Morning Consult Entertainment: James Murdoch Said to Purchase a Minority Stake in Vice Media

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  • James Murdoch’s Lupa Systems has agreed to purchase a small, minority stake in Vice Media Group, according to people briefed on the deal. The investment by Murdoch, who has been a member of Vice’s board for several years, values Vice Media at around $4 billion, two sources said. (Financial Times
  • A New York judge tossed out an allegation that Charlie Rose verbally retaliated against three female employees who accused him of sexual harassment, saying that his comments, including calling one woman a “f—ing idiot,” did not count as retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law. The women, who allege that Rose made sexually suggestive comments and touched them inappropriately, will be allowed to continue with their claim of discrimination and retaliation. (Variety
  • Director Alfonso Cuarón has signed a multiyear deal to create television shows for Apple Inc.’s upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in addition to his work with Apple, Cuarón will continue to work on projects with Anonymous Content and other collaborators. (The Hollywood Reporter)

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WGA Makes Its Case For Requiring Agencies To Turn Over Writers’ Contracts and Invoices
David Robb, Deadline Hollywood

As the WGA’s ongoing battle with Hollywood’s talent agents nears the end of its sixth month, the guild is making the case for one of its demands that’s kept many mid-tier agencies from signing its new Code of Conduct.

FX’s John Landgraf on Content Expansion and Streaming Under Disney
Jason Lynch, Adweek 

Nearly seven months after FX Networks was acquired by Disney, along with most of 20th Century Fox’s other assets, the company hasn’t faced any of the growing pains or management upheaval undergone by rival HBO and several other WarnerMedia properties under their new owner, AT&T.

California Gov Newsom Signs 2 #MeToo Bills Against Sexual Harassment
J. Clara Chan, The Wrap 

On Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law two key anti-sexual harassment bills that were prominently championed by actresses and #MeToo activists Jessica Barth, Lili Bernard, and Mira Sorvino.

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr. to face new U.S. charges in groping case
Brendan Pierson, Reuters

Actor Cuba Gooding Jr.’s trial on charges of groping a woman at a Manhattan bar was postponed Thursday as prosecutors revealed they had brought new charges against him in connection with another incident.

Joe Biden Under Pressure From Hollywood Donors To Hit Donald Trump Harder; Some Looking To Warren As Fallback
Ted Johnson and Dominic Patten, Deadline Hollywood 

As Joe Biden heads into a full day of events and visits to the Hollywood ATM on Thursday, he feeling the heat from some of his most influential Tinseltown donors to get tougher with Donald Trump.

Studios Support Academy’s Plan to Replace DVD Screeners With Streaming Service
Marc Malkin, Variety 

Studios are signing on to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ plans to eventually eliminate DVD screeners for Oscar voters.

“This Is an Extinction-Level Event”: Musicians Fear for Livelihood Without Streaming Residuals
Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter 

The life of a studio musician in Los Angeles is becoming increasingly precarious, and the rapidly changing tech landscape may play a large role. The denial of streaming residuals — layered on top of the offshoring of large amounts of scoring work to London and Eastern Europe — has been a growing source of anger for musicians as Hollywood conglomerates make bets on direct-to-consumer platforms, with Disney, Comcast and WarnerMedia all launching efforts within the year. 

Netflix, WeWork and others bolster L.A.’s office market
Roger Vincent, Los Angeles Times

The office rental market in Los Angeles County held steady in the third quarter as technology, entertainment and co-working companies kept up their long-running demand for new space.

Hollywood’s Top Business Managers of 2019
The Hollywood Reporter staff

The entertainment industry’s money managers prefer to avoid the limelight. To their chagrin, public documents and insiders help The Hollywood Reporter spotlight the people who help A-listers build empires and avoid bad investments.


From ‘Downton Abbey’ to ‘El Camino,’ TV Drama May Be New Frontier in Hunt for Theatrical Franchises
Tyler Hersko and Chris Lindahl, IndieWire 

September 20 saw three films go into wide release: One was the latest “Rambo” reboot. One was a space movie starring Brad Pitt. 

Ang Lee has a new religion in digital. Will anyone follow?
Jake Coyle, The Associated Press 

Ang Lee’s conversion began with “Life of Pi.” It was the director’s first movie in 3-D, and he sweated anxiously over the implementation of the technology and the torturous process of adapting Yann Martel’s fanciful and allegorical book set principally in a raft containing a 450-pound Bengal tiger.


“Jesus, Are We Doing This Again?”: At Today, A “Wound Being Reopened” As Ronan Farrow Takes Aim At Lauer, NBC Management
Joe Pompeo, Vanity Fair 

Just about two years ago, #MeToo, which had been spreading like wildfire, arrived at the Today show. Matt Lauer, NBC’s $25 million face of 7 to 9 a.m., was abruptly terminated after an NBC employee lodged what was described as a sexual-misconduct complaint against him.

