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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Iger’

Exclusive: The Dish on That Book About Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour

LunchAtMichaelsSchool is back in session for the cool kids and they showed up in droves at their favorite cafeteria at 55th and Fifth. Come on, it’s just like high school — but with better clothes. In attendance: NBCUniversal’s Ron Meyer and Steve Burke, Joe Kernen, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tom Brokaw, Donny Deutsch and Showtime’s Matt Blank among the media mob scene. It seemed more than a bit ironic that Michael’s looked like an old boys club since I was joined today by Sheila Weller for an exclusive first interview about her new book, The News Sorority (Penguin Press), which chronicles the rise of Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour in television news. While the book’s press release paints the book as a thoughtful, “astute” guide to the behind-the-scenes goings on in television broadcast news and a paean to the accomplishments of these three incredibly ambitious women amid the “impenetrable newsroom boys club,” early reports have instead latched on to the more juicy tales of rivalry and the occasional missteps among the women. Shocking, I know. “It pains me that the news aggregators focused on the catfights,” Sheila told me. “It showed me the knives are out for women who succeed.”

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

Sheila Weller and Diane Clehane

What Sheila is referring to is the headline-grabbing items in the New York Daily News and The Daily Beast. The Daily News ran an item on the book for Father’s Day with the headline “Hate-y Katie” and an unflattering picture of her, which, said Sheila, didn’t exactly thrill her rep, Matthew Hiltzik. “I told him I didn’t plant any of it,” she told me. Lloyd Grove PM’d Sheila on Facebook asking: “What’s this book being passed around the networks like a crack pipe?” and then wrote a lengthy piece about the book for The Daily Beast, which recounted some of the more gossipy exchanges involving the women. “Once a book is sent to a media organization, you can’t control what happens with it,” said Sheila. “I was stunned by the Father’s Day item.”

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Disney to Film Marvel Series For Netflix in NY

iger cuomoDisney has announced the upcoming Marvel series for Netflix will film primarily in New York, representing the largest film or television production project commitment in the state’s history.

Speaking at a press conference with Governor Andrew Cuomo this morning, Disney CEO Bob Iger said New York was “aggressive” in pursuing the company’s business — and that authenticity was very important to the project. The series will focus on Marvel’s “flawed heroes of Hell’s Kitchen”: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

“It’s very, very important for us to be in New York,” Iger said from ABC’s studios in Times Square.

The series will begin filming this summer and will debut on Netflix in 2015. The finished product will include nearly 60 episodes and is expected to create at least 3,000 jobs in New York, including 400 full time jobs, according to a statement from Disney and New York State. The Wall Street Journal reports the deal includes incentives worth about $4 million.

Last year, Netflix and Disney inked a distribution deal that gives Netflix exclusive rights to Walt Disney Studios movies, including titles from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, Disneynature and Lucasfilm.

‘Citizen Hearst’: An Inside Look at the Hearst Media Empire

Ahead of its premiere at two New York City theaters next week, FishbowlNY attended a screening of Citizen Hearst Monday at the SoHo House. The documentary, directed by Academy Award nominee Leslie Iwerks and narrated by William H. Macy, celebrates the 125th anniversary of the company, interviewing current and former executives for an inside look at the company.

The documentary traces William Randolph Hearst‘s career trajectory from college-dropout publisher of the San Francisco Examiner to the founder of a media empire that boasts 51 newspapers, 300 magazines and 29 television stations. In an interview for the documentary, Dan Rather calls Hearst a “reformist journalist” who just “wanted to make a difference.”

Citizen Hearst features interviews with editors of some of the company’s top magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, Town & Country and Esquire. Several generations of Hearsts were interviewed, along with several major media personalities including Oprah Winfrey, Bob Iger, Leonard Maltin and Heidi Klum. The film also investigates how major events like the San Francisco earthquake in 1989 and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 have impacted the company.

The documentary will be shown at two NYC locations — the Chelsea Theatre and the 1st & 62nd Theatre — on March 14.

Citizen Hearst also featured an interview with the architect of the Hearst Tower in Manhattan, which MediabistroTV got a tour of last year. Watch it after the jump. Read more

Hearst Documentary Screens in San Francisco

Following a splashy private screening at Hearst headquarters in New York City and a public world premiere earlier this month at the Hamptons International Film Festival, feature documentary Citizen Hearst has come home to roost. Commissioned by Hearst and narrated by actor William H. Macy, the film will debut in San Francisco tonight at a Legion of Honor event sponsored by the Chronicle.

The movie was co-produced and directed by Leslie Iwerks, who previously took a look at another west coast media giant in The Pixar Story. The parade of on-screen interviews includes Oprah Winfrey, Dan Rather, Mark Burnett, Walt Disney Company chairman Bob Iger and a number of William Randolph Hearst descendants.

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Jimmy Fallon Reportedly in Talks to Host Oscars

Jimmy Fallon is about to make the career leap from 30 Rock to the Kodak Theater. No, Fallon is not leaving his Late Night program on NBC, or even taking it on the road to Los Angeles.

Fallon, though, is in talks to host the coveted Academy Awards. The Los Angeles Times reports Fallon would bring his longtime boss, Lorne Michaels, as producer. Fallon first worked for Michaels on Saturday Night Live from 1998 to 2004.

But there is a wrinkle to this arrangement.

ABC, which broadcasts the Oscars, is critical of an NBC host emceeing one of television’s biggest nights of the year. Disney (owner of ABC) chief executive Bob Iger is apparently not liking the idea of giving such an important venue to Fallon, who competes nightly with ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

There is a precedent, however. Johnny Carson, while at the height of his Tonight Show dominion, helmed five Oscar presentations on ABC.

