Morning Media Newsfeed: TWC Drops CBS Briefly | Zealot to No. 1 on Amazon | Reuters’ Twitter Hacked

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Time Warner Temporarily Removes CBS in Major Cities (NYT)
CBS stations were temporarily removed from cable systems in millions of homes in major cities — including New York and Los Angeles — about midnight on Monday, after protracted negotiations between CBS and Time Warner Cable over fees collapsed. In statements, each side blamed the other. The Consumerist In a bizarre coda to a story full of misinformation and bad math from both sides, the TWC blackout only lasted about 30 minutes, with the cable company explaining, “At the request of CBS, we have halted going dark on their channels.” Good to know that these titans of industry care enough to be this fickle with deadlines and consumers’ viewing options. TVNewser “We are now at war with Time Warner Cable,” CBS CEO Les Moonves said to the LA Times’ Joe Flint. “The outrageous demands for fees by CBS Corporation have forced Time Warner Cable to remove several of its networks,” TWC said in a statement. LA Times / Company Town Although squabbles between programmers and distributors are fairly common, seldom does it reach a point that a signal gets taken off the air, especially in big markets such as Los Angeles and New York. Deadline New York Time Warner Cable now says it has agreed to yet another extension with CBS “while we continue negotiations.” This moves the deadline to Friday, Aug. 2 at 5 p.m. ET.

Reza Aslan Hits No. 1 After Fox News Interview (GalleyCat)
Following a surreal interview with Fox News religion correspondent Lauren Green, religious scholar and author Reza Aslan hit the No. 1 spot on Amazon with Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. NYT The nearly 10-minute video clip quickly entered the Internet bloodstream on Saturday after it was posted on BuzzFeed with the irresistibly clickable headline, “Is This The Most Embarrassing Interview Fox News Has Ever Done?” Since then, the BuzzFeed page featuring the video has been viewed nearly four million times. New Republic It is not surprising that BuzzFeed would leverage this best. As I reported in a New Republic story about the site a year ago, its presence on social media, its clean layout, and its editorial philosophy of shearing most context from tidbits of news and giving readers just the thing itself — all make the site immaculately positioned to capitalize on the new news economy, in which readers increasingly find things like this video not by subscribing to or regularly visiting specific blogs or websites, but by happening upon independent articles shared via social media like Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple Even as Aslan benefits from all the publicity stemming from this embarrassing interview, the whole disaster amounts to grist for a Fox News apology. Book authors, like everyone else, deserve tough questions about their work. These, however, weren’t tough questions. They were dumb, loaded, prejudicial ones.

Thomson Reuters Twitter Account Is Hacked (WSJ / Digits)
The main Twitter account of news outlet Thomson Reuters was taken over Monday, apparently by the Syrian Electronic Army group that has hacked other news organizations. “Earlier today @thomsonreuters was hacked,” a spokesman for the news organization said in an email late Monday. “In this time, unauthorized individuals have posted fabricated tweets of which Thomson Reuters is not the source. The account has been suspended and is currently under investigation.” AllThingsD The attackers managed to tweet links to at least seven images, mostly pro-Assad political cartoons. The latest attack may indicate a new operational phase by the group, which supports the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s 28-month-old civil war.

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Reporter Fired for Posting Candid ‘Confessions’ on Her Personal Blog (Gawker)
Investigative reporter Shea Allen of the Huntsville, Ala.-based ABC affiliate WAAY-TV got a bit too free with her speech for her employer’s comfort late last week when she posted a series of candid “confessions” to her private blog. Shortly after publishing the post, Allen was pressured by her employer to remove it, and she did. TVSpy She initially took the post down but later re-posted it and wrote, “This post was taken down because I was momentarily misguided about who I am and what I stand for.” Allen told Andrew Kirell of Mediaite via Twitter she had been “terminated without cause” for the post.

Rush Limbaugh: Don’t Worry About Cumulus (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Rush Limbaugh has responded to Politico‘s report about negotiations with Cumulus Media by telling listeners not to worry and hinting that a move away from the broadcaster could mean wider reach for his program on Clear Channel and other syndicators. “You are gonna be able to get this radio program on as many, if not more, radio stations down the road than it’s on now, and what you’re being treated to is just a public business negotiation,” Limbaugh said on Monday’s program.

Baton Rouge’s The Advocate Offers Buyouts to Veteran Staffers (Poynter / MediaWire)
The Advocate of Baton Rouge (and increasingly New Orleans), La., wants to reduce its number of full-time employees by 5 percent, Timothy Boone reports. Half the reductions — about 19 altogether — will be taken from the news departments, Boone writes. “If not enough employees take the plan, then there would be involuntary layoffs in some departments,” Boone reports.

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Hollywood Studios Haven’t Been Paid by China in Months (THR)
Since late 2012, Hollywood studios haven’t seen a dime returned from a slew of movies generating big grosses at the Chinese box office, including blockbusters Skyfall, Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness. Numerous sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the China Film Group stopped payments pending resolution of a fight over a new 2 percent value-added tax. The China Film Group wants the studios to pay the tax but the studios say that the additional payment would violate a landmark World Trade Organization agreement reached last year between U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Wadah Khanfar, Ex-Al Jazeera Chief, Warns Al Jazeera America Won’t Succeed if It Parrots US Cable News (HuffPost / The Backstory)
Wadah Khanfar, the former director general of Al Jazeera, said Monday that he believes Al Jazeera America can fill space in the U.S. cable market with next month’s launch. In an interview with HuffPostLive’s Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Khanfar said he believes Al Jazeera America can achieve this if it “follows the standards of integrity of reporting, if Al Jazeera could give voice to the voiceless, if Al Jazeera could concentrate on the margin rather than the center, if it could provide new insight into the diversity of the world, which I do believe the American media is in need for.”

Nate Silver Explains Why He Sold 538 Brand to ESPN (Mediaite)
During an online chat with readers at deadspin.com Monday, Nate Silver revealed why he chose to sell his 538 brand, along with the URL fivethirtyeight.com, to ESPN, rather than just set up a licensing deal like he did with The New York Times. Silver said ESPN was “firm” about acquiring the brand and URL and he was willing to oblige given the resources they promised to put behind it.

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CNN to Produce Hillary Clinton Film (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
CNN Films has tapped documentary filmmaker Charles H. Ferguson to direct a feature-length documentary about Hillary Clinton, Politico has learned. “CNN is very pleased to be working with Academy Award-winner Charles Ferguson on the film, which will be released in theaters and air on CNN,” Allison Gollust, the network’s senior vice president of communications, told Politico on Monday. TVNewser The news comes just after NBC announced that it was producing a miniseries about Clinton.

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