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.”