Morning Media Newsfeed: Hackers Applaud Sony | Fox News, FBN Pulled From Dish

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Hackers to Sony: We’ll Stand Down if You Never Release Movie (CNN)
The hackers behind a devastating cyberattack at Sony Pictures have sent a new message to executives at the company, crediting them for a “very wise” decision to cancel the Christmas day release of The Interview, a source close to the company said. TVNewser The emails, sent Thursday night, included the message “you’ve done the right thing.” The emails suggested information stolen during the hack could be released if Sony fails to ensure that the film is never seen. Re/code In an interview on NBC’s Meet The Press Sunday, David Boies, the studio’s lawyer, said The Interview will be released. “Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed,” he told NBC’s Chuck Todd, adding the studio is still trying to determine the best distribution outlet that would also ensure people’s safety. THR / AP North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack, warning of “serious” consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack. The proposal was seen by analysts as a typical ploy by the North to try to show that it is sincere, even though it knows the U.S. would never accept its offer for a joint investigation. U.S. officials blame North Korea for the hacking, citing the tools used in the Sony attack and previous hacks linked to the North, and have vowed to respond. TMZ According to sources connected with the studio, Judy Smith — the inspiration behind the Olivia Pope character on Scandal — has been quietly advising Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal.

Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network Pulled From Dish Network (TVNewser)
At 11:50 p.m. ET Saturday night, Dish network viewers lost Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network after negotiations on a new carriage agreement failed. Fox says Dish dropped the channel “prematurely.” Dish says “21st Century Fox blocked Dish customer access” to those channels. TVNewser Since late Saturday night, talks have stopped. Fox News EVP of distribution Tim Carry said, “our phone line is open, we’re willing to talk. Am I negotiating right now? I’m not.” Fox viewers, however, are fully engaged. Between 6 a.m. and 1 p.m. Sunday, more than 12,000 calls have been placed to Fox — and 7,000 of them asked to be connected to Dish to disconnect their service. The network reports 22,000 viewer emails have been sent to Dish to object to the Fox blackout, and viewers have swarmed the Dish Facebook page. THR Fox has shown in prior negotiations that it recognizes the strength of Fox News, which is the highest rated cable news channel, and it appears to be using that to try and expand the number of channels it licenses to Dish. Dish also said that it offered Fox a short-term extension of the current contract, but it was turned down. Dish has about 14 million subscribers. Variety Dish found itself at odds with both Time Warner’s Turner and CBS Corp., both of which resulted in brief outages of such popular cable outlets as CNN and Cartoon Network. CBS was briefly off Dish for a matter of hours earlier this month but was back on the system after the two parties came to terms quickly after the broadcast network went dark.

Candy Crowley Leaves State of The Union With Obama Exclusive (FishbowlDC)
After 27 years with CNN, Candy Crowley ended her stint at the network with a bang. In her final installment of State of The Union on Sunday, Crowley sat down for an exclusive interview with President Barack Obama. TVNewser The two discussed North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony Pictures, normalizing relations with Cuba, Russia, Iran, race relations in America and Guantanamo Bay. Obama told Crowley he doesn’t consider North Korea’s hack of Sony Pictures “an act of war” and went on to say ”It was an act of cybervandalism.” HuffPost Crowley announced in December that she would be leaving the network, keeping mum about her next move, saying only that she would “try something new.” TheWrap Crowley has been with CNN for 27 years, covering politics as a reporter, then assuming the role of host of State of The Union on Sundays in 2010. Crowley achieved a milestone in 2012, becoming the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 20 years.

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President Obama’s Presser Full of Women (FishbowlDC)
During his end of the year press conference Friday, President Barack Obama did something quite out of the ordinary. He didn’t call on a single male or television reporter throughout the presser’s entirety. PRNewser Press secretary Josh Earnest told the media that both he and the President saw this end-of-year presser, a high-profile event, as an opportunity to take note of the women who are an important part of the White House reporter pool. TVNewser Time political reporter Zeke Miller sent the following tweet regarding the all-women presser: “There are no definitive records of questioners in previous administrations, but everyone at the WH is pretty sure this is historic.”

