Here's what's pushing cable's buttons this morning.
The retransmission battle between DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) and Tribune Company has reached the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) , with the satellite TV giant complaining that Tribune reneged on a deal that would have prevented the blackout of the broadcaster's signals on DirecTV's service. The complaint, which stems from Tribune pulling 23 stations, including KTLA-TV in Los Angeles, from DirecTV, also argues that Tribune's creditors, rather than its management, is making key company decisions. DirecTV claims to have emails and phone records showing that Tribune's "constituents" had overruled the agreement, while Tribune counters that DirecTV's claims are nothing more than negotiating tactics, notes The Los Angeles Times.
Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Inc. analyst Craig Moffett says this is more than a run of the mill retrans dispute that typically takes place in "America's hinterlands" because Tribune owns stations in major markets such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle and Philadelphia. He also points out that former DirecTV President Eddy Hartenstein is now the CEO of Tribune, and reckons the exec has a pretty good understanding of DirecTV's vulnerabilities in this sort of fight.
Pace plc has appointed Shane McCarthy to president of Pace International, replacing Mark Loughran. McCarthy will head up Pace's business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia-Pacific, and Brazil. He previously served as SVP and GM of EMEA and Asia Pacific for the set-top box maker.
Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE) will launch Google TV products in Europe in September, NewTeeVee reports, citing a report in Les Echos. The stand-alone box will run €200 (US$266), while a version with an integrated Blu-ray player will go for €300 ($399). A second generation of the much-maligned original Google TV device is expected out later this year. (See Google TV 2.0 Tees Up CE Partners .)
Cox Communications Inc. has hired Ken Kraft as VP of marketing for its Cox Business unit. Kraft joins Cox from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), where he was executive director of channel marketing for the telco's mid-markets business division. He's also late of BellSouth and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S).
With April 1, 2012 falling on a weekend, the world was spared of an onslaught of April Fools' news hoaxes. But Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) played along anyway, poking fun at itself by bringing a nutritional twist to fiber innovation:
Light Reading is spending much of this year digging into the details of how automation technology will impact the comms market, but let's take a moment to also look at how automation is set to overturn the current world order by the middle of the century.
Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.
During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.
She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.