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Another member of the Fox News team is headed to the Trump administration.
Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host of Fox News' “The Five” — who has also been romantically connected to Donald Trump Jr., is leaving the cable news channel to work on advocacy efforts for President Daonld Trump, according to several outlets.
Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman reports that Guilfoyle became a source of friction at the network, in part, because of her relationship with Donald Trump Jr.
"FOX News has parted ways with Kimberly Guilfoyle,” the network said in a statement.
Former Fox News co-president Bill Shine is currently deputy chief of staff for communications for the Trump administration.
Washington Post contributor Irin Carmon had a message for everyone assembled at the Mirror Awards for journalism in June: there's a systemic problem.
Her speech, embedded below, provides important context to a report from The Daily Beast published Thursday that several high-profile people hired a law firm to kill or soften stories about alleged sexual harassment — including the Post's story on Charlie Rose's conduct at CBS and the company's slow response.
Carmon and Washington Post reporter Amy Brittain won the award for Best Story on Sexual Misconduct in the Media Industry for their piece on Rose.
"The stories that we have been doing are about a system," Carmon said. "The system has lawyers and a good reputation.”
The Daily Beast story notes that authors Brittain and Carmon were not happy about those efforts.
“Indeed, the system is sitting in this room,” Carmon said at the event. “The system is still powerful men getting stories killed that I believe will one day see the light of day.”
The Daily Beast story also noted that the law firm was hired by Matt Lauer, the former "Today" host who was fired by NBC News for inappropriate sexual behavior.
Carmon, who was previously a national reporter for MSNBC and NBC News, recently joined New York Magazine as a senior correspondent to cover a variety of women’s issues, the Supreme Court and media. The Daily Beast notes that former CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager, currently executive producer of “60 Minutes,” was also at the Mirror Awards event.
The former president of Paramount Television is considering a lawsuit against the company, according to a source close to the executive.
Amy Powell, who has been president of Paramount's TV arm since 2013, was fired by the company on Thursday evening after the studio decided she had made comments in a meeting that were not consistent with Viacom’s values, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Now, Powell is considering legal action, according to the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Powell had made comments during a conference call about black women being angry and about black children being raised by a single parent.
Powell isn’t going quietly.
“There is no truth to the allegation that I made insensitive comments in a professional setting — or in any setting," Powell’s personal publicist, Allan Meyer, said in a statement. "The facts will come out and I will be vindicated."
The Department of Justice could slow down the completion of the AT&T-Time Warner merger for at least another three months and possibly longer.
Deadline writes that the Justice Department requested "swift" action in a filing Thursday so that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals can hear its argument that the merger should be blocked. AT&T’s merger was given the green light by a federal judge, but the Justice Department is protesting that decision, arguing that the merger hurts consumers and competitors.
“AT&T and Time Warner have now closed their merger, but every day that they are allowed to combine aspects of their businesses more deeply will make it more difficult for this Court and the district court on remand to unwind the merger and preserve competition," the Justice brief reads.
AT&T’s merger was first agreed in October 2016. Final briefs are due to court by Oct. 18. For now, AT&T has agreed that it will hold off on integrating its Turner unit, which sells the advertising AT&T hopes to revolutionize, until the appeal process has played out.
Separately, CNN Worldwide’s chief Jeff Zucker is taking medical leave for six weeks to take care of a heart condition, according to a tweet from CNN anchor Brian Stelter.
Goodbye Jonathan Friedland; hello Lisa Taback.
Netflix just hired well-known Oscar campaign strategist Taback who was a long time collaborator with disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein’s Weinstein Co.
Taback and members of her team will join Netflix, according to a press release on Wednesday. Her appointment appears to point to Netflix's increasing desire to be successful on the TV and film awards circuit and solidify its reputation as the best place to work in Hollywood.
Taback worked on a host of campaigns for movies such as “Pulp Fiction” and “Shakespeare in Love” before the two went their separate ways after some friction, documented here.
Netflix’s former PR boss left the company after being called out by CEO Reed Hastings for using a racial slur. Taback isn’t directly taking his post, rather she will run publicity for awards campaigns.
