Alan Murray Named Editor of Fortune (FishbowlNY)
Alan Murray has been named the new editor of Fortune. He will be just the 17th editor of the glossy, which was founded in 1930 by the legendary Henry Luce. TVNewser Murray joins the Time Inc. publication following a short stint as president of the Pew Research Center. Murray was CNBC’s Washington bureau chief from 2002 to 2005, where he co-hosted Capital Report With Alan Murray And Gloria Borger. Borger is now with CNN. FishbowlDC Murray joined Pew as president in November 2012. In addition to WSJ bureau chief, he served as deputy managing editor and executive editor of online for the Wall Street Journal. Capital New York Murray replaces longtime Fortune editor Andy Serwer, who is leaving Time Inc. after 29 years. Serwer spent eight years running Fortune, which is one of the company’s most prominent brands along with Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly. HuffPost Murray will remain at Pew until Aug. 1. He said that Jim McMillan, general counsel and corporate secretary at the Pew Charitable Trusts, will then take over as “acting president” while the company searches for a new leader.
Gunshots Fired at Al Jazeera’s Gaza Bureau (TVNewser)
Just one day after the Israeli foreign minister said he would try to prevent Al Jazeera from operating in Israel, the network says gunshots were fired at its Gaza bureau. TVNewser “At one point from the sky through the live position and into the office, which is where the kitchen is, we had a big explosion. So we were all startled and trying to figure out what it was — maybe someone thought it was an electricity explosion, something like that,” English correspondent Stefanie Dekker said. “And then straight after another shot came in. So it was very clear, two very precise shots straight into our building.” Mediaite The incident comes days after Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman announced that he would work to shut down the Qatari-owned news network, saying Al Jazeera “has abandoned even the perception of being a reliable news organization and broadcasts from Gaza and to the world anti-Israel incitement, lies and encouragement to the terrorists.” HuffPost The network says it is holding Israel responsible. An Al Jazeera spokesman said Tuesday that Lieberman’s harsh comments about the network a day earlier “were a direct threat against us and appear to have been taken as a green light for the targeting of our journalists in Gaza.” “We hold the Israeli authorities fully responsible,” the spokesman continued. “They have put the lives of journalists in danger.”
Comcast Reports Mixed Q2 Financials as NBCU Films Slip, Offsetting TV Strength (Deadline Hollywood)
Comcast has become so big and complex that its earnings are almost always mixed — and Q2 was no exception, although the combination of soft revenue growth with strong profits sent shares up 2.1 percent in pre-market trading. The cable giant reported net income of $2.03 billion, up 16.1 percent vs. the period last year, on revenues of $16.84 billion, up 3.5 percent. THR Among the company’s operations, its broadcast TV unit reported better results thanks to stronger ratings, while the film unit posted higher operating cash flow despite lower revenue. New York Post / Marketwatch The company lost 144,000 video customers in the second quarter, compared with a loss of 162,000 customers a year ago, continuing a trend of improving video results. In the fourth and first quarters, Comcast expanded its video-subscriber base for the first time after years of decline, although part of the increase in the first quarter was due to a change in how Comcast counts its customers. NYT Comcast said on Tuesday that it should be big enough if its $45 billion deal for Time Warner Cable goes through and will not need to make any more major acquisitions, even as merger activity intensifies across the industry.
Andy Wright Named New York Times Magazine Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Andy Wright, a 17-year veteran of The New York Times, has been named publisher of The New York Times Magazine. WWD Wright recently served as group vice president and held various positions at the Times including vice president, group director and managing director. The company said Wright would retain his role as senior vice president where he leads the cross-platform technology, telecommunications, finance, real estate and automotive category teams, as well as the Times’ national sales offices in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta. He will also continue to oversee the conference platform of the business. Capital New York Wright will take on the responsibility of generating the Sunday magazine’s advertising revenue in print and online, in addition to those he currently has as senior vice president of advertising.
Financial Times Names Megan Murphy Washington Bureau Chief (FishbowlDC)
The Financial Times Tuesday announced the appointment of Megan Murphy as Washington bureau chief, to lead FT’s coverage of U.S. politics, effective Jan. 1, 2015. She will relocate from London to Washington this fall. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Murphy is currently head of FT’s digital breaking news service fastFT. A former lawyer, Murphy joined FT in 2007 after working at Bloomberg News. The Drum Current Washington bureau chief Richard McGregor will shift to working on longer-term projects.
In Shake-Up at Sony Pictures, Jeff Blake to Leave (NYT)
In another jolt to its rapidly changing management structure, Sony Pictures Entertainment said that Jeff Blake, the company’s vice chairman and the chairman of its worldwide marketing and distribution operation, will leave on Aug. 1. THR The move, which has been rumored for several months, leaves the studio without a head for its worldwide marketing and distribution. In the interim, Sony’s worldwide distribution head Rory Bruer will take over Blake’s duties on the distribution front, while marketing chief Dwight Caines will tackle Blake’s marketing domain. Variety Several division heads were fired over the past year, including worldwide marketing president Marc Weinstock, home entertainment chief David Bishop, senior VP of media relations Steve Elzer and Chris Cookson, president of Sony Pictures Technologies. Matt Brown, executive VP, worldwide commercial for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, executive VP of global communications Ann Boyd, VP of global communications Jason Allen and home entertainment and acquisitions public relations head Fritz Friedman also left. On the entertainment side, the studio’s leaders have been under a tremendous amount of pressure to reverse its fortunes and have been slashing costs, trimming back the movie slate and executing layoffs.
