Saturday, January 22, 2011


What good is freedom of speech if we don't use it? What good is freedom of speech if it can be bought and sold?

Freedom of speech isn't a given right, it is a right that is only present with a platform and some platforms are more visible and get our attention in a more dramatic way. Television is one of those types of platforms. And the platform, such as a television show means you can be hired and fired.

I liked Keith Olbermann's special comments and the first half of his show. I liked that he said what he felt and didn't water it down. I liked that what he said was given with considerable thoughtful deliberation. I liked that he had a platform to speak. He helped me feel the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh got a response that made sense to me.

MSNBC fired Keith Olbermann and apparently didn't give him two weeks notice.

Freedom of the press


Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Comcast buys 51% stake in NBC Universal in $13.75bn deal

Cable giant and General Electric confirm plan to create media powerhouse including major TV shows and channels
More on this deal
Source: guardian.co.uk

American cable giant Comcast and General Electric, which controls NBC Universal, have confirmed they are to create a powerful new media and entertainment conglomerate that will bring some of the best-known TV shows and channels in the US together under one roof.

Comcast is buying a controlling 51% stake in NBC Universal in a deal valued at $13.75bn (£8.27bn), paying $6.5bn in cash.

The cable operator is also putting assets valued at $7.25bn into the new joint venture, which it will manage and will retain the NBC Universal name. They include its programming business, which owns cable channels such as E! Entertainment.

Comcast's programming and digital assets will be added to the existing NBCU business, valued at $30bn, which encompasses the NBC TV network, a Hollywood film studio and theme parks, cable channels including USA, Bravo and MSNBC.

Jeff Zucker, NBCU's president and chief executive, will oversee the new joint venture, reporting to Steve Burke, Comcast's chief operating officer.

GE will retain a 49% stake in NBCU. In a complex deal, the industrial conglomerate, which owned 80% of NBCU, has agreed to buy Vivendi's 20% stake in the company for $5.8bn. GE expects to raise a total of $9.8bn by selling down its stake.

As part of the deal, Comcast has the right to buy out GE's remaining interest at specified times, and industry observers expect the company to exit the business over time.

The Comcast chairman and chief executive, Brian Roberts, said: "This deal is a perfect fit for Comcast and will allow us to become a leader in the development and distribution of multiplatform 'anytime, anywhere' media that American consumers are demanding."

The deal is being billed by GE and Comcast as a marriage of equals that will leave NBCU better placed to meet some of the strategic challenges the media industry is facing.

It will give Comcast, which owns one of the biggest US cable networks, a bigger presence in the content business, with NBCU owning Hollywood studio Universal Pictures and the NBC TV network and production operation.

Comcast has nearly 25 million subscribers who use its cable network and, increasingly, its phone and high-speed broadband services. Taking control of NBCU may make it easier to experiment with new ways of distributing programming.

NBCU is an investor in Hulu, the video-on-demand website launched by several big media groups in the US, including Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. It allows users to watch shows free of charge, but it is widely expected to introduce some form of charging.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval in the US.

• To contact the MediaGuardian news desk email editor@mediaguardian.co.uk or phone 020 3353 3857. For all other inquiries please call the main Guardian switchboard on 020 3353 2000.

More articles www.guardian.co.uk

Contact msnbc

Here is my brief message to msnbc

Hopefully, we can find Keith Olbermann on another station as MSNBC has let him go. And hopefully, your legal agreement to silence him from other networks isn't too long.

Sincerely, Sandra Hammel

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