Is Sarah Palin Pitching Herself to The View? (THR / The Live Feed)
Sportsman Channel has picked up a second season of Amazing America With Sarah Palin, the network announced Monday. Palin’s program, which has her introducing viewers to the great outdoors as well as the country’s unsung heroes, has brought significant attention to the niche cable channel, propelling Sportsman to triple-digit year-over-year growth in households and key male demographics. In an interview with THR, Palin names The View as a show that might “need a punch of reality and a voice of reason from America’s heartland to knock some humble sense into [its] scripts.” TVNewser The rumor mill on who will replace ousted View hosts Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy is in full force, and former Vice Presidential candidate Palin seems to be throwing her hat in the ring. In the interview, Palin mentioned that The View might be better if it goes “rogue.” FishbowlDC Palin said, “Maybe. But the politics would have to be interspersed with a whole lot of fun and real life and inspiration showcasing American work ethic, because those topics are all pretty much the antithesis of today’s politics, which I find incorrigibly disastrous!” She went on to add, “It’d be so much fun to shake it up taking on issues that make audiences objectively consider all sides, and I’d do it with my own real-life groundedness, candor and commonsense that I’m known for.” Mediaite With Barbara Walters’ semi-retirement underway and the pending departures of Shepherd and McCarthy, The View is actively looking for new co-hosts. MSNBC The program’s women co-hosts discuss a variety of political and social issues. Moderator Whoopi Goldberg is the only host not departing the daytime show. The series also previously included journalist Lisa Ling, television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and comedians Rosie O’Donnell and Joy Behar as co-hosts.
Michael Provus Named Rolling Stone Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Michael Provus has been promoted from associate publisher to publisher of Rolling Stone. Provus had served as associate publisher since 2010. WWD / Memo Pad Before joining Rolling Stone parent company Wenner Media, he worked at GQ as national advertising director, and he also served as Vanity Fair’s advertising director. Most recently, Provus had been working closely with Gus Wenner, head of digital for his family’s company, on developing a digital film documentary series called Rolling Stone Films. Adweek Previous publisher Chris McLoughlin resigned after less than a year on the job. The magazine’s advertising, which has struggled in recent years (full-year ad pages have been down every year since 2011), saw a considerable boost in the past several months under McLoughlin. In the first half of 2014, ad pages rose 5 percent, according to the Publishers’ Information Bureau. The publisher position at Rolling Stone is notorious for its high turnover rate. McLoughlin, who announced last week that he would be leaving Wenner to become VP of sales at digital ad sales company Undertone, only had the job since last August. PRNewser Just over a year ago, Rolling Stone owner Jann Wenner received more than his usual share of negative attention for hiring his own 22-year-old son to handle the operations at RollingStone.com in-between practice sessions for the rock band in which he plays with Scout Willis. In an even more forceful sign of the changing of the guard, a late-Thursday-before-the-long-holiday-weekend news dump revealed the biggest executive shakeup at Wenner Media in nearly a decade. COO John Gruber, whom Wenner hired to replace his own personal adviser back in 2005, resigned in order to “join a non-profit.”
The Walt Disney Company Announces Participants for Its Startup Accelerator Program (MarketWatch)
Monday, The Walt Disney Company announced 11 startup companies that have been selected for a special mentorship and investment program. Kicking off Monday, Disney Accelerator, powered by Techstars, is a 15-week immersive program which gives companies access to mentorship from top Disney executives, up to $120,000 in investment capital to develop their companies as well as special access to resources from across The Walt Disney Company. Variety To kick off the program, participating companies will meet with various execs from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering, along with tech mentors in Techstars’ network. Re/code The accelerator program culminates in October with a Demo Day presentation to industry leaders, Disney executives and entrepreneurs. “With Disney Accelerator, we are now bringing the creativity and imagination of Disney to early-stage startups in a way we have never done before,” said Disney Executive Vice President Kevin A. Mayer. Mayer has been the behind-the-scenes figure overseeing key Disney deals, including its acquisition of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment and Lucasfilm. He was also a driving force in its recent acquisition of Maker Studios, which built its following on YouTube. THR Startup accelerators have become popular within the entertainment industry over the last year. United Talent Agency partnered with the University of Southern California’s Viterbi School of Engineering and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to start the Viterbi Startup Garage accelerator. Nine companies, including entertainment search and discovery platform Mediahouse and apparel reverse-auction marketplace Taggle, were given $20,000 for the three-month program in 2013.
