Ferguson Police Threaten Journalists (FishbowlNY)
Police in Ferguson, Missouri, have once again clashed with reporters covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. One cop, who was being filmed by local radio journalist Mustafa Hussein, threatened to shoot if Hussein didn’t stop. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes was also threatened by an officer who said “Get back! Or next time you’re gonna be the one maced.” Three other journalists — Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko, The Telegraph’s Rob Crilly and The Financial Times’ Neil Munshi — tweeted that they had been briefly arrested and then released. TVNewser Three more reporters were arrested in Ferguson overnight Sunday, with several more reporting being detained or threatened. FishbowlDC Last Wednesday, The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and HuffPost’s Ryan Reilly were arrested inside a McDonald’s and later released. The same night, tear gas was shot at an Al Jazeera America crew in Ferguson. TVNewser As the National Guard arrived in Ferguson, where the overnight curfew has been lifted, the broadcast and cable networks had set plans to continue coverage of the escalating violence there Monday. Brian Williams anchored Nightly News from Ferguson Monday night, and correspondents Ron Allen and Mark Potter reported from Ferguson. ABC News had Steve Osunsami and Alex Perez, CBS News sent Mark Strassmann and Vladimir Duthiers, and MSNBC deployed Hayes and MSNBC.com reporters Trymaine Lee and Amanda Sakuma. CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper were also in Ferguson, as well as Fox News’ Mike Tobin and Shepard Smith. PRNewser In the wake of the violence, the town of Ferguson has hired a PR firm, Common Ground Public Relations, for communications help. According to a rep from Common Ground, the firm is only handling the deluge of media requests that the city has been getting since protests began about a week ago.
Broadcasters Give Aereo Another Kick With Injunction Request (Deadline Hollywood)
Less than two months after achieving victory over Aereo at the Supreme Court, ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision and Telemundo now want a federal judge to slap what they see as a long overdue nationwide and wide-ranging preliminary injunction against the presently self-suspended streaming service. THR / The Live Feed The broadcasters are proposing that a New York federal judge issue a preliminary injunction against Aereo that would prohibit the digital service from “streaming, transmitting, retransmitting, or otherwise publicly performing any Copyrighted Programming over the Internet… or by means of any device or process throughout the United States of America.” The proposal comes after the high court ruled on June 25 that Aereo publicly performs copyrighted works without authority. Washington Post / The Switch Aereo wants to claim that it’s a cable company in the eyes of the Copyright Office. That would qualify it for a kind of content license that would still require Aereo to pay royalties for TV shows, but not the higher fees that broadcasters want to charge directly. This license, granted under what lawyers refer to as “Section 111,” is Aereo’s best hope right now. The Hill TV and radio broadcasters also filed a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission on Monday over its rules for an upcoming airwave auction. The National Association of Broadcasters argues in its suit that the FCC’s rules for next year’s auction would allow fewer people to tune in to their stations while forcing broadcasters to spend hundreds of millions of dollars out of their own pockets.
Julian Assange Says He Will Leave Ecuadorian Embassy Soon (The Guardian)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has rebuffed reports that he is planning to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in order to hand himself in to police, saying only that he will leave “soon.” NYT In a long and meandering news conference at which he was accompanied by the Ecuadorean foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, Assange summarized his case, insisting that he had helped bring about needed change in the British extradition system and saying that his health was suffering after two years at the embassy. WSJ Britain, which has kept police stationed at the embassy round the clock since Ecuador granted Assange political asylum in 2012, said it remained committed to extraditing the 43-year-old Australian activist to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual-assault investigation. BBC News Assange faces questioning by prosecutors in Stockholm over claims made by two women in 2010. He denies the allegations and sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy shortly after the U.K.’s Supreme Court dismissed his efforts to block his extradition.
