LeBron James Announces Cleveland Return Via Sports Illustrated (FishbowlNY)
Everyone in the sporting world — and many others outside of it — were awaiting word on where LeBron James would play next season, and Sports Illustrated got the scoop Friday. In an article by James (as told to SI’s Lee Jenkins), James explained his reasons for returning to Cleveland to play for the Cavs. LostRemote After the story went up, James posted on Instagram a photo of himself with the caption “I’m Coming Home.” #GoodforLebron and #Cleveland also started trending on Twitter quickly. TVSpy Cleveland CBS affiliate WOIO reported the news at 12:25 p.m. Friday, just after James’ announcement was posted to SI.com. “The newsroom is abuzz right now,” Paul Orlousky said. The station remained in coverage through the 1 p.m. hour. PRNewser Jenkins reportedly helped James write the essay Thursday night, and the mag didn’t let any of its advertisers know about what will almost surely be the biggest traffic driver in recent history. HuffPost “My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball,” James told Jenkins. “I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.” James, an Akron, Ohio native, was selected by the Cavs with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. After reaching the NBA Finals just once in those seven seasons, James infamously announced that he would be joining the Miami Heat in July 2010 during a televised interview dubbed “The Decision.” Both James’ choice of team and his choice of venue for the announcement led to a virulent backlash in Ohio that included fans burning his jersey and a public repudiation from Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert.
CNN’s S.E. Cupp Being Considered to Join The View (FishbowlDC)
One of Washington’s most probable contenders is being considered by The View to potentially join the program, according to an industry insider. S.E. Cupp, a regular face on CNN’s relaunch of Crossfire, has been approached by View executives. Mediaite According to sources, the show’s looking for a conservative voice to fill in for Jenny McCarthy and Sherri Shepherd, who both recently left The View. Cupp is reportedly in negotiations to be a guest host for the show, and her appearance would serve as an ad-hoc audition for a full-time gig. HuffPost Cupp’s stints on both the CNN and MSNBC shows have given her a wealth of experience in debating with more liberal colleagues. The network announced last week that Rosie O’Donnell would be returning as co-host for its 18th season after a series of shakeups that left Whoopi Goldberg as the only remaining co-host. TheWrap Meghan McCain’s name has also been floated; she will guest-host on The View. McCain is the co-host of Pivot’s TakePart Live.
Zealot Author Reza Aslan in Talks With CNN (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Reza Aslan, the religious scholar who recently authored an historical account of the life of Jesus, is in talks with CNN to launch a new series. Mediaite On Friday, Aslan ended a brief back and forth with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Twitter with this message: “@jaketapper PS. Just sold a show to CNN so I’ll be seeing you a lot more hopefully :)”. THR / The Live Feed A controversial interview during a Fox News webcast shortly after his book Zealot: The Life And Times of Jesus of Nazareth hit shelves last July propelled Aslan to a series of other media appearances, including with Piers Morgan on CNN. HuffPost CNN’s president Jeff Zucker, of course, has been re-tooling the network’s programming. While it remains to be seen what a CNN program hosted by Aslan might look like, the network has been adding more original series — headlined by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Morgan Spurlock — to its lineup.
In Inquiry in China, Police Detain Star Anchor (NYT)
A prominent Chinese state television anchor known for his strident efforts to champion China’s political and economic systems has been detained by the authorities, the state news media reported on Saturday. Reuters Rui Chenggang, the popular host of financial news programs on China Central Television (CCTV), was taken away from his studio on Friday, ruling Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily said on its Twitter account on Saturday night. Rui’s detention, along with the network’s vice director of financial news Li Yong, comes a little more than a month after officials announced an investigation into suspected bribery by his boss, CCTV’s advertising director and director-general of its finance and economics channel Guo Zhenxi. THR The 36-year-old Rui is known as a fervent nationalist, who campaigned successfully to have the Starbucks in the Forbidden City removed, saying it eroded Chinese culture. The media sector has come under scrutiny of late. Chinese journalists often receive cash in envelopes for attending press conferences and there have been scandals about journalists blackmailing companies to ensure positive coverage.
Carlos Slim Could Double His Stake in New York Times (Reuters)
Mexican telecoms billionaire Carlos Slim says he could exercise stock warrants in The New York Times Co. which expire early next year, a move that would more than double his stake in the media company. HuffPost Slim, chairman of America Movil, purchased shares of the media company in 2008 and raised it to a $250 million investment in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis. Slim remains the second largest stock owner of the Times, with reports claiming he has already earned about $122 million from the original loan. The billionaire’s deal with the Times gave the media company time to sell assets and build its digital platform to come back from years of plunging ad revenue. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Slim currently owns about 8 percent of common shares, which would increase to about 17 percent if he executes the warrants in the company.
U.S. Given Heads Up About Newspaper Data Destruction (The Associated Press / The Big Story)
The Obama administration knew in advance that the British government would oversee destruction of a newspaper’s hard drives containing leaked National Security Agency documents last year, newly declassified documents show. NYT The destruction of the computers by British newspaper The Guardian was a vivid moment in the saga of Edward Snowden’s leaks, which included documents about top secret surveillance activities by the NSA and by its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The episode highlighted that greater protections for press freedoms exist in the U.S., under its First Amendment, than in Britain. The Guardian The revelation that General Keith Alexander, the then director of the NSA, and Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, were advised on the Guardian’s destruction of several hard disks and laptops contrasts markedly with public White House statements that distanced the U.S. from the decision. The decision to destroy the U.K. copies of the material was taken in a climate of advancing legal threats from cabinet office and intelligence officials. The Guardian and its publishing partners, which included The New York Times and the not-for-profit news organization ProPublica, held other copies of the material in the U.S., and continued reporting revelations from the documents.
