Film of Michael Olumide Adebolajo edited to take out some content of man suspected of killing soldier Lee Rigby
ITV News executives have decided not to broadcast an apparent confession from one of the suspects believed to be involved in the Woolwich attack.
Minutes before ITV aired film of Michael Olumide Adebolajo, the London-born man seen carrying a bloodied machete after the attack, bosses chose to remove a clip of him saying: "The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers."
An edited version on the channel's 6.30pm bulletin showed Adebolajo vowing to take "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" – but the full clip of the apparent confession was later published by the Sun.
An ITV News spokesman said: "We carefully considered showing this footage ahead of broadcast and made the decision to do so on a public interest basis as the material is integral to understanding the horrific incident that took place yesterday.
"It was editorially justified to show such footage in the aftermath of such a shocking attack, and we prefaced it on ITV News at 6.30pm and News at Ten with appropriate warnings to make viewers aware in advance of the graphic images about to be shown."
The decision to show the footage at all divided broadcasters, prompting around 800 complaints from distressed viewers. The body of the soldier, Lee Rigby, was visible in the background on some clips.
• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".Josh Halliday
In a note to staff, obtained by TVNewser, CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker writes, “In a busy time of new show launches and ongoing campaigns underscoring the strength of CNN and all its platforms, Janet led her team to successfully spread the word in creative, engaging ways. I want to thank her for that, and all that she has done in her tenure here.” Rick Lewchuk who is SVP of creative services will lead the department in the interim. Structural changes to CNN’s marketing department may be in store.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
One the face of it it sounds like a bit of a coup: Lineker to join The Only Way is Essex. From Match of the Day to, er, coloured cocktails in the Sugar Hut. Except the Lineker joining the ITV2 "reality" show is Wayne, the older brother of ex-footballer and BBC presenter Gary. The Daily Star reports that 50-year-old Wayne is a former billionaire who was declared bankrupt and has done time for fraud. Perfect credentials for an acting career then. Wayne will be seen in the opening episode of the new series flexing his thespian abilities "judging a bikini babe contest in Marbella". Daily Star, P19Monkey
Fox News co-founder and Chairman Roger Ailes sent a note to Fox News employees about recent revelations of DOJ investigations involving members of the press, including FNC correspondent James Rosen. “To be a Fox journalist is a high honor, not a high crime,” Ailes writes.
The administration’s attempt to intimidate Fox News and its employees will not succeed and their excuses will stand neither the test of law, the test of decency, nor the test of time. We will not allow a climate of press intimidation, unseen since the McCarthy era, to frighten any of us away from the truth.
The full memo, via Playbook, after the jump…
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Breakfast by Morecambe and Wise, clothes by Abercrombie & Fitch and a sob story from the mayor of Toronto
This week's Viral Video Chart is guaranteed to give you a good cry – but we can offer you tears of laughter, as well as tears of sadness. We defy you to watch the last days of Zach Sobiech without grabbing a box of tissues. Zach's inspirational story - and his song, Clouds – have taken the internet by storm.
The comedy world mourned a great writer last week with the death of Eddie Braben, who wrote sketches for Morecambe and Wise. We celebrate his work with one of the funniest Morecambe and Wise sketches ever - Breakfast. Or do you have another favourite?
There is more laughter in store as two hapless gaming fans join Burnie Burns and his crew of scientists in Immersion! Gavin and Michael are thrown behind the wheel to figure out if a video game car can beat its real life equivalent with a professional race car driver. Pass the sick bag …
If that's not exciting enough for you, we join surfers at Teahupoo in Tahititi as they tackle the heaviest wave in the world and there's a surf-eit of liquid chocolate in our clip from a chocolate factory in Melbourne, Australia. How do they do that?
Chocolate is great for cheering people up – and our sad cats seem as if they need a Kit Kat or two to buck them up. Jimmy Kimmel often has a smile on his face – and he's up to mischief with his spoof interview of Toronto mayor Rob Ford who is accused of taking drugs.
Finally, Eurovision may have reduced you to tears of laughter – or tears of boredom – but we leave you with a smile on your face as you watch our misheard lyrics clip. Sadly it doesn't improve the quality of the songs!
