March 18, 2018

The Future of Time Warner, Coming Soon to a Court Near You

The media industry has undergone significant change since the blockbuster deal was announced in October 2016.

Rupert Murdoch, who pursued Time Warner just three and a half years ago, has gone from buyer to seller, and made a deal to hand over much of his 21st Century Fox empire to Disney for $52 billion. Discovery made a bid and has now closed on an $11.9 billion deal for Scripps Networks Interactive, the home of cable channels like HGTV and Food Network. Viacom and CBS Corporation are exploring the possibility of joining once more.

All the while, digital rivals keep tossing money around.

Netflix is now spending up to $8 billion a year on content, up from $6 billion in 2016. Its free cash flow could balloon to negative $4 billion this year but its market value has skyrocketed to $139 billion from roughly $54 billion since the Time Warner-ATT deal was announced.

Apple is competing directly with HBO, TBS and TNT by pouring what will soon be in excess of $1 billion into original programming, building relationships with Hollywood stars like Reese Witherspoon, Kristen Wiig, M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg. Amazon has appointed a new leader, and Hulu is beginning to find its sea legs. And even Facebook and Google’s YouTube are offering Hollywood tens of millions of dollars to buy up original content.

HBO continues to be a juggernaut for Time Warner, producing hit shows like “Westworld” and “Game of Thrones” (above). Credit Helen Sloan/HBO

And while Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple have opened their wallets, Time Warner has been sitting on the sidelines.

“It’s bad in the sense that that’s a lost year and a half from business planning perspective,” said Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal.

A Time Warner spokesman said the company was “confident they would prevail at trial.” He would not speculate on what would happen should the judge, Richard Leon of the United States District Court of the District of Columbia, rule for the government.


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The Justice Department argues that since ATT has such a wide distribution network (it owns DirecTV), a deal could spell disaster for consumers. ATT has countered that costs for consumers would likely go down.

Though Time Warner has been in a state of limbo for the last 18 months, analysts agree that its core businesses have been performing well.

“The wheels certainly haven’t fallen off,” Mr. Wieser said.

And while some think the deal being blocked will scare off potential suitors, there are many analysts who are convinced that Time Warner is too attractive to sit alone for long. For example, could HBO and Warner Bros. be sliced off and sold to companies like Apple or Amazon? The networks TNT and TBS to an entity like Viacom?

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“If there is a demand for other media assets, there is nothing on the scale of Time Warner anymore,” said Kannan Venkateshwar, an analyst at Barclays Capital. “That gives it a scarcity value.”

Mr. Venkateshwar also pointed out that Time Warner would benefit from the new tax law, which would give the company even more runway if it has to go another year or two by itself.

Another analyst, Amy Yong, at Macquarie Group, said: “You can’t really dismiss how powerful HBO is. And Warner Bros. the studio. And, even to some extent, Turner and CNN. These are great consumer brands.”

HBO continues to be a juggernaut, producing hit shows like “Westworld” (which returns next month) and “Game of Thrones.” The network’s annual revenues now exceed $6 billion. It also now has five million digital subscribers, proving that it has made a steady transition into the over-the-top world.

In one of media’s major changes, Rupert Murdoch, who pursued Time Warner three and a half years ago, has gone from buyer to seller. He made a deal to hand over much of his 21st Century Fox empire to Disney for $52 billion. Credit Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Warner Bros., propelled by the blockbusters “Wonder Woman” and “It,” had a strong year at the box office, and the studio had revenues of nearly $14 billion. And since Donald J. Trump announced his presidential run nearly three years ago, CNN has set ratings records.

Still, HBO’s longtime spot in the pole position of the television industry isn’t so certain. In 2015, Netflix had 92 fewer Emmy nominations than HBO. Last year, the gap was just 20. Netflix and Amazon now spend more on content than HBO, and it could simply be a matter of time before Apple does as well. Indeed, HBO executives now speak about the network more as a high-end boutique — curators of content, they like to say — than as the free-spending New York Yankees of the industry.


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Warner Bros., among its slate of hits, also had several misfires, like “Justice League” and “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.”

And though CNN’s revenues have grown, it hasn’t been at the rate of MSNBC and Fox News, which draw more viewers in prime time. TBS and TNT, and Turner’s slate of cable channels, continue to experience ratings declines as more consumers cut the cord.

Nevertheless, the research firm MoffettNathanson has told investors that Time Warner’s upside “has been overlooked because it is tied up in deal hell.”

The firm believes that if the ATT acquisition falls apart, Time Warner could be split up and sold to the highest bidder — and perhaps even thrive as a result.

“The separation of Time Warner would likely draw two distinct sets of bidders into the marketplace,” it told investors. “On the content side, we would expect to see interest from current film entertainment competitors like Sony and CBS/Viacom and even new scripted digital entrants like Apple or Amazon. As for Turner, we would think there would be interest from existing cable network operators like Viacom or Discovery.”

But what would the ripples be if the deal collapses?

“Let’s just say they also block the Fox-Disney acquisition for some reason, that would all of a sudden make you go, ‘Oh, there’s actually an active effort to restrain the size of business,’” Mr. Wieser said. “That’d have an effect on all industries, not just media.”

