Lara Logan Back at Work on 60 Minutes (THR)
Lara Logan has returned to work at CBS News. The news ends a suspension that began last fall after an erroneous 60 Minutes report on the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel. TVNewser Logan was asked to take a leave of absence in November after the flawed report. Logan’s report was centered around an interview with Dylan Davies, a man who claimed to have been a witness of the attacks; it was later revealed that he had not been present that night. In retracting the story, Logan said “We were misled and we were wrong.” The Associated Press The internal CBS review of the incident concluded Logan and her 60 Minutes colleagues should have done a better job checking out Davies’ story before it went on the air. The internal review also said that a speech Logan made in urging the U.S. to take action in response to the Benghazi raid represented a conflict of interest for a reporter later doing a story on the incident. Deadline Hollywood CBS declined to provide any more information about Logan’s return, such as when Logan will be seen on the air and what type of stories she is working on. The newsmag returns to original reports in the fall. Variety Logan is best known for her work as a foreign correspondent, filing many reports from dangerous areas, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Before formally joining CBS News in 2002 as a 60 Minutes II correspondent, Logan already had 14 years of journalism experience, including 10 years in the international broadcast news arena. She served as a correspondent for GMTV, the weekday morning news program of Great Britain’s ITV, and as a freelance correspondent for CBS News Radio, a role that included occasional appearances on the CBS Evening News.
Justice Department Plans to Begin Review of Music Licensing Rules (NYT)
The music industry has been complaining loudly in recent years about outdated federal regulation. Now it finally has a chance to do something about it. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced that it will review the 73-year-old regulatory agreements that govern ASCAP and BMI, two groups that act as licensing clearinghouses for a range of outlets that use music, including radio stations, websites and even restaurants and doctors’ offices. Billboard The DOJ invites interested parties — including songwriters, composers, publishers, licensees and digital service providers — to send commentary on whether the consent decrees meet their goals of protecting competition. Reuters Publishers and songwriters typically use BMI and ASCAP, both not-for-profit entities, to collectively license works for public performance to major music users like Pandora Media, the Internet radio service. Currently, any dispute over the cost of a license goes to “rate courts,” which are based in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Bloomberg ASCAP and BMI, both based in New York, represent hundreds of thousands of songwriters, composers and publishers. They’ve argued in court disputes with Pandora that the agreements with the Justice Department don’t take into account the rise of digital media. Dave Grimaldi, a spokesman for Pandora, defended the role the decrees play, saying they provide important protections for songwriters and broadcasters, including mechanisms to establish a reasonable royalty rate when the two parties can’t agree on one.
Netflix Points Finger at Verizon for Poor Video Streaming (Mashable)
Netflix has pointed its finger at another Internet service provider that it paid to ensure better streaming quality. Re/code The development came Tuesday night, when Vox Media designer Yuri Victor tweeted an image of a message from the streaming service on his browser, blaming Verizon for slow speeds: “The Verizon network is crowded right now.” Variety On Twitter, Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland confirmed that the message was authentic. “We’re always testing new ways to keep members informed,” he tweeted. Verizon spokesman Alberto Canal, asked for comment, said: “This is a PR stunt. We’re investigating this claim but it seems misleading and could confuse people.” Netflix consumes around one-third of all downstream Internet traffic during peak periods in North America, and the issues surrounding the delivery of all those bits has flared into public disputes with some big ISPs. New York Post The public shaming of ISPs is another step in Netflix’s battle over so-called net neutrality. ISPs are demanding that Netflix — the biggest bandwidth hog — enter “paid peering” deals to get direct connections to their networks and alleviate traffic congestion. In recent months, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings agreed to pay both Comcast and Verizon to improve the streaming experience for customers.
Bill Grueskin to Join Bloomberg L.P. (FishbowlNY)
Bill Grueskin, Columbia Journalism School’s dean of academic affairs for the past six years, is joining Bloomberg as executive editor for training. Capital New York In the role, he will help streamline how news offerings are presented to the company’s financial subscribers and consumer audience. The core audience for Bloomberg News comes via roughly 320,000 subscriptions to Bloomberg L.P.’s flagship data terminal, which provides news and information to stock traders and other financial professionals at a premium of about $20,000 a year. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Though Grueskin will step down as dean at Columbia, he will continue to be on the faculty as a professor of professional practice. Prior to Columbia, Grueskin spent more than a decade at The Wall Street Journal, becoming deputy managing editor of news in 2007.
