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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 […]

As Dawn Ostroff Exits, Spotify Rethinks Rich Talent Deals

On Jan. 23, as Spotify staff learned of plans to lay off 6 percent of the company, or about 600 people, top podcast executives at the audio giant went into damage-control mode. Most notable among the departures was Dawn Ostroff, the chief content and advertising business officer who was hired in 2018 to build out Spotify’s podcasting […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Justin Roiland Resigns From Squanch Games Following Domestic Abuse Charges

Justin Roiland has resigned from the video game developer he co-founded, Squanch Games, as he faces felony domestic abuse charges. On Tuesday, the High on Life developer announced that Roiland had tendered his resignation as CEO on Jan. 16, four days after a NBC News revealed the creator was facing one count of domestic battery […]

Ex-Fox News Employee Laura Luhn Sues Network Over Roger Ailes’ Sexual Harassment and Blackmail

Former Fox News employee Laura Luhn is suing the network over decades of alleged abuse by late CEO Roger Ailes — including an allegation that he blackmailed her with sexually explicit videos. The suit, which also includes claims against former co-president Bill Shine and parent company 21st Century Fox, is being filed under New York’s […]

Better Off Alone? Why the Murdochs Called Off a Fox-News Corp Merger

What alternative deals could Fox Corp. and News Corp explore now that media mogul Rupert Murdoch has pulled the plug on his proposal to merge the two and reunite his media empire, which had split in 2013 to focus on different businesses and strategic priorities? Wall Street experts have started debating this question after the […]