Most analysts regard that outcome — both the ATT-Time Warner and Fox-Disney deals being blocked — as unlikely, but the question becomes far more existential for Time Warner and its direct peers if the ATT deal goes down. If they aren’t allowed to scale up to compete with Silicon Valley, how long could they be around?

“You suddenly have, from scratch, for the last six or eight years, $15 billion being spent by Amazon or Netflix,” Mr. Zaslav, the Discovery chief executive, said. “That could soon be $20 or $25 billion. It’s important for the ecosystem to not allow these transformers to turn out the lights on all these important creative businesses.”

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First Person: These Days I Miss John Updike, a Remote and Noble Male Mentor

At first Updike bristled at the subject matter of my thesis — I was writing about fathers and children of divorce in his stories and Richard Ford’s novels — warning me not to assume that his fiction was memoir (as he warned many others). But he gradually warmed and, on and off, became a faithful and gracious correspondent, a gentle and perhaps unintentional mentor.

After the job for Avedon ended, I was hired to stay on at The New Yorker as a freelance fact checker. However I soon went from feeling lucky to stressed. I had become the subject of inappropriate attentions from a senior male staff member, who was married.

This was a very different from the ease with which a junior Updike, just out of Harvard and abroad in London and studying at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, was enthusiastically offered a “first reading agreement” by the famous editor Katherine White (E. B.’s wife). She sweetened the deal, according to Adam Begley’s comprehensive 2015 biography of Updike, with a hundred dollars, as “‘a symbol of our good faith,’ she said, ‘to bind the bargain.’” Shortly afterward he was—effortlessly, it seemed—given a staff job by William Shawn writing for the Talk of the Town section of the magazine.

Nevertheless, Updike went with me as I navigated the city. He more than anyone, I sometimes felt, understood the trials and tribulations of the common person, and the self-conscious awkwardness one has while struggling to succeed in life and love. (Just think of his story “A P,” for instance, told in the voice of a 19-year-old boy, Sammy, working in a supermarket when three girls traipse through in their bathing suits.) I found myself once again comforted by his short stories as I quickly ate Hale Hearty soups during lunch breaks.

And it was truly exciting to begin to learn the intense and rigorous art of fact checking, which is like cross-examining sentences. I absorbed quickly and satisfyingly how to do another layer of reporting on the heels of the writer. I figured if I did good work and kept my head down, I’d eventually be rewarded.

But, try as I did to avoid them, the affections and gifts and little notes continued from the older staff member — attentions that had begun during the interview process. One day he leaned in, suddenly, and kissed me in front of the Nat Sherman luxury cigarette store on Fifth Avenue. I didn’t know whom to talk to about this or even if it was as weird as it felt.

I’ll be the first to admit that the themes of adultery and overt and detailed sexuality in Updike’s stories sometimes made me slightly queasy. But there was nothing in them that ever smacked of the predatory; on the contrary, it was his fastidious honesty, his euphoric interest in sexuality, that rattled and embarrassed me.


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From Richard Ford I had learned an acerbic and more shrouded form of male sexuality, one that was, somehow, easier to take because less was there in black and white. Either way, these were stories; my best friends were Richard and Joan Maple and Frank Bascombe. No one had ever sat me down and told me what was wrong or right in a job or how to handle anything complicated with men in real life.

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As the news of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal broke, the staff member’s flirtations intensified and began to feel controlling in their insistence. After weeks of insomnia, I finally broke down in a co-worker’s office. I remember the smell of paperwhite narcissus through my salty tears more than anything; she was always forcing the little bulbs in large glass vases filled with turquoise marbles on her windowsill.

That night I called a lawyer friend of my father’s, and the next day, using language the lawyer had advised me to, I confronted the man. That afternoon he brought over a bundle of thank you cards I’d sent him during my quest for the job — a personal touch taught to me by a career counselor at Brown. He had tied them with a ribbon, like love letters. In front of two office mates, he ripped up the cards and threw them at my face and walked out. I remember scrambling to the floor to pick them up. A few days later he told me my freelance gig was over, and that I would not be hired on staff. I had been at the magazine only seven months.

My dreams had been cauterized. I had to start over with a new dream, and I wasn’t sure what it would be.

That first summer, I went on to wait tables in the West Village (once waiting on Ms. Lewinsky). I took acting classes and wrote a handful of short stories. I began writing notes for a novel I am finally finishing. And I found refuge in public radio, once interviewing Updike for “Studio 360” about his lifelong battle with psoriasis.

Eventually I edited and published a collection of American stories on the subject of divorce, with contributions and help from Updike and Ford. I’ll never forget coming home one day and pressing play on my answering machine to hear Alice Munro’s voice, and then just after hers was Grace Paley’s and then Edmund White’s. When the book came out, Updike wrote me a gracious and heartfelt postcard commending me for it. He wrote,

Dear Ms. Shetterly:

People around here — well, one person — came to me excited to hear my name mentioned on public radio by a “very well-spoken” young woman who turns out to be you. And then your book came, for which much thanks. I read the Carver and Paley in the Afterlife section, which for a while at least, has the salty savor of anchovies on very thin, friable crackers. Have you ever read my own “Here Comes [sic] the Maples” as a somewhat consoling aftermath of “Separating,” which was written on Martha’s Vineyard while living in a rented cottage for a month with my two daughters, suddenly children of divorce, or of separation. Heartbreak Hill, I hope you avoid it. Any novel I read by anyone under 40 has the obligatory splitting-up scene, by parents of my heedless generation. Nevertheless. Warm regards Merry Christmas.”

