Morning Media Newsfeed: Hearst Tower Drama | Gannett Buys Belo | Soledad’s New HBO Gig

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Hearst Tower Scaffolding Collapses, Stranding Workers (FishbowlNY)
Scaffolding that was being used by two window washers on the Hearst Tower collapsed Wednesday, leaving them stranded. The scaffolding began to fall around 2:40 p.m. 57th St. at 8th Avenue closed to car and pedestrian traffic. TVSpy New York City stations broke into afternoon programming Wednesday with dramatic pictures of two window washers stranded on a scaffolding near the top of the Hearst Tower. TVNewser CBS This Morning co-anchor Gayle King was at her other day job, O: The Oprah Magazine in Hearst Tower Wednesday afternoon when two men got trapped outside the 45th floor after a window washing scaffold collapsed. NBC New York The two workers — identified by law enforcement sources as Victor Carabello, 26, of the Bronx, and Stephen Schmidt, 49, of Brooklyn — underwent a medical evaluation once they were brought inside. Moses Nelson, one of the attending FDNY paramedics, said the workers were fine and in good spirits. “They were all smiles, thankfully,” said Nelson. “No major injuries, no complaints.”

Gannett Agrees to Buy Belo for $1.5 Billion (NYT / DealBook)
The Gannett Company agreed on Thursday to buy the Belo Corporation for about $1.5 billion in cash, in a deal that almost doubles Gannett’s television operations. Under the terms of the deal, Gannett will pay $13.75 a share in cash, 28 percent above Belo’s closing price on Wednesday. Gannett will also assume $715 million of Belo’s existing debt. USA Today Belo owns and operates 20 TV stations — nine in the top 25 markets — and their associated websites, including in Texas and the Pacific Northwest where Gannett does not have a major presence. Reuters Gannett, already the largest newspaper chain in the United States, said the deal would generate significant free cash flow and increase its non-GAAP earnings per share by about 50 cents in the first year. It will also result in about $175 million of annual savings within three years after closing.

Soledad O’Brien Inks HBO Deal, Joins Real Sports (THR / The Live Feed)
Soledad O’Brien has inked an overall content development deal with HBO and also will join the network’s award-winning sports journalism program Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. The deal lets HBO have first look at scripted projects and long-form programming concepts developed by O’Brien’s Starfish Media Group. TVNewser O’Brien has a similar first look deal with CNN for doc series, such as the In America series. The deal with HBO actually keeps O’Brien in the Turner Broadcasting family, as HBO and CNN are sister networks under the Turner Broadcasting umbrella, which is owned by Time Warner.

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Steve Harvey Talk Show Gains an Extension (NYT)
Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show, which had its debut last September, will remain on television through at least 2016 thanks to a series of deals announced Wednesday by its distributor, NBCUniversal. The long-term deals demonstrate how successful the show, Steve Harvey, has been for NBC and for the local stations that carry it. B&C “Steve Harvey’s engaging, funny and warm style has been a hit with our audiences, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our partnership with Steve and his great team,” said Valari Staab, president, NBC Owned Television Stations, in a statement.

Time Warner Cable Content Incentives Thwart New Web TV (Bloomberg)
Time Warner Cable Inc. and other pay-TV operators are offering incentives to media companies that agree to withhold content from Web-based entertainment services such as those pursued by Intel Corp. and Apple Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said. The incentives can take the form of higher payments, or they can include threats to drop programming, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.