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.

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Facebook Launches Revamped Atlas Ad Platform (AllFacebook)
Facebook took a major step toward achieving its goals of making sure its users see advertising that is relevant to them — no matter which devices they are using, and even when they are not on the social network itself — and of allowing advertisers to be a part of the process both online and offline. The social network Monday officially introduced Atlas at Advertising Week 2014 in New York, confirming reports earlier this month by The Wall Street Journal and Ad Age. Adweek Facebook is finally sharing its deep knowledge of 1.3 billion users to power advertising across the Web in a way that marketers say is unprecedented, potentially enhancing their ability to target messages like never before. It’s the biggest step in unleashing Facebook’s reservoir of data to deliver ads outside its walls and across apps, the mobile Web and desktop, rivaling the infrastructure of the likes of Google, which has dominated digital advertising for a decade. Mashable Atlas is a former Microsoft property that Facebook bought last year for around $100 million and has now rebuilt from the ground up. Atlas is distinct from Audience Network, a mobile ad network Facebook introduced in April that was aimed at app developers. In a blog post announcing the new network, Erik Johnson, head of Atlas, wrote that the network addresses a major limitation of cookies, the industry’s vehicle for tracking users and serving ads on desktop.

Joanna Coles Named Editorial Director of Seventeen (Adweek)
Barely an hour after Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles wrapped up a panel at Advertising Week, where she discussed marketing to women with Facebook CMO (and Cosmo careers editor) Sheryl Sandberg, Hearst announced that Coles had added another major title to her existing one: editorial director of Seventeen magazine. Capital New York Current Seventeen magazine editor-in-chief Ann Shoket is stepping down from her post. Shoket’s departure comes alongside the news that the publisher is merging the teen magazine and Cosmopolitan into one group under the supervision of Coles and Cosmopolitan senior vice president and publishing director Donna Kalajian Lagani. WWD / Memo Pad Shoket will remain a consultant for a period of time, as she pursues other media jobs. An editor-in-chief of Seventeen will be named within the next four weeks. According to David Carey, president of Hearst Magazines, the decision to put Coles in charge of Seventeen was a no brainer, as the Cosmo reader and the Seventeen reader overlap, as do the advertisers of the magazines. He said there is a 50 percent advertising overlap between them.

Latest New Yorker Cover Is A GIF (FishbowlNY)
“Rainy Day,” an illustration by Christoph Niemann, is the New Yorker’s first ever animated cover. Of course it’s not animated in real life, but the raindrops do move when viewing the cover online. Mashable True to form, the publication resisted the temptation to go too far off into the Internet’s frivolous side — the many dancing babies, loops of Homer Simpson backing up his car, GIFs of the feline persuasion — and stuck with something a bit more sophisticated. A car stuck in traffic. An iconic yellow cab in front. Plump raindrops slip slowly down the windshield. And that’s the GIF. The idea for the animated cover came from Niemann, an artist and designer who published some animations on the New Yorker’s website during the summer.

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AOL Expands Partnership With Publicis (FishbowlNY)
There’s a lot of money in video advertising, and so AOL has decided to expand its advertising partnership with Publicis. The deal will give VivaKi — part of Publicis — more access to premium video ad space across AOL’s brands. Adweek Publicis’ video spend has increased as more viewers migrate to devices, reflective of an industry trend that shows digital video is growing 30 percent to 40 percent a year, per eMarketer. AOL and Publicis joined forces by creating PAL (Publicis AOL Live) in July 2013. PAL is co-managed by a joint holding company with employees from both AOL and Publicis.

Variety Expands Editor-in-Chief Roles for Claudia Eller, Andrew Wallenstein (Variety)
Claudia Eller and Andrew Wallenstein are assuming expanded responsibilities as co-editors-in-chief of Variety as Cynthia Littleton transitions from her role as editor-in-chief, television, to the newly created post of managing editor, television. FishbowlNY The move means Variety now has two rather than three EICs. So, reading between the lines of Monday’s announcement, we’re assuming this shift was something Littleton was willing to accept in exchange for relocating (earlier this year) from LA to New York. The PMC publication is still very much a West Coast-driven concern.

Literary Lions Unite in Protest Over Amazon’s eBook Tactics (NYT)
Hundreds of writers, including some of the world’s most distinguished, are joining the coalition of authors protesting Amazon’s actions. Few if any are published by Hachette. And they have goals far broader than freeing up the Hachette titles. They want the Justice Department to investigate Amazon for illegal monopoly tactics. They also want to highlight the issue being debated endlessly and furiously on writers’ blogs: What are the rights and responsibilities of a company that sells half the books in America and controls the dominant eBook platform?

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MSNBC Doesn’t Renew Contributor Goldie Taylor’s Contract (TVNewser)
MSNBC and contributor Goldie Taylor have parted ways. Taylor, who’s been a contributor for several years, appearing across daytime and primetime programs, tweeted out the news. Mediaite Taylor has been a regular voice on MSNBC for the past few years, and provided some details about the reason for her departure and her current state of mind: “I was not offered a new contract. The only thing constant is change.”

Ben Bradlee Now in Hospice Care (The Washington Post / Morning Mix)
Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee’s health has declined over the past two months and he has begun hospice care, his wife, Sally Quinn, said in a television interview broadcast Sunday. Bradlee, 93, has suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past several years. His health recently deteriorated to the point where he sleeps 20 hours a day and no longer eats much, Quinn said. He began hospice care at the couple’s home in Washington in mid-September, she said. FishbowlDC Bradlee served as executive editor of the Post from 1968 – 1991, a time that included the resignation of President Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal.

Sandy Johnson Named President, COO of National Press Foundation (FishbowlDC)
The National Press Foundation Monday announced that Sandy Johnson will replace Bob Meyers as its president and COO. Johnson has been a member of the foundation’s board of directors since 2001 and served as its board chairman from 2007-2008. Johnson served as the AP’s Washington bureau chief for 10 years and in addition, has held senior management roles at AARP Bulletin, Stateline, and the Center for Public Integrity.

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Richard Tomko Named amNewYork Publisher (FishbowlNY)
Newsday Media Group has named Richard Tomko publisher of amNewYork. Tomko joins the newspaper from Boost Digital, where he served as a consultant. He previously served as CEO of Snooth Media, and worked for Time Warner for 14 years. Tomko also served as Time Inc. Digital’s general manager and VP of business development.

Magazine Industry Bares All to Prove It Isn’t Dead Yet (Mashable)
Projections of falling advertising revenue, fewer pages and lower circulation for the magazine industry, argues Association of Magazine Media (MPA) CEO Mary Berner, are incomplete. To prove it, she’s asking companies that are already under severe scrutiny to open up even more. On Monday, the MPA released its first Magazine Media 360 Brand Audience Report. The data looks at audiences for 147 of the biggest magazine titles, using third-party data to provide one of the most transparent looks at the magazine industry.

Netflix Inks Pact With Belgium’s Belgacom to Offer Service on Set-Tops (Variety)
Netflix has added another European provider to its arsenal, signing a deal with Belgian telecom operator Belgacom to offer the streaming-video package to TV subscribers on their set-top boxes by the end of the year. Deal comes two weeks after Netflix launched in six new European markets: France, Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland. When it launched in France on Sept. 15, the SVOD leader announced a distribution deal with telco Bouygues Telecom.

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