He died on January 27, 2009, and I now keep his letter framed on my desk. Every so often, when I need help, I’ll take it out and hold it, still hearing his gentle, ironic voice.

Updike himself left The New Yorker only a year and a half into his tenure there, moving his young family to the shore in Ipswich, Mass., and forging ahead as a writer. No one forced this move on him, and he had already established himself as an invaluable asset to the magazine. But he wrote that he felt “crowded, physically and spiritually,” by the city and that it was “not quite right for me, as the rejection slips say.” He later said that this was “the crucial flight of my life.” In Ipswich he went on to write his first eight novels and some of the best stories in the American canon, including “A P.”


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If I’m honest, I don’t believe I was long for the city myself. It was too loud and crowded and dirty for me, too. I craved the wide-open vistas of the blue bays of home; the clean, white swaths of snow blanketing expansive fields.

At the end of “A P,” Sammy chivalrously quits his job when the manager shames the girls for coming inside the store in their bathing suits. When he walks out of the store’s doors and hits the hot asphalt of the parking lot, he says, “my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter.”

My mind wanders often to those girls and Sammy’s instinct to protect them. It makes me wonder: If I had turned to Updike for advice on my own workplace situation, might he have helped me? Or might he just have counseled me to hold on to what happened as fodder for stories I would someday write, stories created away from the din of edgy personalities prowling the halls of America’s most prestigious magazine, stories I would eventually write while looking out the window to my native country of pointed firs?

Caitlin Shetterly’s most recent book is “Modified: GMOs and the Threat to Our Food, Our Land, Our Future” (G.P. Putnam’s Sons).

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Trump, the Television President, Expands His Cast

Ms. Nauert is just one of the as-seen-on-TV faces now starring in President Trump’s White House. And the cast is set to grow.

The television pundit Larry Kudlow, best known for his patter on CNBC, was named on Wednesday as Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser. Pete Hegseth, a co-host of “Fox Friends Weekend,” is on the short list to become secretary of veterans affairs. John R. Bolton, the former United Nations ambassador and a frequent Fox News commentator, is under consideration for national security adviser.

A media uproar followed President Richard M. Nixon’s nomination of the television correspondent John A. Scali to the role of United Nations ambassador in 1972. Credit Bettmann, via Getty Images

The moves are another sign that the dividing line between media and government has been all but erased under Mr. Trump, a former reality star who views himself as the casting agent in chief.

Television figures have served as press aides in past administrations, tasked with handling their former colleagues in the media. But the selection of Mr. Kudlow crossed a threshold of sorts: the elevation of a television star to a position of real influence over policies affecting millions of Americans.

It was perhaps inevitable that Mr. Trump, whose view of the world is indelibly shaped by what he sees on TV, would be a president eager to break the fourth wall.

People close to him have said a major part of his deliberative process is how a decision will play on cable news. Where previous presidents courted news personalities, Mr. Trump consults them, seeking policy and strategic advice from Fox News hosts like Jeanine Pirro, who at one point was interviewed for the job of deputy attorney general, and Sean Hannity.

At least three Fox News hosts — Tucker Carlson, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Laura Ingraham — were approached about joining his communications team. Last week, Mr. Trump dined at the White House with Jesse Watters, the Fox News co-host of “The Five,” who is best known for ambush interviews and an offensive video mocking Asian-Americans, for which he later apologized.


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Now Mr. Trump is inviting the commentators to shape the policy they comment on. Mr. Hegseth, if hired for the veterans affairs job, would be in charge of reforming a bureaucracy that administers benefits to millions.

Mr. Kudlow, a zealous advocate of lowering taxes on the wealthy, will be expected to forge an economic policy that, until this week, he had the luxury of merely judging from the safe harbor of a television studio.

Heather Nauert, a former “Fox Friends” host, became a State Department spokeswoman last year. This week, she was named the department’s under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs. Credit Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

In a hall-of-mirrors moment on Wednesday, Mr. Kudlow went on television to describe how Mr. Trump was impressed with how he appeared on television.

“He said, ‘You’re on the air,’ and he said, ‘I’m looking at a picture of you,’ and he said, ‘Very handsome,’” Mr. Kudlow said during a chummy interview with his soon-to-be-former CNBC colleagues. He let out a laugh: “So Trumpian!”

Installing the TV crowd in this West Wing could play out in unpredictable ways.

The administration spurred an international incident last year after Sean Spicer, its press secretary at the time, repeated an unsupported accusation about a British spy agency’s wiretapping of the Trump campaign. The source? Andrew Napolitano, the TV judge and Fox News legal analyst, who made the claim on “Fox Friends.”

