Facebook Teams With Storyful to Launch FB Newswire for Journalists, Media Outlets (AllFacebook)
Facebook has become a virtual newsroom of sorts, with a recent study by the Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project finding that three out of 10 U.S. adults get at least some news while on Facebook and 78 percent of Facebook users see news while navigating the site. Now, the social network is aiming to become an invaluable resource for journalists and media organizations, announcing that it teamed up with social content discovery outfit Storyful to launch FB Newswire. TechCrunch FB Newswire promises to offer journalists a repository of verified, real-time content for use in covering breaking news stories. Storyful’s purpose was to verify news sources from social sites including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and the FB Newsroom version of its tech continues that mission, with the aim of making Facebook a more useful resource for journalists and news publications. GigaOM Storyful was acquired by News Corp. in December for $25 million. FB Newswire will highlight content that has been posted by users and media entities who are reporting on breaking news events around the world, and comes complete with an easy-to-use “embed” function. Mashable The agency will use an algorithm to find popular and breaking news stories on Facebook in categories like sports, entertainment, tech and politics. Facebook is also releasing a Twitter handle for the service, called @FBNewswire, along with the feed. Poynter / MediaWire The company recently hired Liz Heron from The Wall Street Journal to facilitate partnerships between Facebook and news organizations. The FB Newswire page will be publicly accessible but is “100 percent” aimed at journalists, Facebook director of news and global media partnerships Andy Mitchell said. “The format on the page will feel like a wire,” he said.
Vice News’ Simon Ostrovsky Released From Captivity in Eastern Ukraine (TVNewser)
Vice News reporter Simon Ostrovsky has been released from captivity by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, Ostrovsky and Vice News announced Thursday. Capital New York “Vice News is delighted to confirm that our colleague and friend Simon Ostrovsky has been safely released and is in good health. We would like to thank everyone for their support during this difficult time,” a statement said. Acting BBC Moscow bureau chief Kevin Bishop first broke news of Ostrovsky’s release on Twitter. Variety Ostrovsky was taken hostage earlier this week in Slavyansk by a group led by Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the rebel town’s self-proclaimed “People’s Mayor.” Stella Khorosheva, a spokeswoman for the rebels, said Wednesday that Ostrovsky was being held because he was suspected of spying for Right Sector, the far-right Ukrainian nationalist party, or other “enemy groups.” AFP Ostrovsky said by telephone that he was fine, although he had been beaten after being grabbed late Monday in Slavyansk and was initially kept tied up and blindfolded. “After a day and a half they took off the blindfold and untied my hands, then they treated me normally,” he said. Ostrovsky said he believed the separatists in the town had been looking for him specifically when they seized him at a checkpoint in Slavyansk’s main square. “They had my picture, they were looking for me,” he said.
NYT Reports Increases in Ad Revenue, Circulation (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times Company announced its first quarter earnings Thursday morning, and at least for the first three months of the year, things have been going well. The company reported that total revenue increased by 2.6 percent compared to last year, and both print and digital ad revenue were up. Mashable Print and online ad revenue increased by a combined 3.4 percent year-over-year (or 3.7 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively). That marks the first year-over-year increase in ad revenue in more than three years, but doesn’t necessarily mean it has turned a corner yet. To that end, the company projected that ad sales revenue will decline again in the second quarter year-over-year by “mid-single digits” as “year-over-year comparisons become more challenging.” WSJ The last time the Times reported an increase in print advertising revenue was the fourth quarter of 2005. The revenue improvement didn’t translate into higher profits: Times Co.’s net income fell 51 percent in the quarter, as higher operating costs overwhelmed revenue growth. Other publishers to report so far for the first quarter, including Gannett Co. and McClatchy Co., both had declines in print advertising. NYT Digital subscription revenue increased 13.6 percent from a year ago, to about $40 million. The company added about 39,000 digital subscribers in the quarter, bringing the total number of paid digital-only subscribers to about 799,000. That gain is the largest in several quarters.
