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Posts Tagged ‘Amy Pascal’

Nikki Finke Cranks Out Her Best New Story Yet

JeffBlakePicWhy did Nikki Finke return to the Internet airwaves, under threat of litigation from her former boss Jay Penske? So she could continue sharing stories like this one.

Finke’s behind-the-scenes account of what led to this week’s forced exit of Sony Pictures Entertainment vice chairman Jeff Blake (pictured) expertly triangulates his fate with the politics of a conglomerated studio lot, the machinations of Dan Loeb and the actions of Blake’s scrambling, fearful bosses (Amy Pascal, Michael Lynton). It’s a must-read and, best of all, is only Part One.

Finke reveals that Blake was almost scapegoat-fired last summer following a secret July 4 meeting. She notes that when it all, almost came crashing down last year, Blake, a longtime box office source, shared an unusual request:

I loathe those calls I sometimes have to make telling Hollywood bigwigs they’re in danger of getting axed. To my surprise, Blake verbally shrugged it off except to say “Water rising here”.

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Taraji P. Henson Stars in Latest Bernard Weinraub Play

AbovetheFoldPosterOn Tuesday, Above the Fold began previewing at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. That’s close to KPCC 89.3 FM, a short MTA Gold Line ride from the Los Angeles Times and a couple of 134/210 freeway exits east of ABC 7.

Why the media triangulation? Because the author of the play is none other than Bernard Weinraub, former formidable New York Times reporter and husband to Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal. From the official synopsis:

Jane (Taraji P. Henson), an African-American newspaper reporter from New York, flies to a Southern university where three white fraternity members have been accused of raping a young African-American woman. Taking place amidst the shift from print to digital journalism, Above the Fold asks tough questions about the exploitation of tragedy, the cost of success and the dangers that come when ambition collides with truth.

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Anne Sweeney Tops THR’s ‘Women In Entertainment Power List’

Disney/ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney is the most powerful woman in Hollywood according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s 19th annual “Women In Entertainment Power 100” list. It’s the second year in a row she’s topped the list.

The rest of the Top 10:

2. Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment
3. Bonnie Hammer, chairman of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment
4. Oprah Winfrey, chairman of Harpo Studios
5. Abbe Raven, president and CEO of A&E Television Networks
6. Stacey Snider, co-chairman and CEO at Dreamworks
7. Donna Langley, co-chairman of Universal Pictures
8. Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment
9. Dana Walden, chairman of 20th Century Fox Television
10. Judy McGrath, chairman of MTV networks

Kinda surprising to see Oprah at number 4, considering she was named the third most powerful woman in the entire world this year by Forbes.

Fortune Recognizes Media Mavens On 50 Most Powerful Women List

ann_moore.jpgIt’s no surprise that some media movers and shakers made their way onto Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women List.

Oprah Winfrey, who topped ForbesWoman‘s list of of the most influential women in the media earlier this summer, was the top media leader on Fortune‘s list as well. The Harpo chair ranked sixth after just five other powerful businesswomen including PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi (number 1) and Avon’s Andrea Jung (number 5).

Other female media and entertainment leaders to make the list include Anne Sweeney of Disney (number 16); MTV Networks‘ chairman and CEO Judy McGrath (number 20); Time Inc. chair and CEO Ann Moore (number 21 — pictured right); Hearst Magazines president Cathie Black (number 46); Bonnie Hammer and Lauren Zalaznick of NBC Universal (numbers 47 and 48, respectively) and Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal (number 49).

“In 1998 when we premiered our list of the Most Powerful Women in Business, just two of our honorees ran Fortune 500 companies. This year, 13 do,” Fortune said in the introduction to the list. “When it comes to milestones, we say, Keep ‘em coming!”

Fortune‘s 50 Most Powerful Women

Related: Oprah Tops ForbesWoman‘s List Of Media’s Most Powerful Women

Hollywood Reporter, In Between Layoffs, Manages To Laud 100 Women, Starting With Oprah

oprah2.jpgThe Hollywood Reporter‘s Annual 100 Most Powerful Women List came out today with none other than, no surprise, Oprah at the top of the heap.

She was followed by some of the usual female subjects, including DreamWorks Stacey Snider, Sony’s Amy Pascal, CBS’s Nancy Tellem and MGM’s Mary Parent.

