Jarl Mohn Becomes NPR President and CEO (FishbowlDC)
The board of directors of NPR announced Friday that it has selected Jarl Mohn to become its next president and chief executive officer. WSJ Mohn is becoming the fifth leader in a five-year stretch marred by scandal and financial woes. Mohn hails from a flashier background than some of his predecessors at NPR. He spent years as a radio DJ, under the pseudonym Lee Masters, and served as an executive at MTV and VH1 before creating and running E! Entertainment Television. He subsequently served as chief executive of Liberty Digital Inc., a subsidiary of Liberty Media Group focused on interactive and cable television. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Mohn, who currently serves as chairman of Southern California Public Radio, will begin his tenure as CEO on July 1. He was recruited by acting CEO Paul Haaga, who had been running the network since September after the unexpected resignation of Gary Knell, who left to join National Geographic. Deadline New York Knell left NPR after 21 months on the job, succeeding Vivian Schiller, who was forced to resign over a string of controversies. In September NPR hoped to cut its staff by 10 percent by offering staffers a voluntary buyout. It was part of a two-year plan to eliminate an operating cash deficit expected to hit $6.1 million. HuffPost / AP Board chair Kit Jensen says Mohn has a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends and has a strong track record on diversity and fairness. Mohn said in a statement that he considers the new position a mission, not a job.
A Successor to Colbert Is Named (NYT)
What comes after The Colbert Report? On Comedy Central it will be The Minority Report, and the host will be the “senior black correspondent” from The Daily Show — otherwise known as Larry Wilmore. Capital New York Wilmore will host the scripted comedy panel show that will be “a comedic look at news, current events and pop culture from unique perspectives not typically on display in late night television,” the network said in announcing the pickup. Daily Show host Jon Stewart conceived the idea along with Wilmore, and his Busboy Productions will produce the new show, as it does currently for The Colbert Report. Mashable The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore will launch in January 2015, shortly after Colbert’s contract at Comedy Central runs out. Colbert will then have a number of months to prepare for the jump to CBS, where he’s taking over The Late Show from David Letterman. Variety The selection of the African-American Wilmore breaks up the white-male homogeneity to most of late night TV. Wilmore started as an actor and standup comedian before transitioning to writing and producing. He won an Emmy for writing the pilot episode of The Bernie Mac Show and was in line to be showrunner of a new comedy that ABC just picked up, Black-ish, starring Anthony Anderson. It appears that Wilmore will stay with Black-ish for the time being to get the show up and running before shifting his focus to Minority Report.
Ex-Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons to Oversee LA Clippers (Variety)
Former Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons will be appointed interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, according to the NBA. THR Parsons, 66, preceded Jeffrey Bewkes as Time Warner chief. He exited the company at the end of 2008 and was named Citigroup chairman in January 2009, serving until April 2012. The NBA is turning to the veteran media executive following NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s pledge to force a sale of the Clippers after audio recordings emerged of Donald Sterling, the team’s owner, making racist remarks. Poynter / MediaWire The NBA banned Sterling from involvement in the league for life, Silver announced on April 29. Parsons, whose appointment takes effect immediately, is a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners and serves on the board of the Commission on Presidential Debates. ESPN Parsons said Friday that he intends make Clippers coach Doc Rivers a “a full-fledged partner” as he takes command of the franchise while the league determines Sterling’s fate. Parsons said he’s spoken to Rivers extensively this week and intends to lean on him to make basketball decisions for the franchise moving forward. Rivers also holds the title of senior vice president of player personnel.
Barbara Walters Gets the Last Word on SNL (TVNewser)
Gilda Radner, Cheri Oteri, Rachel Dratch and Nasim Pedrad have all played her on Saturday Night Live. But Saturday night, Barbara Walters went on “Weekend Update” to show her appreciation for seeing her “groundbreaking career in journalism reduced to a cartoon character with a ridiculous voice.” Mediaite In honor of her retirement from The View this week, Walters made a surprise appearance for some lighthearted fun at her own expense, prefaced by a montage of all of SNL’s “Baba Wawa” parodies from over the years. HuffPost Walters took several swipes at herself and some of her most well-known broadcasting goofs, mocking her interviews with President Barack Obama, the Kardashian family and her notorious 1981 interview with Katharine Hepburn. “You’ve always been a personal inspiration to me as a news anchor,” said “Weekend Update” host Cecily Strong. “But I’m a real news anchor,” Walters responded. “Oh, but you’re a co-host on The View…” Strong said. “That’s a fair point.”
Netflix Raises Streaming Price by $1 (THR)
Netflix is raising the price of its streaming service by a dollar, it announced on Friday. In an email to subscribers, the company revealed that the price of its streaming plan would increase from $7.99 a month to $8.99 a month for new members. Deadline New York But existing members paying $7.99 can relax: “As a thank you for being a member of Netflix already, we guarantee that your plan and price will not change for two years,” the email said. That’s consistent with CEO Reed Hastings’ comment to investors last month that current customers could keep the pricing “for a generous time period.” The email said the price increase for new subscribers was needed “to continue adding more movies and TV shows.” Mashable On Friday morning, Netflix’s stock price was essentially flat in pre-market trading. The company’s stock has risen 108 percent over the past year.
