Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Cancels Cosby Project | Today Firings Rumor ‘Wrong — Period’

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Cosby’s New NBC Show Is No Longer in Development (HuffPost)
NBC has confirmed to HuffPost Entertainment that a planned sitcom project with Bill Cosby is no longer in development. The network had no further comment on the matter. THR / The Live Feed NBC handed out a script plus significant penalty for the comedy earlier this year, tapping Rules of Engagement alum Mike Sikowitz and Mike O’Malley (Shameless) to write and produce the comedy. O’Malley was eyed for a co-starring role on the comedy, which NBC Entertainment topper Bob Greenblatt envisioned for a summer or fall 2015 debut. Deadline The Cosby NBC multi-camera comedy project, executive produced by The Cosby Show’s Tom Werner, would’ve had Cosby starring as Jonathan Franklin, a patriarch of a multigenerational family who shares his many years of wit, wisdom and experience to help his daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren navigate their complicated modern lives. In light of the slew of rape accusations, it would’ve probably been hard for viewers to accept Cosby as a lovable family man and for NBC to sell the project to advertisers. The Associated Press / The Big Story A TV Land spokesperson said reruns of The Cosby Show will stop airing immediately for an indefinite time. The Cosby Show also was to have been part of a Thanksgiving sitcom marathon. PRNewser Both NBC and Netflix, who decided that it would be best to postpone the planned launch of its comedy special Bill Cosby 77, which had been planned to go live the day after Thanksgiving, have clearly made their respective decisions with their brands in mind. The allegations show no sign of going away anytime soon. In fact, the talk about them seems to be escalating the more we hear from the alleged victims and others surrounding the issue. FishbowlNY It started this week with a Vice article by Tracie Egan Morrissey, who excerpted passages about Cosby from former supermodel Janice Dickinson’s 2002 autobiography No Lifeguard on Duty. It quickly escalated with Dickinson shockingly filling in the blanks in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight co-host Kevin Frazier. While the additional, shared details were immediately dismissed by Cosby attorney Marty Singer as “a defamatory fabrication,” some earlier legal wrangling with Cosby apparently kept these allegations from surfacing well before 2004 accuser Andrea Constand filed suit. TVNewser CNN’s Don Lemon has issued an on-air apology for remarks he made during Tuesday night’s interview with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis. Lemon, who is a victim of sexual abuse himself, caused a social media uproar by telling Tarshis, “there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it.”

NBC News on Us Weekly Today Show Story: ‘Rumors Are Wrong — Period’ (TVNewser)
Us Weekly went way out on a limb Wednesday morning with a piece claiming that two Today show hosts, Willie Geist and Natalie Morales, were fired and are now in talks with CBS and ABC, respectively. None of that is true, say NBC and CBS and ABC. New York Daily News “Willie and Natalie were never told they were fired,” an NBC insider told the Daily News. “These plans were a part of a memo, a proposal — a potential future for the show that never came about,” the source said. Fox News Geist later denied the reports in a tweet published late Wednesday. BuzzFeed Morales has been a part of Today since 2006 when she was brought on as a national correspondent. Two years later, she was promoted to co-anchor, and in 2011, she replaced Ann Curry as news anchor. Curry was notoriously unceremoniously fired from her anchoring duties in 2012, after a short time as co-anchor. Geist is newer to Today. He was named co-host of NBC’s Morning Joe in 2007, and, two years later, he was given his own show on NBC called Way Too Early With Willie Geist, which ran before Morning Joe. In 2012, Geist left Way Too Early to co-host the 9 a.m. hour of Today.

Entertainment Icon Mike Nichols Has Died at Age 83 (ABC News)
Mike Nichols, the entertainment icon and husband of ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, died suddenly Wednesday at the age of 83. Nichols’ death was announced in a statement by ABC News President James Goldston. “He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT-an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime,” Goldston said in the statement.

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Reuters to Cut Jobs Despite Budget Increase, Jack Shafer Gone (BuzzFeed)
More layoffs are coming to Reuters, editor-in-chief Steve Adler said in a memo to staff Wednesday. Adler said that the news organization’s budget would be 1 percent larger in 2015, “It’s not big enough, however, both to cover inflation and to fund the growth initiatives that are vital to our future success,” Adler said. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Media critic Jack Shafer is leaving his job at Reuters, he announced Wednesday evening. The announcement appears to be among the final gasps of a Web strategy that started a few years back with great optimism. Poynter / Top Stories Shafer said he wasn’t conversant with HR terminology and that Reuters removed him in a “very respectful and professional manner.” As for his future plans, Shafer says he plans to “get Fugazi back together as my next trick.”

The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore Premieres Jan. 19 (NYT)
Larry Wilmore is not about to be spoiled by sudden success. The next late-night host on Comedy Central said a friend recently told him not to let success change him. Wilmore, who is 53 and probably best known for his stinging comedy commentaries as the “senior black correspondent” on The Daily Show, said he responded: “It’s too late for success to do anything to me. I’m too old. Success had its chance. It’s too late for you, success. You had your shot. You’re not going to change me at this point.” THR / The Live Feed Wilmore, a former correspondent on The Daily Show, was named in May the host of the forthcoming 11:30 p.m. show, which will take the place of The Colbert Report. When the comedian’s show was first announced, the original title was The Minority Report With Larry Wilmore. In an interview with the Times, Wilmore said that name change was to avoid “brand confusion.”

