Morning Media Newsfeed: Chernin, AT&T Strike Deal With Fullscreen | The Wire Shuttered

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Peter Chernin, AT&T to Buy Majority Stake in YouTube Network Fullscreen (THR)
Peter Chernin’s The Chernin Group and AT&T have finalized a deal to acquire a majority stake in YouTube network Fullscreen. GigaOM Financial details of the transaction weren’t released, but Fullscreen CEO George Strompolos, who previously handled partner relations for YouTube, will retain “a material ownership stake in the company,” according to the release. Re/code The sale is supposed to wrap up in the next month; ad holding giant WPP, which invested in Fullscreen earlier, will remain as a “strategic shareholder.” The deal is likely to value Fullscreen, which says it has 4 billion monthly video views, between $200 million and $300 million. Earlier in the year, Disney bought YouTube network Maker Studios, which had 5.5 billion views, in a deal that could ultimately hit $950 million. That sale kicked off a new wave of investor interest in Web video networks, which for now generate most of their eyeballs and revenue on YouTube. Capital New York Dreamworks acquired YouTube channel AwesomenessTV in 2011 for $150 million, Discovery acquired Revision3 in 2012 for $30 million, and Legendary Entertainment bought Nerdist for an undisclosed sum in 2012. Variety Fullscreen, founded in January 2011, works with more than 50,000 content creators — including such YouTube stars as the Fine Bros., Connor Franta and O2L — who have an aggregate of 450 million subscribers. The Culver City, Calif.-based company has about 200 employees worldwide.

The Atlantic Shutters The Wire (FishbowlNY)
The Atlantic is shutting down its spinoff TheWire.com, and folding staffers into the magazine and TheAtlantic.com. Adweek In an email to the staff, Atlantic COO Bob Cohn and editor-in-chief James Bennet, who serve as co-presidents, conceded that “the business strategy behind separating The Wire from The Atlantic simply hasn’t proven out. Experimenting with new revenue streams to support our journalism… has been essential to our progress across the ever-shifting media landscape; so too has moving quickly to face the facts, and to adjust, when an experiment isn’t working as we’d hoped.” Capital New York Atlantic Media plans to retain The Wire’s homepage and social media feeds, which will be used to highlight Atlantic.com news stories. The Wire has had a tumultuous history. Originally launched 2009 as a kind of opinion and commentary site titled “The Atlantic Wire,” it pivoted in 2011 to become a news aggregator. Last year, the site was renamed “The Wire” and given its own advertising sales team — two moves intended to better distinguish it from TheAtlantic.com. HuffPost The presidents suggested that the switch will not result in staff layoffs, writing that The Wire team will continue to work in New York. The Wire’s editor Dashiell Bennett will now oversee The Atlantic news team with Emily Epstein.

NYT Launches Politics Site, Newsletter (FishbowlNY)
The New York Times has gone all in on politics with the debut of First Draft, a new site and newsletter dedicated to analyzing politics, elections and policies. FishbowlDC The tipsheet, focused on politics and Washington, will be distributed via email around 7 a.m. daily and updated with content throughout the day. Capital New York Plans for a morning politics newsletter were first announced by former executive editor Jill Abramson last fall. The first edition of First Draft featured both scoops and recommended articles from other outlets, “Our Favorite Reads From Elsewhere,” with links surrounded by short summaries. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “First Draft” is both a political tipsheet, hoping to rival the likes of Politico’s Playbook or NBC’s “First Read,” and a blog that will serve as a clearinghouse for Times reporters’ scoops and quick takes. It will have a more informal, conversational tone than the Times’ typical political coverage. First Draft is headed by Carl Hulse, the Times’ chief Washington correspondent, and features reporter Alan Rappeport, producer Nicholas Corasaniti and editor Paul Volpe. It will also rely on contributions from the Times’ stable of political reporters.