Morning Media Newsfeed: HBO to Launch Streaming Service | CNN Cuts Continue

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HBO to Offer Stand-Alone Streaming Service Beginning in 2015 (LostRemote)
HBO announced plans Wednesday to offer a stand-alone streaming service in 2015. FishbowlNY “We will work with our current partners,” HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler said, in a statement. “And, we will explore models with new partners. All in, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” SocialTimes Having a Web-only option will help the channel with online-TV watchers, who cite flexibility as the main reason for watching original series online. Internet users are becoming more accustomed to consuming what they want, when they want it; HBO is finally adapting to this reality. THR Plepler didn’t give too many details about the service, such as pricing and when it would launch, saying he didn’t want to tip off competitors too much. Shortly after Plepler’s announcement, shares of Netflix dropped 4 percent, while shares of Time Warner were about 3 percent higher as investors digested the HBO news as well as some other rosy predictions coming from the Time Warner investor day presentations. Mashable It is important to note that HBO is far from giving up on cable television. Plepler stressed in his statements before the announcement that HBO’s business and relationships with cable partners is important. The channel brought in $4.9 billion in 2013 and has about 114 million subscribers. There has been eager anticipation for HBO to capitalize on its already popular streaming platform by offering it outside of cable subscriptions. HBO Go logins have become something of a social currency, allowing users to access content via accounts of friends and family. Game of Thrones has also grown into the most pirated TV show of all time.

CNN’s Unguarded, Sanjay Gupta MD, CNNMoney, Crossfire Canceled (TVNewser)
As part of the cuts at CNN, Unguarded has been canceled along with several other programs. Unguarded host Rachel Nichols will continue on with CNN as sole sports anchor for the network and host the occasional special as well as continuing her role with Turner Sports. TVNewser Sanjay Gupta MD, which airs Saturdays at 4:30 p.m. ET and Sundays at 7:30 a.m. ET, has been canceled, as has CNN Money with Christine Romans, which airs Saturday mornings. Gupta and correspondent Elizabeth Cohen will focus on medical breaking news, field reporting and documentaries for the network. Romans will continue co-anchoring Early Start and remains CNN’s chief business correspondent, contributing such stories across CNN. TVNewser Crossfire also hit the chopping block Wednesday. Returning to the air in September 2013 after an eight-year absence, the new version of Crossfire featured former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich, former White House staffers Van Jones and Stephanie Cutter, and former MSNBC host S.E. Cupp. All four hosts will remain with the network as political commentators. TVNewser Additionally, Susan Grant, a 27-year Turner executive, is leaving CNN as it cuts its workforce by 300 employees, a process which began with buyout offers and continued Tuesday with layoffs. As executive vice president of CNN News Services, Grant is the highest profile CNN employee to be departing the network this week. FishbowlDC Twenty-eight positions were expected to be part of layoffs in CNN’s D.C. bureau Wednesday. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The layoffs are part of CNN’s “2020” restructuring plan, which will see 10 percent staff reduction across the company. About 130 CNN staffers have taken buyouts and 170 will be laid-off.

Martha Stewart Partners With Meredith (FishbowlNY)
Two big “M’s” of the media world are teaming up. And, if all goes well, for at least 10 years starting Nov. 1. Adweek Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia announced it is outsourcing business-side operations for Martha Stewart Living to Meredith Corp., the Iowa-based publisher of women’s service titles like Better Homes & Gardens and Family Circle. WWD / Memo Pad Under the terms of the deal, Meredith will lead sales and marketing, circulation, production, and other non-editorial functions of Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings magazines. The MSLO team will continue to create the editorial content, while Meredith will assume responsibility for the sales and marketing of MarthaStewart.com and MarthaStewartWeddings.com. This includes related assets, such as its large video library. NYT As of Nov. 1, Meredith will include Martha Stewart Living and Martha Stewart Weddings among its 14 magazines in its advertising pitches to attract brands like Crest, L’Oréal and Bed Bath & Beyond. Stewart will keep her magazines’ editorial operations in her West Chelsea headquarters. By aligning with Meredith, she no longer will have to compete with larger magazine companies like Hearst and Condé Nast to attract advertisers. According to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia’s most recent earnings report, the company’s publishing division lost $1.75 million in the second quarter of 2014.