Morning Media Newsfeed: YouTube Launches Paid Music Service | FNC Special Tops Tuesday

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YouTube Music Streaming Service Launches in Beta (SocialTimes)
YouTube music has faced some challenges lately; the company lost its product manager over the summer and had disagreements with indie music labels. While news of its music offering leaked in August, Google didn’t want to launch the new service until it reached a deal with indie labels. In a bid to compete with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, Google is finally rolling out YouTube Music Key in invitation-only beta. Re/code The company is overhauling the free version of its Android app, and next week it’ll start inviting some of its users to try a new subscription feature, which it’s building into its Android and iOS apps. GigaOM For early adopters, it will cost $7.99 per month with the first six months free, and eventually it will cost $9.99 per month, the same price as Spotify Premium. YouTube Music Key’s banner feature is that it gives subscribers the ability to listen to music without ads, as well as run YouTube as a background app on mobile devices, allowing users to listen to YouTube videos while playing a game or locking their home screen. THR With the monthly fee, users also receive access to a Google Play Music subscription, which offers more than 30 million songs and playlists for streaming. Beginning Wednesday, YouTube is also rolling out new music features for free, ad-supported music video viewing. YouTube also plans to make it easier to find an artist’s discography through their official music videos and other songs uploaded to the streamer, so a user can play a full album straight through. NYT With its new service, YouTube hopes to reform its reputation in the music industry as a phenomenal free site to promote songs, but one that pays a pittance in royalties. As YouTube pushes into paid content, other online music outlets — under considerable pressure from the recording industry — are being forced to defend or change their business models to better compensate artists.

FNC Navy SEAL Special Tops With Viewers (TVNewser)
Fox News Channel’s debut of The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden was the most-watched show on Fox News in the adults 25-45 demo, and second-most watched (behind O’Reilly) in total viewers for all of Tuesday. THR / The Live Feed Per Nielsen Media Research, it netted 2.7 million viewers at 10 p.m. — 532,000 of them adults 25-54. It ranked as the biggest cable news showing in the key demo for the entire day. Needless to say, those numbers bested its competition (CNN and MSNBC). Deadline Hollywood That’s the network’s most-watched 10 p.m. hour in 2014, excluding its State of the Union Address coverage and midterm election night. Variety Compared with the network’s fourth quarter average to date, the special provided Fox News with time-period improvement of 77 percent in adults 25-54 and 88 percent in total viewers. The first part of the special, hosted by Peter Doocy, featured an exclusive interview with Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill, who pulled the trigger in the mission at bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan in 2011.

Fox News Reevaluating Huckabee Amid Report of Possible 2016 Bid (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Fox News is reevaluating Mike Huckabee’s status with the network following a new report that he is eyeing a 2016 presidential bid. The Washington Post Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who turned his stunning victory in the 2008 Iowa caucuses into a thriving talk show career, is reconnecting with activists and enlisting staff to position himself in a growing field of potential Republican presidential candidates. This week, Huckabee is leading more than 100 pastors and GOP insiders from early primary states on a 10-day overseas trip with stops in Poland and England. CNN On Wednesday, Fox News executive vice president of programming Bill Shine indicated that a decision might be made soon. “We are taking a serious look at governor Huckabee’s recent activity in the political arena and are evaluating his current status,” Shine said in a statement. “We plan on meeting with him when he returns from his trip overseas.” Mediaite Last week, Fox cut ties with Dr. Ben Carson after he made his presidential ambitions abundantly clear.

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Jeff Zucker Names New CNN Digital Team (TVNewser)
CNN president Jeff Zucker announced Wednesday a new management structure for CNN Digital led by Andrew Morse, Meredith Artley and Alex Wellen. This moves comes after KC Estenson, the former senior vice president and general manager of CNN.com, was laid off amid company-wide cuts. FishbowlDC Morse — the feisty former Bloomberg exec who joined the network last summer — will add to his full plate GM responsibilities for CNN Digital, globally. Morse already oversees all domestic newsgathering — including CNN Digital editorial, as well as programming out of the Washington bureau. Artley is also getting a big bump, moving from managing editor of CNN.com to editor-in-chief of CNN Digital. Currently a VP in the network’s digital shop and the brains behind CNNgo — the tricked-out app that launched earlier this year, Wellen has been named chief product officer — the network’s first. Capital New York Estenson had been SVP and GM of CNN Digital since 2008. “We recognize that digital platforms are often the first screens that touch our users, and that’s why we consider this area of our business and editorial development among the most important we will focus on in the year ahead,” Zucker said in the announcement.

Hasbro Is Said to Be in Talks to Buy DreamWorks Animation (NYT / DealBook)
Shrek could soon share a home with the Transformers and little ponies like Flutteryshy and Twilight Sparkle if their corporate parents are able to seal a deal. Toymaker Hasbro is in advanced talks to buy DreamWorks Animation, potentially gaining a new big-screen outlet for its wares, people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. Should a deal be reached — and these people cautioned that talks were continuing and might still fall apart — it would mark a new chapter for DreamWorks Animation. It would also come more than a month after the studio held talks with another prospective buyer, the Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank. Deadline Hollywood We’re told that a DreamWorks Animation and Hasbro deal is at least 60 days off, if it happens. But the two companies are said to have agreed that Jeffrey Katzenberg would chair the combined operation. The Hasbro board visited the DreamWorks Animation campus recently, following a similar visit in late October by Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner and his management team to discuss potential film, TV and consumer product synergies.

