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Apple Buys Beats: Iovine, Cue And The $3 Billion Deal

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 10:11pm PDT
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What The Beats Acquisition Means For Apple

Deadline's David Lieberman explains what Apple is getting for its $3B buy of Beats.

Just hours afterEddy Cue and Jimmy Iovine the biggest deal in Apple’s history, two of the key players in the $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music took to a conference stage to say the deal took a decade to happen, and then virtually no time at all. “I asked them every day for 10 years,” said Jimmy Iovine, the long-time Universal Records executive who co-founded Beats with rap super-producer Dr. Dre. “These guys are not easy to get to. They make deals like they make products,” as he made a wringing motion with his hands.

Iovine and Apple Sr. Vice President of Internet Software and Services were on stage at the Code Conference in Palos Verdes, CA, this evening just hours after the much-rumored deal was finally announced, bringing the maker of hugely popular (and frequently-criticized) headphones and portable speakers and a budding but still small music streaming service to the tech giant for $3 billion.
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Is Apple Preparing To Spend $3.2B For Beats’ Music Electronics And Streaming?

By | Thursday May 8, 2014 @ 3:17pm PDT

Apple music headphoneThe Financial Times says it is, in what the paper calls “a radical departure” for Apple, which has eschewed splashy acquisitions. The deal still isn’t done, but talks are far enough along to have determined that the company founded by music exec Jimmy Iovine and performer-producer Dr. Dre will report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, FT says. Less than two years ago, private equity firm the Carlyle Group invested $500M in Beats for a minority stake that valued the company at more than $1B and took two of the six board seats. Last month, Billboard reported that Beats’ streaming service, which launched in January, “has been a disappointment” with paid subscriptions in the low-six figures and “soon will face competition on the mobile platform when Sprint begins bundling Spotify with its ‘Framily’ plans.”

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Jimmy Iovine Out Of ‘American Idol’, Randy Jackson Poised To Replace Him As Mentor

By | Wednesday August 21, 2013 @ 9:23pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

American Idol: Jimmy Iovine Out, Randy Jackson To Replace Him As In-House MentorEXCLUSIVE: The sweeping changes on Fox’s American Idol continue. I’ve learned that top music producer Jimmy Iovine is leaving the talent competition series, where he served as an in-house mentor for the past three seasons. I hear he will likely be replaced by former Idol judge Randy Jackson. Iovine, co-founder of Interscope Records and chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M, joined Idol in Season 10, the first without original judge Simon Cowell. With his music executive/producer experience and no-nonsense attitude, Iovine was tapped to fill the void left by the acerbic British music executive. His Interscope Geffen A&M also took over from Cowell’s label in handling the albums of the Idol finalists. While Idol has ended its relationship with Iovine, the show may not be left without a top music producer evaluating the contestants as Dr. Luke has been in talks for the last vacant seat on the judging panel, joining Keith Urban and Jennifer Lopez.

Related:
Jennifer Lopez’s ‘Idol’ Return Is On, Says Boyfriend
EMMYS: Reality-Competition Overview

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Q&A: Brian Grazer And Ron Howard On 25 Years Together As Imagine Partners

Mike Fleming

UPDATE EXCLUSIVE: Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have reached a milestone unusual in Hollywood: partners for 25 years. When they first got together, Grazer was a TV producer. Howard, after growing up on the small screen in The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days, had only directed a couple of TV movies and the low budget Roger Corman-produced Grand Theft Auto. Grazer and Howard have been at it together ever since, building a company that over 25 years has been one of the most consistent generators of content. Their TV series output includes 24, Parenthood, Arrested Development and Friday Night Lights; their movies have grossed $13.5 billion worldwide. That includes A Beautiful Mind, which won Howard the Academy Award for Best Director. Grazer and Howard shared Best Picture Oscars that night as well. Not everything they’ve done has succeeded, of course. They they took their company public and repurchased the shares; they helped launched and fold the online venture Pop.com; their most recent film together, the adult comedy The Dilemma, was a misfire that created controversy over the inclusion of the word “gay” in a trailer. They’ve had way more hits than misses.

In honor of Imagine’s Silver Anniversary, Deadline invited Howard and Grazer to look back over their quarter century together, and into a future that includes something never tried before by anyone in Hollywood. They’re adapting Stephen King’s 7-novel series The Dark Tower into a film trilogy, and a limited run TV series in between. It has pushed the envelope enough that their longtime home studio, Universal  Pictures, postponed a planned late summer start until next year and asked the filmmakers to cut the budget. Some question the studio’s resolve on such a massive undertaking. The studio has to green light the film by next month or the rights revert to Imagine, Akiva Goldsman and King, who are determined to make it regardless.

