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Posts Tagged ‘Jeffrey Katzenberg’

Taking Another Look at That Bernard Weinraub Farewell Column

ShutterstockAmyPascal2013When Bernard Weinraub exited the New York Times in 2005, he of course composed a farewell column. That article contains what now seem like a number of very prophetic statements, given the criminal intrusion and Tinseltown reactions threatening his wife’s tenure as Sony Pictures co-chairman. Starting with this Weinraub observation about his 14 years covering Hollywood:

My marriage, and some of the events that tumbled out of it, taught me something about the ferocity of a culture in which the players can be best friends one day and savage you the next.

Maybe it was 24 hours then. But thanks to the solidified culture of texting, email and social media, it’s now nanoseconds. As some of Pascal’s emails have shown (and the press has failed to properly contextualize), one of the main jobs of a studio chief is to tell each fragile ego what they want and need to hear. Regardless of that studio chief’s personal, true beliefs.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Atlantic Partners With NewsHour | DWA Earnings Beat Estimates

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The Atlantic Partners With PBS NewsHour (FishbowlNY)
The Atlantic is partnering with PBS’ NewsHour to produce broadcast adaptations of the magazine’s work. 10,000 Words In a statement, the two news organizations said: NewsHour and The Atlantic plan to broadcast reports on a wide range of topics over the next six months. The partnership combines the strengths and sensibilities of both brands: The Atlantic’s ideas-driven journalism on issues of import, and the editorial depth and broadcast expertise of PBS NewsHour. FishbowlDC The Atlantic’s partnership with NewsHour marks the magazine’s first ongoing broadcast venture. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The first report, which aired Wednesday night, is based on the Atlantic’s November-issue cover story about the spread of teenage sexting and its societal and legal consequences. The Atlantic’s Hanna Rosin reported the NewsHour piece with anchor Judy Woodruff. Variety The stories will run online at PBS.org/NewsHour and TheAtlantic.com. Sara Just, a veteran of ABC News, joined PBS NewsHour as its executive producer earlier this year.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: SoftBank Eyes DWA Purchase | Marvel Settles With Kirby Estate

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DreamWorks Animation in Sale Talks With Japan’s SoftBank (THR)
Japanese conglomerate SoftBank is in talks to acquire DreamWorks Animation in a deal that would value the company at $3.4 billion, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NYT SoftBank reportedly offered $32 a share for the boutique studio DreamWorks Animation, a 45 percent premium over the share price. That would value it at $3.4 billion. A DreamWorks Animation spokeswoman, Allison Rawlings, on Saturday night said, “We don’t comment on rumor and speculation.” Re/code / Reuters An acquisition of DreamWorks by SoftBank would make the Hollywood studio that created Shrek part of a the communications and media company that, under founder and CEO Masayoshi Son, has shown a willingness to take big bets on combining seemingly unrelated businesses. Two weeks ago, SoftBank booked a $4.6 billion gain on the share listing of Alibaba Group in New York. SoftBank retains a 32 percent stake in the Chinese e-commerce company, making it Alibaba’s biggest shareholder. Deadline Hollywood DreamWorks’ balance sheet had weakened in Q2 with $400 million in debt and $32 million in cash vs. Q2 2011, when it had no debt and $116 million in cash. DreamWorks also disclosed in July that its next two films – The Penguins Of Madagascar and Home – were costing them approximately $10 million more than planned: $135 million not including incentive-based compensation. Variety However, DreamWorks has scored considerably with its fruitful acquisition of AwesomenessTV, a digital network targeting a young online audience — that and its relationship with Netflix likely helped attract the attention of SoftBank. DreamWorks Animation has operated as a publicly traded company since 2004.

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Janice Min Announces Five Promotions, Nine More Hires

An internal memo dispatched today by Hollywood Reporter editorial director Janice Min ranks as the most impressive documentation yet of the good HR things happening at the Guggenheim Digital Media property. Simply because of the sheer number of staffers involved.

Min, after noting that May 2013 was the best traffic month so far for the re-imagined trade’s website, highlights the promotion of five staffers and the addition of nine more. Full details and excerpts from Min’s communique, below.