Those annoying yellow banner ads on The Guardian's website suggesting readers dig deep for journalism have worked.
The Guardian Media Group said that it has raised about $130 million in reader revenue, according to a spokesman for the company, helping put the paper on a better financial path.
The Guardian's online coverage of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal along with its journalism about America's heartland have helped convince readers to reach into their pockets to support the paper. The reader revenue figure includes subscriptions, newspaper sales and voluntary donations.
As paywalls have proliferated across the internet, The Guardian continues to give its stories away for free and is still losing money doing it — but is losing much less.
Back in 2016, the newspaper was in a rocky financial situation, closing offices and cutting staff. Last year, the company reduced its losses by two-thirds and is hoping to break even in its fiscal year 2018, which ends in April next year, according to Guardian Media Group chief executive David Pemsel. He set forth the company’s future vision at a soiree held at the home of Richard and Claudia Edelman on Tuesday evening.
The Guardian’s operating losses were $75 million in 2015-16. Now, their losses are $25 million, according to the company. Revenue is up one percent on the prior year to $282 million, according to spokesman Brendan O'Grady.
Pemsel said he was urged to erect a paywall but demurred, noting that the number of supporters (people who pay for a membership or one-off articles) had risen from 10,000 to 900,000 in the latest full year.
"When I started this role, the advice to me and our editor-in-chief Katharine Viner was simple - cut costs and put up a pay wall," Pemsel said. "We wanted to explore a different model, recognizing the huge reach and impact the Guardian has achieved., but also finding a way of asking readers to give us greater financial support."
Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav is getting a pay raise and a new contract that will see him remain at the helm of the company through 2023.
Zaslav, who joined as president and CEO in 2007, will see his target bonus increase next year to $22 million (up from $9 million), though there is no guaranteed bonus amount, according to a company filing. His base salary of $3 million remains unchanged. Zaslav also has stock grants.
Zaslav has executed a host of major deals in recent years including acquiring Scripps Networks Interactive, which included cable channels HGTV and Food Network, and this summer negotiated a global rights deal for the PGA Tour, which will involve a new streaming service. The company is already a major shareholder in streaming platform BAMTech Europe, which helps support Discovery’s Eurosport channels.
If you believe there is a tech bubble waiting to burst, then you might be paying close attention to Netflix today. Wall Street is not in a good mood after the company added fewer subscribers than expected — the first time that's happened in five quarters.
The streaming giant, which picked up more Emmy nominations than HBO, is one of the market’s best performers. The stock story, largely reliant on collecting more subscribers, fell apart yesterday after it missed a growth forecast.
And as Mediapost’s Alex Weprin pointed out, the company doubled its marketing spend to $1 billion in the first six months.
Eric Schiffer, CEO of private equity firm Patriach, told Reuters: “Investors are devastated by Netflix’s Q2 projection that went down in dramatic flames. Now future projections are suspect and that decimates valuation.”
Rob Arnott, head of fund advisory firm Research Affiliates, told Bloomberg TV that Wall Street may have focused more on the allure rather than the fundamentals of the Netflix story. “They qualify as a bubble," he said.
CNBC noted on Tuesday that analysts are predicting that so-called FANG stocks (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google parent Alphabet) will appreciate just 5.4 percent in the next 12 months, while Netflix will add just 2 percent. Here’s the report. The average return was 64.5 percent this past six months.
The smartphone continues to grow as a force in news consumption.
A new report from the Pew Research Center found that almost six-in-ten Americans now often read the news on their smartphones — almost triple the amount that did in 2013.
That growth is particularly impressive in comparison to newsreading on desktop and laptop computers, which is just about flat.
Pew found that young people more often get news on their mobile devices, but that the growth has been fueled by an uptick in consumption from older people and people with lower incomes.
The charts below highlight the growth in mobile news readership as well as some of the splits between people who read news on mobile vs. desktop.
You know it's bad when both the U.S. and Russian media are declaring Vladimir Putin the winner.
Media from both countries generally gave the Russian president the win over U.S. President Donald Trump after the two met in Helsinki.