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Mr. Napolitano — who also met with Mr. Trump to discuss potential Supreme Court candidates — had heard the rumor from a conspiracy theorist known for spreading hoaxes. Mr. Trump later defended Mr. Napolitano, saying, “All we did was quote a very talented legal mind.”

Then came the incident involving Omarosa Manigault Newman, who made a name for herself as the villain of Mr. Trump’s “The Apprentice” in 2004 and lasted a year in the administration as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison.

After she left her position, the reality-show presidency collided with an actual reality show: Ms. Newman joined the cast of “Celebrity Big Brother” and impugned the Trump administration as “so bad.”

The White House decided to respond — on live television. “Omarosa was fired three times on ‘The Apprentice,’ and this was the fourth time we let her go,” a deputy press secretary, Raj Shah, said during a White House briefing. (Unsurprisingly, after the back-and-forth, the ratings for “Big Brother” went up.)

Pete Hegseth, a “Fox Friends Weekend” host, at Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2016. He has been mentioned as a leading candidate to be the next secretary of veterans affairs. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

The empty-calorie genres of reality shows and cable punditry, which fill the hours with ginned-up conflict, can be a strange fit for the more consequential environment of the White House. The Newman uproar, in particular, seemed to knock some of Washington’s more levelheaded commentators off kilter.


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“It feels like we have reached a level of crazy in this White House, and it is difficult to take it anymore,” Chuck Todd said on MSNBC after Mr. Shah’s comments.

Mr. Kudlow’s arrival in Washington could cause similar anxiety.

The CNBC host’s smooth demeanor is catnip for the image-focused Mr. Trump, who chose Mr. Kudlow despite his opposition to tariffs authorized by the White House this month. But Mr. Kudlow is more familiar with television lights than the glare that comes with public service; his Washington experience is largely limited to a 1980s stint as a bureaucrat in Ronald Reagan’s Office of Management and Budget.

His predecessors who led the National Economic Council include Lawrence Summers, a former Treasury secretary, and Gary D. Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs.

In 1972, when Nixon nominated Mr. Scali for his ambassadorship, he was choosing someone who had spent a year in the White House as an image consultant. Mr. Scali had also played a diplomatic role in managing the Cuban missile crisis, acting as a covert liaison between Soviet officials in Washington and the Kennedy administration.

Still, the choice of Mr. Scali had its detractors: News of his nomination prompted a New York Times editorial that denounced the “downgrading of the United Nations” and asked why Nixon had picked him “to fill a position once held with distinction by Adlai E. Stevenson.”

Mr. Kudlow offers another test case for how a TV personality can make the transition. But he will have to contend with one of Mr. Trump’s peculiar traits: The president often prefers the pundits he watches on television to the advisers who work in his West Wing.

“He got hired because the president has seen him on TV,” Alex Conant, a Republican strategist in Washington, said. “To stay hired, he’s going to have to continue to be on TV. A lot.”

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Yesterday in Styles: 2005: When Two Guys Splitting a Bottle of Wine Became a ‘Man Date’


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Yesterday in styles

The former Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee looks back on her story about the tangle of anxieties that some straight men experienced before a dinner or movie out with a buddy.



March 16, 2018

Original headline: “The Man Date,” from April 2005

Wow, what a different era: Check the date. Yep, this article is indeed from 2005, not 1965. While some remember the aughts as a time when gay acceptance began to go mainstream (“Will Grace” dominated sitcom ratings; “Brokeback Mountain” won a handful of Oscars), it apparently still had a ways to go. Look no further than this provocative Styles feature, which still had keyboards clacking more than a decade after the fact. The article probed the putatively awkward social dynamic created when two straight male friends hung out together somewhere other than a hockey game. To dine together, or see a movie one-on-one, it seems, required pretzel-like social contortions to avoid any “undercurrent of homoeroticism.” The dilemmas, according to the author Jennifer 8. Lee, were endless. Is it O.K. to split a bottle of wine over dinner? If you go out to a movie, do you need leave a seat open between the two of you? This article was written only 13 years ago. Was it really that different an era?

Defining the terms: You may not find it in Webster’s, but a “man date,” as defined by Ms. Lee, consists of “two heterosexual men socializing without the crutch of business or sports. It is two guys meeting for the kind of outing a straight man might reasonably arrange with a woman. Dining together across a table without the aid of a television is a man date; eating at a bar is not. Taking a walk in the park together is a man date; going for a jog is not. Attending the movie ‘Friday Night Lights’ is a man date, but going to see the Jets play is definitely not.”

And the problem was … “The concern about being perceived as gay is one of the major complications of socializing one on one,” according to the “many straight men” whom Ms. Lee interviewed. One University of Virginia graduate student and his lawyer friend, for example, decided to grab dinner at a buzzy Italian restaurant, only to bolt in horror when they were confronted with cello music, amber lights, a wine list and — yikes! — another friend who happened to be dining there. “This is weird,” the lawyer was quoted as saying. “And now there is a witness maybe.” Out of discomfort, the duo high-tailed it out to a fried chicken joint for a proper bro-down. Even the most casual of outings involving two straight men sometimes involved a degree of “social Stratego,” the author asserted, referencing a board game that now seems as antique as the “man date” itself. “Some men avoid dinner altogether unless the friend is coming from out of town or has a specific problem that he wants advice about,” Ms. Lee wrote. “Otherwise, grabbing beers at a bar will do just fine, thank you.”