PROMOTIONS

- Jeanie Pyun, features director (pictured, right): “While Jeanie is not new to THR - she came to us in January 2012 for what was supposed to be a temporary stint – we can now make it official. With her calm, unflappable demeanor and her skillful editing of stories, lists, packages and generally anything that’s thrown at her, Jeanie has quickly become indispensable in producing the magazine.”

- Lacey Rose, television editor: “Lacey joined The Hollywood Reporter as a senior TV writer in February 2011, coming from Forbes, and since then has become one of the top television writers in the business, and certainly the most prolific.”

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Isabella Rossellini’s Animal Instincts

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There are lunches at Michael’s and then there are lunches at Michael’s. Today I joined Isabella Rossellini at Table One and had a fascinating conversation with her about aging, celebrity, fashion and gay geese. Stay with me … these seemingly disparate topics are all connected.  Ostensibly there to talk about Mammas, her new series for Sundance Channel which looks at the ways different creatures use their maternal instincts in nature, Isabella did get around to the topic eventually. Yet, there was no feeling of the usual PR spin to the lunch which was attended by a handful of journalists who sat enthralled by her stories of her days as an actress and model and her charming tales of growing up in Rome as the daughter of iconic actress Ingrid Bergman and director Roberto Rossellini.

“The image I have of myself doesn’t correspond to the image people have of me,” she said. “I live on Long Island and I don’t go to fancy parties and premieres. I don’t like that aspect of celebrity. I never said, ‘When I grow up I want to be a celebrity.’” She didn’t have to.  Between her famous parents, ex-husbands (Martin Scorsese and model Jon Wiedemann), her celebrated career as a model and 14-year run as the face of Lancome before the brand dismissed her in 1996 for being ‘too old,’ and her unforgettable turn as tortured nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, she secured a permanent spot in our collective consciousness without employing any of the usual contrivances associated with modern celebrity.

Isabella Rossellini and Diane Clehane

When she showed up to join the small group of journos gathered to meet her (I was lucky enough to score the best seat in the house right next to the guest of honor!) the conversation first turned to fashion as Frazier Moore asked her who designed her understated ensemble of a wool tweed cocoon coat,  navy mandarin collared silk jacket, foulard blouse and simple slacks. She gamely removed her coat to reveal the impeccably tailored pieces designed for her by Christina Bomba in Italy. “It’s less expensive than Donna Karan or Dolce & Gabbana, and I like that I can pick the fabric and have it made just for me,” she said. Isabella told us she can’t relate to the fashion-celebrity complex which has turned the red carpet into big business. “When Mama got dressed for the Oscars, she wasn’t solicited by designers. She didn’t have a committee of business people telling her what to wear. She was loyal to one or two Italian designers, and, when they could no longer make dresses for her, the costume designers from her films created something unique.”

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Academy Announces 2012 Honorary Oscar Recipients

Ever since the Academy split off the honorary Oscars into a separate, non-televised event (this year’s dinner will be held Saturday, December 1), lucky attendees have noted it makes for a more intimate and entertaining evening than the big show that follows. An obvious reason is that each winner has (much) more time to tell stories when they accept a prize.

The anecdotes should be rich and plentiful for 2012, thanks to the Academy’s announcement late last night that AMPAS will honor stuntman Hal Needham, documentary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, AFI founding director George Stevens Jr. and Dreamworks exec Jeffrey Katzenberg with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. THR was first to pick up the news, followed by EW and the LA Times. In his quick-take separate analysis, THR awards watcher Scott Feinberg notes an important aspect to this year’s choices:

This is the first time since the creation of the Governors Awards in 2009 that an actor will not be among the honorees. Early responses to the announcement of this year’s selections have included surprise and dismay that a woman and/or a person of color is not among this year’s honorees…

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Jeffrey Katzenberg Teases Revolutionary New Animation Technology

Today at the Techonomy.com conference in Tuscon, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg chatted on stage with website founder David Kirkpatrick. As the Hollywood studio’s four-year partnership with Intel draws to a close, the exec hinted there is some game-changing technology in the offing.

