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Posts Tagged ‘Ron Burkle’

Observer Checks In with Disgraced Page Six Reporter

All these years later, Jared Paul Stern maintains that this clothing venture was at the heart of his discussions with Ron Burkle about money. Not some sort of scandalous payola to ensure that the billionaire would receive favorable Page Six coverage.

UrbanDaddyDrivenLogoToday, Stern is the editor of Urban Daddy’s auto blog Driven. He also freelances. If one goes by Observer contributor Ben Widdicombe‘s Kennebunkport impressions, the former Post writer’s demeanor does not quite sync up with the bravado:

Today, Stern, 43, describes his life as being at “a new pinnacle.” He has toned down the film noir wardrobe and attitude – no more fedoras – but maintains a flair for haberdashery.

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Will Monday Night’s Deadline/Soho House Bash Include a Big Announcement?*

A cryptic Deadline advisory posted Saturday morning by Nikki Finke has some Hollywood trade watchers speculating that the PMC-Variety deal is done. The 11:34 a.m. PDT September 29 message reads:

The Deadline Team won’t provide 24/7 news coverage for at least the next week. One of the reasons is DH business affecting the entire staff in LA, NY and Europe. As a result, we’ll probably miss some breaking stories and delay monitoring some comments, emails and phone calls. Please cut us some slack for the duration.


Which begs the question – will Jay Penske be making a “big” announcement at Soho House in West Hollywood tomorrow night? That’s when the “PMC” in Penske Media Corp. will briefly overlap with “private members’ club,” as Deadline hosts a “Kick Off the Awards Season” party there from 6 to 9 p.m. A who’s who of studio execs, film publicists and awards season PR consultants will hobnob with not just Penske but many other PMC/Deadline folks: film editor Mike Fleming, tv editor Nellie Andreeva, awards columnist Pete Hammond, marketing consultant Madelyn Hammond, executive editor David Lieberman, reporter Dominic Patten, PMC senior vp Nic Paul, PMC senior sales director Cathy Goepfert, Awards/Line managing editor Anthony D’Alessandro and Awards/Line editor Christy Grosz.*

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Report: Penske, Lasry Circling Discounted Variety Sale Price

Another week, another [BLANK]-is-in-the-lead-to-buy-Variety news story. This one from a pair of reporters (the New York Post’s Keith J. Kelly and Josh Kosman) who have filed several, similar previous dispatches.

According to the duo’s sources, Ron Burkle walked away after his recent low-ball $20 million range offer for the trade was rejected. Which reportedly leaves Jay Penske (PMC) and Marc Lasry (Avenue Capital Group):

Reed Elsevier has been forced to cut Variety’s asking price by more than 25 percent and offer “seller financing” to close the deal, The Post has learned. It has recently cut Variety’s asking price to below $30 million from its original $40 million price tag, sources close to the situation said.

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Report: Variety-Avenue Capital Deal is Stalled

The New York Post has been doing a good job of keeping tabs on the ongoing saga of Variety’s sale. This morning, the paper suggests that Avenue Capital Group’s outlook has been changed somewhat by the due diligence process:

Sources tell Page Six that when Avenue’s bean counters recently ran Variety’s numbers on the deal, they wound up lowering their bid. “Everyone’s been balking at the price,” a Hollywood insider familiar with the sale told us, adding, “another problem is that [any new buyer] will then have to put money into it immediately, to bring Variety into the modern age.”

The Post also claims that while Ron Burkle is officially out, PMC’s Jay Penske is “still circling.” Hear that, Variety gang? Nikki Finke and Mike Fleming could still possibly become colleagues.

Previously on FishbowlLA:
Report: Variety’s New Owner is… Avenue Capital

Report: Variety’s New Owner is… Avenue Capital

So it looks as if it’s not going to be Ron Burkle after all.

