360AM — Morning news briefing for Thursday, Apr. 19 (Updated 8pm ET)
Motorola was today ordered to pay $23 million to lawyers (including Black Family Channel co-owner Willie Gary) representing a now defunct company, SPS Technologies, in a suit alleging poor conduct in an earlier trial. Motorola intends to appeal. [AP]
Former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio was convicted of 19 of 42 insider trading charges today; each count carries a potential $1 million fine and 10 years in jail. He will be sentenced on July 27 and is free on $2 million bail. [AP]
Google reported a 69% increase in quarterly net profit in its 1st quarter earnings today, primarily due to higher advertising revenue. CEO Eric Schmidt said he’s "ecstatic" about the results while cautioning analysts on the company’s earnings call that growth will likely slow in mid-year. He also clarified his remarks at NAB this week regarding YouTube‘s "Claim Your Content." Schmidt said the DMCA-compliant system will "somewhat automate the takedown process" for copyright holders looking to remove videos that have been illegally uploaded. [Release | Seeking Alpha earnings call transcript | AP]
EARLIER: Aiming for on-air restraint in its post-Imus era and following fierce internal debate, NBC is restricting MSNBC‘s on-air use of the video footage mailed by Virginia Tech shooter Cho-Seung Hui to NBC News to a maximum of 6 minutes per hour, according to TVNewser. Some family members of the victims protested NBC’s decision to air the footage by pulling out of a scheduled Today Show appearance this morning. Responding to the backlash, Fox News Channel has stopped airing the Cho videos from NBC News. MSNBC yesterday broke the news of the package’s arrival at NBC headquarters in New York, which was handled with "restraint" on Brian Williams’ NBC newscast notes the Baltimore Sun. NBC News president Steve Capus then discussed the shocking package on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews (which TVNewser transcribed). MSNBC.com posts excerpts from Cho’s video and document "manifesto" with warnings about the graphic and disturbing images and content. NBC got a 7.4 rating/15 share for Williams’ report last night featuring the gunman’s footage. It averaged 10.3 million viewers on Monday night, followed by ABC and CBS. MSNBC was the third-ranked cable news network on Monday, averaging 525,000 viewers vs. Fox News Channel‘s 1.64 million viewers and CNN‘s 1.27 million viewers in total day Nielsen ratings.
A day after announcing it’s launching in Los Angeles, AT&T U-verse today introduced mobile remote DVR access to subscribers with its U-verse TV and Internet service. "AT&T customers can use the mobile remote interface to interact with their in-home U-verse receiver through any [WAP] 2.0-compliant cell phone or other hand-held device," AT&T noted in its announcement. "AT&T plans to make the feature available to customers of other wireless providers in the near future." The company also unveiled its first three-screen advertising deal: a partnership with Chase Card Services to sponsor Tim McGraw’s 2007 Swampstock concert with original content for AT&T subscribers. Chase underwrote McGraw’s Swampstock 2006, but this year Chase is sponsoring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage at Swampstock for AT&T U-verse and Homezone subscribers, a Swampstock broadband channel and related voice tones and wallpaper for AT&T wireless customers.
A retransmission consent dispute is flaring in NW Louisiana, where Suddenlink Communications is warning customers they may lose ABC programming provided by KTBS—a family-owned broadcast station based in Shreveport—on Apr. 25. "With a monopoly on broadcasting ABC programming in this area, KTBS has been granted free taxpayer-subsidized spectrum, and now they want to charge for it once again," Suddenlink spokesman Pete Abel said in a statement posted on the station’s website, which includes an online petition form. Area residents lost local broadcast station KTAL in Feb. 2005 when Cox Communications dropped the NBC affiliate in a dispute that was resolved when a court ordered Cox to reinstate the channel and the companies agreed to new terms.
