Earlier this month, a report surfaced claiming Nextar Media Group was exploring a potential purchase of the ABC television network. Allen Media Group — controlled by billionaire Byron Allen was also an interested party, but he believes Disney isn’t quite ready to part with the network.
During a discussion with CNBC’s Julie Boorstin at the Code Conference, Allen — who currently owns 27 local television stations in 21 markets, as well as The Weather Channel — confirmed he placed a $10 billion bid to purchase the network, adding that “Capital’s not an issue” for his acquisition.
Allen’s interest in purchasing the network — which he says he’s entertained for nearly a decade — comes after The Walt Disney Company’s CEO Bob Iger publicly questioned whether or not linear television is “core” to the company’s business going forward.
However, Allen shared his belief that Iger “is not ready” to sell the network.
“These legacy companies are trying to reinvent themselves,” Allen said. “It’s like they’re trying to build a new airplane mid-air while they’re flying their old airplane, in a publicly traded entity. This is a very challenging thing to accomplish,” Allen said. “Bob is excellent at what he does, he’s phenomenal, he’s the best person to do it, but whoa, they’re asking him to do something that has not occurred in the last 100 years.”
He then stated that ABC, and linear television as a whole is “really integrated into everything Disney. That’s the hard part.”
Byron Allen then joked that he is going to treat his interest in acquiring the network like “a lion chasing a gazelle”.
NAFB Executive Director Tom Brand, Strong AM Radio Advocate, Resigning
The NAFB executive board and its directors will lead the search for a new executive director.
Changes are coming to the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB) as Tom Brand resigned from his executive director position. The resignation will take effect on December 31.
Brand became a member of the NAFB team in August 2011 after serving as farm director at KFEQ Radio in St. Joseph, Missouri.
“I want to thank Tom for his leadership of NAFB for the last 12-plus years,” Joe Gill, NAFB’s 2023 president, said. “His passion and dedication to farm broadcasting has been invaluable, and I’m truly grateful for his service to the NAFB.”
The National Association of Farm Broadcasting’s executive board and its directors will lead the search for a new executive director, and the organization will share information about the pursuit once it is announced.
“A lot of things have changed since I came to NAFB in August 2011. Our industry looks different, but it has done a wonderful job remaining relevant and is positioned for the future. I’m pleased with the status of the association, noting growth in multiple areas — membership, offerings to members, financial stability, and impact to the agriculture community,” Brand said.
“Looking back on more than 30 years of involvement with NAFB, I recognize listeners are truly connected to their farm broadcasters; advertisers understand the importance of that connection; and I know farm broadcasting is proven and will continue to deliver its message to this important part of the nation’s economy.”
Bloomberg Media CEO Scott Havens Departs to Join New York Mets
Havens was elevated to the CEO of Bloomberg in January of last year, after previously serving as Chief Growth Officer and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships.
Bloomberg Media CEO M. Scott Havens is departing his role to become the President of MLB’s New York Mets.
Havens was elevated to the CEO of Bloomberg Media in January of last year, after previously serving as Chief Growth Officer and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships.
He joined the company in 2015 after spending time as the Senior Vice President of Digital at Time Inc. He was also the President of The Atlantic, and also spent time at Portfolio.com, and Yahoo! Finance, among others.
In his new role, Havens will report directly to New York Mets owner Steve Cohen.
“The opportunity to join the Mets organization is a lifelong dream fulfilled,” said Havens. “I’m thrilled to build upon the great work underway, accelerating the push to modernize our strategy across the organization, driving new digital and media innovation, and ultimately, to provide our fans with the best experience in sports. I’m grateful to Steve and Alex for this opportunity and am looking forward to working with the entire leadership team to shape the future of the Mets together.”
“Bringing someone on board of Scott’s caliber is an exciting development for the Mets organization,” added Mets Owners Steve and Alex Cohen. “Scott has vast experience leading world-class media and digital technology-led companies such as Bloomberg Media and Time Inc. and he’ll provide a modern vision and strategic direction for our organization.
Ex-CNN President Jeff Zucker Acquiring Two U.K. Media Outlets
Reports indicate that Zucker is planning to expand U.K. publications into the U.S.
Former CNN president Jeff Zucker is getting back into the news media industry. According to The New York Times, Zucker is reportedly set to acquire The Daily Telegraph and The Spectator, two influential conservative publications in the U.K.
Zucker’s RedBird IMI bid approximately $1.4 billion for the publications that went up for auction following the Barclay family’s default on a loan.
Reports indicate that Zucker is planning to expand U.K. publications into the U.S. However, he will not be responsible for daily news coverage and instead will focus on strategy.
Recently, news reports have linked the former CNN chief as a potential buyer of CNN in case Warner Bros. Discovery decides to sell the cable network. He has confirmed his interest in acquiring CNN.
During the Yahoo Finance Invest Conference in early November, Zucker stated that CNN is not currently for sale and that his RedBird IMI Capital firm is not investigating a purchase. However, Zucker referred to CNN as a “fantastic asset.”