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.

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The NFL Names Dawn Hudson Its New CMO (Adweek)
The National Football League, beleaguered by negative publicity in recent weeks, Monday announced that former PepsiCo CEO Dawn Hudson is its new chief marketing officer. WSJ Hudson, who spent 11 years at PepsiCo and most recently served as the vice chairman of consulting firm Parthenon Group, will succeed Mark Waller, who was recently assigned to lead the NFL’s international growth plans. It will fall to Hudson to help repair the NFL’s image, which has taken a big hit from a string of high-profile controversies, including a domestic-violence incident involving Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice and a child-abuse case involving Minnesota Vikings star Adrian Peterson. Variety Hudson will start the job next month and report to commissioner Roger Goodell. Hudson has unique insight into the NFL’s selling points. Pepsi, after all, has been a big sponsor of the league for years, and has aligned itself with the Super Bowl for decades.

Bloomberg Politics And Des Moines Register Announce Polling, Reporting Partnership (FishbowlDC)
Bloomberg Politics Monday announced a new polling, reporting, and events partnership with the Des Moines Register for coverage of the midterm and 2016 Presidential elections. TVNewser The two outlets will jointly produce the Iowa Poll. This is the first time the storied Des Moines newspaper has fully partnered with a national TV outlet on the Iowa poll. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Bloomberg Politics, the new television/digital project headed by Game Change co-authors Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, launches Oct. 6.

Townsquare Snaps Up Hip-Hop Mag XXL, Plans to Go Digital-Only (New York Post)
Townsquare Media is buying XXL, the 17-year old urban hip-hop magazine from Harris Publications, and will immediately stop producing a regular print edition. FishbowlNY Antenna magazine was relaunched as digital-only in July, XXL will go all-digital after the next bi-monthly print issue hits newsstands and King-mag.com will be Web relaunched. Billboard The news comes on the heels of news at another longstanding hip-hop and R&B-associated publication, Vibe, having its print version shuttered by parent company SpinMedia last week after an ongoing series of company shake-ups. Last year, the company also ceased printing the longstanding SPIN.

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Adam Sachs Named Editor of Saveur (FishbowlNY)
Adam Sachs has been named the editor-in-chief of Saveur. Sachs joins the magazine from Tasting Table, where he served as editorial director. He has also served as a contributing editor to Bon Appétit, Travel + Leisure and Details. NYT In August, James Oseland, the magazine’s editor since 2006, said he was leaving Saveur to help publisher Rodale turn the 62-year-old magazine Organic Gardening into a new title called Organic Life. Sachs also brings strong food writing credentials. His “Obsessivore” column for Bon Appétit won two James Beard Awards. An article he wrote for Travel + Leisure about dining in Copenhagen also won a James Beard award.

Will Lee Named People.com Editor (FishbowlNY)
Will Lee has been named editor of People.com. Lee comes to People from The Hollywood Reporter, where he most recently served as VP, digital content and programming. NYT Lee will take over People.com on Oct. 20. Monday’s announcement marks a return for Lee to Time Inc. He started out working as an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly in 1998 and since then has written for Sports Illustrated. Since leaving Time Inc., he worked at the website TMZ as its New York bureau chief and helped start its television series. At the Penske Media Corporation, Lee worked on brands like Deadline, Hollywood Life, TV Line and Boy Genius Report.

Apple Reportedly Plans to Shut Down Beats Music (TechCrunch)
Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. Apple said that the report of Beats being shut down “is not true.” Re/code It may, however, modify it over time, and one of those changes could involved changing the Beats Music brand. Note that Apple does seem pretty pleased with the iTunes brand, which was the focus of its controversial U2 album giveaway this month.

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Alaska TV Reporter Quits on Air (TVNewser)
Charlo Greene, a reporter at CBS affiliate KTVA in Anchorage, quit her job on air Sunday night, telling viewers, “F*** it. I quit.” Greene was reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club. Following the story, during a live tag, she revealed she is the owner of the medical marijuana business and was going to be leaving TV news so she could devote her time to pushing for marijuana legalization in Alaska.

Sony’s $99 TV Box Launches Oct. 14 (Re/code)
PlayStation TV, the $99 media box that debuted in Japan as the Vita TV, will hit shelves in the U.S. and Canada on Oct. 14, Sony said Monday. For an extra $40, buyers will get a PlayStation 3 controller, the Lego Movie Videogame and an eight gigabyte memory card. The company says hundreds of games from Sony’s back catalog will be available on the PS TV at launch, but left unanswered is when precisely its Web-TV service, which has already secured agreements with Viacom, will start selling to the public.

Francoise-Marie Santucci to Helm French Elle (WWD / Memo Pad)
Francoise-Marie Santucci has been named editorial director at French Elle, effective Sept. 25. Santucci, who had resigned from Libération’s Next magazine earlier this month, is to succeed Valérie Toranian, who had been editorial director at the weekly fashion magazine for 13 years.

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Duncan Clark Expands Role as President, Distribution of Universal Pictures International (THR)
Universal Pictures International is expanding Duncan Clark’s role as president, distribution, giving him oversight of the company’s international organization. Clark has been filling the void left when David Kosse began transitioning out of his role as president, international for Universal Pictures. This marks a reversal for Universal, which is part of Comcast. The company had planned to move the job to Los Angeles, but Duncan will take on his new role in London.

Omnicom CFO Steps Down (WSJ)
Omnicom Group Inc. said chief financial officer Randall Weisenburger stepped down to return to private equity. The advertising company’s board appointed Philip Angelastro, senior vice president finance and controller, as his successor as part of a succession plan. Omnicom chief executive John Wren said in a statement Monday that Weisenburger has “been a strong leader for Omnicom over the past 16 years.”

AT&T Launches Broadband Bundle With HBO, Amazon Prime for $39 Per Month (Variety)
Want HBO without all those other pricey cable channels? AT&T has a new offer for you. The telco, looking to win over customers disinclined to pay for a full lineup of cable channels, is pitching a stripped-down package that includes HBO, Amazon Prime Instant Video, broadband and broadcast networks for just $39 per month — well below what pay-TV subs typically shell out for service bundles.

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