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Posts Tagged ‘Sumner Redstone’

Sumner Redstone and His ‘Beautiful Women’

In Robert Evans‘ new book The Fat Lady Sang, there’s a lot of good stuff about the actor-producer-survivor’s lifelong friendship with mentor Sumner Redstone. Now, there’s also a fascinating THR interview.

SumnerRedstoneTHRCoverRather than the usual author of such THR features, Stephen Galloway, this one belongs to veteran reporter Kim Masters and associate TV editor Lindsay Flans. A lot of the answers are one-sentence, but that doesn’t detract from the pleasures of a transcript with one of Hollywood’s very small number of truly legendary figures.

The conversation was conducted mid-December at the mogul’s 15,300 square foot Beverly Park mansion. He was joined for the THR session by his longtime girlfriend Sydney Howland and friend Manuela Herzer:

You’ve got these beautiful women that you go out with.

Do you think they’re beautiful?

They’re both stunning.

You really think so?

And sweet, don’t you think?

Well, they’re sweet. I don’t know how beautiful they are.

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Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes Send-Up Rolls into New York

It was a smash in Chicago. Now, August 20-24 at the Players Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival, TheTomKat Project is set to wow fans in the very city where Katie Holmes pulled the plug on her marriage to Tom Cruise one year ago.

The play, featuring just a few odd props and the narration of writer Brandon Ogborn, skewers celebrity, the media and the Church of Scientology. There is no pretense at conventional celebrity impressions; lead actors Walt Delaney and Julie Dahlinger don’t much look like Cruise or Holmes. But that’s half the fun, with the support of a  versatile group of co-stars:

Based on actual interviews and completely imagined scenes, seven actors portray 54 characters including Oprah Winfrey, David Miscavige, Matt Lauer, Scarlett Johansson, Josh Hartnett, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, Cruise/Wagner partner Paula Wagner, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman and Suri.

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Mel Karmazin to Resign From SiriusXM

After much speculation about the future of CEO Mel Karmazin at SiriusXM, a decision was made today. Karmazin told the Board of Directors that he’ll be leaving the satellite radio company February 1, 2013, when his current employment contract expires and after a transition period. All Access reports that the media executive will also step down from the Board of Directors.

In August, Liberty Media acquired additional shares of SiriusXM, in a bid to take over the company. Thus began Karmazin’s internal battle with his future of SiriusXM.

Karmazin, 69, joined Sirius as CEO in 2004. He was instrumental in hiring Howard Stern two years later as one the satellite network’s signature voices.

Read Karmazin’s statement after the jump

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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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Authors Get to Know the Real Arnon Milchan

Next week, a must-read for Hollywood aficionados arrives in bookstores: Confidential: The Life of Secret Agent Turned Hollywood Tycoon Arnon Milchan. Written by brothers-in-law Meir Doron and Joseph Gelman, the Geffen Books release details the incredible transition made by Milchan from international arms dealer to prolific, Oscar nominated movie producer.

Going into the project, the authors realized their subject would take about as kindly to the book as Oprah Winfrey did to Kitty Kelley‘s recent bio. So they opted for the strategy of writing the book in full, secretly, and then alerting Milchan. Once the book was completed in 2009, it did not take long for the pair to hook up with their subject. Per an essay by the authors on FoxNews.com:

Milchan requested a series of meetings over the matter, which ended up involving many cigarettes, herbal teas, shots of tequila, and Stella beer. We met his wife Amanda and his new child Shimon (named after Shimon Peres), his butler John, and other friends and family in the casual setting of his Malibu home, the former residence of acclaimed director John Frankenheimer, and the house where Robert Kennedy stayed the night before his assassination at the Ambassador Hotel the following morning.

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Founder of Viacom’s Compensation Increases to $41 Million

This is Sumner Redstone. He could be smiling for any number of reasons. He could be smiling because his birthday is tomorrow (he turns 88) and he’s looking forward to an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen.

Or he could be smiling because Viacom – the company he founded – increased its dividend by 67 percent, which means he’s going to be raking in about $41 million per year.

FishbowlNY is leaning toward the latter, but DQ cakes are amazing, so we’re still not sure what to think.

Rupert Murdoch’s Two Big Myspace Mistakes

There’s no better way to revisit the rise and fall of Myspace than to read today’s excellent Reuters investigative piece by the wire service’s veteran media reporter Yinka Adegoke.

It all seemed so promising when Rupert Murdoch beat out Viacom rival Sumner Redstone for the acquisition prize of Myspace in July 2005 and was treated like a rock star at San Francisco’s Web 2.0 conference in the fall of 2007. But that same latter year, per Adegoke’s interviews with executives who worked at both News Corp. and Myspace, two paramount mistakes were made:

Murdoch brazenly predicted that Myspace would generate up to a $1 billion in revenue in the next fiscal year. The forecast caused panic at Myspace, according to the two former executives. “It was a big blunder to say that to the Street,” said the first executive. “When you looked at how Myspace’s numbers had been trending it was possible–but it was a stretch.”

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Peter Lauria Out At The Daily Beast

It was nearly a year ago when Peter Lauria left his media reporter post at the New York Post for a job at The Daily Beast.  Now it appears as though Lauria is on his way out from and is negotiating his severance package with The Daily Beast.  Lauria has not published a story for The Daily Beast since Jan. 25 and, according to his former Post colleague Keith Kelly, calls to his office phone has been answered by newest Beast hire Nick Somers.

Sources close to the situation claim that Lauria has not been getting along with top editors including Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown.  Some believe Brown was upset with Lauria after he garnered a great deal of publicity and an interview on NBC’s Today Show for his story on Viacom owner Sumner Redstone’s obsession with the all-girl band the Electric Barbarellas.  Lauria seemed to have lost his way at The Daily Beast when Brown hired a horde of media reporters following the merger with Newsweek.  Notable additions to the department were Somers and Howard Kurtz who came aboard as DC bureau chief.

Balloon Boy|HuffPo Passes WaPo In Unique Views|Redstone To Sell $1B In CBS, Viacom Shares|MPA Conference Snap Shot|Tina Brown

TVNewser: The saga of a six-year-old boy in a hot air balloon (or not) captivated the network news channels this afternoon.

Editor & Publisher: The Huffington Post has surpassed WashingtonPost.com in terms of unique visitors for last month, according to numbers tracked by Nielsen Online.

New York Times: Sumner Redstone will sell nearly $1 billion in Viacom and CBS shares in order to pay down debt.

The Wrap: Some choice soundbites from the Magazine Publishers of America‘s Magazine Innovation Summit this week. Our favorite came from Condé Nast group president David Carey: “We could sell the movie rights to the McKinsey study.”

Financial Times: A profile of The Daily Beast and founder Tina Brown, one year after its launch. “The Daily Beast was, from the start, in part an experiment to find a better class of online advertising in a market where infinite supply has dragged down rates. In an effort to charge premium prices, the site has targeted upmarket brands with the promise of customised packages that could reach a sought-after audience of affluent, educated and engaged readers.”

Redstone Out At Midway Games — Dad Is Happy?

redstone_shari.jpgWhile blood may be thicker than water in some cases, in the Redstone family, it’s as slippery as oil.

Midway Games chairman Shari Redstone sacrificed herself by resigning to help buck up and restructure the debt for the sagging parent company National Amusements, Variety reports.

Papa Sumner Redstone was nonplused by the resignation. With CBS and Paramount Pictures in the crapper, he pays little attention to anything but the bottom line.

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