NBC News‘ Brit chief Deborah Turness has named the current director of online for ITV in the UK and former Sky News exec,Julian March to be her news operation’s senior VP of editorial and innovation. March will move to New York in early ’14. Reporting to Turness, March will be a key editorial leader at NBC News, overseeing all digital businesses, including NBCNews.com, as well as the news division’s editorial units. NBC News said this will allow for further integration of broadcast TV news and digital operations.
At ITV, March is credited with coming up with the strategy and delivery of the network’s entire online business. Prior to ITV, he spent 11 years at Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News, where he launched the Sky News app, and produced over 3,000 hours of live television, including coverage of major breaking news stories such as the 7/7 London bombings and the Indian Ocean tsunami. Read More »
4TH UPDATE: The international media mob holed up in front of London’s St. Mary’s Hospital no longer has to wait for the birth of the Royal Baby. It’s a boy and even the most hardened reporter and photographer and camera operator cheered the news as loudly as groups of UK greeters. ”How rare is it for the global media to have a story this positive to report,” CNN said on air. Right now ABC, NBC, CNN, FNC, Sky, BBC World, CNN International, France 24 but not Al Jazeera are reporting live from the UK and awaiting the baby’s name after the Royal Proclamation was placed on the special Buckingham Palace easel. “Right now there’s just not that much to photograph,” one of the Fox News anchors admitted to viewers. There will be the customary celebratory gun salutes in Green Park and at the Tower of London, providing fodder for global TV coverage. According to TVNewser, the Royal press release went out at 12:31 PM PT with Max Foster reporting on CNN, Amy Kellogg on Fox News and Jim Macedaon on MSNBC. NBC News and ABC News both produced special reports. Brian Williams anchored on NBC, with Natalie Morales at St. Mary’s and Keir Simmons at Buckingham Palace. David Muir anchored on ABC, with Amy Robach at St. Mary’s and Barbara Walters with Dr. Jennifer Ashton contributing from the New York studio. Read More »
Earlier this month, BSkyB’s Sky News channel admitted it had approved email hacking on two occasions. Now, Ofcom is investigating “the fairness and privacy issues raised by Sky News’ statement that it had accessed without prior authorization … Read More »
BSkyB’s Sky News admitted today that it has approved the hacking of emails on two occasions. Sky News chief John Ryley defended the moves in a statement that said the hacked email accounts belonged to individuals suspected of criminal … Read More »
In an extraordinary twist, News Corp has done today what it has spent months trying to prevent, and has forced the UK government to refer its £9 billion deal to buy BSkyB outright to anti-trust regulator the Competition Commission. This will delay the deal for months. But crucially, it means that News Corp does not have to drop its bid entirely.
Jeremy Hunt, the UK culture secretary, had no choice but to stand up in the House of Commons this afternoon and announce he was referring the BSkyB deal to the anti-trust regulator. Hunt said the move would address the “abuses of power” that have dogged the biggest deal of Rupert Murdoch’s career. Hunt may have presented what he was doing as a victory for tough government, but the truth is that’s exactly what the Murdochs now want: They believe they will be cleared of having too much media ownership if they buy BSkyB outright. Europe’s anti-trust regulator has already cleared the deal on competition grounds. News Corp has withdrawn its offer to spin off Sky News as a separate entity. Previously, FCC-equivalent Ofcom said that spinning off Sky News would be enough to swing the deal in its eyes.
Hunt is desperately rowing back from his previously sympathetic attitude towards the BSkyB deal. He has ambitions to be Prime Minister and has finally realized that the mushroom cloud rising over News International, News Corp’s UK newspaper arm, could affect his political ambitions, I’m told. Hunt has written to other regulators, asking them whether they want to reconsider their original go-ahead for the bid. Ofcom still has the ability to scupper the deal if it decides that News Corp is not a fit and proper owner for BSkyB. Since its original advice, press regulator the Press Complaints Commission said it was lied to by News International, James Murdoch has admitted serious wrongdoing and there are allegations of a cover-up stretching back to 2007.
BSkyB shares were down 7.5% this afternoon at 694p per share — well under the 700p per share that News Corp originally offered for the 61% of the pay-TV behemoth it does not already own. Read More »
UPDATE SATURDAY 7 PM: Almost 23 million viewers in the U.S. watched the coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton from 6AM to 7:15AM ET on Friday across 11 networks. That outpaces the estimated 17 million who tuned in for Prince Charles and Diana’s wedding in 1981, which was carried by the Big 3 broadcast networks in the era before the proliferation of cable. According to Nielsen, the combined viewership for yesterday’s nuptials was 22.77 million on ABC, CBS, NBC, Telemundo, Univision, BBC America, CNN, E!, FOX News, MSNBC and TLC. In households, the William-Kate wedding drew 18.6 million vs. 14.2 million for Charles-Diana. As for Charles’ wedding to Camila Parker Bowles in 2005, it was watched by 3.65 million viewers.