Q2 Earnings: Gannett Broadcasting Revenue Up 88 Percent (TVSpy)
Gannett Broadcasting reported $398.3 million in revenues for the second quarter of 2014, an 88 percent increase compared to the year-ago quarter. The increase was a reflection of Gannett’s acquisition of Belo, as well as higher retransmission revenue and political revenue “across all of our stations,” according to the company. Poynter / MediaWire Publishing advertising revenue fell about 5 percent, circulation was roughly flat and “At local domestic publishing sites, home delivery circulation revenue was up in the quarter due, in part, to strategic pricing actions associated with enhanced content.”
LinkedIn Buys Business Ad Tech Player for $175 Million (Adweek)
LinkedIn has purchased business-to-business digital advertising company Bizo for $175 million. San Francisco-based LinkedIn has been building its ad business while focusing on Sponsored Updates, its fastest-growing ad format that appears in users’ feeds. It also has been drawing more publishers and individuals to post on its professional social network with 300 million users. NYT / DealBook Last week, LinkedIn bought Newsle, a start-up that combs the Web for relevant articles, for an undisclosed sum. In Bizo, LinkedIn views a team and technology that lets business-to-business marketers source and track new leads. Founded in 2008 by a team that is still with the company, Bizo has developed its own technology that lets marketers identify new prospects and target them with relevant content.
Providence Journal Sold to GateHouse Parent for $46 Million (WPRI)
The Providence Journal has been sold to GateHouse Media parent company New Media Investment Group Inc. for approximately $46 million, Journal owner A.H. Belo announced late Tuesday afternoon. The Providence Journal The deal includes the Journal’s production facility but not its headquarters or its other facilities, including its downtown parking lots and the former Rhode Island Monthly/Sunday inserting building.
CNN Names Elise Labott Global Affairs Correspondent (FishbowlDC)
An internal memo sent by CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist to staff announced that Elise Labott was named global affairs correspondent with the network. She has been with CNN for 14 years, as a State Department producer and later a foreign affairs reporter.
World Cup Boosts Univision Earnings in Q2 (Variety)
U.S. Spanish-language media conglomerate Univision got a strong boost from its 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage, reporting a net revenue increase of 23.2 percent to $833.7 million in its second quarterly earnings report unveiled Tuesday. The Brazil-set soccer tourney netted Univision an estimated $155.5 million in ad revenues. Operating profit soared 17.7 percent to $351.1 million compared to $298.3 million for the same time frame in 2013.
Russia Today Faces U.K. Investigation Over MH17 News Coverage (BuzzFeed)
Russia Today, the Kremlin-backed news channel, has attacked the “impartiality and factuality of the mainstream media” after learning it could itself be investigated for breaking broadcasting regulations on accuracy and impartiality during its coverage of the MH17 air crash. Ofcom, which ensures TV channels with a U.K. broadcasting license provide broadly impartial news coverage, said it was considering whether to investigate Russia Today following complaints from viewers about the tone of its coverage of the Malaysia Airlines disaster.
From Grumpy Cat to Ukraine: How Mashable Is Expanding Beyond Gadgets, Apps (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Within minutes of the first reports that a Malaysia Airlines plane had crashed over eastern Ukraine Thursday, Mashable had live coverage up and running. Its real-time news staff in New York was updating the post with videos from the scene and carefully sourced information culled from social media and other outlets; its own social accounts, including its meant-for-breaking-news @MashableLive, were busy pushing out information. Meanwhile in Ukraine, Christopher J. Miller, a Mashable contributor, was working his sources and providing information to the main Mashable story while also writing his own piece as further developments unfolded. For those who remember the site’s early days — when it was a tech blog covering Web 2.0 startups — the idea of a Mashable correspondent reporting from eastern Ukraine is probably still a bit disorienting.
Washington Post Heightens Wonk Wars With Storyline (HuffPost)
The Washington Post escalated the wonk wars Tuesday with the latest addition to the growing field of policy journalism. The Post’s new online vertical, Storyline, will cover policy topics through articles, videos and charts — or “chapters” — that follow a particular storyline. Jim Tankersley, a Post economics writer who serves as Storyline’s editor, said the new vertical will avoid “hypothetical policy debates.” Storyline, he said, will distinguish itself through narrative journalism.
Spain’s Prisa Plans €100 Million Capital Raise (WSJ)
Spain’s Promotora de Informaciones on Tuesday announced a €100 million capital hike that seeks to provide a financial boost for the cash-strapped owner of the world’s best-selling Spanish-language newspaper, El País. Prisa, as the company is commonly known, said a firm controlled by businessman Roberto Alcántara will inject the cash in exchange for more than 188 million newly-issued Prisa shares. That, in effect, will make him Alcántara Prisa’s top shareholder.