Media Business

By Matthew Sheffield | March 14, 2013 | 1:55 AM EDT

Keith Olbermann, the whiney, deranged former MSNBC anchor has settled a lawsuit he had filed against his former employer Current TV, taking home far less than he had been asking for.

According to the New York Post, Olbermann and attorneys representing the former owners of Current TV, which was sold to the Qatari-government-owned Al Jazeera network earlier this year, reached a deal to give him a $5 million payout instead of the $50 million he had sued for.

By Noel Sheppard | March 12, 2013 | 3:57 PM EDT

LA Weekly on Tuesday published a story about a rumored purchase of the Tribune Company by the Koch Brothers.

As you might imagine, this has gotten great attention in the media world:

By Ken Shepherd | March 11, 2013 | 6:25 PM EDT

Kara Swisher of the Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.com has a March 9 post in which she noted how former U.S. Vice President Al Gore was confronted at 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival about his sale of Current TV to the Qatari government-backed Al Jazeera network by her colleague, AllThingsD editor Walt Mossberg:

You sold your network to Al Jazeera, which is owned by a government that’s a big oil producer,” asked Mossberg. “How could you do that?”

By Ken Shepherd | March 8, 2013 | 5:05 PM EST

Liberal bias in journalism is not just bad for the profession as an abstract concept, it's bad for the bottom line of media companies and their shareholders. That was the argument of one Justin Danhof of the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) when he attended a Disney shareholders meeting and confronted the entertainment company's CEO Bob Iger about liberal bias at the news division of ABC. "Liberal bias pervades Disney's media outlets" and "it's time to stop denying this bias and start doing something about it," Danhof argued, having cited former ESPN analyst Rob Parker's "cornball brother" crack about black quarterback and alleged Republican Robert Griffin III and ABC News's Brian Ross's infamous episode in which he hinted that Auroroa, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes might be a Tea Party member.

Danhof argued that Disney executives need to take seriously NCPPR's concerns and the concerns of other conservatives who happen to own Disney stock. Danhof appealed not so much to Iger's sense of journalistic integrity but rather the bottom line: Putting out a fairer, more balanced news product may help ABC attract more conservative viewers, and with them, higher ratings and more customers buying products from ABC News program sponsors, leading of course to higher profit margins for Disney. [h/t Huffington Post; Danhof's statement embedded below the page break]

By Craig Bannister | March 8, 2013 | 1:04 PM EST

Does New York Times columnist Al Hunt actually have the psychic ability to tell what Rep. Steve King REALLY meant by a comment the congressman made on immigration? Rep. King doesn't think so. And, if you watch this video, you won't either.

On Feb. 24, 2013, Al Hunt wrote a New York Times column entitled, "A Struggle for Control of the Republican Party" in which he accused King of being well-known for making anti-immigrant rants, citing comments King made last year referring to bird dogs.

By Ken Shepherd | March 7, 2013 | 3:51 PM EST

Media consultant John Terenzio is suing former U.S. Vice President Al Gore for stiffing him of a cool $5 million over the environmental activist's sale of Current TV to the Al Jazeera, the Islamist-friendly news network owned by the oil-rich country of Qatar. In a nutshell, Terenzio claims the sale was his idea and that he got the ball rolling on the sale, only to see Gore initially reject it before changing his mind and negotiating the sale without Terenzio.

Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter has the details in what is the latest development in the Al Gorezeera saga:

By Ken Shepherd | March 4, 2013 | 6:24 PM EST

While we've shown how the media have studiously sought to blame congressional Republicans for the sequester and inoculate President Obama against any blame, it appears to not be working. We'll keep an eye out to see to what extent, if at all, the broadcast networks report on the dip in the president's job approval numbers.

As Politico's "44" blog noted this afternoon, the president has taken a hit this weekend in his job approval rating. Reported Donovan Slack (emphasis mine):

By Matthew Sheffield | March 4, 2013 | 12:03 PM EST

After a few months crying in the bathtub, disgraced left-wing television personality Keith Olbermann has crawled back out into public view in an effort to beg sports network ESPN to hire him back. 

Nothing has come of his efforts so far but the New York Times reports that Olbermann has at least been given a meeting with ESPN president John Skipper.

By Ken Shepherd | February 28, 2013 | 1:30 PM EST

In a 19-paragraph story today, Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi took a look at how various newspapers around the country are backing away from their initial requests for public records of gun owners. "For the third time in as many months, a newspaper has faced an angry backlash, including threats of violence, after it sought government data on local gun permit holders," Farhi noted. "In the two most recent instances, the newspapers rescinded requests for the documents amid the outcry, with one issuing an abject apology to its readers and the local sheriff for daring to seek the information in the first place," he griped.

In a time when the print newspaper is an endangered species, you'd think Farhi might present the story with the angle being how liberal papers are shooting themselves in the feet with stunts that harm their advertising revenue and subscription base. But no, the thrust of Farhi's piece is how newspapers are cowering away from doing their job. To make this point, Farhi turned to journalism professor Geneva Overholser, who perhaps is most infamous for her call eight years ago for newspapers to identify alleged rape victims (emphasis mine):

By Ken Shepherd | February 27, 2013 | 4:15 PM EST

ESPN Pardon the Interruption co-host  Michael Wilbon is no fan of comedian Seth MacFarlane's performance as emcee of Sunday night's Oscar awards. But rather than leave his criticisms confined to the merits of MacFarlane's performance, the liberal former Washington Post sports columnist whipped out the race card on Washington, D.C.'s ESPN 980, reports WTOP.com:

"They got tired of famous black people, so they've got to go get a white guy? Affirmative action Academy Awards host?" Wilbon said. "Is that what this is about? Really?"

By NB Staff | February 24, 2013 | 11:33 PM EST

"They're dumb and they're lazy, they're also dishonest." That's how NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell assessed the liberal media's parroting of President Obama's sky-is-falling predictions regarding the pending federal sequester, which, of course, the media are largely failing to remind folks was the president's idea.

By Matthew Sheffield | February 21, 2013 | 1:31 PM EST

The New York Times Company, owners of the Boston Globe newspaper, is once again trying to find someone to take the struggling Massachusetts newspaper off its hands.

The Times previously tried to sell the Globe in 2009 but canceled the sale process after it received concessions from is unions (love the irony there).