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January 2007 Archive

Finke/LA Weekly: LA Times' O'Shea Hits Back At NY Times' Keller; “Somebody Sitting In NY Isn't A God Of Journalism”

My new  column, Goodbye Baquet, Hello O’Shea, [plus today’s 1st update and 2nd update] features an interview with recently installed Los Angeles Times editor Jim O’Shea. (I’ll be posting the full Q-and-A online here tomorrow.) And the Chicagoan came out fighting. He had some very angry words for his counterpart at The New York Times, Bill Keller, who’s been trash-talkin’ a lot in recent days. Another surprise is that O’Shea resisted the opportunity to expand his turf to… Read

Their Dinner About Brad… Sumner Feasts

On Saturday night, two tables of moguls and their wives were wined and dined at TV & movie producer Leonard Goldberg’s swanky home at a dinner party in honor of that geriatric Viacom jerk Sumner Redstone. Among the guests were present or past major players Mike Medavoy, Joel Silver and Les Moonves. Well, it turns out today Hollywood is talking about Brad Grey — because Sumner outed Brad during the meal. Sumner told the gathering that Brad explained to him that the reason D… Read

Eisner Busy Building Private Media Co.

We all heard the other day that Michael Eisner is an investor in the Internet TV network Veoh, an ad-supported YouTube-like consumer-generated video site that claims 4 million unique monthly users. Here’s more on what FrankenEisner is up to during his post-Disney days. Business Week reports that, more than a year after leaving the rat hole following 21 years, “thanks to the more than $1 billion in salary, bonuses, and stock options he raked in during his 21 years as Head… Read

LAT's Fired Dean Baquet Lands At NYT: Returning As Washington Bureau Chief

UPDATED THROUGHOUT DAY: Dean Baquet, the fired editor of the Los Angeles Times, has landed at The New York Times as Washington Bureau Chief and Assistant Managing Editor. His return follows the Tribune Co.’s quiet rejection of the Broad/Burkle bid for the Chicago media company. (Broad and Burkle submitted their joint bid just a day after Baquet was forced out of his job November 7th and have been talking with him ever since. “Everybody liked him. There were lots of… Read

Billionaire Saves Bankrupt Air America; Franken Leaving Radio Network Feb. 14

Former Saturday Night Live comedian and bestselling political author Al Franken announced on his radio show this morning that struggling Air America has been saved by the New York real estate developer brother of Manhattan politician Mark Green. At the same time, Franken announced that he will be leaving his radio show on February 14th to consider a run for the U.S. Senate seat from Minnesota. In Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings since October, the progressive radio… Read

Going & Gone From The Showbiz Beat

I’m told that the Wall Street Journal‘s very good showbiz reporter in the Los Angeles Bureau, Kate Kelly, is heading back to the NYC headquarters to cover Wall Street. Family reasons are behind the move. I’ll miss her Hollywood news and insights. On the other hand, one of the least savvy entertainment biz reporters at the Los Angeles Times is Claire Hoffman. So I’m surprised that today reports on an LATNYT tug of war over her. “The NYT is said to be… Read

The Day Scooter Libby Met Tom Cruise…

Just when you think the news out of Washington can’t get any more bewildering… I hear that Tom Cruise’s name, and that of his then girlfriend Penelope Cruz, have surfaced during testimony in the recently begun Scooter Libby trial. A CIA official who appeared as a witness recalled a June 14th, 2003, intelligence briefing with Libby where the chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney bragged about just having had a sitdown with Tom and Penelope. Libby told Craig… Read

Finke/LA Weekly: The Scars Of Oscars

My new  column, The Scars Of Oscars, adds some fresh analysis to my previous online posting. Do read the whole column, but here are some excerpts: “The negatives, not positives, will decide this year's Academy Awards. That's par for the course in Hollywood, where nastiness rules and niceness gets rolled. So, if you want to handicap the Oscars, just figure out who is envied most by the Academy voters and bet that those names probably won't get called onstage at the Kodak… Read

Here's Oscar Tally By Hollywood Agency

No wonder CAA wants to talk about sports these days. (Surely you saw that they’ve hired another three warm bodies, this time execs, to run CAA Sports division.) Maybe because they don’t want to talk about the Oscars. That’s right, things are not going that well for CAA in the motion picture literary department. Think about it. They hired a bunch of motion picture lit agents over the past 24 months to bolster their aging list of screenwriters and directors. And they spent… Read