Morning Media Newsfeed: Vice Sells Stake to A&E | Chelsea Clinton Leaves NBC News

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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.

Chelsea Clinton Is Leaving NBC News (People)
After not quite three years as a special correspondent for NBC News — and with just a little while until she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expected to become parents — Chelsea Clinton is now leaving that position “to continue focusing on my work at the Clinton Foundation and as Marc and I look forward to welcoming our first child.” TVNewser Clinton joined NBC News in 2011 on a short-term contract to report “Making A Difference” stories for NBC Nightly News. She extended the contract in the spring of 2012 and also began reporting for Rock Center. FishbowlDC And with her departure, Clinton does not close the door to future opportunities with the peacock network. “While my role with NBC News may be coming to an end, I look forward to working with the NBC family well into the future,” she said. NYT Clinton’s tenure at the news outlet was not a smooth one, less because of her feel-good reports than because a media-shy first daughter was hired as a television journalist earning a six-figure salary. (In 2009, NBC News hired Jenna Bush Hager, a daughter of former President George W. Bush, as a special correspondent for the Today show, drawing similar criticism.)

Rona Fairhead Set to Be BBC Trust Chairwoman (BBC News)
Rona Fairhead, ex-head of the Financial Times Group, is poised to become the new chairwoman of the BBC Trust. Culture secretary Sajid Javid said Fairhead was the preferred candidate to replace Lord Patten, who quit in May. Financial Times Fairhead is expected to be confirmed in the high-profile role overseeing the U.K.’s largest broadcaster in the coming weeks, following hearings by the culture, media and sport select committee. The Guardian / The Observer Fairhead, who sits on the boards of a number of blue-chip companies and was made a British business ambassador by the prime minister, may not be the well-known name some had been expecting. Lord Coe, the Conservative peer and chairman of the London 2012 Olympics organizing committee, had been considered a shoo-in for the role but declined it, saying he did “not have the capacity.” Variety Fairhead is an independent non-executive director of HSBC Holdings and non-executive chairman of HSBC North America Holdings. She is also a non-executive director of PepsiCo. She served as chairman and CEO of the Financial Times Group for seven years until 2013, and as non-executive director of The Economist Group from 2006 to 2014. She was an executive director of their owners, Pearson, from 2002 to 2013, serving as Pearson’s chief financial officer from 2002 to 2006. Fairhead will appear in front of the U.K. Parliament’s Media Select Committee on Sept. 9, and it will make a recommendation to Javid regarding the appointment, but he will make the final decision.

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Diane Sawyer Voices New David Muir World News Tonight Promo (TVNewser)
TVNewser got its hands on the first promo for World News Tonight With David Muir, which officially debuts Tuesday night. The promotional spot is voiced by former World News anchor Diane Sawyer. FishbowlDC Sawyer introduces incoming anchor David Muir and highlights his reporting for the network, from the revolution in Egypt, earthquake in Haiti and tsunami in Japan, to Tehran, Iran and Mogadishu, Somalia. HuffPost / AP Among the stories Muir will introduce during his first week as ABC’s World News anchor is one he reported about a generation of Syrian refugees missing out on an education. Besides detailing a hidden aspect of the civil war, the story serves a dual purpose: to signal viewers — and his bosses — that Muir wants to get out of the office for work as much as he can. “A huge part of this for me was a promise that I was not going to be tethered to the anchor desk,” said Muir. New York Daily News With Muir taking the anchor seat, the pieces could be in place for another Big Three era in broadcast network nightly news. It’s not a lock. Nothing is a lock in the media news game, as David Gregory can attest after getting bounced from Meet The Press. But it’s also possible we could be looking at a stretch of broadcast evening news anchor stability — an echo, if not an exact replica, of the extraordinary two decades when it was Dan Rather at CBS, Peter Jennings at ABC and Tom Brokaw at NBC.

Betsy Fischer Martin Leaving NBC News (TVNewser)
Betsy Fischer Martin, the former executive producer of Meet The Press, is leaving NBC News after more than 20 years with the network. FishbowlDC In an email to friends and colleagues Friday morning, she wrote, “As some of you know, this is my last week with an @nbc email address. You can find me a lot of places this fall – @home @carpool @collegefootball @airport but the safest bet is @gmail (above) or @BFischerMartin (twitter).” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Martin served as EP of MTP for 11 years until last summer, when she transferred to senior executive producer role amid the show’s decline under moderator David Gregory. Her departure comes just weeks after Gregory’s and one week before Chuck Todd takes over as host.