SATURDAY AM – Deadline’s London Editor Tim Adler reports: Nearly 27 million British TV viewers watched the Royal Wedding live, according to the three main broadcasters of Friday’s event. That is still fewer than the 28.4 million who watched the 1981 wedding of Charles and Diana on BBC and ITV. The BBC peaked at 20 million viewers when Prince William and Kate Middleton exchanged vows; ITV peaked at 6 million; and Sky News at 661,000. Those watching on other channels –- Channel 4 and Five –- made up only 1% of the Brit TV audience. The figures still put yesterday’s Royal Wedding among the top 10 of programs ever watched in the UK, although the 1966 World Cup final and Princess Diana’s 1997 funeral drew bigger audiences. Read More »
2ND UPDATE: A 5 AM walkthrough of the Royal Wedding route took place today complete with carriages, trumpeters and up to 1,000 members of the Armed Forces wearing full ceremonial uniform. Meanwhile, the first spectator has claimed his spot right outside Westminster Abbey, kitted out with flags, a sleeping bag and an umbrella. But when Prince William slides the wedding ring on Kate Middleton’s finger on April 29, will there really be an expected global audience of 2 billion watching? NBC keeps saying ”it’s completely false” that it has cut back on the number of pre-taped segments because U.S. networks may have overestimated America’s appetite for all things House of Windsor compared to 1981, when William’s father Prince Charles wed Lady Diana Spencer. This time, around 140 million U.S. viewers are expected to watch. Worldwide, when 800 million watched the Charles-Di nuptials, this time Tim Santhouse, operational manager at AP Television News Global Media Services tells me ”the volume of broadcasters coming to London, and the number of camera set-ups involved, is unprecedented in terms of interest from overseas broadcasters and the proliferation of news outlets.” AP will be providing camera set-ups and satellite uplinks for around 60 networks doing direct-to-camera pieces including Canada’s CTV, Australia’s Channel 9, and Arab news channel Al-Jazeera. The 62 broadcaster members of the European Broadcast Union -– which include ARD in Germany, France 2 and RAI in Italy –- will be getting their clean feed directly from the BBC. Sam Dubberly, who is in charge of forwarding BBC coverage, tells me, ”the closer we get to the wedding, the more requests we’ve been getting from members.” But NHK, the Japanese state broadcaster, won’t only out of respect for its still-grieving population in the wake of the earthquake/tsunami disaster.
Talk about a high-tech event: one estimate has 8,000 TV and radio reporters and support staff traveling from around the world into London to cover the nuptials, which start at 3 AM PT. Around 140 outside broadcast trucks with satellite uplinks will be parked in nearby Green Park, with every major world broadcaster lining up cameras along the procession route. The BBC will be using 21 cameras inside the scene of the wedding itself, Westminster Abbey, some of them wireless and remote-controlled. But Prince Charles’ office stopped Rupert Murdoch from shooting the wedding in 3D, saying there just wasn’t enough room for his extra equipment in the Abbey.
Here’s who’s trying to cash in on Friday’s wedding day: Read More »
Today sees huge changes in the British media landscape. Jeremy Hunt, the UK culture secretary, has approved Rupert Murdoch’s controversial bid to buy the 61% of pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB he does not already own. Hunt has decided not to refer News Corp’s £7.5 billion bid to UK antitrust regulator the Competition Commission. News Corp has offered to spin off news channel Sky News into a separate company. Rival news organisations have complained that News Corp would control too many news outlets if it owns Sky News and newspapers. Murdoch has offered to keep the loss-making news channel going for another 7-10 years. Sky News loses around £20 million ($33 million) each year. This approval is quite a milestone in seeing Rupert Murdoch becoming even more powerful. Read More »
City analysts think News Corp could be forced to pay up to £10.2bn ($16.2bn) for the 61% of BSkyB it doesn’t own. Sky’s shares rose by 11% after announcing strong first-half results this morning. Pre-tax profits at BSkyB rose to … Read More »
Channel 4’s deputy chairman has gone on the attack again, bashing Rupert Murdoch and News Corporation for the amount of power they wield in British media. On Sunday Puttnam, former CEO of Columbia Pictures, gave an interview to the Observer newspaper, calling for UK business secretary Vince Cable to block News Corp from owning BSkyB outright. Puttnam warned the BBC this afternoon that a unified Murdoch empire would have a single voice penetrating newspapers, TV and e-readers. Read More »
Nobody expects UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to block Rupert Murdoch from buying the 61% of Sky he doesn’t already own. But Cable, a popular politician here in Britain, is unhappy about Murdoch’s tightening grip on UK media. The official cannot … Read More »
That’s Sky News in Arabic. The Financial Times reports that BSkyB is in talks to launch a 24-hour Arabic rolling news service, based in Abu Dhabi. The Sky News offshoot could launch within two years. The Arabic news channel would be 50/50 joint … Read More »