Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola | Disney Re-Ups Iger

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NBC News Freelancer Diagnosed With Ebola (TVNewser)
A 33-year-old American freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has tested positive for Ebola and will be flown back to the U.S. for treatment. NYT As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the U.S. and enter quarantine for 21 days. Mashable The 33-year-old freelancer tested positive for the deadly disease on Thursday while on assignment in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, NBC News said in an emailed statement. The cameraman, whose identity is being withheld by NBC at the request of his family, was working with a three-person crew working alongside Snyderman. THR On Tuesday, Snyderman’s report from a Liberian hospital aired on NBC’s Nightly News, where the network’s chief medical editor narrated a video dispatch on the disease. In the video, Snyderman can be seen donning protective gear as she reported from an “Ebola Isolation Unit” at the medical area. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The cameraman is the fourth American to have contracted Ebola, and the first known case of an American journalist covering the story to be infected.

Disney Extends CEO Bob Iger’s Contract Through 2018 (THR)
Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger’s contract has been extended through June 2018, the company announced Thursday. NYT The second extension will be his last: Iger, 63, plans to name a chief operating officer next year, an appointment that will signal his heir apparent and end a succession competition between two well-regarded internal candidates. Variety Iger will maintain the same annual compensation terms as his existing contract. He also will have the opportunity to earn a performance-based retention bonus if certain financial performance goals are met over a five-year period ending with fiscal year 2018. Iger last year extended his tenure as the head of Disney by 15 months, taking him through June 2016. In 2011, Iger set a plan to step down as CEO in April 2015 but the demands of the company’s acquisition of Lucasfilm and theme park expansion plans in China spurred him to extend his tenure. WSJ Disney stock has more than quadrupled in value during Iger’s nine-year reign atop the company and it has pulled ahead of media competitors through a focus on franchises as well as the strength of ESPN, as sports has become a more valuable piece of the pay-television ecosystem. His acquisitions of Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Entertainment, and most recently Lucasfilm have restored Disney to its dominant position in family entertainment.

SoftBank Buys Stake in Legendary Entertainment (WSJ)
Just days after talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation stalled, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Corp. has agreed to pay $250 million for close to 10 percent of Hollywood production and finance company Legendary Entertainment. Variety According to a letter sent to Legendary’s shareholders on Oct. 1 to secure votes for the pact, SoftBank’s investment in Legendary is actually broken up into three stages that began with the $250 million investment, which is expected to close within a week. Under terms of its deal with Legendary, SoftBank has the option to make two additional $375 million investments in the company through 2018. THR Talks with Legendary are believed to have been underway for several weeks and have been separate from the DWA talks. SoftBank’s investment is expected to close in October, subject to certain conditions. Nikesh Arora, vice chairman of SoftBank and CEO of SoftBank Internet and Media, Inc., will be appointed to Legendary’s board of directors. Deadline Hollywood SoftBank also is the largest stakeholder in recent IPO phenom Alibaba, with a 32 percent stake worth more than $71 billion, and it owns a 41.9 percent voting stake in Yahoo! Japan. The company’s vision certainly includes entertainment: Aside from the DWA bid, in 2013 SoftBank purchased online game company GungHo Online Entertainment and Finland’s Supercell while failing in a takeover bid for Universal Music.

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Brian Williams Gets Social, Holds First Facebook Q&A (TVNewser)
Following Nightly News Wednesday, Brian Williams conducted his first Facebook Q&A. Many of the questions came from his NBC News colleagues, including Carson Daly, who asked him about his drinking habits while he travels. FishbowlDC Responding to the question, “What’s the best advice you can give to someone whose lifelong dream has been to work for NBC news?” Williams responded, “Work like hell… be driven.. be willing to do anything to support yourself… set your target and your definition of success.” Mediaite But one question showed exactly how committed to his job he is. In response to a question about why he doesn’t drink, Williams explained: “Used to/never really loved it/some family members have had a rough time with it… so I figure since I never know when news is gonna break out… and I so often need to drive and/or think straight… it’s an easy thing to do without!”

After SiriusXM Success, The Turtles Take on Pandora in $25 Million Lawsuit (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
The radio dial — whether it’s satellite like SiriusXM, Web like Pandora, or terrestrial like iHeartMedia — might never be the same. About a week ago, SiriusXM suffered a crushing courtroom loss to Flo & Eddie of The Turtles, the 1960s band which produced hit songs like Happy Together, It Ain’t Me Babe and She’d Rather Be With Me. NYT Flo & Eddie filed a class-action suit against Pandora in federal court in Los Angeles on Thursday, accusing the Internet radio giant of copyright infringement under California law for playing its songs without permission. The suit asks for more than $25 million in damages. GigaOM The legal details are mind-numbing but, broadly stated, the cases turn on a novel legal theory based on state copyright laws — laws that, in the view of many people, were superseded by 1972 updates to the federal Copyright Act. Tuesday’s lawsuit in California follows a similar one that the music industry filed against Pandora in New York in August, and that is still ongoing.

