleaning mode. Osher had been with the studio since 2004. Deadline In emails leaked out from the massive hacking of Sony in November, the now recently re-upped Michael Lynton hinted to Pascal that Osher should be departing. Osher, the former co-president of production at Miramax, already had seen his realm reduced when Kristine Belson was brought in as president of Sony Pictures Animation last month.

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Is Controversy Helping Bill O’Reilly? (TVNewser)
Bill O’Reilly has been putting up monster numbers since being accused of exaggerating his experience as a reporter decades ago. The O’Reilly Factor averaged 705,000 viewers in the key adult 25-54 demo Wednesday night, easily his best demo performance of 2015. THR The last time O’Reilly pulled such a big number was during the riots in Ferguson, Miss., in November. He was up 62 percent in the demo compared to the same day last year and 24 percent to the same day last week. Among total viewers, he brought in a relatively steady 3.08 million viewers.

Meet The Press Gets A Taste of Victory (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
NBC’s Meet The Press has achieved its first ratings victory since Chuck Todd took over as moderator. The Feb. 22 broadcast brought in 3,271,000 total viewers and 907,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demo. That put it in the top spot for total and the top spot for the demo when rated by the full hour. Deadline That said, ABC’s This Week beat Meet The Press in the news demo for the February sweep — the first time that’s happened in 22 years. The ABC Sunday Beltway show turned in its strongest sweep performance in the news demo in six years, and its smallest news demo gap against the frontrunner, CBS’ Face The Nation, during a February ratings derby in four years.

Fox News Calls Out Eric Holder for Skipping Network in Exit Interviews (Mediaite)
Attorney general Eric Holder is conducting exit interviews with many major news outlets — CNN, ABC, NBC, CNN and Politico — but not Fox News. Fox News executive vice president Michael Clemente released this statement on Holder overlooking Fox: “The attorney general’s decision does a deep disservice to America’s largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press.” FishbowlDC The news does not come as a complete shocker, considering the less than friendly relations that exist between Holder and Fox News. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media In his statement, Clemente suggested that Holder’s decision may have been influenced by the Justice Department’s investigation of James Rosen, a Fox News reporter. In 2013, The Washington Post reported that the DOJ had labeled Rosen and “co-conspirator” in a leak probe and monitored his emails, phone records, and comings and goings at the State Department.

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Rajiv Chandrasekaran Leaves WaPo for New Seattle Venture (FishbowlDC)
Longtime Washington Post senior correspondent and associate editor Rajiv Chandrasekaran is headed west to Seattle, where he will launch a media startup.

Bloomberg TV to Launch Canadian Channel (TVNewser)
Bloomberg TV is going north. Bloomberg TV Canada will launch later this year with studios in the heart of Toronto’s financial district in a partnership with Canadian media company Channel Zero.

FBN Already Gives Strange Inheritance A Spin-Off Show (TVNewser)
Strange Inheritance With Jamie Colby has been a big hit for Fox Business Network, premiering as the network’s highest-rated show launch ever. Only one month later, the network is launching a spin-off show.

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TiVo, Others Buy Scraps of Aereo at Bankruptcy Auction (WSJ)
Aereo Inc., the defunct TV-streaming service that once promised to revolutionize the way consumers watch network television, was sold for parts this week to TiVo Inc. and other buyers at a bankruptcy auction.

Fox Networks Group Appoints TrueX CEO to Leadership Role (THR)
Two months after 21st Century Fox acquired advertising technology firm TrueX, the company’s founder and CEO is taking an in-house role at the company. Joe Marchese has joined Fox Networks Group as president of advanced advertising products.

Paramount Confirms Adam Goodman’s Exit, Begins Search for Successor (THR)
Paramount Film Group president Adam Goodman is officially out. In a memo sent to staff Thursday afternoon, Paramount chairman and CEO Brad Grey confirmed Goodman’s exit and said a search for his replacement is underway.

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