Morning Media Newsfeed: NewsHour Names Just EP | Discovery, Sony Make Gains

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PBS NewsHour Names ABC’s Sara Just Executive Producer (FishbowlDC)
PBS NewsHour announced Thursday that 25-plus year ABC News-er Sara Just has been tapped to serve as the program’s executive producer and SVP of NewsHour Productions LLC. Variety Just will oversee the daily operations of the nightly news program, co-anchored by Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Deadline Hollywood Just, who has been ABC News’ deputy Washington Bureau chief since April, will join NewsHour on Sept. 2, succeeding Linda Winslow, who is retiring. Just’s hire comes on the heels of WETA taking over NewsHour from MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, the company named after former anchors Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer, on July 1. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Before becoming deputy Washington bureau chief at ABC, Just was senior Washington producer for Good Morning America and had spent 17 years at Ted Koppel’s Nightline. ABC News president James Goldston said in a memo to staff Just was integral to the innovation of their digital political coverage. NYT NewsHour has struggled in recent years to raise enough funds to meet its annual budget of $25 million to $30 million, although WETA officials said at the time of the ownership transfer they were confident they could find the money. With money tight, the program has not been able to do as much field reporting as some critics would like. Just said that she would better understand the program’s budget challenges once she started, but added “I think reporting from the field is essential,” when paired with insightful analysis.

Discovery Communications Profit Rises, Buoyed by Expansion (WSJ)
Discovery Communications Inc. boosted net income 26 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier, buoyed by its expanding international presence, though it lowered its earnings guidance slightly due partly to a slowing U.S. advertising market. Discovery posted a profit of $379 million, or $1.09 per share, up from $300 million, or $0.82 per share, in the same quarter last year. THR On an earnings conference call, CEO David Zaslav added that the company is always looking for deal opportunities though, including in Europe and Asia, and reiterated his long-term stance that deals that add intellectual property or accelerate growth are attractive, but they would have to come at a good price. He vowed that the company would stay financially disciplined in any potential deals. Variety Troubled electronics giant Sony has flummoxed nay-saying analysts with a six-fold increase in net income in the three months to June of JPY26.8 billion ($261 million). For the April-June period total sales advanced by 6 percent to $17.9 billion and the company also recorded a JPY34.3 billion operating profit rise year-on-year, to 69.8 billion yen ($691 million), which it attributed to stronger earnings in the Games & Network Services division. Deadline Hollywood With films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and 22 Jump Street leading a recovery in its entertainment division, Sony posted a surprise profit and beat analyst expectations, but Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai maintained a previous full-year forecast for a net loss of JPY50 billion and an operating profit of JPY140 billion.

Time Warner Cable Reports Best Second-Quarter Sub Trends in Years (THR)
Time Warner Cable on Thursday said it lost 152,000 residential pay TV subscribers in the second quarter, down from a loss of 191,000 in the year-ago period. It said that was its best second-quarter overall subscriber performance in years. WSJ Charter Communications’ second-quarter loss narrowed as revenue rose and the company continued to benefit from growth in its online customer base. The bottom line fell short of analysts’ expectations. THR DirecTV on Thursday reported improved second-quarter earnings amid continued subscriber gains in Latin America, helped in part by the World Cup and lower U.S. subscriber losses. The satellite TV giant, led by CEO Mike White, lost 34,000 U.S. TV customers in the period, compared with a loss of 84,000 in the year-ago quarter and a loss of 52,000 in the second quarter of 2012. TVSpy Meredith reported $111 million in Local Media Group revenues for the second calendar quarter (fiscal fourth quarter) of 2014, an increase of 20 percent compared to the year-ago quarter.