Several of us watching Jersey Shore reruns last night suffered a rude shock when DirecTv rudely cut off our programming at midnight. Of course, we had been warned–a vague phone call earlier in the day, a hushed, automated voice telling us to call back our service provider, which we didn’t because we thought they were going to try to upgrade us again– but DirecTv’s inability to negotiate with Viacom portends a summer of bad news, television-wise.
No matter who you pick to serve up your TV, it looks like you’ll be getting screwed. Here’s how it breaks down.
No wonder HBO turned down The Corrections…they probably can’t afford it! Yesterday, the news broke that Luck, the David Milch/Michael Mann show that was put out to pasture after suffering from low ratings and terrible P.R. due to multiple horse deaths, cost parent company Time Warner $35 million to cancel.
But it doesn’t end there…the sinkhole of a show could continue to balloon in costs despite being off the air, thanks to a new filing by PETA to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office for an independent investigation of animal abuse.
On the Market
The real estate investor and British department store tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed is exploring a sale of the Manhattan office tower 75 Rockefeller Plaza.
According to executives who have been briefed on the offering, Mr. Al Fayed is aiming to negotiate a leasehold of the property in which he would continue to own the land under the 600,000-square-foot building and collect rent but put control of the asset in the hands of an investor.
While the football Giants will claim lots of attention in the coming days as they prepare to face the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, let’s not forget that there are a couple of other New York teams in action these days. The Knicks’ season is in full swing after the long lockout, and the Rangers look like they will be strong contenders for this year’s Stanley Cup.
This time of year should be heaven on earth for New York sports fans.
Digitas digital ad firm CEO Laura Lang has been picked to run Time Inc., Time Warner’s magazine business, reports Time Warner had been looking for a magazine chief since February,when Jack Griffin was fired after just five months on the job. Chairman Jeff Bewkes said that his management style “didn’t mesh” with Time Inc. and Read More
CNN has acquired San Francisco-based tech company Zite, CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton announced today. Zite is a free news app for iPads that collects user data to curate (or aggregate) a personalized variety of content from free sources accross the web in a magazine-style experience.
All of the Zite team is sticking around, though it will be a wholly owned subsidiary and stand-alone business of CNN.
Zite is a Flipboard competitor, and its curation practices have elicted a bunch of cease and desists from news producers like the Washington Post and the AP, according to TechCrunch.
Gawker’s retraction of their flubbed Arnold Schwarzenegger love child story wasn’t good enough for the former flight attendant Tammy Tousignant, whom it wrongly identified as the most recent employee/mistress/love child-bearer of Arnold Schwarzenegger. She’s filed a $40 million libel lawsuit against Gawker, National Enquirer, Daily Mail, and others, according to the OC Weekly.
“News crews and paparazzi converged on the Tousignants’ quiet Brea neighborhood,” says the lawsuit. “They were inundated with phone calls and messages. They were forced to flee their house and stay at another location. Tanner was followed. Their online accounts were hacked into. They were and continue to be the subject of scorn and scrutiny in their own community. Their reputations have been permanently damaged.”
The Hangover Part II, True Blood and Mortal Kombat 9, saved Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes told the The New York Times. On Wednesday the company, which owns Warner Brothers, Turner Broadcasting and Time Inc., reported a 10% increase in revenue this quarter, the highest growth since January.
Traditional media companies, the FCC’s “Future of Media Report” has nothing to offer you. [WSJ]
Time Warner is in talks to buy the American version of OK! magazine, which is like a British version of People, from owner Richard Desmond. [BSkyB]
NBCUniversal will pay Blackstone $1 B for their stake in Universal Read More
Off the Rails
Related’s Steve Ross is determined to get his Hudson Yards mega-development built. The developer began demolition work earlier this year, and a slew of new renderings has been trickling out online. He also boldly declared he would secure at least 3.5 million square feet of leases this year. One of those could be Read More
Facebook hosted a dinner last week for big Web publishers. Tina Brown was in attendance, along with reps from ESPN, The New York Times and Conde Nast.
According to Peter Kafka at All Things D, it’s part of a campaign by Facebook to woo big media and put itself in between consumers and the news Read More