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July 2009 Archive

Big Media Earnings: Film/TV Bright Spots

Hey, Hollywood, don’t get suckered by this week’s earnings reports of doom and gloom at the Big Media companies. In fact, the entertainment sides of some of these companies are doing — dare I say it — better. Now why this isn’t translating into more projects, and more jobs, is the fault of all the newly Nervous Nellies (who used to be Macho Moguls) atop the entertainment units. But there are definitely green shoots in the earnings reports. Take Time Warner, where profits… Read

More Shameless Plugs For 'Twilight' Traffic

I’m told actress Rachelle Lefevre, who played “Victoria” in the first two films, will be replaced by well known actress who’s also a redhead, Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter) in the upcoming ECLIPSE, the 3rd film in the Twilight Saga franchise. Lefevre has scheduling conflicts after playing the part in the first two films. I hear Summit Entertainment is bracing for the rabid Twilight fans to bite back because of the change. (They don’t want anything to change… Read

WSJ: Microsoft & Yahoo Near Search Deal

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo and Microsoft “are moving toward sealing a search partnership, say people familiar with the matter — a deal that ends a protracted dance and unites the pair against Google. Microsoft, which had made a failed $47.5 billion takeover bid for Yahoo, appears to have finally won a piece of what it wanted from the Internet player — the volumes of search queries that run through Yahoo’s engine. In exchange, Yahoo is getting an… Read

Morris Agent Lonner To Join Chuck Roven

Former William Morris agent David Lonner isn’t just finalizing his deal to become an independent manager. I’m told he and Atlas Entertainment founder and workaholic film producer Chuck Roven (The Dark Knight, Get Smart) want to join up in a talent management company together. Roven has always kept his hand in the management biz after starting two incredibly successful management companies — for musicians with 3rd Rail’s Bob Cavallo that was bigtime for 10 years, and for… Read

USC Law Taps Former Warner Bros' John Schulman To Start Showbiz Law Program

The USC Gould School of Law just made this announcement: Long-time Warner Bros. Entertainment executive John Schulman has been recruited by the USC Gould School of Law to head its new Entertainment Law Program. Schulman, who retired from Warner Bros. last year after serving as executive vice president and general counsel for 25 years, joins USC Law on Aug. 1. “I’ve always been interested in education and have lectured at USC, Southwestern, Berkeley and UCLA. This seemed… Read

WRAPUP: NBC Universal's Putz Finally Jumps While Being Pushed; The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 9

Here's the e-mail that Ben Silverman sent to Hollywood pals announcing his exit from NBC Universal and landing at Barry Diller's IAC: "Its [sic] go time brother!!!!!!! Let's rock it out!!!!!" Is there any wonder that everyone at his old workplace collectively thought, Don't let the door hit you on the way out? Yes, on July 27, Silverman did announce a new company, with IAC, which will produce content for distribution across a variety of platforms around the world. "This… Read

Ryan Seacrest Runs To Defend His Guy Pal: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 5

Isn’t it amusing how Jeff Zucker couldn’t find one positive specific to say about Ben Silverman in the official NBCU news release this morning beyond “Ben brought us tremendous new thinking in this changing media age”. Because Silverman leaves behind a record of abject failure. (By the way, the coming fall season’s primetime network development was taken out of Ben’s hands and put in Angela Bromstad’s. And, voila, the first decent programming.) Instead, some really… Read

Behind-the-Scenes Of NBCU's Lies To Me: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 4

First mea culpa. I was fast asleep when the announcement that Ben Silverman, the gift that kept on giving to me¬†for all his NBCU screw-ups, was finally letting boss Jeff Zucker off the hook for a hiring decision that will go down in the annals of television entertainment as one of the worst. Sure, my phone started ringing at 6:08 AM PT. But I blissfully ignored it because I wanted my full 8 hours. But here’s the thing: I knew back on June 24th that Ben was engaged in a… Read

NBCU Promotes Gaspin & Screws Graboff: The Ben Silverman Experiment Ends, Pt 3

So all that time Marc Graboff had to play the adult while his co-chairman Ben Silverman acted like an unruly child, all that time Graboff kept the trains running while Silverman screwed up over and over again, was for naught. Instead of rewarding him with sole or joint custody of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, he now humiliatingly has to report to NBCU’s new fair-haired boy Jeff Gaspin. In short, Graboff got Zuckered, just like the rest of NBCU. UNIVERSAL… Read