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Archives: July 2007

Dow Jones & News Corp.: Takeover Deal Approved

As of 9:25AM, CNBC is reporting that Dow Jones has agreed to a takeover by News Corp. David Faber stated a definitive agreement will be announced tonight … Right now the main issue for both News Corp. & DJ/Wall Street Journal is how much of the legal and advisory fees Rupert Murdoch will pay. According to Faber:

“It did come awfully close, in fact, closer than many had anticipated. But at the end of the day, according to people who were working on this, a number of the Bancrofts who had been somewhat vocal in their opposition — Chris Bancroft for example — seemed suddenly at the realization that they were going to have to pay all these banking fees said ‘Wait a second. Hey, if you pay my fees, I’ll give you my vote.’ And that may have turned it.”

Again, developing. As usual, the Times offers coverage of the latest Bancroft rifts.

UPDATE: It’s official. Dow Jones exec John Prestbo confirms Dow Jones “will be part of News Corp.”

LAT in 90: Good Things Come in Multiples

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Heaven’s got a helluva backlot
First Kovacs, then Bergman, and now Antonioni. Is the Grim Reaper taking requests?

Snow Toes
First frozen psuedo-yogurt, now foot rubs. Why not splurge and go for the combo?

Two-fer
Earl Ofari Hutchinson jumps to defend Yvonne Braithwaite Burke. It’s all about King-Drew, not her residency. Which is probably true–she defends incompetency and breaks the rules. The DA’s office is intrigued.

VooDoo Child
Nicholas Cage and his son, Weston are have a comic book.
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Lyricist Marty Panzer Speaks! At ANMT

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Marty Panzer, multi-platinum, award winning lyricist for Barry Manilow, Walt Disney, and many, many others, will speak about the art and craft of lyric writing. as well as some observations on the current marketplace, personal remembrances, and we hope, a little dish at a special event at Academy for New Musical Theatre.

Salon at the Academy for New Musical Theatre (ANMT) in No. Hollywood, CA on Sunday, August 5th, 2-6pm, but registration closes tomorrow, August 1st.

(photo by Phil Christie)

National Archives Selling Historic Films on Amazon

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Amazon and a California subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs, will make and sell DVDs of footage from the Universal Newsreel collection in the National Archives. according to the Washington Post.

The first six DVDs became available on Amazon July 16 and include scenes of the famous 1959 “Kitchen Debate” between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen on display in Moscow. Other footage shows a youthful Fidel Castro after the communist revolution in Cuba, along with reports about Hawaii becoming a state, and the Soviet space program.

The DVDs from the CustomFlix Labs DVD on Demand program are produced only when a customer makes a purchase and can be delivered within 24 hours.

While the deal is a boon for the National Archives and Amazon, it’s less than fabulous for smaller footage archives, who can’t compete with the $19.95 charge.

Vanity Fair‘s Judy vs. Rudy’s Judi

0730rudyjudi.jpgBut please, call her Judith.

The September issue of Vanity Fair has an extensive takedown piece on Judith Giuliani authored by Judy Bachrach. Page Six said it described Giuliani as an “opportunistic, puppy-killing homewrecker who has a full-time hairstylist and needs an extra seat on plans for ‘Baby Louis,’ her Luis Vuitton handbag.” Pretty brutal, but the article is even worse. Much worse than the relatively sympathetic profile of her in New York magazine. Highlights/lowlights:

Read more

Nan Talese: Oprah Exhibited ‘Fiercely Bad Manners’

Oprah-Frey-Talese-4.jpgThe French have a phrase, spirit de l’escalier, or the wit of the staircase. At the bottom of that staircase, after a verbal drubbing, there comes to you the perfect, syntactically elegant retort that might have silenced one’s nemesis moments previous. Unfortunately, it comes to you several minutes too late.

