Morning Media Newsfeed: CBS, TWC Reach Deal | David Frost Remembered | Syria Challenges Media

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CBS Blackout on Time Warner Cable Ends (TVNewser)
About 3.5 million Time Warner Cable customer got their CBS programs back Monday at 6 p.m. ET as CBS and TWC came to an agreement. In fact, programming returned even earlier as coverage of the U.S. Open quarterfinals aired on CBS. CBS did not release terms of the deal but added, “the agreement includes retransmission consent, as well as Showtime Anytime and VOD, for CBS stations on Time Warner Cable systems in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.” NYT The outcome underscored the leverage that the owners of important television content, especially sports like NFL football, retain over distributors like cable systems. The looming National Football League season, which starts this week, includes key games every week on CBS. “It was hugely important,” an executive involved in the negotiation said Monday night. Daily Beast “I am pleased to inform you that… we concluded our content carriage agreement with Time Warner,” CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves announced in an email—the first pleasant one in his 32-day public relations bickerfest with TWC chief executive Glenn Britt. TWC and Britt relentlessly argued that the cable company was resisting CBS’ demands, which they insisted in negative television ads amounted to a 600 percent upcharge, only because they desired to save beleaguered cable customers from paying even more than they already do. The Atlantic Wire What will happen to those lawsuits from customers looking for reimbursement for their month spent without CBS now? Your guess is as good as mine.

David Frost, Interviewer Who Got Nixon to Apologize for Watergate, Dies at 74 (NYT)
David Frost, the British broadcaster whose interviews of historic figures like Henry Kissinger, John Lennon and, most famously, Richard M. Nixon often made history in their own right, died on Saturday aboard the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth, where he was scheduled to give a speech. He was 74. He knew how to make his guests “make news,” as the television industry saying goes, either through a sequence of incisive questions or carefully placed silences. NYT Frost didn’t just interview Nixon, he turned that encounter into an enterprise, paying that former president $600,000 (and a share on the profits) so he could package, produce and finance the five-part spectacle. The major American broadcast networks declined to broadcasting it, worried about “checkbook journalism,” so he syndicated it to local stations all over the United States and also internationally. The Guardian Lord Birt, the former BBC director general and producer of Frost’s celebrated interview with Nixon, has told how the veteran broadcaster ended “the age of deference” and ushered in a new era that made British programs like Newsnight and the Today program possible. TVNewser Frost, as host of This Was The Week That Was, served as something of a predecessor to comedians like Jon Stewart, so far as he was mocking the news. The Frost Programme for ITV and The David Frost Show for Westinghouse Broadcasting in the U.S. paved the way for more serious interviews. The Guardian / Greenslade Blog Headlines in British newspapers — plus the TV and radio news bulletin coverage — reflected the widespread media affection for Frost. His death was reported on almost every front page, with lengthy reports, tributes and obituaries on inside pages.

For News From Syrian Battleground, A Reliance on Social Media (NYT)
When Secretary of State John Kerry delivered the United States’ report on Friday about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, he noted that “all hell broke loose in the social media” just 90 minutes after the alleged attack. As evidence of atrocities, the report cites thousands of social media updates and videos, along with reports from intelligence agencies, journalists and medical personnel. NYT / Public Editor’s Journal Many Times readers are looking at recent news coverage of Syria, and editorials on the same subject, through the lens of another international conflict: the United States invasion of Iraq. In many comments on articles and emails to the public editor, that theme emerges clearly. Readers do not want the drumbeat of war echoing from their newspaper or its online equivalent; in fact, they are highly sensitive to any hint of that, and want to see the Times be as skeptical and questioning as possible as the nation moves closer to military action. Here’s my take. HuffPost Broadcast and cable networks delivered wall-to-wall coverage of President Obama’s remarks about Syria on Friday. Obama briefly addressed the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Syria during a meeting with Baltic leaders. He spoke shortly after Kerry’s remarks about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. CBS News’ Mark Knoller reported that the White House declined television networks’ requests to cover Obama’s remarks live. They aired his comments via tape instead. The story dominated the networks, interrupting regular programming on broadcast TV. CBS News’ Scott Pelley, ABC News’ David Muir and NBC News’ Lester Holt led special reports, while MSNBC, CNN and Fox News broadcast the comments as well.