Colbert Report Bows Out With Series-Best 2.5 Million Viewers (Variety)
The Colbert Report signed off on Comedy Central with series-high ratings on Thursday night, roughly doubling its recent averages. According to Nielsen estimates, the half-hour finale of the long-running fake-news program averaged 2.48 million viewers overall and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 — building on its Daily Show With Jon Stewart lead-in (2.03 million, 0.8) by more than 20 percent in both categories. Deadline For comparison sake: Earlier this month, when Colbert hosted President Obama, the show jumped nearly 50 percent compared to its season average. An average of 1.732 million people watched that Monday telecast. Colbert’s most recent original episode before Obama’s visit, the previous Thursday, had averaged 1.092 million viewers. THR / The Live Feed Craig Ferguson’s exit from CBS’ Late Late Show may not have gotten the kind of fanfare as other recent late-night finales, but viewers did tune in. Overnight local ratings have the host hitting a two-year high during the 12:30 a.m. broadcast. Ahead of final numbers, Ferguson’s 1.7 rating marked the show’s highest local score since September 2012 — a 31 percent bump from the previous week.

NYT to Set Up Digital Hub in London (The Guardian / Greenslade)
The New York Times is making a big move into London. It has agreed to rent new headquarters and is expecting to fill it with up to 100 staff in the new year. Some staff will be relocated from its Paris office and others will be sent from the U.S. Poynter / MediaWire The new outpost, which will be based in the Bloomsbury borough of England’s capital city, will “become the newspaper’s European digital hub and centre for the paper’s international issues.” WWD / Memo Pad The Times, which last week indicated that it would begin layoffs after it offered buyouts to senior management and Newspaper Guild members, told staffers Friday that it had finally met its quota. In October, The Times laid out its plan to begin transitioning its operations to become more digitally lucrative, in the face of declining print advertising sales. This would translate into cutting 100 newsroom jobs before the end of the year.

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Tom Brokaw Reports His Cancer Is in Remission (TVNewser)
NBC special correspondent and former NBC Nightly News anchor Tom Brokaw has told colleagues he’s headed into 2015 on a high note — his cancer is in remission. THR The veteran NBC News anchor revealed in February that he had been diagnosed with the disease and was already undergoing treatment, saying at the time, “I am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my work and adventures still to come.”

Fusion Expands AM Tonight, Names New EP (TVNewser)
Fusion announced Friday that it will be expanding Alicia Menendez’s daily primetime show, AM Tonight, to an hour in 2015 and that Kim Gamble is joining the network to executive produce the show. Capital New York In hiring Gamble, Fusion, which has put an emphasis on satire and comedy, gets someone who has produced for The Colbert Report and Tough Crowd With Colin Quinn, among other programs. She was most recently EP of MTV’s late-night series Nikki And Sara Live. Gamble begins at Fusion in mid-January.

Jessica Pressler Staying at New York (Capital New York)
Jessica Pressler, the New York magazine reporter who found herself embroiled in a journalism controversy just days after she announced she would be joining the investigative unit of Bloomberg News in the new year, will be staying put at her current job after all. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Last Monday, Mohammed Islam, the student at Stuyvesant High School who was reported by Pressler to have made $72 million trading stocks, told The New York Observer that he had made the story up. A source “close to the Islam family” also told The Washington Post that Islam’s statements were false. Bloomberg had declined to comment on Pressler’s article at the time.

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Good Day New York Bests Network Morning Shows in 2014 (TVSpy)
Good Day New York is the little morning show that could among adults 18-49, according to recent ratings info. GDNY is hosted by Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto and airs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on New York Fox-owned station WNYW. So far in 2014, the show is No. 1 among adults 18-49 with a 1.035 rating, beating out NBC’s Today (.917) and ABC’s Good Morning America (.825).

Hulu Adds Fargo, Other Cable Shows, Looks More Like Netflix (GigaOM)
Hulu doesn’t want to leave all the good shows to Netflix and Amazon: The streaming video services has signed deals with 20th Century Fox and MGM to make Hulu the exclusive subscription home for a number of shows, including Fargo, Taboo and The Comedians.

FCC Proposes Rules for Online Video Services Providers (WSJ)
The Federal Communications Commission Friday proposed new regulations on companies that provide subscription video services over the Internet, a move to give the companies access to more TV programming and allow them to compete with cable and satellite.

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DirecTV Launches Fox’s Suite of Internet TV Services (Variety)
DirecTV has launched Fox Networks’ lineup of authenticated Internet-video services, with the satcaster representing the last major pay-TV holdout for the programmer’s TV Everywhere push.

Nikki Finke, Hollywood Chronicler, Said to Be in Talks With Politico (NYT)
Politico has been in talks to hire the Hollywood journalist Nikki Finke to write about Washington as a political columnist, people familiar with the discussions said Friday.

Kenya Goes After Al Jazeera as Government Expands Powers (HuffPost)
Kenya’s government is going after the global news network Al Jazeera for running a documentary that exposes widespread government-sponsored violence.

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