Nan Talese‘s espirit de l’escalier surfaces a year and a half after her cringe-worthy Oprah appearance. Talese, publisher and editorial director of the Nan A. Talese/Doubleday imprint, quietly suffered her spanking — or, as Slate’s Tim Noah called it at the time a “televised interrogation” — at the hands of Oprah Winfrey and her studio audience over James Frey‘s nonfactual-memoir, A Million Little Pieces. A portion of Talese’s exchange with Oprah:

Q: (I)n a press release sent out for the book in 2004, by your company, the book was described as “brutally honest and an altering look at addiction.” So how can you say that if you haven’t checked it to be sure?

A: You know, Oprah, I mean, I think this whole experience is very sad. It’s very sad for you. It’s very sad for us.

Q: It’s not sad for me. It’s embarrassing and disappointing for me.”

From the Dallas Morning News:

Publisher Nan A. Talese took up a fresh defense of A Million Little Pieces this weekend, defending the “essential truth” of the discredited memoir — while criticizing Oprah Winfrey and her fans. Asked about the book during a session at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Writers Conference of the Southwest on Saturday, Ms. Talese said her experience with author James Frey had not changed the way she handled memoirs. “I’m afraid I’m unapologetic of the whole thing,” she said. “And the only person who should be apologetic is Oprah Winfrey,” who she says exhibited “fiercely bad manners — you don’t stone someone in public, which is just what she did.”

— Ron Mwangaguhunga

Clock Ticking For Murdoch-Dow Jones

So the word is that the Bancroft family has until 5:00PM to approve the sale of the Wall Street Journal. In a statement, News Corp said it was “highly unlikely” that they would proceed with their bid unless they had clear backing from the Bancrofts. Right now, a Bancroft approval for selling Dow Jones is looking iffy.

On the NYSE, Dow Jones’ shares are on a roller coaster. At 12:30pm, they were selling for $50.93. As of 3:30PM, they’re $43.84. Interesting.

Refresh for updates …

Debt Market Turmoil Thwarts Diller

FF_diller_1.jpgTiming is everything, and the kindness of the lenders has cooled considerably. IAC chief Barry Diller, who controls 27 percent of the common-stock of Expedia, the largest online travel agency in the world, was seeking to extend his control over the company until he ran into the debt market crisis. Diller announced in June his share-repurchase plan to borrow $3.5 billion to buy back 42 percent of its stock. From the WSJ:

“Though he’s keeping quiet, all of this looks like a drag for Mr. Diller, who also controls IAC/InterActiveCorp, a Web conglomerate. (IAC and Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, have announced they’ll launch a joint-venture personal-finance site.) By not selling any of his 27 percent of Expedia’s common stock in the buyback, he would’ve cemented his control over the company and been left with a 52 percent stake. That’s what made the deal look like an LBO in sheep’s clothing.”

Last Monday the stock price of Expedia was down 9.1 percent, “the steepest in 14 months,” noted Bloomberg. At press time, however, in advance of the Thursday, August 2 earnings call, Expedia share prices were up two percent.

— Ron Mwangaguhunga

FishbowlNY’s Five: Michael Musto: ‘I Am The Dr. Frankenstein Behind Perez’

musto_150.jpgVillage Voice columnist and self-proclaimed “recovering TV-soundbyte whoreMichael Musto took a break from his exhaustive media schedule this weekend of commenting on cable on the Britney-Lohan scandals to catch up with FishbowlNY:

FishbowlNY: Do you think the whole Britney-chicken grease thing will actually turn OK! to the dark side of “The Gossip”?

Musto: No, I actually think it will launch a line of Alisha Levine wet naps, as well as a collection of Zac Posen toilet paper for trailer trash dogs.

FBNY: I saw you on a BET talking heads show and thought, “I’m going to name him an honorary black man.” And so, I did. How does it feel to be a black man in America?

Musto: I used to joke, “I’ve been on every single channel except BET.” Then BET called. Ever since then, I’ve been extremely honored to be black. But I resent the suggestion that I’m a man — I’m actually the new Della Reese!

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All The Lohans, All The Angst

Tabloid Baby has been working overtime, trying to straighten out the whole Lohan clan.

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Michael Lohan is out of the joint and back on the street, but not in the way you think.

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Lindsay Lohan should find a new crowd to hang with.

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