Michael Bloomberg to Return to Lead Company He Founded (NYT)
Michael R. Bloomberg has decided to reassume the leadership of his business empire only eight months after ending his final term as mayor of New York. Late Wednesday, Bloomberg told close confidants and senior executives of Bloomberg LP, a financial data and media company, that Daniel L. Doctoroff, its chief executive and a longtime friend and lieutenant, would leave the company at the end of the year and that he would take over. FishbowlNY It seems like only yesterday that Bloomberg was chiding us for drinking large sodas and eating too much salt. In fact, that was about nine months ago. During the time since he vacated the mayor’s office, Bloomberg has become bored. And so he’s returning to a little company called Bloomberg LP, as its CEO. WSJ In a statement, Bloomberg said he hadn’t intended to return to Bloomberg LP after his mayoral stint was completed. “However, the more time I spent reacquainting myself with the company, the more exciting and interesting I found it — in large part, due to Dan’s efforts. I have gotten very involved in the company again and that led to Dan coming to me recently to say he thought it would be best for him to turn the leadership of the company back to me.” NPR / The Two-Way Both Bloomberg and Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor under Bloomberg before being tasked with running the company, told the Times that there was no animosity between them regarding the shift. Forbes Bloomberg only had praise for his former deputy, who took revenues from $5.4 billion in 2007, just before he became president, to more than $9 billion this year.
Obama on Sotloff Execution: ‘Justice Will Be Served’ (TVNewser)
At a 5 a.m. ET news conference in Estonia, carried live on the cable news networks, President Obama vowed that “justice will be served” in the deaths of two journalists beheaded by ISIS militants. “Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget,” said Obama. Mediaite A Web video surfaced Tuesday appearing to show American journalist Steven Sotloff on his knees in a desert with a man whose face is covered standing over him. Before executing Sotloff, the unknown man threatens to continue murdering American hostages unless the U.S. government halts airstrikes against ISIS, an Islamic terrorist organization based in Syria and Iraq. Politico Obama described Sotloff, 31, who freelanced for Time and other publications, as a journalist who was “courageous” and “devoted.” On Wednesday, Paul Hirschson, the deputy spokesperson for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, confirmed on his official Twitter account that Sotloff also held citizenship in Israel. Mashable “We will not be intimidated. Their horrific acts only unite us,” Obama said. “Our reach is long and justice will be served,” Obama said, and speaking about what the U.S. plans on doing next, Obama added that “our objective is to make sure that [the Islamic State] is not an ongoing threat to the region.” NYT “Our objective is clear, and that is: degrade and destroy ISIL so that it’s no longer a threat, not just to Iraq but also to the region and to the U.S.,” Obama said, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Secretary of state John Kerry said those responsible for the killings of Sotloff and James Foley, a journalist shown beheaded in an ISIS video released Aug. 19, would be held accountable by the U.S., “no matter how long it takes.”
Condé Nast Names Gina Sanders President of Global Development (FishbowlNY)
Condé Nast has named Gina Sanders president of global development. Capital New York A 25-year Condé Nast veteran, Sanders has emerged as a key player within the company. She’s held several publisher titles and most recently served as chief executive of Fairchild Fashion Media before Condé Nast sold most of the division’s assets to Penske Media. WWD Her job will consist of working with Condé Nast’s current and prospective business partners globally to create new business opportunities, the company said, without elaborating further. NYT Her promotion comes after a turbulent summer for Condé Nast marked by the sale of Fairchild. The company also sold its shopping magazine Lucky to the online retailer BeachMint, while keeping a stake in the new business. There has also been a series of prominent departures, including editorial director Tom Wallace, chief financial officer John Bellando and chief revenue officer Louis Cona.
George Clooney to Direct Movie About Rupert Murdoch Hacking Scandal (Mediaite)
Sony Pictures Entertainment announced Wednesday that George Clooney will direct a movie based on British journalist Nick Davies’ book Hack Attack: The Inside Story of How The Truth Caught Up With Rupert Murdoch. Variety Over six years, Davies investigated News Corp. and its subsidiary, News Intl.; his book shows how their habit of hacking into the voicemail messages of elected officials, celebrities and even ordinary British citizens and the victims of terror attacks was wide-ranging and ongoing. THR The 2011 scandal led to the shuttering of News of The World after 168 years of publication and spurred a government inquiry that would bring to light shocking business practices. The publication’s former executive editor Neil Wallis and former editor Rebekah Brooks were both arrested, along with more than 10 others, in relation to the hacking accusations. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Shooting on the film is scheduled to start next year. It will be produced by Clooney and Grant Heslov and overseen by Michael De Luca, president of production for Columbia Pictures.
Robin Roberts Launches Rock’n Robin Productions (TVNewser)
Viewers will be seeing a lot more of what Robin Roberts has to offer as she launches her own production company called Rock’n Robin Productions. Deadline Hollywood The company’s projects currently in production include a news-driven documentary, a digital series for espnW, a Thanksgiving themed special for ABC and two reality show pilots. Roberts will continue to co-anchor GMA while overseeing the company as its president. Variety The new company will aim to produce content that “will inspire, inform and entertain people,” Roberts said in a prepared statement. ”“I’m very excited to get involved in the business and development side of production, and will spend a lot of time working with the team on the creative,” she added.