One of the biggest news outlets in Russia, Izvestia, headlined its story on the Helsinki summit: “Trump immediately capitulates: Why the world’s press gave victory to Putin." The website added that Trump had “fallen into a trap set by the Russian President Vladimir Putin,” according to Google Translate.
Tabloid newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic went in for the kill on Tuesday. In the U.K., the left-leaning Daily Mirror declared Trump, “Putin’s Poodle: Trump branded a traitor.”
The Daily News cover screamed “Open Treason,” and noted in its coverage that Trump calls stories he disagrees with “fake news” but appeared to buy Putin’s denials about Russia’s interference in the U.S. election without question.
The cover carries a political cartoon showing Trump holding hands with Putin on Fifth Avenue and aiming a gun at Uncle Sam, an allusion to Trump’s comment that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it.
The more right-leaning New York Post also criticized Trump with its headline — "See No Evil" — describing the summit as a bear hug to “wicked BFF Vlad.” Fox News, generally supportive of Trump, hosted a variety of voices that criticized the president.
One Finnish newspaper simply noted the score: Trump 0, Putin 1. CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted the front page.
The Russians would no doubt agree, though RT, a Russian TV channel that had to register as a foreign agent in the US and has been banned from selling ads on Twitter, offered a softer take. An op-ed by Irish journalist Bryan MacDonald published on the RT website declared the Helsinki summit something of a storm in a tea-cup.
“US outlets and pundits would have you believe Trump handed over the family silver to Moscow. Which is nonsense,” he wrote.
“In reality, hardly anything changed. Trump didn't recognize Crimea, threaten to walk away from NATO or withdraw from Syria.”
Neil Cavuto on Fox Business called it “disgusting." Fox News' website ran an opinion piece with the headline, “Putin eats Trump’s lunch in shocking Helsinki summit.” Fox News anchor Bret Baier called it "almost surreal at points."
President Donald Trump's appearance alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday drew broad criticism from Republicans and Democrats. But even some of the notable faces of Fox's cable channels, which have generally reported favorably on the president throughout his first term, struggled to defend his actions on Monday.
Abby Huntsman, a Fox News anchor and co-host of “Fox & Friends Weekend” (and daughter of Jon Huntsman, the U.S. ambassador to Russia) tweeted: “No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus.”
CORRECTION (July 16, 2018, 6:00 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of a Fox News anchor. He is Bret Baier, not Brett.
Sinclair’s attempt to create a local TV powerhouse just hit a roadblock.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Monday that he has “serious concerns” about Sinclair's plan to merge with Tribune Media and will have the FCC vote on sending the deal to an administrative judge.
Pai focused on Sinclair’s plan to spin-off a handful of stations to parties that he said could remain under Sinclair’s control.
“The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law," Pai said in a statement.
The former CEO of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter resigned amid an internal investigation into sexual harassment, according to the The Daily Beast.
John Amato left the company last week, and the company’s owner Valence Media said it was beginning an investigation about workplace practices at the publishing company.
The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani reported that Amato was ousted after employees came forward with harassment allegations against him. The story also notes other complaints from staff about interference with a story about Charlie Walk, a music industry executive and friend of Amato’s who was accused of sexual harassment.
A public relations firm that represents Billboard, Jonesworks, declined to comment. Another firm representing Billboard owner Valence Media and Amato’s lawyer, Joel Katz, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
President Donald Trump appeared to describe the exclusive interview he gave to the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Sun newspaper as "fake news" at a joint news conference Friday with British Prime Minster Theresa May at her Chequers country residence.
The Sun's front-page interview, published Thursday, was timed for maximum embarassment for May and included fierce criticism by Trump of how she has negotiated Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit, and praise for Boris Johnson, her recently departed foreign secretary and one of her chief political rivals, as a potentially "great prime minister."
May’s plan “will definitely affect trade with the United States, unfortunately in a negative way," Trump told The Sun, adding it "would probably end a major trade relationship with the United States.” He also noted: “I actually told Theresa May how to do it but she didn’t agree. She didn’t listen to me.”
