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Posts Tagged ‘Alex Ben Block’

John Tesh Outlines His Plans for ‘Guerilla Television’

JohnTeshHeadshotThe models of success for John Tesh‘s fall 2014 return to syndicated TV include RightThisMinute and The Better Show. After a decade of co-hosting the Christian-themed radio program Intelligence for Your Life with wife Connie Sellecca and stepson Gib Gerard, Tesh is expanding to the airwaves in the fall.

The daily TV show, also titled Intelligence for Your Life, is being bankrolled via TeshMedia with a relatively miniscule budget of $5 million. Tesh told THR senior editor Alex Ben Block that he is targeting cities where his radio show is most popular:

To sell Intelligence, Tesh recruited former Paramount TV executive Mark Dvornik, who says it will debut this fall even if he can’t sign up affiliates in the biggest markets. Dvornik expects to be in 65 percent to 75 percent of U.S. TV homes – including those in Detroit, New Orleans and San Francisco – but probably not in New York or LA at launch. The show also will air in 110 smaller markets on The CW.

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Hollywood Reporter Delivers a Leno Lollapalooza

You’d think a guy who took a huge pay cut in 2012 on behalf of one of NBC’s few TV ratings hits would be bullet proof within the network’s executive ranks. But while Matthew Belloni’s Hollywood Reporter cover story about Jay Leno does not pinpoint the two “high-level industry sources” that leaked information to colleague Kim Masters for a March 1 item, the embattled Tonight Show host clearly believes the bleed was carved from the Peacock. Rather than, say, a Big Four talent agency or entertainment attorney’s office.

From Belloni’s piece:

Sources say Leno, when he signed his most recent deal, expected it could be his last at the network. But he is said to have been upset by what he perceived to be an NBC leak to THR and by the prospect of another messy transition that would play out in the press.

Can’t blame (the soon-to-be 63-year-old) Leno for that. No comedian likes to be so consistently heckled, even a road warrior like Leno. The prospect of 16 more months of media-amplified cat calls of “You suck!” is no laughing matter.

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Yahoo GM, EIC Moves Over to Hollywood Reporter

Film editor Gregg Kilday, senior editors Alex Ben Block and Borys Kit and the rest of The Hollywood Reporter film team have a new colleague starting today. He is Sean Phillips (pictured), making the jump after a long and illustrious stint with Yahoo.

From Janice Min‘s internal communiqué:

I’m very pleased to announce that Sean Phillips is joining us as executive producer of THR.com’s movies coverage. As such he’ll be responsible for expanding our digital coverage of movies with a particular focus on growing our already-expanding consumer audience.

Sean has significant experience in this area. While at Yahoo over the last nine years, he has focused on content programming and worked closely with the sales and marketing teams to help expand the Yahoo! Movies audience from about 5 million monthly unique users to more than 32 million monthly uniques, and helped drive the business from $6-7 million in sales to $38 million annually.

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Larry King Reminds at NATPE: It’s Who You Know

Although the biggest news to come out of Guggenheim Digital Media CEO Ross Levinsohn‘s chat at NATPE in Miami Beach today with Larry King is the imminent announcement of UK-Australia distribution for the talk show host’s ambitious endeavor Larry King Now, we were struck by the idea that even for someone like King, it’s who you know.

Per a report by THR‘s Alex Ben Block, King explained just how casually the whole Ora TV opportunity came about. It must be nice when things like this can happen at your dinner table:

He said that he met the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim when he went to Mexico for a charity event. Later Slim came to his home in Los Angeles for dinner and asked what King wanted to do next. King’s wife suggested he do a new talk show on the Internet, and Slim agreed to provide financing.

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Guggenheim Partners Set to Acquire Dick Clark Productions

Even though The Hollywood Reporter has a very direct connection to private equity behemoth Guggenheim Partners, reporter Alex Ben Block writes that he was unable to get reps to comment on his report that the firm is successfully pulling a Dodgers strategy with Dick Clark Productions.

Block’s sources say that thanks to Guggenheim’s willingness to go ten percent higher than other bidders, the company will soon be adding to the west coast Dodgers portfolio a production company synonymous with the annual Golden Globes and American Music Awards telecasts:

The deal is expected to close in the next week or two, according to sources familiar with the negotiations. After entertaining several offers, DCP owner Red Zone Capital is now negotiating exclusively with Guggenheim.