Celebrities Threaten Google With $100 Million Lawsuit for ‘Facilitating’ Hacked Nude Photos (THR / Hollywood, Esq.)
Marty Singer, representing more than a dozen celebrities whose iCloud accounts were hacked and whose nude photos were stolen in late August, is excoriating Google in a letter that threatens a $100 million lawsuit. Variety In a letter addressed to Google’s top brass, Singer, of L.A.-based law firm Lively & Singer, said that Google not only has failed to expeditiously remove the images from sites including YouTube and Blogspot but also knowingly facilitated the hosting of the hacked photos. “Google is making millions and profiting from the victimization of women,” Singer alleged in the Oct. 1 letter, sent to top Google execs including CEO Larry Page and executive chairman Eric Schmidt. Deadline Hollywood Google responded that it is trying its best to get as many of the explicit and private pics of Jennifer Lawrence and others off its sites and search engines. “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures, within hours of the requests being made, and we have closed hundreds of accounts,” said a spokesperson for the tech giant in a statement Thursday.

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Catherine Gundersen Joins Marie Claire (FishbowlNY)
Catherine Gundersen has been named the new managing editor of Marie Claire. Gunderson comes to the glossy from GQ, where she served as editorial business manager since last year. WWD / Memo Pad Gundersen has held a string of managing editor jobs during her career. They include two stints as interim managing editor at Condé Nast magazines Self and Brides, as well as managing editor roles at Budget Travel and Runner’s World. She returns to Hearst after having served as managing editor of Harper’s Bazaar UK and Esquire and having held the post of associate editor for O, The Oprah Magazine from 2000 to 2004.

Top 10 Finalists Named for ‘CNN Heroes’ (FishbowlDC)
The top 10 finalists for the annual “CNN Heroes” special were announced Thursday morning by Anderson Cooper on New Day. Voting for the competition is open through Sunday, Nov. 16. TVNewser Each of the 10 receives a $25,000 grant for their organization with one ultimately being selected by fans as the hero of the year. The ceremony announcing the hero of the year will be on Sunday, Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.

This Week With George Stephanopoulos Wins Sunday Show Ratings (TVNewser)
This Week was the top Sunday program in viewers and the adults 25-54 demo this week in a reduced field due to Meet The Press being pre-empted for the Ryder Cup Golf Tournament. The ABC broadcast topped second place Face The Nation by 65,000 and by 70,000 demo viewers. ABC’s victory in viewers for the first telecast of the season was its first in 12 years. Deadline Hollywood It marked the first time in seven years ABC’s Sunday’s Beltway show clocked a bigger premiere week crowd than Face The Nation (3.326 million, 933,000 demo viewers). Fox News Sunday scored 1.692 million viewers and 383,000 news demo viewers.

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Good Morning America Dominates Morning News Ratings in Premiere Week (TVNewser)
Good Morning America just had its best opening week performance in total viewers in more than 23 years. As the 2014-15 TV season gets underway, GMA continues to lead the way and was up compared to the same week last year: up 2 percent in viewers and up 5 percent in the adults 25-54 demo. No. 3 CBS This Morning also saw year-over-year growth: up 5 percent in viewers and up 1 percent in the demo. NBC’s Today show struggled last week and was down double digits in the adults 25-54 demo (14 percent) while also down in viewers (7 percent).

Netflix Signs Distribution Deal With France’s Orange (THR)
Netflix has closed a major deal in France that could greatly accelerate the growth of the streaming video company in the territory. Just two weeks after launching in France, Netflix has signed a deal with Orange, France’s largest telecom group, to have its SVOD service distributed via Orange’s set-top boxes across the country. Orange has some 10 million subscribers in France.

Seahawks QB Pens Article on Domestic Abuse for Jeter’s New Site (Mediaite)
The Players’ Tribune, an athlete-run publication that doubles as Derek Jeter’s post-retirement gig, was announced Wednesday and already published its introductory piece Thursday morning. It’s by senior editor Russell Wilson (he also throws things for the Seattle Seahawks, but writing pays the bucks), and it calls for players and fans alike to take action on domestic violence.

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21st Century Fox, BSkyB Make Further Investments in Roku (THR)
Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox and U.K. pay TV giant BSkyB, in which it holds a 39 percent stake, have made further investments in Internet streaming device maker Roku. BSkyB said Thursday that it has put another $700,000 into the provider of over-the-top video services “to provide financing for Roku’s operations and activities.”

Washington Post Employees Aren’t Too Happy With Jeff Bezos Right Now (Washingtonian / Capital Comment)
Jeff Bezos made his fortune fending off his employees’ attempts to organize into unions, but now that he owns The Washington Post he’s going to have to take a seat at the negotiating table, and it’s not off to a great start. Several dozen Post employees, upset with Bezos’ proposed cuts to their pensions and severance pay, turned 15th and L into a picket line Thursday afternoon.

Inc. Turns 35 Under Editor Jim Ledbetter (New York Observer)
Inc. celebrated its 35th anniversary this fall with a party that was markedly hipper than one would expect from a magazine once associated with buying yogurt franchises. It felt like stepping back into the 1990s, when there was plenty of advertiser money to throw at magazine parties and the word lavish still had a positive ring.

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Publish date: October 3, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT