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‘Kris’: A Good Enough Start, Or The Next ‘Sharknado’?

For the second time in the past week, a program that had the media hyperventilating ahead of its premiere does not appear to have impressed the public to the same degree. Only time will tell if Kris Jenner’s new talker is the new Sharknado. Monday’s Kris rollout, on Fox stations in six markets — New York/WNYW, Los Angeles/KTTV, Dallas/KDFW, Phoenix/KSAZ, Minneapolis/KMSP and Charlotte/WJZY — included three of the country’s Top 5 markets (NY, LA and Dallas). In those six markets, Kris averaged a 1.1/3 household rating, failing to build over the year-ago time period, and retaining its lead-in share. Kris did noticeably improve the stations’ May sweep performance in female demos, finishing first in its time slot in Los Angeles ahead of Katie, Steve Harvey, and Dr. Phil.

Related: Kardashians “Scripted” Lawsuit For Their E! Series: Court Filing

But the launch of the show’s six-week test run was not a home run, despite the bajillion bucks worth of free publicity it enjoyed compliments of the press. In New York, for instance, Kris clocked a 1.1/4 household rating, falling below both its Wendy Williams lead-in (1.4/5) and its leadout, the launch of The Real (1.5/5). That’s an accomplishment — for The Real, given how much less advance noise was made on that show’s part, owing to its shocking lack of Kardashian-ness. Read More »

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Oz Analysts Mostly Bullish On New News Corp., Local CEO To Face Fresh Challenges

By | Thursday February 28, 2013 @ 3:33am PST

Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney

Rupert Murdoch’s Australian empire will generate as much of 60% of the annual earnings of the publishing arm of News Corp. after the company splits this year, say Sydney-based analysts who are generally sanguine about the new News Corporation’s prospects. The Oz group has largely gone under the radar of international investors until now because its financial results were not disclosed. With that set to change after the split, Kim Williams, CEO of Australian division News Limited, will face increased pressure and scrutiny from the get-go.

ComSec’s Alice Bennett expects News Corporation stock to be sold off aggressively at the start, creating one of the initial challenges for Williams. Bennett believes the sale will be down to factors that include News Corp.’s exposure to the Australian and New Zealand economies; the fact that publishing reps 53% of earnings; ongoing losses at the Amplify education business and the risk of further litigation in the UK. But, she does allow, “When the dust settles post demerger, we think this vehicle could provide some interesting opportunities for Australian investors given the highly cash-generative pay TV assets and higher-growth online assets.” Fox Sports and Foxtel, of which News Corp. holds 50%, are staying in the publishing fold. The company also owns 61% of Read More »

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Raju Narisetti Named SVP & Deputy Head Of Strategy At New News Corporation

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 8:20am PST

As News Corp works toward dividing into two distinct companies, executive appointments have steadily continued on the publishing side. Raju Narisetti, currently a deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, has been named SVP and deputy head of strategy for the new News Corporation. Narisetti takes up his functions March 11, reporting to Anoushka Healy, who was recently named chief strategy officer. Click over for the official press release: Read More »

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News Corp. Makes Senior Appointments At Proposed Publishing Company

By | Friday February 1, 2013 @ 8:16am PST

As News Corp. prepares to split into two distinct entities, two senior roles have been filled on the publishing side. Times and Sunday Times group managing editor Anoushka Healy has been named chief strategy officer and William Lewis, an executive member of News Corp.’s Management and Standards Committee, has been named chief creative officer. Both execs will be part of News Corporation, as the spun off publishing division will be known (the media and entertainment half of the company will be called Fox Group). The separation of the businesses is expected to be completed by the end of June. Here’s the release on the new appointments:

New York, NY – February 1, 2013 – News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced two senior management appointments for the New News Corporation, the proposed global publishing entity to be formed as part of the Company’s intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies.

Anoushka Healy, currently Group Managing Editor of The Times and Sunday Times in London, has been named Chief Strategy Officer and will help shape the new News Corporation and fashion its strategic direction. She will also be responsible for sharing best practices across the organization, implementing new projects and supporting talent around the company’s businesses.

William Lewis has been appointed Chief Creative Officer. He will be responsible for the new company’s creative strategy and will have a central role in developing new commercial opportunities, including product launches, digital initiatives and acquisitions. Mr. Lewis joined News Corporation as Group General Manager of News International in London in September 2010 and became an executive member of News Corporation’s Management and Standards Committee in July 2011.

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News Corp Details Proposed Separation Of Businesses; Entertainment Company To Be Called Fox Group; The Daily To Cease

News Corp. has confirmed that Dow Jones editor-in-chief and Wall Street Journal managing editor Robert Thomson will become CEO of its publishing division once the conglomerate is split into two distinct entities. Rupert Murdoch‘s company has also unveiled names for the two businesses: The publishing arm will retain the News Corporation moniker, “in keeping with the company’s 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world,” and the entertainment company will be known as Fox Group. Today’s announcement focused primarily on the publishing business and notably said that stand-alone publication of The Daily iPad app will cease on December 15. The brand will “live on in other channels,” the company said. Founding editor of The Daily, Jesse Angelo, will become publisher of The New York Post.

