HBO Defends John Oliver Over Lump Of Coal Lawsuit From Mocked Mine Owner
John Oliver knew perfectly well on June 18 when he ridiculed the CEO of Murray Energy Corporation as a "geriatric Dr. Evil" and more that there could be legal blowback, but the Last Week Tonight host drilled in anyway. Now, with a defamation suit filed in West Virginia yesterday against Oliver, HBO and Time Warner by Robert E. Murray and a number of his coal companies, the host's bosses are staking their own claim in his defense.
“We have confidence in the staff of Last W… Read
Altice USA Shares Rise As It Goes Public On Anniversary Of Cablevision Deal
Investors gave Altice USA a warm — although not exuberant — welcome this morning exactly one year after it became the nation’s No. 4 cable operator with its acquisition of Cablevision.
New shares in Altice USA that sold for $30 apiece in yesterday’s $1.92 billion IPO are up about 5.9% in mid-day trading.
This was the year’s second biggest IPO, trailing Snap which raised $3.4 billion in March.
The trading price suggests that the market values Altice USA at about $23.4… Read
Exhibition Stocks Drop Following Analyst Downgrades Citing Box Office Concerns
Exhibition company stocks are off to a rocky start today. U.S. chains continue to swoon after two analysts lowered their outlooks for key players — mostly due to this quarter’s weaker than expected box office.
In addition to the U.S. drops Chinese trading in Wanda Film was halted after the share price fell 9.9%. Parent company Wanda Group said that that someone had “viciously speculated” on the internet that banks, including China Construction Bank, might dump Wanda’s… Read
Jeffrey Katzenberg On WndrCo’s New TV Model: “I’ve Found A Brand New Everest” – Cannes Lions
In Cannes to talk up his latest venture, WndrCo, Jeffrey Katzenberg says he's found "a brand new Everest." The company is getting into what he's so far terming "New TV" destined for mobile devices in the form of shows with full story arcs, but limited to 6-10 minutes per episode. The target demo is the coveted 18-34 range and the plan involves incentives along the way for every stakeholder, including creatives. It will be built with a significant advertising component… Read
Altice USA To Go Public Tomorrow After $1.92B IPO – Update
UPDATED, with IPO launch date: Altice USA moved quickly. The No. 4 cable operator plans to go public tomorrow, it says, following following an IPO that prices its shares at $30 apiece. That makes the sale worth $1.92 billion.
BC Partners accounts for 49% of the shares sold in the IPO, followed by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board with 32%. Stock sold directly by Altice USA represents 19% of the offering.
Parent company Altice will control 70.3% of the U.S… Read
Bill Cosby Rape Mistrial Jurors Revealed By Court Order Despite D.A.’s Objections
In another setback for the prosecution in Bill Cosby's criminal trial for the 2004 rape of Andrea Constand, a Pennsylvania judge today agreed to release the names of the jury in the case that ended in a mistrial June 17.
"The request for names of the jurors is GRANTED and a list of the same shall be provided to the Court Administrator for distribution, following contact by the Court," said an order by Judge Steven O'Neill on Wednesday (read it here). The move by the… Read
New Leadership Coming To WGA West: President Howard Rodman Won’t Seek Re-Election
The WGA West will have a new president and vice president come September. Howard Rodman, the guild's president, is not seeking re-election as the guild's election season gets underway, and he's likely to be succeeded by David Goodman, currently the guild's vice president.
Rodman has served one two-year term as president and was eligible under guild rules to serve another, but chose not to. The guild's nominating committee selected to candidates to succeed him, but only… Read
Les Moonves Partially Hauled Into Sumner Redstone’s Legal War With Ex-Companions
After avoiding being part of the long on-going court spectacle of Sumner Redstone and his former companions, Les Moonves today has been put in the subpoena spotlight of sorts. First permitting a motion to quash the CBS boss being served, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Hess changed his mind and said the subpoena can now go ahead, partially.
Originally 11 categories in scope, Redstone's lawyers wanted to quash four of the issues before Sydney Holland's side… Read
Wellness Publisher Rodale Hires Allen & Co To Look For A Buyer
Iconic health and wellness publisher Rodale Inc. apparently feels weak-kneed in the fast-changing digital media environment — and has hung a “for sale” sign.
The company behind magazines including Men's Health, Prevention, Women's Health, Runner's World, Bicycling, and Rodale's Organic Life says today that it hired Allen & Company to help “explore a range of potential strategic alternatives” that include a possible sale. There’s no timetable for the process.
Rodale was… Read
SAG Records Dispute Claim That Stuntwoman Worked While Receiving Disability Pay
Leslie Hoffman has been battling the SAG Pension & Health Plans for years, fighting for the benefits she earned during her long and bruising career as one of Hollywood's top stuntwomen. After she became disabled and unable to work in 2002, she began collecting SAG disability pension benefits. But after a slipshod investigation, the plan trustees determined that she had worked and held herself out for work while collecting those benefits and ordered her to repay… Read
CBS Prepares To Wrap Upfront Sales Ahead Of Expectations
CBS is headed to the upfront ad sales finish line, we hear, with high single digit per-viewer pricing gains for its prime time inventory — and surprising strength for its morning and late night programming.
The broad strokes information suggests that CBS beat analysts’ expectations. For example, Evercore ISI’s Vijay Jayant predicted that CBS’ prime time prices would rise 6%, contributing to a 2.8% lift total upfront sales to $3.1 billion. Nomura Instinet’s Anthony… Read
CBS Daytime Promotes Margot Wain To SVP, Ups Pair To VP
CBS has promoted Margot Wain to SVP Daytime Programs, and Ray Paolantonio and Laurie Seidman have been upped to VP Daytime Programs.
In her new position, Wain will continue as the current executive on The Price Is Right, network TV's No. 1 daytime series, and daytime drama The Bold and the Beautiful, while working with writers and producers on all day-to-day creative and strategic elements. She has been associated with Bold and the Beautiful since its 1987 premiere and… Read