Morning Media Newsfeed: Oscars TV Ratings Slip, Social Solid | Dish Ups Ergen to CEO

Oscars TV ratings slip, Facebook interactions up. Dish ups Ergen to CEO. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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87th Academy Awards: 21 Million Facebook Users, 58 Million Interactions (SocialTimes)
Some 21 million Facebook users globally were responsible for about 58 million posts, likes and comments related to the 87th Academy Awards Sunday night. LostRemote On both Facebook and Twitter, the top moment was Lady Gaga’s medley from The Sound of MusicAdweek The top two and three moments were Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Picture for Birdman and Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress, in which she called for equal rights for women. LostRemote Neil Patrick Harris wasn’t as popular on social media as Ellen DeGeneres the year before. Re/code Nielsen says that 13 million U.S. Twitter users checked out Sunday night’s show. That’s down from 13.9 million last year — a drop of 6.5 percent. The Facebook numbers were up from 11.3 million and 25.4 million last year, and that leap isn’t that surprising given the focus Facebook put on this year’s show, which included live streaming video from backstage. Sources say Facebook offered up to $2 million in “in-kind” promotion to ABC, which broadcast the awards, to seal that deal. THR / The Live Feed After hitting a nearly 10-year high in 2014, the Oscars TV ratings succumbed to gravity on Sunday night and hit a six-year low in the process. After metered market ratings brought dips — the year’s show dropped 10 percent, to an average 25 rating among households and a 38 share — final ratings for the show fell 17 percent in the key demographic of adults 18-49 to a 10.8 rating. With time zone adjustments for the period of 8:30 p.m. to 11:46 p.m. ET, the audience for the ABC telecast also fell by more than 6 million viewers from the previous year. The live telecast averaged 36.6 million viewers.

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen to Add CEO Title, Company Posts Subscriber Loss for 2014 (THR)
Satellite TV company Dish Network on Monday reported full-year 2014 financials and subscriber trends and said Joseph Clayton will retire from his role as president and CEO, effective March 31. Chairman Charlie Ergen will take on the added roles from him as of March 31. Deadline Clayton, who became CEO in 2011, was at the center of often controversial developments including Dish’s launch of the ad-zapping Hopper DVR, the recent introduction of the Sling TV streaming service, and contract battles with programmers including Time Warner, CBS and Fox. The company also bought, and then closed, the Blockbuster video chain. Ergen has been amassing wireless spectrum rights and is interested in turning Dish into a mobile broadband and communications provider. Variety For the full-year 2014, the satcaster reported total revenue of $14.6 billion, up 5.3 percent from the year earlier, while net income rose 17 percent to $945 million. In Q4 2014, Dish lost a 63,000 net video subscribers to end the year with 13.978 million U.S. TV subs. Its total subscriber base dropped by 79,000 for the full year. In the fourth quarter, Dish’s contract fight with Turner Broadcasting resulted in subs losing CNN and seven other networks for about a month.

Does CBS News Footage Help Bill O’Reilly’s Case? (TVNewser)
CBS News has released video of its coverage of the end of the 1982 Falklands War which has been at the center of a debate about whether Fox News host Bill O’Reilly has been exaggerating his role in the coverage when he was a CBS News correspondent. CBS Evening News With Dan Rather and a Special Report from June 15, 1982 are included, as well as the CBS Morning News (with anchor Diane Sawyer) and the Evening News from the following day. Deadline O’Reilly said Sunday on FNC’s MediaBuzz that he intended to show the footage on his primetime program Monday night, as various media outlets and journalists question his account of his coverage of protests in Buenos Aires at the end of the war. O’Reilly enlisted CBS News and The New York Times to hammer a Facebook post by former CBS News correspondent Eric Jon Engberg. He rapped the Fox News star for calling “an expense account zone” the “war zone” that O’Reilly described in Buenos Aires following Argentina’s surrender to Britain at the close of the war. TVNewser David Corn and Engberg spent Monday afternoon responding to the Fox News host’s Sunday appearance on MediaBuzz. Corn’s latest retaliation piece against Bill O’Reilly accuses the Fox News host of responding to the Mother Jones story questioning his wartime reporting experience with “insult, denial, threatening rhetoric and bombast.” Corn also claims O’Reilly omitted details of the Times article he read on air. Meanwhile, less than 24 hours after being called “Room Service Eric” by O’Reilly, Engberg went on “HuffPost Live” to defend himself.

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Michael Weisman Named Executive in Charge of Morning Joe (TVNewser)
Michael Weisman is joining MSNBC as executive in charge of Morning Joe. Weisman, who spent six years as the executive producer of NBC Sports in the late 1980s, will oversee all facets of Morning Joe, as the program struggles in the ratings. Variety Weisman has a long tenure supervising live events and sports broadcasts, having led broadcasts of the Olympics, the World Series, the Super Bowl, NBC’s Football Night in America, and even Jane Pauley’s syndicated talk program in 2004 and Pat Sajak’s late-night CBS talk show in 1989 and 1990. He has received 24 Emmys over the years for work done at both NBC and Fox. Deadline The Morning Joe exec change comes just days after MSNBC finally threw in the towel on Ronan Farrow’s show and The Reid Report because the botched experiment with going after the multi-platform generation, which had debuted to unimpressive numbers, was now flatlining.

