Cablevision’s Jim Dolan Says Cable Channel Bundling Will End “Badly”: WSJ

By | Monday August 5, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT

The Cablevision CEO rarely grants interviews, which makes the one in this morning’s Wall Street Journal interesting. Jim Dolan continues to hint broadly, as he did in a call with analysts last week, that he’d … Read More »

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Raju Narisetti Named SVP & Deputy Head Of Strategy At New News Corporation

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 8:20am PST

As News Corp works toward dividing into two distinct companies, executive appointments have steadily continued on the publishing side. Raju Narisetti, currently a deputy managing editor at The Wall Street Journal and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, has been named SVP and deputy head of strategy for the new News Corporation. Narisetti takes up his functions March 11, reporting to Anoushka Healy, who was recently named chief strategy officer. Click over for the official press release: Read More »

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In Hotly Contested Game Of Movie Tag, Todd Garner Is Declared “It”

By | Wednesday February 13, 2013 @ 4:07pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Since they got a big write up in the Wall Street Journal late last month, the “Tag Brothers” have been swarmed by movie producers hoping they would tell one of them, “you’re it.” Meaning he gets the chance to translate their story to the movie screen. Who are the “Tag Brothers?” They are the 10 classmates at Gonzaga Preparatory School in Spokane, Washington 23 years ago whose long-running game of tag got national attention, thanks to the Russell Adams article. Now in their 40s, the former classmates have spread across the country in various fields (one’s a priest), but they stay in touch during the month of February by chasing each other across the country in an obsessive game of tag. They will jet cross country, break into each other’s homes, hide in the bushes until a target appears, or leave for a long vacation to avoid being tagged, all in the name of not ending up “It,” and having to wear that loser title a whole year.

Well, the “Tag Brothers” have just told Broken Road’s Todd Garner that he’s it. After hearing pitches from more than a half dozen established producers who wanted to turn their story into a feature film, they’ve optioned their life rights to Garner, in a deal put together by ICM Partners (which reps the guys) and UTA (which reps the WSJ). Garner will put together a package that he’ll shop to studios. Since studios have been among those making calls, it shouldn’t be a hard sell. Read More »

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Robert Thomson To Run News Corp’s Publishing Spinoff: WSJ

By | Saturday December 1, 2012 @ 7:15am PST

This is a story that the Wall Street Journal had better have right: The paper reports this morning that its managing editor, Robert Thomson, will become CEO of the still-unnamed publishing company that News Corp will create next year in a spin off. Next week the company plans to announce Thomson’s appointment and the elevation of his deputy, Gerard Baker, to replace him as managing editor of the Journal, the paper says citing “people familiar with the matter.” The company also may announce other senior appointments and board members, as well as a name for the publishing company, but final decisions haven’t been made. CEO Rupert Murdoch said in October that he would announce the leadership plans by year-end. Read More »

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Hub’s Kelly Evans Exits WSJ For CNBC

By | Wednesday February 1, 2012 @ 3:34pm PST

Kelly Evans, co-anchor of The Wall Street Journal website’s morning newscast The Hub, is moving to CNBC. Evans will be an on-air reporter, CNBC SVP Nik Deogun said in an internal memo this afternoon quoted by NY Times. … Read More »

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YouTube Gives Itself A Makeover To Prepare For New Channels

The new look for Google’s popular video site is part of the preparation for the upcoming introduction of services featuring professionally produced content from providers such as Disney, Lionsgate, Madonna, Jay-Z, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, Thomson … Read More »

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Is Jerry Yang Trying To Block A Yahoo Sale?

The Wall Street Journal has struck a nerve at Yahoo with a story today that quotes several investors who say co-founder Jerry Yang is trying to reassert his power at the company by undermining the board’s effort to find … Read More »

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What A Lousy Week For Rupert Murdoch…

It was bad enough that hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protesters stopped by his Fifth Avenue home on Tuesday to chant slogans about the unfairness of the tax system. The media mogul’s troubles also grew as he had to deal with a second UK newspaper scandal: The publisher of the Wall Street Journal Europe, Andrew Langhoff, resigned amid allegations that he had cut a deal to artificially inflate circulation figures by 41%. And that story began to unravel just as the UK Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee said it will interrogate Murdoch’s right-hand man Les Hinton on October 24 as part of its investigation into Murdoch’s other UK newspaper problem –  the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal. This matter has already begun to loom large as investors prepare to converge in Los Angeles next Friday for News Corp’s annual shareholder meeting. Advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services, Egan Jones, and Glass Lewis asked stock owners to reject several company board nominees — including Murdoch’s two sons, James and Lachlan — for failing to get to the bottom of the hacking allegations before the company was forced to close NOTW. Read More »