Guardian Viral Video Chart. Compiled by Unruly Media and emoted by Janette
1. My Last Days: Meet Zach Sobiech
Brave lad's legacy
2. Classic Comedy Morecambe and Wise
Makes today's comics look like toast
3. Surfing the Heaviest Wave in the World - Teahupoo
4. Abercrombie & Fitch Gets a Brand Readjustment #FitchTheHomeless
A dressing down
5. Sad Cat Diary
Paws for thought
6. Jimmy Kimmel Interviews Toronto Mayor Rob Ford
7. Eurovision 2013 Misheard lyrics
Possibly better than the real lyrics
8. Wait for it...
9. Immersion: Simulation Racer
This is sick
Source: Viral Video Chart. Compiled from data gathered at 14:00 on 23 May 2013. The Viral Video Chart is currently based on a count of the embedded videos and links on approximately 2m blogs, as well as Facebook and Twitter.Janette Owen
Theguardian.com will provide one destination for UK, mobile, US and Australian sites as monthly digital browsers hits 80m
The Guardian is to launch a new global web presence, theguardian.com, in recognition of the newspaper's increasingly international digital appeal.
The move will streamline access to Guardian content – amalgamating the main entry point Guardian.co.uk, mobile site m.guardian.co.uk, US homepage guardiannews.com and the soon-to-launch Australian digital edition – into one core web destination.
In the last five years, the number of monthly Guardian digital browsers has grown from , with much of that growth coming from international markets.
"Every month, our online content is accessed from almost every country around the world," said Tanya Cordrey, chief digital officer at Guardian News & Media, in a blog post called Going global on our digitaljourney. "In fact, UK users now represent just a third of our total audience."
The home of the newspaper's content has been guardian.co.uk, which is the only non-"dot com" domain suffix in the top 10 Google News list of digital news outlets.
"This may be a small URL change, but it marks a big step for the Guardian and reflects our evolution from a much-respected national print newspaper based only in the UK … to a leading global news and media brand … and an ever-growing worldwide audience accessing Guardian journalism every minute of every day," said Cordrey.
Cordrey added that the move to theguardian.com will make for a simplified user experience, but will also be more appealing to major advertisers in international markets, who are perhaps not drawn to the idea of running campaigns on a UK-specific website, despite the reality of the Guardian's global digital readership.
The move, which will take place later this year, will involve the transition of millions of URLs attached to the Guardian's websites and about 15 years of archived content.
• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email email@example.com or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".Mark Sweney
Usain Bolt and Mo Farah, brand ambassadors for Virgin, expected to front advertising campaign for Glasgow event
Virgin Media has signed up as a top-tier sponsorship partner of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, with the expectation that brand ambassadors and Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt will front a major advertising campaign next year to support the deal.
The deal, which will see the cable company join top-paying sponsors such as Emirates airline, marks Virgin Media's first foray into sports sponsorship.
Virgin Media said its Commonwealth Games sponsorship deal will include being the presenting partner of athletics, which would make the use of Bolt and Farah an obvious choice in ad campaigns next year, although the company refused to be drawn on its specific marketing plans.
"With our home nation heroes and international superstars, we're getting behind Glasgow and can't wait to build on an amazing track record of success.," said Jeff Dodds, chief marketing officer at Virgin Media.
The company, which has a long association with the Virgin music festival, has struck the high-profile deal as the advertising battle with rival pay-TV providers to win over customers heats up.
Earlier this week, TalkTalk struck a £20m three-year deal to continue sponsoring Simon Cowell's X Factor to drive its fledgling TV service, while BT is spending tens of millions to market the BT Vision service and leverage its £738m Premier League TV rights deal through its BT Sport channels.
Bolt, the Jamaican Olympic sprint gold medal-winner, has been something of a regular in the company's TV ads since signing as a brand ambassador in January 2012. Farah followed suit in August last year, on the heels of his Double gold medal haul at the London 2012 Games.
"I love competing on home turf and I hope to run in Glasgow in 2014," said Farah. "The Scottish crowd are always very passionate about athletics. Having Virgin Media's continued support, both personally, and as a sponsor of the Commonwealth Games, is a big boost to athletics."
