Media Money with Julia Boorstin

Going Gibson and Pulling a Sumner


Going Gibson and Pulling a Sumner:

So publishing queen Judith Regan went all Gibson on her colleague and got the boot from Harper Collins parent, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp . So, you could draw the conclusion that there are a lot of closeted anti-semites in media who are getting exposed. I think that's hardly it.

I think there's more similarity with Sumner Redstone's getting unusually involved in the decision for not to renew Tom Cruise's first-look producer deal. What is this with high-powered execs getting involved in the inner workings of the divisions buried in their conglomerates? and blaming their firing on personal slip ups (Cruise's anti-post partum depression rants and Regan's anti-semitic slurs) when really there were other bigger issues at hand -- like Mission Impossible III's disappointing returns and the huge embarrassment of O.J.'s tasteless "If I Did It" "fictionalized" tell-all.

Bob Yari's Oscar Scandal of the Year:

Last year, Bob Yari -- who financed and produced the Oscar-winning Crash, was embroiled in a lawsuit over who got credit and who got paid. You'd think he'd be sick of that kind of a spotlight and those dealing with him would be wary.... 

This year, debates between the filmmakers and Warners about the final cut delayed delivery of "Painted Veil" until November 14 -- a delay which could seriously hurt its Oscar prospects. Yari financed 80% of the film, and wanted to buy the right to release it back from Warners... which could easily cost $4 or $5 million. But Yari's got the cash. And he did an awfully good job with a slow release of "The Illusionist" -- so you can see his point.

Just goes to show how crucial Oscar attention is to these independents (and their egos)... and says a lot about the challenge the studios face as they shift more attention to distributing - those can be tough relationships to navigate. Yari's a nice guy -- met with him this summer -- but you wouldn't want to square off with him in a dark alley. He's got money to pursue these suits...

Questions?  Comments?