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Brit Politicians Call For Piers Morgan To Meet Police

UPDATE: Politicians over here are saying that it is not enough for CNN chat show Piers Morgan to issue communiqués from America saying that he knows nothing about phone-hacking. Morgan has denied he knows anything about Heather Mills, Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, having her phone hacked – although in 2006 he admitted to once listening to one of her mobile phone messages. Therese Coffey, a Conservative MP who sits on a UK Parliament committee investigating phone-hacking, told the BBC that Morgan must help police with their inquiries. Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the opposition Labour Party, also weighed in, saying Morgan has questions to answer. “It’s not good enough for him to say, or somebody to say on his behalf, I always comply with the law,” Harman told Sky News. Of course, there’s an element of people rubbing their hands here. A lot of politicians who have scores to settle with the CNN chat-show host would like to see him take a fall; and Morgan’s bosses in Atlanta will doubtless be taking a dim view of this unwelcome publicity. But the political committee that recently grilled Rupert Murdoch tells me it won’t be calling for Morgan to give evidence. Morgan himself was unavailable for comment.

PREVIOUS: The burgeoning News Corp phone-hacking scandal continues to make waves for Rupert Murdoch in the UK, and increasingly they’re crossing the Atlantic. Today, CNN anchor Piers Morgan’s efforts to battle allegations that he was involved in phone hacking while editing News Corp.’s UK tabloids News of the World and the Daily Mirror suffered a setback. Paul McCartney’s ex-wife, Heather Mills, leveled her own accusation against Morgan in an interview with BBC Newsnight. Mills claims that a journalist with the Mirror Group, which owns the Daily Mirror, admitted to her that he hacked into her voicemail in 2001 and listened to a message McCartney left her after she’d left for India in the wake of a fight. The BBC notes that while the journalist in question wasn’t Morgan, the CNN anchor did tell the Daily Mail in 2006 that he had listened to a “heartbreaking” message McCartney left Mills while she was in India following a “tiff.” While not accusing Morgan of engaging in phone hacking himself, Mills points a finger at the former Daily Mirror editor. “There was absolutely no honest way that Piers Morgan could have obtained that tape that he has so proudly bragged about unless they had gone into my voice messages,” she said. Morgan, who also serves as a judge on NBC’s reality competition show America’s Got Talent, denied the allegations in a statement. Read More »

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WSJ: U.S. Justice Dept Preparing Subpoenas In Murdoch Scandals

The Wall Street Journal says that the subpoenas would be significant because they’d “represent an escalation of scrutiny” by the Justice Department of the paper’s owner, Rupert Murdoch. The story cites “a government official” who says that DOJ is looking at allegations that News Of The World employees bribed … Read More »

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Rupert Murdoch’s WSJ Comes Out Swinging Against Scandal Critics

Late last week Rupert Murdoch was apologizing all over the place for his company’s phone hacking and police bribery scandals. But based on the astonishingly defensive editorial about the matter in this morning’s Wall Street Journal, it seems … Read More »

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Les Hinton Resigns At Wall Street Journal As Part Of News Corp Scandal Fallout

Rebekah Brooks Resigns As CEO Of News International
This is huge. Hinton has been one of Rupert Murdoch’s closest lieutenants for 52 years in Australia, the UK and the U.S. But he ran News International during the anything-goes years when the News Of The World phone hacking took place. Hinton says that he didn’t know what was going on under his watch: “That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp. and apologize to those hurt by the actions of News of the World.” Murdoch — who rewarded Hinton in 2007 by putting him in charge of Dow Jones, owner of The Wall Street Journal –  says the resignation is “a matter of much sadness to me.”

New York, NY, July 15, 2011 – News Corporation today announced the resignation of Les Hinton, Chief Executive Officer of Dow Jones & Company and Publisher of The Wall Street Journal, effective immediately. Mr. Hinton, a 52-year veteran of News Corporation, has led Dow Jones since December, 2007.

