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Posts Tagged ‘Hasbro’

Morning Media Newsfeed: DWA, Hasbro Merger Talks End | The Onion Exploring Sale

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DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro End Merger Talks (THR)
Hasbro has called off merger negotiations with DreamWorks Animation, sources say. The deal chatter, which became public on Wednesday, appears to have been derailed in part by the performance of Hasbro’s stock and potentially the high price sought by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. WSJ News last week that the toy maker was in early acquisition talks with the film studio drove the two companies’ stocks in opposite directions. Hasbro investors sent the toy company’s share price down more than 4 percent on Thursday and nearly 2 percent on Friday, when they settled at $54.02 on Nasdaq. Adweek DreamWorks reportedly wanted $30 per share, a relatively steep incline for stock trading at roughly $22. NYT / DealBook Also playing a role was a negative private reaction by the Walt Disney Company, which comprises roughly 30 percent of Hasbro’s business through licenses for Star Wars, Marvel characters, Frozen and the Disney Princesses toy line. Variety Neither side has officially commented on why the talks fell apart, nor the potential of a deal. Hasbro follows recent conversations DWA has had to sell the toon studio. In September, it discussed such a sale with Japanese tech giant SoftBank, that also ended just days later.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: YouTube Launches Paid Music Service | FNC Special Tops Tuesday

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YouTube Music Streaming Service Launches in Beta (SocialTimes)
YouTube music has faced some challenges lately; the company lost its product manager over the summer and had disagreements with indie music labels. While news of its music offering leaked in August, Google didn’t want to launch the new service until it reached a deal with indie labels. In a bid to compete with streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, Google is finally rolling out YouTube Music Key in invitation-only beta. Re/code The company is overhauling the free version of its Android app, and next week it’ll start inviting some of its users to try a new subscription feature, which it’s building into its Android and iOS apps. GigaOM For early adopters, it will cost $7.99 per month with the first six months free, and eventually it will cost $9.99 per month, the same price as Spotify Premium. YouTube Music Key’s banner feature is that it gives subscribers the ability to listen to music without ads, as well as run YouTube as a background app on mobile devices, allowing users to listen to YouTube videos while playing a game or locking their home screen. THR With the monthly fee, users also receive access to a Google Play Music subscription, which offers more than 30 million songs and playlists for streaming. Beginning Wednesday, YouTube is also rolling out new music features for free, ad-supported music video viewing. YouTube also plans to make it easier to find an artist’s discography through their official music videos and other songs uploaded to the streamer, so a user can play a full album straight through. NYT With its new service, YouTube hopes to reform its reputation in the music industry as a phenomenal free site to promote songs, but one that pays a pittance in royalties. As YouTube pushes into paid content, other online music outlets — under considerable pressure from the recording industry — are being forced to defend or change their business models to better compensate artists.

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Not The LAT In 90 Seconds

Our favorite fake newspaper is back (no offense to The Onion). Here are some highlights:

8ball.jpgSam Zell buys California: He replaces the legislature with a Magic 8 Ball and orders a 15 percent reduction in the number of state residents.

hartenstein.jpgLAT Goes HD, Adds Porn: “L.A. Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein announced the paper would switch to ‘high definition digital newsprint’ and charge extra for ‘premium’ sections devoted to sports, movies and porn.”

dsssoll.jpgLAT Launches 4-month Investigation into Doll Names: FOIAs went out to Hasbro, Mattel, and – we’re assuming – various preschool classes around the nation.

Watch the Box: Toy Box

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NBC has bravely plunged into a world of series without pilots, ordering six episodes of Kath and Kim from Reveille (no surprise there)starring Molly Shannon and Selma Blair. The show, based on an Australian series, concerns itself with a self-absorbed woman and her 40ish divorced mom–Shannon, who could be Blair’s mom if she’d been a slut in high school.

Mattel and CAA are playing nicely with Barbie, Hot Wheels, Fisher-Price, Max Steel, UNO and Polly Pocket, and developing movies, TV, digital, video games etc. based on said brands. Mattel also made a deal with Joel Silver and Warner Bros. to develop a live-action He-Man Masters of the Universe. CAA and Hasbro, turned Transformers into a movie, and plan to do the same to G.I. Joe. Boys and their toys.

Fuse has four new series:

Fuse Rocks the Garden–live concert series at Madison Square Garden begins with the Foo Fighters on February 19 at 11p.

10 Great Reasons–each episode counts down the top 10 facts or myths in today’s music.

Live Through This– comebacks starting with at Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx.

Talking Metal– hard rock/heavy metal TV series based on the Talking Metal podcast.

Power Of An Alert PR Rep

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An exceptionally enterprising PR-type, Meredith Goldblatt, suggested we could capitalize on a certain NY Times story and run a piece about Variety’s “Power of Youth,” a benefit held Saturday at Universal Studios on behalf of St. Jude.

So, yeah, we’ll take the bait.

The benefit brought together the likes of Variety’s VP & Associate Publisher Brian Gott, actress Miley Cyrus, Variety’s President & Publisher Charlie Koones and actress Vanessa Hudgens (all pictured here in this shot by Jordan Strauss of WireImage.com

According to Goldblatt’s release:

The inaugural event is part of Variety’s new initiative to reach out to Hollywood’s next generation of entertainers, in the hopes of encouraging young people to become involved with humanitarian and philanthropic efforts.

And what a youngster-filled event it was: One of the highlights was a celebrity tricycle race.

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Trade Round-Up: August 24, 2007

ang lee.jpegAng Lee is back with a new film and like his last boundary-pushing pic, “Brokeback Mountain,” the Oscar-winning helmer pushes the envelope again but this time it’s with the MPAA. His newest film, “Lust, Caution,” just received an NC-17 rating, Variety reports. It’s an erotic espionage thriller which is set to premiere in Toronto next month. Get some of the dirty details on why “Lust, Caution” kissed its way to dreaded NC-17 territory here.

It was kind of a big deal when Starbucks opened its doors and clientele to Hollywood marketing gurus who hoped that in-store campaigns for studio pics would lead to a frenzy of caffeine-induced ticket sales. However, Variety reports that a potential boon in receipts has so far tasted more like a stale cup of decaf.

Members of the Directors Guild of America won’t be getting any free DVD screeners this year heading into awards season, Variety reports. Guild guy Dave McNary gave the news to DGA members in today’s paper and wrote that the news comes following last year’s semi-controversial awards season when Paramount/DreamWorks caught some flack for getting the green light to send out “Dreamgirls” screeners to DGA members.

Fox‘s blonde and busty “Anchorwoman” will have to find a new medium for her talents. THR reports that the network has pulled the plug on the pseudo-reality show less than 24 hours after airing the first episode, which barely managed to cross the 2 million mark in viewers. Maybe she can see if there is an opening on “Girls Next Door.”

THR‘s Borys Kit reports that Paramount is rounding up the troops for a live-action take on the “G.I. Joe” brand with Stephen Sommers signing on to direct. Pic is based on the popular Hasbro military action figures.
- CHRIS GARDNER