According to the New York Post, Variety parent Reed Elsevier has accepted a formal bid for the trade publication. The winning party is a billionaire, but not the one who had recently been touted, partly because Burkle reportedly wasn’t willing to go high enough:

New York billionaire Marc Lasry’s Avenue Capital has emerged as the front-runner to take control of Hollywood trade Variety, The Post has learned. Variety’s parent company, Reed Elsevier, has accepted the hedge fund’s bid for between $30 million and $40 million, a source close to the talks said. Reed Elsevier has been seeking around $40 million.

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Report: Ron Burkle Set to Acquire Variety

As has been previously noted, there is only one bidder for Variety who has the capacity to write a check without picking up the phone. Thus, Ron Burkle was always seen as a leading contender to acquire the trade publication if he so chose. Apparently, he has.

According to an LA Times report by Ben Fritz, Burkle is now the leading contender to acquire the trade:

Burkle’s Yucaipa Co. has been the most aggressive bidder and is most likely to emerge victorious from a sales process currently underway, according to two people close to the sale but not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Much like the notion of Eli Broad purchasing the paper Fritz writes for, if it does transpire this way, it really could not have turned out any better for Variety. Burkle has deep pockets, tons of business acumen and, most likely, a solid big-picture plan that could spell trouble for the trade’s direct competitors. The purchase price would allegedly be close to what has previously been reported: $40 million.

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Daniel Frankel Revisits Variety Sweepstakes

One of the first reporters to accurately gauge the level of interest in a purchase of Variety has a follow-up piece tonight. This time, paidContent senior writer Daniel Frankel focuses on the eventual final price tag.

According to Frankel’s sources, a recent New York Post article was not entirely on the money. In addition to the hidden costs revealed once the trade is fully detached from its parent company, there will also be the matter of post-deal expenditures:

“That $40 million is a pretty considerable amount of money, but the problem is you’re not done at $40 million,” said one knowledgeable individual, who spoke at length to us. “You’re buying a property that’s had a decade of deferred maintenance. Whoever underwrites this is going to have to do this with a plan of investing significantly post-purchase.”

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Report: TheWrap, Penske and Ron Burkle in Hunt for Variety

Ever since Daniel Frankel at PaidContent revealed that 11 entities were interested in looking at the Variety books, the race has been on among media watchers to identify authoritatively who those parties might be.

The New York Post today seems to have claimed these honors. Per a Page Six report:

Billionaire Ron Burkle is looking to further extend his influence in Hollywood by buying entertainment trade paper Variety, sources tell Page Six. Taking over Variety would continue supermarket magnate Burkle’s buying spree, which this year alone includes investments in industry hangout Soho House, BlackBook Media, Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media, concert-booking firm Artist Group International and UK agent Duncan Heath’s Independent Talent Group. He’s also an investor in numerous Harvey Weinstein films and Al Gore’s Current TV.

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Magic Johnson Expands Media Holdings

Magic Johnson is turning into quite the media mogul. Nearly a year after purchasing Vibe Holdings and becoming its chairman, Johnson has teamed with Ron Burkle to acquire BlackBook Media. The move puts Johnson at the head of Vibe, Uptown and Blackbook magazines.

The lynchpin of the deal, however, was the inclusion of Blackbook’s “Access Network” content management and distribution technology platform. As the New York Post notes, Access Network technology is in use at over 100 media outlets–including Maxim Guides, MTV’s “Jersey Shore” Guides and Bravo!’s Top Chef Guide.

Says Magic, via release: “The technology we acquired as part of the Access Network will serve as a very important piece to enable us to reach consumers.”

Magic Johnson, Ron Burkle Invest in Vibe

Magic Johnson and Ron Burkle have invested in Vibe Holdings, the parent of Vibe magazine and the Soul Train TV show. As part of the eight figure deal, Johnson will now be chairman of Vibe Holdings.

By investing in Vibe, Johnson and Burkle are putting a lot of money and power behind the brand, which is sure to attract the attention of competitors Ebony and Jet. It’s also interesting to note that Johnson had previously tried to acquire those magazines, only to have talks break down when he couldn’t settle on a price with their publishing house.

As a way to combat Johnson’s impact with Vibe, FishbowlNY suggests that Ebony and Jet get Larry Bird involved somehow. The rivalry must continue.

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