Cable operators are racing to roll out CableCARD-enabled set-top boxes; Massillon Cable in Ohio received more than 600 boxes yesterday to help fulfill its backlog of orders. [The Repository, Canton OH]
New Yorkers with at least two telecommunications services (ex. cable and high-speed Internet) are 93% satisfied versus 90% for those with one service, according to a survey by the state’s Public Service Commission. 82% of respondents have either cable or satellite; 54% have broadband; and 7% have VoIP phone service, with 93% of those customers expressing satisfaction with the service. [Empire State News]
Sunday’s installment of The Sopranos on HBO was the top-rated cable program for the week ending Apr. 15 with 4.78 million homes and 7.42 million viewers. WWE’s Raw on USA was #5 and 10 for the week, VH1‘s I Love New York and Charm School landed at 7 and 8 respectively and the rest of the week’s top 10 was Nick‘s SpongeBob SquarePants. [AP]
Sling Media partnered with GetConnected to enable its subscribers upgrade their cable or satellite services and connection speeds. [CNET]
Is Sprint eyeing Vonage? [BusinessWeek]
Comcast honored by New Jersey General Assembly for employee volunteerism and community initiatives.
BBC America is hitting the road with its 3rd annual BritBus Tour, a promotion of British music, products and TV programming that starts in San Francisco on Apr. 24 and ends June 18 in New York.
BET‘s programming announcements at its upfront event yesterday in New York included its first scripted series, Somebodies, about a group of slackers. A premiere date and timeslot are still TBD because as BET entertainment president Reginald Hudlin tells AP, "We’re a small network. We have to look at what the big boys are doing or else we’ll get crushed."
CNN‘s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Lance Armstrong will kick off network’s Fit Nation on-air and online initiative at the finish line of the Tour de Georgia bicycle race on Sunday.
Comedy Central struck a deal with Microsoft to offer The Daily Show With Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report to Xbox Live users 24 hours after airing. [CNET]
Discovery Kids en Español and Atlantic Broadband announce Earth Day competition for Miami students.
GSN pays tribute to Kitty Carlisle Hart (and night owls/DVR users) with a special episode—her 1957 debut—of To Tell The Truth on Apr. 23 at 3am ET. In daytime, GSN will also strip the classic gameshow next week at 2pm ET daily including the episode (airing Monday at 3:30am and then 2pm) in which her son was one of the imposters. Hart died yesterday at the age of 96.
Hawaii’s first multicast digital station, KITV’s Island Weather Now, launches May 1 on Oceanic Time Warner Cable. DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers will receive the Hearst-ABC channel by June 9. [Star Bulletin]
HBO premieres Flight of the Conchords, about transplanted New Zealanders in New York, on June 17 following Entourage.
Jewellery Channel (an Austin, TX-based shopping network owned by the VGL Group in India, and not to be confused with Jewelry Television) launched yesterday on DirecTV channel 226. [Austin Business Journal]
NBC and Law & Order producer Dick Wolf are negotiating their deal, with Wolf arguing that NBCU needs his three series to fill its networks and NBCU countering it’s got 400 episodes that it owns outright to play with. [New York Times | USA Today]
Shalom TV launches in Comcast‘s Washington-Baltimore region on May 3. [Washington Jewish Week]
TV Guide Channel announced the replacement of Joan and Melissa Rivers with Lisa Rinna as the network’s red carpet guru in a multi-year deal that kicks off on-air with the Emmy Awards on Sep. 16. The network’s red carpet live pre-show ratings were up 36% in the first quarter over Q1 2006. Joan Rivers responded on her blog, "I will tell you my true feelings and experiences as soon as we finalize our new deal. All I’d like to say is that we are very proud that we received the highest ratings ever on the TV Guide Channel."
V-me today joins Dish Network‘s basic channel line-up. [Release]
BlackBerry users across North America experienced an outage that last almost 12 hours yesterday, which one observer attributed to surge in Web traffic wanting Virginia Tech updates. [BusinessWeek]
MySpace launched a beta version of a news portal featuring 25 topics including sports, politics and technology. Users can rate the stories, with top-rated articles making the site’s front page. [CNET]
mtvU tapped ROO to bring its video content to more than 500 college newspaper websites. [Release]
NGTV: No Good TV, a broadband channel whose backers include former KISS frontman Gene Simmons, launched at NAB this week. The company has a deal with In Demand for cable distribution and is aimed at men age 18-34 with raunch celeb interviews and music videos. [Google Finance | Soft launch release | YouTube]
World Championship Sports Network will offer live streaming of Sunday’s London Marathon on WCSN.com.
YouTube could offer advertisers a 50/50 split for pre- and post-roll video ads as soon as next week. [Variety]
BusinessWeek looks at the battle of the online video guides.