Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC News Looks to Lack | ABC’s Zeleny Jumps to CNN

NBC News in talks with Andrew Lack. Jeff Zeleny moves from ABC News to CNN. These stories and more in today's Morning Media Newsfeed

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NBC News Shakeup: Andrew Lack in Talks to Return in Top Role (Variety)
Former NBC News president Andrew Lack is in negotiations to return to a top post at NBCUniversal’s news division in a management shakeup following the debacle that led to the suspension of Nightly News anchor Brian Williams and other recent missteps. TVNewser Current NBC News president Deborah Turness is reportedly safe. THR Sources say Lack — who ran NBC News in the 1990s before being promoted to the top job at NBC — would replace Pat Fili-Krushel as the top executive in charge of NBC’s news assets, including NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and their digital assets. Fili-Krushel, a loyal lieutenant of NBCUni CEO Steve Burke, is expected to move to a different role in the company. Mashable The Williams debacle was seen by some as the final straw for NBC’s news division. Other previous controversies — most notably Ann Curry’s tearful exit and David Gregory’s bungled removal — had already led to questions about the division’s leadership. In addition, NBC News has also struggled to maintain ratings for its major programs, including Nightly News, Meet The Press and Today. MSNBC’s ratings have also suffered. NYT Lack was president of NBC News from 1993 until 2001. He later worked as chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment and chairman of Bloomberg Media Group. He left that post in September and most recently worked as chief executive of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an independent federal agency that oversees international networks such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.

ABC’s Jeff Zeleny Moving to CNN (Politico)
Jeff Zeleny, ABC News senior Washington correspondent, will join CNN’s Washington bureau and political unit as CNN senior Washington correspondent next Monday to cover the 2016 presidential race for both television and digital, according to industry sources. TVNewser Zeleny joined ABC News from The New York Times in March 2013. His journalism career began at the Des Moines Register, continuing at the Chicago Tribune. FishbowlDC Zeleny joins a growing list of ABC News staffers that have jumped ship to CNN, including Jake Tapper, Bill Weir, Jim Sciutto and John Berman, and executives Amy Entelis and Andrew Morse. Variety At the Times, Zeleny was the paper’s lead reporter during the 2012 presidential election and covered Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign to the White House. Zeleny also covered the first two years of the Obama administration as a White House correspondent, traveling across the country and the world. He also covered Congress for the paper. At ABC News, he reported extensively on the 2014 midterm elections and the Republican Party as it gained control of the U.S. Senate. He also reported from Ferguson, Mo., covering the protests in the wake of the Michael Brown shooting.

NBCU Plans Subscription Comedy Video Service (WSJ)
Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal is aiming to launch a comedy-focused subscription Web video service later this year, people familiar with the plans say, signaling the company’s growing interest in reaching young viewers online as its traditional cable-TV business stagnates. THR The over-the-top service, which is still in the early stages of development, will feature episodes of NBC shows including The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live. The company is also said to be planning to invest in original programming and exclusive content for the service. Variety NBCU is mulling a price in the ballpark of $2.50 to $3.50 per month for the comedy SVOD service. NBCU’s subscription-streaming strategy is being run by Evan Shapiro, who joined the company in December as exec VP of digital enterprises. Shapiro, who previously headed Participant Media’s Pivot cable channel and was president of IFC and Sundance Channel, was hired to develop direct-to-consumer distribution models, according to NBCU. Deadline It’s unclear how the comedy service would affect NBC’s existing arrangements, including ones that put recent SNL episodes on Hulu and the show’s library on Yahoo!. Clips from Tonight often run on YouTube, but NBC does not share revenue with the Google-owned service. Execs are working on windowing plans to give consumers an incentive to subscribe to the Web service, but not cut others off completely.

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Lisa Arbetter Named Editor of People StyleWatch (FishbowlNY)
Time Inc. has named Lisa Arbetter editor of People StyleWatch. This is a return to StyleWatch for Arbetter, as she previously served as its deputy editor when the magazine debuted in 2007. Arbetter comes to StyleWatch from InStyle, where she served as deputy editor since 2009. WWD Time Inc.’s editorial structure — that being one with an editorial director overseeing a smaller magazine — is somewhat new for the company. It allows for cost cutting measures and the sharing of resources across departments. Last month, Time Inc. moved former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief Matt Bean to the corporate offices to work on native content and projects in the new role of senior vice president of editorial innovation. Henry Goldblatt, a deputy editor at People, replaced Bean, and reports to People editor-in-chief Jess Cagle, who holds the dual-role of EW editorial director.