It was not always thus: Ms. Lee’s article posited that straight male anxiety over such social engagements was a relatively recent phenomenon. “Before women were considered men’s equals, some gender historians say, men routinely confided in and sought advice from one another in ways they did not do with women, even their wives,” Ms. Lee wrote. “Then, these scholars say, two things changed during the last century: an increased public awareness of homosexuality created a stigma around male intimacy, and at the same time women began encroaching on traditionally male spheres, causing men to become more defensive about notions of masculinity.”

Strong reactions: Sure, the aughts were a different era. Back then, there was a former beer-chugging fraternity man in the White House, Nascar was booming and dudes, it seems, felt little shame about enacting their inner dude-osity, at least to judge by the shenanigans on “The Man Show.” Even so, this article went about as viral as viral could go in those pre-Twitter days. Gawker, of course, seized on every opportunity to mock it (in itself, hardly an indictment; Gawker mocked everything back then), finding in what it called “the most emailed story ever” some “glaringly homophobic aspects.” Bloggers of all political stripes chimed in. “This is the 21st century?” read one typical response. “What gives?” Some readers lamented that straight men seemed so uncomfortable with their sexual identities. “After decades of civil, women’s and gay rights we come to the sad conclusion that two buddies can’t share a bottle of wine at a trendy bistro,” wrote one reader in a letter to the editor.

Backlash to the backlash: But as much as skeptics crowed that Ms. Lee had made straight men look like homophobes and/or Neanderthals, the “man date” concept did catch on. The term was soon a cultural trope, popping up in magazine articles as well as in casual conversation, even though people who invoked the term tended to do so ironically (“Hey honey, I’ve got that dinner with Dave on Tuesday. You know, it’s our monthly man date”). By the time “I Love You, Man,” the buddy comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, hit theaters in 2009, the term, along with the related “bromance,” had seemingly lost any taboo quality. A straight man could even fess up to a “man crush” — as long he was being, you know, totally ironic.

Ms. Lee looks back: “I’ve always struggled with the verb to describe my relationship to ‘man date.’ I didn’t quite create it, nor coin it, as I first overheard it used in the press room at 1 Police Plaza, as one male reporter was teasing two others. My part of the value chain was wrestling to put a definition under the buzzy terms using guidance that men could only intuitively describe. So maybe I defined it, codified it, popularized it? At the time the article ran, there was a lot of anger from both straight men and gay men. One of my best friends, a gay lawyer in New York, thought my piece was making homophobia ‘cute.’ Luckily this was before Twitter came along, as I’d hate to feel the brunt of that anger in social media vitriol. My man date article was optioned for a movie, but that project wasn’t the one which made it to the screen.” Then when “I Love You, Man,” “about a friend-poor guy who tried to find groomsmen for his wedding through an awkward series of man dates,” came out, she said, “immediately friends pinged me, asking me if I was involved. They were indignant on my behalf when they learned ‘I Love You, Man,’ wasn’t by the folks who optioned my article. I was curious about the intellectual property claims and pinged my friend, professor Tim Wu of Net Neutrality fame, who gently explained that copyright covered expression, not ideas. I had no claim to control ‘man date’ once I had put it out into the social ether.”


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Assaults Increased When Cities Hosted Trump Rallies, Study Finds

Mr. Trump himself repeatedly seemed to endorse attacks on his detractors, too.

“Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said of one protester who was reportedly punched and kicked in November 2015. “I’d like to punch him in the face, I’ll tell ya,” he said of another a few months later. He even offered to pay legal fees for his supporters if they became too aggressive.


Unfiltered Voices From Donald Trump’s Crowds

New York Times reporters have covered Donald J. Trump’s rallies for more than a year. His supporters at these events often express their views in angry and provocative ways. Here are some examples.

By ERICA BERENSTEIN, NICK CORASANITI and ASHLEY PARKER on Publish Date August 3, 2016. . Watch in Times Video »

The supporters also often aimed offensive and violent rhetoric at Mrs. Clinton, suggesting she be killed.

To determine whether those words and news reports corresponded with an actual shift in violence, the researchers compiled a list of 31 Trump rallies and 38 Clinton rallies held in cities with assault data available online.

They compared the number of assaults reported on the day of the rally to the number reported on the corresponding day of the week, for each of the four weeks before and after the event.

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On a typical day, cities saw an average of 19.4 assaults, they found. On the day of a Trump rally, that number rose to 21.7.

The pattern held even when the researchers controlled for the influence of factors like population size, data sources and the day used for the comparison.

The researchers offered two explanations for the increase in assaults. Either they were the result of clashes at or near the rallies, or they occurred elsewhere in the cities after the aggressive mood on display by Mr. Trump, his supporters or his opponents had spread through “social contagion.”

There were some limitations to the findings, the authors noted. They may not apply to the rallies or cities that weren’t studied, and a greater police presence during the rallies may have made it more likely for an assault to be reported.