At the joint news conference Friday, it was an entirely different side of Trump. BBC News political editor Laura Kuenssberg got the first question and wasted no time calling out the disconnect between The Sun interview and Trump's praise of May in advance of taking questions from reporters. "You seem, rather, to have changed your tune," Kuenssberg said. "Is this the behavior of a friend?" Here's the full exchange.
Trump shot back, "I didn't criticize the prime minister,” adding that he had made lots of positive comments in the interview about May, too, and there was a tape to prove it. "It's called fake news," he said. He also added that May could do what she wants with Europe and that "it's OK with me."
Trump delivered a stinging rebuke of CNN when its reporter Jim Acosta tried to ask a question. "CNN is fake news. I don't take questions from CNN,” Trump said before turning to Fox News. A CNN network insider noted that Trump had taken a question the day before from its White House reporter, Jeremy Diamond.
NBC News also came in for arrows after White House correspondent Kristen Welker asked about Trump's comments on NATO. Trump described NBC News as “possibly worse than CNN.” NBC’s Ken Dilanian came to Welker’s defense with a tweet noting that she had asked a fact-based question.
The president of the White House Correspondents' Association, Margaret Talev, issued a rare rebuke of the president on Twitter on Friday and praised The Sun for releasing the full audio of the Trump interview.
"In response to the president lashing out at NBC, CNN and The Sun: Asking smart, tough questions, whether in a presidential press conference or interview, is central to the role a free press plays in a healthy republic," Talev said.
"Given that the president took a question from a CNN reporter in his NATO news conference just a day earlier, maybe he was letting off steam today rather than expressing an official stance toward a news organization's ability to report, but saying a news organization isn't real doesn't change the facts and won't stop us from doing our jobs. We appreciate The Sun for posting the entire audio of their interview so that everyone can hear the president's remarks for themselves."
Forbes has a jaw-dropping cover this month.
It has finally discovered who and what sells in print. While the kings of social media ponder their future in Sun Valley, Kylie Jenner has leveraged their platforms to establish a $900 million cosmetics business.
Kylie, 20, who is no stranger to selling, said thanks on Twitter and added the hashtag #kyliecosmetics. She's on track to becoming the youngest self-made billionaire in history. Gulp.
If you've ever watched the poker movie "The Sting," starring Paul Newman, you'll be familiar with the intensity of the high stakes game being played by Comcast, the owner of NBCUniversal (parent company of NBC News) and Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.
Both are vying to acquire U.K. satellite TV service Sky. Fox, which already owns 39 percent of the company, is set to flip it to Disney as part of a wider sale of assets.
Fox just submitted a new, higher offer, and Comcast is expected to top it, making Sky shareholders very happy. Separately, Comcast is less likely to make another counter bid for the main prize of Fox's cable TV and movie assets, according to CNBC's David Faber.
But why do they want to buy Sky so much?
Not so long ago, smart people on Wall Street wondered why anybody would want it at all: it remains a satellite broadcaster in a world moving to embrace internet-delivered content.
Still, Sky has a few things going for it, as one savvy London cab driver told Brian Roberts, the chief executive of Comcast. Sky's competition is Virgin Media, owned by Liberty Global, and BT, a telecom company.
Here's why they're bidding:
- Sky grew subscribers in its latest quarter through April. In a tough U.K. environment, the firm added 38,000 customers, though it lost 30,000 in Germany and Austria and a few more in Italy.
- Not only does it own a major package of English Premier League games, it also paid less than previous deals for them as part of a long-term package.
- Sky has movie relationships with Universal (owned by Comcast), Disney and AT&T's HBO.
- It also has a broadband-delivered service for Sky customers who can't put a satellite dish on the roof.
If Comcast wins, it will become the biggest pay-TV provider in the world with a total of 52 million customer relationships. It will also have an important U.K. lynchpin for NBC News, as it plans to transform Euronews into a global news service if it gets to add Sky News.
If the Fox/Disney deal goes through, Disney gets into the direct-to-consumer business in a big way.
Here's the FT's latest on the bidding war with Comcast pondering its next move after a GBP 24.5 billion ($32.3 billion) bid from Fox for Sky. Check out the FT's amusing photograph of Rupert and his wife Jerry from the Allen & Cos. Sun Valley conference.
