BEIJING— China is wooing filmmakers at the same time as it's cracking down on them. But while China is avidly pursuing what it considers serious content to replace popular dating, reality and game shows, it is also stifling material with any whiff of challenging the Communist Party line.» Read More
Facebook introduced a new ad platform last week, and since then dissent in the media has been slowly growing. After all the buzz about the hot Internet 2.0 company, it remains to be seen if Facebook will fall flat when it actually comes to delivering promised ad revenue.
The entertainment divisions of every media company will suffer from the writers' strike. But media giant Sony is rather well positioned because it's so diversified. I chatted about the strike with Sony CEO Howard Stringer last week and he said if there's a void of new content on TV
It's not funny business in Hollywood. A guerrilla labor action is happening today on location in Pacific Palisades, west of Los Angeles, where Eddie Murphy is filming a movie called "Nowhere Land." A source tells me producers got the Teamsters to line up trucks in a "circle the wagons" move to keep picketing writers from getting onto the set.
A video made by the Writers Guild is circulating the web. As of now it's been seen 111,000 times on Youtube. It dramatically argues that the studios are cashing in on digital distribution and the writers aren't getting a penny. It starts with Disney CEO Bob Iger saying that Disney has about $1.5 billion in digital revenues.
I've spent quite a bit of time reporting on the strike, and being posted in front of the picket lines is perhaps the most surreal environment to be reporting from. I'll admit, I watch a fair amount of TV and it was kinda weird to be jammed in the middle of a sweaty crowd of all the actors from all my favorite shows.
So I'm in Canada. Vancouver, to be exact. Cold. Brrrrr. Canada is like the quiet brother you love but ignore. Then one day he comes home with a brand new Porsche and a red hot girlfriend. Maybe you should have been paying attention.
We're in the second week of the writers' strike and there's no sign of any negotiations on the horizon. I've been polling writers, actors, and producers I know and they're all already fed up. But that doesn't mean that there's any resolution in sight.
If you've been following the Writers' Strike gripping Hollywood--and how can you not since it might be the single biggest entertainment business story of the year--or even if you're somebody who just watches TV, sickened that a strike will cut short your favorite shows like "Grey's Anatomy" or "24", you're not alone.
Jerry Seinfeld's "BeeMovie" had plenty of sting left during its second weekend, replacing "American Gangster" as the No. 1 choice for North American moviegoers.
Ok, this is not funny. I don't watch that much TV, but every January I watch "24," and every Thursday night I watch "The Office." That is, I record them, I don't actually watch them live. This way I can skip through the ads, which, I guess, is part of the problem with making money in television these days.
I just reported on Disney earnings, and once again it's double digit earnings growth for the mouse house. Disney beat analyst expectations, reporting 42 cents a share, excluding a tax benefit. It was across-the-board growth: strong performance in the media networks--operating income in the division up 23 percent--driven by ESPN and the Disney Channel, especially overseas.
I'm here at the Media and Money conference, hosted by Nielsen and Dow Jones. Michael Eisner is speaking on the future of content, and about running his investment firm, the Tornante Company. But here's what else he said. He thinks the Hollywood writers are misguided and they shouldn't have gone out on strike: "This is a stupid strike."
The Writers Guild is marching on, as it's day three of the strike. But they're not alone, as the top three Democratic presidential candidates are coming out in favor of labor. This is not the first time the party has supported workers, but one might argue Hollywood writers are the least blue collar of any guild.
I'm not a car geek, but I have to admit, there are certain models that immediately make me smile. Ford's Bullitt Mustang is one-mainly because I still say the chase scenes in Steve McQueen's movie "Bullitt" are among the best I've ever seen ("The French Connection" is another favorite).
The biggest names in media are at the Pierre Hotel in midtown Manhattan for private equity firm Quadrangle's 'Four Square' conference. The event is closed to the press but I got my hands on an agenda and am spending the afternoon outside the hotel.
Google will someday rule the world. Look, it’s true. I’m just saying this so when it happens you're not surprised. Apparently one of the top priorities of the Google Defense Department (the GD Dept.? The Googagon?) will be fighting SPAM! Email spam is, as we all know, like herpes—the best you can hope for is to keep it in check until the next erupt
Here's the video of my report today about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama coming out in support of the Hollywood writer's strike. Take a listen.
The Writers Guild contract expired at midnight--though there's no strike just yet, it is NOT looking good. The rhetoric last night was so angry and stubborn on both sides, I'm predicting a strike by mid-week next week. The WGA says the producers association "refused to continue to bargain until we agree that the hated DVD formula be extended to Internet downloads." HATED? Ouch.
The writers strike all comes down to money, but how much is really at stake? Right now the writers get 4 cents for every DVD sold and they want to increase that to 8 cents. The 4 cents formula is old, based on VHS, which used to be very expensive to produce. So back in the mid 80s the writers and producers agreed to give writers 1.5% of 20% of DVD revenues (assuming production costs were about 80%).
I'm in front of the Writers Guild headquarters in Los Angeles and right now the leadership of the guild is meeting to ratify to decision to strike and to plan the details of exactly when writers should walk of the job. At the Writers Guild meeting at the LA Convention Center last night, 3,000 writers rallied to push a strike forward and it became clear that this WGA leadership means business.
California will triple its tax breaks for entertainment companies doing business in the state in an effort to bring production back to the state.
Amazon launching its third wave of original pilots: three half-hour comedies and two hour-long dramas with big names attached.
Actor Dulé Hill discusses his social gaming app Nomino, which allows users to challenge their followers to solve riddles associated with a photo or video.
That changed with digital video recorders and Internet streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. I used some recent trips to finish Showtime's "Dexter" and start CBS' "The Good Wife." In between, I breezed through Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black" and the second season of " House of Cards.
This is why a breakthrough TV product from Apple has not emerged, according to Walter Isaacson, "Steve Jobs" biographer.
Discussing Amazon's "unusual" acquisition of video game streaming company Twitch, with Mark Mahaney, RBC Capital Markets managing director.