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Michael Getler, Ombudsman at PBS and Washington Post, Dies at 82

Serving in that watchdog role from 2005 to 2017 at PBS, Mr. Getler understood firsthand the pressures journalists face. When he was a reporter for The Post, his coverage of the Vietnam War and its impact — at a time when the Nixon administration was illegally spying on suspected dissidents in the United States — prompted the Central Intelligence Agency to tap his telephone in 1971, according to government documents.

Mr. Getler was also the Post editor who in 1995 received a 56-page single-spaced typed manifesto from the man, known as the Unabomber, who was responsible for a string of bombings. It arrived on the same day that The New York Times received a copy. The author of the document, titled “Industrial Society and Its Future,” vowed to refrain from further violence if the newspapers published it. They did, and nearly seven months later Ted Kaczynski was arrested and identified as the bomber.

As an ombudsman, Mr. Getler could be critical of his colleagues. He repeatedly complained that reporters and editors had failed to fully explore and challenge the government’s rationale for going to war against Iraq in 2003.

“Almost everything we were told before the war, other than that Saddam Hussein is bad, has turned out, so far, not to be the case,” he wrote in The Post in 2004.

The next year he wrote, “I cannot think of a story in the past 40 years that offers more warning signs for journalism and for the role of the press in our democracy.”


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While he was scrupulous and judicious, Mr. Getler was not immune to criticism himself. The online news site Slate called his insistence on objectivity “perverse” when he criticized a Post national reporter for committing what Slate described as “the unpardonable journalistic crime of writing his own mind” in a review of a campaign book about Hillary Clinton.

One observer likened the grenades lobbed by Mr. Getler to the booming pronouncements of a biblical prophet whose credibility was rarely questioned.

“Because people know Mike so well and respect him so much,” Leonard Downie Jr., the Post’s executive editor at the time, told The Times in 2001, “any criticism from Mike feels different than criticism from anyone else.”

Mr. Getler was born on Nov. 13, 1935, in the Bronx to Alfred Getler, an advertising salesman, and the former Rose Holzweig, who sold silverware.

After growing up on the Grand Concourse and graduating from DeWitt Clinton High School, he earned a bachelor of business administration degree from City College of New York in 1956 and began his journalism career as a student at The Riverdale Press, a neighborhood newspaper.

Beginning in 1961, Mr. Getler was a reporter and editor for magazines published by American Aviation Publications. He also served in the Naval Reserve from 1956 to 1960, rising to lieutenant. He joined The Post in 1970 and became military affairs correspondent, covered Europe and was named the paper’s national security correspondent.

He went on to rise in the editing ranks, becoming foreign editor, assistant managing editor for foreign news and, during a period when the paper won three Pulitzer Prizes, deputy managing editor.

Besides his wife, the former Sandra Curhan, Mr. Getler is survived by their children, Belinda and Warren Getler; four grandchildren, and his sister, Mae Maidman.


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Mr. Getler was executive editor of The International Herald Tribune from 1996 to 2000, a period when the paper was jointly run by The Post and The Times and published in Paris. (It is now the international edition of The Times.)

Appointed The Post’s internal critic and liaison with readers in 2000, he immediately challenged the newsroom, saying it was putting too much emphasis on feature articles over hard news and long series over daily beat coverage. He also complained about an increasingly snarky tone.

As Mr. Getler was leaving the job in 2005, overwhelmed by the flood of email — much of which he said was “nasty and crude” — he agreed with the assessment that the press was under siege.

He attributed that beleaguered state to “the polarization of the country, the intensity of political feelings on the left and the right, combined with the technology to express it easily and quickly, combined with a sort of rash of journalistic missteps and in some cases scandals and misjudgments that become immediately known and widespread and have conveyed the sense that journalism is less trustworthy than it used to be.”

Earlier, he had written in The Columbia Journalism Review: “What is most crucial for news organizations, and what is most useful to the public, is news that is delivered in a manner that is beyond reproach journalistically.

“Readers understand, and can factor in, government or special-interest spin,” he added. “But they can smell reportorial opinion and bias a mile away, and that is guaranteed to distract from the power of the news.”

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Stormy Daniels Interview to Air on ‘60 Minutes’ This Month

The porn star Stephanie Clifford, whose stage name is Stormy Daniels, will appear on “60 Minutes” on March 25th. Credit Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

The CBS News program “60 Minutes” has set a date of March 25 for when it will show a recently conducted interview with the pornographic film actress who says she had an affair with Donald J. Trump.

A person briefed on the process, who would speak about it only on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that the segment with the porn star, Stephanie Clifford, would run then.

Ms. Clifford, who goes by the stage name Stormy Daniels, spoke with the “60 Minutes” contributor Anderson Cooper last week.

Ms. Clifford went forward with the interview, which her lawyer first hinted about in a tweet featuring a photograph of him, Ms. Clifford and Mr. Cooper. It proceeded despite an arbitrator’s ruling reaffirming an agreement that she reached with Mr. Trump in October 2016 to remain silent about their alleged relationship in exchange for $130,000.

She has said she had a consensual relationship with Mr. Trump that started in 2006 and lasted several months.


