Morning Media Newsfeed: Piers Morgan Lands New Gig | News Corp. Buys Realty Business

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Piers Morgan Named Editor-at-Large of MailOnline (TVNewser)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan is joining MailOnline as editor-at-large. Morgan will write several times a week, while pursing new TV ventures in the U.S. He is a former editor of British tabloids the News of The World and the Daily Mirror. THR MailOnline is the online version of the U.K.’s Daily Mail newspaper and claims to be the biggest English-language newspaper website in the world. Morgan announced in September that he’d left CNN, several months after his eponymous talk show was canceled. He added in tweets about his departure that he’d turned down a two-year deal from CNN president Jeff Zucker to host several interview specials. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “As editor-at-large (U.S.) I plan on breaking down the biggest stories that matter to Americans and analyzing them in a way that will generate discussion and create debate,” Morgan, 49, said in a statement. Deadline Hollywood In the U.K., Morgan is known for being named youngest ever editor of the News of The World and youngest national newspaper editor in Britain in half a century, when Rupert Murdoch gave the 28-year-old him the gig in 1994. After two years, he joined the Daily Mirror as editor-in-chief, which he left in 2004 and became a media columnist and host of interview shows on ITV and the BBC. He also appeared as a judge alongside pal Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent. NYT In the U.S., MailOnline reaches more than 35 million unique readers a month, according to comScore, a total that has increased by 30 percent from the year before and continues to grow.

News Corp. Buys Online Realty Business (FishbowlNY)
News Corp. has purchased Move, Inc., an online real estate business. Move owns and operates Realtor.com, Move.com and ListHub. Through those sites, the company “displays more than 98 percent of all for-sale properties listed in the U.S.,” according to a release. New York Post News Corp. will buy Move Inc. for about $950 million to expand its digital marketing business as advertising revenue from its print business dwindles. The deal is the second large acquisition in the online real estate market this year as property website operators struggle to turn rising revenue into consistent profitability. THR Earlier this year, the publishing giant agreed to buy romance novel publisher Harlequin for $415 million in cash. REA Group Ltd., which News Corp. controls via a 61.6 percent stake and which operates Australian residential property site realestate.com.au, will take a 20 percent stake in Move for about $200 million, with News Corp. directly owning the other 80 percent. NYT / DealBook When it separated from 21st Century Fox, which houses Murdoch’s lucrative television and film assets, News Corp. was given $2.6 billion and no debt. And it has deployed some of that cash as it seeks to tap into new revenue sources. Total revenue at the company declined 4 percent, to $8.57 billion in the year that ended June 30, compared with the previous year. Revenue in the news and information group, its largest business unit — which includes The Wall Street Journal and The Sun in Britain — dropped 9 percent, to $6.15 billion, compared with the period a year earlier.

For First Time Ever, Fox News Is Most-Watched Cable Network in Primetime for Full Quarter (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel reached a historic milestone in the just-finished third quarter. Not only is the network once again the most-watched news channel, but for the first time ever FNC was No. 1 in extended primetime total viewers (7-11 p.m. ET/Mon-Fri) in all of basic cable — topping ESPN, USA and TNT. It’s also the first time since the first quarter of 2003 that Fox News was No. 1 in primetime (8-11 p.m. ET). FishbowlDC Additionally, Fox News Channel was third in total day viewers among all cable networks, behind Nickelodeon and Adult Swim, while CNN and MSNBC ranked 18th and 26th, respectively. Special Report With Bret Baier and On The Record With Greta Van Susteren were both the top watched program in their respective time slots during Q3 2014 across all of basic cable, as was Fox & Friends, America’s Newsroom, The Five, and The O’Reilly Factor. THR / The Live Feed In the targeted demographic of adults 25-54, FNC was up 12 percent from the same period a year ago, with an average 313,000 viewers. It’s the last time the cable network will be compared to its previous primetime. Oct. 7 marks the one-year anniversary of FNC revamping a decade-old lineup with Megyn Kelly’s move to 9 p.m. The third quarter marked Kelly’s best since launch, up a significant 27 percent (year over year) in the time period previously occupied by Sean Hannity. (Hannity, who airs at 10 p.m., enjoyed a high of his own). Bill O’Reilly remained the top performer across cable news, despite Kelly’s advances, and 14 FNC shows continued to sit atop the cable news roster. TVNewser MSNBC just had its worst three month stretch in nearly 7 years. For Q3 2014, MSNBC is down double digits in total day and primetime viewership. Among total day, adult 25-54 demo viewers, MSNBC placed fourth, behind FNC, CNN and HLN. In primetime, among total viewers, MSNBC was second behind Fox News and ahead of CNN and HLN.