George Stephanopoulos Re-Signs With GMA, This Week (TVNewser)
ABC News has re-signed George Stephanopoulos to a long-term deal to continue as the anchor of Good Morning America and This Week and anchor the network’s political coverage. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Stephanopoulos, one of the hardest-working men in broadcast television, has co-anchored GMA since 2009; he served as host of This Week from 2002 to 2010, and returned to the program in 2012. He is also the network’s chief political correspondent and occasionally substitutes for Diane Sawyer on World News. In recent months, Stephanopoulos has dialed back hosting duties on This Week in order to spend more time with his family, though he remains involved in planning the show every week. ABC News correspondents Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl serve as substitute hosts. HuffPost Good Morning America is currently the No. 1 network morning show, while This Week has beat Meet The Press in the ratings for three quarters in a row. Stephanopoulos’ new deal also secures some stability for GMA, which recently saw the departure of Josh Elliott and promoted Amy Robach and Lara Spencer to the role of co-host.
Meredith to Fold Ladies’ Home Journal (FishbowlNY)
Another magazine is biting the dust: Meredith is folding Ladies’ Home Journal. The cracks started to appear in 2012, when it announced an odd plan to have a majority of its content created by readers. On the business side, things haven’t been any better. Ad pages have been on the decline for years, and were down 22 percent during the first quarter of this year. Adweek A Meredith spokesperson has confirmed that while Ladies’ Home Journal will be ending its run as a monthly magazine, the brand will live on as a quarterly, newsstand-only publication with “a robust digital presence” this fall. The entire current Ladies’ Home Journal staff, including its editor, Sally Lee, has been laid off. Meredith’s special interest media group in Des Moines will oversee the new quarterly title. WSJ The publication, one of the country’s oldest women’s magazines, will end regular monthly publication this July. It was first published in 1883.
Turness: ‘NBC News Is Proud to Have David in The Important Anchor Chair of Meet The Press’ (TVNewser)
NBC News president Deborah Turness sent out a note to the Meet The Press staff Thursday to “reiterate [her] support for the show and for David [Gregory].” HuffPost In her memo, Turness stressed that the network is “proud” of Gregory and will keep him “at the helm” of the program now and into the future, condemning most of what has been written about Gregory by the media as “ludicrous.” The chatter refers to the speculation and rumors that have built up surrounding Gregory on many prominent news outlets as the once dominant Sunday show continues to see its ratings drop. Monday, a new report from The Washington Post claimed that NBC News had hired a “psychological consultant” to interview Gregory’s wife and friends. Mediaite In his piece, the Post’s Paul Farhi reported that NBC News hired a psychological consultant in order to “get perspective and insight from people who know him best” and hopefully get to the bottom of his ratings woes. Later, in a statement, NBC clarified, saying Meet The Press “brought in a brand consultant — not, as reported, a psychological one — to better understand how its anchor connects.”
Dylan Ratigan Shooting Pilot for CNN (TVNewser)
Former CNBC and MSNBC anchor Dylan Ratigan was at CNN Wednesday shooting a panel-style show pilot. Last month, it was learned that Ratigan was among several hosts working on projects for CNN. Network insiders say Ratigan’s latest test episode, which is one of many the network is experimenting with, was shot Wednesday night at CNN in New York. Mediaite It was a “panel-style show pilot.” Ratigan left MSNBC in 2012, and has only popped up on TV for the occasional interview. Last year he was the subject of a Daily Show field piece in which he made clear he doesn’t miss the “hollow political debate” on modern cable news.
Former Sony PR Exec Steve Elzer Launches New Firm (THR)
Steve Elzer, who exited Sony Pictures as its senior VP media relations in December, has launched his own PR film, Elzer & Associates, Inc. He will be joined at the company by former Imageworks communications executive Rachel Falikoff, who will serve as senior VP. Deadline Hollywood The boutique PR firm will build clientele consisting of corporations, production companies, execs, filmmakers and philanthropists in the entertainment community. Elzer launches with several clients that include Newscard, a start-up built around social media and how consumers comment on professional news photographs taken at entertainment and sporting events; and Court Five, the production company hatched by Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky, who worked with Elzer at New Line and oversaw production on the Lord of The Rings trilogy.
