Bravo Crafting Media Boss Drama ‘Moguls’

By | Tuesday December 11, 2012 @ 12:13pm PST

A tale of Big Media is coming to cable. Continuing its recent moves toward original scripted series, Bravo is developing the drama Moguls. The series will follow the professional and personal challenges of a media … Read More »

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Barry Diller’s Oscar Weekend Mogul Picnic

diller.jpg carter1.jpg

Sure, every Oscar weekend there are the Friday night agency parties — Ari Emanuel’s WME fete, and Jim Berkus” UTA party for the Coen Brothers, and Bryan Lourd’s CAA … Read More »

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Hollywood Fundraiser For Rahm Emanuel

EXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that five well-known Hollywood Democrats — David Geffen, Bob Iger, Peter Chernin, Haim Saban, and Ari Emanuel — are hosting a November 4th fundraiser for Ari’s brother Rahm Emanuel in his bid to become Chicago’s next … Read More »

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Every Studio & Network Boosted Earnings; So Why Isn’t Hollywood Working More?

UPDATE: The Walt Disney Co was the last major studio and network to report quarterly earnings, and its fiscal 3rd quarter profit rose 40% on the strong box office grosses from Pixar’s Toy Story 3, Marvel’s Iron Man 2, and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland 3D. As promised, here is an earnings roundup showing that Big Media is alive and well and even flourishing not just this quarter but in many cases for next quarter or even the entire year. Yet the trickle down effect has been slow or nonexistent for Hollywood. After rounds of layoffs during the economic crisis, the moguls are still slow to put people back to work. And the movie and TV community still is underemployed. But what everyone can count on is that Big Media’s good news for the benefit of Wall Street will turn into bad news to the detriment of talent, behind-the-camera, post-production, and below-the-line unions when it’s time to negotiate:

August 5th: Viacom Inc Reports Sharply Higher Earnings For Q2
Credit the rebounding economy and recovering advertising market. Net earnings rose to $420 million, or 69 cents a share, up 52% from $277 million, or 46 cents a share, a year ago. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone gushed, ”With six months under our belt in this calendar year, day after day our confidence continues to grow as the emerging economy recovery builds. Now of course we’re not all the way back, but the light is brighter than it’s been for some time… Consumers are returning to the marketplace, marketers are beginning to spend again to grow revenues and capture share and Viacom is now and will continue to benefit.” Revenue at Viacom’s media networks group rose 6% to $2.1 billion.

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said ad revenue growth has been improving quarter by quarter. “Once we get into October and into the December quarter, we will benefit from this upfront where we have greater volume than last year at higher pricing. Dauman singled out Jersey Shore as a show where ”we have advertisers scrambling to get on it. We have advertisers who want to be wall to wall in particular episode. We’re turning them away.” Viacom’s movie business was down 10% to 41.25 billion, led by a 43% drop in home entertainment revenue. Also, Paramount Pictures has primarily been distributing others’ films like Iron Man 2 and Shrek Forever After in 2010 and self-financing its own pics. It is deliberately pursuing a strategy of a smaller slate of films in 2010-2011. Still, the film unit booked income of $69 million, reversing an $8 million loss in the same quarter a year ago. Viacom continued to post equity losses from its EPIX joint venture but said it should approach break-even by the end of the year.

August 4th: News Corp Posts Improved 4th Quarterly Results
News Corp posted a profit of $875 million, or 33 cents a share, for its fiscal 4Q ended June 30th easily beating analysts expectations. That compared with a loss of $203 million, or 8 cents a share, a year ago, when News Corp took an impairment charge. Revenue grew 6% to $8.11 billion, as companies spent more to advertise on the company’s television stations, TV channels and newspapers. That beat the average forecast of analysts of $8.05 billion. COO Chase Carey explained that brisk sales of advertising at Fox Broadcasting and the company’s cable television networks made the difference, while ad rates at the Fox network are up by a double-digit percentage from this spring. Ad rates are even better at the cable channels, which already represent more than 50% of the company’s profits. Local television station advertising revenues improved 29% in the quarter and 8% for the year compared to the same periods a year ago, reflecting strength in the automobile and telecom sectors. Read More »

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Lionsgate’s Jon Feltheimer Named MIPCOM’s 2010 ‘Personality Of The Year’

By | Wednesday July 28, 2010 @ 8:58am PDT
Mike Fleming

Carl Icahn might not be crazy about Lionsgate co-chairman/CEO Jon Feltheimer and the rest of the indie studio’s management team, but MIPCOM loves him. He’s been named MIPCOM’s 2010 Personality of the Year. Feltheimer was been cited for “his leadership … Read More »

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Teamsters Local 399 Ratify Contract Today; Moguls Were Never Worried About Strike

By | Sunday July 25, 2010 @ 11:49am PDT

Full story coming…

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DWA & Comcast: Who’s Pursuing Whom?

