Bloomberg Media Makes Cuts in Three Cities, Cancels Political Capital (TVNewser)
Bloomberg Media made cuts in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and New York City Thursday. FishbowlDC Bloomberg announced several layoffs in its D.C. bureau, relocating a few TV production positions to New York, where its daily politics show with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann — slated to launch in October — will be produced. Amid news of the layoffs, Bloomberg spokeswoman Amanda Cowie shared the following statement: ”Our TV operation — in the U.S. and around the world — is growing in size. We are changing how, and where, the TV operation is run.” NYT Some political and finance reporters were dismissed and the company will move some European television production jobs to London. It will also close its small television bureau in Los Angeles and focus its resources on San Francisco. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Bloomberg Media has decided to cancel its weekly political talk show, Political Capital With Al Hunt. Hunt will continue to write his weekly column for Bloomberg View, the site’s opinion vertical. Several print staff will also be laid off. Staffers will have the option to apply for other jobs at the company. TheWrap “We will continue to expand our Washington coverage. We’re launching a new politics platform — including for the first time a daily political show — expanding initiatives like First Word DC, investing in financial crimes reporting and the changes are a part of the overall new structure being put into place,” Cowie said.
CNN Politics Eliminates More Than A Dozen Positions (Capital New York)
More than a dozen employees in CNN’s Digital Politics division learned this week that their positions will be eliminated at the end of the month. TVNewser Anyone can re-apply for what CNN says is an even greater number of new jobs that will be created. FishbowlDC Fifteen politically-focused digital positions in Washington have also been posted on CNN’s careers page. “The reorganization of CNN Politics is a recognition of the shifting landscape of media, and positions CNN to disrupt rather than be disrupted,” said CNN spokesman Matt Dornic. The network emphasized that the reorg was not about cost-cutting or downsizing, but rather, about evolving, in its effort to create “a brand new re-imagined digital politics product.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Last month, CNN hired Ed O’Keefe, editor-in-chief of NowThis News, to serve as vice president of CNNMoney and Politics. O’Keefe plans to double CNN’s digital politics team, from 20 to 40, in preparation for the 2016 news cycle. O’Keefe is also planning to reshift focus to mobile, social and video. Last week, CNN named Politico managing editor Rachel Smolkin its new digital executive editor of CNN politics.
News Corp Ad Revenue Slips (WSJ)
News Corp reported slightly lower-than-expected earnings for its fiscal fourth quarter, as weaker profit in the news and information segment offset sharply higher earnings from book publishing and the company’s Australian digital real estate unit. THR A year after Rupert Murdoch spun off his newspaper division from TV operations, News Corp reported fiscal 2014 revenues of $8.57 billion compared to $8.89 billion last year; and earnings per share of 46 cents, down from 62 cents last year. News Corp attributed the 4 percent decrease to lower advertising revenue, foreign currency fluctuations and the sale of some Dow Jones assets. Poynter / MediaWire Revenue at News Corp’s news and information division fell 6 percent in the last quarter of the corporation’s fiscal year, and 9 percent in the full year, when compared with the respective same periods the year before. Capital New York “We remain firm believers in the power of print,” chief executive Robert Thomson told investors on a Thursday evening conference call. By doubling down on enthusiasm for print, such as newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Times of London, among other News Corp tabloids and broadsheets in the U.K. and Australia, Thomson underscored a belief that the company’s legacy assets will survive headwinds that have sent many publishers’ revenues on a downward spiral.
Lionsgate Earnings Rise, Revenue Falls (THR)
Lionsgate on Thursday reported higher first-quarter earnings, even as revenue fell. The mini-studio, led by CEO Jon Feltheimer, posted earnings at $43.2 million for the three months to June 30, 2014, compared to a profit of $13.6 million in the year-ago period. Variety The quarter included revenues from Divergent but nearly two-thirds of the $150 million domestic box office was taken in during the previous quarter. The revenue figure was below analysts’ estimates of about $489 million. Feltheimer noted that the quarter has tended to be the lightest of the year. Deadline Hollywood Still, Lionsgate’s numbers should please investors: Largely due to cost controls, it generated net income up 217.7 percent vs. last year, on revenues of $449.4 million, down 21.1 percent. While the top line missed forecasts, earnings per share at 30 cents were well ahead of expectations for 17 cents.
Barnes & Noble Teams With Google on Same Day Delivery (GalleyCat)
Amazon isn’t the only book retailer that is offering same day book delivery. Barnes & Noble has partnered with Google to support same day delivery in limited markets using Google’s Shopping Express online delivery service. NYT Starting on Thursday, book buyers in Manhattan, West Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area can get same-day deliveries from local Barnes & Noble stores through Google Shopping Express, Google’s fledgling online shopping and delivery service. Google Shopping, which began operations about a year ago, allows online shoppers to order products from stores like Costco, Walgreens, Staples and Target, and have them delivered to their doors within hours. GigaOM Google Shopping Express is currently offering free 6-month memberships. That offer expires Aug. 15. After that, non-members will pay $4.99 per shipment; a rate for members hasn’t yet been announced. Amazon’s same-day program, meanwhile, charges $5.99 per shipment to Prime members and $9.98 to non-Prime members.
