ATLANTA— The Sony hacking attack continues to deliver more dramatic plotlines than any fictional movie, but meanwhile the movie studio must move forward and tackle the next steps in minimizing the mess. Sony went on the offensive after President Barack Obama said Friday that the studio made a mistake by canceling "The Interview," and said that he wished the...» Read More
At this time of year, it's predictions, predictions, predictions. So as part of CNBC's Outlook for '08, here are mine for the media world and all that's in it--with a personal look as well! (see number 7). Here I go!!
Sad. There are no new episodes left of "The Office" because of the strike, which means we will instead have to experience the real-life insanity of communing with colleagues at the holiday office party.
It's week six of the Writers Guild strike and talks have totally broken down. Now the producers association, the AMPTP, has walked away from negotiations, squelching hopes of a quick resolution before the holidays. Here's what happened: The AMPTP gave the writers a revised proposal on Friday afternoon, including a slightly more generous deal for the writers on streaming of movies.
"The Golden Compass," a $180 million family fantasy starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, did not meet expectations at the North American box office, opening at No. 1 but with weekend ticket sales of just $26.1 million, its distributor said Sunday.
Rupert Murdoch's media empire is shaking up the management structure, and putting son James Murdoch in a bigger job that sets him up to succeed his dad. Here's the news: 34-year old James Murdoch was appointed head of Europe and Asia, and replacing his dad as chairman of BSkyB, where until now he was CEO. So, yeah, James is really young, but his experience sets him up for this job quite well.
The possibility of U.S. Postal Service surcharges on DVD mailers caused one analyst to reiterate his "sell" rating on online video rental company Netflix, which ships over 1.6 million DVDs per day.
There's good news--the Writers Guild said the last two days of talks with the AMPTP (the producers association) were "substantive." Among the topics they made progress on--the issue of whether the union should have jurisdiction over made-for-Internet content and for reality TV.
How many of you have ever met Levi Strauss? How about J.C. Penney, the man, not the store? Did you ever call Sam Walton a "hillbilly" and an "s.o.b." in print? The answer of course is, no. But "Papa Jack" Weil has done all three and lived to tell about it. He's lived 106 years.
Now that the press blackout has been lifted on the Writers Guild strike talks, we're getting some insight into the ongoing haggling over offers and counteroffers. Last night the WGA released analysis of the producers association, the AMPTP's deal, saying that it would cost the companies $151 million over three years, and some studios would pay very little--MGM would pay only an additional $320,000 per year to writers.
Netflix revolutionized the way we rent movies; its TV commercials boast more than a billion rentals already. And while its stock has suffered a choppy performance through its history, the company has been enjoying a renaissance of sorts recently. But a new report out from Citigroup this morning could put the brakes on Netflix's good cheer.
The TV industry braced Tuesday for what could become a long strike by writers, even as both sides returned to the bargaining table.
Everyone's been talking about how DVDs are dying, and that nobody's buying the archaic discs. But guess what, you'll probably get a whole bunch as gifts this year. There were more DVDs sold this Thanksgiving than any previous year, up 6 percent from the same weekend in 2007. Now, it's important to point out, that at the same time, the overall retail revenues from DVDs has fallen thanks to the big box retailers' deep discounting.
The Walt Disney family fantasy "Enchanted" enjoyed another fairy-tale weekend at the North American box office Sunday, but overall sales succumbed to the traditional post-Thanksgiving blues.
Oh darn, the buzz in Hollywood was so optimistic when the writers and producers returned to the bargaining table on Monday. It seemed sure they'd wrap everything up by Christmas, in time for a nice Hollywood ending. But this must be the third act, things just took a dramatic turn, making it unclear how it'll all end.
The young guard in Hollywood are taking the strike to heart--it's truly infiltrating every part of the social world here--even parties. But at least everyone is still writing, Dr. Seuss-inspired poems, that is. And the sense of humor still seems to be good.
Hollywood studios presented a sweetened contract offer to striking film and TV writers, and negotiators requested a four-day recess to consider it, the producers' organization said.
One trend I'm seeing throughout the media industry is the cutting out of the middle man. Call it dis-intermediation, call it democratization: content distribution is being transformed. You can sell a song, publish a book, or even distribute a movie, without ever talking to one of the big old media companies.
While the WGA and Producers Association continues to negotiate, the TV networks are thinking about all the reasons they'd like this strike to wrap up. For one, if the strike drags into next year, advertisers may demand some of their money back. Here's how it usually works: TV networks guarantee advertisers a certain number of eyeballs.
Striking Broadway stagehands and theater producers will try again Wednesday to work out a deal to end their protracted labor dispute that has darkened theaters for more than two weeks.
The Writers Guild and the producers association sat down Monday morning for their first negotiations in three weeks. Those negotiations are continuing right now--all a very good sign that a deal is in the works. I've been talking to sources on both sides and the consensus (for today at least) is that the strike is expected to be over before the end of 2007.
British singer Joe Cocker, known for soulful interpretations of popular songs, died on Monday from lung cancer. The NYT reports.
Hollywood suffered a 4 percent decline in North American box office receipts this year. The New York Times reports.
Carl Icahn's investment in Atlantic City's Taj Mahal casino may help the gambling hub stay open another year.
Washington is scrutinizing the "blackout rule" that restricts broadcasts for NFL games that fail to sell out.
A look at the massive hack attack at Sony and the nastiness it revealed, with The New Yorker's Ken Auletta. It becomes a real business changer for a lot of people in Hollywood, says Auletta.
Netflix Inc's second season of women's prison comedy "Orange is the New Black" landed a nod, alongside HBO's new tech satire " Silicon Valley"; Hispanic comedy "Jane the Virgin" from The CW, jointly owned by CBS and Warner Bros, and the only broadcast network show in the race; and Amazon Instant Video's transgender show, "Transparent. "The field of television is going...