EXCLUSIVE: To overhear Jeffrey Katzenberg’s private conversations these days, Comcast supposedly wants to buy DreamWorks Animation Katzenberg400and make him head of NBC Universal. But at last week’s Camp Allen — Sun Valley’s annual Alllen & Co investment conference attended by the Who’s … Read More »

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Overture Duo Were Fired By Blackberry

My pal Claudia Eller has a funny little scoop on the LA Times website about how Starz chief Chris Albrecht made a Blackberry mistake that led to Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett’s exit from Overture. (So I gotta ask: is this why moguls like Alan Horn and Ron Meyer refuse … Read More »

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Camp Allen: What A Showbiz Snorefest!

campallen.JPGHollywood is jetting to the annual Allen & Co investment conference in Sun Valley starting today. I’ve just been emailed the in-room schedule by a participant, and this year showbiz is back in favor because of an “Entertainment Panel” consisting of Barry Diller, Peter … Read More »

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WHY NOW? Baffling Resurgence Of Rumor About MGM-Lionsgate Merger Talks

lionsgate_logoI’m being told there’s really nothing new with these explanatary conversations. And, anyway, Lionsgate can’t do any kind of deal with MGM unless the studio management brokers some settlement with 32% shareholder Carl Icahn, who has made it clear he won’t … Read More »

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Lionsgate Reworks Terms With JP Morgan To Keep Cash Flowing (As Long As Studio, And Not Icahn, Controls 50% Of Shares)

By | Tuesday June 22, 2010 @ 6:42am PDT
Mike Fleming

lionsgate-logoCarl Icahn surprised almost everybody when he completed his $7 per share tender offer deadline with control of 32% of Lionsgate, shares.  Hollywood immediately feared the indie studio would be unable to continue business as usual, because Lionsgate’s $340 million credit facility … Read More »

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NBC Uni Headlines Black Journalists Event

By | Thursday June 17, 2010 @ 5:03pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC Universal, which faced some tough questions on Capital Hill last week about the proposed NBC Uni-Comcast venture’s commitment to diversity, will have a major presence at the July 28-Aug.1 convention and career fair of the National Association of Black Journalists in San Diego, highlighted by an appearance by NBC … Read More »

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Lionsgate Focuses On 68% Of Company Carl Icahn Doesn’t Control, Urges Shareholders Not To Panic

By | Thursday June 17, 2010 @ 7:44am PDT
Mike Fleming

lionsgate-logoIn response to yesterday’s news by Carl Icahn that his $7 per share tender offer resulted in 13.2% of outstanding shares that bring the Icahn Group’s stake to 32%, Lionsgate has focused on the 68% of stock Icahn doesn’t control. There … Read More »

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Icahn Says He’ll Own 31+% Of Lionsgate

By | Wednesday June 16, 2010 @ 1:21pm PDT

icahn lgHis $7-a-share tender offer doesn’t expire until 8 PM ET tonight. But he’ll be Lionsgate’s largest shareholder after stating publicly today he has received 12.5% of the studio’s shares from stockholders presumably including Mark Cuban. That 31% is a … Read More »

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June Gloom Consumes Hollywood: The Week That Studios Sought Out Agents

By | Tuesday June 15, 2010 @ 9:43am PDT

Mount_OlympusIntensively over the next few days, extending even for the next few weeks, a gaggle of studio moguls and/or their executives have scheduled a series of meetings with top agencies in Hollywood. Yes, the movie gods are coming down off Mount … Read More »

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Lionsgate Management Slams Carl Icahn Takeover Track Record In Latest Brouhaha

By | Monday June 14, 2010 @ 8:28am PDT
Mike Fleming

lionsgate-logoIn the latest salvo in the bare-knuckle brawl of rhetoric between Lionsgate management and Carl Icahn, Lionsgate sent a missive to shareholders pointing up the futility of performance by his past takeover targets, particularly those in media. The letter comes two … Read More »

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NOW IT GETS PERSONAL: Carl Icahn Rips Lionsgate Bosses For Lavish Overspending And “Ticking Time Bomb Of Debt”

By | Friday June 11, 2010 @ 1:04pm PDT

lionsgate_logoCarl Icahn today issued this open letter to the board of directors of Lionsgate. But this time, Icahn got personal: attacking “management’s lavish new offices, their huge salaries and more than a few mentions of the Bentley driven by CEO, Jon … Read More »

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Mark Cuban Threatening To Back Icahn As Hostile Lionsgate Takeover Intensifies

By | Thursday June 10, 2010 @ 12:11pm PDT

cuban_mark050517BREAKING NEWS! UPDATE: Lionsgate insiders tell me: “This isn’t a big surprise and doesn’t change the dynamics of the Icahn takeover fight.  Cuban was one of Icahn’s nominees for the Yahoo Board of Directors in 2008, and … Read More »

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Carl Icahn Extends Tender Offer As Lionsgate Readies Earnings Report

By | Tuesday June 1, 2010 @ 10:25am PDT
Mike Fleming

lionsgate-logoUPDATE: Lionsgate doesn’t release its earnings until later today, but the company eyes the extension of Carl Icahn’s $7 per share tender offer as a victory, as Lionsgate claims that less than 4% of shareholders tendered into the offer that was … Read More »

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