Authors Guild Calls Amazon eBook Offer in Hachette Dispute ‘Highly Disingenuous’ (GalleyCat)
While Amazon’s latest offer in its ongoing dispute with the Hachette Book Group may look like it is trying to be more friendly towards authors, the Authors Guild isn’t buying it. Tuesday, Amazon essentially told Hachette that it would restock its authors’ books if the publisher promised to give the authors 100 percent of the revenues on eBooks sold until the dispute between the companies is resolved. Richard Russo, novelist and co-vice president of the Authors Guild, published an open letter to Amazon responding to the offer and calling it “highly disingenuous.” NYT “This controversy shouldn’t be misinterpreted,” said Michael Pietsch, chief executive of the Hachette Book Group. “It’s all about Amazon trying to make more money… You can’t blame shareholders for demanding, at long last, a normal return on their investment,” he said. He added that even as Amazon was publicly accusing Hachette of refusing to negotiate last week, the publisher was putting its third proposal on the table, “by far the most generous to date.”
Yahoo! Acquires RayV to Improve Online Video Technology (Mashable)
Yahoo! has acquired RayV, a video streaming startup, the two companies announced Friday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. RayV, which launched in 2005, develops software to stream HD quality video online and through mobile devices. The startup is based in Los Angeles, but with R&D operations in Tel Aviv. Most of its employees will be joining Yahoo!’s R&D center in Israel. Variety “Watching mobile and online video has gone from being a novelty to a daily habit for millions of users,” P.P.S. Narayan, Yahoo! VP of cloud platforms and services, said in announcing the deal. “This deal demonstrates our dedication to accelerating our video strategy and boosting our underlying technology infrastructure in the space.”
Dana Walden, Gary Newman Close to Deal to Oversee Fox Broadcasting (Variety)
Sources say 21st Century Fox is close to setting a deal with 20th Century Fox TV CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman to take on oversight of Fox Broadcasting Co. THR The move, which is expected to be made as early as this week, would come more than a month after Fox Broadcasting chairman Kevin Reilly announced he’d be exiting a position he had held for seven years. Walden, who was widely suspected to get the gig in the days following Reilly’s news, and her fellow 20th Century Fox TV chairman and CEO bring with them nearly 50 years of combined experience at the studio, during which time they have been intimately involved in such hits as The X-Files, Ally McBeal, 24, Family Guy and Glee.
Meet The Press Stays in Third (TVNewser)
ABC’s This Week won in both total viewers and the adult 25-54 demographic for the second week straight on July 6. CBS’ Face The Nation was second and NBC’s Meet The Press was third. Compared to the same week last year, only This Week grew in both ratings measurements, up 18 percent in total viewers and 5 percent in the adult 25-54 demographic. Fox News Sunday was up 6 percent in total viewers and down 10 percent in the demo, and Face The Nation, Meet The Press and Univision’s Al Punto were down across the board.
South Park to Go Behind Hulu’s Paywall This Fall (Re/code)
Back in 2008, Matt Parker and Trey Stone earned lots of Internet praise for putting every one of their South Park episodes online, for free, on their own site. Now Parker and Stone are moving their shows behind a paywall: Starting this fall, if you want to see the entire South Park catalog, you’ll need to subscribe to Hulu’s “Hulu Plus” service. New episodes of the show, as well as a couple dozen repeats, will remain up for free on Hulu and the South Park Studios site.
NBC Olympics Nominated for Four Primetime Emmys (TVNewser)
Among the Emmy nominations announced Thursday, NBC Sports is up for four Creative Arts Emmy nominations for the 2014 Sochi Opening Ceremony. The ceremony, hosted by Matt Lauer, Meredith Vieira and the New Yorker‘s David Remnick, earned nominations for Outstanding Special Class Program, Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction for a Variety Special and Outstanding Technical Direction/Camerawork/Video Control for a Miniseries.
Al Jazeera America to Cut Remotes, Rein in Costs (TVNewser)
Al Jazeera America producers are being told to rein in the costs, by thinking twice about booking costly studio time and satellite remotes. In an email sent to staff Thursday, Al Jazeera America SVP of programming David Doss writes, “We are getting killed budget-wise on live shots,” adding, “we are at a point where you must own these costs.” He also instructs staffers to get satellite and studio costs approved going forward.
Innocence of Muslims: Appeals Court Amends Controversial Ruling (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
On Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals readdressed Garcia v. Google, its controversial ruling in February that held that Innocence of Muslims actress Cindy Lee Garcia could assert a copyright interest in her performance in the film and ordered Google to remove the inflammatory anti-Islamic film from YouTube. Chief Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski has amended the opinion by reiterating that an actor’s performance, when fixed, is copyrightable if it evinces “some minimal degree of creativity.” He newly rules that the copyright office’s refusal to register Garcia’s performance doesn’t stop a determination that it is copyrightable.
John Seigenthaler, Sr. Dies (TVNewser)
John Seigenthaler, Sr., the longtime editor of the Tennessean newspaper, and father of Al Jazeera America and former NBC News anchor John Seigenthaler, Jr., died Friday. Seigenthaler, Jr. said his father died “peacefully at home,” where he was recovering after a recent medical treatment. Seigenthaler, who was 86, began his journalism career in 1949 as a reporter for The Nashville Tennessean.