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FCC Eliminates Sports Blackout Rule, Rebuffing NFL’s Push (NYT)
The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to eliminate its sports blackout rule, which for nearly 40 years has prevented cable and satellite systems from televising some National Football League games. Politico In a unanimous 5-0 vote, the commission eliminated the regulation, which prevents cable and satellite TV from airing games that are blacked out locally when the team fails to sell enough tickets to fill its stadium. The NFL has defended the rule as a tool to ensure robust attendance, but a growing number of regulators and lawmakers say it unfairly punishes football fans. Variety Nevertheless, the NFL and the National Assn. of Broadcasters opposed the move, arguing that it will help drive the migration of games to pay-TV platforms. Under the FCC’s action, cable and satellite providers won’t be prevented from obtaining rights to retransmit games from out-of-market stations. The NFL argued that sports blackouts are rare, and only two football games were blacked out last season.

E! Shakeup: Frances Berwick Expands Purview as Suzanne Kolb Exits (THR)
Following a network-wide memo from E! president Suzanne Kolb announcing her departure, NBCU Cable Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer announced the much bigger picture on Tuesday. She’ll be consolidating her cable group once again, this time moving E! and Esquire to the purview of Bravo and Oxygen Media chief Frances Berwick. Deadline Hollywood Kolb, a 10-year E! veteran, presided over the network during a challenging two-year period as E! has been looking to find new breakout unscripted franchises to supplement the aging Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Kolb joined E! in 2005 as SVP marketing for E! Networks, and was subsequently elevated to chief marketing officer for E! and Style, and general manager, E! Online. She extended her contract in early 2014. WSJ / CMO Today During her three-year run as president, E!’s primetime audience fell 15 percent to 478,000 people from 566,000, according to Nielsen. Its total audience dipped 17 percent to just under 300,000 people per-day in the 2013-14 TV season from 359,000 in the 2011-12 season.

FCC Considering Move to Ban NFL Redskins Team Name (Reuters)
The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether to punish broadcasters for using the moniker of the Washington NFL team, the Redskins, a word many consider a slur to Native Americans, the agency’s chairman indicated on Tuesday. Mediaite The FCC recently received a petition from John Banzhaf III, a legal activist and George Washington University professor, calling on the agency to strip a Washington, D.C. radio station of its broadcasting license for using the name. Several media outlets have already instituted their own self censorship policies on the name Redskins, including The Washington Post and Washington Business Journal. Deadline Hollywood Team owner Dan Snyder has declined to change the name, despite lobbying from as high up the food chain as President Obama, who said nearly a year ago that were he the team’s owner, he would consider changing the name under the circumstances. Snyder is appealing in federal court the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the team’s trademark registration because it considers its name and logo disparaging. Meanwhile, some TV football analysts, including CBS’ Phil Simms — who spent his entire 14-year playing career with the rival New York Giants — already have said they won’t use the name.

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Elisabeth Murdoch to Exit Shine Group After Endemol-Core Merger Complete (Variety)
There will be one less Murdoch in the 21st Century Fox fold after the company completes its joint venture with Apollo Global Management to combine Shine Group with Apollo’s Endemol and Core Media Group. Sources confirm that Murdoch will step down after the rollup is complete. At present she is non-exec chairman of Shine Group, the U.K.-based production-distribution group that she founded after leaving BSkyB in 2000. Deadline Hollywood It was Murdoch’s father Rupert’s then-News Corp. that acquired Shine in 2011. Now it’s dad’s reshaped 21st Century Fox that is behind the tie-up of Shine and the other indie giants. The speculation surrounding Liz’s future role grew since Sunday’s news that Sophie Turner Laing would be CEO of a newly combined company.