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In recent weeks, Ms. Clifford’s lawyer, Michael Avenatti, has led a publicity blitz, appearing frequently on cable news shows, since she filed a lawsuit on March 6 seeking to break her 2016 agreement. She asserts that the nondisclosure agreement was void because Mr. Trump did not personally sign it.

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IHeartMedia, U.S.’s Largest Radio Broadcaster, Files for Bankruptcy

The bankruptcy is the culmination of iHeartMedia’s yearslong dance with its creditors; a final phase, long expected by analysts, began last month when the company skipped a $106 million interest payment.

It is also the latest and most high-profile shift in the tumultuous radio business, which has struggled to retain advertising dollars and compete with streaming services like Spotify and Pandora.

Cumulus Media, iHeart’s closest competitor, with 445 stations, declared bankruptcy four months ago. Last year, CBS Radio, after announcing its intention to exit the business, merged its stations with the much smaller Entercom Communications.

IHeart’s bankruptcy filing was announced on the same day that Spotify held an investor presentation in advance of its public listing on the New York Stock Exchange.

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Annual advertising, radio’s chief revenue source, has hovered around $16 billion for years, according to a report last year by the accounting firm PwC. By 2021, the report projected, that figure, for terrestrial broadcast stations, would reach only $16.6 billion, with a 10-year compounded annual growth rate of just 0.425 percent.

IHeartMedia has maintained that its radio stations remain popular and vital even as it has introduced apps and negotiated new licensing deals intended to control its royalty payments online.

The company’s terrestrial stations, it says, reach 271 million people each month, and in many markets it operates multiple outlets. There are eight iHeart stations in Los Angeles, for example, and six in New York, including Z100, a pop powerhouse.

Still, iHeartMedia has moved aggressively into the online market, renaming itself four years ago after a music app that its disc jockeys promote relentlessly on the air.


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“We have transformed a traditional broadcast radio company into a true 21st-century multiplatform, data-driven, digitally focused media and entertainment powerhouse with unparalleled reach, products and services now available on more than 200 platforms,” Robert W. Pittman, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the bankruptcy filing.

Lance Vitanza, an analyst at Cowen, said that iHeartMedia had done better than most radio companies in expanding its audience and adapting to new technologies, but that debt had weighed it down — a burden that could find relief through the bankruptcy process.

“Ultimately, when they come out of bankruptcy, they will be in a much better position,” Mr. Vitanza said. “We expect them to be able to focus their resources on growing their business rather than on debt service, which is what they’ve had to do for the last 10 years.”

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Claire Foy, Queen on ‘The Crown,’ Was Paid Less Than Her Onscreen Husband

Ms. Foy was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode, according to Variety, out of the show’s hefty budget, which is upward of $7 million per episode. “We put that money on the screen,” said Andy Harries, the chief executive of Left Bank, adding that 120 different costumes were created for the queen just for Season 2. What Mr. Smith made for “The Crown” has not been disclosed.

A representative for Left Bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

For comparison, Chrissy Metz was reportedly paid $40,000 per episode for the acclaimed NBC drama “This Is Us,” which has had 18 episodes per season. Tituss Burgess reportedly made $90,000 per episode for the Netflix comedy “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” which has had 13 episodes per season. “The Crown” has had 10 episodes per season.

Don’t expect Ms. Foy to fade into the background, though. She secured the lead role in the film version of “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” part of the “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” series, expected in theaters this year. She’ll also star in “First Man,” a Damien Chazelle film, also to be released this year.

This revelation of pay imbalance is one of several in recent months, and it comes at a time when women are being more vocal about pay equality in Hollywood.

In January, it was revealed that Michelle Williams, the female star of the Ridley Scott film “All the Money in the World,” was paid a per diem of $80, a bit above the union minimum, for 10 days of added work after the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey was purged from the film and replaced with Christopher Plummer — a move that required reshoots. Her male counterpart, Mark Wahlberg, received the same per diem — plus a negotiated fee of $1.5 million.

As a response, Mr. Wahlberg and his talent agency donated $2 million in the name of Ms. Williams to a fund dedicated to fighting pay inequity and harassment of women in Hollywood.

Correction: March 13, 2018

An earlier version of this article erroneously credited an award to the actress Claire Foy. While she was nominated for the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama for her work in Season 1 of “The Crown,” she did not win it.

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Harper Lee’s Estate Sues Over Broadway Version of ‘Mockingbird’

The contract the parties signed states that “the Play shall not derogate or depart in any manner from the spirit of the Novel nor alter its characters.” The Rudin team is arguing it does not, and that, while the producers must listen to the estate’s view, they are the final arbiters of whether the production is faithful to the novel.

“I can’t and won’t present a play that feels like it was written in the year the book was written in terms of its racial politics: It wouldn’t be of interest,” Mr. Rudin said in an interview. “The world has changed since then.”

The play, which is scheduled to begin previews Nov. 1 and to open Dec. 13 on Broadway, is a joint production of Mr. Rudin and Lincoln Center Theater.

The producer Scott Rudin, accepting an award with the cast of “Hello, Dolly!” at the 2017 Tony Awards. He is now embroiled in the dispute over “Mockingbird.” Credit Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

A lawyer who filed the lawsuit for Ms. Lee’s estate, Matthew H. Lembke, declined to comment.

