Morning Media Newsfeed: Kal Penn Joins Fusion for Midterms | SoftBank, DWA Talks Cool

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Kal Penn Named Special Correspondent of Fusion’s Midterm Mayhem (TVNewser)
Actor Kal Penn is joining Fusion as a special correspondent for its midterm election coverage. Fusion’s election coverage plans include a nightly primetime program Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown hosted by Fusion’s Nando Vila. FishbowlDC In addition to its television broadcast, the program will be livestreamed. Midterm Mayhem will be hosted by Vila with contributions from anchors Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez and Fusion’s Alice Brennan and Romina Puga. Capital New York Fusion is still modestly distributed, with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV among the major distributors that don’t yet carry the channel. The livestream — which will only apply to the month-long midterm election series — is a chance for viewers who don’t get Fusion to sample its programming, with the goal of getting them to lobby their pay-TV provider to carry the channel. The channel held a similar stunt tied to its coverage of the 2014 World Cup from Brazil. THR Penn is known for his roles in the Harold And Kumar trilogy, The Namesake, House and How I Met Your Mother. In 2009, he took a break from acting to work as an associate director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement, serving as the Obama administration’s liaison to young Americans. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The show aims to “bring viewers all the essential political news of the day and answer questions of fundamental importance to Fusion’s audience,” the network said in a release. It premieres Sunday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 p.m. and runs until Election Day.

SoftBank, DreamWorks Animation Talks Cool (WSJ)
SoftBank’s discussions to acquire DreamWorks Animation have cooled, according to people familiar with the matter, less than two days after word first emerged of the talks. Variety Softbank is a Japanese telecommunications and Internet giant with investments in such companies as Sprint, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba. DreamWorks boasts a film library that includes Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek, as well as investments in the television and digital space through its acquisition of AwesomenessTV and pact with Netflix. It also has made inroads into China through its Oriental DreamWorks joint venture, which is engaged in everything from Internet content to theme parks. THR Shares of DreamWorks Animation soared in early Monday trading as Wall Street debated SoftBank’s interest in the studio. On Monday, DreamWorks’ stock opened up about 20 percent and traded up around 16.7 percent at $26.01 as soon as of 9:35 a.m. ET but still well below its 52-week high of $36.01 and the $32 per-share price discussed in a possible sign that investors had some doubts that a deal would happen. The stock had closed Friday at $22.36. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ stock price was down 7.7 percent in post-market trading Monday — after rocketing 26 percent during the day — following the report that deal conversations had “cooled.”

Newsweek Adds Plagiarism Warning to Fareed Zakaria Articles (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Newsweek has added a plagiarism warning to all of its columns by Fareed Zakaria in the wake of new accusations. “Fareed Zakaria worked for Newsweek when it was under previous ownership. Readers are advised that some of his articles have been the subject of complaints claiming that they contain material that should have been attributed to others,” the note reads. Poynter / MediaWire Zakaria’s last story for Newsweek was published in September 2010, according to the archive. (The note is on that story, and others in the archive, as well.) IAC/Interactive sold Newsweek to the owners of the International Business Times last year. Mediaite Zakaria’s work for CNN, Time, Slate and Newsweek has been under heavy scrutiny since Our Bad Media unearthed a plethora of examples where the famed commentator has lifted words or phrases from other sources without proper attribution. Zakaria has dismissed the accusations, and CNN chief Jeff Zucker has given him a vote of “complete confidence,” but he was briefly suspended in 2012 from Time and CNN for ripping off a New Yorker piece on gun control. Gawker The remaining allegations against Zakaria are numerous: Over the past few weeks, @blippoblappo and @crushingbort have identified nearly 40 examples of Zakaria either copying or slightly changing the words of others across a broad array of outlets and media. Until Monday, however, the more recent allegations against Zakaria had been either ignored or dismissed by the outlets where his work has appeared.