AMC Theatres Boycotting Crouching Tiger 2 in Major Blow for Netflix, IMAX (THR)
AMC Theatres has joined the country’s two other largest chains in slamming a plan to release the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel directly on Netflix and in select IMAX locations, saying it won’t play the film in any of its IMAX venues. The historic Netflix-IMAX deal was announced Monday night, prompting immediate outrage among exhibitors gathered together this week in Los Angeles for a National Association of Theater Owners meeting, since it makes the movie available simultaneously in the home and on the big screen. Variety The four largest exhibitors in the U.S., AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike pledged not to show the martial arts sequel next year. That represents 257 of IMAX’s 418 U.S. screens, and these theater chains were joined by Canada’s largest exhibitor Cineplex, and Europe’s second largest theater chain, Cineworld, in a boycott that has grown international in scope.

NBC Tops in Demos, CBS Takes Total Viewers in First Week of TV Season (Variety)
In an overall pretty good first week of the television season for the broadcast biz, NBC ruled in all key demos and CBS prevailed in total viewers — while third-place ABC was arguably the most impressive of all the networks. It was mostly slow going for Fox, though it book-ended its week nicely with newcomer Gotham and its SimpsonsFamily Guy crossover episode. The networks combined were down 2 percent in adults 18-49 rating vs. their premiere week of 2013 (9.6 vs. 9.8), according to Nielsen live plus same-day numbers, but they could erase that deficit in live plus-3 results.

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48 Up, 60 Down for The Week on CBS (TVNewser)
Saturday’s season premiere of 48 Hours was the No. 1 program among total viewers for the night and was No. 1 in its timeslot in both total viewers and the adults 25-54 demo. Drawing 5.54 million viewers, the show had its best audience delivery since April 26 and its best adults 18-49 rating since Dec. 14, 2013. Meanwhile on Sunday night, 60 Minutes took a hit from the NFL. 60 was off more than 25 percent from its debut a week earlier.

Sinclair, ABC Sign Long-Term Affiliation Agreements in 13 Markets (TVSpy)
Sinclair Broadcast Group has announced it has signed long-term affiliation renewal agreements with ABC in 13 markets. Three affiliations will expire on Aug. 31, 2019 while 11 will run until Aug. 31, 2020. Sinclair owns 25 ABC affiliates, the most of any station group.

Simon & Schuster Forms Partnership With Mofibo (GalleyCat)
Simon & Schuster has formed a partnership with a European eBook subscription service called Mofibo. Mofibo users, who hail from Denmark and Sweden, now have access to Simon & Schuster’s backlist. This formidable collection contains more than 20,000 English and local language titles.

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AT&T, Chernin Group Name Two Execs to Run Over-The-Top Video Venture (Variety)
Otter Media, the online-video joint venture of AT&T and The Chernin Group, named former American Airlines and AT&T exec Virasb Vahidi as CEO and also appointed ex-YouTube VP of content Tom Pickett to lead its targeted-channels business. Formed in April 2014 by TCG and AT&T, Otter Media has a pool of $500 million to acquire, invest in and launch OTT video services. The venture’s two existing businesses are: the new targeted VOD company led by Pickett and Fullscreen, the YouTube multichannel network headed by founder and CEO George Strompolos, in which Otter Media acquired a majority stake.

Amazon.com, Disney Back at Peace (WSJ)
Amazon.com appears to be close to settling a nearly two-month dispute with Walt Disney Co. during which the e-commerce giant stopped offering Disney DVDs for preorder. Among the subjects at issue were pricing, promotion on the Amazon website and questions over who makes up the difference when Amazon loses money to match the prices of competitors. Details of the talks weren’t available and it is unclear whether the two companies are finalizing a new long-term deal or have simply progressed far enough that Amazon was willing to make a concession.

FCC Starts Poking Around for Future 5G Airwaves (GigaOM)
As mobile researchers and networking companies kick around potential 5G technologies in their labs, the Federal Communications Commission is taking its own regulatory whack at the ball. In a recent blog post, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler wrote that he’s asking his fellow commissioners to begin investigating frequencies in the 24 GHz and higher bands for possible 5G use.

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