Mediabistro Early Bird Newsfeed

Click here to receive Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed via email.

Pro-Russian Separatists Seize TV HQ In Eastern Ukraine (Reuters)
Pro-Russian separatists took control of the regional prosecutor’s office and television center in the eastern city of Luhansk on Tuesday, having earlier seized the government headquarters, a Reuters photographer said. BBC News Activists went into the regional television station, but decided not to take it over after they were allowed to make a live broadcast. Following the takeovers, President Oleksandr Turchynov demanded the dismissal of the police chiefs in Luhansk and the other eastern city of Donetsk.Business Insider Pro-Russian separatists have now seized government buildings in at least 10 cities throughout the eastern part of the country. Pro-Russian activists have also shot the mayor of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. All the while, journalists throughout eastern Ukraine routinely face intimidation amid the threat of kidnapping and assault. The Guardian About 3,000 activists — some in masks and military fatigues — stormed the regional government HQ and other key buildings. A pro-Russian militia had occupied the security service office in Luhansk, a town of 465,000, just 20 miles from the Russian border. In recent days, Kiev’s tentative grip on local law enforcement in the east appears to have slipped completely. In Luhansk, riot police stood passively in a courtyard. “The regional leadership does not control its police force,” Stanislav Rechynsky, an aide to the interior minister in Kiev said. “The local police did nothing.”WSJ The latest moves in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region came despite a new wave of sanctions on Russia by the U.S. and European Union aimed at forcing the Kremlin to rein in the activists, who have echoed Russian President Vladimir Putin in denouncing Ukraine’s two-month-old government as illegal. The attacks on Luhansk’s regional police headquarters, administration building, prosecutor’s office and television broadcasting facilities mark the biggest advance for the pro-Russia rebels since early April, when militants took control of the regional building of Ukraine’s state-security service, the SBU.

Twitter Tops 250 Million Users, But Stock Tanks 10 Percent (Mashable)
Twitter beat earnings and revenue estimates for the first quarter, but users numbers came in at the low end of Wall Street estimates. Twitter reported breaking even on an earnings per share basis on revenue of $250 million for the March quarter, compared to Wall Street estimates for a net loss of $0.03 per share on revenue of $241.5 million. Re/Code Twitter reported 255 million monthly active users as of the end of March, coming in at the low end of the user growth range that Wall Street had anticipated. That’s a 5.8 percent increase from the 241 million users it had at the end of the fourth quarter, and a 25 percent increase from the year-ago quarter. GigaOMTwitter has experienced a consistent decrease in the pace of its user growth over the last year, but Q1 marks a rebound for the company — although it’s minor. Analysts were expecting “strong growth” that signaled potential — analysts expected 257 million users. THR Twitter stock was falling 9 percent in after-hours trading Tuesday.

Morgan Spurlock Strikes Deal With The Associated Press (Deadline Hollywood)
Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Spurlock has struck a landmark development deal with The Associated Press, which will grant the Super Size Me documentarian and his New York-based Warrior Poets production banner unlimited access to adapt the AP’s library of broadcast, digital and mobile content. Capital New York Spurlock is currently the host and executive producer of Inside Man on CNN, which is in the midst of its second season and has just been renewed for a third season by the cable channel. He will also host and executive-produce a new series on Showtime in June, Seven Deadly Sins. Both of those shows feature real people and real stories. The deal with the AP could ease the process of finding those story subjects, while also giving the production company access to the journalists that first reported on them. WSJ / Speakeasy Journalism has long been a wellspring of source material for documentary filmmakers and Hollywood studios alike. Now, some producers and news outlets are making more of an effort to streamline this relationship, given the growing demand for content, especially in television and online. Earlier this month, the Weinstein Co. and Gannett, which owns USA Today, announced a similar first-look agreement.