• Clear Channel Restructuring Inevitable
    A restructuring of radio broadcaster Clear Channel Communications is inevitable, though its private-equity owners Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners may delay it as long as possible, Moody's Investors Service said in a new report. Issuing additional debt would only postpone a restructuring. The company will still face a critical hurdle in 2016, when about $13.8 billion of debt comes due, and leverage is expected to remain too high to attract more investment and refinance the debt, Moody's said. Even though it will likely begin to generate modest free cash flow in 2013, it is not expected to ...
  • TV Deals Squeeze Residuals
    TV studios and broadcast networks are demanding new talent concessions to trim off-the-top costs like residuals. The test deals, which set the terms of employment for both the pilot and series, are tough for talent reps to negotiate because they must be signed before an actor auditions -- when he or she has little leverage to extract concessions. Several studios now are including non-negotiable language allowing residuals for a first prime-time rerun to be considered a "prepayment" of a regular's series compensation. For example, an actor who makes $30,000 an episode as a regular on a broadcast series usually ...
  • Cowell New Series To Premiere On Hulu
    'American Idol' creator Simon Fuller's first original series, "If I Can Dream," will premiere March 2 on Hulu. The reality-type show revolves around five young people chasing after their dream careers in Los Angeles. Hulu calls the show groundbreaking and the News Corp-NBC-owned entity hopes to turn a relatively high-budget Web TV show into a hit by cutting out television broadcast altogether. Additionally, fans can watch the cast 24/7 at ificandream.com. Aspiring artists can also submit video auditions to the show on MySpace.
  • Hearst Newspapers Farm Out Sports Reporting
    Hearst Newspapers, owner of the San Francisco Chronicle, made a deal with "citizen sportswriters" business "Bleacher Report" for some of the news in its sports section. The co-branded work will appear on various newspapers Web sites, including SF Chrnoicle, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News and the SeattlePI.com Web site. "Bleacher Report" was started a year ago by Dave Finocchio, Zander Freund, Bryan Goldberg and Dave Nemetz, who describe themselves as four "obsessed sports fans from the Bay Area." Bleacher bills itself as "the world's largest publisher of exclusively fan-generated sports reporting." The special local sections of the newspapers ...
  • Chernin In Search Of Cable Buy
    Eight months after leaving the News Corp. executive suite, Peter Chernin has put together an A-list team to help him run his new company -- Chernin Entertainment. He's assembled a top team of former studio executives and business development pros. Now he's on the lookout for a cable channel to buy, according to one well-placed source. Fuse may be a possible candidate for purchase -- and could be revamped into a general-interest network. If he is looking for a film library, some are on the block. Disney is trying to unload Miramax, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is in need of a ...
  • PBS Revisits 'Sherlock Holmes,' 'Upstairs'
    PBS' "Masterpiece Theater" will co-produce a remake of "Upstairs Downstairs," as well as new series based on Sherlock Holmes and Aurelio Zen novels. In this rendition, Holmes gets a 21-st century spin on the classic 19th-century Conan Doyle detective stories and stars Benedict Cumberbatch ("Atonement,") as Holmes and Martin Freeman (U.K.'s "The Office," "Hot Fuzz") as Dr. Watson. On a more traditional note, two 90-minute "Upstairs Downstairs" films will air in 2011 and be set in the same house as the original, but in 1936, during the period leading up to World War II. The original "Upstairs Downstairs" ...
  • Big Names Booked For 'Leno' Return
    Sarah Palin, Olympic gold-medal snowboarder Shaun White, Olympic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn and Jamie Foxx are among the big names who will not take up Team CoCo's call to boycott Jay Leno when he returns to NBC's "The Tonight Show" starting March 1. By March 4, Matthew McConaughey and Jason Reitman are scheduled to sit down with Jay. Morgan Freeman and Meredith Vieira are set for March 5. And Leno will talk to Simon Cowell his second week back. Die-hard fans of Conan O'Brien, who had hoped A-listers would boycott Leno's "Tonight Show" to show their disapproval of ...
  • Wal-Mart Buys Online Movie Service
    The idea of an Internet-ready home entertainment setup has a powerful new backer: Wal-Mart. The retailer is buying Vudu, a Silicon Valley start-up whose 3-year-old online movie service is being built into a number of TVs and Blu-ray players. The two companies began informing Hollywood studios and television manufacturers of the deal on Monday; Wal-Mart expects to close within a few weeks. The move could impact the TV business, analysts say. Consumers will have added reasons to watch entertainment from sources other than their cable or satellite company, potentially motivating more to cancel subscriptions and buy Internet-ready televisions and ...
  • Franken: Put All NBC, Comcast Shows Online
    Sen. Al Franken is a harsh critic of the Comcast, NBCU $30-billion proposed marriage. Now he wants Comcast and NBC Universal to promise that it will put all its TV shows online. He also wants assurances that programs areavailable to every one and not just people who get their Internet service through Comcast. As Franken notes in his questions to the two companies: "The Internet is the future of the media business." The media is on board with that idea, but it's also not sure how to ensure that the Internet isn't the end of the media business. Various ...
  • Interactive, VOD Ads On Rise
    In 2010, three key areas will start to show critical momentum: interactive ads that let viewers request more information, coupons or product samples; video-on-demand ads that can be served on the fly; and wider availability and use of set-top box metrics for measuring TV viewing. According to Parks Associates projections, advanced advertising revenue for the pay-TV industry will grow from $130 million in 2010, or 0.5% of their total ad revenue, to more than $4 billion by 2014, representing 12% share of the total. "Traditional TV ad dollars will quickly shift, at rates we've never seen before, to interactive ...
« Previous EntriesNext Entries »