Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" will put a greater emphasis on digital content under new host Trevor Noah, with the help of supervising producer Baratunde Thurston, a former digital director for The Onion. "There's more to what 'The Daily Show' can make than what people have seen. This is a 21-and-a-half-minute show that airs on a box in your house, and it can also be a great experience on these other platforms," Thurston says.
Showtime has had success with gender diversity, with several shows created by women or featuring strong female leads, said Showtime President David Nevins. However, when it comes to "reflecting the racial diversity of America, we've got a lot of work to do," Nevins said. "Diversity is definitely on our agenda, especially as we are now in around a quarter of American homes."
Snapchat and Viacom are teaming on a "Live Story" for MTV's Video Music Awards that will document the experiences of Snapchat users as they are given access to the red carpet and a behind-the-scenes look at the event. Brands that have signed on as advertisers include Covergirl, Verizon, Taco Bell and American Legacy.
Discovery Communications has launched a virtual-reality platform called Discovery VR, offering immersive short-form experiences on the Web and smartphones. Among nine initial offerings are Pay Dirt, a version of its "Gold Rush" series, and How to Survive in the Wild featuring Les Stroud. "Discovery VR is a natural and powerful extension of our commitment to aggressively pursuing new horizons," said Conal Byrne, senior vice president of digital media at Discovery.
USA Network's decision to fully back its "Mr. Robot" series -- it ordered a second season before the first began -- is part of an overarching evolution of its brand away from breezy procedurals and toward serialized dramas that featured complex protagonists facing difficult challenges. "We've been very specific: We're trying to find dramas that center around unlikely heroes, rebels with a cause in extraordinary circumstances," said USA President Chris McCumber.
AT&T will accept more than $2.5 billion in federal funds over six years -- with an option for a seventh -- in the form of $428 million annual grants. The money will be used to provide or upgrade broadband service to about 1.2 million homes across 18 states. The telecom declined to take Connect America Fund grants from the Federal Communications Commission for three states: Missouri, Nevada and Oklahoma.
The staff at WDBJ-TV showed courage and commitment to their jobs in reporting on their colleagues' deaths, and then telling their own stories "when national news teams showed up," writes Deborah McAdams. "May we all bear witness to the comport of [WDBJ President Jeff Marks] and the WDBJ staff in the aftermath of the shooting and be reminded that journalists don't have 'jobs.' They have a responsibility," she writes.
The National Security Agency can continue to collect bulk phone data until rules enacted by Congress in June take effect in November, a federal appeals court decided today, overturning a lower court's preliminary injunction against the program. A three-judge panel ruled on technical grounds, saying the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue.
Cisco Systems has finalized its $635 million buyout of OpenDNS, a vendor of multiplatform security products that will now be integrated into Cisco's Threat Grid malware analysis services. The acquisition comes as Cisco begins legal action against Hewlett-Packard in a contract dispute related to support services that Cisco provided to an HP VoIP customer.
The growth in streaming video has not stopped 41% of those surveyed from using physical media such as DVDs along with digital devices, although those users spend significantly more time watching digital content, according to Nielsen. The average person owns four digital devices, and more than half of those surveyed report having used one to watch at least one TV show in the past six months.
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