According to Katzenberg, even with all the improvements in digital rendering, an animated feature technician is still limited to producing about three seconds of footage per week. But perhaps not for much longer. Per CNET’s Paul Sloan:

Katzenberg spoke enthusiastically about how the technology DreamWorks and Intel are developing will increase productivity and quality in Hollywood and elsewhere. “The implications of this are absolutely revolutionary,” he said, arguing that any business that uses high-end rendering–whether it’s an oil rig builder or aircraft designer–should be able to take advantage of what DreamWorks and Intel are spearheading.

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Craig’s Restaurant Racks Up Another Rave

It’s the kind of positive review cavalcade that Craig Susser‘s Hollywood restaurant clientele dreams of. Only in this case, it’s the restaurateur getting the raves.

Since opening his throwback “joint” Craig’s on Melrose Avenue in Beverly Hills a few months ago, Susser has been showered with praise by the New York Times, Jay Weston’s Restaurant Newsletter, and Zagat. Now he can add Merle Ginsberg of the Hollywood Reporter, who dubs Craig’s one of the film and TV industry’s three new “power restaurants”:

A typical night might see Jeffrey KatzenbergRyan PhillippeDick Wolf across the room and Patrick Whitesell with wife [and reporterLauren Sanchez. Craig’s has a long menu (veal chop, classic wedge salad, tuna tartar, chicken cacciatore) that can service the movie mogul, the trophy wife, and the picky teens.

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The Bald and the Beautiful

Forget about last week’s ranking by Forbes of the world’s 100 Most Powerful Women. In a town overrun with male braggadocio, the Bald 100 honor roll shared this week by GQ is going to undoubtedly be a far greater topic of conversation.

Perhaps Vin Diesel can bank on the idea that he is the top west coast industry rep on the list at #5 to spark a fresh round of meetings. Better yet, the lanky actor should have his people call Ron Howard‘s people to share a laugh over the fact that the director sits at #6. Meanwhile, it’s too bad Larry David isn’t currently in production on Curb Your Enthusiasm; he clocks in at #10, a few slides behind Samuel L. Jackson (#7), as the fourth and final member of L.A.’s gleaming chrome dome quartet.

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Lunch: Tina Brown, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Media Mavens Galore!

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— DIANE CLEHANE

They were dining and dishing like it was 2006 today at Michael’s. When I mentioned to one of the regulars that I hadn’t seen the dining room jam packed with so many power lunchers in a long time, he summed up the scene this way: “People are tired of waiting for the official word that we’re out of the woods so they’re trying to act as if we are. In some ways, it’s working.” In other words, denial is the new black.

A few weeks back, my friend Robert Zimmerman introduced me to Melanie Brandman, founder and CEO of The Brandman Agency, and Diana Biederman, managing director of Blackbird PR. I chatted briefly with the two public relations mavens and today we had our own ‘Michael’s lunch.’ Melanie started her all-female agency in 2000 after serving as vice president of corporate affairs for InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in London where she headed worldwide PR for over 3,000 properties in 100 countries. Today, at the helm of her own agency, she specializes in luxury hotels and lifestyle brands and represents top-tier clients including Qantas Airways, Orient-Express Hotels & Resorts, as well as her former employer. As you might imagine, she’s logged “millions of air miles” on the job and in just the past six months alone has visited India, Morocco, and Barbados multiple times. She recently hosted a group of lucky travel writers on a six-night sojourn aboard the uber luxurious Maharajas’ Express, which travels from Delhi to Kolkata. “Absolutely the best way to see India,” says Melanie. I’ll bet.

Last year, Melanie launched Blackbird PR, a lifestyle subsidiary of The Brandman Agency, and asked Diana, who had been working as public relations director of ’21′ Club for eight years, to head up the company. Of the spin-off Melanie says: “It was a natural progression, because we do a lot of work within the lifestyle divisions of our travel clients. I wanted to keep Brandman as a separate entity.” Things are off to a good start with clients like VOS Selections, whose handcrafted artisanal wines are the brainchild of Victor O. Schwartz and Ray Griffiths Fine Jewelry.

Melanie also tells me she just opened an office in Los Angeles so she could “get more business out of Asia” and squeeze in a few more trips back home to see the family in Australia. Where does she find the time?

Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:

1. Hotshot Hollywood attorney and producer Freddie Gershon with legendary Oscar winning songwriters (“The Way We Were“) Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

2. Peter Brown

3. Howard Rubenstein

4. Allen & Co.’s Stanley Shuman

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