Bolt said: "Virgin Media is a great company and I'm delighted they have decided to continue their support of athletics by becoming a Commonwealth Games partner".
Coverage of the Commonwealth Games, which more than 1 million are expected to attend, is being aired by the BBC.
Virgin Media cannot run ad campaigns on the corporation's airtime, however it has pledged to promote the event in its marketing communications and in return has been guaranteed "a strong Games-time brand presence" by the organisers.
Lord Smith of Kelvin, chairman of Glasgow 2014, said: "We look forward to collaborating with Virgin Media, its customers and staff in developing some exciting engagement and activation opportunities over the coming months, which will really bring the partnership to life."
• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000. If you are writing a comment for publication, please mark clearly "for publication".Mark Sweney
Guardian News & Media's chief digital officer, Tanya Cordrey, on the Guardian's planned move to a brand new global domain later this year
Five years ago Guardian Unlimited was relaunched as guardian.co.uk, and we were the first UK newspaper website to break 20m unique browsers per month.
Yesterday, our online traffic hit another record high, with the latest figures from ABC revealing that we are now seeing over 81m unique browsers accessing our site a month, and over 470m page views. This is the third month in a row we have seen record traffic, and testament to our digital-first strategy, which we announced nearly two years ago.
Our audience is no longer primarily in the UK. Every month, our online content is accessed from almost every country around the world. In fact, UK users now represent just a third of our total audience.
As a result, we're ready to take the next step on our bold digital journey. Later this year we'll be moving all of our global online properties to a new home – theguardian.com.
This may be a small URL change but it marks a big step for the Guardian and reflects our evolution from a much-respected national print newspaper based only in the UK – reaching hundreds of thousands of people once a day – to a leading global news and media brand, with offices around the world, and an ever-growing worldwide audience accessing Guardian journalism every minute of every day.
Research by Searchmetrics published only this week shows that we are already a leading global presence, with our website being the only non 'dot com' news site to appear in a list of the top 10 news sites showing up in Google News results.
Our move to theguardian.com will only strengthen our global presence and is a loud signal of our status as a leading digital news provider and of the breadth and depth of our content.
For our millions of online readers across all time zones all over the world, this move will streamline several domains – including guardian.co.uk, our mobile site m.guardian.co.uk, guardiannews.com (our current US homepage) and our forthcoming digital edition in Australia – into one core destination for all of our digital content.
Investing in digital is crucial to the future of journalism and publishing, and moving to www.theguardian.com will simplify the user experience for our readers. In turn, this will open up more worldwide commercial possibilities for us in markets across the globe, enabling us to offer our partners and advertisers increased access to our growing global audience.
Over the coming months ahead of the move, our in-house digital team, working closely with the team at Yoast.com, will be working on this ambitious and challenging project. The Guardian websites involve millions of URLs and around 15 years' worth of content, so it will take some time.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment below, and we'll of course update in the coming months once we're ready to make the move to our new home.Tanya Cordrey
For lack of a better verb, I think the media kind of fucked it up.
– Ashton Kutcher’s current view of Twitter.
Plus broadband for Staffordshire, price elasticity in the smartphone business, how Chrome will dominate, and more
A burst of 8 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology teamGlass Questions >> ongoing
Tim Bray on Google Glass:
Do They Meet a Need? · Seems pretty obvious to me; I'm damn sick of hauling out my mobile to find out what time it is, or to check on my next meeting, or to glance at a map, or to snap a quick photo of an interesting streetlight or whatever.
Will They Succeed? · I haven't got the vaguest. They need work on power consumption and software fit/finish and syncing and lots of other things, and the manufacturing cost needs to come way, way down.
A lot of the things Glass does could maybe work just fine on a smart watch or some such. So in a couple years it might be ubiquitous, maybe it'll just catch on for certain professional uses, or maybe it just falls flat.
But people, and there are a lot of them, who are saying "Glass is doomed because it's dorky-looking/privacy-invasive/anti-social" are pretty well wrong; it's more complex than that.
Yup.Microsoft caught lying about tablet size in comparison to Apple's iPad >> AppleInside
Can't we all just get along? (Thanks @slimbowski for the link.)Bitcoin hits the big time, to the regret of some early boosters >> MIT Technology Review
Bitpay recently received $3m from Founders Fund, led by Facebook's first major investor, Peter Thiel.
BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi told me that Thiel invested because he saw how the company could help ease online commerce across borders; the company already handles $5m in transactions each month and says the figure is growing. "Traditional payments such as credit cards don't even work in half the world, so companies just choose to not service international customers," Gallippi said. "That leaves a big opportunity." He plans to take further investment later this year but told me it will be more for reasons of making strategic contacts than a need for cash, since he and his cofounders have significant Bitcoin holdings.
One reason Bitcoin is interesting, says Jeremy Liew, a partner with Lightspeed Venture Partners, is that it could displace the practice of wiring money across borders, which underpins much international trade today and can be onerous. "If I'm trying to wire a supplier in China it's a three- or four-day process with heavy fees," he says. "Bitcoin transactions can be instant and free."
Bitcoin will work in places where credit cards won't, seems to be the suggestion.Superfast broadband for Staffordshire after BT wins £27.4m deal >> V3.co.uk
BT has won yet another superfast broadband deal, this time in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, in which the vast majority of the region will be hooked to speeds of at least 24Mbps.
The £27.35m deal will see 472,000 premises – around 97% of the region – receive the high-speed service. The councils involved are investing £7.44m, while £7.44m will come from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework and £12.47m from BT.
A Staffordshire county council member described the fibre infrastructure as being "as important as road or rail in providing the accessibility and opportunities for our residents and businesses."
And this apparently means we're just past the halfway stage in the national fibre broadband rolling.Samsung GALAXY S4 hits 10 million milestone in first month >> SAMSUNG TOMORROW Global
Samsung Electronics announced that global channel sales of its GALAXY S4, a life companion for a richer, fuller, simpler life, has surpassed 10 million units sold in less than one month after its commercial debut. Launched globally on April 27 in 60 countries, the phone is estimated to be selling at a rate of four units per second.Android's market share is literally a joke >>Tech.pinions
Android accounts for approximately 70% of global smartphone shipments and 29% of global profits. This means that the average Android manufacturer creates just 0.41% of profit for each point of market share (0.29/0.70 = 0.414). In other words, the average Android manufacturer needs to capture 2.4 points of market share just to increase their [share of] market profit by 1 percentage point.
Such a low fair share profit index may indicate that Android manufacturers are:
– Having difficulty differentiating their product;
– Sacrificing profits in order to buy market share (the "race to the bottom");
– Unable to reach economies of scale in the manufacturing process.
Kirk's point is that people who talk about low-cost iPhones are overlooking price elasticity. Although might he be overlooking the fact that the sector of the market which is price inelastic has been almost exhausted?How Google plans to rule the computing world through Chrome >> Tech News and Analysis
if you're a Chrome user today, you'll be more immersed in the Chrome ecosystem a year from now, even if you don't have an "official" Chromebook. This all depends on how well Google pulls off its strategy to upend the desktop computing world, but so far, it seems to be on track.
Bear in mind the apps in this vision will be truly cross-platform as they'll run on any Windows, Mac or Linux computer with Chrome installed. If it can get developers on board — and those I spoke with at Google I/O are ready to embrace the effort — Google will have a thriving desktop platform built on top of the platforms created by others. But it will be a desktop that's far more agile, with new features added within days or weeks, not months or years.
Welcome to Chrome, my desktop today and your desktop of the future.
It depends more on how much people want web apps that might or might not run offline, and might or might not have a better UI than a native app, on their desktop. Other than that, solid.At the Mayo Clinic, iPhones and iPads are the standard >> CITEworld
Troy Newman, an IT specialist who oversees app development for Mayo, adds that the clinic was accustomed to running on a single platform - Windows - and wanted its mobile initiative to be similarly standardized.
"All our developers know how to do Windows development, so we made the same kind of same decision for iOS. We wanted a platform where we could get developers up to speed and train them to develop apps."
Finding that expertise hasn't always been easy.
