Casey Kasem, Wholesome Voice of Pop Radio, Dies at 82 (NYT)
Casey Kasem, a disc jockey who never claimed to love rock ’n’ roll but who built a long and lucrative career from it, creating and hosting one of radio’s most popular syndicated pop music shows, American Top 40, died on Sunday in a hospital in Gig Harbor, Wash. He was 82. Mashable Kasem had Parkinson’s disease and dementia. His children took him off life support in a Washington hospice this week. HuffPost Kasem will be remembered as the “the king of countdowns.” He was best known for his work on American Top 40, which he hosted from 1970 to 1988, and again from 1998 until 2004, when he passed the job on to Ryan Seacrest. Kasem was also a talented voice-over artist, most famously voicing Scooby-Doo’s pal, Shaggy. THR Kasem said he wanted to be the “voice of the guy next door,” and his style was to accent the positive, considering each one of the hits a major accomplishment for each act involved. He never focused on the negative, such as a big drop-off for a particular song, and remained family-friendly. His shows also tugged at the heartstrings with such elements as “Long Distance Dedications.” Variety Kemal Amin Kasem was born in Detroit to parents who were Lebanese Druze immigrants. He graduated from Wayne State University. Kasem got his start in radio during the Korean War, working for Armed Forces Radio. Kasem was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the National Radio Hall of Fame in 1992.
FCC Looking Into Netflix’s Complaints About Verizon, Comcast (Re/code)
Federal regulators are wading into Netflix’s dispute with two Internet providers about whether it should have to pay extra to broadband providers to ensure speedy video delivery to subscribers. Deadline Hollywood FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said Friday that he has directed staff to “obtain the information we need to understand precisely what is happening in order to understand whether consumers are being harmed.” The agency has already received copies of Netflix’s deals with Comcast and Verizon and is looking for others. Variety Netflix has complained that Comcast and Verizon are demanding payments to upgrade its signal, a reflection of the increasing demand for Internet video, while other ISPs have not. Wheeler said its study is separate yet related to the agency’s effort to rewrite net neutrality rules, as those have to do with whether an Internet provider can block traffic or give preferential delivery to certain types of content. GigaOM This doesn’t mean that the agency will regulate the interconnection agreements between ISP networks and content provider networks, but it does mean that the consumer cry for action on this issue has been heard and the FCC is looking into it.
Univision Bests ABC/ESPN in World Cup Social Activity (LostRemote)
Univision Deportes’ broadcast of World Cup matches Saturday delivered the most-watched Saturday of group play in Univision Deportes World Cup history. Univision Deportes is also outdelivering ESPN/ABC network’s average by +7 percent among total viewers and +2 percent among adults 18-49 through the first eight matches of the World Cup. Univision was also the No. 1 network across all English and Spanish language broadcast networks on Saturday in terms of Twitter activity, beating NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX. Deadline Hollywood Univision had 5.1 million viewers for the opening game of the World Cup Thursday, compared to the 4.4 million total viewers ESPN had. Of course, those numbers paled besides the UK viewership: ITV’s coverage pulled in 8.2 million viewers between 7-11:15 p.m. GMT with the actual match itself getting more than 11 million viewers. ESPN said that Brazil-Croatia had the highest overnight rating for a World Cup opening game on record, according to Nielsen, since ESPN began tracking metered markets for the World Cup in 1998. AllFacebook More than 58 million Facebook users were responsible for more than 140 million interactions on the first day of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, on which host Brazil defeated Croatia 3-1, and Brazil’s Neymar was the topic of many of those interactions. AllTwitter Naturally, Twitter dominated conversation around the match, with some 12.2 million tweets sent during the game. More than 150 countries joined in the discussion.
Despite Upheavals, NBC Extends Lauer’s Contract (NYT)
NBC’s Today show issued a new endorsement of its longtime anchor Matt Lauer on Thursday, signing the veteran newsman to a contract extension that will keep him in place on the morning show for what NBC described as multiple more years. TVNewser NBC executives did not disclose the exact terms of the new deal but indicated it was for more than two years. Lauer’s current contract, which paid him a reported $20 million a year, was set to expire in the coming months. FishbowlNY Lauer first started co-anchoring Today in 1997.
Chelsea Clinton Paid $600K by NBC (Politico)
Chelsea Clinton earned an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year, sources with knowledge of the agreement said. Clinton joined the network as a special correspondent in November 2011. PRNewser Clinton most recently worked on assignments for the now-defunct Rock Center with Brian Williams. TVNewser Politico’s Dylan Byers reported the month-to-month agreement was put in place so that Clinton, whose contract was up for renewal this year, can exit in case Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016.