Chuck Todd Signs Off The Daily Rundown, But Not on The Daily Rundown (TVNewser)
Chuck Todd‘s farewell to MSNBC wasn’t seen on MSNBC. The end of The Daily Rundown was pre-empted Friday morning by remarks from British Prime Minister David Cameron. But Todd recorded it anyway. FishbowlDC In preparation of his last actual weekend for hopefully many years to come, Todd bid farewell in advance of taking over as moderator of NBC’s Meet The Press on Sept. 7. “Obviously I’ve got an opportunity of a lifetime for a political journalist. And no matter how much I love every part of The Daily Rundown, the Meet The Press opportunity is not one I could pass up,” he said.

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MSNBC Host Alex Wagner Marries Sam Kass, With Obama Family Attending (TVNewser)
MSNBC daytime host Alex Wagner married Sam Kass Saturday in the hamlet of Pocantico Hills, north of New York City. Kass is the personal chef for the Obama family and executive director of the “Let’s Move” campaign. The Obama family was in attendance. HuffPost Kass is a longtime friend of President Obama’s and has been cooking for the Obama family for years, dating back to when he would prepare meals for them in Chicago. Wagner, who hosts MSNBC’s Now With Alex Wagner, had been dating Kass under the radar for about a year before The Washington Post broke the news of their relationship last August.

Academic Collects 2.6 Million Copyright-Free Images on Flickr (BBC News)
An American academic, Kalev Leetaru, is creating a searchable database of 12 million historical copyright-free images. The photos and drawings are sourced from more than 600 million library book pages scanned in by the Internet Archive organization. The images have been difficult to access until now. GalleyCat He has uploaded the collection and tagged them on Flickr. So far the collection boasts more than 2.6 million images.

Lisa Desjardins Bitter (Sweet) Departure Video From CNN (FishbowlDC)
In her epic departure video, CNNRadio Capitol Hill correspondent Lisa Desjardins lets it all go, except for the reporter notebooks and pencils she appears to have taken with her after CNN Digital’s restructure last month resulted in the elimination of her position. TVNewser Desjardins says, “I know we’ve had a lot of goodbyes here lately. I know people are worried about the future, and I know that there are a lot of buyout offers on the table…” Then, as she pilfers some office supplies (she passes on the “Rick’s List” mug,) Desjardins tells viewers, “I’m sorry that CNN has decided to eliminate my reporter position at the Hill and cut back on congressional coverage. Of course I’m also sorry that congress is a complete mess right now.”

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Arwa Damon Returns to Reporting for CNN (TVNewser)
After nearly a month away, Arwa Damon has returned to reporting for CNN. The network’s senior international correspondent found herself in the news last month when she was sued by two EMTs in Baghdad who claimed she bit them “in a drunken rage” at the U.S. Embassy. For her first on-air story, Damon reported from a morgue in Baghdad.

Bauer Media Creates Digital Division (FishbowlNY)
Bauer Media has announced a new branch of the company — Bauer Xcel Media — which will focus entirely on the digital side of Bauer’s brands, like InTouch Weekly and Life & Style. Christian Baesler, who most recently served as VP of new media, has been tapped as president of Bauer Xcel Media. One of his first big tasks is the relaunch of InTouchWeekly.com. The new site is expected to debut this month.

Today Show, Sister Network Telemundo Team Up (TVNewser)
The Today show and sister network Telemundo are teaming up for Viva Today. The series, which began Monday, celebrates National Hispanic Heritage month. Viva Today will highlight the positive impact Hispanic and Latino Americans have on society.

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PBS Defends Airing Documentary on Late-Term Abortions (Mediaite)
Monday night, PBS aired the abortion documentary After Tiller –– which centers around late-term abortion doctors –– and some conservatives are none too pleased. In fact, one pro-life site actually reached out to PBS for comment, and the network defended its decision to air the documentary. After Tiller‘s title refers to Dr. George Tiller, a physician who was targeted by pro-life groups because his clinic was one of very few to provide late-term abortions to women. Five years ago, Tiller was fatally shot by activist Scott Roeder. The documentary takes a look at how few doctors in the U.S., following Tiller’s death, provide late-term abortions.

Aereo Tells Judge It Can Beat Lawsuit Despite Supreme Court Ruling (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
On Friday, Aereo filed its opposition to an injunction demanded by television broadcasters. As expected, the digital TV company is asserting that it is a “cable system” and is therefore entitled to a statutory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act. The broadcasters said that it was in keeping with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on June 25 to interpret Aereo’s system of capturing over-the-air television signals and relaying them to subscribers’ digital devices as a violation of broadcasters’ public performance rights.

National Review Promotes Eliana Johnson to Washington Editor (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The conservative commentary magazine National Review has promoted the 30-year-old Eliana Johnson to Washington editor, a position previously held by the likes of George Will, John McLaughlin and William McGurn. Johnson, who has been with National Review for just two years, will now be responsible for overseeing four reporters and steering the site’s political coverage. Her predecessor, Robert Costa, left for The Washington Post last November.

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