Hotly anticipated new releases fizzled at the box office this long Independence Day holiday weekend, while two holdovers continued to sell tickets.» Read More
The conflict between Sumner Redstone, chairman of Viacom and CBS, and daughter Shari Redstone, vice chairman of the two media companies, grew more bitter on Friday: The paterfamilias publicized his displeasure with Shari's ostensible ambition to succeed him, in a harshly-worded letter to Forbes.
Earnings misses by tech darling Google and Caterpillar, one of the Dow's power drivers, are adding to a wobbly opening on Wall Street. Citigroup though is a bright spot with a better than expected 18 percent profit gain and record revenues from investment banking and overseas business.
Sumner Redstone thinks he'll live forever. Last fall on CNBC's "Conversations with Michael Eisner" when Eisner asked what his succession plan was, he said he'd live forever. If Thursday's news is any indication he was serious! It's been widely reported--first in Fortune and then also immediately in The Wall Street Journal, that Sumner and Shari Redstone had a huge falling out and that Shari would be stepping down from Viacom's board--presumably trading her stake in Viacom and CBS for full ownership of National Amusements, the theater chain which she currently runs and also has a stake in.
Sumner Redstone, the 84 year old chairman and controlling shareholder of Viacom and CBS, is negotiating a settlement with his 52 year old daughter Shari under which she would step down as a director of both CBS and Viacom and relinquish her roughly 20% stake in National Amusements, the holding company that owns a controlling stake in both CBS and Viacom.
I snagged Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone for a sit down interview during Allen & Co's day of tech panels. I was glad to catch him as last night, as Google Chariman and CEO Eric Schmidt told a bunch of reporters asking about Viacom's lawsuit against Google--that Viacom has "built its business on lawsuits."
Google took a swipe at media conglomerate Viacom, which is suing the Internet search leader and its video sharing site YouTube for $1 billion over "massive copyright infringement."
It's been a whirlwind here at the Allen & co. Conference--watching and interviewing all the biggest names in the media world. Everyone's paying close attention to Rupert Murdoch. He rushed into the Sun Valley Inn Wednesday morning just in time for breakfast. .
"Transformers" took the box office by storm this weekend, bringing in a total of $152 million at the domestic box office since it opened on Tuesday, and a total of about $250 million worldwide. This isn't just a nice summer opening--this is huge news for Paramount, which is going to get a huge boost from this hit: not just from its take on this film, but also from the fact that it's Paramount's first potential franchise since Mission Impossible. And unlike the MI series, they're not relying on a huge star (Tom Cruise), nor are they paying him a huge chunk of gross.
The media world loves to get revved up about elections and this year the issue is voter registration. Norman Lear is spearheading a campaign called "Declare Yourself." And no surprise, Lear, perhaps one of the most successful television writer/producer in TV history, is using his contacts and his expertise, turning TV humor into a tool. He's gotten two of the stars of "Reno 911" to create four videos to get what they're calling "the target demographic" to vote.
I attended the "Transformers" premiere Wednesday night--and my first star spotting epitomized the importance of the film for its parent company. It was Sumner Redstone (he qualifies as a star for the CNBC set) and he was slowly retreating from the hubbub of the red carpet and (surrounded by bodyguards) slipping into a black car.
"Evan Almighty" did not live up to its name at the weekend box office in North America.
Scott Kessler, equity analyst at Standard & Poor’s, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Yahoo can successfully pitch itself as the "non-Google" counterpoint to Google.
So, there's this new Trojan TV commercial premiering Monday. It shows a bar filled with hot women and big fat pigs (www.trojanevolve.com). The hot women reject the men, disgusted, until one of the guys goes to the bathroom and buys a condom. He emerges as a hot guy, and the girl at the bar is thrilled to talk to him. .
The TV ad market has lost millions of dollars of ad revenue to Internet ads, which are more targeted and flexible. But now a new technology company called Visible World, is making TV ad minutes be more valuable than ever. Visible World's Inteli-spot technology allows channels to automatically customize their ads to the time of day, channel, and show they're airing on.
Blockbuster will rent high-definition DVDs only in the Blu-ray format in 1,450 stores when it expands its high-def offerings next month, dealing a major blow to the rival HD DVD format.
Hollywood's superhero foursome is still fantastic at the box office.
Viacom and CBS shareholders are better off since the company split a year and a half ago, Sumner Redstone told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo. "I would do it again and over and over again and shareholders are definitely better," said Redstone, who remains executive chairman of both companies.
A transcript of a CNBC interview with Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone aired on June 6, 2007 during "Closing Bell."
The digital revolution marches forward – the latest advance involves studios potentially releasing movies on DVD and via On-Demand at the same time. What’s the trade as new technology threatens to reshape the movie biz?
Internet television service Joost named former Cisco senior executive Mike Volpi as its new chief executive on Tuesday, choosing a telecom veteran to lead the company as it courts big media to show programming on its site.