Megyn Kelly, Charlie Rose on Time 100 (TVNewser)
Time magazine is out with its annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. Megyn Kelly, the anchor of Fox News Channel’s 9 p.m. hour, is a Pioneer on the list, while Charlie Rose, the co-host of CBS This Morning, is listed as an Icon. The list runs the gamut: from President Obama to Edward Snowden; from Pope Francis to Miley Cyrus. Seth Meyers, Jeff Bezos and both Koch brothers are also on it. GalleyCat A number of writers have been included in this illustrious group such as young adult novelist John Green, nonfiction author Barbara Brown Taylor, memoirist Malala Yousafzai, novelist Arundhati Roy and Pulitzer Prize winner Donna Tartt.
NBCU’s Fandango Adds Twitter Ticketing, Buys Movieclips From YouTube Developer Zefr (Variety)
Fandango, the movie-ticketing and info site owned by NBCUniversal, has launched a new program to sell movie tickets via Twitter in movie-related tweets, and also announced the acquisition of the Movieclips network on YouTube from Zefr. Fandango’s Twitter Card feature lets users access details on current and upcoming films directly from tweets. In addition, fans can tap a button to go to Fandango and purchase tickets. The first films to take advantage of the feature are Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Legendary and Warner Bros.’s Godzilla, debuting in theaters on May 2 and May 16, respectively.
Next NYT Subscription Apps to Land in June, Fall (Capital New York)
The New York Times will continue the rollout of its mobile subscription suite in June with the launch of NYT Opinion, a new app tied to the paper’s op-ed pages. A cooking app that’s also in development will follow in the fall. The opinion and cooking apps follow the introduction earlier this month of NYT Now and NYT Premier, which target casual readers and Times junkies at the low and high ends of the pricing spectrum, respectively.
ITV Studios U.K. Hires Discovery Int’l Exec Julian Bellamy as Managing Director (Deadline London)
ITV Studios U.K. has moved quickly to fill the managing director post that will be vacated by Denise O’Donoghue at the end of 2014. Julian Bellamy, who is currently Discovery Networks’ international creative director and head of commissioning, will take over from O’Donoghue later this year, ITV said Thursday. TV veteran O’Donoghue has been managing director at ITV Studios U.K. for four years and will remain on the board of the country’s largest commercial production company after stepping down. Bellamy has spent three years at Discovery, running production and development across 200 countries, with commissioning teams in five international bases.
Netflix Reaches Set-Top Box Deal (WSJ)
Netflix Inc. is about to take a small but significant step to make its streaming-video service easier for viewers to access. Netflix has reached a deal with Atlantic Broadband, a small Quincy, Mass. cable operator, to integrate its streaming service as an app through TiVo Inc. set top boxes provided by the cable operator, according to people familiar with the matter. The deal will be similar to arrangements Netflix already has with operators in Europe, where Netflix continues to control the billing relationships with its subscribers, the people said. The company has been seeking such arrangements with U.S. operators for months.
Pandora Shares Fall Despite Better-Than-Expected Earnings (THR)
Shares of Pandora Media were sinking as much as 9 percent in after-hours trading on Thursday even though the digital music company posted quarterly earnings that exceeded the expectations of analysts. Pandora said Thursday that it lost $28.9 million during the first quarter, or 13 cents a share when adjusted, which is a penny better than predicted. Revenue was $194.3 million, well ahead of the $177.7 million that analysts expected.
Maker Studios Forges Alliance With Jukin Media (Deadline New York)
Disney’s in the process of spending potentially $1 billion for Maker Studios, and Thursday’s agreement means that — when the deal closes — it will also indirectly manage YouTube channels and videos from Jukin Media, described as “the world’s leading licensing platform for viral video clips.” It has more than 30 YouTube channels including FailArmy, which has 4.8 million subs and specializes in videos of people screwing up. The companies also plan to co-produce shows for both the Internet and TV.
What social network do you use the most while watching TV?
Thierry Labro Twitter
MSRG_Pubs Twitter, to keep up with my feed and to snark on what I’m watching.