Billy Crystal, recognized by many as the best all-time Oscar host, had a return engagement in 2012, his first time since 2004, but ninth overall.

The Oscars are set for February 24, 2013.

Photo credit: laughstub.com

Rich Ross Out as Disney Studio Chairman

Rich Ross is out as chairman of Walt Disney Studios following last month’s flop of box office bust John Carter.

“I no longer believe that the Chairman role is the right professional fit for me,” Ross told his staff via email Friday. “The best people need to be in the right jobs, in roles they are passionate about, doing work that leverages the full range of their abilities. It’s one of the leadership lessons I’ve learned during my career, and it’s something I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to as I look at the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

Ross joined the Disney family in 1996 as a programming and production executive for the Disney Channel and was eventually promoted to president in 2004. In 2009, Ross was hired as Disney Studio chairman, despite any prior film experience.

“For more than a decade, Rich Ross’ creative instincts, business acumen and personal integrity have driven results in key businesses for Disney. … I appreciate his countless contributions throughout his entire career at Disney and expect he will have tremendous success in whatever he chooses to do next,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.

Media Moguls Don’t Want to Tweet with Rupert Murdoch

When Rupert Murdoch joined Twitter, there was a lot of talk about what he was going to say. Then, when he started tweeting, we all found out that he uses the social network just like the rest of us: For blasting total strangers with boring thoughts that probably should just be kept to ourselves.

Not much has changed since Murdoch joined. His avatar is less creepy, so we’ll give him applause for that. But he recently chimed in with a weather report that was, well, a bit off:

Almost warn! Non sign!

It’s really great/depressing stuff. So you have to wonder, will any other media giant join Twitter, now that Murdoch has paved the way?

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Lunch At Michael’s: Barry Diller, Bob Iger & The Literary Lioness Club

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— DIANE CLEHANE

For those who like their cobb salads served up with a side order of adrenaline, 55th & Fifth was the place to be today. Media moguls and literary lionesses convened their cliques for some lively conversation that kept the dining room buzzing. Esther Newberg and Anna Quindlen enjoyed lively conversation with ABC’s Lynn Scherr and Faye Wattleton in one corner, while NBA commissioner David Stern and Disney honcho Bob Iger kept a much lower profile in the back. The sighting of the power pair set tongues wagging about this morning’s New York Times story that Stern is forming a Chinese subsidiary with some help from a yet to be announced multi-media partner. Has Mickey got game? Stay tuned …

I was lunching with my good pal Chris Madden. The lifestyle maven is everywhere these days: on the cover of Your Good House (her new magazine produced in partnership with Hearst), in her charming ads for her furniture line with JCPenney and in last week’s Home section of The New York Times. The tireless Ms. Madden is celebrating her 30th year in business next Wednesday at a party at the Gramercy Park Hotel in their oh-so-chic rooftop garden. (Massive goodie bag alert!) Cathie Black, Ellen Levine, Random House’s Chip Gibson and jazz man Steve Tyrell are on the guest list. “It’s all gone by so fast!” says Chris, who started out as a publicist for Random House before breaking out on her own and parlaying her eye for all things fabulous into a far-flung empire encompassing a design business (Oprah, Katie Couric and Toni Morrison have been clients), 16 books, an eight-year run on HGTV and her ever-expanding home furnishings line. Chris has always been a believer that those who do well should do good as well and as such, spent much of last spring in Mississippi where she donated the contents of her Vermont warehouse filled with furniture to help survivors of the Hurricane Katrina rebuild their homes.

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Lynn Scherr, Esther Newberg, Faye Wattleton (who left her trench coat on during lunch) and Anna Quinlan.

2. Peter Brown & Jonathan Alter.

3. Ed Rollins and a distinguished looking gent…

4. Jay Cross and Steve Greenberg.

5. A smiling (!?) Barry Diller with an unidentified guest. We’re intrigued by the fact that no one ever seems to know the name of the taciturn Mr. Diller’s lunch guests…

6. Jeff Greenfield, Jerry Della Femina, Gerry Imber and pals.

7. We’re not sure and neither was anyone else…

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Willow Bay To Head Huffington Post Living Now

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The Huffington Post has named tv journalist Willow Bay (born Kristine Carlin Bay) as editor-at-large, overseeing the Living Now section. Arianna Huffington claims

Willow is the ideal person to supervise the site’s coverage of how people live today,bringing to the table a combination of journalistic rigor, cultural sophistication and down-to-earth warmth.

Bay is married to Bob Iger, CEO of Disney.

In 2006, Iger received $2 million in salary, a $15 million bonus, options worth $2.92 million, long-term pay of $4.3 million and $666,000 in other compensation.

“How people live today” = how to juggle the jet, the multiple homes, the charity work –all while dithering about school snacks, musing over private education, and whining about not getting cast on a reality show.

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Bob Iger To Hamas:

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At a meeting of the Society of Business Editors and Writers, Disney’s Bob Iger stuck his fingers in his ears and chanted

We can’t hear you, we can’t hear you

This was in response to the hi-jacking of beloved icon Mickey Mouse by Hamas, a political party sworn to the destruction of Israel.

Iger’s actual words were:

We didn’t mobilize our forces and seek to either have the clip taken down or to make any broad public statement about it

Same diff.

But Disney hasn’t always been so chicken-hearted. Who can forget the company’s brave and principled stand against Good Godmother Daycare?

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