DreamWorks Animation Taps Fazal Merchant as CFO (Variety)
DreamWorks Animation has tapped former DirecTV executive Fazal Merchant as its new chief financial officer. He will replace current CFO Lew Coleman, who has taken on the role of vice chairman and has been tasked with helping the company grow its brand globally. THR Merchant joins DWA Sept. 15. At DirecTV, he was a senior VP and CFO of DirecTV Latin America. Merchant’s hire comes nearly a month after former Disney executive Mark Zoradi was named COO of DWA. At the same time, Ann Daly, who has served as COO since 2004, was being promoted to president, while Coleman was upped to vice chairman. Deadline Hollywood Wall Street seemed to approve — and How to Train Your Dragon 2’s big China bow probably didn’t hurt either. DWA’s stock jumped as much as 10 percent after the studio’s announcement of Merchant Monday morning, and sat at 22.56, up 9.6 percent for the day and 12.5 percent over the previous five days.
Sky Pledges Increase In Black, Asian and Other Minority Talent (Deadline Hollywood)
The U.K. TV and film industries are on a big diversity push this year with pay-TV giant Sky the latest to join the fray. The group, run by 21st Century Fox, said Monday that it is “stretching new targets to improve the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic people across its entertainment channels.” Variety BSkyB has made a pledge to fill at least 20 percent of the leading roles in its new, non-returning entertainment shows with black, Asian and minority ethnic folk. The targets will apply to new programs on its entertainment channels, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living and Sky Arts. The company said it wished to better reflect the diversity of its 10.7 million TV customers in Britain and Ireland. THR The push for more on-air diversity follows a similar announcement by public broadcaster the BBC, which said it would ensure ethnic minorities make up 15 percent of on-air talent over the next three years. Stuart Murphy, director of Sky’s entertainment channel portfolio, called the 20 percent quota “non-negotiable” and said it would have an immediate impact on between 80 and 100 programs set to go into production across BSkyB’s networks.
Amazon Responds to German Authors’ Protest (Publishers Weekly)
Asked about the latest letter from authors slamming Amazon, an Amazon spokesperson said the company issued a response late Friday. Amazon’s response reads: “For the majority of their titles, Bonnier have chosen to set terms that make it significantly more expensive for us to buy a digital edition than it is to buy the print edition of the same title…We are working diligently with Bonnier to reach a new agreement more in line with typical industry terms in Germany.” GalleyCat More than 1,000 authors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland came together over the weekend to challenge Amazon for hurting authors in its negotiations with the Bonnier Group. GigaOM The authors signed an open letter to Amazon, accusing the retailer of “using authors and their books as leverage” to force larger discounts on eBooks. Amazon has been delaying Bonnier book shipments (as a result of keeping fewer Bonnier titles in stock). The letter also accuses Amazon of removing Bonnier titles from “Customers Also Bought/Viewed” lists, thus harming discoverability of new authors and misleading customers. The letter ran in German, Austrian and Swiss publications Monday.
Paul Steinhauser Set to Depart CNN for NH1 (FishbowlDC)
CNN DC bureau chief Sam Feist Monday sent a note to bureau staff announcing that CNN political editor Paul Steinhauser will soon join NH1 as political director and anchor. Steinhauser has been with CNN for 28 years in a plethora of roles, including assignment editor, producer and show executive producer. New Hampshire Business Review NH1 News — the creation of businessman Bill Binnie’s Carlisle Media Group — is entering the New Hampshire news market in a big way by hiring 35 people, capped by the addition of State House news veteran Kevin Landrigan and Steinhauser. The statewide news network’s multimedia launch is set for Sept. 15.
Don Pardo, the Voice of ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Dies at 96 (The New York Times)
Don Pardo, who literally introduced television viewers to some of America’s biggest stars and soon-to-be-stars as the longtime announcer for Saturday Night Live, died Monday in Tucson. He was 96. FishbowlNY In the NYT obituary, reporters Neil Genzlinger and Bill Carter do a good job of sourcing key portions of a 2006 interview Pardo recorded for the Archive of American Television. For example, via the conversation, Pardo flubbed a key bit of copy during his first SNL intro, inverting the “Not Ready for Primetime Players” as the “Not for Ready Primetime Players.” But of course, from June 15, 1944, on at NBC, Pardo was always ready — for the graveyard shift, primetime and, starting in 1975, Saturday nights.
