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Spotify Rethinks Rich Talent Deals

As the Sweden-based audio giant cuts staff and reorients its business toward better margins, insiders say leadership is less focused on non-IP-driven original content and more careful about expensive deals with high-wattage stars.

Latest Business

Why a Video Game Studio Is Banking on a TikTok Star to Introduce a Franchise

The timeline for a successful video game franchise usually goes like this: The game comes out and soon becomes popular among players. Avid fans start creating content inspired by the game and their favorite characters, helping bring that IP into pop culture. There might be a movie or TV adaptation. And as more people are […]

Latest COVID Safety Agreement Extension Loosens Rules When Hospital Admissions Low

The latest extension to Hollywood’s COVID-19 safety agreement loosens protocols when COVID-19 hospital admissions are low. The two-tiered agreement, first put into effect in September 2020, establishes strict protocols (listed under “Part I” of the agreement) when a production is staged in a county or metropolitan area with 14 or more hospital admissions for COVID-19 […]

Berk Brettler: Hollywood Power Lawyers Talk Teaming Up for New Firm

Blair Berk and Andrew Brettler, two of the entertainment industry’s most well-known and respected lawyers, have teamed up to combine their civil and criminal practices into a one-stop-shop boutique firm.  A go-to civil litigator and fixture on THR‘s Power Lawyers list, Brettler has a client including Chelsea Handler, Sydney Sweeney, Amy Robach and Kevin O’Leary. […]

Wall Street Has a Cautious Outlook on NBCUniversal After Comcast Earnings

Comcast mostly drew a thumbs-up from Wall Street with its fourth-quarter earnings report Thursday that met or exceeded forecasts in key areas. But analysts remain cautious on the outlook for NBCUniversal amid cord-cutting and streaming investments that have affected many media and entertainment stocks. “We’re Warming on Cable, Still Cold on NBCU,” Wells Fargo analyst […]

Saudi Arabia’s Hollywood Dealmaking Ambitions Grow Despite Backlash

Saudi Arabia and its sovereign wealth fund have quietly — and in some cases, not so quietly — built a multibillion-dollar foothold in Hollywood, four years after much of the industry cut ties with the country in response to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. This time around, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, […]

Charter Loses 144,000 Pay TV Subs in Fourth Quarter, Adds 105,000 Broadband Users

Cable giant Charter Communications, in which John Malone’s Liberty Broadband owns a big stake, reported its fourth-quarter results Friday, including slowed broadband subscriber growth and a bigger pay-TV user loss than in the year-ago period. The company, led by its new president and CEO Chris Winfrey, lost 144,000 pay-TV subscribers in its latest quarter, compared with a loss […]

BuzzFeed Stock Surges After Touting OpenAI Content Generation Plan

BuzzFeed shares soared on Thursday after CEO Jonah Peretti said the company would embrace the application programming interface from OpenAI — the artificial intelligence company behind ChatGPT and DALL-E — to personalize content like quizzes for users. Shares of BZFD closed at $2.09 on Thursday, with after-hours trading pushing the stock price up higher. The […]

Hasbro to Lay Off 1,000 Staffers, 15 Percent of Workforce, Amid Cost-Savings Push

The toy and entertainment giant Hasbro says that it will cut its workforce by 15 percent, or 1,000 employees, in the coming weeks. The significant layoffs are part of a larger restructuring and cost-savings effort underway, with the company having already put its TV and film division Entertainment One up for sale. “We are focused […]

Dotdash Meredith to Cut 274 Staffers Amid “Economic Uncertainty”

Dotdash Meredith, which publishes People, Better Homes & Gardens and InStyle, will lay off 7 percent of its employees. In a memo sent to staff Thursday, CEO Neil Vogel said the cuts were coming as the publisher was impacted by the “broader challenges of the ad industry and of the economy as a whole.” The […]

DirecTV Adds Conservative Network ‘The First’ to Lineup After Dropping Newsmax

DirecTV is adding a new conservative network to its lineup, one day after it stopped carrying Newsmax and faced pushback from Republican lawmakers.  The TV provider said on Thursday it had signed a multi-year agreement with The First, which features shows by Dana Loesch and Bill O’Reilly, to carry the network for free across its […]

NBCUniversal CEO: “We Are Always Looking for Bolt-On Acquisitions”

Will they or won’t they buy anything? And if so, what? With M&A speculation regularly swirling around the entertainment industry, including NBCUniversal owner Comcast, the cable giant’s executive team was quizzed on its appetite for acquisitions during the company’s earnings conference call on Thursday. Comcast and NBCUniversal have in the past been mentioned as possible […]

FTX Bankruptcy: Comcast, Fox, CAA, Netflix Listed as Creditors to Crypto Firm

The bankruptcy of crypto firm FTX could lead a bevy of companies with ties to Hollywood out in the cold.  Unsealed court filings released Thursday list the corporate creditors of the Sam Bankman-Fried founded crypto firm, and they include many blue chip companies in the technology and media sectors.  Among the creditors are Comcast, the owner of […]

Peacock Tops 20M Subs, Quarterly Loss Widens to $978M, Management Sees $3B Peak Loss in 2023

Peacock, the streaming service of Comcast’s entertainment unit NBCUniversal, grew its revenue and subscribers in the fourth quarter, but its loss widened again compared with the year-ago period. In a conference call, management reiterated that the streamer’s loss would peak this year, predicting a loss of $3 billion. Comcast’s earnings report for the final period of 2022 […]

Facebook Allows Donald Trump Back on Platform

Former president Donald Trump is returning to Facebook. Two years after the social platform banned him from its service in the wake of the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, the company says that he can now return. “The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances, Meta policy chief Nick Clegg wrote in a […]

Madison Square Garden’s Use of Face Recognition Tech Under Investigation by N.Y. Attorney General

New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. and its reported practice of using facial recognition software to bar lawyers involved in litigation against the company from attending events.  In a letter sent Tuesday to Madison Square Garden Entertainment, which owns Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, the […]