AT&T, Time Warner CEOs Parry Charges That Merger Would Hurt Consumers
Critics of AT&T’s $85 billion plan to buy Time Warner put the companies’ CEOs on the defensive this morning in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy & Consumer Rights hearing that explored whether the deal would help or hurt consumers.
Challengers including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) said the media giants would have “every reason” to either limit rivals’ access to popular programming, or jack up prices. following a deal.
Others added that AT&T… Read
‘Prince Of Broadway’ Retrospective Sets August Opening
Harold Prince’s long-gestating career retrospective Prince Of Broadway will open in August at the Manhattan Theatre Club’s flagship Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. The show, featuring scenes from the life and legendary c.v. of Broadway’s most Tony-decorated denizen, will be produced by the non-profit by special arrangement with Gorgeous Entertainment, a Times Square-based commercial production company headed by Kumiko Yoshii and Michael Wolk. Co-directed by Prince and Susan… Read
Sinclair To Launch TBD, A Multicast Channel For Short-Form Programming
Short-form programming isn’t just for internet-delivered media: Sinclair Broadcast Group announced this morning its plan to introduce an over-the-air multicast channel, to be called TBD, that will feature infotainment from companies including Jukin Media, Legendary Digital Networks (Nerdist & Geek and Sundry), Whistle Sports, Kinonation, Zoomin' and Canvas Media Studios.
The effort is a collaboration with Dublin-based The QYou, which will license and package the… Read
ICM Partners Ups Three To Agents
ICM Partners has promoted three from within; Nathalie Didier and Chris Horsman, based in the agency's LA office, have been upped to agents in the talent department. Justin Ianda, based in New York, has been promoted to agent in the global branded entertainment department.
Didier began her career at ICM as an assistant to Toni Howard. She entered into the agency trainee program in 2014 and upon completion in 2015, was moved to a coordinator position with a focus on… Read
Edward Albee Memorial Brings Tributes From John Guare, Mercedes Ruehl, Richard Thomas & Rosemary Harris
Broadway’s August Wilson Theatre was filled Tuesday afternoon with friends, fans and colleagues of Edward Albee, who died September 16 at 88. Onstage to recall the much-laureled author of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and other plays were actors Brian Murray, Rosemary Harris, Maureen Anderman, Jane Alexander, Peter Francis James, and Jordan Baker; playwrights Terrence McNally, Arthur Kopit, Will Eno and John Guare; Bill Irwin, Mercedes Ruehl, Bill Pullman; playwright… Read
Charter CEO Explores Super High-Speed Broadband Offering, And Wireless
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge would like to up the ante on phone companies looking to compete with 5G wireless services at a speeds of 1 Gb per second.
He’s preparing a broadband service that transmits 10 Gbps up and downstream, which he can build “at fairly low capital investments,” he told investors today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
The initiative would open “the possibility down the road of a whole new industry” that blends wired… Read
Time Warner Will Increase HBO’s Budget As Competition Grows, CEO Says
Time Warner plans to boost HBO’s programming budget, just as rivals including Netflix are doing, CEO Jeff Bewkes told an investor gathering today.
“We have a pretty hefty budget, a couple of billion dollars,” he told the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. “We're not spending our programming money on library product. We're doing original shows. … We've been increasing it, and we'll keep increasing it.”
The plans won’t be hurt by AT&T’s new decision to offer… Read
Last Day On The Job For Animation Guild’s Steve Hulett, Hollywood’s Longest-Serving Union Leader
EXCLUSIVE: Steve Hulett is saying goodbye to Hollywood. The longest-serving union leader in the film and TV industry, he's retiring today after 27 years as the business rep of the Animation Guild, IATSE Local 839. "I plan to travel and do a lot of recreational sleeping," he laughed in an exit interview with Deadline.
Jason MacLeod, a shop steward at the Walt Disney Animation Studios for the past eight years, was elected last month to succeed Hulett.
Hulett leaves his post… Read
Alibaba Pictures Aims To Be “Content-Based Goldman Sachs,” Appoints New CEO
Alibaba Pictures Group is making what it calls a “comprehensive organization and business model upgrade” that it hopes will morph it into a “content-based Goldman Sachs-type organization” that looks to be “hard-nosed” rather than “an adventurer.” In step with the newly stated goals, the film and TV division of Jack Ma’s Chinese online giant has appointed fast-rising tech exec Yu Yongfu as CEO and shuffled Zhang Qiang and Zhang Wei from the respective posts of CEO and… Read
AMC Networks CEO Sees Growth In 2017 From Originals And Ad Sales
AMC Networks doesn’t fear the growth of skinny bundles and Internet video services, CEO Josh Sapan told investors today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.
“We’re in every alternative bundle that’s been offered to date,” including Sling TV and Sonly’s PlayStation Vue, he says. “That’s not because they’re nice to us, but because it will drive their business.” With five of TV’s top 10 shows including The Walking Dead, “we’re a fantastic bargain.”
Even so… Read
Broadway’s Grammy Nominees Star Sarah Bareilles, Steve Martin & Edie Brickell And ‘Fiddler’s Second Chance
The Broadway wing of the Grammy Awards nominees announced this morning included five-time winner Steve Martin and five-time nominee Sarah Bareilles. Also in the mix: Kinky Boots (produced by Masterworks Broadway), the Cyndi Lauper-scored show that won the 2014 Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album, cited this time for the London cast recording.
The nominees also provide Grammy second chances for two revivals, Fiddler On The Roof (Broadway Records), with its Jerry Bock and… Read
Verizon Will Offer Skinny Bundle Video In 5G Wireless Test, CEO Says
Verizon plans to offer a skinny bundle video service via 5G wireless transmissions in early 2017 to test the speedy technology in some “relatively small towns,” CEO Lowell McAdam said today at the UBS Global Media and Telecommunications Conference.
“Our plan is to offer 1Gb broadband service and an OTT [streaming] bundle,” he says.
He offered no update on the status of Verizon’s plan to buy Yahoo’s assets and blend them with AOL. But he says that a plan to blend content… Read