"Our team's pretty small," says Newman. "As we've grown, it has been difficult to find people with the right skills who want to work in Rochester, Minnesota."
15,000 devices using those apps. Meanwhile, the 25,000 PCs that it also uses might be scaled back. Unless Surface Pro has come along in the nick of time.
You can follow Guardian Technology's linkbucket on Pinboard
To suggest a link, either add it below or tag it with @gdntech on the free Delicious service.Charles Arthur
'Abby Clancy poses in nothing but heels' story provides joint highest website traffic day for the Sun
The Boston marathon bombing on 16 April provided Mail Online with its biggest ever digital day, attracting more than 9.5 million unique users.
However, the bombing proved the 12th and 16th most popular web days in April for the Independent and Mirror websites respectively – while the Sun website network's joint highest traffic day last month coincided with a story headlined "Abby Clancy poses in nothing but heels".
Coverage of the terrorist attack on 16 April underlined Mail Online's seemingly inexorable global growth, particularly in North America, with just 39.8% of the 9,558,256 global unique browsers that day coming from the UK.
This was the lowest proportion of UK visitors in any day in April, according to the Mail Online's officially audited Audit Bureau of Circulations certificate published on Thursday.
A week later, Dzokhar Tsarnaev being charged with using a weapon of mass destruction in relation to the Boston marathon bombing provided Mail Online with its second biggest day on record, with 9,226,255 daily unique browsers.
While total digital records were being broken this was not the case on mobile devices – Mail Online's iPhone or Android apps barely registered an uplift in average usage on either of the Boston bombing news days.
April also highlighted the biggest online traffic drivers for the Sun, the biggest selling UK newspaper in print, which has failed to capture an equivalent digital audience.
The Sun's biggest online story in April was "Michelle Keegan in topless pic riddle", which included a picture of breasts posted on her Instagram page, on 5 April, and "Abby Clancy poses in nothing but heels" five days later.
The two days were almost neck-and-neck in terms of traffic, with Keegan narrowly shading it, at just over 2 million daily browsers. The Sun's daily average is just under 1.7 million.
Mirror Group Digital's barnstorming April, with total web traffic surging 30% month on month, was driven by a range of factors.
While the Boston bombing failed to register as a major traffic day, ranking 16th for the month as a whole, the charging of Tsarnaev proved the biggest traffic driver with 2,067,955 daily users across all devices.
It was also its biggest day of mobile browsers across Mirror Group Digital's website network, which includes Mirror.co.uk, 3am.co.uk and MirrorFootball.co.uk.
However, the other major events that fuelled Mirror Group Digital's traffic growth was an exclusive video from inside North Korea, which provided its second biggest day in April with 1,912,588 daily browsers.
The next biggest day of traffic was related to the Grand National, at about 1.6 million, while Margaret Thatcher's death drew 1.55 million.
The Boston bombing also provided the biggest traffic day in April for Telegraph.co.uk and guardian.co.uk (5.8 million and 4.55 million respectively). For Independent.co.uk, it only ranked 16th in April, with Thatcher's death coverage on 8 April the biggest at 1.55 million.
Nokia on Thursday said it has filed additional cases in its patent dispute with Taiwanese phone maker HTC.
The new actions, which include a second complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission and a federal suit in Southern California, come on top of existing legal actions that date back to last year.
“We began actions against HTC in 2012 to end the unauthorized use of our proprietary innovations and technologies,” Nokia said. “Since then, despite the German courts confirming infringements of Nokia patents in HTC products, HTC has shown no intention to end its practices, instead it has tried to shift responsibility to its suppliers. We have therefore taken these further steps to hold HTC accountable for its actions.”
An HTC representative was not immediately available for comment.
Overall, Nokia has asserted 50 patents in its various complaints around the world, including nine ones added through the new actions.
Nokia’s litigation with HTC is just one of many patent disputes in the mobile world, a legal landscape that includes battles between Samsung and Apple, and between Microsoft and Google’s Motorola unit.
There have been some settlements in the industry of late, including a deal between HTC and Apple that was announced in November and a number of licensing deals between Microsoft and various Android sellers.
The deceptively simple iPhone ad Apple rolled out last month has garnered all sorts of praise. Totally justified!