USA Today Undergoes Major Layoffs (HuffPost)
USA Today has begun a painful round of layoffs, the paper’s owner confirmed Wednesday. Jeremy Gaines, vice president of corporate communications with Gannett, said there were about 60 to 70 total job cuts, with about half of those hitting the newsroom. Poynter / MediaWire Gannett, which owns USA Today, announced in August it plans to spin off its publishing business. At about the same time, some of Gannett’s local papers announced changes to their newsrooms. NYT Gannett portrayed Wednesday’s cuts not just as a way to save money but as part of its aggressive transition to a more Internet-focused product. Some of the paper’s most senior and best-known writers were laid off, including pop music critic Edna Gundersen, who announced her departure on Twitter. Film critic Scott Bowles, who worked for USA Today for 17 years before he was let go, said, “I have been amazed by the names and reputations of some of the people on this list; these are bigwigs. Big names.”
August 2014 Ratings: Fox News Sees Across-The-Board Growth (TVNewser)
During what was a busy news month, Fox News Channel was the third most-watched cable channel, behind only ESPN and USA in primetime. The network saw year-over-year growth of 15 percent in viewers and 27 percent in the demo. TVNewser August gave CNN the most growth of the cable news networks for the month. CNN was up 46 percent in total viewers and up 43 percent in adult 25-54 viewers for total day viewing, finishing No. 2 behind Fox News. TVNewser MSNBC did not experience the growth that Fox News, CNN and even HLN did in the month of August. The network was down 1 percent in viewers and down 14 percent in the demo for total day viewing, falling to third place in total viewers, behind CNN, and fourth place in the demo, behind HLN. MSNBC did see primetime viewership growth (10 percent) and edged CNN in Monday-Friday primetime (8-11 p.m. ET) by just 1,000 viewers.
Russian Photojournalist Killed in Eastern Ukraine (HuffPost / AP)
Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency says one of its photojournalists has died in eastern Ukraine. Andrei Stenin went missing in early August, his whereabouts unknown. Mashable Stenin, 33, died while traveling in a car on his way to an assignment in eastern Ukraine, and his remains have recently been identified. Stenin was traveling with civilian refugees when the car came under fire from Ukrainian forces on Aug. 6, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee, a federal law enforcement agency.
Amazon CFO Thomas Szkutak to Retire (THR)
Amazon.com is preparing to hand over financial management duties to a new CFO. Veteran finance head Thomas Szkutak, a fixture on Amazon’s earnings conference calls, will retire from the position in June 2015, the e-retailer and online video giant said on Wednesday. Mashable Szkutak joined Amazon in 2002 and has served as CFO ever since. During that time, Amazon went from having a market cap of about $5 billion in 2002 to just under $160 billion as of this week. The company’s net sales in 2002 totaled $3.9 billion; its net sales in 2013 were $74.45 billion.
Gannett Broadcasting & Debmar-Mercury Tap Stephanie Eno as VP Development (Deadline Hollywood)
Gannett Broadcasting and Debmar-Mercury have named veteran TV exec and EP Stephanie Eno as VP development for their recently formed programming partnership. In her new role, Eno will find and guide development of interactive projects for producing, testing and national syndication. Variety She joins the companies from TLC, where she had served as executive producer and senior director of programming since 2011, with four years prior as director of programming.
Eric Avram Promoted at Disney/ABC TV Group (TVNewser)
Disney Media Networks co-chairman Anne Sweeney and Disney-ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood announced the promotion of longtime ABC newser Eric Avram to the new role of VP for talent, booking and ABC News specialized units within the Disney/ABC TV Group. A 20-year ABC veteran, Avram is currently the senior executive producer of division-wide interviews, overseeing all ABC News booking teams as well as the investigative, medical, business and law and justice teams.
Tom Llamas Leaves WNBC for ABC News (TVNewser)
Tom Llamas, a reporter and anchor at WNBC, who also reported for NBC News, has left the peacock and is joining ABC News. Llamas had a fast rise through NBC, starting as an associate producer at MSNBC, working as a campaign embed during the 2004 elections, joining NBC’s WTVJ in Miami in 2005 as a reporter, then returning to New York and WNBC in 2008 as a reporter, later anchoring the noon and 5 p.m. newscasts.
The Dish on That Book About Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer And Christiane Amanpour (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
School is back in session for the cool kids and they showed up in droves at their favorite cafeteria at 55th and Fifth. Come on, it’s just like high school — but with better clothes. In attendance: NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer and Steve Burke, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tom Brokaw, Donny Deutsch and Showtime’s Matt Blank among the media mob scene.
Andy Coulson Leaves High-Security Prison (THR)
Andy Coulson, the former News of The World editor and former communications director for British Prime Minister David Cameron, has been moved from a high-security prison to another U.K. prison. Coulson was considered a low risk to society, which allowed for the transfer.
Egypt Court Orders Broadcast Ban of Al Jazeera (HuffPost / AP)
Egypt’s state news agency reported Wednesday that an administrative court ordered a state-run satellite to implement its order to stop broadcasting the local Al Jazeera affiliate. State-run NileSat said the court ruling doesn’t affect it, however, because it doesn’t carry Al Jazeera Mubasher Misr. NileSat said the station is broadcast through a French satellite.