Morning Media Newsfeed: Sky Deutschland Slows Takeover | Vidra Named CEO of TNR

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Sky Deutschland: BSkyB Takeover Offer Too Low (THR)
BSkyB’s plans to build a European pay-TV empire hit some opposition on Wednesday. The supervisory and executive boards of 21st Century Fox-controlled German pay TV operator Sky Deutschland advised minority investors not to accept a multi-billion dollar takeover offer from BSkyB. NYT / DealBook The move comes after BSkyB, which is 39 percent owned by 21st Century Fox, agreed in July to acquire the 57 percent of Sky Deutschland that is owned by 21st Century Fox, for £2.9 billion, or $4.7 billion. As part of the deal, BSkyB, one of Europe’s largest pay-television providers, also offered to buy the shares of Sky Deutschland’s minority shareholders for €6.75, or $8.75, each, a small premium on the company’s current share price. Reuters But with only a small premium on the table, analysts have doubted that many will sell. Sky Deutschland would thus retain its stock market listing and BSkyB has not indicated any desire to squeeze out minority shareholders above and beyond the offer which it has set out. Management of the German company, advised by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on Wednesday argued the offer fell short of its true value. WSJ On issuing its recommendation to minority holders on Wednesday, Sky Deutschland said its chief executive Brian Sullivan, the only executive board member holding shares, wouldn’t participate in the offer, which runs until Oct. 15. Two supervisory board members holding shares also don’t intend to accept the offer, the company said in a statement. Financial Times BSkyB has argued that it can implement its vision for Sky Europe, regardless of how many minorities tender their shares. Buying all minorities’ shares — 43 percent of the company — would cost the U.K. operator £2.1 billion, further increasing its leverage. The company raised £3.25 billion this month to help finance the acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. BSkyB said it welcomed Sky Deutschland’s “supportive comments on the strategic rationale for the transaction.” BSkyB shareholders are due to vote on the European deal on Oct. 6.

Guy Vidra Named CEO of The New Republic (FishbowlDC)
The New Republic Wednesday named Guy Vidra its first CEO. Vidra comes from Yahoo! News, where he served as general manager and prior to that was head of business development at The Washington Post. FishbowlNY “One thing I’ve learned over the past two years is that to preserve and strengthen great institutions, you have to change them,” said Chris Hughes, TNR’s owner, in a statement. “Guy is a highly respected innovator with deep experience who will build on our recent progress in redefining The New Republic for a new time.” Capital New York In the same announcement, TNR announced that Hughes will no longer serve as editor-in-chief of the policy- and culture-focused magazine, a position he has held since acquiring it in 2012. He will keep his title as publisher, and will also become executive chairman. The magazine did not announce the reason for Hughes’ decision to step down. Before buying The New Republic, Hughes co-founded Facebook and led President Obama’s digital campaign efforts. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Franklin Foer will continue to oversee editorial content and strategy in his role as editor. Hughes also announced the establishment of The New Republic Fund, “created to back early-stage technology companies predominantly in the digital media, analytics and video spaces.”

America’s Trust in Mass Media Declining Again (TVNewser)
After a small uptick in recent years, America’s trust in media is declining again, according to a new Gallup poll. Out of the more than 1,000 people surveyed, 40 percent trust the mass media, a 4 percentage point drop from last year. Gallup Americans’ trust in the media in recent years has dropped slightly in election years, including 2008, 2010, 2012 and again this year — only to edge its way back up again in the following odd-numbered years. Although the differences between the drops and the recoveries are not large, they suggest that something about national elections triggers skepticism about the accuracy of the news media’s reporting. HuffPost It’s 4 percent less than last year and right back to where we were in 2012 when the U.S. distrust in the media hit a record high. Americans are once again showing the least amount of trust in mass media since Gallup began tracking this data in the 1990s. Poynter / MediaWire Fifty-four percent of Democrats have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the news media, according to the poll. That’s a 14-year low. Republicans’ trust in the media fell from last year and independents’ trust inched up one percentage point. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Per the survey, there has been a sharp uptick in the number of Americans who believe the media are too conservative. “Nearly one in five Americans (19 percent) say the media are too conservative, which is still relatively low, but the highest such percentage since 2006,” the report states. “This is up six points from 2013 — the sharpest increase in the percentage of Americans who feel the news skews too far right since Gallup began asking the question in 2001.”

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After NFL And Sons of Anarchy, Megyn Kelly Has Most-Watched Show of Week (TVNewser)
Fox News’s Megyn Kelly had one of the most-watched shows on cable last week. Wednesday’s 9 p.m. ET hour, which included Pres. Obama’s remarks on ISIS and the Kelly File’s analysis of the remarks, was the fourth most-watched program on cable. FishbowlDC Kelly’s 9 p.m. broadcast on Wednesday, Sept. 10 garnered 4.6 million total viewers and 1 million in the adult 25-54 demo. In addition, last week in all of cable for total viewers, Fox News was No. 2 in primetime and No. 3 in total day. Mediaite The only cable programs that got more viewers than Megyn Kelly’s show were two ESPN NFL games and the season premiere of FX’s Sons of Anarchy.