The New York Times Runs Its First-Ever Native Print Ad (Adweek)
The New York Times introduced its first native ad product, called “Paid Posts,” on its website in January. But Wednesday, the Times made its initial foray into sponsored print content with a Paid Post from Shell that appears in both the newspaper and digital editions. Digiday First, the size: The print component is an eight-page section that’s wrapped around home-delivered copies. (In the case of newsstand copies, the ad wraps the business section.) The top sheet is opaque vellum, for extra effect. The print creative extends the Web version, with infographics that show the urbanization of the world’s population. In what the Times called “icing on the cake,” the print ads are enhanced by augmented reality, so that people using the Blippar app can initiate a video by holding their phone over the page.

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White House Didn’t Ask for Broadcast TV Airtime for Immigration Speech (TVNewser)
President Barack Obama will announce his highly anticipated plan to deal with millions of illegal immigrants Thursday night. While the cable news networks will carry the 8 p.m. ET announcement, the broadcast networks — deep into November sweeps — will not. Deadline ABC has the fall finale for Grey’s Anatomy on at that time, CBS has ratings powerhouse The Big Bang Theory, NBC has reality show The Biggest Loser and Fox has Bones. As of right now, none plans changes to their regularly scheduled Thursday night November sweep schedules for the approximately 15-minute speech.

Scribner Launches New Online Magazine (GalleyCat)
Scribner, an imprint at Simon & Schuster, has launched a new digital publication called Scribner Magazine. The first issue features a diverse range of content such as rare photographs from the publication of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises: The Hemingway Library Edition, an audio recording of the “Something That Needs Nothing” short story, written and read by Miranda July, and pieces from several high-profile contributors. WSJ / SpeakEasy It’s not intended as a digital equivalent of its print predecessor, which published fiction and nonfiction from the likes of Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, Edith Wharton and Theodore Roosevelt. Instead, the site is about authors and their books.

Nielsen SoundScan to Integrate Streams, Downloads Into Album Sales Chart (Variety)
In what the music biz sees as a long overdue move, Nielsen SoundScan and its client Billboard are set to implement radical changes in the way album sales are calculated for the weekly chart that remains a key metric of an artist’s popularity. Beginning with the album chart that will be published Dec. 3 (covering sales for the week ending Nov. 30), music streams from services like Spotify and Beats will be tabulated as part of the data employed to rank the nation’s most popular albums. SoundScan will equate 1,500 song streams as the equivalent of an album sale.

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Glamour Cuts Four Editors (WWD / Memo Pad)
Glamour magazine has let go of four editors, including its executive editor, WWD has learned. The layoffs come in advance of the magazine’s move to Condé Nast’s new headquarters at One World Trade Center. Insiders said that Lauren Brody, who held the role of executive editor for four years, but began at Glamour in 2002, was one of the four. FishbowlNY Another Glamour veteran — deputy editor of photo visuals Julie Stone — was cut as well.

KMSP GM Retiring, Replacement Named (TVSpy)
Carol Rueppel is retiring after 17 years with Fox Television Stations. Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy announced Rueppel’s replacement would be Sheila Oliver, who is director of sales at KMSP-WFTC. TVNewsCheck Rueppel was named VP-GM of KMSP-WFTC in October 2001. Under her direction KMSP has increased its newscasts to 52 hours a week.

YouTube Adds Netflix Content Chief, Ad Exchange Architect to VP Ranks (TechCrunch)
YouTube is continuing the spate of recent executive-level hires begun under CEO Susan Wojcicki with two new additions to the top-level team today, according to sources familiar with the matter and confirmed by YouTube. SocialTimes The new hires are Kelly Merryman, who joins as VP of content partnerships, and Eyal Manor, who was previously VP of YouTube engineering.

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FCC Commissioner Calls Petition to Ban ‘Redksins’ From Broadcast Meritless (TVSpy)
Federal Communications Commissioner Ajit Pai told an audience at The Media Institute Awards banquet Tuesday night that he disagrees with recent efforts to ban broadcasters from using the word “Redskins” when referring to the Washington, D.C., NFL team.

Jennifer Preston on Leaving NYT, Joining Knight Foundation (Nieman Journalism Lab)
Jennifer Preston has plenty of experience in the journalism business: Preston was a political reporter, editor and manager at The New York Times, but she might be best known as the paper’s first social media editor, a role she began in 2009 to help get the Times up to speed on how it used Twitter and Facebook in all facets of its reporting. It was unfamiliar territory, but the goals for using emerging social platforms were relatively straightforward. Now after almost 20 years at the Times, Preston is moving on to a different challenge as the new vice president for journalism at the Knight Foundation.

Firefox Drops Google as Default Search Engine, Signs Deal With Yahoo (The Verge)
Wednesday, Yahoo and Mozilla announced a five-year partnership that would make Yahoo the default U.S. search engine for Mozilla’s Firefox browser on mobile and desktop. In December, Yahoo will roll out an enhanced new search function to Firefox users, and will also support Do Not Track functions in Firefox as a result of the partnership.

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