Forbes Media Sells Majority Stake to Hong Kong Investor Group (FishbowlNY)
In the past six years, Forbes has expanded its international publishing reach from nine licensed local editions to 36. Content is now consumed in 63 countries, in 21 different languages. Friday, the company solidified its international reach with the announcement that a majority stake has been sold to a group of Asian investors. NYT / DealBook The terms were not disclosed, but the transaction values Forbes Media at $475 million, said a person close to the deal. Forbes’ new controlling shareholders will be Integrated Whale Media Investments, a group that includes the Hong Kong investor Tak Cheung Yam and Wayne Hsieh, the Singaporean co-founder of AsusTek Computer. Forbes The Forbes family will retain a significant ownership stake, will stay actively involved in Forbes Media and will work with the investor group to further increase market share of the existing Forbes Media product lines in media, digital, technology, as well as brand extensions. Upon closing, Elevation Partners will fully exit its investment in Forbes Media. Mashable In a statement, the family and its new majority owners framed the deal as a way to ensure Forbes‘ brand and journalistic operations continue to expand. “Our partners respect our brand and values, and support our longstanding mission of championing entrepreneurship and free market capitalism through quality, independent business journalism,” Steve Forbes said in a statement. Capital New York Forbes Media will remain headquartered in the U.S., and there will be no change at the top — Steve Forbes will continue as chairman and editor-in-chief, and Mike Perlis will remain CEO. The company reported that it made a profit in 2013; the company projected a revenue of $144.6 million for the year, according to a report.
Amazon Reveals Kindle Unlimited eBook Subscription Service (GalleyCat)
After rumors had been flying all week about Amazon getting into the eBook subscription business, the online retail giant has confirmed the service and has revealed the details. Amazon has launched Kindle Unlimited, a new eBook subscription service that operates as a kind of Netflix for eBooks. GalleyCat Kindle Unlimited will compete directly with Oyster’s eBook subscription service. Both companies charge about $10 a month in subscription fees for unlimited access to their entire library. Oyster’s collection consists of more than 500,000 titles and Amazon’s boasts more than 600,000. New York Post / AP About 2,000 audiobooks from Audible with Whispersync for Voice, which lets users switch between reading and listening to books, will be available through the service. Subscribers will get a free three-month membership to the broader Audible service, which has 150,000 titles. Amazon is offering a free 30-day trial to entice users to try the service. The move is a switch from Amazon’s latest efforts, which have all been about adding services to its Prime loyalty program. GigaOM Most of the eBook titles come from Amazon’s own publishing imprints or by self-published authors who’d previously enrolled their books in KDP Select. There are books from traditional publishers as well — no big-five publishers — but Abrams, Algonquin, Workman, Open Road and Bloomsbury, among others. “You can keep up to 10 books at a time and there are no due dates,” according to Amazon’s help pages. “Read your Kindle Unlimited books on any Kindle device or free Kindle reading app.”
Another RT Journalist Quits (TVNewser)
She might not have quit on-air like her former colleague, but London-based RT correspondent Sara Firth made waves Friday morning announcing her resignation on Twitter. PRNewser She went on an entire bridge-burning campaign that went viral. The RT is a Russian news network that has one huge setback in that “unbiased reporting” angle — it is completely funded by the Russian government. Mediaite “We do work for Putin,” she admitted on Twitter. “We are asked on a daily basis if not to totally ignore then to obscure the truth.” “I have huge respect for many in the team, but I’m for the truth,” she added in another tweet. Firth, who had been filing as recently as July 16, hinted strongly that she’d been asked to compromise a story of hers, likely about the crash of MH17 in Eastern Ukraine. HuffPost Russia Today’s Liz Wahl also publicly criticized the network earlier this year. Wahl quit while on air, stating that she could not support a network that “whitewashes the actions of Putin” and asks her to “promote Russian foreign policy.”
Fox May Reap $10 Billion for Renewed Time Warner Bid via BSkyB Pay-TV Deals (Sunday Times)
BSkyB is finalizing plans to create a European pay-TV giant, bolstering parent company 21st Century Fox’s pursuit of its film and television rival Time Warner. Sky is set to seal the takeover of sister companies in Italy and Germany, sources said. The deal will provide a windfall of more than €8 billion (£6.3 billion) for Fox, which controls Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland. Variety The combined entity would have about 20 million subscribers across Europe. Fox owns 100 percent of Sky Italia and about 57 percent of Sky Deutschland. Meanwhile, Fox has lined up $25 billion in loans from Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan for a renewed Time Warner bid, which would represent most of the cash for the deal. Poynter / MediaWire Rupert Murdoch tweeted Thursday night that he doesn’t plan to buy Tribune’s newspapers. He cited the FCC’s cross-ownership rules, which forbid the same person or entity from owning a print and a top broadcast property in the same market.
Fox News Most-Watched During Coverage of Downed Malaysia Airlines Flight (TVNewser)
FNC was the most-watched cable news channel in both total day and primetime for Thursday’s breaking news stories of the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and Israel’s ground war into Gaza. Mediaite Fox News grew 71 percent in the 25-54 demo and 52 percent in total viewers in primetime compared to the average of the previous four Thursdays. CNN came in second, jumping 176 percent in the demo and 82 percent in total viewers compared to the previous four Thursdays. Variety Fox News averaged more than 3 million viewers in primetime and nearly 600,000 among viewers between 25 and 54. Fox News averaged 1.5 million in total viewers for the viewing day and 313,000 among viewers between 25 and 54.