BuzzFeed Editor: ‘We Didn’t Fully Think Through’ Removal of Posts (Poynter / MediaWire)
Several months ago, roughly half a dozen early BuzzFeed writers were told to go back through their pre-2012 work and decide what they wanted to save. Anything they didn’t want to keep or update should be removed from the site, they were told. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith said Monday that the site’s undisclosed removal of thousands of old posts wasn’t exactly the best course of action for a website that’s trying to compete as a news organization. Most of the posts had broken links, were games made with old technology or were “inside jokes” from the early days at BuzzFeed, Smith said.
Hearst Names Men’s Group Executive Creative Director (FishbowlNY)
Hearst has named Alison DeBenedictis executive creative director, group marketing, for Hearst Men’s Group. In this role, DeBenedictis will oversee all branded marketing content for Car and Driver, Esquire, Popular Mechanics and Road & Track. DeBenedictis comes to Hearst from Amazon.com subsidiary Quidsi Inc., publisher of Casa.com, Look.com, BeautyBar.com, YoYo.com, AfterSchool.com and Bookworm.com. Prior to that she served as an art director for Condé Nast Media Group.
Bloomberg Adds Tech Columnist, Promotes Others (FishbowlNY)
Katie Benner is joining Bloomberg View as a columnist covering innovation, tech and Silicon Valley. Benner comes to Bloomberg from The Information, where she served as a staff writer. She previously worked for Fortune, TheStreet.com and CNN/Money. As for Bloomberg LP’s promotions, John Fraher has been bumped up to executive editor for international government; Ron Mathieson has been upped to regional managing editor for international government; Andrew Barden has been tapped as managing editor for EMEA; and Craig Stirling has been named managing editor for economy in EMEA.
FCC Extends Deadline for Net Neutrality Reply Comments (Variety)
The Federal Communications Commission has added a few more days for interested parties to weigh in on the 1.1-plus million comments that have already been filed regarding the agency’s proposal for new net-neutrality rules governing Internet providers. Previously, the FCC’s deadline for reply comments was Sept. 10; it has now moved the deadline to Monday, Sept. 15, adding three more business days to the schedule, the agency said on Friday. The commission is then expected to establish net neutrality rules by the end of 2014.
Fox Sports Taps YouTube Space LA for Social-Focused @TheBuzzer Web Show (Variety)
Fox Sports, looking to deepen its reach with younger audiences on social platforms, has partnered with YouTube Space LA to produce a daily web-video series explicitly focused on fast-breaking stories that will be shared online. The videos, each about one minute long, are posted to Fox Sports’ YouTube channel as well as FoxSports.com. The goal is to produce four to 10 videos per day, centered on quick, snarky commentary to harness social buzz immediately as it hits the sports world.
Obama Pays Tribute to Ann Compton (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
President Barack Obama concluded his news conference on Monday with a tribute to Ann Compton, the veteran ABC News White House correspondent who will retire next month after more than four decades with the network. “Ann Compton, everybody here knows, is not only the consummate professional but also a pleasure to get to know,” the president said. “I just want to say, publicly: Ann, we’re going to miss you. We’re very proud of the extraordinary work you’ve done, and we hope you’re not a stranger around here.”
CBS Seeks More Than $500K for Ads in Thursday Night Football (Variety)
CBS is seeking more than half a million dollars for a 30-second spot in its coming Thursday Night Football broadcasts, which will be simulcast on cable’s NFL Network — the latest signal that TV networks believe live football gives them a greater advantage in reaching the large crowds of consumers their sponsors expect. A spot in the show, which is being broadcast on CBS via a partnership established in February with the National Football League, would cost advertisers more than any other program on primetime TV except for NBC’s Sunday Night Football, according to a Variety survey of primetime ad prices. NBC was able to command an average of $628,000 for a 30-second spot in last season’s series of games, according to the survey.