Julia Boorstin joined CNBC in May 2006 as a general assignment reporter. Later that year, she became CNBC's media and entertainment reporter working from CNBC's Los Angeles Bureau. Boorstin covers media with a special focus on the intersection of media and technology. In addition, she reported a documentary on the future of television for the network, "Stay Tuned…The Future of TV."
Boorstin joined CNBC from Fortune magazine where she was a business writer and reporter since 2000, covering a wide range of stories on everything from media companies to retail to business trends. During that time, she was also a contributor to "Street Life," a live market wrap-up segment on CNN Headline News.
In 2003, 2004 and 2006, The Journalist and Financial Reporting newsletter named Boorstin to the "TJFR 30 under 30" list of the most promising business journalists under 30 years old. She has also worked for the State Department's delegation to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and for Vice President Gore's domestic policy office.
She graduated with honors from Princeton University with a B.A. in history. She was also an editor of The Daily Princetonian.
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NBC Universal (parent company is GE which also owns CNBC) and News Corp's joint online video venture doesn't have a name (though in some circles it's referred to as New Site), and it's ostensibly launching in September but there's no specific launch date. But somehow it's worth $1 billion dollars, at least based on a 10% stake reportedly being sold to private equity firm Providence Equity Partners for $100 million.
Richard Branson's Virgin Media, said it has delayed its sale until the environment improves enough for all interested parties to bid. The British billionaire Branson is the largest shareholder of this cable TV company, which received one bid from the Carlyle group for some $23 billion, and some nibbles from other private equity players.
There's no question that Blockbuster's livelihood is under attack--the business of driving to a store to rent a DVD and driving back when you're done is threatened from video on demand, and digital downloads, especially since both technologies are getting better and faster. So, looking to avoid going the way of the Beta Max, Blockbuster just purchased online movie downloading company Movielink for under $20 million.
DirecTV earnings came in this morning--with net income down 2 percent from last year and killed by a 22 percent INCREASE in operating expenses. This canceled out the good news that a key revenue metric for the satellite TV business was up 7% thanks to higher demand for High Definition and DVR services. It's that high definition that's DirecTV's saving grace.
News Corp earnings come out after the bell, followed by a conference call at 4:30 eastern. Analysts focus on the call (there's always a Q&A period after the presentation) will be much less on the numbers, and much more on CEO Rupert Murdoch's guidance. The hot topic of the day is Dow Jones. Analysts may ask Murdoch to justify the 67% premium he's paying for the company in an industry facing such slow growth.
DreamWorks SKG couldn't have gotten off the ground more than a decade ago if it weren't for Paul Allen's $500 million investment. Perhaps his work is done--now he's selling $150 million of DreamWorks Animation stock back to the company, and doing a secondary offering to sell an additional 10 million shares to the public.
Warner Music Group--as one of the world's largest recording companies--is a pretty good leading indicator for the embattled music industry. With its fiscal third quarter loss growing to 17 million from 14 million last year, let's just say, there's not much hope for the CD business-- new releases aren't selling as well as they used to, and sales are dropping off much faster in following weeks than they ever did before.
A credit crunch affects any type of leveraged buyout--debt becomes more expensive and harder to obtain, requiring more equity, making returns lower. Considering how many leveraged deals Hollywood has made, that industry should be no exception. Wall Street players--private equity, hedge funds, investment banks--have put together more than $12 billion dollars of financing for the Hollywood studios' 'slates' of films.
I can't help but comment on Viacom's earnings. On Thursday, the media giant beat Wall Street estimates, thanks largely to the filmed entertainment division's profit quadrupling. But the studio (Paramount and DreamWorks) is a much smaller part of the company than the 'Media Networks' division, which includes MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, Spike TV, etc. I'd say Viacom's largest challenge moving forward is growing its ad revenue on these cable networks...
IAC/InterActive Corp reported its second quarter earnings today and net income was up 78%, but Wall Street wasn't impressed -- the jump was thanks solely to divestiture and lower acquisition costs. Looking only at continuing operations (excluding stock compensation and those divestiture costs), the quarter's earnings were 31 cents, a penny less than the year-ago quarter, and two cents less than the analyst consensus. Revenues grew six percent, less than analysts expected.
Jennifer Lawrence has contacted authorities to investigate who stole and posted nude images of her online.
Jeff Bezos' hiring of former Reagan aide Fred Ryan ends more than eight decades of Graham family leadership.
The celebrity photo hack highlights that our faith in Internet security isn't always answered. Here's what we know and what we don't know.
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