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CNN to study drone use for reporting
June 23rd, 2014
12:50 PM ET

CNN to study drone use for reporting

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Seeking to speed up government rule-making about the use of drones in newsgathering, CNN and the Georgia Institute of Technology said Monday that they would jointly study how to operate unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) safely and effectively.

In a press release, the partners called it a "research initiative" and said they will share data with the Federal Aviation Authority "as it considers regulations that will allow for the safe and effective operation of UAVs by media outlets."

The announcement comes amid widespread interest in newsrooms across the country in what's been dubbed "drone journalism," and equally widespread uncertainty about the legality of it. The FAA has severely limited the use of drones for commercial purposes, including newsgathering. It is due to develop new drone rules by September 2015.

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Filed under: Drones • Reliable Sources
Chelsea Handler to host Netflix talk show
June 19th, 2014
09:30 AM ET

Chelsea Handler to host Netflix talk show

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Chelsea Handler, whose talk show on E! ends in two months, is taking her act to the Internet in an unprecedented deal with Netflix.

The streaming TV service said Thursday that Handler has signed up to host a talk show that will premier in early 2016, and will stream in every region where Netflix has subscribers.

The deal is significant because it gives Netflix (NFLX,Tech30) - currently best known for "Orange is the New Black" binges and a library of older shows and movies - topical programming that will, at least in theory, keep people coming back for more.

And it gives Handler, who made no secret of her unhappiness at E!, a new outlet for her edgy comedy.

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Clinton's memoir tops non-fiction hardcover list, fourth overall
June 18th, 2014
03:10 PM ET

Clinton's memoir tops non-fiction hardcover list, fourth overall

By Dan Merica and Brian Stelter, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton's frenetic book tour appears to have paid off: In its first week on the market, her memoir "Hard Choices" was the most purchased hardcover nonfiction book in the United States, according to Nielsen Bookscan data.

Booksellers who report to Nielsen – which makes up roughly 85% of all retail book sales – have sold approximately 86,000 physical copies of "Hard Choices" since June 10, according to the data provided to CNN by Nielsen.

The Nielsen numbers do not include tablet and e-book sales. On Tuesday, a source with Simon & Schuster, Clinton's publisher, told CNN that roughly 100,000 copies of "Hard Choices" were sold in the book's first week when you combine hardcover, e-book and preorders.

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Ousted NYT editor lands at Harvard
June 12th, 2014
03:10 PM ET

Ousted NYT editor lands at Harvard

By Brian Stelter, CNN

"What's next for me? I don't know," Jill Abramson said during a college commencement address last month.

That was one week after she was fired from her executive editor post at The New York Times.

Now she's answering her question: Abramson will be teaching at her alma mater, Harvard University, in the fall of 2014 and the spring of 2015.

She will be a visiting lecturer in the Department of English, teaching undergraduates about narrative nonfiction, the university announced Thursday. Abramson graduated from Harvard College in 1976.

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New front in Amazon kerfuffle: Warner movies
June 11th, 2014
02:30 AM ET

New front in Amazon kerfuffle: Warner movies

By Brian Stelter, CNN Senior Media Correspondent

Hachette books aren't the only products that are now harder to order on Amazon - the online retailer is going after movies, too.

Amazon (AMZNTech30) has turned off the preorder function for DVDs of prominent Warner Bros. films as it seeks to raise pressure on the company during negotiations.

"The Lego Movie," for example, is listed as "currently unavailable" on Amazon. Set for release in the home video marketplace on June 17, there is no option to place a preorder.

Warner is owned by Time Warner (TWX), the parent company of CNNMoney.

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Lara Logan returns to CBS' '60 Minutes'
June 4th, 2014
08:40 PM ET

Lara Logan returns to CBS' '60 Minutes'

By Brian Stelter, CNN 

Exactly a month ago, there were a flurry of questions about whether Lara Logan would ever return to the acclaimed CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes." On Wednesday, CBS answered matter-of-factly: yes.

"Lara Logan has returned to work," a CBS News spokeswoman said in response to reporter inquiries.

Logan had been on leave since last November, when her "60 Minutes" report about the 2012 consulate attack in Benghazi, Libya was widely discredited and essentially retracted. So had her producer Max McClellan. CBS did not comment on McClellan's status on Wednesday, but he is expected to return to the newsmagazine, too.

"60 Minutes" is on a summer hiatus, but Logan is expected to appear on other CBS newscasts in the meantime.

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Filed under: 60 Minutes • CBS News
Snowden's leaks prompt two movies
June 2nd, 2014
08:35 PM ET

Snowden's leaks prompt two movies

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Will there be dueling films on Edward Snowden and his leaks about NSA mass surveillance?

It's very possible, now that Oliver Stone has announced that he is writing a Snowden screenplay based on the book "The Snowden Files," published earlier this year by the Guardian reporter Luke Harding.

Stone and his producing partner Moritz Borman announced their plans - and said Borman is "fast-tracking" the project - in a press release on Monday.

The announcement comes on the heels of Sony Pictures Entertainment's acquisition of the rights to another book about the leaks: Glenn Greenwald's "No Place to Hide." Two well-known producers, Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli, are attached to that project.

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8 books Amazon is making it hard to buy
The autobiography by former Yankee great Mariano Rivera is subject to a delay of as long as 4 weeks via Amazon.
May 29th, 2014
02:10 PM ET

8 books Amazon is making it hard to buy

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Hundreds of books, some obscure titles and some bestsellers, are caught up in the deepening feud between Amazon and the book publisher Hachette.

The two companies are at odds over e-book pricing and other terms. Amazon has been pressuring Hachette to accept its terms - consequently, some Hachette books are listed as "out of stock" on Amazon while others are subject to long delays and disadvantageous pricing.

Amazon, for its part, says that its negotiations with suppliers like Hachette are pro-consumer: "Negotiating for acceptable terms is an essential business practice that is critical to keeping service and value high for customers in the medium and long term."

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Filed under: Amazon • Hachette • Reliable Sources
Why Snowden waited a whole year for his TV close-up
May 29th, 2014
10:02 AM ET

Why Snowden waited a whole year for his TV close-up

By Brian Stelter, CNN

When Edward Snowden was identified as the source who leaked top-secret NSA documents last spring, reporters and television anchors immediately began jockeying to interview him.

How long, they wondered, might he wait to have his first sit-down television interview, to speak out about why he did what he did? One month? Two?

Snowden actually waited one whole year, for reasons that have a lot to do with how the news media works.

Ben Wizner, the ACLU attorney who has been Snowden's legal adviser and liaison with the press, called the wait part of a "very very deliberate strategy all along" to make mass surveillance the story, not the man.

"Waiting a year meant that there was so much to ask him about other than himself," Wizner said.

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Netflix picks up 'DreamWorks Dragons'
May 29th, 2014
09:40 AM ET

Netflix picks up 'DreamWorks Dragons'

By Brian Stelter, CNN

Netflix is furthering its relationship with DreamWorks Animation, picking up two new seasons of the children's television show based on the "How to Train Your Dragon" film franchise.

The two companies announced the deal on Thursday. It comes about a year after DreamWorks committed to bring about 300 hours worth of original programming to Netflix, and two weeks before "How to Train Your Dragon 2" bows in theaters.

Netflix and rivals like Amazon (AMZNFortune 500)and Hulu have been competing to have the best selection of shows for kids - a response to theexpectation that programming always be available on-demand.

The announcement is another instance of a TV show moving from a traditional cable channel to a streaming service.

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