Related: Rupert Murdoch’s iPad Folly The Daily Folds

Other management moves include deputy editor-in-chief of the Journal, Gerard Baker, succeeding Thompson at the paper and at Dow Jones and the appointment of former MGM CFO Bedi Ajay Singh to the role of CFO of the publishing company. In London, BSkyB COO Mike Darcey will replace Tom Mockridge as CEO of News International; Mockridge announced his departure on Sunday. Below is this morning’s full News Corp press release:

NEW YORK – December 3, 2012 – News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) today announced that Dow Jones Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Robert Thomson will become the CEO of the new proposed publishing entity, following the Company’s intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies.

In keeping with the company’s 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world, the publishing entity will retain the name News Corporation. The media and entertainment company, which began in earnest when Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch acquired 20th Century Fox and launched the Fox Network more than 25 years ago, will be named Fox Group.

As previously announced, Rupert Murdoch will serve as Chairman of the new News Corporation and Chairman and CEO of Fox Group. Chase Carey will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of Fox Group, with James Murdoch continuing in his capacity as Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Under their collective leadership, Fox Group will continue to strengthen its creative content businesses and distribution assets, including enhancing its sports portfolio through key investments in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

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What Will James Murdoch Say Tomorrow?

Observers I have spoken to predict that News Corp’s James Murdoch will be better briefed than he was in July — and may admit to a small mea culpa — when he returns to Parliament tomorrow to answer questions about the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal. He’s expected to continue to defend his inaction about the lawbreaking in the face of mounting evidence that he must have known more about the problem earlier in the process than he previously testified. Back in July, he denied knowing until late 2008 that phone-hacking at NOTW went beyond one rogue reporter. That would clear him of the charge that he authorized hush-money earlier in the year when he approved a $1.4M settlement for a hacking victim who knew that a second reporter was involved — on the condition that the victim he keep quiet about the matter. Since Murdoch testified, senior News International executives have gone public and said James must have known the gory details because they told him. And a devastating legal opinion has come to light from lawyer Michael Silverleaf, who worked for News International and pointed out that NOTW had a culture of illegal information-gathering. There is no smoking gun to contradict James, just vague notes written up after briefing meetings with him. Read More »

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UPDATE: Hulu Owners Abruptly Call Off Sale – So What Went Wrong?

UPDATE: Today News Corporation, Providence Equity Partners, The Walt Disney Company, and the Hulu senior management team issued a joint statement that it was terminating the sale of Hulu. ”We look forward to working together to continue mapping out its path to even greater success.” (Full statement below.) So what went wrong? A lot of things. But people close to the process tell me that one problem was particularly difficult to overcome: Comcast, Disney, and News Corp could never agree on the scope of the programming they were willing to offer someone buying Hulu. This was especially true for advertising supported VOD, the kind of service that Hulu offers now. Hulu simply wasn’t worth much if the sellers wouldn’t throw in exclusive rights to stream popular first-run shows. Sources tell me that Disney was more open to offering hit programming, and therefore to a Hulu sale, than News Corp was — even though News Corp’s digital chief Jon Miller was the point person in wrangling the bids. (Comcast had to give up its vote at Hulu to win federal approval for its acquisition of NBCUniversal.)

As far as the actual bidding, Dish Network was willing to bargain but offered less than the $2B that the sellers wanted. Google was willing to pay a lot more, only if it included lots of exclusive programming guarantees. But the thing to remember is that all three of Hulu’s main backers collect a lot of cash from cable channels … Read More »

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Hugh Grant In Real UK Political Activist Role

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 3:56am PDT

Hugh Grant, as Deadline revealed over the summer, backed out of replacing Charlie Sheen as the star of Two and a Half Men at the last minute. Now he is filming Cloud Atlas with Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Jim Broadbent for the Wachowski brothers. But he has reinvented himself over here as a justice campaigner on behalf of celebrities and civilians like himself who had their phones hacked in the News Corp scandal. He has always been ambivalent about being a movie star, and has long talked about doing something different. Asked if he had been wasting his life until now, Grant told The Guardian: “That is harsh, but yes. If I had been a complete failure until the age of 51, I would definitely go along with you but I suppose I have had a few successes. But yes, you are right. I have squandered my life.”

Britain is taking him seriously on the hacking scandal. Grant was giving interviews before meeting Prime Minister David Cameron in Manchester last night. He said he wanted to hear directly from the politician too close to Rupert Murdoch’s organisation. Following the meeting, Grant said that Cameron made “the right noises but I expected him to make the right noises”. Grant alleges that Cameron must have known disgraced Murdoch editor Andy Coulson oversaw a culture of phone hacking at the News of the World before hiring him as his chief PR flack. why he accepted Coulson’s explanation that … Read More »

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