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NBC’s Brian Williams Recants Iraq Story After Soldiers Protest (Stars And Stripes)
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams admitted Wednesday he was not aboard a helicopter hit and forced down by RPG fire during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, a false claim that has been repeated by the network for years. TVNewser The incident came into question when crew members of the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that was hit by two rockets told Stars And Stripes that Williams was nowhere near the helicopter that went down. Williams and his crew were on a different chopper, about an hour behind the one that was fired upon. HuffPost Most recently, in a Friday Nightly News segment featuring Command Sgt. Major Tim Terpack, Williams described being aboard a helicopter that was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and forced down at the beginning of the Iraq War. Williams said that his NBC team was then “rescued, surrounded and kept alive” by a platoon led by Terpack. The newscast showed footage of Williams accompanying Terpack to a New York Rangers hockey game, where the arena announcer repeated Williams’ account of events. THR On Jan. 30, NBC Nightly News posted a video of Williams to Facebook, in which Williams recounts the false story during the news segment. A user by the name of Lance Reynolds, who claimed to have been serving in Iraq during the incident in question, subsequently commented on the video, writing, “Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft.” Variety The admission, which comes after other mistakes made by NBC News personnel in recent newscasts, could give rivals like CBS and ABC fodder in the ongoing struggle to lure audiences to the flagship programs of their news departments.
Fox News Embeds Complete ISIS Video on Website (TVNewser)
While Fox News Channel won’t show you the horrific propaganda video released by ISIS that claims to show the murder of a captured Jordanian pilot, you can go to FoxNews.com and watch the full video. NYT On Tuesday, media organizations around the world wrestled with whether to show either the still images or the video of Islamic State militants burning a Jordanian pilot alive in a cage. The clip was offered on the Fox News website with no preamble, though a short text accompanying the video warned viewers that it was extremely graphic. Most other news organizations used photos or video clips showing the moments leading up to the execution. TVNewser Tony Maddox, the executive vice president of CNN International, joined CNN Today to explain why the network would not show the ISIS video of the Jordanian pilot being burned to death. Maddox went on to discuss if showing the video is necessary to show the inhumanity and ruthlessness of ISIS. HuffPost Fox News also aired graphic images from the video. Anchor Bret Baier warned viewers on Special Report Tuesday evening that the pictures were coming, adding, “We feel you need to see it.” \»Tonight, we are going to show you some of the images ISIS has put out,\» he said. “The images are brutal. They are graphic. They are upsetting. You may want to turn away. You may want to have the children leave the room right now.” The Fox News anchor added that the network decided to air the horrific images in order “to bring you the reality of Islamic terrorism.”
Netflix to Launch in Japan This Fall (THR)
Internet video service Netflix is planning to launch in Japan in the fall, according to a CNBC alert. WSJ Japan will be the company’s maiden market in Asia and will serve as a launchpad for further expansion in the region. Netflix also named Gregory Peters, its chief streaming and partnerships officer, as general manager of Netflix Japan to help establish relationships with local content creators and consumer electronics companies. It is Netflix’s first appointment of a general manager outside the U.S. Variety At launch, Netflix Japan will apparently include a number of Japanese films and TV series, as well as Netflix originals Marco Polo and upcoming Daredevil. Netflix beat expectations in Q4 on international subscriber adds with 2.43 million (vs. previous guidance of 2.15 million). As of the end of 2014, Netflix had 39.11 million U.S. streaming subs and 18.28 million internationally. GigaOM Netflix surprised investors last month when executives announced as part of the company’s Q4 earnings that they wanted to complete the company’s international expansion to a total of 200 countries within the next two years. Netflix currently operates in close to 50 countries, and has announced that it is going to launch in Australia and New Zealand next month.
MSNBC Suffers Lowest Ratings in A Decade (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
MSNBC registered its lowest full-day rating in nearly a decade on Tuesday, a devastatingly low benchmark that shows just how severe the network’s decline has become. The liberal cable news network drew an average of 55,000 viewers in the all-important 25-to-54 year-old demo on Tuesday, its lowest full-day rating since July 2005, according to Nielsen ratings provided by an industry source. TVNewser In primetime, CNN nearly tripled MSNBC in the 25-54 demo. Mediaite CNN averaged 289,000 viewers in the demo between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. while MSNBC averaged just 102,000, with The Rachel Maddow Show as the only hour to top 100,000. Fox News came in first place with a strong 510,000, with both Bill O’Reilly and Megyn Kelly‘s shows topping 500,000. THR / The Live Feed The continued ratings woes at MSNBC got particularly bad for Ronan Farrow on Tuesday. The host’s 1 p.m. Ronan Farrow Daily posted its lowest delivery among the targeted news demographic of adults 25-54 since launching almost a year ago. Pulling a paltry 11,000 viewers in the demo, MSNBC sank below even Al Jazeera America in the hour. AJAM’s News Live doubled Farrow’s performance with 22,000 — which isn’t anything to write home about either.
Bid Farewell to The Dish (FishbowlDC)
Wednesday morning, Andrew Sullivan announced that not only will he be leaving The Dish, but the blog itself would be no more following Friday. Capital New York The Dish began as Andrew Sullivan’s blog in 2000 and became an independent, subscription-funded business in 2013. Sullivan, and the site’s two other owners, “have come to the conclusion that the practical, financial and editorial challenges of continuing on are simply too great for us to bear as we are, let alone without me,” he wrote Wednesday. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Sullivan said the primary impetus for his decision to quit blogging was his health: “The tipping point was my health, which made a core decision for me (and us) last month, as our auto-renewals loomed,” he wrote.
Sony Film Unit Posts Provisional Profit Despite Hack (THR)
Sony Corp. said Wednesday that provisional results for its Sony Pictures Entertainment unit show a profit of $20 million for fiscal third quarter ended December, during which the studio’s computer systems were hacked by a group calling themselves Guardians of Peace. Sony Pictures saw a 90 percent fall in operating income compared to the same period in 2013 due to the hacking and lower theatrical revenue, according to the provisional earnings report. Mashable Sony gave a figure for damages from the Sony Pictures hack: $15 million. The entertainment and electronics giant delayed the announcement of its earnings for the October-December quarter because the cyberattack affected its ability to compile its complete results in time. Variety For the quarter from October to December the company’s net profit totaled $757 million, compared with $225 million in the same period the previous year. Operating profit doubled year-on to $1.52 billion and revenue rose 6 percent to $21.8 billion.
Reuters Launches On-Demand News App (FishbowlNY)
Reuters is taking a stab at on-demand TV news with the launch of Reuters TV. The app — currently available for the iPhone only — delivers highly customizable news reports right to your phone. Variety The new service, announced Wednesday, is targeted broadly at general-interest news consumers. While edging into CNN territory, the app — priced at $1.99 per month — primarily will challenge NBCUniversal’s CNBC — which currently dominates business TV news — as well as others like Bloomberg TV and 21st Century Fox’s Fox Business Network.
Brian Balthazar to Leave The View, Return to HGTV (TVNewser)
Brian Balthazar is leaving The View where he’s been co-executive producer since August, and returning to HGTV as VP of programming and development. Deadline The exiting of the producer comes as the transition road for The View appears even rockier than before with rumors of co-host Rosie Perez leaving and CBS’ The Talk beating the Barbara Walters-created show for the first time in total weekly viewership. No word on who or if Balthazar will be replaced at The View, which ABC News took over direct control of last October.
Fox Shares Rise as It Increases Dividend, Beats Year-End Earnings Estimates (Deadline)
There are a lot of moving pieces in 21st Century Fox’s report for the last three months of 2014, its fiscal Q2. But off the bat, investors likely will focus on the 20 percent increase in the company’s dividend which now comes to 30 cents per share — the stock was up 2.4 percent in initial post-market trading. Variety Saudi business mogul Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has significantly reduced the size of his company’s stake in News Corp., the publishing side of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, while holding fast to its 6.6 percent interest in 21st Century Fox.
Strong Growth for PBS NewsHour (FishbowlDC)
When Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff took the reins of PBS NewsHour a little over a year ago, they made broadcast history as the first all-female anchor team. The change is paying off for the network, with the show up 12 percent in total viewers and 11 percent in the adults 25-54 demo for December 2014 vs. December 2013.
Apple Is Talking to TV Programmers About Its Own Web TV Service (Re/code)
Apple has spent years circling the TV business, without ever really getting into the TV business. Now it may be ready to try again. Industry executives say Apple is in talks with TV programmers about deals that would allow Apple to offer an \»over the top\» pay-TV service, like the one Dish has started selling with its Sling TV product, and the one Sony is getting ready to launch.
Disney Shares Break $100 Mark, Up More Than 300 Percent Since Iger Took Over as CEO (THR)
Disney shares, on the back of a strong earnings report driven by the international phenomenon Frozen, shot up more than $7 in trading Wednesday morning to break the $100 per share barrier, a feat never before accomplished in its history as a publicly traded company.
Why Hollywood Is ‘Freaking Out’ Over A Redesigned More (FishbowlNY / Lunch)
In an effort to stave off cabin fever, we slogged our way into Michael’s Wednesday during what was sure to be an all-too-brief intermission between snow storms.
Fox Returns Emmy Awards to Sunday in Fall, Sets Sept. 20 Date (Deadline)
Fox said Wednesday that it will air the 67th annual Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20. It’s a not-unexpected move that TV’s biggest awards show is going back to its early fall roots and a Sunday, but it still must be a sigh of relief that last’s year’s rare Monday, Aug. 25 airdate is in the rear-view mirror.
Latino Video Network MiTú Raises $15 Million (Re/code)
MiTú Inc, a Latino-based Web video company, has raised $15 million in a round led by previous investor Upfront Ventures; new investors include Daher Capital, Northgate Ventures and AMC Networks Inc.
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