Morning Media Newsfeed: AP Journalists Shot | Schultz’s Legal Woes | Blade Sues U.S. Gov’t

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AP Photographer Killed, Reporter Wounded in Afghanistan (The Associated Press)
An Afghan police commander opened fire Friday on two Associated Press journalists, killing Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Anja Niedringhaus and wounding veteran correspondent Kathy Gannon — the first known case of a security insider attacking journalists in Afghanistan. FishbowlNY Niedringhaus and Gannon were covering the nation’s election when a policeman opened fire on their vehicle. Niedringhaus was killed instantly and Gannon was shot twice and later underwent surgery. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Niedringhaus and Gannon were traveling in a convoy of election workers delivering ballots from the center of Khost city to the outskirts, in Tani district, protected by the Afghan National Army and Afghan police. As they were sitting in the car waiting for the convoy to move, a unit commander named Naqibullah walked up to the car, yelled “Allahu Akbar” — God is Great — and opened fire on them in the back seat with his AK-47. He then surrendered to the other police and was arrested. BBC News The attack came as Afghanistan intensified security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban. The new president will succeed Hamid Karzai, who has been in power since the 2001 fall of the Taliban but is constitutionally barred from seeking a third consecutive term. The run-up to this historic election had already been the bloodiest, and fears of electoral fraud are pronounced. NYT Niedringhaus, a German citizen who was based in Geneva, first came to Afghanistan after joining the AP in 2002, and she quickly formed a partnership with Gannon. They were among a band of female photographers and correspondents who persevered through many years of conflict in Iraq as well as in Afghanistan. In the process, they helped redefine traditional notions of war reporting. Even as they covered the battlefield, they also focused attention on the human impact of conflicts known for their random, unpredictable violence against civilians.

Court Ruling: Case Against MSNBC’s Ed Schultz May Proceed (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a legal action taken by an NBC employee against MSNBC’s Ed Schultz over compensation from his television deal may proceed to a jury. Michael Queen sued Schultz in 2011, alleging fraud and breach of contract, among other charges, in the aftermath of what Queen alleges was a partnership with Schultz to secure a television program for him. TVNewser Queen and Schultz met in January 2008 at NBC in Washington. Queen claims he approached Schultz and asked him if he had anybody helping him try to land a TV show. “No,” Schultz is quoted as saying in the complaint. “Now you’re it!” Queen set up the taping of a McLaughlin Group-style program at WUSA-TV, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. Queen claims to have also pitched CBS, Fox News, MSNBC and some syndicators, but nothing came of those meetings. A year later, MSNBC president Phil Griffin reached out directly to Schultz, and a deal was made. HuffPost The lawsuit has been going slowly through the courts since 2011. Queen, an engineer in NBC’s Washington bureau, filed a federal lawsuit against Schultz for at least $100,000 — the amount Queen says he is owed as a portion of the profits from The Ed ShowTHR / Hollywood, Esq. In the 2011 suit, the plaintiff said there was first a verbal deal and that later an exchange of emails setting out the terms of a partnership. Schultz refused to sign a written agreement, though, and negotiations dragged on. When Schultz accepted an offer from MSNBC to host The Ed Show, Queen sued for breach of contract, fraud in the inducement, tortious interference and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Schultz responded by counterclaiming for fraud, slander and libel. In August 2012, a judge rejected all of the claims on summary judgment.

The Toledo Blade Files Lawsuit After Journalists Detained (Toledo Blade)
The Blade filed a lawsuit Friday in U.S. District Court against a variety of government officials over the detention of two journalists by military security outside the General Dynamics Lima tank plant. Blade reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser were detained March 28 by military security outside the plant and had cameras confiscated and pictures deleted. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Linkhorn and Fraser were in Lima, a western Ohio city about 80 miles southwest of Toledo, covering a Ford Motor Co. news conference at the automaker’s plant there. Afterward, they went to shoot photos of businesses in the area for future use, including the tank plant, which is also known as the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center. The reporters were at the entry portions of the plant, in an area where no fence or gate restricted access, according to the complaint. They did not pass a guard hut, which is about 30 feet from Buckeye Road. Fraser took several photographs, all of which were of property visible from public streets. HuffPost Military police stopped the pair in the driveway of the factory, detained them and confiscated their cameras — after they had identified themselves as journalists. Photos the journalists had taken were deleted. Poynter / MediaWire The lawsuit also says the MPs “repeatedly addressed and referred to plaintiff Fraser in terms denoting the masculine gender. Plaintiff Fraser objected and requested that defendants employ an appropriate mode of address.”