There is a long history of writers and others who claim authorship bringing legal action against theatrical producers, although those disputes have typically been over credit, not content. Among recent examples were lawsuits over “Anastasia,” “Jersey Boys,” “Fela!” and “Rent” — none of which stopped the productions. Last year Mr. Rudin was sued by the University of the South, which owns the rights to plays by Tennessee Williams, over credit and royalties from last year’s Broadway revival of “The Glass Menagerie.”

Literary estates can also be quite aggressive in seeking to control various elements of theatrical productions. The estate of Samuel Beckett has been famously restrictive, and the estate of Edward Albee reserves the right to approve creative teams and casts for productions of his plays.

The “Mockingbird” adaptation is being directed by Bartlett Sher, who has extensive experience wrestling with authorial intent — this season he is directing a revival of “My Fair Lady,” and he previously directed Broadway revivals of “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The King and I” and “South Pacific.”

The cast is led by Jeff Daniels, as Atticus, and includes Celia Keenan-Bolger as his daughter, Scout; Will Pullen as her brother, Jem; and Gideon Glick as their friend Dill. Casting for the role of Arthur (Boo) Radley has not yet been announced.


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Mr. Rudin said he was surprised by the estate’s criticism of Mr. Sorkin’s depiction of Atticus because Ms. Carter had been instrumental in the 2015 publication of “Go Set a Watchman,” an early draft of “Mockingbird” that depicted an aged Atticus as a racist and segregationist.

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The lawsuit states that the play should not deviate from the depiction of Atticus in “Mockingbird,” where he is presented as a defender of racial equality in a divided south. “Based on Ms. Lee’s own father, a small-town Alabama lawyer who represented black defendants in a criminal trial, Atticus Finch is portrayed in the novel as a model of wisdom, integrity, and professionalism,” the suit says.

Ms. Lee signed the contract authorizing the play in June 2015, eight months before she died at age 89. She received $100,000 for the production rights, as well as what Broadway experts described as a generous portion of the box office revenue and any net profit.

The dispute erupted last fall when Ms. Carter saw a draft of the script, and was alarmed by what she viewed as liberties taken with the source material. The suit cites an interview Mr. Sorkin did last fall where he described how Atticus evolves over the course of the play, in part through his interactions with the Finch family’s black maid, Calpurnia, who has a much larger role in the drama. Ms. Carter was also troubled by the addition of two characters who do not appear in the book, and by what the complaint describes as changes to the characters of Atticus’s children, Jem and Scout.

A different dramatic adaptation of “Mockingbird,” this one by Christopher Sergel, is traditionally presented every year in Harper Lee’s hometown, Monroeville, Ala. Credit Jeff Haller for The New York Times

In the interview Mr. Sorkin gave New York Magazine about his adaptation, he described his reinterpretation of Atticus’s moral evolution. “As far as Atticus and his virtue goes, this is a different take on ‘Mockingbird’ than Harper Lee’s or Horton Foote’s,” he said. “He becomes Atticus Finch by the end of the play.”

The move to assert more control over the play is perhaps a sign of how Ms. Carter views her role as a guardian of Ms. Lee’s legacy. In her final years, Ms. Lee went to court to protect her intellectual property, and sued a museum in her hometown, Monroeville, in 2013, arguing that it had infringed on Ms. Lee’s trademark by selling “Mockingbird” themed T-shirts and trinkets (the suit was settled in 2014).

Mr. Rudin alluded to that lawsuit in a statement that said the “estate has an unfortunate history of litigious behavior and of both filing and being the recipient of numerous lawsuits, and has been the subject of considerable controversy based on the perceptions surrounding its handling of the work of Harper Lee both before and after her death.”

“This is, unfortunately,” the statement continued, “simply another such lawsuit, the latest of many, and we believe that it is without merit. While we hope this gets resolved, if it does not, the suit will be vigorously defended.”

The “Mockingbird” lawsuit was preceded by a series of letters between the parties as they debated the script. In one letter, dated March 5 and released by Mr. Rudin’s office, Ms. Carter expressed concern that Atticus in the play is depicted as “rude and selfish” as well as “more confrontational and far less dignified.”


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“This Atticus,” she wrote, “is more like an edgy sitcom dad in the 21st Century than the iconic Atticus of the novel.”

She also objected to what she described as “massive alteration” to the characters of Calpurnia and Tom Robinson, to plot elements that she says vary from those in the book, and to the depiction of small-town Alabama in the 1930s.

Mr. Rudin’s lawyer, Jonathan Zavin, responded four days later, defending the play, acknowledging that while it is “different from the novel,” it “does not derogate or depart from the spirit of the novel, nor alter the fundamental natures of the characters in the novel.” He noted that Ms. Lee herself had “added to the novel and its characters” with the publication of “Watchman.”

Furthermore, he argued: “Aaron Sorkin is one of the leading writers in America. He would hardly be needed to write the play if the intent was to merely do a transcription of the novel on the stage. Presumably Ms. Lee was well aware that Mr. Sorkin would be bringing his perspective and talent to the play, and that the play would not be identical in all respects to the novel.”

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