EJ Johnson has signed a new overall deal with E! to return to the network’s series #RichKids Of Beverly Hills for its second season. The series documents the lives of social-media-savvy socialites in the 90210, including billionaire offspring Dorothy Wang and lifestyle blogger Morgan Stewart; EJ, who was a secondary cast member in the first season, is expected to play a larger role in Season 2. Johnson, son of Magic and Cookie Johnson, also will make appearances on a variety of the network’s programs to showcase his fashion expertise; he has appeared on E! series and specials in that capacity, including Fashion Police, E! News and as a special correspondent during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February. As part of the deal, E! will collaborate with Johnson to develop new projects.
The Los Angeles Clippers capped this weekend’s media reaction to racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling by staging a silent protest before Game 4 of their play-offs run today, wearing their red warm-up shirts inside out to conceal the Clippers logo ahead of Sunday afternoon’s 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Sterling was identified on a 9-minute recording posted by TMZ and an extended 15-minute tape obtained by Deadspin this week telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people including former hoops star Magic Johnson to his NBA games. Johnson hit back on the airwaves himself appearing on ABC‘s play-off pre-game show (see below) calling for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to “[do] his due diligence” and “come down hard” on Sterling, who “should not own a team anymore.”
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said fellow ex-NBA superstar and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”
Michelle Obama Reschedules Hollywood Fundraiser At Phil Rosenthal’s Place That Got Nixed By Government Shutdown
Don’t try to get around town on January 29 — that’s the day first lady Michelle Obama has re-scheduled her scrubbed DNC fundraiser at the Hancock Park home of Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal and his wife, actress Monica Horan. This clambake previously had been scheduled for mid-October at same place but got nixed because the government shutdown made it seem icky — FLOTUS glad-handing Hollywood types who’d forked over $1,250 to $32,400 for the privilege, while many government workers aren’t collecting their paychecks just did not pass the cringe test. Back in October, she’d also pulled the plug on a planned San Francisco fundraiser.
Magic Johnson’s Atlanta-based Aspire cable network launched today. Johnson announced in mid-May that former GMC TV exec Paul Butler would be general managerof the new African American-focused network planned for launch this month. Johnson is a majority owner of Aspire, in partnership with Atlanta-based GMC. Johnson says the name of the network is meant to reflect the tone of the programming. Aspire was created under an agreement Comcast made with the Federal Communications Commission to secure the agency’s approval of the cable giant’s majority purchase of NBC Universal.
Los Angeles, CA – May 15, 2012 – Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced today that Paul Butler has been named general manager of ASPiRE, the new African-American network set to launch in June. Butler will oversee all operations for the programmer and report to Johnson, who is chairman of ASPiRE and the network’s Board of Directors. He will be based at ASPiRE’s headquarters in Atlanta.
Sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers for a record $2.15 billion to a group led by former LA Lakers star Magic Johnson has been approved by federal bankruptcy Judge Kevin Goss, Bloomberg reports. Buyers also include Guggenheim Partners Chief Executive Officer Mark Walter and former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten. Remaining disputes between the bankrupt team and Major League Baseball will be submitted to the judge, who is expected to make final decisions to allow the deal to close April 30. MLB’s remaining issues with the proposed sale include who will own stadium parking lots and whether court-appointed mediator Joseph Farnan will retain authority to make final rulings related to the transaction. Gross praised Farnan, a retired federal judge, asserting that without his work, the sale and the end of bankruptcy would have taken much longer. If the deal proceeds as expected, the Dodgers can exit bankruptcy April 30.
The bankruptcy judge in the Los Angeles Dodgers case has scheduled a hearing April 13 to consider whether to confirm the revised Chapter 11 plan filed yesterday, ESPN reports. The Dodgers said the team is on track to exit bankruptcy as planned by April 30. The plan is based on the agreement by Magic Johnson- and baseball exec Stan Johnson-led Guggenheim Baseball Management to purchase the Dodgers for more than $2 billion, which the team contends will allow payment of all allowed creditor claims in full. Purchase price includes about $412 million of existing debt financing. The balance will be paid the current owner Frank McCourt from equity financing by owners and affiliates of Guggenheim, which has provided a cash deposit of about $159 million. The April 30 date was part of a settlement between the Dodgers and Major League Baseball. The date coincides with the deadline for McCourt to pay $131 million to his ex-wife, Jamie, under terms of their divorce. If necessary, however, the Dodgers can seek MLB approval to extend the closing date.