Ayman Mohyeldin to Return to Gaza for NBC (TVNewser)
Following public pressure, including a petition signed by more than 15,000 people, NBC News correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin will return to Gaza to continue reporting on the conflict there. Mediaite On Thursday, NBC News reportedly pulled Mohyeldin out of the Gaza Strip. Suspicion over the cause of NBC’s initial decision to remove Mohyeldin followed a widely seen report he gave on Wednesday, describing an Israeli missile attack that killed four Gazan children and injured three others. HuffPost The network would not comment on the decision, thereby fueling speculation that the removal had to do with Mohyeldin’s coverage of the civilian casualties or a couple of deleted posts on social media. A source familiar with the decision told The Huffington Post that NBC executives described security reasons as the factor behind Mohyeldin’s removal. But as Mohyeldin was removed, NBC assigned chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel to Gaza.
CNN Reporter Pulled From Reporting in Israel After ‘Scum’ Tweet (TVNewser)
As NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin returns to reporting from Gaza, a CNN reporter has been pulled from the region, in part for sending a tweet which referred to a group of Israelis as “scum.” Diana Magnay was reporting from the so-called Sderot cinema where local Israelis gather to watch the IDF bombardment. After her report, she wrote on Twitter: “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong.’ Scum.” HuffPost “After being threatened and harassed before and during a liveshot, Diana reacted angrily on Twitter,” a CNN spokeswoman said in a statement. “She deeply regrets the language used, which was aimed directly at those who had been targeting our crew,” the spokeswoman continued. “She certainly meant no offense to anyone beyond that group, and she and CNN apologize for any offense that may have been taken.” The spokeswoman said Magnay has been assigned to Moscow.
Bianna Golodryga Leaving GMA for Yahoo!, Paula Faris Promoted to Co-Anchor (TVNewser)
Good Morning America weekend co-anchor Bianna Golodryga is leaving ABC News and joining Yahoo! News where she will be news and finance anchor. Paula Faris, who joined ABC News in 2011 as anchor of World News Now and has most recently been a correspondent for all shows, has been promoted to co-anchor of GMA weekend. NYT In a statement, Golodryga said she made the switch in part for “the opportunity to delve into more detail on topics ranging from Russia to Wall Street and everything in between.” The move comes as Yahoo! seeks to establish itself as a news organization, amid a spate of prominent hires like Katie Couric and former New York Times technology columnist David Pogue.
Layoffs Hit Daily News Again (Capital New York)
The New York Daily News is downsizing again. Multiple sources said that buyouts have recently been offered to some employees and that layoffs were enacted Thursday and Friday. New York Post Seventeen newsroom employees were laid off in a relentless drive to stem losses. Heidi Evans, who had two stints at the paper totaling 20 years and shared in its last Pulitzer Prize in 2007, was among those let go. Phyllis Furman, who had been lured to the paper from Crain’s New York Business in 1997, got a pink skip along with her business reporting colleague, Elizabeth Lazarowitz, who is on maternity leave.
WSJ’s Facebook Page Hacked (HuffPost)
The Wall Street Journal’s Facebook page was hacked by an unknown source Sunday morning. The hacker made false claims that a U.S. Air Force One crash had occurred. The post came on the heels of the Malaysian Airlines plane that was shot down on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board. A second hacked post said that Vice President Joe Biden was set to address the nation regarding the crash. The Wall Street Journal eventually deleted the posts and informed its readers that it had been “compromised.”
FX to Stop Reporting Live Plus Same Day Ratings (Deadline Hollywood)
FX put out a press release Friday for the Live+3 delivery of the series premiere of drama The Strain. It was accompanied by a note from the network that going forward, it “will no longer issue releases, analysis or comments related to ratings on a Live Plus Same Day basis.” John Landgraf, along with Fox’s former chief Kevin Reilly, have been probably the most vocal opponents of the Live Plus Same Day ratings, slamming them for paining a skewed picture of a show’s performance.
Ethiopia Charges 9 Journalists With Terrorism (HuffPost / AP)
The Committee to Protect Journalists says Ethiopia’s government has charged nine journalists with terrorism and inciting violence. The watchdog group said the journalists include six bloggers from Zone 9, an independent collective that publishes critical news and commentary. They were arrested in April. The group urged Ethiopia’s government to release all the journalists, saying they were in detention simply for doing their jobs.
Dateline Having Strong Ratings Run (TVNewser)
NBC’s Dateline has been on a strong ratings run over the last few weeks. In the last six weeks, Dateline Friday has had at least one of its hours rank in the broadcast top 25 among primetime total viewers. And since early March, Dateline’s Saturday Night Mysteries has also seen success. With the exception of sports, it’s ranked or tied for No. 1 among the big four broadcast networks’ Saturday primetime shows in the adult 18-49 demo eight times, including the last six episodes in a row.
Restorative Narratives: Defining A New Strength-Based Genre (ivoh)
What if the news media covered stories of recovery and resilience as much as they covered stories about devastation and despair? This question has been central to our recent work at Images & Voices of Hope (ivoh) and aligns with our mission to strengthen the media’s role as an agent of world benefit. We’ve coined a term — Restorative Narratives — which describes a genre of stories that focus on recovery, restoration and resilience in the aftermath of difficult times. This genre is by no means new, but there’s never been a constructive name for it until now.
MSNBC, Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart to Receive Rubén Salazar Award for Communications (TVNewser)
MSNBC and Telemundo anchor José Díaz-Balart will receive the Rubén Salazar Award for Communications at the NCLR annual convention in Los Angeles Tuesday. The organization presents the award to a professional dedicated to portraying news relevant to U.S. Hispanics.