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Exiting AMPAS President Recalls the One and Only Time He Ignored the Press

It’s still tantalizing to think how much more electric and entertaining the 84th Annual Academy Awards telecast could have been with Eddie Murphy as host instead of Billy Crystal. As part of an extensive THR interview marking today’s official changing of the AMPAS presidential guard, Tom Sherak (pictured) says dealing with the fallout from Brett Ratner’s ArcLight Q&A remarks was not nearly as hard as people made it seem.

However, he tells Alex Ben Block those events did lead him to divert from his usual M.O.:

“I remember it was the first time in my career that I didn’t return a press call. The first time in all the years I’ve been out here, since ’83, the first time. … If a press person calls me, I give them the respect of calling them back. I do. They’ve got a job to do.”

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Tatiana Siegel Segues Back to The Hollywood Reporter

It’s been a while since a reporter jumped the bridge from one of Hollywood’s oldest trade publications to the other.

Tatiana Siegel, who worked for The Hollywood Reporter from 2003-2007 before later stinting at Variety, is now back with THR as a contributing editor. She joins a film team managed by Gregg Kilday that includes Tim Appelo, Alex Ben Block, Borys Kit and Pamela McClintock. Per today’s announcement:

Siegel will be based on the east coast and will contribute to coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival in September. She will also continue to make appearances as a film expert on TV networks.

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LA Press Club Announces Nominees for Journalist of the Year

In the category of 2012 Radio Journalist of the Year, KCRW’s Warren Olney is surrounded. Per this weekend’s preliminary announcement of finalists for the LA Press Club’s 54th SoCal Journalism Awards, his fellow nominees are all sixth-tenths of a click down the FM dial: KPCC’s Larry Mantle, Stephanie O’Neill, Molly Peterson and Frank Stolze.

Dylan Howard, last year’s Entertainment Journalist of the Year, is nominated once again in that category. The only difference is that this time around, he’s representing celebuzz.com rather than Star magazine and Radar Online. For the repeat, he will have to best Nikki Finke, THR’s Alex Ben Block and LA Weekly film critic Karina Longworth.

Meanwhile, despite a recent LA riots coverage snafu, Longworth’s alt-weekly colleague Simone Wilson is in the Online Journalist of the Year bracket, alongside a bunch of political outlet heavyweights. She’ll have to beat CNN.com’s Michael Martinez, Truthdig’s Chris Hedges, The Huffington Post’s Robert David Jaffe and the enviroreporter.com tandem of Michael Collins and Denise Ann Duffield.

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Access Hollywood Renewed, with Pay Cuts

Alex Ben Block at the Hollywood Reporter has been all over the story of Access Hollywood’s recent belt-tightening. He was the first to report the show had laid off 14 staffers and last night once again had the exclusive details on how the program is further moving forward.

The good news is that the syndicated entertainment news magazine has been renewed for three more seasons. The bad news is that this comes at a cost for most of the program’s remaining employees:

Some of the show’s production staff are grumbling over most employees’ salaries being cut. The pay cuts, which sources said were announced to staff on Monday, range from 10 percent to 20 percent per employee.

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Fine Print Frames Dick Clark-HFPA Dispute

In 1993, The Player was a Golden Globe winner for Best Feature, Musical or Comedy. In 2001, one of the HFPA awards show honors went to Gene Hackman for his portrayal of Royal Tenenbaum.

Now, courtesy of Alex Ben Block in this week’s Hollywood Reporter magazine, we have a detailed breakdown of the royal Tinseltown ruckus at the center of an ongoing legal dispute between Dick Clark Productions (DCP) and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over rights to the organization’s lucrative annual awards show. DCP claims that contracts from those two above-mentioned years are key:

DCP says the contract language, which grants it rights to produce the Globes “for any extensions, renewals, substitutions or modifications of the NBC agreement,” means it can work on the telecast as long as it remains on NBC. The company argues that it single-handedly built the Globes into the international showbiz event it has become, more than justifying its perpetual rights.

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