CBS’ Future: Netflix, Not CNN (Capital New York)
CBS will soon be producing original shows for digital video channels like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, CEO Les Moonves told investors Thursday. “Going forward [CBS Television Studios] will be producing more and more shows for more and more outlets, including major streaming companies and other emerging distributors,” Moonves said. “I think shortly you will hear about us being in business with some of the SVODs with programs.” THR CBS reported earnings of 76 cents per share in the most recent quarter, beating the expectations of analysts who predicted about 72 cents per share. On an adjusted basis, the entertainment conglomerate posted 78 cents per share. Profit and revenue were both down slightly from the year-ago period, but that was to be expected since the popular sitcom How I Met Your Mother ended and competitors like ESPN stole some viewers away with their coverage of the FIFA World Cup. Deadline Hollywood Following stock-repurchase increases this week at Fox and Time Warner, CBS said Thursday that it has doubled its buy-back plan to $6 billion and raised its dividend by 3 cents to 15 cents.
Hachette Calls Off Perseus Book Purchase (WSJ)
The Hachette Book Group has abandoned plans to buy independent publisher Perseus Books Group, the companies said, deciding the deal was too complicated to complete. The deal would have broadened Hachette’s offerings of nonfiction titles and provided additional heft during its continuing negotiations with Amazon.com Inc. over a new eBook contract. NYT The three-way agreement among Hachette, Perseus and the book distributor Ingram had been in the works since February and was announced in late June. Under the proposed arrangement, Hachette would have acquired Perseus’ 10 publishing imprints, and Ingram would have taken on Perseus’ distribution business, which distributes books for more than 400 independent publishers. The sale was scheduled to be completed in late July.
ABC News Dials Up New Radio Deal (TVNewser)
ABC News has signed on with Skyview Networks to distribute and market ABC News radio content. The new arrangement, which begins in January, comes as ABC’s distribution agreement with Cumulus Media comes to an end. Capital New York Cumulus struck its own deal with CNN late last month for news and information content, effectively replacing Diane Sawyer and David Muir with Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett. While the loss of Cumulus as a distributor is a challenge, it does free up ABC to sell more content to stations it otherwise could not.
New Leader for NBC’s Today Coming Aboard Earlier Than Expected (Variety)
A new executive who is expected to function as a sort of chief executive for NBC’s venerable Today program will be joining the morning-TV franchise earlier than expected. Jamie Horowitz, currently a vice president of original programming and production at ESPN, is slated to join NBC as senior vice president and general manager of Today on Sept. 1, according to a person familiar with the situation. He had been expected to join the show after the end of 2014. Deadline Hollywood ABC News’ Good Morning America clobbered Today in the July sweep, taking key target demos and besting Today by its largest news demo and 18-49 margins during any sweep in more than two decades. GMA grew in both demos compared with the July 2013 sweep, while NBC’s program declined, as did CBS This Morning.
Netflix Passes HBO in Subscriber Revenues (New York Post)
Last quarter Netflix’s subscriber revenue was greater than HBO’s for the first time ever. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, locked in a long-running, mostly tongue-in-cheek battle with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, couldn’t let the occasion pass without tweaking his rival. “Minor milestone,” Hastings wrote on the company’s Facebook page, “last quarter we passed HBO in subscriber revenue ($1.146B vs $1.141B).” Just two years ago, HBO had nearly double Netflix’s subscriber revenue.
Meet The Press Stays in Third (TVNewser)
ABC’s This Week won in both total viewers and the adult 25-54 demographic Aug. 3, besting CBS’ Face The Nation by 101,000 and 30,000 viewers, respectively. NBC’s Meet The Press was third, with Fox News Sunday and Univision’s Al Punto rounding out the top five. Cable rebroadcasts of Fox News Sunday averaged a combined 2,067,000 total viewers and 443,000 adult 25-54 viewers.
In Turnabout From 2009, BBC, Sky Agree to Air Gaza Relief Appeal (Deadline Hollywood)
In 2009, the BBC refused to air a national appeal for humanitarian aid in Gaza. At the time, the broadcaster said the decision was made “to avoid any risk of compromising public confidence in the BBC’s impartiality.” This week has seen the corporation take a different stance. On Friday, the BBC and other U.K. broadcasters — including Sky, which also did not show the 2009 appeal — will give over free airtime to the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organization of 13 leading U.K. charities, which will seek help for people affected by the conflict in Gaza.
Digital Editions Up Slightly at U.S. Magazines (Poynter / MediaWire)
Digital edition circulation rose at U.S. magazines in the first half of 2014, according to the Alliance for Audited Media’s most recent report. But digital editions represented only 3.8 percent of total circulation, compared with 3.3 percent in June 2013. Paid subscriptions fell nearly 2 percent, AAM’s Neal Lulofs writes. Single copy sales fell about 12 percent.
FCC to Consider Whether to Expand Political Ad Disclosure Rules (Variety)
The FCC is fielding comments on whether to require that cable and satellite systems post information about political advertising to the commission’s online database. In 2012, the FCC started requiring major TV broadcasters to post such information online, a move that was regarded as an effort to increase disclosure following the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Although broadcasters have challenged the disclosure rules in court, the FCC has continued to implement the rule, as it was extended to all stations on July 1.
Scripps, AMC Hit by Higher Programming Costs (WSJ)
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. and AMC Networks Inc., two smaller cable programmers, on Thursday showed the impact of rising programming costs in lower second-quarter results, highlighting challenges each faces in surviving in an increasingly competitive television market. Nevertheless, on separate conference calls with Wall Street analysts, the chief executives of both companies — each of which has been seen as a potential takeover target — made the case for remaining independent.