Comcast, Al Sharpton Hit With $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Even though the FCC hasn’t yet ruled on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, one group has already filed a lawsuit claiming at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media. Mediaite The suit, filed by the National Association of African-American Owned Media, claims that despite touting itself as a diverse company, Comcast and TWC only carries one channel owned by a black media owner and refuses to carry any others. Furthermore, the diversity Comcast presents — including the hiring of minority personalities such as Al Sharpton, and including a “memorandum of understanding” they signed with the NAACP and Sharpton’s National Urban League — is “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.” The suit alleges that Sharpton and his organizations received big money to look the other way. Deadline Comcast has come out swinging against the harsh claims. “We will defend vigorously against the scurrilous allegations in this complaint and fully expect that the court will dismiss them,” said the cable giant Monday in a statement responding to the “frivolous” legal action.

Amazon Extends Epix Movie Licensing Pact (Variety)
Epix has extended its movie licensing pact with Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service. The multiyear pact covers new releases from Epix studio partners Paramount, MGM and Lionsgate as well as all library titles including The Hunger Games, Rocky, films in the James Bond and Star Trek series and Epix original productions such as documentaries, concert and comedy specials. GigaOM Amazon first struck a deal with Epix in 2012. At the time, that deal was seen as a blow to Netflix, which previously was the only subscription service with access to Epix movies. However, these days, Epix has deals with both companies, which means that film buffs without a Prime subscription will get to see the same movies on Netflix as well.

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Disney Names Bob Chapek Chairman of Parks, Resorts (THR)
Weeks after Disney elevated Thomas Staggs to chief operating officer, the company has named Bob Chapek as the new chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Chapek succeeds Staggs, who previously held that post, and will report to both Staggs and Robert Iger, Disney chairman and CEO. Deadline Before heading Consumer Products, the 22-year Disney veteran ran the Walt Disney Studios’ distribution and was president of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. He’s credited with leading its so-called “vault strategy” — turning old films and shows into home video events.

Lifetime Boss Rob Sharenow Adds A&E Oversight, David McKillop Steps Down (Deadline)
Paul Buccieri, President, A&E and History, is making his first major executive move, a change at the helm of struggling flagship network A&E. Getting additional responsibilities is one of A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc’s key executives, Rob Sharenow. Variety Former A&E head David McKillop is shifting his focus to producing. Sharenow has been in the History, A&E and Lifetime fold since 2000. He shifted from a programming post at A&E to overseeing Lifetime in 2011. McKillop came up through the ranks at History before taking over programming at A&E and its sibling Bio channel in 2011. Before joining History in 2007, he was a programming and production exec for Discovery Communications cablers.

The AP, PodcastOne Partner to Offer Dynamic News Via Podcasts (Digital Context Next)
The Associated Press is getting into the resurgent podcasting game while remaining true to its brand: a trusted source of independent news and information licensed by media outlets of all kinds. Poynter / MediaWire The AP has struck a revenue-sharing deal with podcasting network PodcastOne to license its audio clips for the company’s index of 200 podcasts. The terms of the deal require the AP to open up its audio service, which includes sound bites, correspondent reports and news headlines, for use in the company’s content.

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Former Fortune Editor Joins LinkedIn as New Economy Editor (SocialTimes)
Caroline Fairchild announced recently that she would be leaving her post at Fortune and joining the LinkedIn editorial team in March. Fairchild is just one of the recent editorial hires. Also being added to the team are Ramya Venugopal, who will oversee the content focused on business in India, and Maya Pope-Chappell, who will be in charge of education and millennial content.

Shipping Up to Boston: Roll Call’s Politics Editor Joins The Boston Globe (FishbowlDC)
The Boston Globe has hired Shira T. Center as a political editor, according to her Twitter account. She will be leaving Washington for Boston, where she will focus on the New Hampshire primary and 2016 race.

Jeffrey Rosen Joining The Atlantic as Contributing Editor (FishbowlDC)
Jeffrey Rosen will be joining The Atlantic as a contributing editor, per a staff memo from editor of John Gould. He will join Yoni Appelbaum, who was given the bump to new politics editor last month, and the rest of the politics team.

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Reuters Bureau Chief Maria Golovnina Dies in Islamabad (FishbowlNY)
Reuters’ Afghanistan-Pakistan bureau chief Maria Golovnina has died. She was 34 years old. The news agency reported that Golovnina was found unconscious in the bathroom of Reuters’ Islamabad bureau.

Brad Schwartz Elevated to Pop President, David Wisnia Exits (Deadline)
Brad Schwartz’s rise continues. Less than two years after he was brought in as president of Entertainment and Media for TVGN, a co-venture of CBS Corp. and Lionsgate, and on the heels of TVGN’s rebranding as Pop, Schwartz has been promoted to president of Pop.

Discovery Stock Jumps Even as Fox Denies Takeover Talks Report (THR)
The stock of Discovery Communications jumped as much as 9 percent in Monday morning trading after a report in the Australian Financial Review that suggested that Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox had held early-stage takeover talks with the company, which Fox immediately denied.

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