Meet The Press Reportedly Plans to Announce New Moderator Soon, Chuck Todd The Favorite (Politico / Playbook)
Chuck Todd, a political obsessive and rabid sports fan, is the likely successor to David Gregory as moderator of Meet The Press, with the change expected to be announced in coming weeks, according to top political sources. TVNewser Meet The Press has slipped to third among the Sunday public affairs shows. Todd is currently NBC’s chief White House correspondent and political director, as well as the anchor of the 9 a.m. Daily Rundown on MSNBC. FishbowlDC The New York Post’s Page Six first reported in late July that Gregory may soon be replaced. The Daily Beast’s Lloyd Grove later wrote in a follow-up piece that, “In multiple conversations that I had with people inside and outside NBC after the item appeared, it was taken as a given that Gregory is toast.” TVNewser Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace appeared on MediaBuzz to give his thoughts on the rumors and the influence of Sunday shows today. “I think it’s lousy,” Wallace said about how NBC News is treating Gregory amid rumors of his imminent ousting. FishbowlDC “I think they either ought to say he’s our guy, we’re sticking by him, or they ought to get rid of him, but they shouldn’t put him in this limbo,” said Wallace.
From LA Times Suitor to LA Times Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Monday, Austin Beutner was announced as the Los Angeles Times’ new publisher and CEO, taking over for Eddy Hartenstein. Variety Beutner becomes the 14th publisher of the Times and takes the reins at a time of transition for the paper. The Times’ former corporate parent, Tribune Company, spun off its publishing assets in August into an independent publicly traded company called Tribune Publishing. Prior to its separation, the paper and sister publications such as the Chicago Tribune had been plagued by layoffs, ownership questions and the bankruptcy of its parent company. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Beutner is former deputy mayor of Los Angeles and a former Wall Street investment banker. Hartenstein recommended Beutner for the position. WSJ Beutner was co-founder and co-chief executive of Evercore Partners and previously worked at the Blackstone Group. He left Blackstone for the U.S. government, where he led a U.S. effort to help Russia transition to a market economy after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the company said.
BuzzFeed Makes Major Expansion, Launches ‘BuzzFeed Motion Pictures’ (LostRemote)
BuzzFeed is expanding its brand in the editorial, video and motion pictures area, the website announced Monday. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media BuzzFeed recently netted a $50 million investment from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, it announced. The influx of capital, which values the social news and entertainment site at $850 million, will allow for expansion across BuzzFeed’s business, including the creation of a “motion picture unit” and the launch of sites in Berlin, Mexico City, Tokyo and Mumbai. Variety Ze Frank, formerly exec VP of video at BuzzFeed and an online-video pioneer, will lead the division as president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and will remain based in Los Angeles. The studio will form a Future of Fiction working group to explore the future of long-form, TV and transmedia video. BuzzFeed has enlisted producer Michael Shamberg (Django Unchained, Contagion) and actor-comedian Jordan Peele (of Comedy Central’s Key & Peele) as advisers. The Guardian BuzzFeed joins Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Pinterest and Foursquare in Andreessen Horowitz’s portfolio, with general partner Chris Dixon joining the company’s board as part of the round. Dixon announced the investment in a blog post. “Many of today’s great media companies were built on top of emerging technologies. Examples include Time Inc., which was built on color printing, CBS, which was built on radio, and Viacom, which was built on cable TV,” he wrote.
Condé Nast Kicks Lucky to The Curb (FishbowlNY)
It appears the reports of Lucky’s demise were not greatly exaggerated. In a major move, Condé Nast has spun off Lucky into a new company, titled The Lucky Group. The Lucky Group is a joint venture between Lucky and BeachMint, an e-commerce platform. New York Post Condé Nast will hold a majority stake in the Lucky Group, which will be run by co-founder Josh Berman. Separately, the 105-year-old magazine publisher will merge the sales and marketing team at Epicurious, its food website, with Bon Appétit. Carolyn Kremins, who was a senior vice president and general manager at Epicurious, is out. Capital New York President Bob Sauerberg also announced that Condé Nast chief integration officer Drew Schutte, who was responsible for “cross-title innovation,” will be joining Details as the men magazine’s vice president and publisher. He’ll replace Kevin Martinez, who left for Maxim last month.
Maureen Dowd Joins NYT Mag (FishbowlNY)
Maureen Dowd, who has been with The New York Times since 1983, has a new gig at the paper: Staff writer for its magazine. Dowd will continue to pen her weekly op-ed column, a staple of the paper since 1995. Capital New York The Times also announced Monday morning that the magazine, helmed since May by former Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein, will get a “major redesign” in early 2015. Dowd’s appointment is the “first in a series of expected announcements” about the reboot, the Times said in a news release. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Dowd will write narrative pieces for the Times Magazine. The news was relayed to staff in a memo from editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal and Silverstein.