So you can see why they’d try a new one, using the exact same format, music and spec-less pitch. The only difference is that this time, instead of focusing on the notion that iPhones = cameras, Apple is reminding you that iPhones also = personal stereos.
So why don’t I like this one quite as much as the first?
My gut: Because when you take a picture, you’re probably doing it with the hope of sharing it with someone.
And while Apple makes a point of showing some scenarios where the iPhone brings music to more than one person, it is honest about the primary use case: Just, you, your phone and some ear buds, sealed off from the rest of the world.
Honest. But not as much fun.
(Bonus content for hardcore Apple tea leaf readers: Note that several of the shots in the camera ad showed iPhone owners using Facebook-owned Instagram. In this one, there’s indication what service or software iPhone users are listening to.)
A federal trade panel has ruled that Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox doesn’t infringe on wireless patents owned by Motorola Mobility, another in a series of legal decisions that could quiet patent litigation surrounding popular consumer electronic devices.
The International Trade Commission determined the technology Microsoft uses for wireless communication with the Xbox doesn’t infringed on a Motorola patent for wireless connectivity.
The 'extremely efficient' Lord Black is one of those attempting to frustrate parliament's plans for press regulation
Those who might think that the era of the press baron is over haven't heard of Lord Black. He may not be a household name but the Conservative peer, director of the company behind the Daily Telegraph and consummate insider is the éminence grise for large sections of the industry, orchestrating an audacious attempt to frustrate parliament's plans for press regulation with a rival scheme endorsed by the country's five largest newspaper groups.
Not to be confused with the former owner of the Daily Telegraph, Guy Black has been at the heart of a Conservative-press nexus for the best part of two decades. For the most part, it has given him intimate access into the top tier of society, not least at the first official engagement of Prince Charles, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince William.
The occasion was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the now discredited Press Complaints Commission, where Black was the director back in 2001. At the time, Camilla's companionship of the heir to the throne was still a matter of controversy, but like a debutante she allowed herself to be formally introduced to a 600-strong party that included journalists, cabinet ministers, celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Branson and his family.
For Black and his partner Mark Bolland – the press secretary to the Prince of Wales – it was a crowning glory, an elegant confluence of both their interests to brighten up a dark February night in Somerset House. It demonstrated that Buckingham Palace could publicly celebrate Prince Charles's romantic life and make it acceptable to a public still mourning Diana.
For critics though, the party was nothing but a "tacky showbiz event" denounced by the Daily Telegraph as "a frothy Hello!-type party for tabloid celebs … and cheesy stars such as Carol Vorderman and Richard and Judy."
But the then-Telegraph editor Charles Moore was not a fan of either Black or Bolland and the soft power the couple wielded through their network of friends in the tabloid press, including Rebekah Brooks, then-editor of the News of the World and her then-boyfriend EastEnders star Ross Kemp, with whom the couple had holidayed.
Twelve years on, fate has gone full circle. Moore is long gone from the paper, and sitting in an office adjacent to the chief executive of the expanded Telegraph Media Group is one Lord Black, executive director reporting to the chief executive Murdoch MacLennan, the former managing director of Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers.
Brooks, facing phone-hacking and corrupt payments trials, may have moved out of the trade, but Black has moved on. He also has the ear of Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, arguably the most powerful figure in the industry. Insiders at the paper say he always takes Black's calls and was one of few (along with Brooks and MacLennan) to be invited to his and Bolland's civil partnership ceremony. News International is also happy to follow his lead.
He is seen as the invisible hand behind the prime minister's decision to delay previously agreed plans with Labour, Lib Dems and Hacked Off and consider the 11th-hour alternative put forward by the press. Even critics of his – and the rival royal charter – will freely admit that he is both sharp and shrewd. An executive at a competing newspaper group says: "You have to get up early to outsmart him."
Few in newspapers will speak on the record about him, and criticism and praise come in equal measure. He is said by one of his friends to be one of the most "overtly political" animals in the business, "not in party-political sense" but in terms of networking, with his choice of guests at his civil ceremony – Dacre, MacLennan, Brooks – cited as evidence of his power-seeking sensibility.