HBO Go Arrives on PlayStation 4, at Long Last (Mashable)
HBO Go is finally available for the PlayStation 4, Sony announced Tuesday. The app, which hit PS4 consoles the same day, allows HBO subscribers to access content from HBO’s current crop of content and its vast archives. The app comes four months after HBO launched on the Xbox One, and a full year after HBO Go launched on the PS3. Variety As with other HBO Go platforms, users must subscribe to the network via a pay-TV provider to get access on the PS4. Showtime Networks, meanwhile, announced that its online-video service — Showtime Anytime — is now available to Dish Network customers who subscribe to the premium cable service. Both premium cablers have announced plans to launch direct-to-consumer, over-the-top Internet versions of their services — which wouldn’t require a pay-TV account. But neither has divulged specifics, including pricing and availability.

Stephen Colvin Joins Robb Report (FishbowlNY)
Stephen Colvin, former CEO of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, is joining Robb Report as chief operating officer and president of its digital division, a new role at the company. Capital New York In his new role, which follows a 20-month tour at Lerer Ventures as the V.C. fund’s executive in residence, Colvin will largely focus on scaling the title’s digital business, which saw a 71-percent year-on-year increase in monthly visitors to robbreport.com during the first quarter of 2014, according to a company representative.

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Broadcast Networks Skip Netanyahu Speech to Congress (TVNewser)
While cable news covered the speech Tuesday morning by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a joint session of Congress, the broadcast networks stuck with their regular daytime programming, and shifted news coverage to websites or cable. THR Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC and CNN did broadcast the address, along with CSPAN. The major networks, along with multiple U.S. online news outlets, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, did livestream the speech on their websites.

NBC Nightly News Wins February Sweep in All Metrics, Despite Brian Williams Suspension (Deadline)
NBC Nightly News hung on to its frontrunner status for the February sweep ratings derby in all key metrics. This is news because, for virtually all of the sweep period, Nightly News anchor Brian Williams was embroiled in controversy and missing from the program. Variety Nightly News lured about 9.67 million viewers overall in the five days between Feb. 23 and Feb. 27, according to data from Nielsen, and about 2.463 million viewers between 25 and 54, the demographic most desired by advertisers in news programs. That’s more than ABC’s World News, which attracted around 9.47 million overall and about 2.37 million between 25 and 54 in the same time period.

Marc Graboff Takes Key Role at Discovery Communications (THR)
Longtime NBC executive Marc Graboff is heading to Discovery. The television veteran, who rounded out his tenure atop Core Media this past fall, will join Discovery Communications in April as president of global business and legal affairs, production management and studios. Variety Graboff marks the latest notable TV exec to join Discovery, following the appointment of Rich Ross as president of the flagship Discovery Channel in January. Graboff’s new role will have him overseeing the Discovery group’s worldwide business and legal affairs, in addition to running its growing studio operation and its investment in production group All3media.

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Time Inc. Makes Publisher Changes (FishbowlNY)
Time Inc. has made some changes to its publishing team. Group publishers Charlie Kammerer and Greg Schumann are expanding their roles, while Ron King has been promoted to publisher of Southern Living.

Curt Schilling Twitter Trolls Stink Up The Garden State (FishbowlNY)
ESPN commentator Curt Schilling was all over the radio Tuesday morning. He continues to talk about the swift effects of his targeting of several Twitter users who went way over the line.

Sony Ex-Employees File Amended Class Action Suit Over Hacking Attack (Variety)
Nine former Sony employees have filed an amended class action lawsuit against Sony Pictures Entertainment, alleging that the studio failed to take adequate safeguards to protect personal information that was exposed in the hacking attack last year.

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Machinima Hires Jamie Weissenborn as Chief Revenue Officer (Variety)
Machinima, a digital-media company focused on gamer and fanboy audiences, has hired Jamie Weissenborn, a former senior ad exec at Sony Pictures Television, in the newly created position of chief revenue officer.

Netflix Sets Australia, New Zealand Launch Date (THR)
Netflix will officially launch in Australia and New Zealand on March 24, the streaming giant announced Tuesday.

The New Republic Hires Eliot Pierce as Chief Product Officer (Poynter / MediaWire)
The New Republic announced the hiring of its first chief product officer Tuesday, the most recent step in an attempt to transform a century-old magazine into a digital media company.

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