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March 2006 Archive

Reporter Apologizes: Universal Un-Bans

A Hollywood trade reporter who’d been banned by Universal Studios three weeks ago for what it considered to be unethical journalism — putting off-the-record remarks by the boss on the record — has apologized in a handwritten letter sent to the head of the studio, both sides confirmed to me this week. The missive has prompted the studio to lift its ban on the journalist, thus bringing to a quick end one of the most talked-about incidents in reporter-studio relationships in… Read

Universal Bans Trade Reporter

I’m told that Universal has banned a Hollywood trade reporter for what it considered to be unethical journalism: putting off-the-record remarks by the boss on the record. Here’s what happened, according to my sources: Ron Meyer, president and COO of Universal Studios, recently instructed his head of corporate communications to inform the publicity staff that the Hollywood Reporter‘s Anne Thompson is persona non grata to every executive there. Not only is no one supposed… Read

New Epidemic: Pellicano Amnesia

Here’s my latest LA Weekly column, Two Tonys Is One Too Many for Mogul. You know how, in that New York Times article, Paramount studio boss Brad Grey issued a statement through a spokesperson that he was only "casually acquainted" with thug-for-hire Anthony Pellicano and had "no relationship" with him until the private detective was signed up by Grey's attorney, super-lawyer Fields, to help in the Garry Shandling lawsuit against Grey. People for Ovitz, too, previously… Read

Bernie Talks about Brad

Given The New York Times Page One story linking Paramount studio boss Brad Grey to Anthony Pellicano, it’s natural to wonder what Brad’s longtime talent management and production partner and mentor Bernie Brillstein thinks of it. Here’s what he told me this afternoon, all on the record: “I just want to say I read the article. There was no reason for the article. There was no conclusion. I can't figure out why they even did it. There's nothing new that hasn't been said for… Read

Reiner Ruckus Scaring Actor Activists?

Kudos to Rob Reiner for not retreating into seclusion but instead meeting with the press club in Sacramento today re the brouhaha behind his handling of that California preschool ballot initiative. Reiner rightly tells the Los Angeles Times he “worries, tremendously, that the controversy surrounding him will set back his goal to offer free preschool for all California schoolchildren.” But there’s something even more troubling about it: will the beating given Reiner right… Read

Old, Old News: Pellicano/Tabloids

Journalists for the Los Angeles legal newspaper Daily Journal write today about a tabloid reporter in the early 1990s surreptitiously taping Anthony Pellicano — bugging the bugger, according to LAObserved — while the PI fed, watered and overall negotiated with the night-crawlers of the news biz. (Actually, that was reported extensively two years ago by local TV news station KCBS and its then reporter Drew Griffin, who used the news break to leap to CNN.) But the Daily Jour… Read


UPDATING MY SCOOP POSTED ON SATURDAY, MARCH 11, AT 04:45 P.M.–> No, that won’t be an April Fool’s Day prank by The New York Times. I’m told that, on April 1st, The Gray Lady confirmed today it’s planning to drop its Monday-through-Friday Tuesday-through-Saturday stock listings on April 4th and to replace them with some kind of new package of interactive tools and market information web access. In the paper will be a very limited 1 1/2 pages 2 pages, trimming those… Read

Sopranos Spoilers for Season 6

The Sopranos spoiling really began when Lorraine Bracco gabbed that, due to a planned "major plot development" in the Season 6 opener, HBO this month would not be having its usual huge premiere advance screening bash at Radio City Music Hall. Way worse was when, yesterday, the HBO website mistakenly posted a long summary of Season 6’s first episode, “Members Only.” Needless to say, it was yanked. But the truth is it's not hard to find Sopranos spoilers out there for… Read

April Fool's: No NYT Stocks

No, that won’t be an April Fool’s Day prank by The New York Times. I’m told that, on April 1st, the Grey Lady is planning to drop its Monday-through-Friday stock listings and to replace them with some kind of new web access. In the paper will be a very limited 1 1/2 pages, trimming those thousands of stock tables to just hundreds. Plans are being finalized what to do on the weekends. Newspaper industry sources tell me that this could represent a $10 million savings to the… Read