Will New York’s 30 Rock Become The Comcast Building? (Deadline Hollywood)
New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote Tuesday on a proposed “certificate of appropriateness,” allowing Comcast to install signs with its logo and NBC peacock at the Rockefeller Center art deco landmark, popularly known as the RCA Building. TVNewser The committee will take up a proposal to replace the neon GE sign atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Comcast also wants to replace the street-side marquees on the building adding one for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Capital New York The letters “GE” have been emblazoned at the top of the building since 1988, when the General Electric company acquired RCA. RCA had had its name on the top of the Rockefeller Plaza office tower since 1937, replacing the helium tubing version in 1969 for a new neon sign.
Al Jazeera Launches Standalone Online Video Service (Capital New York)
Al Jazeera quietly launched its digital video news channel Al Jazeera + on Friday. Dubbed “AJ+” for short, the service seems to be cut from the same cloth as other video startups like NowThis News and Vice News. A handful of clips posted to its YouTube channel Friday give a taste of what is to come, with explainers, like “Boko Haram Explained,” mixed in with videos designed for social sharing like “4 Ways Brazil Is Losing the World Cup.” TVNewser The site, which is separate from Al Jazeera America, intends to “give you a fresh take on news, culture and current events from around the world.”
Former BuzzFeed COO Jon Steinberg Lands at Daily Mail’s Website (Re/code)
Jon Steinberg, the former COO of BuzzFeed, has a new job: He is running the American version of the UK-based Daily Mail’s enormous website, formally known as MailOnline. Steinberg had worked at BuzzFeed for four years, and reportedly left after BuzzFeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti decided not to sell his company to Disney. FishbowlNY Via telephone Sunday with Brian Stelter, Steinberg confirmed his title (CEO of North America) and said he would continue on CNBC as a contributor.
Mary Alice Williams Named Anchor of NJTV (TVNewser)
NBC News and CNN alum Mary Alice Williams has been named anchor of NJTV News, a nightly news broadcast on New Jersey’s public television network. TVSpy Starting July 1, Williams will replace current anchor and managing editor Mike Schneider, who will stay on as senior correspondent and host of public affairs shows for both NJTV and New York’s WNET.
New Yorker Publicist Alexa Cassanos Leaves for Facebook (Capital New York)
New Yorker public relations director Alexa Cassanos, who has worked at the magazine since 2007, will leave next month to join the communications team at Facebook. PRNewser Cassanos has an extensive history in PR at some of the biggest names in New York City’s print publishing world. After nearly a decade at Random House, she held top positions at Condé Nast and then specifically Bon Appétit before joining The New Yorker.
Iraq Blocks Social Sites After Extremists ‘Thank God’ for Twitter (SocialTimes)
Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been blocked in Iraq. A source from the Iraqi Ministry of Communications told the Kuwait News Agency on Friday that the government ordered the ministry of communications to block access to those sites.
Chris Jansing Signs Off Jansing & Co. (TVNewser)
Chris Jansing signed off as host of MSNBC’s Jansing & Co. Friday morning after a four-year run. She begins her new role as NBC News Senior White House Correspondent on June 23. “Life at MSNBC teaches you that sleep is overrated — though it is possible to sleep while standing or in a coach seat and there’s no such thing as preparing too much!” Jansing tells TVNewser about her time hosting at MSNBC.
Another Day, Another Big Departure at Twitter (SocialTimes)
Thursday, the COO of Twitter Ali Rowghani resigned from his position. Friday, Chloe Sladden, head of the company’s media unit, announced via a series of tweets that she is also leaving. According to Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici, Sladden was planning to leave in July, but opted to depart earlier given the reorganization.
Alex Trebek Claims Guinness World Record for Game Show Hosting (Deadline Hollywood)
The Guinness World Records named Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek with the benchmark “most game show episodes hosted by the same presenter.” Trebek has hosted a whopping 6,829 episodes of Jeopardy! since he took the job in 1984. Trebek was given the title Friday night.
NY Times’ Nick Bilton Shifts to Styles Section (FishbowlNY)
Nick Bilton, the tech and business columnist for The New York Times, is shifting gears. According to a tweet from Bilton — who also serves as the Times lead writer for its Bits blog — he’s moving to the Styles section.