The girls are all breakfasting at the Beverly Hills Hotel this morning. No doubt eating power bars.

Elle’s Women in Hollywood Roundtable

Elle.jpg

Salon’s Rebecca Traister sits in on Elle’s Women in Hollywood round table discussion on the state of show biz, why there aren’t more women directors, and so on. The group wonders why women don’t go to opening weekends, forgetting that people watch movies lots of other ways than at the multiplex, not than any of them ever see films with the public. While distinguished and credible, the ten are sort of randomly chosen. At the table are:

Moderator/producer Lynda Obst (called one of Tinseltown’s great brains, which is a frightening thought)
Claims Kate Hudson has same power as Julia Roberts and Reese Witherspoon in getting girly movies green-lit. Because the audience is clamoring for more.

Writer/director Nora Ephron
Thinks Transformers had a great emotional theme, sucks up to Spielberg. Claims to meet only timid girls at film schools. Ever wonder if she still takes calls from Meg Ryan?

Writer/producer Laura Ziskin
Discussing the lack of female directors, drops a bomb,

Our children watched their mothers and said, “Oh, no thank you. I don’t want my life to be like that.”

Writer/director Callie Khouri
Claims she wanted to make a NASCAR movie. So she directed Ya-Ya Sisterhood instead? Just made indie movie with Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes and wonders why no studio wanted it. Then complains about the lack of wish fulfillment in Judd Apatow movies.

Writer/director Patty Jenkins
Liked Spiderman. Admits to concentrating on personal life after making Monster.

Producer Cathy Konrad
Has small child, married to business partner Jim Mangold, admits to scaling back work for family.

Writer/director/producer Kimberly Piece
Loves blowing things up, just made second film.

Writer/producer Andrea Berloff
Has little kid, wonders why more women aren’t in film biz. But she’s fairly new to the business, as World Trade Center was her first produced script.

Writer/producer Margaret Nagle
Breaks away from approved party line by believing babe/nerd hookup in Knocked Up.

Universal president of production Donna Langley (called “that rarest of Hollywood breeds, a female studio head”, as Amy Pascal, wasn’t in the room.)
Points out that despite Jodie Foster’s tiny cameo, lots of women went to see Inside Man starring Denzel Washington. See Queen Latifah, wish fulfillment above.

The discussion was held in August, so Jeff Robinov’s foot hadn’t entered his mouth yet.

These women don’t pay attention to the few women working as TV directors and that reality TV could be a training ground for women (who are usually credited as field producers). Michael Apted started in documentary, after all.

But there’s a big snob factor in features, and never underestimate the insularity of Hollywood. Directors who came from TV, like Dennie Gordon, Betty Thomas, and Mimi Leder, and those who go back and forth, like Nicole Holofcener tend to not get called for big tentpole pictures.

Nikki Finke picks out some high points, but think how lively the discussion could have been, had she sat at the table.

Elle hosts the 14th annual Women in Hollywood Tribute at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on Oct. 15, when it will honor actresses Lauren Bacall, Scarlett Johansson, Diane Lane, Kate Bosworth, Jennifer Connelly, Amy Adams and director Julie Taymor.

Trade Round-Up: September 7, 2007

will smith.jpegSmith for Seven Pounds
Will Smith is pursuing a major reteam with the creative minds behind The Pursuit of Happyness. The actor has inked to star in Seven Pounds, Variety reports. The project reunites him with helmer Gabriel Muccino and production company Escape Artists along with Smith’s own Overbrook Entertainment. Variety‘s Tatiana Siegel and Michael Fleming write that the story centers on a man who inadvertently falls in love while attempting to kill himself.

Lynton, Pascal On Top in Variety
Will Smith is known as a bit of a showman himself, but Variety has instead selected Sony chairmen Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal as its Showmen of the Year. The VPlus special breaks down their business styles and backgrounds, citing a “team concept that also allows the experts the freedom to do what they do best.” In other words, keep making Spider-Man movies that keep them atop of the studio heap.

Michael Clayton’s Fashion Turn for Clooney
Variety may not be the first place you look for fashion coverage but Diane Clehane delivers a story about George Clooney‘s lawyer duds for his new pic Michael Clayton. It’s a fresh look at the process to get Clooney outfitted by costume designer Sarah Edwards in suits (Armani or Gucci) that best fit his character in the film, which just premiered overseas. Get the fashion goods here.

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