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Stephen Colbert Is CBS’ Top Choice to Succeed Letterman, And He’s Into It (Mashable)
Stephen Colbert is CBS’ top choice to replace the retiring David Letterman, and has indicated that he’s willing to take over The Late Show when the time comes, people familiar with both sides of the discussions say. Colbert has not had any formal contract discussions with CBS, and no agreement is in place, but sources say that he first engaged with network executives while Letterman was still mulling the timing of his retirement. Mediaite Letterman is planning to depart some time in 2015, and Colbert’s Comedy Central contract is up at the end of 2014. CBS has, of course, been talking to lots of people about the spot (including Jon Stewart), but sources say Colbert is “the front-and-center candidate.” Variety Colbert has hosted The Colbert Report in the persona of faux conservative commentator since 2005 after getting his start on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Moving to CBS would give him the opportunity to move out from behind the mask of the fulminating Bill O’Reilly-esque character he’s played for nearly a decade.

Hillary Clinton: Media ‘Double Standard’ on Women (Politico)
Hillary Clinton discussed her work at the State Department, called for young women not to take criticisms personally and rapped the media for treating powerful women with a double standard at the kickoff of “Women in the World” in New York City. TVNewser “There is a double standard,” Clinton said. “The double standard is alive and well, and I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence,” she added. Clinton’s comments about the media’s gender double standard came a day after a new Women’s Media Center report showed a different issue when it comes to females and the media: a wide gap between the number of female media figures and their male counterparts. HuffPost Clinton also offered words of advice to young women, telling them not to take the media’s treatment of them personally and to remain tough in the face of such criticisms. She added that it is time to start discussing “all the lines that divide us” as to not further distance the gap between men and women.

Condé Nast Settles Intern-Pay Lawsuit (Capital New York)
Condé Nast is settling a lawsuit brought by two former interns, CEO Chuck Townsend said in a staff memo Friday. The lawsuit, “Ballinger v. Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc.,” was filed in U.S. District Court in New York last June by Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib, who alleged they had been paid below minimum wage for their respective summer internships at W magazine and The New Yorker. About four months later, Condé Nast decided it would discontinue its internship program. Poynter / MediaWire According to the staff memo, Townsend said, “We believe that settling the lawsuit at this time is the right business decision for Condé Nast.” The terms of the settlement are still being worked out. Adweek In his memo, Townsend praised the now-defunct internship program, writing, “We are, and have always been, extremely proud of the internship experiences that were offered at Condé Nast… The training and contacts our interns received at Condé Nast helped many begin successful careers here and elsewhere.”

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MGM, James Bond Producers Sue Universal Over Section 6 Project (Variety)
MGM and James Bond producers Danjaq have filed a copyright infringement suit against NBCUniversal claiming that the studio’s Section 6 feature project is a rip off of the lucrative 007 franchise. The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, also names screenwriter Aaron Berg. “This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project, in active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by ‘His Majesty’s Secret Service,’ with a ‘license to kill,’ and a 00 (double-O) secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomaniacal villain,” the suit states. THR / Hollywood, Esq. The plaintiffs demand that Universal be stopped from continuing to allegedly infringe its Bond works and also demand actual damages and advantages gained. Allegations of theft are common in Hollywood, although rarely does a copyright battle pit major Hollywood studios against each other.