The bidding group is the last one standing after many Dodgers suitors came and went during the monthslong process, and the $2 billion deal is the richest ever for a U.S. sports franchise. The new owners — who emerged after three groups participated in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court auction today — are grouped under the banner Guggenheim Baseball Management. That mix includes Magic Johnson, Hollywood producer Peter Guber, baseball executive Stan Kasten and Bobby Patton as well as Todd Boehly and Mark Walter of Guggenheim Partners — that company co-owns Prometheus Global Media, which owns Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. Walter will be controlling partner of the Dodgers when the deal closes at the end of April. The agreement with soon-to-be-ex-owner Frank McCourt is for the team and Dodger Stadium, and a separate joint venture with some members of the group — including McCourt — will buy the parking lots and property for an extra $150 million. That $2.15B total could be eclipsed by the local TV rights deal that’s sure to come after the sale is approved — the team could create its own regional sports network (a la the New York Yankees’ lucrative YES Network), shop the rights, or re-sign with current partner Fox Sports, which already had offered a long-term deal worth close to $3 billion.
Robert Rodriguez, P. Diddy, Magic Johnson, Said Schwartz Begin 4 New Minority-Owned Indie Networks With Comcast
PHILADELPHIA, PA – February 21, 2012 – Comcast Corporation today announced it has selected four new minority-owned independent networks to be broadly distributed on Comcast Cable systems between April 2012 and January 2014. After a thorough evaluation of more than 100 proposals, Comcast selected four networks ― two of which are majority African-American owned and two that are majority American Hispanic owned and operated and programmed in English.
“We are thrilled to work with such talented individuals to launch these new networks that will bring exciting and fresh content to consumers,” said David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President, Comcast Corporation. “Comcast is committed to delivering programming that reflects the interests of our customers, and we look forward to integrating these great networks into our rich programming line-up.”
· Aspire: Spearheaded by Entrepreneur and NBA Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, in partnership with GMC TV, Aspire is dedicated to delivering enlightening, entertaining and positive programming to African-Americans families, including movies, documentaries, short films, music, comedy, visual and performing arts, and faith and inspirational programs. Aspire will celebrate the successes, achievements and accomplishments of the African-American community and create new opportunities for the next generation of African-American visionaries. The network will launch by summer 2012.
“Aspire will be a network that encourages and challenges African-Americans to reach for their dreams and will appeal to all generations. Aspire will celebrate our heritage, our
L.A. Lakers icon Magic Johnson is the latest big entertainment name to throw his hat in the ring to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers, which are currently in bankruptcy protection and could be about a month away from holding an auction to sell the franchise. The NBA Hall of Famer probably won’t be the latest high-profile star to attach himself to a potential ownership group — Johnson’s team, confirmed today, is a Santa Monica-based group of private investors known as Guggenheim Baseball Management, which includes Mark Walter, CEO of financial services firm Guggenheim Partners, and veteran baseball exec Stan Kasten — as bidders jockey for position in an auction in which the team will likely fetch more than $1 billion. (Johnson and his Magic Johnson Enterprises sold his ownership stake in the Lakers last year and also is part of the group that is trying to bring the NFL to downtown Los Angeles, so he’s definitely a serious player.) Other big names being bandied about as part of separate possible Dodgers ownership groups include Dallas Mavericks and HDNet’s billionaire owner Mark Cuban — he tried to buy the Chicago Cubs from Tribune a year ago — and former CNN host Larry King. Those kind of high-profile figures also don’t hurt in boosting the Dodgers’ profile as networks prepare to take a crack at landing the team’s lucrative local TV rights, which could mean a $3 billion windfall to the financially strapped team — if the courts can ever decide how that process will unfold.
2ND UPDATE, 12:25 AM: First there was the $35,800-per-person fundraising dinner tonight with Will Smith hosted by his Overbrook Entertainment producing partner and manager James Lassiter. Then President Obama headed over to the home of Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith for a somewhat lower-key event aimed at Latino supporters. He was introduced by Eva Longoria who said Obama “knows he’s the president of all Americans” and that “we thank you for everything you’re doing.” Obama leaves town after Tuesday’s Jay Leno taping.
UPDATE (correcting misidentification), 8:01 p.m.: This evening’s Los Angeles traffic snarl at rush hour was just that much worse because President Barack Obama arrived at LAX on board Air Force One at 4:30 PM. He’s attending two Hollywood political fundraisers for the Democratic Party tonight, first at producer James Lassiter’s mansion and then Melanie Griffith’s and Antonio Banderas’ home. Potus will be making a Tonight Show appearance with Jay Leno tomorrow before jetting out of town. According to the White House pool report, Obama first helicoptered to a landing zone in Brentwood and the motorcade made an “off-the-record” visit to Roscoe’s chicken and waffle house. The president ordered at the counter for himself (and nearby aides) the No. 9 “Country Boy” – 3 wings with choice of waffle, potato salad or French fries ($8.90). He then started chatting with diners. I say who cares if you like Obama’s politics or not: he’s got good taste when it comes to LA’s favorite eats.
Then the motorcade traveled to Hancock Park for the first fundraiser hosted by Lassiter, who is Will Smith’s production partner in Overbrook Entertainment which manages the entire Pinkett-Smith family. Here is the pool report written by the Los Angeles Times‘ Peter Nicholas: