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Archives: July 2007

Karmazin: XM-Sirius Merger Momentum Is Building

sirius_080107.jpgEven as Sirius narrowed their loss and raised revenues 51 percent to $226.4 million (and subscriber counts grew 53 percent), CBS Radio division revenues fell 11 percent to $463.4 million. From CNNMoney: “CBS’ radio division, which made headlines this year when it dropped talk show host Don Imus because of controversial remarks he made in reference to a women’s college basketball team, suffered from a weak advertising market.”

Somewhere, Howard Stern is smiling.

Overall, CBS didn’t do badly. While CBS television revenues fell 4 percent to $2.2 billion, Outdoor advertising revenue rose 4 percent and Simon & Schuster unit revenues rose by 14 percent. The Radio division, however, was a definite drag even as Sirius drew praise from Wall Street.

Last week, XM also reported a narrowing of their second quarter losses. “Momentum for the pending merger with XM continues to build,” said Sirius radio president and chief executive Mel Karmazin. “Support from our customers, suppliers, and other groups representing a diverse cross-section of Americans, clearly demonstrates the public interest benefits and enhanced competition that will come from the merger.”

Craig Moffett, an analyst for Sanford C. Bernstein gave the deal a “50-50″ chance of passing regulatory hurdles earlier this year.

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    Details In Greenwich Village NBC Death

    wilshie_073107.jpgThe story surrounding Eric Wishnie, the Emmy-winning NBC News producer who fell to his death in Greenwich Village yesterday, just gets more and more depressing. The Daily News reports that his 10-year marriage to Dateline‘s Dawn Fratangelo was in a state of collapse and that Wishnie was fired from NBC in 2006 because of his alcohol and pill addictions. Wishnie regularly had vodka delivered to his apartment, according to the Post. Brian Williams wrote a tribute to Wishnie in his blog:

    “As he had done for years with Tom Brokaw before me, Eric and I travelled the globe. The tsunami in Indonesia, the war in Iraq … we interviewed presidents and world leaders. He was an enormously talented producer and one of the funniest guys I’ve ever met … He raised self-effacing humor to an art form, and he is responsible for easily a quarter of all the music on my iPod. I would often come into work in the morning to find a new CD on my computer keyboard, along with a note from my friend and fellow music-lover Eric — saying that it was vital that I hear this particular new band. He left the News Division a while back, but the place still bears his mark. We will now bear the burden of his loss, along with his loved ones, and of not having Eric in our lives anymore.”

    Wishnie passed away after a 30-foot fall from the garden roof of his three-story apartment building at West 10th Street & Sixth Avenue. Police found a dozen vodka bottles, empty pill bottles and months of unopened mail inside.

    Letterman’s Mug On Ball St. Building | Financial Times Wants A Friend | Condé Goes To India | Vogue Wins Sept. Ad Page Battle | Your Juice Fix

    The Sun Defends … The Oreo

    0731oreo.jpgThe New York Sun, has published a gem of an op-ed called “Defending The Oreo“:

    Maybe the Post preferred Hydrox cookies and is bitter over the Oreo’s triumph over its longtime competitor, which was for many years distinguished for its use of vegetable shortening instead of the Oreo’s lard. Lard is gone from the Oreo, as are Hydrox from American supermarket shelves. What remains, apparently, is a reputation for a cookie whose cream and crunch Americans needn’t feel guilty about enjoying. The Post is certainly free to campaign against whatever food it wants to. For our part, if a friend of ours stops by when we are tucking into a dish of ice cream and Oreo cookies, they are welcome to share.

    In case you’re wondering, the Sun is upset the Washington Post ran an op-ed on obesity with the line “friends don’t let friends eat Oreos.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to newspaper wars, circa 2007.

    Times, Meet MSNBC. MSNBC, Meet Times.

    Hmm. The New York Times and MSNBC just entered into a content sharing agreement. NBC video will soon be appearing on the Times‘ web site and both will be cooperating on enterprise articles.

    According to Bill Keller: “In brief, the agreement goes like this: We will give NBC stories, graphics, pictures and the Caucus blog for their Web site. They will give us video for ours along with links that should expose many new readers to our online journalism.”

    True, but are they the type of readers who will click on Times ads and generate much needed online revenue for the Gray Lady? That remains to be seen.

    Esquire Takes On ‘To Catch A Predator’

    predator_hansen_nbc.jpgSeptember’s Esquire has a must-read feature on the death of assistant district attorney Bill Conradt as a result of a Dateline “To Catch A Predator” investigation. Luke Dittrich details the sting operation-turned-disaster that left one man dead and hundreds asking why. We’ll leave the money quotes for you to read, but trust us, it’s worth it.

    Can you say Ellie?

  • Tonight on Dateline This Man Will Die (Esquire)
  • Perez Hilton–Up like the Rocket, Down Like the Stick?

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    Perez Hilton continues his domination of the celeb blogosphere. And of course, he was the first to share the happy news yesterday by letting readers know that he set another traffic record to his PerezHilton.com with 8.82 million page views in 24 hours. In his post, he credited the high volume to “building momentum and keeping it going from the wonderful media attention” he’s managed to snag in recent weeks. Of course it helps that the main names he covers have had a rough few weeks (hello, Britney and Lindsay).
    A profile in the New York Times doesn’t hurt, either. In the article, TMZ topper Harvey Levin called him “edgy” and “aggressive” and the writer noted that he makes enough money to employ family members and pay for a two-bedroom apartment in a gated community.

    So where does he go from here? A close friend of FBLA who works at a famous magazine reminded me that all the NYT glory comes with a price.

    Everyone knows that once they do a story about you and all the old white people know who you are, you’re on your way down. You’re no longer edgy or hot.

    We’ll see…

    Chris Gardner, GE

    Uwe Boll vs. New York Post

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    German filmmaker Uwe Boll is popularly described as a “schlockmeister.” His specialty is producing film adaptations of video games — Boll’s CV includes House of the Dead, Alone in the Dark and BloodRayne (hey, Michelle Rodriguez needs parts too!). Three of his films have appeared on the IMDB’s 100 Worst Movies list. He also is known for publicity stunts like taking on his critics in boxing matches.

    Now Boll is being sued by the New York Post. Boll created pisstakes of the Post for his new film Postal at two sites: ny-postal.tk and postal-themovie.com/mag. The Post claims the film mocks 9/11 and that Boll’s satire constitutes theft of intellectual property.

    Does this mean we get to see Uwe Boll and Coll Allan in the boxing ring? God, we hope so.

    Boll’s fake Post in all its PC-baiting glory:

    Read more

    More Staff Changes at Variety

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    Guest editor Chris Gardner delivers!

    While the news of Elizabeth Guider’s appointment as Editor of The Hollywood Reporter is still fresh, there are a few other staff changes over at Variety that are interesting to point out. Former InStyle staffer Monica Corcoran, who joined Variety last year and has been serving as style editor and Stylephile blogger, has left the Wilshire Boulevard offices. I’m told she’s headed to the LA Times.

    Variety’s film staff has also seen some recent changes with the departure of box-office editor Ian Mohr who exited for a vp post in development and production with NY-based producer Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas’ production shingle. Also, fairly new film reporter Peter Gilstrap didn’t work out in the V offices and has already left the building.

    Robin Roberts Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

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    Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts announced that she has breast cancer. In an on-show announcement, Roberts told viewers that she will go into surgery on Friday and continue treatment afterwards. Roberts found a lump in her breast during a self-examination she gave herself after reporting on Joel Siegel‘s battle with cancer. Thankfully, her disease is in an early stage and a full recovery is expected.

    In a statement to viewers, Roberts promissed that her “doctor expects me to be flying plans and hanging on to submarines in the middle of the Atlantic and scaling the Mayan Pyramids in no time in the mornings to come.”

    The in-house announcement from GMA‘s Senior EP, Jim Murphy:

    Read more

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