Both CNBC and Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday that the cable giant was set to purchase the rival company for $159 per share in an all-stock deal. Charter Communications had previously been attempting a hostile takeover, which TWC’s chairman rejected on Tuesday as trying to “steal the company.”
*PHILADELPHIA – To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a major milestone of the Civil Rights Movement where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, Comcast has created a first of its kind video compilation to help chronicle the history and impact of the movement.
Called His Dream, Our Stories, the package includes more than 80 unique and personal interviews with civic leaders, elders, clergy, and activists, and will be available on Xfinity On Demand and online through October 12th and permanently at HisDreamOurStories.com.
Through commentary and archived footage, His Dream, Our Stories chronicles the March on Washington, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement through interviews from influential leaders, including Rev. Billy Kyles, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young, Ernest Green of the Little Rock Nine, political leaders like Rep. John Lewis and attendees of the March on Washington, the Detroit Walk to Freedom and the Selma-Montgomery March. Other topics include sit-ins of the 1960s, the Atlanta Student Movement, Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike of 1968 and the impact and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement on minority communities of all types.
In addition to viewing the full library of interviews, visitors to HisDreamOurStories.com will be able to submit their own stories commemorating the 50th anniversary of this pivotal event in our nation’s history. Users will also be able to discover and learn about civil rights organizations which continue to work toward equality and freedom, including the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, the National Urban League, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Civil Rights Museum.
“Comcast and NBCUniversal are proud to contribute to this anniversary with such compelling content about the fight for civil rights,” said Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment, Comcast Corporation, and President of the Comcast Foundation. “It’s important to remember Dr. King’s legacy, and this unprecedented interactive multimedia package enables stories to be shared like never before.”
In addition to HisDreamOurStories.com, which serves as the ongoing online location for footage, features and finding and sharing information about the Civil Rights Movement, Comcast and NBCUniversal are making the content available across a variety of other platforms as part of current and planned coverage of the August 28th March on Washington anniversary.
- Xfinity On Demand: Xfinity TV customers can access the “March on DC at 50” folder to watch 80+ video interviews.
- Xfinity TV Player App: Xfinity TV customers can view 80+ video interviews on mobile devices.
- His Dream, Our Stories e-book: In late August, an educational e-book from NBC Publishing including 25 videos and an introduction from news journalist Lester Holt will be available to download for free on iTunes, Amazon and Nook stores.
- MSNBC: MSNBC will feature His Dream, Our Stories content online.
- NBC Owned Television Stations: NBC stations (including New York, Southern California, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas-Fort Worth, Bay Area, Washington, D.C., South Florida, San Diego and Connecticut) will have His Dream, Our Stories content on their websites.
- InteractiveOne.com: The website from the RadioOne/TVOne family will provide access to the videos on their NewsOne site as well as local sites.
- Comcast Newsmakers: Selected interviews will be inserted on CNN Headline News as part of the National Edition of Comcast Newsmakers.
- RollingStone.com: Rolling Stone will feature His Dream, Our Stories content online.
Additionally, anyone interested in utilizing the rich content library of
His Dream, Our Stories
- can embed any of the videos to share content on their own websites, blogs and social media platforms.
For more information about Comcast and NBCUniversal’s diversity and inclusion efforts, visit www.comcast.com/diversity.
About Comcast Corporation:
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone provider to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates 30 news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.
*Diddy can’t stop … won’t stop evolving his business.
The Hip Hop mogul is getting ready to launch what he’s calling the revolution.
Revolt, a lifestyle cable network is getting ready to launch in July.
Diddy’s been prepping the world lately with a new social media campaign, including video vignettes that feature Mac Miller and the Game, and a bunch of cryptic trailers.
Like perfect Sean Combs fashion, it looks like it’ll be quite exciting. The network will feature art, music, fashion, culture and film.
He gets to add network owner to his long list of titles, including rapper, producer, reality TV connoisseur, fashion designer, restaurant owner, liquor man, and so much more.
Revolt, which will be distributed through Comcast, will be aimed at African American audiences.
In a statement, the mogul boasted that the network will be “the first channel created entirely from the ground up in this new era of social media.”
“We’re building this platform for artists to reach an extraordinary number of people in a completely different way,” he added. “Revolt will be live, like all great moments in television history.”
In 2011, Comcast announced that it would solicit proposals for independent channels as a commitment to the Federal Communications Commission to help launch minority-owned networks, according to the LA Times. It plans to launch 10 over the next eight years, with four being majority African American-owned. Magic Johnson and filmmaker Robert Rodriguez have also brokered channels through the deal.
Check out the teaser trailer:
*Veteran TV exec Jeff Zucker spent over two decades at NBC, starting as a researcher in 1986 and ending as the President and CEO of NBC Universal before he left in 2010 amid the network’s merger with Comcast.
After a stint producing Katie Couric’s new daytime talk show, he was announced in November 2012 as the new president of the ratings-challenged CNN, with his run to begin Jan. 1. So far, he’s set in motion a flurry of changes, according to the Wall Street Journal, that appears to threaten the morning gig of longtime CNN contributor Soledad O’Brien.