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UPDATE: Netflix Still In Deal-Making Mode; Beats Street Expectations for 1st-Q But Stock Price Dips In After-Market Trading

UPDATE: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in today’s earnings call says the company’s much-ballyhooed deal to license the original TV series House of Cards is merely a test — and a relatively modest one at that. “I don’t know if it’s anything we’d bet the farm on, but we’re willing to try it with a little bit of our budget,” he told Wall Street analysts. He said in a letter to shareholders that Netflix might make “two or three similar, but smaller, deals” to see whether “we can efficiently build a big audience for a well-produced serialized show.” He said, in his note, that the characterization of Netflix as “rerun TV” is “fundamentally correct.”

Hastings told analysts, though, that he was intrigued by the performance of Starz’ Spartacus, which was also available on Netflix. It “opened our eyes” to the possibility that a show might develop a bigger buzz, and more TV viewers, when it runs on the Web as well as conventional TV. Meanwhile, Hastings says that Netflix is “working hard” to offer its streamed content to Android-powered smartphones and tablet computers. “It’s a big priority for us.” As for the competition in Web-delivered video, Hastings says he’s as eager as anyone to see what his rivals have planned. “We really don’t know what Dish (Network) is up to” with its acquisition of Blockbuster,” he adds. “A big market attracts a lot of competition.”

PREVIOUS, 1:30 PM: Netflix continues to strengthen the sense of inevitability that it will become a must-have service for Web users who want to watch professionally produced entertainment. It said Monday that it ended the first quarter with a net profit of $60 million, up 88% vs. the same period last year, on revenues of $719 million, up 46%. That comes to $1.11 in earnings per share. In January the company told investors that revenue could go as high as $717 million while earnings would come in between 90 cents and $1.13 a share. Even though Netflix often beats its own guidance, analysts considered that ambitious: The consensus was $703.6 million and $1.08.

Most underestimated Netflix’s appeal to the fast-growing number of people watching movies and TV shows via broadband. It had 23.6 million global subscribers at the end of March, a gain of 3.6 million so far in 2011 and close to the 23.7 million at the top of the target range it set for itself in January. That makes Netflix the largest subscription entertainment service, surpassing Comcast’s 22.8 million subscribers and Sirius XM’s 20.2 million. Some 22.8 million of Netflix’s customers are in the U.S. Now the company says it expects to have as many as 25.9 global million subscribers at the end of June. It projects second quarter revenues of as much as $798 million, and earnings per share as high as $1.15. Read More »

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Daily Beast And Newsweek Talks Fall Apart

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that talks between The Daily Beast and Newsweek have cratered. The two companies had been discussing a deal to make Tina Brown editor of Newsweek. But details couldn’t be worked out surrounding the division of power between Brown, new Newsweek owner Sidney Harman, and Barry Diller, who’s chairman … Read More »

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Wall Street Journal’s New Showbiz Editor

By | Wednesday September 22, 2010 @ 6:50am PDT

Wall Street Journal Editor Robert Thomson is making Los Angeles bureau changes. Most interesting to Hollywood is naming a new Bureau Chief and a new Entertainment News Editor. Edited memo follows:

“The tone of life in Hollywood is about to

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Reliance Bringing Universal Studios Theme Parks To India?

Mike Fleming

The Wall Street Journal reports that Reliance ADA Group is negotiating with Universal Studios to replicate its  movie-themed amusement parks in India. The result would be a $1.5 billion new park that covers 400 acres –in either New Delhi or … Read More »

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Hollywood’s Fave Toymaker In LBO Talk?

hasbro_box_4ColorUPDATE: Now the story’s been debunked.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting tonight that Hasbro is in preliminary talks with Providence Equity Partners about a leveraged buyout. Hasbro has a market capitalization of about $6 billion. It owns the … Read More »

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Spyglass Beating Summit To Run MGM?

MgmlogosmallFor weeks now, we have been hearing from our various sources at studios, agencies and production companies that Spyglass Entertainment is in the lead to run a restructured MGM despite Summit Entertainment also being very much in the mix. But it’s been … Read More »

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Two Different Reads On CBS Fall Lineup…

By | Thursday May 20, 2010 @ 6:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

This morning I read in The New York Times that ”CBS shook up the upfront week on Wednesday with the most startling moves of any network for the coming season.” But then I read the Wall Street Journal, whose parent company News Corp also owns CBS’ rival Fox, and its headline ”Playing It Safe” for a story … Read More »

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