Chinese President Xi Jinping Suggests News Outlets Are to Blame for Visa Problems (HuffPost)
Chinese President Xi Jinping suggested Wednesday that international news outlets are at fault when it comes to problems securing visas for journalists working in China, in response to a question from a New York Times reporter. The Times has encountered censorship in China, as well as difficulties securing visas for its correspondents seeking to work in the country. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Times reporter Mark Landler asked Xi directly about the issue in a joint news conference in Beijing between President Obama and Xi. As China watchers well know, top Chinese leaders aren’t accustomed to providing such openness, and they did so in this instance at the insistence of U.S. officials, with whom China just inked a deal on capping carbon emissions. NYT After first taking an unrelated question from a Chinese state-run newspaper, Xi circled back, declaring that the visa problems of news organizations, including the Times, were of their own making. He evinced little patience for the foreign news media’s concerns that they were being penalized for unfavorable news coverage of Chinese leaders and their families. Xi said that China protected the rights of media organizations, but that the organizations needed to abide by the rules of the country.

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MSNBC to Undergo Internal Reorganization (TVNewser)
MSNBC is taking the next step in its evolution, with a return to its roots. The cable network, which has lost much of the ratings momentum it gained following the 2008 election of Barack Obama, will combine the digital and TV editorial teams under The Bridge, the network’s third-floor newsroom at 30 Rock. This reorganization is a return to the beginnings of the 18-year-old network. MSNBC launched as a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC with the idea of integrating TV and online. HuffPost Network president Phil Griffin announced the changes in a Wednesday memo to staff, indicating that the teams, in addition to sitting with one another, will also share “editorial leadership, content and workflows” in the name of increasing collaboration.

Wall Street Journal to Drop Sunday Journal, Wall Street Journal Radio Network (JimRomenesko.com)
Dow Jones CEO William Lewis tells his employees that “it will come as no surprise that in order to do even more, we must do fewer things that are not core to our business so that we can move faster in pursuit of our goals.” FishbowlNY To cut costs, Dow Jones will say goodbye to Sunday Journal “over the coming months” and the Wall Street Journal Radio Network “at the end of the calendar year.”

GQ Cuts Five (New York Post / Media Ink)
GQ is moving into the new Condé Nast headquarters at One World Trade Center on Dec. 15. So that means any ax swinging must be done soon. Sources said that there were believed to be about five layoffs on the digital side Tuesday, including Kevin Sintumuang, the editor of multimedia content at GQ.com. FishbowlNY Sintumuang had served at GQ since 2012. This is just the latest round of layoffs that began in early October, when Condé cut 50 staffers. The company also recently restructured its digital leadership team, and in doing so added Fred Santarpia as chief digital officer and cut CTO Joe Simon.

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Chicago Tribune Managing Editor Leaves to Pursue Personal Interests (Chicago Tribune)
Jane Hirt, who helped lead the Chicago Tribune newsroom through the dark days of bankruptcy and into an unfolding digital future, is stepping down as managing editor to pursue personal interests, the Tribune announced Wednesday. Poynter / Top Stories Hirt began her career at the Tribune as an intern. She was named managing editor in 2008. She helped launch the paper’s free paper RedEye and guided the Tribune’s transition toward digital newsgathering and publishing.

Danica Lo Named Glamour’s First Online Editor-at-Large (FishbowlNY)
Danica Lo has been named online editor-at-large for Glamour, a new role at the magazine. This is a homecoming for Lo, who previously served as Glamour.com’s fashion and beauty editor.

With Snyderman Sidelined, NBC News Brings on New Medical Contributor (TVNewser)
As NBC’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman continues to be off the air following a breach of her Ebola quarantine last month, NBC News has brought on Dr. Natalie Azar as a medical contributor. Dr. Azar was on Nightly News last week and on the Today show Wednesday morning.

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David Zaslav, Montel Williams And The Man Behind 25 Years of AFV (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
We’re still recovering from Michael’s 25th anniversary party last week, but as we do every Wednesday, we had to make our rounds at 55th and Fifth and found there were plenty of moguls on the menu (David Zaslav, Matt Blank) and the usual suspects were present and accounted for.

Vice Media, Live Nation to Launch Music-Focused Digital Content Platform (THR)
Vice Media and Live Nation have partnered to launch a joint digital venture that will produce music-focused content for a variety of platforms. The new digital platform, which will roll out on mobile, Web and TV screens in 2015, will feature hundreds of hours of originally produced content that include short-form video, TV-length series, live music and documentaries.

Comcast Pushing Ahead on Time Warner Cable Deal (WSJ)
Comcast Corp. is pushing ahead with its acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., despite hiccups in the regulatory review process and looming regulation of the broadband industry that the company worries could discourage future investment in Internet upgrades, chief executive Brian Roberts said Wednesday.

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