CBS Switching Affiliates in Indianapolis (TVSpy)
CBS has announced it is switching affiliates — from WISH to WTTV — in the Indianapolis market. WTTV, currently the CW affiliate in Indianapolis, will be the CBS affiliate beginning Jan. 1, 2015. Variety CBS’ move to Tribune’s WTTV will displace the CW, which had been airing on the VHF station. CW, which is a joint venture of CBS Corp. and Warner Bros., will shift to WTTV’s digital multicast channel, WTTV 4.2. The deal was driven by CBS’ push for reverse retransmission consent compensation from its affiliate stations. Deadline Hollywood CBS agreed to the switch as part of a deal that includes early renewals for four Tribune Media-owned CBS affiliates: WREG-TV in Memphis, Tenn.; WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Ala; KFSM-TV in Ft. Smith, Ark., as well as a renewal for WTVR-TV in Richmond, Va. CBS also has renewed its affiliation agreement with Dreamcatcher Broadcasting’s Norfolk, Va. WTKR, to which Tribune Broadcasting provides operational support under a shared services agreement.
Robin Williams Dead at Age 63 (TVNewser)
The death of Robin Williams took over as the lead story on cable news Monday. The news broke just before 7 p.m. ET. CBS News anchor Scott Pelley reported the news at 6:58 p.m. ET at the end of CBS Evening News. CBS produced special reports at 7:04 p.m. and 7:22 p.m. Fox News’ Ed Henry, sitting in for Bret Baier, also reported the news at 6:58 p.m. CNN reported the story at 7:06 p.m. Don Lemon, filling in for Erin Burnett, then went into rolling coverage. MSNBC’s Richard Lui broke in to Hardball at 7:16 p.m. ABC News’ David Muir anchored a special report at 7:13 p.m. and NBC’s Brian Williams anchored a special at 7:14 p.m. FishbowlDC The White House issued a statement and tweeted, “‘He was one of a kind.’ — President Obama on the passing of Robin Williams.”
Bloomberg Names Claudia Milne Head of U.S. Television (TVNewser)
Claudia Milne is joining Bloomberg as the head of U.S. live TV, senior executive editor Josh Tyrangiel announced Monday. Milne joins Bloomberg from BBC News, where she has worked for two decades. NYT The appointment comes just days after the company announced layoffs in its television operations, with a focus on its Washington offices. Its rethought television operation, which includes a show helmed by the political journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, will be based in New York.
CBS News Veteran Dotty Lynch Dies (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Washington’s media community reacted with an outpouring of sadness Monday at the death of Dotty Lynch, the longtime political analyst and pollster who spent 20 years as the political editor of CBS News. FishbowlDC Lynch was with CBS from 1985-2005 and in 2006, joined American University as a faculty member until her spring 2014 retirement. According to her AU faculty bio, the 2012 election was “Lynch’s 22nd election cycle in congressional and presidential campaigns as a professional journalist and pollster.” TVNewser Lynch died Sunday after a yearlong battle with cancer.
NBCSN Adds Men in Blazers to Draw Interest to Soccer (Variety)
NBCSN said it had lured Embassy Row president Michael Davies and writer Roger Bennett to its fold to produce soccer program Men in Blazers for TV and digital outlets in an attempt to burnish the network’s investment in English Premier League soccer. The two had previously been contributing soccer commentary to ESPN during recent World Cup coverage and contributing a soccer-related podcast to the Walt Disney unit’s Grantland outlet. Men in Blazers will air on NBCSN and stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports Live Extra app weekly on Mondays beginning in the first month of the Premier League season.
Time Names Time Warner Vet to Lead Strategic Planning, M&A Team (WSJ)
Time Inc. named Time Warner Inc. veteran Brian Lew to lead the magazine company’s team for strategic planning and mergers and acquisitions starting early next month. Time was spun off by Time Warner in early June. The company — which publishes magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Time, People and InStyle — now must fend for itself in a media environment that is become increasingly hostile to print publications as marketers shift advertising into digital categories.
CNN Updates Graphics Package (TVNewser)
CNN refreshed its on air look Monday. The bolder on-screen lower thirds are in the color scheme of black, white and red. The topic banner slides on and after a few moments, slides up to reveal a sub-headline or the name and title of the interviewee. The crawl still exists throughout much of the programming day, alternating between CNN.com and CNNMoney.com headlines.
Cara Katz Named Ad Director of New York (FishbowlNY)
Cara Katz has been named New York’s advertising director. This marks a return to New York for Katz, as she previously worked for the magazine as an account exec and a sales assistant. Katz comes to New York from American Express Publishing (owned by Time Inc.), where she most recently served as director, corporate marketing and sales. She was formerly an account director at Travel + Leisure, an account manager at Food & Wine, and a fashion and retail director at Esquire.
Fox News’ Cherie Grzech Promoted to Senior Director of Washington Bureau And Politics (FishbowlDC)
Fox News Washington bureau chief Bryan Boughton announced to staff Monday that director of news and politics Cherie Grzech has been promoted to senior director of the Washington bureau and politics.
Netflix Says U.S. Bandwidth Speeds Trail Most Other Countries it Tracks (Variety)
Netflix is keeping the heat on U.S. broadband providers to boost bandwidth for its popular video-streaming service, pointing to data it says shows American service providers’ connection speeds lag behind those of ISPs in most other countries. For July, according to the No. 1 subscription-video service, U.S. providers delivered lower average speeds than ISPs in many countries in Europe and the rest of the Americas during primetime hours. The United States ranked 13th on the Netflix ISP Speed Index for the month.