MORNING ROUNDUP: Jerry Bruckheimer Games in Limbo Now That MTV Aims to Sell Business
PLUS: Google offers employee $3.5 million to turn down job at Facebook, Sapphire plans to pen sequel to Precious, Tina Brown officially confirms Newsweek-Daily Beast merger.
- Viacom's announcement that it will sell video game developer and Rock Band creator Harmonix could have fallout for Hollywood star producer Jerry Bruckheimer, according to the Los Angeles Times. Three years ago, Bruckheimer Games, which is co-owned by the producer and the entertainment company's MTV, agreed to publish games via Viacom. According to the Times, it is unclear whether Bruckheimer and its games partner will figure out a way to stay together or whether Bruckheimer will sign a deal with a new publisher or maybe even end its efforts. People familiar with the matter told the paper that the company is currently assessing its options.
- Newsweek magazine and The Daily Beast, part of Barry Diller's IAC, formally unveiled their deal to merge in a joint venture, owned equally by Sidney Harman and IAC, early Friday - and the partners touted each other's complementary strengths. "In an admittedly challenging time, this merger provides the ideal combination of established journalism authority and bright, bristling website savvy," Harman said. And Tina Brown, who will lead the combined entity as editor-in-chief, said: "The metabolism of The Daily Beast will help power the resurgence of Newsweek, and Newsweek amplifies the range of talent and audience The Daily Beast can reach."
- A few days after it was revealed that Google was offering its staffers a 10% raise and a $1,000 tax-free bonus to retain top talent, now comes news that it gave one employee $3.5 million in stock options not to defect to Facebook. The employee stayed at Google, reports TechCrunch.
- The Winklevoss twins have been ordered to pay the lawyers who defended their company ConnectU against Facebook $13 million, according to TechCrunch. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are currently battling Mark Zuckerberg in another lawsuit, claiming they deserve more than an earlier settlement of $60 million for inventing Facebook.
- Michael Jackson's first posthumous single, a duet with rapper Akon, will go on sale Monday. (The singer debuted another song, "Breaking News," on his website earlier this week.) "Hold My Hand" was recorded in 2007, and leaked before it was finished in 2008. Sony/Epic said Akon recently wrapped up production on the track, which will appear on the album, Michael, set to hit stores Dec. 14.
- Up in the Air star Vera Farmiga welcomed a baby girl named Gytta Lubov, her rep confirms. The Oscar nominee filmed her George Clooney starrer just two weeks after having her son, Fynn.