Aside from confirming the departure of CNN’s managing editor Mark Whitaker’s departure, CNN said Tuesday that it had hired Chris Cuomo for a “major role in a new CNN morning show,” expected to be launched this spring. He is the third reporter that Zucker has poached from ABC News or its cable sibling, ESPN, since coming on board. ABC and ESPN are both owned by the Walt Disney Co.
O’Brien, who anchors CNN’s current low-rated morning show, will remain at CNN, reports the Wall Street Journal, and is in discussion about her future role, according to a CNN spokeswoman.
CNN is also overhauling its lineup of political pundits, with the departure of be the husband-and-wife team of political commentators, James Carville and Mary Matalin, CNN confirmed. Conservative commentator Erick Erickson also confirmed on his blog that he was also moving on from CNN.
Whitaker, a former Newsweek editor and NBC News executive who had been at CNN since 2011, was regarded as a champion of international reporting.
Under Whitaker, there was a belief that CNN should differentiate itself from the cable news pack by focusing on the one thing it could do that its rivals couldn’t: deliver hard news, instantly, from anywhere in the world.
But CNN in the past couple of years has fallen further behind its more opinionated rivals, Comcast Corp.’s MSNBC and News Corp’s Fox News Channel, in prime-time ratings.
Current and former CNN employees believe Whitaker’s departure, combined with the recent hires, signals that Zucker is looking to pull back CNN’s international reporting somewhat and focus more on the kinds of stories that Americans are talking about on any given day.
“News is about more than just politics and war,” Zucker told reporters in November when he was named for the CNN job. “In order to stay relevant in the times when there is not breaking news, we have to understand that news can be defined in different ways.”
Zucker, who has a background in news as the former longtime executive producer of NBC News’ “Today” show, will take over the editorial functions formerly handled by Whitaker.
*Earvin Magic Johnson isn’t the only one moving forward with his own cable network.
Today, Sean “Diddy” Combs is scheduled to announce more details about the launch of his music-themed cable channel called Revolt, The New York Times reported, citing confirmation from his PR agency.
According to the Times, Combs’ channel could launch at the end of the year; it’s poised to be a mix of music and news content inspired by the 24-7 flow of social-networking sites.
Comcast will carry the network in various markets, while rival cable TV provider Time Warner is in talks to pick it up, the Times said.
As previously reported, Magic Johnson is set to launch his African American-themed cable channel Aspire on June 30 via Comcast.
*NBA legend-turned-business mogul, Earvin Magic Johnson, is gearing up for the next phase of his expansive business portfolio – running his own network.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Hall of Famer is preparing for the summer launch of Aspire, a 24-hour channel with a focus on what Johnson called positive, uplifting images of African Americans. The basic cable outlet will join other channels targeting black viewers, such as BET and TV One, and will offer opportunities for blacks who have struggled to find work in mainstream Hollywood.
“This is so exciting for me, I’m pinching myself,” Johnson told the LA Times’ Greg Braxton and Meg James in a phone interview. “This is big for myself, for the African American community and the African American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African Americans for our community. Aspire — that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”
Aspire’s mix will include film, TV, music and comedy, with a combination of acquired projects and original programming. “There will some performing arts and shows about faith,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s entry into the television arena comes courtesy of communications giant Comcast Corp. as part of its agreement with the FCC and Department of Justice to diversify the cable landscape. Comcast agreed last year to launch 10 new independently owned cable channels, with most backed by African Americans and Latinos, by 2018. Johnson’s channel is scheduled to be the first.
Comcast’s obligation to support minority-owned channels came after a bruising yearlong federal review of the Philadelphia cable company’s acquisition of NBCUniversal, which includes the NBC broadcast network, NBC television stations, Universal Studios, Universal Pictures, cable channels USA, Bravo, Syfy, MSNBC and CNBC and Spanish-language broadcaster Telemundo.
During the extensive review process, which spanned all of 2010, executives were called before Congress to defend the merger. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) was particularly tenacious in her grilling of NBCUniversal and Comcast officers, questioning their commitment to hiring and advancing minorities.
With Aspire, which is scheduled for a June 30 launch, Johnson becomes the second A-list celebrity to launch a network in the last two years. Oprah Winfrey established OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network as a vehicle for her philosophy of inspiration and personal empowerment. But OWN has struggled ever since its January 2011 launch, failing to develop any shows or projects that have attracted large audiences.
Johnson is aware of the risks: “We’ll learn from those who have gone before us. We understand the landscape, and we will run a sound business.”
Launching a cable channel takes considerable investment — in some cases, as much as $100 million. Johnson declined to discuss the financial details, although the venture will be paid for through a combination of personal and private equity funds.
Aspire will have headquarters in Atlanta and will partner with GMC, a regional cable channel that offers uplifting programming. The channel Aspire initially will be available in 11 million of Comcast Cable customers’ homes. Johnson hopes to expand the network to other cable providers to reach about 50 million homes within a few years.
Johnson will be the chief executive of Aspire, while Eric Holoman, the president of Magic Johnson Enterprises, will be chief operating officer.
An executive to run the channel is being sought. Johnson will not have much involvement with programming: “I’m not going to be picking shows. That’s not what I do.”