Rupert Murdoch Eyeing Time Warner? (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
The gossip in Sun Valley, Idaho this week is that Rupert Murdoch is eyeing an acquisition of Time Warner, parent company of the Warner Bros. empire, Turner Broadcasting — which includes CNN — and HBO. Variety Media and technology moguls are jetting to Sun Valley this week for a mountainside pressing of the flesh and potentially some deal-making. The exclusive confab, sponsored by investment bank Allen & Co., gets started Tuesday behind closed doors, allowing the captains of industry to trade in their power suits for casual wear and engage in their passion for mergers and acquisitions. THR As of Monday, Wall Street valued 21st Century Fox at $79.4 billion and Time Warner at $62.7 billion. Murdoch and his company have enough cash and leverage to pay a premium for Time Warner, and both have shed their legacy print assets, leaving them antsy to grow into the largest TV and movie content companies. Of course, Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes will be mindful of another deal that had its genesis at the Allen & Co. conference: the merger of AOL and Time Warner, perhaps the biggest debacle in the history of corporate America.
YouTube Revenue Lags Forecasts as Competition Mounts (The Information)
In the fall of 2012, then-YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar and his lieutenants set an audacious goal: increase the collective “watch time” for YouTube videos by an order of magnitude, to a billion hours per day, by the end of 2016. That would represent about 20 percent of all the time people spend watching television. VentureBeat YouTube was profitable off $3.5 billion in revenue generated in 2013, according to a report from The Information. Google owns YouTube, but the company has never specified the streaming service’s revenue figures within either its quarterly or annual earnings reports. The $3.5 billion figure is also anywhere from a tad to a lot lower than analysts’ predictions. Mashable The report comes just a few months after Susan Wojcicki was named CEO of YouTube after having run AdWords and AdSense, Google’s advertising and analytics offerings. Her appointment was widely regarded as a move to increase focus on monetization of YouTube amid increased competition from other entrants into the online video market including Facebook and AOL. If the estimate is accurate, YouTube would account for less than 7 percent of Google’s overall revenue of almost $58 billion in 2013.
Katie Stanton to Replace Exiting Twitter Media Chief Chloe Sladden (Variety)
Less than a month after the departure of Twitter Media chief Chloe Sladden, the social media giant has found her replacement. Katie Jacobs Stanton, previously vice president of international market development, will step into a new role as vice president of global media. THR The move puts Stanton in charge of Twitter’s relationships with the television, sports and music industries. Sladden paved the way for many of the company’s ventures in this space, striking deals with networks and studios. Stanton, meanwhile, joined Twitter in 2010 and has led the company’s partnerships with international media companies, including BBC and Agence France Press. She also sits on the board of Vivendi. Re/code This move puts all media — an important part of Twitter — under the former Yahoo! and Google exec. She currently works from Paris, but will be moving back to the Bay Area with the new title. The extraordinarily affable Stanton joins sales wonderboy Adam Bain in gaining more prominence at Twitter after the management shakeup that included the sudden departures of Sladden and COO Ali Rowghani.
