It’s Official: Chuck Todd Named Host of Meet The Press (TVNewser)
As expected, NBC News has announced that Chuck Todd will be the next moderator of Meet The Press. CNNMoney The announcement confirmed widespread speculation that David Gregory, the moderator of the Sunday morning public affairs program for the past six years, would be replaced by Todd, the NBC News political director. FishbowlDC Turness also confirmed that after 20 years with NBC News, Gregory bids farewell, which he announced earlier in the day on Twitter. Todd will take reigns of the program on Sept. 7. Andrea Mitchell will moderate this weekend. FishbowlDC Gregory tweeted, “I leave NBC as I came – humbled and grateful. I love journalism and serving as moderator of MTP was the highest honor there is.” TVNewser Gregory, who joined NBC News in 1995, has hosted Meet The Press for six years, since the death of Tim Russert in 2008. During Gregory’s tenure, the show slipped in the ratings, first losing ground to CBS’ Face The Nation, and, more recently, frequently placing third behind FTN and ABC’s This Week. No word yet on what is next for Gregory, who was recently spotted meeting with CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker.
Al Jazeera America Crew Says it Was Fired Upon in Ferguson (TVNewser)
A crew from Al Jazeera America was setting up for a live shot in Ferguson, Mo., around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, when police tear gas canisters landed near them. The network also says police fired rubber bullets in their direction and continued to shoot after the crew “clearly and repeatedly shouted ‘press.’” They were setting up for a live shot for the international channel covering the latest in the violence surrounding the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. TVSpy KSDK photographers and a photographer were approached at gunpoint Wednesday night by police in Ferguson, who said “we don’t want you here,” according to a report by KSDK reporter Casey Nolan filed early Thursday morning. FishbowlDC Following the arrests of the Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly in Ferguson Wednesday, statements from both outlets have been issued condemning the arrests. Just before 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening, Lowery and Reilly were working from and patronizing a McDonald’s in the town when police entered, arrested and assaulted the two, who were later released without charges, paperwork or the names of the arresting officers. FishbowlDC President Obama addressed the arrests at a press conference he offered Thursday afternoon. “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,” Obama said.
Josh Tyrangiel Promoted at Bloomberg (FishbowlNY)
Josh Tyrangiel has been promoted to oversee all consumer content at Bloomberg Media. Capital New York Bloomberg Media Group chief executive Justin Smith announced in an internal memo Thursday morning that Tyrangiel “is being elevated to oversee all content across our consumer media platforms. He will be the editorial lead for everything we do from magazines to TV to radio, digital and live events and continue to oversee Bloomberg News’ Projects team and the Data Viz and Rankings teams.” Poynter / MediaWire Smith said Tyrangiel “is proving there is little he cannot take on” while he and Smith craft a “new direction for Bloomberg Media.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Tyrangiel served as editor of Bloomberg Businessweek before being named senior executive editor for consumer products for which he has been leading the charge to revamp Bloomberg’s media group. Bloomberg has been on an intense hiring spree as it revamps its media products. Last week, the company hired Claudia Milne from the BBC to lead Bloomberg’s U.S.-based live television programming.
Fox Names David Madden Entertainment President, Promotes Joe Earley to Group COO (Variety)
Fox Television Group chairman-CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden have made their first exec changes at Fox Broadcasting Co., naming studio vet David Madden as entertainment president and promoting Joe Earley to chief operating officer for the group that encompasses the network and 20th Century Fox TV studio. THR / The Live Feed In his new role, Madden will assume responsibility for scripted programming and development, alternative entertainment and casting at the network. Madden had been elevated to president of FTVS in 2010, after a decade at the company, where his roster included such shows as The Killing, The Americans and White Collar. Deadline Hollywood Earley will be charged with maximizing opportunities for the portfolio of shows produced by 20th TV for Fox. He also will continue to have direct oversight of marketing and communications, digital, multiplatform programming, research, talent relations, scheduling and audience strategy at the network.
NYT Names Alex MacCallum Assistant Managing Editor (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has named Alex MacCallum assistant managing editor for audience development. MacCallum was most recently a business side exec overseeing NYT Cooking, the Times’ cooking site and app. Capital New York She previously served as director of product management. MacCallum will create her own audience development team meant to drive readers to Times content across platforms, a priority outlined in the paper’s internal innovation report leaked in May. Mashable The innovation report leak was followed by an earnings report that detailed a decline in ad sales that had not been covered by the company’s new subscription products. The launch of mobile-friendly subscription apps NYT Now and NYT Opinion garnered plenty of attention but not enough subscribers to offset its advertising struggles and prevent profit from falling.