RNC Clamps Down on 2016 Primary Debates (Politico)
Virtually every Republican leader agrees that the 20 GOP debates in the last presidential primary season damaged Mitt Romney and briefly made front-runners out of eventual flameouts like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. Party leaders vowed never to let it happen again. On Thursday, they took action, moving at a Republican National Committee meeting to dramatically cut the number of GOP primary debates — possibly in half. TVNewser A group of 13 members, led by RNC chairman Reince Priebus, have been charged with choosing the date, location and networks for the election cycle. NYT Committee members overwhelmingly passed a measure that would penalize any presidential candidate who participated in a debate not sanctioned by the national party, by limiting their participation in subsequent committee-sanctioned forums. In making the case for adopting the new rule, party officials repeatedly criticized the moderators and format of the 2012 primary debates, appealing to the suspicions that many Republican activists have about the mainstream news media.
Murdoch Said to Seek $14 Billion Deal to Merge Pay-TV Units (Bloomberg)
Rupert Murdoch is pursuing a long-awaited transaction that would transform British Sky Broadcasting Group into a European satellite-TV giant while also leaving his U.S.-based 21st Century Fox Inc. focused on entertainment programming. BSkyB, partly owned by Fox, is working on a deal valued at about 10 billion euros ($14 billion) to acquire control of satellite carriers Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia from Fox, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Variety Fox currently has a 39 percent stake in BSkyB. Fox owns 55 percent of Sky Deutschland and 100 percent of Sky Italia. The move would transform BSkyB — the biggest pay TV provider in the U.K. — into a Euro pay-TV giant with control of companies that sell satellite programming to almost 9 million homes in Germany and Italy. The deal could be finalized this summer.
FNS Bests MTP in DC Market for First Time in 7 Years (FishbowlDC)
NBC’s Meet the Press is the traditional Sunday show in the Washington, D.C., market. But according to Nielsen Media Research, on Sunday, May 4 — the day many Washingtonians were recovering from the previous night’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner and festivities — FOX News Sunday was the most-watched Sunday morning public affairs show in the Washington, D.C. market in total viewers, a very rare D.C. market win for FOX News Sunday. The last time it happened was seven years ago — on Nov. 4, 2007, when Chris Wallace interviewed former President George H.W. Bush. HuffPost Nationally, Meet the Press was the third place Sunday morning show for the fourth week in a row. The NBC News program fell once again to ABC News’ This Week with George Stephanopoulos and CBS News’ Face the Nation. Meet the Press drew 2,288,000 total viewers and only 530,000 key demo viewers, which ABC gleefully noted were its lowest demo ratings in more than 22 years.
Pulitzer Prize Winner David Barstow Joins Poynter Adjunct Faculty (Poynter / MediaWire)
New York Times reporter David Barstow, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has been named to The Poynter Institute faculty as an adjunct. The institute said in a news release that Barstow will teach for News University, Poynter’s online learning site, and will contribute to its Poynter.org news blog. FishbowlNY Prior to arriving at the Times in 1999, Barstow worked for the Green Bay Press-Gazette, Rochester Times-Union and St. Petersburg Times.
Intelligence Staff Banned From Citing Leaked Material (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
A recent policy instruction from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper now bans intelligence employees or contractors from citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures. Current and former employees “must not use sourcing that comes from known leaks, or unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information,” the instruction states.
Community Social Leader on Fate of Canceled Show (LostRemote)
Previous successful social campaigns to keep NBC’s screwball comedy Community on-air failed to work this time around, as the peacock network canceled the show after five years. “It’s a huge bummer… I’m obviously really disappointed and sad, for all the fans and for the wonderful people that have worked so hard making this show that we love,” Gillian Morshedi told Lost Remote. LostRemote Back in 2012, fans came together on Twitter and Tumblr to organize “CommuniCon,” a fan event founded by Morshedi with the purpose of keeping the show on air.
Programs on Demand, Just for PBS Members (NYT)
As television viewers increasingly turn to video on demand to watch shows when they want, PBS and its local stations plan to follow them, but with a twist: They are creating a streaming video service that will be available only to members of local PBS stations. The service, which is being referred to as M.V.O.D., for Member Video On Demand, is not expected to start widely before next spring.
Steve Baker Named Senior Broadcast Producer for Nightline (TVNewser)
Beginning May 27, Nightline will have a new senior broadcast producer: Steve Baker, who rejoins ABC News after two years working for Entertainment Tonight on the West Coast. Before he left for Entertainment Tonight in 2012, Baker was a coordinating producer on Nightline, contributing to the show’s re-launch in 2005. He has previously worked on 20/20 and began his career interning for ABC chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross.
The New Republic‘s Website Has a New, New Look (Capital New York)
The New Republic, which redesigned its website early last year as part of a broader publication re-launch, has rolled out some layout changes in response to user feedback. One of the most maligned features of the website’s design was the placement of massive headlines over the top photos on article pages. Also, advertisements no longer appear within the body text of articles; instead, they inhabit the right rail of each article page. The site has also been given back-end upgrades that will speed up page-load time, especially on mobile devices.
Ryan Seacrest Inks Deal to Return to American Idol (THR / The Live Feed)
American Idol is locking down talent for its upcoming 14th season. The long-running singing competition series is bringing back its most enduring face, host Ryan Seacrest. The news follows an on-air announcement Wednesday that Fox’s reality flagship would be returning. All three judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr., are expected to return.
What’s the latest book you downloaded to your e-reader?
camerongearen Lorrie Moore’s Bark
ReverendDrDash The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Kelly Coupe Yuen The Michelle Knight book – Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings. What a story. Overwhelming.