Morning Media Newsfeed: Time Warner Plays Defense | Netflix Hits 50 Million Subscribers

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Time Warner Cancels Shareholders’ Ability to Call Special Board Meeting, Guards Against Fox Acquisition (NYT / DealBook)
Time Warner is playing defense. On Monday, the company amended its corporate bylaws and removed a provision that allowed shareholders to call a special board meeting. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Time Warner said the change was effective immediately. Variety The media company’s board approved a measure to temporarily prevent a fraction of shareholders, some 15 percent, from forcing a vote on 21st Century Fox’s $85 per-share offer, according to public filings. The so-called special meeting provision may be re-instated at the company’s 2015 shareholders meeting. Deadline Hollywood The fear was that Rupert Murdoch — or anyone — could have tried to stampede short-term investors into accepting a deal even if the board concluded that it would not serve their long-term interests. Time Warner shares were down 1.6 percent in post-market trading following disclosure of the change. THR Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has bid about $80 billion to acquire Time Warner, but Time Warner’s board and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes have rejected the proposal. Some analysts predict that 21st Century Fox will eventually offer $100 a share for Time Warner. The conglomerate’s stock has climbed 23 percent in the past week on such speculation, and Monday it closed at $87.36. TVNewser People familiar with the original $80 billion proposal that was rejected said if 21st Century Fox took over Time Warner, it would sell CNN to prevent antitrust issues stemming from Fox News and CNN’s direct competitor relationship.

Netflix Hits Q2 Numbers, 50 Million Subscriber Mark (Re/code)
Netflix has a very, very lofty valuation — CEO Reed Hastings himself has suggested that it’s too high — so it can’t stumble when it comes to earnings. But the streaming video company appears to have done just fine Monday: It reported Q2 profits of $1.15 per share and revenue of $1.34 billion. Variety More importantly, Netflix added a total of 1.69 million net streaming subscribers in the second quarter of 2014, packing on 16 percent more customers for its video-streaming subscription service than expected to stand at 50 million worldwide. Deadline Hollywood The company says it had 36.24 million domestic streaming customers at the end of the quarter, up 570,000 from March, which it attributes to “our ever-improving content offering, including Orange Is The New Black Season 2.” Netflix expects an additional 1.33 million in Q3. On the international side, streaming customers increased by 1.12 million over the three-month period to 13.8 million. But the company lost 342,000 DVD-by-mail customers, ending the quarter with 6.17 million. GigaOM Netflix will introduce in-store gift cards in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Germany later this fall. This should help the company reach consumers without access to credit cards.

The New Yorker Launches Revamped Website (FishbowlNY)
The New Yorker’s website has a brand new look. The revamped newyorker.com has a good amount of white space — which makes reading easier — and highlights one featured article on the homepage and each subsection. GalleyCat The magazine is publishing its entire print magazine online for free through the end of the summer. The free giveaway is part of the magazine’s digital redesign. HuffPost The newspaper is taking a page from The New York Times, which also uses a paywall and offers limited access to non-subscribers. With the new system, New Yorker subscribers can access all content online while non-subscribers can only see a limited amount. The magazine also said that it would be amping up its archives, putting every story its published since 2007 on the website this week with a fresh format. Capital New York The current relaunch has been in the works for about a year, online editor Nicholas Thompson said, and it’s been in intensive development since the magazine brought on Michael Donohoe as director of product engineering in January. Donohoe, who was hired from Atlantic Media’s Quartz, has been working full-time on the new site for the past seven months, Thompson said.