Fox’s Emma Watts Re-Ups for Three Years After Robust Summer (Deadline Hollywood)
As Stacey Snider gets closer to leaving DreamWorks to take a senior position under 20th Century Fox Film chairman/CEO Jim Gianopulos, questions have been rampant about the role for TCF production president Emma Watts, who led the studio to its most killer summer in a long time. Gianopulos has answered some of those questions by staking Watts to a new three-year deal. Variety Her deal comes as Fox is riding a box office hot streak, leading its big studio brethren in market share on the backs of such hits as X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fault in Our Stars and Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. Last month, 20th Century Fox became the first studio to gross $1 billion in domestic box office — and $3 billion worldwide. THR Playing a huge part in the revival is Watts, whose job as president of production took on increased importance with the departure of hands-on former studio co-chairman Tom Rothman nearly two years ago. Watts has served in the top job since 2009.
Carl Icahn Reveals Gannett Stake, Breakup Support (Forbes)
Carl Icahn revealed a 6.6 percent stake in publisher Gannett in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Thursday. The document shows that the billionaire activist investor began acquiring shares of the company in mid-June, with the intention of splitting its assets — which include USA Today, CareerBuilder and 23 television stations — into two distinct properties. CNBC / Reuters Icahn, a billionaire investor who is known for taking large stakes in companies and pushing for management change, said in the filing with the SEC that the company’s shares were “undervalued.” Icahn, who reported the stake as of Aug. 4, also said in the filing that his firm intended to speak with Gannett’s management and board of directors about subjects such as the company’s planned split and corporate governance.
Russian Prime Minister’s Twitter Gets Hacked: ‘I’m Resigning’ (Mediaite)
Thursday morning, the Twitter account of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was hacked by anti-Kremlin activists, who immediately altered it to announce his resignation. BuzzFeed The hacked account saw Medvedev, who is in Crimea for a major speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin expected to draw a line under Russia’s annexation of the peninsula, renounce Moscow’s claim to it. Soon afterward, Shaltai Boltai, a mysterious group that posts compromising leaks from Kremlin officials’ computers, email accounts and phones, claimed responsibility.
Funeral of AP Video Journalist Simone Camilli to Be Livestreamed (The Associated Press)
The funeral of Associated Press video journalist Simone Camilli, in his Tuscan hometown of Pitigliano, may be viewed Friday via a livestream on AP.org starting 5:30 p.m. local time in Italy (11:30 a.m. ET / 1530 GMT). Poynter / MediaWire Camilli and his Palestinian translator, Ali Shehda Abu Afash, died Wednesday after unexploded ordnance detonated in a disposal site in the town of Beit Lahiya. Police engineers were trying to defuse the ordnance when it exploded, killing six people and seriously injuring three others. Among the injured was Hatem Moussa, an AP photographer, who was knocked unconscious by multiple blasts.
CBS Eyes October Launch of Digital Channel (TVNewser)
CBS News is in hiring mode for the new CBS News digital news channel and is looking at a launch in October. The channel is being championed by CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves, with CBS News president David Rhodes heading up the effort. Rhodes is a veteran of the cable game, having worked the early years at Fox News Channel and later as head of U.S. TV for Bloomberg.
NBC News Selling TheGrio.com (TVNewser)
NBC News is selling TheGrio.com back to its original owners. The African-American news and politics site will be sold back to David Wilson and Dan Woolsey later this month. The duo, along with NBC, launched the website in 2009. NBC bought it outright in 2010. With the change in ownership, the staff of four full-timers based in New York will no longer be NBC News employees.
Trish Turner Named Washington Senior Producer of CBS This Morning (FishbowlDC)
Former Capitol Hill producer for the Fox News Channel and CNN Trish Turner has been named Washington senior producer of CBS This Morning. Turner will fill the role previously held by Jill Jackson, who is set to join Face The Nation as senior producer.
Moss Names New York Mag ‘Print,’ ‘Digital’ Editors (Capital New York)
New York magazine editor-in-chief Adam Moss announced two promotions at New York Media in a staff memo Thursday. Editorial directors Jared Hohlt and Ben Williams are now “editor, print” and “editor, digital,” respectively. “Somebody has to ‘own’ print. Somebody has to ‘own’ digital. Those somebodies are Jared and Ben,” Moss wrote. Hohlt will oversee the day-to-day operations of the biweekly print magazine. Moss said he will extricate himself from most of his print obligations, but he will still have input in magazine lineups and covers.
Vice News Hires Jason Leopold (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Vice News has hired investigative reporter Jason Leopold, editor-in-chief Jason Mojica said Thursday. Leopold, who is well known as a national security reporter and for his prolific use of the Freedom of Information Act, was most recently a reporter for Al Jazeera America. Leopold, who will be based out of Los Angeles, has also written for The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Nation.
ESPN Goes Big on SEC Football (Capital New York)
The SEC Network, a new cable sports channel from partners ESPN and the Southeastern Conference, launched at 6 p.m. Thursday a few weeks before kickoff of the NCAA Division I football season. While Fox Sports 1 premiered last year promising to bring “attitude” to TV sports, and other recent channels, like Al Jazeera America and Pivot, have aimed to appeal to core niches, the SEC Network is something of an outlier. It is a niche channel aiming to appeal to a mainstream audience.