BuzzFeed, Facebook ‘BuzzFeed Brews’ Partnership Launches (LostRemote)
Facebook will serve as the primary video content platform for “BuzzFeed Brews,” which is an event interview series BuzzFeed has been doing at local bars for more than a year (previous guests include Jerry Seinfeld, Anthony Weiner, Nancy Pelosi and Daniel Radcliffe). TVNewser CBS This Morning continues as “BuzzFeed Brews” broadcast production partner, having previously produced interviews with Seinfeld and Richard Plepler. Monday’s interview featured Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian and BuzzFeed’s Charlie Warzel, taking place at a local New York City bar and streaming live on Facebook for the first time via BuzzFeed’s page.
Hollywood Reporter Announces Two Senior Editorial Hires (THR)
The Hollywood Reporter on Monday announced two new additions to its senior editorial staff: Jon Frosch will serve as reviews editor and Bryan Bishop will serve as news director, THR.com. FishbowlNY Frosch comes to THR from France 24, where he served as film editor and critic. He had been with France 24 since 2009. Bishop most recently served as the Verge’s film and TV editor. Both Frosch and Bishop begin their new roles July 14.
Mixed Emotions as Jezebel Gets New Editor (Capital New York)
The announcement two weeks ago that Emma Carmichael, editor of The Hairpin, will succeed Jessica Coen as editor-in-chief of Jezebel left some staffers feeling conflicted — both happy for Carmichael and disappointed that management passed over deputy editor Dodai Stewart for the top job. FishbowlNY Stewart has been with Jezebel since 2007, and apparently many thought she was the perfect choice to take over from Coen. “I know we were all really rooting for her,” said one staffer. Instead, Nick Denton opted to bring in Carmichael, and the rumblings began.
WSJ to Celebrate 125th Anniversary (FishbowlNY)
To celebrate making it 125 years and still retaining a full head of hair, The Wall Street Journal will publish a special edition of the paper Tuesday along with several unique online features. “The Future of Everything” will be in print and online, and come packed with forward-looking essays from the likes of Taylor Swift, Mark Zuckerberg, Billy Beane and more. Online, an interactive package will allow readers to explore how the Journal covered the last 125 years worth of news.
Village Voice Union Staffers Reach Deal, Avoid Strike (Capital New York)
The unionized workers at The Village Voice resolved their labor dispute with management and ratified a new contract, the union said in a press release late Sunday. UAW Local 2110, which represents editorial and sales employees at the Voice, had authorized a strike last Wednesday, but was offered and accepted a new contract on Thursday.
FCC Picks Critic of Comcast’s NBCU Acquisition to Review Its Time Warner Cable Deal (Deadline Hollywood)
Comcast needs no introduction to the economist who the FCC tapped Monday to help regulators sort through the cable giant’s plan to buy Time Warner Cable, and AT&T’s for DirecTV: Former FCC Chief Economist William Rogerson, now a professor at Northwestern University, was an important opponent of Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. He wrote at least three reports in 2010 that challenged Comcast’s economic analysis and concluded that the deal would hurt consumers.
Guardian Appoints Jane Martinson as Head of Media (The Guardian)
Jane Martinson has been appointed the Guardian’s new head of media, overseeing all of Guardian News and Media’s coverage of the media industry in print and online. Martinson, who is currently the women’s editor of the Guardian, will take up the new role on Sept. 8. She was previously the Guardian’s media editor responsible for the paper’s print section until 2010, when she moved to take up the women’s editor post, setting up the Guardian’s women’s blog.
Andy Coulson Facing Perjury Charge in Scottish Court (HuffPost / AP)
Scottish prosecutors say former News of The World editor Andy Coulson, convicted last month of phone hacking, has been summoned to face a perjury charge. Prosecutors say Coulson was served with an indictment Monday telling him to appear in a Glasgow court on Aug. 6. He is charged with perjury over evidence he gave at the 2010 trial of Scottish politician Tommy Sheridan.
Investors Say They Have Evidence of Paramount Pictures Financing Fraud (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
In an effort to advance a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures that has survived for more than a half-decade, some Wall Street institutional investment groups are now pointing to evidence they believe shows the studio “procured financing for a slate of motion pictures by fraud.”