DEADLINE: Not many marriages of any kind last 25 years in Hollywood. What is most important about the anniversary?
HOWARD: It’s such a challenging time to get movies made. And yet, look at all we have coming out. Tower Heist, the Gus Van Sant movie Restless, J Edgar with Clint Eastwood and Leo DiCaprio, Cowboys & Aliens, this big broad appeal four quadrant fantasy adventure story with Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. With The Playboy Club getting on the air, and Parenthood getting picked up, I’m proud we’re doing what we’ve always done. A wide variety of projects that got made because we care and put in the energy to get them done in light of how difficult it is these days.

DEADLINE: I’ve watched filmmaker partnerships fail because of jealousy, ego, greed, or lack of sustained success. Why have you avoided those pitfalls?
HOWARD: The bi-coastal relationship!

DEADLINE: Simple as that?
HOWARD: Because I’m in New York, we’re not forced to stare at each other’s faces 24/7. But I think that’s not really it. We love what we’re doing, we have fun doing it and our sensibilities are in sync. In a business that can create so many feelings of anxiety and self-doubt, I learned to trust in that. Brian is smart and cares about me doing well and feeling good about what I’m doing. It’s a partnership built on support. It has been that way since the beginning.
GRAZER: It works because we have similar tastes and not only gravitate toward the same material but also what lives inside the core of the movie it becomes. We’ve done, and Ron has directed, all kinds of genres. We have a common interest in the humanity aspect of a movie, regardless if it’s a comedy or a drama. We also share a similar work ethic.

DEADLINE: When you cover all genres, does Imagine have a wheelhouse? For a company looking to last, is it advisable to have one?
HOWARD: The process is what gets Brian and me excited, whatever the genre. Not specializing has given our company a sense of flexibility and adaptability to whatever the market or the zeitgeist is suggesting. We’ve always respected each other as creative people. If Brian loves something and I don’t quite get it, I’ll tell him that but I’ll never try to impede the progress. He’s the same with me. With Apollo 13, I  wasn’t sure the genre would work, because space films hadn’t done that well. Brian was instantly so excited about it, and made me realize we were onto something. 8 Mile, I don’t know anything about rap. This was something he understood. I didn’t know how to make that movie, but I recognized a great idea. Whenever the two of us get excited, on films like Splash, Night Shift and Parenthood, those have resulted in the building blocks of the company. I’ve always liked TV  but I phased it out for awhile and it was Brian’s perseverance that has made us strong in both TV and films. Independent companies are rarely strong in both.
GRAZER: What we’ve do is agree on the moral center of a project, but nobody’s better at finding the language of a particular movie than Ron. He’s got a grasp of understanding  new vocabularies, whether it’s the The Da Vinci Code, fantasy like Cocoon or Splash, or Backdraft and The Grinch. He is great at inhabiting a world and completely understanding and expressing its language. In A Beautiful Mind, he entered that world and understood the medical science of mental illness. So there have been times where he led the charge, and I was drawn in by his excitement.

DEADLINE: What was the last hard conversation or professional disagreement you can remember?
HOWARD: I can’t think of one offhand, but even when we have disagreements, I can’t think of a case where one of us ever said, ‘Oh, please don’t do this.’ If there’s a lot of passion from one or the other, then the support of the company is going to be there. Read More »

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Simon Fuller On ‘American Idol’ Season 10 So Far: ‘We Wanted To Lose The Negativity’

Nellie Andreeva

When a show heads into its 10th season, you brace for ratings declines. When it heads into its 10th season and loses its biggest star, you brace for the worst. Well, by that measure, Fox’s American Idol has done pretty well. After the public spectacle that the search for new judges became, playing out like a soap opera over the summer, there was a lot of skepticism whether the veteran reality show would collapse following the departure of star judge Simon Cowell. Airing in a new Wednesday-Thursday pattern, Idol did start off down from last season but has since held steady and pretty close to last year’s numbers except for last week which a year ago featured Ellen DeGeneres’ debut as an Idol judge. But it’s still unclear how the 2011 Idol‘s extreme makeover for Season 10 will fare with two new judges (Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler), a new showrunner (returning Nigel Lythgoe), new lower age limit (15), new record company (Universal) and new mentor (Jimmy Iovine, who showed similiarities to grumpy Cowell in his debut on the show tonight). And the changes aren’t done. Word is Idol has inked a deal with Facebook to move its rather antiquated phone voting system to the Web and is also planning to actively use Twitter. In a written Q&A with me, Idol creator/executive producer Simon Fuller declined to discuss any Idol voting … Read More »

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