Time Warner Says HBO Now Has 800K Subs As It Prepares Marketing Push
Is the glass half full or empty when it comes to HBO Now? That’s one of the big questions coming out of Time Warner’s quarterly earnings call after HBO chief Richard Plepler disclosed that the stand-alone subscription streaming service has 800,000 subscribers — ahead of a plan to launch an aggressive marketing effort later this year.
The number may seem light considering the number of consumers who were clambering for Time Warner to offer HBO programming to those who… Read
Time Warner’s Stock Falls As Investors Focus On Q4 Revenue Miss
UPDATED: Time Warner shares opened down 11.3% to a new 52-week low following the big revenue miss and other worrisome signs in its Q4 report this morning — and despite management’s bullish forecasts. The entertainment giant raised its dividend by 15%, launched a new $5 billion stock repurchase initiative, and projected adjusted earnings for this year of between $5.30 and $5.40 — ahead of the Street’s expectations for about $5.28.
The stock price now is down more than 30%… Read
New Hampshire Primary Result Reignites Biden Talk For Hollywood Democrats
EXCLUSIVE: Bernie Sanders' overwhelming victory over Hillary Clinton in the New Hampshire primary tonight has significant Hollywood Democrats feeling very shaky and advocating Joe Biden jump into the race for the White House. "He doesn't have deep ties in town," an industry power player said of the Vice President this evening, comparing him to both the ex-NY senator and the Vermont senator. "However, there are many many people who would jump on board in a nanosecond if he… Read
Bob Iger Tries To Tackle Argument That ESPN Will Lose Ground As Media Diversify
Disney CEO Bob Iger did his best in the company’s quarterly earnings call today to persuade analysts not to worry about continuing signs of weakness at ESPN — Disney’s biggest profit driver.
“We fully expect our media networks, including ESPN, to deliver bottom line growth,” the CEO says. Indeed, he says that there’s been an “uptick” in ESPN subs in 2016.
“We’re not making any predictions about them going forward because we just don’t know.” But the change suggests that… Read
‘Star Wars’ Helps Disney To Beat Year-End Financial Expectations But ESPN Slips
Time to break out all your jokes about The Force. Star Wars: The Force Awakens helped Disney to soar past Wall Street’s financial expectations for the last three months of 2015. We’ll have to see, though, whether that’s enough to outweigh concerns about the continuing slippage at ESPN — a much bigger force for Disney’s bottom line. Company shares were up initially in post-market trading, but then dropped 4.8%.
Disney reported net income of $2.88 billion, up 32% vs the… Read
Wall Street Clobbers Viacom Shares Following Disappointing Reports
Wall Street delivered its response to Viacom’s recent performance, and CEO Philippe Dauman’s latest forecasts for the company, and it’s ugly: Traders drove Viacom’s share price down 21.5% today to $32.86, the lowest it’s closed since mid-2010.
The pummeling slashed $3.5 billion from Viacom’s market value. At $12.7 billion, the entertainment company that owns MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET and Paramount Pictures is worth less than Nielsen and Liberty Interactive… Read
Sundance Title ‘The Innocents’ Picked Up By Music Box Films
Music Box Films, the Chicago-based distributor of Golden Globe nominee The Club, has just acquired the drama The Innocents from French filmmaker Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel) which had its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Formerly titled Agnus Dei, the film follows a young French Red Cross doctor based in Warsaw 1945 who is asked by a nun for help. She is brought to a cloistered Benedictine convent where she discovers a young novice in labor. It… Read
Sumner Redstone Says Ex-Companion Just After $50M In Old Will, Not His Well-Being
Now that Sumner Redstone has resigned from running Viacom and CBS, the white gloves have seemingly come off in the heath care legal action brought by his former companion Manuela Herzer — and it’s all about the money. “This is a pre-death trust contest dressed up as a health care litigation,” Redstone’s lawyers said in a filing today in L.A. Superior Court. "Under the September 20, 2015 plan, Ms. Herzer would have received $50 million and Mr. Redstone's Beverly Hills… Read
Bill Cosby’s Ex-Lawyer Marty Singer Dropped From Janice Dickinson’s Defamation Suit
Less than a week after taking a big legal loss in his criminal sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, Bill Cosby was handed a win of sorts by the California courts today. An L.A. Superior Court judge Tuesday agreed with the actor-comedian's lawyers to toss an amended complaint by Janice Dickinson in her defamation suit against Cosby and his former attorney Marty Singer. In a tentative ruling read from the bench, Judge Debre Weintraub also allowed Singer to be dismissed from… Read
Philippe Dauman Blasts Viacom’s “Naysayers, Self-interested Critics, And Publicity Seekers”
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman’s frustration with the many critics of his performance — and appointment last week as Executive Chairman, following ailing controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone’s transition to Chairman Emeritus — bubbled over this morning in his quarterly earnings call with analysts.
Wanting to “address the speculation about Viacom and our future,” Dauman said that “our outlook and the facts have been distorted and obscured by the naysayers, self-interested… Read
Viacom Ended “Challenging Year” With Revenues Below Analyst Expectations
Here’s one piece of good news in Viacom’s otherwise dreary financial report for the December quarter, released this morning: U.S. ad sales only declined 4% — an improvement from -7% in the September quarter and better than the -6% that some analysts expected.
But CEO Philippe Dauman no doubt is glad to close the books on what he calls “a challenging year operationally” for the owner of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, and Paramount Pictures.
The company just… Read
CAA Signs Arne Duncan, Obama’s Longtime Education Secretary
CAA has signed Arne Duncan, who resigned at the end of last year after serving as Secretary of Education since January 2009. He was one of President Obama’s longest-serving Cabinet members.
During his tenure, Dunan helped to secure congressional support for Obama's investments in education — including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act's $100 billion to fund 325,000 teaching jobs — increases in Pell grants, reform efforts such as Race to the Top and Investing in… Read