Here’s what the new Disney/Fox merger looks like – Axios

I’m not too happy about the proposed merger between Disney and 20th Century Fox. Pretty sure we need less media consolidation, not more!

Walt Disney Company announced Thursday that it has agreed to acquire the entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox, including Fox’s movie studio and entertainment television networks, as well as Fox’s international TV assets.

Why it matters: The new mega-media company will have better leverage to compete with tech giants like Netflix for entertainment viewership and more opportunities to expand Disney’s legacy sports brand, ESPN.

Source: Here’s what the new Disney/Fox merger looks like – Axios

How journalists can avoid a James O’Keefe-style sting – Columbia Journalism Review

Undercover videographer and conservative political activist James O’Keefe made a vow on the eve of President Trump’s inauguration: “I’m going after the media next,” he said. “We have your name. We have your number. We are embedded in your institutions. We are inside the newsrooms, and that is our next target.” O’Keefe later claimed he already has “hundred of hours” of media-related video.

This threat comes as O’Keefe’s prominence in politics has spiked. He’s known for stings that feature secretly obtained footage edited for maximum impact (he’s most famous for an undercover operation that led to the downfall of the now-defunct community organizing group ACORN). O’Keefe, whose work on voter fraud President Trump endorsed just weeks before Election Day, recently told The Washington Post that his latest sting video led the FBI to arrest a man suspected of planning a violent inauguration protest. “It legitimizes what we’re doing,” O’Keefe told the Post. “It’s a new era for us.”

Source: How journalists can avoid a James O’Keefe-style sting – Columbia Journalism Review

Climate change:NC teens petition NC environment commission to cut fossil fuel and greenhouse gases | News & Observer

News broke today that Hallie is trying again, this time with friends, to get North Carolina’s environment back on track. Go, Hallie!

Hallie Turner was 13 years old when she stood outside a Wake County courtroom telling media crews with cameras trained on her that she planned to continue to fight for action on climate change despite her unsuccessful attempt to sue North Carolina over its environmental rules.

Now 15, Hallie is trying again to get the state Department of Environmental Quality and the state Environmental Management Commission to adopt a rule calling for a sharp reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases over the next three decades. This time, two other North Carolina teens — Emily Liu, 16, of Chapel Hill, and Arya Pontula, a Raleigh 17-year-old, will join Hallie in petitioning the commission.

With the help of Ryke Longest at the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, and Our Children’s Trust, a Oregon-based nonprofit focused on climate change, the teens hope to persuade the state to adopt a rule ensuring that by 2050 carbon dioxide emissions would be down to zero.

“It would be a future in which you would not be burning fossil fuels to power your homes,” Longest said on Monday, the day before the teens plan to file their petition.

Source: Climate change:NC teens petition NC environment commission to cut fossil fuel and greenhouse gases | News & Observer

What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake? – POLITICO Magazine

“Newspaper had been running the equivalent of a very nice high-end steakhouse,” she says. Then McDonald’s moved to town and started selling untold numbers of cheap hamburgers. Newspaper thought, “Let’s compete with that,” and dropped the steak for hamburger, even though it had no real expertise in producing hamburgers. “What they should have done is improve the steak product.”

Source: What If the Newspaper Industry Made a Colossal Mistake? – POLITICO Magazine

How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets – POLITICO Magazine

A great story on how two dogged reporters uncovered former HHS Secretary Tom Price’s overindulgence of private jet travel.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/APPRIMARY SOURCEHow We Found Tom Price’s Private JetsA tantalizing tip, followed by months of painstaking reporting, revealed the HHS secretary’s extravagant travel habits.

The first tip came from a casual conversation with a source back in May: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was using private jets for routine travel, possibly in violation of federal travel rules that allowed such flights only when commercial options weren’t available.

But it was a tip and little else—no times, no names of charter services and not even a schedule from a notoriously secretive Cabinet secretary.

So we embarked on a months-long effort to win the trust of sources, both in and outside of HHS, who were in a position to know about the secretary’s travel. This required numerous meetings and phone calls, sometimes after hours, seeking to confirm what the original source acknowledged was just secondhand information. Neither of us had ever reported a story of this difficulty before.

Source: How We Found Tom Price’s Private Jets – POLITICO Magazine

Google Fiber not even offering TV in new rollouts

TV networks are as obsolete as rabbit ears

Google Fiber, noting America’s accelerating cord-cutting trend, today announced that it will not be offering television as part of its Louisville and San Antonio rollouts.

Think about that. A major, next-generation telecommunications provider has chosen to skip the video offerings, acknowledging that its customers just aren’t interested. Says Google:

If you’ve been reading the business news lately, you know that more and more people are moving away from traditional methods of viewing television content. Customers today want to control what, where, when, and how they get content. They want to do it their way, and we want to help them.

[…]

For our existing markets with TV as a part of their product offerings, nothing is changing — although more and more of you are choosing Internet-only options from Google Fiber. We’ve seen this over and over again in our Fiber cities.

I predicted back in 2009 (and again, and again, and again, and again, and again) that television networks and cable companies that don’t embrace Internet delivery are doomed:

Last week, I was describing to a friend who was new to Tivo how Tivo changes television. Through the magic of Tivo, MythTV, and similar DVRs, viewers have no use for TV networks anymore. We will watch (or stream) only the show they want and leave the rest. TV networks spend time assembling programming into a “channel” only to have that programming disassembled by Tivo. Eventually viewers will get wise and cut out the network middleman.

The traditional way of watching television is dead.
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