Open Road Fetches Stalking-Horse Bid In Runup To Bankruptcy Auction
Open Road, the latest independent film company to hit the rocks, has received a “stalking-horse” bid of $87.5 million in Delaware bankruptcy court from a buyer identified as “OR Acquisition Co.”
According to court documents, the bid is backed by New York-based private equity firm Raven Capital Management. The firm’s principal, James Masciello, already has some involvement in the film industry. Raven provides financing for Sculptor Media and Masciello is among the… Read
CBS Continues Overhaul, Announcing Retirement Of Distribution Chief Paul Franklin
CBS has announced that Paul Franklin will step down as president of CBS Television Distribution. The move brings the curtain down on his three-decade-plus career and continues the dramatic overhaul of CBS Corp. after the exit of Les Moonves in early September.
Two years ago, nearly 30 years into his tenure as a Fox executive, Franklin came to CBS in a reorganization that saw Armando Nuñez refocus on international operations. Nuñez in 2012 had been given oversight of both… Read
MoviePass To Be Spun Off By Helios And Matheson Into Separate Company
Helios and Matheson Analytics has announced plans to spin off its long-troubled ticketing, film financing and production unit MoviePass into its own separate, publicly traded company.
The spin, which has been given preliminary approval by the board of directors, aims to create a vertically integrated company focused on film production, marketing and exhibition company. Helios and Matheson is a data analytics firm with holdings beyond entertainment.
Under the plan, a new… Read
Verizon Beats Q3 Earnings Expectations, But Oath Media Segment Falters
Verizon edged Wall Street expectations, reporting third-quarter earnings per share of $1.19, up 34% from the 89 cents it posted in the year-earlier period, or $1.22 excluding some special items.
Analysts had predicted profit of $1.19 a share.
Total revenue reached $32.6 billion, up nearly 3% from the third quarter of 2017, and also topped analysts’ consensus estimate.
While there was some encouraging news in the numbers, the company’s media unit, Oath, continued to… Read
‘The Walking Dead’ Suit Sees AMC Hit With Profit Reports Withholding Claims
(UPDATED with AMC attorney statement) Charlie Collier is leaving AMC for a corner suite at New Fox ASAP and Andrew Lincoln is exiting The Walking Dead in the next couple of weeks but the nearly five-year legal all-out war between the cabler and Frank Darabont and CAA over profits from the zombie apocalypse series is going strong – as a letter in New York Supreme Court today made very clear, again.
“This lawsuit is not about the scope of Plaintiffs' ‘audit rights’—it is… Read
Oculus Co-Founder Brendan Iribe Leaving Facebook, Which Is Discontinuing Movie Rentals On The Rift – Update
UPDATED to add analysis and news of Facebook shutting down Oculus Rift movie store: Brendan Iribe, who co-founded Facebook’s VR unit Oculus in 2012, announced he is leaving the company.
While Iribe’s Facebook post (read it below) on Monday doesn’t refer specifically to any of the recent turbulence hitting the parent company, his exit follows those of the founders of Facebook-owned Instagram, and WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum in recent months. While still a colossus… Read
Netflix Plans $2 Billion Bond Offering To Fund New Content; Moody’s Outlook “Stable” As Profitability Nears – Update
UPDATE with details from a Moody’s report. Netflix said it is planning to raise $2 billion from an offering of bonds (mostly in euros and U.S. dollars) to qualified institutional buyers.
The debt raised by the offering will be used for “general corporate purposes,” including content production, acquisition and development. The company said the interest rate and maturity of the bonds will be set at a later date.
Moody’s Investor’s Service assigned a Ba3 rating to the debt… Read
Turner Ignite, Following Up On Upfront Tease, Opens New Brand Studio
Turner Ad Sales has followed up on a sneak peek at last spring’s upfront presentation to advertisers by officially launching a new brand studio linked to Adult Swim, TBS, TNT and truTV.
Turner Ignite Studios, according to the formal announcement, “brings together entertainment creators to align with advertising partners” around original content. The output of the studio, it added, “leverages the voice of its beloved brands and coveted audience connection.”
The initiative… Read
Richard Parsons Steps Down From CBS Board, Role As Interim Chairman, Citing Health Reasons
Richard Parsons has resigned from the CBS Corp board of directors, including his role as interim chairman which he undertook just a month ago following the departure of Les Moonves. Parsons cited health reasons related to his fight with multiple myeloma as the reason for his sudden exit.
The CBS board met this evening and tapped Strauss Zelnick to take over as interim chairman, a decision the board said was unanimous.
"The reason for my departure relates to the state of… Read
Amazon Studios Head Jennifer Salke Talks TV, Film Biz At USC Forum
Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke, who oversees film and TV series for the streaming service, isn’t shoveling dirt on broadcast TV.
"I don't think that it's on its deathbed," said Salke, speaking today at the Gould School of Law’s Institute on Entertainment Law and Business, a media summit at USC. "I think it is evolving quickly. But I still believe, knowing the amount of people we were reaching at NBC, that there's a huge audience that still comes."
Driving that traffic… Read
Withoutabox Film Festival Submission Platform To End Service Next Year
Amazon-owned Withoutabox, the dominant indie film festival submission platform for the last decade, has decided to end its service.
In a letter to users, the service – run through IMDbPro – said it would “phase out” the service over the next year. Withoutabox was the official platform for Sundance and had been used by the LA Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival, and hundreds of smaller events, with the platform claiming it processed more than 100,000… Read
Showtime Names Adam Townsend CFO After CBS Reshuffling
Showtime has named CBS corporate finance and investor relations executive Adam Townsend as CFO, replacing Christina Spade, who is moving to CBS Corp as its new CFO.
The move was announced by David Nevins, the premium network’s chairman and CEO, who was given a promotion yesterday to Chief Creative Officer of CBS Corp. The new roles of Spade and Nevins are among many changes made to the CBS organizational chart in recent weeks.
Townsend joined CBS in 2008. In his new role… Read