News Corp. posted a 13 percent decline in earnings from a year ago, when results were lifted by gains from investment sales. Earnings per share came in at 23 cents, a penny ahead of forecasts and below the 27 cents per share in the year-ago period.
General Motor's surprise $39 billion loss drove fear right back into a stock market but the collapsing dollar is what's worrying Wall Street. Oil is rising on inventory data but its move has been tempered by reports of a smaller than expected decline in crude supplies.
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.
Who says talk is cheap! For the first time in 20 years Hollywood screenwriters walked off their jobs over pay and royalties. Is there money to be made as media moguls go head to head with script gurus?
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.
U.S. film and television writers went on strike Monday, after last-minute talks aimed at averting the Writers Guild of America's first walkout in almost two decades collapsed.
The Wall Street Journal said on Sunday that its Web site now has 1 million subscribers, a milestone for a site that charges for access even as other sites are throwing themselves open for free.
A heroin pusher and a honey bee put some sting back into the movie business.
Stocks could be setting up for a bit of a bounce back but first investors need to decide just how radioactive the financial sector has become. Heading into the weekend, market rumors of lurking credit issues plagued bank and brokerage stocks.
Could it be a "black-and-blue" Friday for Blu-ray? There are rumblings about a big announcement coming from Wal-Mart that could give a big boost to HD-DVD. I'm hearing that the company will begin selling the Toshiba HD-A2 for $98 in a special one-day, in-store secret sale. The unit sells for $198 at Circuit City and Amazon, so this is a steep discount.
Fox has broadcast nine of the last 10 World Series matchups and, thanks to the Boston Red Sox sweep of the Colorado Rockies last night, Fox has now broadcast four sweeps in that period of time (40 percent chance of sweep).
Better late than never, but when it comes to NBC and Fox and the new Hulu, it's about time. I say about time because I wonder just how long big media is going to sit around and bemoan upstarts like YouTube muscling in on their territory. Woe is me, these companies have complained: They're stealing our content. They're breaching our copyrights.
NBC Universal and News Corp's HULU.COM finally launches after six months, plenty of delays, name-calling, and mocking. The joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp's Fox was announced in March, conceived as a media company-controlled way to distribute a broad range of professionally created content--a viable alternative to YouTube.
First let me say that I rarely cover other media since it gets a little tricky, but I'm going to make an exception here. I like Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. I think that for the most part they do a great job. But the Fox sales team is getting a little too aggressive for my World Series taste.
We now have a definitive agreement: Microsoft gets a stake in Facebook for $240 million, and now valuing the company at $15 billion. For a company that will do $30 million in profits on $150 million in revenue, that's a nifty valuation!
After much negotiation, and a tussle with Google, Microsoft snagged a new deal with Facebook. MSFT already handles Facebook's ad sales in the U.S., for the next few years at least. This extends the contract to Facebook's international business--already over half its ad business is overseas, and this is the area that has the biggest growth potential.
News Corp's MySpace is trying to retain a hold on its users who may be tempted by newer, hipper Facebook. So, MySpace is staking a claim in online gaming, partnering with Oberon Media, a company that creates and distributes online games. MySpace's games section will launch in January with hundreds of free "casual" games.
Steven Neimeth, portfolio manager of the SunAmerica Value Fund, sees plenty of positives in this turbulent market. The strategist offered CNBC his view of the economy -- and named the stocks he likes.
A new Web site called GeneTree.com wants to help answer the question "Who am I?" by combining DNA data with information-sharing technology popularized by News Corp's MySpace.com and Google' YouTube.
Fox knows how to produce content--and now its interactive division is producing a special kind of content for the web. But, these aren't just ordinary 'mobisodes:' this is a show created solely for MySpace TV, which is of course owned by News Corp.