And the pressure on Black to deliver is enormous. He was almost jettisoned as the industry's unofficial ambassador last December in the wake of the publication of the Leveson report because, as the former director of the PCC, he was seen to represent the discredited system of the past. Even now his support base is not complete, which means he will either end up being the kingmaker or the deal-breaker – some left-leaning newspaper groups, most notably the Guardian are sceptical.
Black, 48, was a local Conservative councillor in Essex, where he grew up and went on to work in the Conservative research department after graduating from Cambridge with a double first. In 1986, he became special adviser to John Wakeham, then energy secretary. Later he followed Wakeham, who then took him to the PCC.
A brief stint working for Conservative party leader Michael Howard following his work at the PCC in the mid-noughties reportedly cured him of his ambition to be an MP, but it is his closeness to senior Tories that is said to have made him the perfect conduit for the press to No 10. After the 2005 election, he joined the Telegraph Media Group as executive director, a non-editorial role that essentially meant he was the newspaper group's chief lobbyist.
Maintaining contacts was always a priority. His wedding party, held after the civil partnership ceremony in London, was held in the Cotswolds in 2006. It was a swanky affair attended by the great and good and a sprinkling of editors and PRs. Sir Michael Bishop, the former owner of airline BMI, arrived on a private helicopter. Eventually the networking was rewarded with a peerage in July 2010, just months after Cameron's election victory, sponsored by Wakeham and Lord Marland, a reward for years of service.
Against such a background, the question is whether Black is the man to deliver a consensus across the normally warring Fleet Street elements.
One newspaper executive says Black has enormous abilities to bring warring factions together into "a demilitarised zone" between tabloids and broadsheets. "He has this frictionless personality and seems to get on with people weirdly well. He is like Wakeham in that he is smooth and unperturbable."
Lord Wakeham says Black has long been able to achieve consensus because of his long experience at the PCC, where broadsheets and tabloids were at loggerheads during their stint together between 1996 and 2003.
His former boss is one of the few prepared to go on the record about Black, with whom he worked for 10 years. "There are lots of people poncing about saying things but they haven't the remotest chance of actually getting anything through," said Wakeham. The peer regards Black as "an extremely efficient operator" and a "great draughtsman".
Critical in the interminable post-Leveson debate has been Black's ability to produce reform proposals in an attempt to head of Leveson both before and after publication. Only those who read the documents closely see that he is careful to protect his own position too.
Parliament's royal charter for press regulation bans working peers from participating in the revamped system. But one clause in the press's royal charter for regulation insists on just the reverse.
The confusion created by the emergence of a rival press charter has produced a growing belief that there will be some sort of negotiation to bring together the two documents. Which means, after 17 years at the heart of press regulation, it is quite likely there will be a job behind the scenes for this most connected peer to fill.Lisa O'Carroll
Bloomberg today reported that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is taking a hard look at Google’s advertising business to evaluate whether it is cramming multiple products on customers and elbowing out competitors.
The players are all too familiar, but the game is different, as the FTC largely cleared Google in a separate search and patent antitrust investigation last year.
Google is nowhere near as dominant in advertising as it is in search, but the company has clearly been building up its advertising stack through acquisitions and its own product development — with regulators’ permission, so far.
The cornerstone of those was buying DoubleClick in 2007, which the FTC itself cleared. The commission said at the time, “We want to be clear, however, that we will closely watch these markets and, should Google engage in unlawful tying or other anticompetitive conduct, the Commission intends to act quickly.” Since then, Google added other important buys such as AdMob and Invite Media and built its AdX ad exchange.
The question is whether Google is using anticompetitive tactics to try to force its combined “end-to-end” solution onto advertisers, for instance by taking a loss on some products in order to make the full package more attractive.
IDC reported this week that Google had 24.1 percent of the $3 billion U.S. display advertising market in the first quarter of this year, widening its lead over Yahoo and Facebook.
Dish Network Corp. took one step closer to arranging $9 billion in committed financing for its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.
Dish received signed commitment letters from five banks, including Barclays Bank and Jefferies & Co., the people said. Including about $2.6 billion it raised in bonds last week, Dish has now raised close to $12 billion for the deal.