Morning Media Newsfeed: Sony Probes North Korea Link to Hack | Ex-CBC Host Charged

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Sony Pictures Investigates North Korea Link in Hack (Re/code)
Sony Pictures Entertainment is exploring the possibility that hackers working on behalf of North Korea, perhaps operating out of China, may be behind a devastating attack that brought the studio’s network to a screeching halt last week, sources familiar with the matter said. Mashable The thinking is that the hack may be in response to Sony’s upcoming film, The Interview, which is premised on a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The comedy, which is set to be released on Christmas Day, stars Seth Rogen and James Franco who play entertainment journalists recruited by the CIA to kill Kim after it comes out the two men are planning an interview with the North Korean leader. THR North Korea has been vociferous in its complaints about the film and even called the movie an “act of war” in a letter to the United Nations. This isn’t the first time North Korea has also threatened retaliation for something that it didn’t like or felt was insulting. In July, a Chinese viral video led to Pyongyang demanding the video be taken down and action taken against the makers. And in September, North Korea slammed the makers of the documentary Opposite Number and called on the U.K. to punish those behind that project. NYT One person with knowledge of the situation said a Hollywood executive from a company other than Sony had contacted Homeland Security to suggest that the attack might be related to a piracy investigation involving a movie that was not even made by Sony. But the department was not mobilized as a result of the query. The attack apparently did not use sophisticated techniques that might be expected from a hostile government. Rather, it employed a common form of so-called ransomware, according to a security researcher with knowledge of the breach, who did not have permission to speak publicly about the findings. Variety At least five new movies from Sony Pictures are being devoured on copyright-infringing file-sharing hubs online in the wake of the hack attack. Copies of DVD screeners of four unreleased Sony movies including the upcoming Annie are getting some unwelcome early exposure, but nothing compared with the frenzy enveloping Fury, the war pic still in theaters that bowed in October.

Ex-CBC Host Jian Ghomeshi Charged With Sexual Assault (CBC News)
Former CBC Radio host Jian Ghomeshi was released on $100,000 bail Wednesday following a court appearance in Toronto to face five criminal charges. He is accused of sexual assault and choking. He pled not guilty. Toronto Star Presiding justice Rebecca Rutherford ordered Ghomeshi to remain in Ontario upon his release on bail, and to surrender his passport. He was also ordered to live with his mother and not contact any of his accusers. Ghomeshi, who hosted the popular radio show Q since 2007, was fired by the CBC on Oct. 26. Mediaite The charges come a day after the host dropped a $55 million wrongful termination lawsuit against his former employer, reaching a settlement agreement with the CBC in which he agreed to pay their $18,000 legal fees. HuffPost Allegations about Ghomeshi’s sexual misconduct first began to surface in October after three women came forward saying they had been sexually assaulted by the radio host. Ghomeshi has previously denied the allegations, stating that sexual activity with the women had been consensual.

TV Ratings: Football, Fanfare Drive NBC’s Thanksgiving (THR / The Live Feed)
Most of Thanksgiving’s marquee TV events were in line with last year’s in the Thursday ratings race, and NBC reaped some of the biggest benefits. After a morning that saw a particularly strong Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade — down just a shade from 2013’s records, it averaged a 6.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 22.6 million viewers — NBC led primetime with the NFL. Deadline The 2013 Parade pulled in 25.2 million viewers, the best the event has done in fast official ratings since 1987. The previous high viewership-wise was 2001’s 23.1 million. In fast officials this year’s parade got a 6.2 rating among adults 18-49, which was down 6 percent from 2013’s 6.6 results. Deadline In its third primetime Thanksgiving game, NBC got a 5.8/20 rating among adults 18-49 with 17.73 million viewers. With just a slight 3 percent decline, that’s pretty steady with the fast nationals of last year’s primetime NFL Thanksgiving Day match-up that got a 6.0/19 and 18.61 million. THR / The Live Feed On Wednesday, ABC’s annual airing of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving pulled a 2.1 rating with adults 18-49 as well. That’s up 31 percent from last year’s Thanksgiving day telecast.