Nike Suspends Contract With Adrian Peterson (AgencySpy)
Nike has suspended its contract with Adrian Peterson. Adweek Peterson was re-suspended by the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday morning stemming from allegations of abusing his 4-year-old son. “Nike in no way condones child abuse or domestic violence of any kind and has shared our concerns with the NFL,” according to a statement from the Portland, Ore.-based shoe brand. “We have suspended our contract with Adrian Peterson.” ESPN Last week, Nike said it was concerned about the child abuse allegations surrounding Peterson and was monitoring the situation. The company pulled some of Peterson’s Vikings jerseys out of some of its stores in Minneapolis on Tuesday. Nike’s new stance means that the company will not be paying Peterson under the terms of his endorsement contract. It has been an unprecedented week for the world’s largest sports shoe and apparel company, having terminated the contracts of both Ray Rice and Oscar Pistorius. The Radisson hotel chain, the first sponsor to back away from its involvement with the Vikings and the NFL, emphasized that it would continue to suspend sponsorship of the team, despite Wednesday’s announcement that Peterson has been placed on the NFL’s commissioner exempt list.

Sony Forecasts Wider Full-Year Loss of $2.15 Billion (THR)
Sony Corp. predicted a $2.15 billion (¥230 billion) full-year loss Wednesday, which is a wider loss than previously forecast, due to a write-down on the value of its mobile communications business. Sony also announced that it would cancel its interim and full-year dividends for the current fiscal year, which ends in March. This marks the first time since the company went public in 1958 that it will not make a dividend payment to shareholders. NYT In a news release, Sony said it would focus more on its phones on the higher end and cut the number of phones in its midrange lineup. It also said it would change the strategy for the division. Kazuo Hirai, Sony’s president and chief executive, said at a news conference Wednesday that the company would cut the division’s work force by 15 percent, or about 1,000 workers. Variety Investors did not take the news well, sending share prices plunging in pre-market trading by 10 percent. As of 11:15 a.m., the company’s stock had climbed back slightly. It was down 6.22 percent to $18.99, having closed the previous day at $20.25.

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Spin Loses Another Editor-in-Chief (Poynter / MediaWire)
Craig Marks is no longer EIC of Spin. He was the publication’s fourth editor in two years. Stephen Blackwell, SpinMedia’s fourth CEO in the same amount of time, said Monday that he had “high hopes” for the publication, and that it would add more editing talent soon. FishbowlNY Marks had previously worked for Spin from 1991 to 1996. When Marks came back to Spin, he said “I’m thrilled to lead a music brand whose best days, I’m certain, still lie ahead.” Things have clearly changed since then, but Marks didn’t seem bitter. “It was a mutual and amicable decision that I would leave,” he said. “With the new CEO and the new regime it felt like the right time to part ways.”

Discovery to Take Control of Hub Children’s Network (WSJ)
Discovery Communications and toy giant Hasbro are ending their equal partnership in the Hub, a cable network that hoped to become a force in children’s television but made little headway against more-established competitors such as Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. Deadline Hollywood Discovery would acquire some of Hasbro’s share in the struggling joint venture — but still leave the toymaker with a sizable stake — and then likely rename it Discovery Family. It would target parents as well as kids, and still enable Hasbro to program the channel from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Scottish Independence Referendum: News Organizations Step Up Security (The Guardian)
As security is stepped up by the BBC and the Scotsman in the run-up to Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum, it has emerged that a journalist has reported a serious threat that was made to his family to the police. Amid reports of abuse and intimidation towards reporters in the final days of the campaign, some media organizations have asked staff to be vigilant and briefed them about additional security. Poynter / MediaWire Both people in favor of Scotland becoming independent and of it staying part of the U.K. have allegedly made threats to journalists.

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Sunday’s 60 Minutes Now Available Monday, on Your Mobile Device (TVNewser)
60 Minutes begins its 47th season Sunday night. And for the first time, you’ll be able to see Sunday’s stories on your mobile device the following week, without having to purchase the $4.99 app. Last season, 60 Minutes averaged 12.2 million viewers each Sunday, finishing most weeks in the top 10.

Katie Couric Working on Second Documentary (TVNewser)
Katie Couric and her producing partner Stephanie Soechtig are teaming up for their second documentary. Following Fed Up, Couric and Soechtig, a former producer at The O’Reilly Factor, will look at gun-control laws and their impact on society.

Vice News Launches iOS App (Capital New York)
Vice Media’s six month-old news Vice News division has launched an app for Apple’s iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad, the company announced Wednesday. The app contains mobile-optimized versions of all of the stories available on and also allows users to save stories for offline reading. The app was specifically designed for iOS 8 — the latest version of Apple’s operating system for the iPhone and iPad — which was released Wednesday.

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Ed Rollins, Norah O’Donnell And New England’s Next Late Night Star (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
The mood was downright festive at Michael’s Wednesday as the usual suspects celebrated various milestones between bites of their Cobb salads. On table one, politico Ed Rollins and his wife, Shari Rollins, toasted Ed’s good health and the close-knit circle of good friend who stuck by the couple’s side during Ed’s heath issues last year.

CBS Shifts Ratings Focus to Live Plus 7, Adding Projections to Daily Reports (Variety)
CBS aims to accelerate the industry’s shift to Live Plus 7 as the standard metric for evaluating the performance of primetime series. The Eye said Wednesday it will add projected Live Plus 7 numbers to its daily overnight ratings reports as of next week, which marks the official start of the 2014-15 season and the rollout of the bulk of CBS’ fall slate. Live Plus 7 ratings reflect viewing done via DVR and VOD within seven days of a telecast’s linear premiere.

Huffington Post to Launch in Greece (WSJ)
The Huffington Post will launch a Greek edition based in Athens this year in the latest step of a global expansion strategy that the company says has resulted in nearly 50 percent of the site’s traffic now coming from outside the U.S. The Greek version of the site will go live on Nov. 20 and is one of three new international editions — including HuffPost India and HuffPost Arabic — slated to launch by January 2015.

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