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Archives: September 2008

Rupert Murdoch Loses More in a Day Than We’ll Make, Well, Ever

rupert murdoch 09.30.08.jpgIt’s been a bad year for media stocks, but it’s been an even worse year for the fat cats who own them. According to a Forbes.com article Rupert Murdoch saw his net wealth plummet $2 billion dollars in 2007, from $8.8 billion to $6.8 billion. (This was before yesterday, when News Corp. stock dropped more than $1 per share.)

Put this into terms we can understand and that’s a loss of $1.5 million an hour. So that’s fun. But Rupe’s not alone.

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‘Attack Journalism’ is the New ‘Asking Questions’

This is a follow-up interview with Katie Couric and Sarah Palin that aired last night. This time Palin brought John McCain to help explain what she actually means. Which makes her look like she’s running for first lady.

“Ready with my executive experience.” Shudder.

Philip Glass Puts Walt Disney In His Sights

glass2.jpgPhilip Glass will compose an opera based on the last few months of the life of Walt Disney, Variety says.waltdisney.jpg

The piece, which is commissioned by the New York City Opera, will be performed in collaboration with Britain’s Improbable Theater Group.

As is typical with Glass with films like “Koyaanisqatsi,” it will take an offbeat approach to the Disney life, telling it though the eyes of a fictional Austrian cartoonist who worked for him. It will be based on Peter Stephan Jungk’s German-language novel “The Perfect American.”

Hard to say whether Mickey will be making an appearance.

The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

Real Talk: In Which We Wash Our Hands of This New York Sun Story

nysun09.30.081.jpgFifty-nine percent of you don’t care that today is the last day of publication for New York Sun. Good for you. Given the other events of yesterday, we can see how there were other things on your mind.

And yet, editor Seth Lipsky wrote a heartfelt goodbye appearing in today’s paper, so we felt compelled to bring it to you. In it, he highlights the fact that advertising revenues “were up more than 60 percent over the year earlier month and ahead of the budget goals, with year-to-date advertising revenues up nearly 25 percent” and that “even at the end [our backers] were offering millions of dollars if we could find the partners we needed.”

Lipsky, managing editor Ira Stoll and everyone else fought to the bitter end, but unfortunately the Sun won’t rise tomorrow morning.

Lipsky’s full letter after the jump.

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Even the Great White North Hates Sarah Palin|The Return of Jessica Roy, En Francais|Not the Store You Like to Shop In|Rupe Loses More in a Day Than We Will Probably Ever See in Our Lifetime

Porno Producer, Who Got Slapped by Washington Mutual, Is Loving the Bank’s Oh So Public Failure

Nick BoyiasBoyias.jpg, succesful producer of the coming-of-age Sony Classics title “Quinceanera” as well as a slew of not so rosy porn titles, is loving as he watches Washington Mutual go through what the New York Times calls the biggest banking meltdown in U.S. history.

Boyias, whose San Fernando Valley porn business carried a 700-plus FICO credit rating and did million-dollar deals for his profitable porno titles through Wash Mutual, was inexplicably denied a credit extension by the bank.
According to Boyias, Washington Mutual claimed it didn’t like to deal with people “in his business.”

“I had excellent credit, good personal tax returns and a credit line,” Boyias told FBLA. “I went to Washington Mutual, which did commercial banking, and I had a small credit line. Then they turned me down for an extension because I’m in the adult entertainment industry.boys.jpg

“I was turned down for a business credit line because they said they wouldn’t loan to my industry,” he continued. “I sell a product that brings a lot of joy to people. They’re being hypocritical.”

Former porn star and current private eye Paul Barresi summed it up like this:

“Nick Boyias is an adult movie manufacturer and distributor who is as honest as they come. He is a Greek born, hard working family man, who puts God, family and country before anything else. WAMU’s got some nerve telling Nick he’s in an unfavorable industry so therefore can’t offer him a line of credit. Here’s a bank that has a CEO on the job for not even a month, then kicks him to the curb, but not before awarding him with a $20,000,000 severance package. And then there is hard working, patriotic, tax paying Nick Boyias, with an impeccable FICO score, and he can’t get a line of credit? Not WAMU or any of these failed banks got any room to judge or play high and mighty. When they fall on hard time, good ole Uncle Sam comes to the rescue. But guys like Nick got no place to go. It’s Un-American stuff like this that makes a man feel not so proud to be an American. This country is falling flat on its ass and it’s a damn shame.”

A Washington Mutual rep would not comment on assertions from Boyias or Barresi. But you certainly wouldn’t blame Boyias if he was caught paraphrasing WAMU’s obnoxious commercials: “WAAAAAAAAA MUUUUUUUUU, YOU MFs.”

First on FishbowlNY.com: Tomorrow Is the New York Sun‘s Last Day

nysun09.30.08.jpgWe’ve been hearing rumors for weeks — going back and forth all day — but we’ve just got the official word from Michael Moi, director of communications at the New York Sun: Tomorrow’s paper will be its last.

Details as they come.

The Slow Maturation of Facebook Continues

markzuckerberg.jpgFacebook is growing up, hiring a White House veteran as its general council. Ted Ullyot who worked on the Valerie Plame case, will join the growing team of adults in executive positions at the Internet company.

Ullyot — previously employed at AOL Time Warner Europe and most recently with Kirkland & Ellis — will help with all legal matters, including anytime its employees are ticketed for underage drinking.

“We view Ted’s joining us as just another reaffirmation of the fact that we are working at the cutting edge of lots of incredible innovation,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, told the LAT. “He has an extraordinary combination of private legal practice and public sector experience… Ted’s arrival really demonstrates we’re a little more grown-up.”

In other Facebook-related legal news, Scrabulous might get a new lease on life.

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The Bailout That Wasn’t! An Expert Tells Us Whether or Not to Panic

ind.jpgSo in the midst of our Googling the local soup kitchens (kidding! our bank account, such as it is, looks very much the same as it did 10 days ago, i.e. small..but it’s always good to be prepared) we thought now might be a good time to check in with our numbers man, Clusterstock‘s John Carney.

We know he told us the other day not to get freaked out by the very unnerving headlines in the New York Times. However! After a glance at today’s homepage we decided it wa a good idea to check back in with him to see whether now is the time to start panicking.

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