Morning Media Newsfeed: Sawyer Steps Down | Broadcasters Beat Aereo

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Diane Sawyer Leaving ABC World News, David Muir Takes Over as Anchor And Managing Editor (TVNewser)
ABC’s Diane Sawyer is stepping down from anchoring World News and will focus on primetime specials, big interviews, and enterprise reporting for the network. David Muir, who has been sole anchor of the World News weekend editions since 2011, will take over as anchor and managing editor of the flagship broadcast on Sept. 2. FishbowlDC In his new role, Muir will no longer anchor World News on Saturdays and Sundays but will remain co-anchor of 20/20 with Elizabeth Vargas. In addition to the new roles for Sawyer and Muir, George Stephanopoulos, anchor of Good Morning America and This Week, has been promoted to chief anchor of ABC News. TVNewser Sawyer has been anchor since 2009. She came in following the retirement of Charles Gibson who, in 2006, succeeded the anchor team of Bob Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas. Capital New York Late last year there were reports that Sawyer did not want Stephanopoulos to replace her as World News anchor, even though he was believed to have a clause in his contract assuring him the role should she step down. Stephanopoulos signed a new deal with ABC News earlier this year. Muir has long been rumored to be the favorite inside ABC to follow Sawyer. Deadline Hollywood World News won the May sweep in adults 25-54, the evening broadcast’s first sweeps victory in more than six years. Season to date, World News is up versus the same point last year in both total viewers and adults 25-54, delivering its most-watched season in five years and best news demo number in three years.

Supreme Court Sides With Broadcasters in Aereo Case (TVSpy)
The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the broadcasters in ABC vs. Aereo. LostRemote The Barry Diller-funded streaming television service launched in 2012, with broadcast networks filing lawsuits before it even launched. At launch, the service gave users access to broadcast TV via iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Roku for $12/month. Re/code In the ruling, the court ruled that Aereo is essentially a cable TV company, which needs to pay copyright owners if it wants to transmit their shows to subscribers, instead of an antenna rental company, as Aereo has argued. Key line: “We conclude that Aereo is not just an equipment supplier.” TVNewser The High Court heard oral arguments in the case in April. At the time, justices seemed conflicted over the broader implications the ruling could have over the cloud computing industry. As for what’s next for Aereo: both Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia and Diller have said that the streaming service would be shut down in the event of a Supreme Court loss.

Barnes & Noble to Spin Off Nook Unit as Sales Continue to Fall (NYT / DealBook)
When it introduced the Nook e-reader in the fall of 2009, Barnes & Noble celebrated it as its answer to Amazon.com and its popular Kindle device. More than four years later, the struggling retailer plans to shed the business once considered its best hope of surviving the digital age. WSJ The split, expected to occur by March, will make Nook Media a separate public company housing both Barnes & Noble’s Nook eBook and e-reader business as well as its college stores. Among Nook Media’s big shareholders will be Microsoft and Pearson, both of which have invested in the Nook Media division but don’t have a stake in the broader company. Mashable The announcement came as part of the company’s fourth quarter and year-end earnings results. Barnes & Noble reported that Nook revenues for the quarter declined by 22 percent compared to a year earlier and Nook revenues for the 2014 fiscal year were down 35 percent. GigaOM Barnes & Noble shares were up around 9 percent Wednesday morning. Barnes & Noble has wanted to offload Nook Media for awhile but couldn’t find a buyer. It first floated the idea of splitting Nook off as a completely separate company in 2012.