Lionsgate EVP Television Chris Selak Re-Ups With Multi-Year Deal (Deadline Hollywood)
Chris Selak, who has served as Lionsgate’s EVP Television since joining in 2011, has signed a new multi-year agreement to continue at the company. Variety Selak joined Lionsgate in 2011 from John Wells Prods. She spearheaded the development of Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, ABC’s Nashville and NBC miniseries Rosemary’s Baby, among other projects. THR Under Selak, Lionsgate has seen TV output increase even more. In addition to Manhattan, the coming year sees the launch of History’s Houdini mini, ABC Family drama Chasing Life, E! scripted foray The Royals and another 10-90 pitch in Kelsey Grammer’s and Martin Lawrence’s Partners on FX. Lionsgate says farewell to one of its landmark TV series in 2015 with the end of AMC’s Mad Men.
Robin Roberts to Receive 2014 Cronkite Award (TVNewser)
Robin Roberts is the 2014 recipient of the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, Arizona State University announced Wednesday. HuffPost / AP Cronkite School dean Christopher Callahan says Roberts has made outstanding contributions to journalism and demonstrated great personal courage. Roberts faced public battles with breast cancer in 2007 and a bone marrow disorder in 2012. Roberts worked for several radio and television stations and ESPN before being named co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America in 2005. Phoenix Business Journal During her more than 20 years of broadcast experience, Roberts has interviewed a number of prominent newsmakers including President Barack Obama, actor Sidney Poitier and basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Previous award recipients include TV anchors Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw.
Marty Adelstein Sets Joint Venture With ITV Studios US to Launch Tomorrow ITV Studios (Deadline Hollywood)
ITV Studios US Group has finalized a joint venture agreement with Marty Adelstein to launch Tomorrow ITV Studios, a scripted studio under the umbrella of ITV Studios US Group. THR Under the agreement, the studios will market NBC’s David Duchovny series Aquarius, centered on the Charles Manson murders. The studio will also operate globally with some projects in the works being co-productions.
Kerry Lauerman to Join The Washington Post as Senior Editor for Mobile Initiative (FishbowlDC)
A day shy of a year of tweeting his leaving Salon.com to lead new startup site The Dodo, The Washington Post announced Kerry Lauerman will join the outlet as a senior editor, leading a new mobile initiative. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media A Post spokesperson would not expand on details of the mobile initiative. In a statement, top Post editors said Lauerman’s expertise in luring new readers “make him especially well-equipped for an initiative focused on the fast-growing mobile readership.”
Netflix And Co. Will Soon Make More Money Than Movie Theaters (GigaOM)
The new PricewaterhouseCoopers Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014-2018 report shows that revenue from online video services is set to overtake box office revenue in 2018. Deadline New York The research and advisory firm estimates that total spending for entertainment and media in the U.S. will hit $723.7 billion in 2018, up 26.3 percent from 2013. Electronic home video (including subscription VOD services such as Netflix) will grow 18.3 percent a year to $17 billion. That means streaming and downloads will surpass physical home video in 2016 — and in 2017 will account for 43 percent of domestic industry revenues, exceeding the box office.
Yahoo! Beauty Names Managing Editor (FishbowlNY)
Yahoo! Beauty already has Bobbi Brown as editor-in-chief and Joe Zee as editor-at-large. Now it has even more talent: Britt Aboutaleb is joining as managing editor. Aboutaleb comes to Yahoo! from Allure, where she served as multimedia editor for less than three months.
China’s Xunlei Signs Copyright Deal With Motion Picture Association (Variety)
Chinese online video site Shenzhen Xunlei Networking Technologies and Hollywood’s Motion Picture Association of America have struck a deal to promote legal access to film and TV shows. The deal will involve Xunlei adopting content recognition technology to ensure that the MPA members’ content is protected.
New York Times Launches NYT Opinion (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has decided to give its op-ed columnists more of the spotlight with NYT Opinion, a standalone subscription option and iPhone app. It’s free for Times subscribers, or $6 a month for non-subscribers.
George Lucas And Joan Hamburg’s Next Act, Plus David Zaslav at The Mirror Awards (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
Our weekly lunches at Michael’s always deliver plenty of star power and Wednesday was no exception. When I arrived a little before noon, I was followed in the door by none other than George Lucas, who, I’m told, happened to be walking by the restaurant the day before with his new baby daughter and her nanny in tow when he inquired if there might be a way to “squeeze him in.”
Leadership Changes at The Daily Beast (Capital New York)
Five months after parting ways with founding editor Tina Brown, The Daily Beast is making more changes to its top management team. Rhona Murphy, CEO of the news and commentary website owned by Barry Diller’s IAC, is leaving her post this summer and moving full-time to Dublin. Daily Beast editor-in-chief John Avlon and chief digital officer Mike Dyer will become managing directors of the site while also retaining their existing titles and roles.
Analyst Downgrades AMC Networks Stock Rating to ‘Neutral,’ Citing Content Costs (THR)
MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson on Wednesday downgraded his stock rating on AMC Networks from “buy” to “neutral,” citing higher content costs in the company’s latest earnings report. The company, led by CEO Josh Sapan and home of The Walking Dead, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, saw its stock drop after its first-quarter earnings report.
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