Mediabistro Early Bird Newsfeed

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

Turkish Telecoms Authority Moves Against YouTube After Twitter Ban (Reuters)
The Turkish telecoms authority TIB said on Thursday it had taken an “administrative measure” against YouTube, a week after it blocked access to microblogging site Twitter. NYT / The Lede The Turkish government blocked access to YouTube after an audio recording was uploaded to the platform in which the foreign minister and senior military and intelligence officials could be heard discussing the security situation in Syria. WSJ The leaked recording published anonymously purported to show a conversation in which Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general appear to discuss scenarios that could lead to a Turkish attack against Jihadist militants in Syria. After the two-part voice file was published, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry sent a letter to the TIB requesting that it shutter YouTube. The content represents a “first degree threat to national security,” the ministry said, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency. CNN Turkey’s top media regulating agency announced a similar ban on the broadcast of the conversation to television and radio channels. Turkey’s political elite has been battered by a campaign of wiretap leaks recorded by unknown operatives and distributed daily for more than a month on the Internet. Until Wednesday, all of the wiretaps seemed to be recordings of phone conversations between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his inner circle, government officials and some top corporate executives. Politico The move comes just days before significant local elections. Turkish residents decried the Twitter blockage, which prevented them from using the site in any way. A Turkish court overturned the ban on Wednesday, although it could stay in place until after Sunday’s elections. The Twitter crackdown came after similar information appeared on the site questioning the government’s credibility.

NBCUniversal-Owned DailyCandy, Television Without Pity Will Be Shut Down (Re/code)
DailyCandy and Television Without Pity, two high-profile Internet content properties owned by NBCUniversal, are being shuttered, a move that management told staff Thursday morning would be occurring next week. TVNewser Comcast acquired DailyCandy for $125 million in 2008. Following Comcast’s acquisition of NBCU in 2010, DailyCandy became part of the NBCU Digital Network. Launched in 2000 by journalist/entrepreneur Dany Levy, DailyCandy was a pioneer in online newsletters geared toward women and featuring fashion, food and entertainment. VarietyNBCU’s Bravo acquired Television Without Pity in 2007. The site was launched in 2002 by co-founders Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting, who had started out in 1998 with a blog analyzingDawson’s Creek. TWOP provided recaps and reviews with an edge, sporting the tagline “spare the snark, spoil the networks.” THR The move is set to occur on Friday, April 4, and will affect 67 employees, 64 of whom work at the largely New York-based DailyCandy. Both sites are being shut down due to low traffic and a difficulty monetizing the properties, particularly in the wake of increased competition.

Tweets About Music to Get A Billboard Chart (NYT)
Chatter about music is everywhere on Twitter. Soon there will be a Billboard chart to rank all of it. On Thursday, the two companies announced a plan to create the Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts: continuously updated lists of the songs being discussed and shared the most on Twitter in the U.S. The charts, to be published on and through the publication’s Twitter feed, are expected to be introduced in May. AllTwitter Additionally, under the Twitter Amplify program, Billboard and Twitter have signed an agreement to help distribute these charts to a wide audience on Twitter, including custom in-tweet charts and a weekly in-tweet video roundup of the week in music. Time The announcement comes in the wake of the Twitter #Music app’s demise, which was unveiled a year ago but failed to gain traction. It was removed from the App Store last week. An executive affiliated with Billboard said the new chart will involve only positive mentions while filtering out negative ones. Mashable Music is the most-discussed topic on Twitter, but the goal of this chart will be “to create the new industry standard for tracking and surfacing the conversation around music as it happens,” Bob Moczydlowsky, Twitter’s music head, said in statement. Using the chart, the @Billboard and @TwitterMusic accounts will share data, including when new artists and songs begin to gain traction.

NBC Hires Cynthia McFadden From ABC, Juju Chang Will Replace Her atNightline (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
NBC News has hired Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden from ABC News, according to internal memos from the two organizations. McFadden will serve as senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. She will be replaced at Nightline by correspondent Juju Chang.TVNewser The addition of McFadden is one of several high-profile hires made in NBC News’ investigative unit over the past year, including Richard Esposito and Mark Schone, also from ABC News. The same day as McFadden’s hire, it was learned that several people have been laid off from Dateline. The layoffs amount to about 10 people in the investigative and booking units of the show. NYT McFadden worked 20 years, in all, at ABC News, winning numerous awards for her reporting. She concentrated heavily on issues dealing with women and children. Before anchoring on Nightline, she had served as a legal correspondent for ABC, covering the Supreme Court and prominent cases like the O.J. Simpson murder trial. She was one of the original anchors on Nightline when ABC switched the format of the program in 2005. Chang, a veteran correspondent, has worked at ABC News since joining the division as a desk assistant in 1984. She will join the other anchors of Nightline, Dan Harris and Dan Abrams.

Lara Spencer Finalizes New Deal to Stay at Good Morning America (THR / The Live Feed)
Lara Spencer has finalized a new long-term deal to stay at Good Morning America. Spencer’s deal follows a new pact with Robin Roberts late last year and the departure of weather anchor Sam Champion in December. TVNewser Josh Elliott is currently in negotiations with ABC, but could bolt for a better offer elsewhere. Elliott joined GMA three years ago this month; Spencer followed two months later. A year later, GMA had beaten NBC’s Today show in the ratings for the first time in 16 years. TheWrap Spencer called the re-up a “simple decision.” “You know you’re in the right job when getting up at 4 a.m. is a joy,” Spencer, who’s been the show’s lifestyle anchor since 2011, said. “This was a simple decision; I love what I do and I adore the people I work with.”

Amazon Plans Free Streaming Media Service (WSJ) Inc. plans a free, advertising-supported streaming television and music-video service, a departure from its strategy of offering video only to members of its $99-a-year Prime service, according to people familiar with the matter. The new service, which could launch in the coming months, likely will feature original series and may include licensed programming, these people said. Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to people visiting its retail website, two of the people said. Time The new service represents a dramatic shakeup for the company, which will be ditching its previous video strategy to make way for its new offerings. Amazon has spent $1 billion acquiring content and producing original programming for its streaming service. However, it hasn’t yet caught up with competitors like Netflix. Amazon is also expected to release a streaming video set-top box that can compete with devices like the Roku, Google’s Chromecast and Apple TV at a media event next week. CNET The ad-supported service could be used as a tool to “upsell” customers to become members of Prime and as a way to learn more about shoppers’ purchasing proclivities, turning it into an avenue to selling more stuff. The report suggests a blurring of lines between an ad-supported service and the current subscription-based Prime Instant Video. The ad-supported model already has a predecessor in Amazon Studios’ latest “pilot” season, in which Amazon’s Hollywood arm puts up one test episode of several series it is considering for full runs. During the latest pilot season, the episodes — available to be watched by all Amazon customers — were preceded by an ad.