• Suitors Submitting New Bids To MGM
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. is asking suitors to submit new bids for the studio by mid-March, about two weeks before its respite from interest payments expires. Billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, Time Warner Inc., Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Liberty Media Corp. are among the potential buyers examining MGM books. . MGM's big draw is its assets, which potential buyers are trying to determine. The sale is the result of failing to make payments on $3.7 billion in debt. The MGM assets include a 4,100-movie library, future "Bond" movies and rights to co-distribute films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit."
  • Broadcast News Cuts Threaten Long-Term Viability
    Staff cuts at two of the biggest broadcast-television news outfits in the U.S. foreshadow a shift toward cheaper TV news gathering, as broadcast-news groups face shrinking profits and increasing competition from cable and the Internet. ABC just cut one-quarter of its news staff, a few weeks after CBS shed more than 6% of its staff and three years after NBC began staff losses. The cuts raise the question of how long news organizations can continue to do more with less. "This is more, done differently," said David Westin, president of ABC News. "I'm finding out, 'Can we thrive ...
  • 'NYT,' 'WSJ' Battle For Luxury Advertisers
    How much of a threat does The Wall Street Journal's New York metro section, still unconfirmed but now expected this April, pose to The New York Times? Two big accounts that may have the Grey Lady concern: Bloomingdale's and Bergdorf Goodman. The retailers will each advertise in WSJ's New York section. Both stores traditionally spend far more in the Times than in the Journal: Bloomingdale's, for example, spent $17.9 million in the Times last year while devoting less than $1 million to the Journal, according to estimates from Kantar Media. Bloomingdale's operates stores around the country, and the ...
  • 'Newsweek' Stab At Lower Circ May Not Pay Off
    Newsweek's plans to reshape the magazine into a lower-circulation weekly with a more Economist-like feel do not seem to be paying off. Tucked in the fourth-quarter earnings report from parent Washington Post Company were numbers suggesting the magazine lost $28.1 million in 2009, the first year of the process. The company said its magazine unit -- encompassing only Newsweek and the recently divested Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel -- lost $29.3 million last year, as revenue declined by 27 percent to $184.2 million. Budget Travel was responsible for a loss of $1.2 million on revenue of $18.7 million. Since Newsweek ...
  • NBC Needs To Groom Leno Successor
    Though his good-guy image took a serious hit during the battle with Conan O'Brien over "Tonight's" host chair, many analysts expect Jay Leno, who turns 60 in April, to win back most of his old fan base, which made the show No. 1 in late night during most of his 17-year tenure. The long-term future of the franchise, however, is up for grabs. NBC needs to find his replacement. Perhaps more distressing for NBC executives, pulling Leno out of prime time has meant a developing expensive scripted dramas for the 10 p.m. hour -- a luxury it said ...
  • Disney Uses Comics, Games To Capture Boys
    Disney Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger is on a spending spree at the world's biggest media company to transform his film studio, amusement parks and stores. In fiscal 2009, net income at Disney fell 25 percent to $3.3 billion -- the worst annual performance in Iger's five-year reign -- and was almost flat in the first quarter of 2010 compared with a year earlier. To repeat the "Hannah Montana" success it had with girls, Iger is pouring billions into attracting a new generation of kids -- primarily boys -- raised on violent video games and reality shows. To draw ...
  • Internet TV Won't Always Be Free
    In the near future, TV is going to be available anywhere, but don't expect it to be free. Viewers are already taking full advantage of online television, but advertisers are coy about the medium. Broadcast networks make many of their shows available on Web sites like Hulu and YouTube a day after they air, and many cable stations also put their shows on the Web. But advertisers are paying the same rates online. In December, more than 178 million Americans watched TV online, streaming 33 billion shows, according to comScore. In the traditional TV model, networks get paid ...
  • Cablevision Rolls Out Network DVR
    Cablevision Systems Corp plans to roll out its controversial remote storage digital video recorder in April, doing away with the need to buy and install DVR boxes in subscribers' homes. The RS-DVR technology enables subscribers to store TV programs on the cable operator's computer servers, then play back at will. When plans for the network-based DVR were first announced in 2006, several major program owners sued the cable operator claiming it was illegal. Cablevision won the case on appeal and last June the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a counter appeal by the film studios and television networks, opening the ...
  • Diller, Silverman Check Out FitTV
    Media moguls Barry Diller and Ben Silverman have proposed acquiring a piece of FitTV. They would like to enter into a joint venture with Discovery Communications, which owns the channel, according to an industry source. FitTV is one of Discovery's smallest channels, available in 50 million homes. But it bills itself as an interactive channel that "inspires consumers to improve their fitness and well-being -- on their own terms." Discovery is no stranger to famous alliances. It teamed with Oprah Winfrey to launch OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network early next year on what is currently Discovery Health. And it ...
  • BIM Acquires TitanTV
    Broadcast Interactive Media has acquired Decisionmark Corp. (dba TitanTV Media). Founded in 1993, TitanTV is an online software and information provider to the broadcast industry, delivering data and real-time information for signal coverage, PSIP, and contract management, as well as TV listings, program guides, and its proprietary TitanCast video syndication platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The deal means BIM and TitanTV clients will now have access to an integrated suite of technology services, advertising tools and a content syndication platform through one integrated partnership. BIM supplies locally-focused advertising, content and technical solutions for local media sites. ...
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