Oprah might not be running for president, but she’s placing more financial bets beyond TV and film to grow her empire.
Winfrey, who made Vogue UK’s August cover, is getting into the restaurant business with an investment in Phoenix-based True Food Kitchen, which serves healthy food such as fish tacos. The company says its dishes mean to be anti-inflammatory.
True Food Kitchen CEO Christine Barone told Advertising Age the company plans “to double in size over the next three years. We will be opening up a significant number of restaurants and really do need financing to help fund that growth.”
Oprah will join the company board.
The “60 Minutes” correspondent also has an investment in Weight Watchers and a line of pre-made food with Kraft Heinz. Weight Watchers reported a 24 percent increase in revenue in the quarter through March.
Winfrey has been in the spotlight lately. In June, she signed a content development partnership with Apple for new shows in addition to her existing long-term deal with Discovery Communications, which houses her OWN cable network and website.
Meanwhile Hearst’s “O, The Oprah Magazine,” ranked as 50th in terms of magazine audience with a total of 12 million people in May, according to the Association of Magazine Media.
Round one goes to Martin Sorrell and his new company, S4 Capital.
Sorrell, the former WPP Group chief executive, just agreed to acquire Dutch digital production company MediaMonks for about $353 million. The two companies are looking to build a futuristic ad business for the digital age by embracing creative ideas, experiences and media buying.
Sorrell's former employer, the advertising giant WPP, was also looking to acquire the company, and Sky News reports that Sorrell and WPP are at loggerheads over the purchase. Sorrell left the company after a blow-up with WPP's board, which had led an investigation against him.
What's so special about a digital production company in Northern Holland you might ask? The firm's client list, which includes Netflix, Google, Twitter and Amazon.
In a filing about the acquisition, the two firms outlined a vision for building a digital media-buying platform and that the combined company will have 750 staff.
The Drum has a video of some of the futuristic work MediaMonks did for Audi. It's impressive.
Update: WPP Group didn't waste any time in making sure Martin Sorrell knows where they stand.
The company shared this statement with the media on Tuesday: “WPP’s lawyers wrote to Sir Martin’s lawyers last week pointing out the breach of his confidentiality undertakings in his approach to Mediamonks after his resignation from WPP. Despite subsequent protestations from Sir Martin’s lawyers, we are well aware of the facts and he has jeopardised his LTIP entitlement."
John Stankey, the new boss at AT&T's media unit, had a frighteningly cold assessment about what would be expected from the HBO staff under the new regime.
According to The New York Times, which obtained a tape of a recent town hall meeting, Stankey told HBO staff they needed to make more money and produce more hours to help AT&T monetize viewers through consumer data. He also likened the coming year to "childbirth," in other words difficult but worth it.
"We've got to make money at the end of the day, right?" he said.
AT&T declined to comment.
It's hard to imagine Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings or the folks at Amazon rallying the troops with a call to make money and get data.
This Stankey comment in the New York Times report of the meeting, however, stuck out:
“I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow’s world.”
Is this a hint that there's an ad-supported version of HBO in the planning stages?
Stankey, who heads up WarnerMedia, which houses the Time Warner media assets that AT&T bought, isn't coming out of these staff meetings looking too great. His promises of independence at CNN came with a surprising caveat. After explaining that AT&T wouldn't be second guessing the bosses, he added: "The second part of editorial independence is that freedom is earned by people who work hard and report factually and do their jobs well and that's what CNN does."
The "freedom is earned" part didn't go down to well with some. Here's Felix Salmon at Slate on why that caveat matters.
Here's a fun catch — Ben Affleck called the emergence of streaming subscription services back in 2003.
A clip of an Affleck interview was making the rounds over the weekend, in which the actor-director talks about how technology, including file-sharing services, are pushing consumers to realize that they could have access to an entire music library rather than just buying CDs.
To put this in context, Facebook at the time had not yet been launched and Napster had been shut down just a couple years ago — and a solid three years before Spotify was founded.
It's worth a watch just to see how much of it came true.