Latest Business News

Roman Polanski Case: “Unprofessional” L.A. Deputy DA Facing State Bar Complaint

EXCLUSIVE: The twists and turns surrounding Roman Polanski's latest attempt to return to America nearly 40 years after he fled to avoid more prison for the rape of a 13-year-old girl have now put a Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney in the spotlight. In a scathing disciplinary complaint to the state bar, Michele Hanisee has been accused of "unprofessional conduct and outright deliberate misrepresentation” by a former court officer she earlier this week accused of taking… Read

Sinclair Agrees To Buy Bonten Media After FCC Eases TV Station Mergers

Sinclair Broadcast Group was poised to act yesterday after the FCC cleared the way for some TV station mergers by restoring the so-called UHF discount. The broadcaster announced this morning a two-part deal valued at $240.0 million. Sinclair picked up Bonten Media Group Holdings, which owns 14 television stations in 8 markets. In addition, Cunningham Broadcasting — controlled by trusts for the children of Sinclair founder Julian Smith — will pick up the membership… Read

CAA Establishes Annual Amplify Event To Inspire Diversity In Business

CAA is launching a new event this year that the agency plans to host annually called Amplify, an invitation-only convention of innovators and free-thinking multi-cultural artists and leaders from entertainment, sports, media, corporate brand marketing, and technology. The idea behind the gathering is “to inform, inspire, and connect multicultural leaders to accelerate the growth, value, and visibility of diversity in business,” the agency said. Amplify will kick-off the… Read

SAG-AFTRA’s Six-Month Video Game Strike Left Out Of Highlight Reel For Merger Anniversary

SAG-AFTRA five-year merger anniversary

SAG-AFTRA has posted a new video on its website celebrating the fifth anniversary of the merger of SAG and AFTRA. "A lot has happened in the last five years," notes the video (watch it above), but it fails to make any mention of a key event in the merged union's history: that it's been on strike against select video game companies for the past six months. It's quite an oversight, because on Saturday, it will become the longest strike in the history of the Screen Actors… Read

Consumers’ Average Movie Ticket Outlays Hit New High In Q1

A barrage of 3D and large screen movie releases, as well as several adult-skewing titles, lifted the average consumer outlay for a movie ticket to a new high of $8.84 in Q1, the National Association of Theatre Owners says today. The average payment was up 3.0% vs last year’s Q1, and +0.6% vs the last three months of 2016. Although the price is high, NATO notes that the average ticket price in 1977 of $2.23 would equal $9.26 if adjusted for inflation. Consumers paid… Read

Michelle Byrd Named Managing Director Of PGA East

Michelle Byrd, the former longtime executive director at Independent Film Project, has been tapped by the PGA national board of directors to become managing director of PGA East. In the newly created position she will oversee East Coast operations from the producers guild’s New York office. She starts May 8. The hire comes after a search led by PGA East chairs William Horberg and Kay Rothman. She will report to PGA national executive director/COO Vance Van Petten, and PGA… Read

Sandy Gallin Dies: Agent, Talent Manager & Producer Was 76

Sandy Gallin, whose long career as an agent, talent manager and producer included clients from Barbra Streisand, Nicole Kidman and Richard Pryor to Michael Jackson, Cher and Joni Mitchell, has died in Los Angeles following a long battle with multiple myeoloma. He was 76. His death was announced by friend Bruce Bozzi on Instagram today. “We lost a shining light this morning,” wrote Bozzi. Howard Rosenman, L.A. Reid and Jennifer Gray soon joined in the remembrances (see… Read

SAG-AFTRA Reaches Deal With Record Labels On Contract For Music Video Performers

SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative agreement with the major record labels — Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Disney Music Group — on a new industry-wide contract covering dancers and other performers on music videos. The two-year deal is a successor the the previous agreement approved in June 2012. The new deal will be reviewed by the SAG-AFTRA national board at its regularly scheduled meeting set for this weekend. The first round of… Read

Viacom CEO Taps Julia Phelps For New Communications & Culture Position

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish’s just made his latest move to revamp the entertainment power by appointing Julia Phelps to a new position: SVP of Communications & Culture. Her turf now includes Viacom's Corporate Communications, Corporate Marketing, Corporate Responsibility and Special Events teams, as well as its internal creative agency, Catalyst. She’ll continue to report to Bakish, having worked with him at Viacom International Media Networks where she was EVP of… Read

Sundance Feniger Named VP & GM Of Boomerang

Time Warner's Turner and Warner Bros. has set Nickelodeon veteran Sundance Feniger as VP and General Manager of its new Boomerang premium VOD service for animation. He will lead the overall Boomerang streaming business across all functions, partnered with DramaFever on technology. He will report jointly to both companies. "Sundance has a passion for kids content and animation," Turner and Warner Bros said in a statement. “He also has the technical and data background to… Read

Mayor Bill De Blasio Proclaims April 21 “Dolly Day” In Gotham

OK, so he’s a day late, if not a dolly short: On the eve of the most ballyhooed Broadway opening of the season, Mayor Bill de Blasio proclaimed tomorrow – Friday, April 21 – “Dolly Day.” It marks Thursday ‘s opening of Hello, Dolly! with Bette Midler. A spokesman for producer Scott Rudin alerted the press this afternoon that the proclamation “will be hand-delivered to the Sam S. Shubert Theatre before tonight's performance.” The Mayor proved himself an agreeable booster… Read

FCC Revives Rule That Could Make It Easier For TV Station Groups To Merge

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai made good today on his vow to reinstate a rule that makes it easier for big TV station owners to grow bigger. In a 2-to-1 party line vote, the regulatory agency revived the so-called UHF discount. It enables station owners to just count half of the viewers reached by UHF stations in the calculation to determine when they hit the ceiling that limits them to reaching 39% of all households. In August, the FCC, under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, voted to… Read