J. Lo Outbids Diddy for Fuse TV (FishbowlNY)
NuvoTV, the cable channel backed by Jennifer Lopez, has won the bidding war for Fuse Network. Lopez was going head-to-head with her former boyfriend, Sean “Diddy” Combs, for MSG-owned Fuse. Variety The parent company of NuvoTV reached a $226 million deal with MSG to acquire the music-centric cabler. “Music is my first love so the acquisition of Fuse is near and dear to my heart,” said Lopez, who serves as chief creative officer for NuvoTV. The deal unveiled Friday by SiTV Media CEO Michael Schwimmer and MSG CEO Tad Smith calls for MSG to receive cash plus 15 percent of the equity in the enlarged SiTV Media parent company of NuvoTV.

Google to Launch Android TV (The Verge)
According to documents obtained exclusively by The Verge, Google is about to launch a renewed assault on your television set called Android TV. Major video app providers are building for the platform right now. Android TV may sound like a semantic difference — after all, Google TV was based on Android — but it’s something very different. Android TV is no longer a crazy attempt to turn your TV into a bigger, more powerful smartphone. “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,” writes Google. Mashable The device will also be compatible with gaming, and come with an optional gaming controller, much like the Fire TV. The interface will include “cards” for each movie, show, app and games — all sitting on a virtual shelf — and users will be able to access a remote control to navigate through the content. The news follows reports that the company is in talks to launch its own wireless service in regions where it already offers Google Fiber Internet and TV service.

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Vine Co-Founder Colin Kroll Is Stepping Down (Mashable)
Vine co-founder Colin Kroll announced via Twitter that he is stepping down from his position as Vine’s general manager. Kroll, who co-founded the app that Twitter acquired in late 2012, did not specifically say he is leaving Twitter, but rather stepping away from his day-to-day role. Kroll wrote that he plans to stay on as an advisor. When another Twitter user responded to ask what’s next, Kroll declined to comment further. The move came just 24 hours after Vine launched a new private messaging feature. A second Vine co-founder, Dom Hoffman, stepped down from the company in January.

NBC News Centralizes Guest Bookings (TVNewser)
NBC News president Deborah Turness has named Matt Zimmerman VP of booking. Zimmerman will head up a new consolidated booking unit, reporting to Turness. Zimmerman has been the senior booking producer at Today for the last five years, where he will continue to devote much of his time. “[G]iven that we live in an increasingly competitive environment, it is crucial that we leverage our scale and mount a highly coordinated effort to get the big prizes,” wrote Turness in a note to staff.

3 Who Raped Journalist in India Sentenced to Death (The Associated Press)
An Indian court on Friday sentenced to death three men who raped a photojournalist inside an abandoned textile mill last year in Mumbai, India’s biggest city. A fourth defendant was sentenced to life in prison, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said. He said he asked for the death sentence under a strict anti-rape law introduced following public outrage over a fatal gang rape in New Delhi in 2012. “This is the first case in India in which the death penalty has been given to convicts while the victim is alive,” Nikam said. Judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi said the offense was diabolical in nature and the punishment would send a strong message to Indian society.

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Yahoo! Makes New Push Into Video Production (WSJ)
Yahoo! is raising its ambitions in online video, with plans to acquire the kind of programming that typically winds up on high-end cable TV networks or streaming services like Netflix, people briefed on the company’s plans say. The company is close to ordering four Web series, the people briefed on Yahoo’s plans say. And unlike in years past, Yahoo! isn’t looking for short-form Web originals, but rather 10-episode, half-hour comedies with per-episode budgets ranging from $700,000 to a few million dollars, the people say. The projects being considered would be helmed by writers or directors with experience in television.

Mary Murcko Named Self Publisher (FishbowlNY)
The Self upheaval is complete. Condé Nast announced that Mary Murcko has been named vice president and publisher of the magazine. Murcko was formerly the Gannett Company’s president of national sales. She also previously served as a VP and group publisher at Rodale. Murcko’s appointment came a day after Lucy Danziger and Laura McEwen were sent packing.

Best Q1 Since 1994 for CBS Sunday Morning (TVNewser)
More good news for CBS Sunday Morning: the Charles Osgood-hosted show posted its best Q1 delivery in total viewers since 1994 during the first quarter of 2014. It was the second best Q1 for CBS Sunday Morning since the advent of people meters in 1987. The program was the top Sunday morning newscast for the quarter, averaging 6.14 million viewers and 1.6/08 in the adult 25-54 demographic.

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