Inside the ‘heated’ meeting at NBC after rape accusation against Matt Lauer
Carlos Greer and Oli Coleman, Page Six 

Following Wednesday’s allegation that Matt Lauer raped a co-worker, there was a “disastrous” and “heated” meeting at NBC on Thursday morning, we’re told, during which senior correspondents “attacked” the network’s news chief, Noah Oppenheim.

Ubisoft Planning Animated TV Adaptations of Popular Game Franchises
Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter 

Video game giant Ubisoft is getting cartoonish. The Paris-based company’s film and television division is developing a slate of animated series inspired by its existing IP.

Lifetime at 35: Women as ‘Survivors, Not Victims’ and Expanding Unscripted Brands
Danielle Turchiano, Variety 

Robin Roberts. Gretchen Carlson.

NBCU Cable Networks Refuse to Air Trump Campaign Ad Aimed at Joe Biden
Suzanne Vranica and Jeff Horwitz, The Wall Street Journal 

Comcast Corp. ’s NBCUniversal won’t continue to air a Trump re-election campaign ad on any of its cable networks unless changes are made to the spot, according to a person familiar with NBCU. The 30-second commercial contains an unsubstantiated claim about former Vice President Joe Biden’s role in the ouster of a Ukrainian prosecutor. 

HBO Adds Mental Health Awareness Disclaimers Before ‘Euphoria,’ ‘Barry,’ and ‘Sopranos’
LaToya Ferguson, IndieWire 

Starting October 10 — World Mental Health Day — HBO is adding mental health awareness disclaimers, called “bumpers”, to select episodes of its programming, including from shows like “Euphoria”, “Barry”, and “The Sopranos”. These bumpers will specifically occur before episodes that feature scenes of mental illness, as well as provide the phone number for a mental health hotline (1.833.HBO.NAMI) for viewers to call for help with related issues.

Technology and New Media

Exclusive data shows how much buzz Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, and HBO Max have built with streaming users before launch
Ashley Rodriguez, Business Insider Prime

In a media yearbook of 2019, you might find Disney Plus under the label of “most likely to succeed.” The forthcoming streaming service — which is launching with a new “Star Wars” series, “The Mandalorian,” and a number of Marvel, Pixar, and other Disney films — has drummed up more interest among would-be subscribers than any other upcoming streaming service, according to a newly released survey.

Netflix Goes All Out to Wow Children as Streaming Wars Intensify
Brooks Barnes, The New York Times 

Walk the halls of Netflix Animation, spread across three buildings in the heart of Hollywood, and a cheeky question may cross your mind: Is anyone left at Disney Channel headquarters?

In a crowded market, smaller streaming services must stand out — or perish
Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times 

Fifty miles from Netflix’s headquarters, entrepreneur Farhad Massoudi is building an alternative to the country’s most popular subscription streaming service. His company, Tubi, offers a library of shows and movies similar to Netflix, for free.

Vice News Sells Spotify Three Podcast Series
Todd Spangler, Variety 

Vice Media, in another bid to diversify its revenue mix, struck a deal with Spotify to distribute three podcast series exclusive on the streaming platform. Vice News will produce the trio of original podcast series, combining long-form narrative, talk, and investigative journalism, covering the 2020 U.S. election and current events worldwide.

Are these end times for binge culture?
Meredith Blake and Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times 

After years of buildup, feverish media speculation and a steady drip, drip of promotion, Apple will finally make its long-awaited push into original programming with the Nov. 1 launch of its streaming service, Apple TV+.

Apple Arcade’s black box
Sarah Perez, TechCrunch 

Apple Arcade is a new kind of App Store. One where eclectic, indie and original content can shine.

Telemundo developing two English-language news shows for Quibi
Wendy Lee, Los Angeles Times 

Telemundo on Thursday said it was developing two exclusive English-language news shows for Quibi, a streaming service set to launch in April. Quibi, led by veteran film mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and veteran tech leader Meg Whitman, aims to present stories told in bite-sized chapters through video, primarily for the millennial audience.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Streaming TV sparked a creative revolution. Now it’s at risk of losing its edge
Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times 

Cutting the cord used to feel like cutting loose. Streaming TV promised new faces, new formats, even a new way of watching.

How Will Smith Cracked the Code on Making Real Money in Hollywood
Tatiana Siegel, The Hollywood Reporter 

In March 2016, Will Smith was at a crossroads. After three decades in show business, he was coming off the coldest streak of an otherwise stellar career.

The Impossible Politics of Joker
Alison Willmore, Vulture 

On December 22, 1984, Bernhard Goetz shot four teenagers on the subway. Goetz, a 37-year-old white man who’d started carrying a revolver after having been mugged a few years earlier, opened fire in what he insisted was an act of self-defense, wounding Barry Allen, Troy Canty, and James Ramseur, and permanently paralyzing Darrell Cabey. 

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