Check Out Our New Look

Michael Ovitz Seeks A “Final Chance” For Redemption In Silicon Valley: Fortune

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 12:54pm PDT

I doubt that the CAA co-founder enjoyed reading David A. Kaplan’s trenchant profile of him in the issue of Fortune that hits newsstands on Monday. (Here is the teaser link.) “Cast out of Hollywood, not quite a player on Wall Street, never a sensation on Madison Avenue — Michael Ovitz must see Silicon Valley as a final chance to become Michael Ovitz again,” Kaplan writes. He justifies the conclusion with fresh anecdotes showing how the former talent agent and Disney exec has emerged as a “guru” to tech stars including Skype President Tony Bates and Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky. While he helps them connect with people in other fields and hone their deal-making skills, “Ovitz coaches them on culture and storytelling. He picks them up when they have bouts of doubt, sometimes inviting them to visit the curated mega-million-dollar collection of contemporary art on display in his 28,000-square-foot home in Beverly Hills.” Kaplan adds that Ovitz’ sushi restaurant, Hamasaku, named a $20 salmon-and-snapper role after Bates. And “the nerds — typically a skeptical, evidence-driven bunch — have been uncharacteristically enchanted by their new ally from the Southland.” No mention in the story about Anita Busch’s suit against him in connection with the 2002 scandal involving private investigator Anthony Pellicano. But Kaplan recalls some stories — including Ovitz’ short-lived partnership with Michael Eisner at Disney and the collapse of Artists Management Group — from the days … Read More »

Comments (17)

YouTube’s A “Rocket Ship”, But A Tough Place For Others To Make Money: Fortune

By | Thursday July 25, 2013 @ 7:42am PDT

If you’re interested in YouTube, then check out Fortune’s new cover story — titled “How YouTube Changes Everything” (goes online today and hits newsstands Monday) – and stick with it to the end. The most intriguing, and critical, observations are buried. “Even as YouTube explodes in popularity, making money in its world remains a challenge for all but Google itself,” writer Miguel Helft says deep into his piece. One entrepreneur, Jason Calacanis, observes that while YouTube is “amazing for marketers, individuals and companies seeking to reach a large audience,” the business itself is “a trap.” He raises some common complaints: YouTube’s 45% slice of the ad sales pie is too big. It fails to provide enough marketing support. And YouTube, not individual producers, controls the relationships with viewers. Google shouldn’t complain, though. The criticisms are after-thoughts in largely flattering profile that confirms DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s observation that “this thing is like a rocket ship.” YouTube’s viewership is up 50% over the last 12 months. Barclays estimates that it’s worth as much as $21B — not bad for an asset that Google bought in 2006 for $1.65B.  Although YouTube “is not about to kill off television,” the story Read More »

Comments (16)

Bravo Develops Drama Script Inspired by Charles Dickens ‘Bleak House’

Is Bravo — once upon a time the network of Romeo and Juliet but now the home of Real Housewives of Fill In The Blank — taking a page from its past with one of its new scripted series projects? Fortune, a one-hour drama series script in development, from playwright Theresa Rebeck and exec producers John Wells and Andrew Stearn at Warner Horizon, is inspired by Charles Dickens’ 19th century classic Bleak House. Fortune is set in the present and follows a prominent New York family and the battle over an inheritance after the patriarch dies suddenly under mysterious circumstances. The original Bleak House details the impact of the endless litigation that results from a case in which a testator made several conflicting wills.

Comments (6)