cityfile · 02/04/10 04:09PM

• Lawmakers on Capitol Hill grilled Brian Roberts and Jeff Zucker today about Comcast's proposed takeover of NBC Universal. Meantime, Zucker's chances of keeping his job as NBC's CEO? Dimmer by the day. [Reuters, WSJ, LAT]
Observer owner Jared Kushner is expanding: He's decided to partner with another company to launch a free newspaper in Vegas for some reason. [NYT]
• More on the deep job cuts at CBS News this week. [NYT, LAT]
Howard Stern's contract with Sirius XM expires this year. Whether he ends up staying put—or finds a new home on radio or TV—is up in the air. [THR]
• EMI announced a massive annual loss and now needs more cash. [BBC]
• Another installment of Fast and Furious is on the way. Finally! [Variety]
• Does the National Enquirer deserve a Pulitzer Prize? Probably! [Gawker]

cityfile · 02/03/10 04:15PM

• CBS News laid off more than 150 staffers this week. Will Katie Couric be forced to take a pay cut when her contract expires next year? Some say yes; CBS News chief Sean McManus is denying the report. [NYP, Politico]
Avatar has dominated the box office for seven straight weeks now (and has officially bested Titanic), but that may change this weekend or next. [LAT]
• Janice Kaplan is out as editor-in-chief of Parade magazine. [NYT]
• Nikki Finke says it will take "minutes" for Comcast to dump NBC CEO Jeff Zucker after its acquisition of NBC is approved by regulators. (Meantime, maybe he could explain why the Today show is propping up Scientology?)
• An estimated 12 million people tuned in to Lost last night. [Forbes]
• Time Warner reported fourth-quarter revenues and profits were up. [AP]
• Fox and ESPN will challenge NBC for the 2014 and 2016 Olympics. [BN]
• Does Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter hate non-white women? [DF]

cityfile · 02/02/10 04:17PM

Jon Stewart will face off against Bill O'Reilly when he enters the "No Spin Zone" tomorrow evening. In somewhat related news, pedicure-loving ex-congressman (and wanna-be Senator) Harold Ford hit Colbert last night.
• Is the magazine industry on the verge of a turnaround? Let's hope so! [AA]
• TV news: ABC is thinking of moving The View to the afternoon; Fox confirms it's had "conversations" with Conan about a late-night show, but hasn't had any real "negotiations"; and Matthew Broderick may be coming to the small screen.
• Layoffs: Big cuts went down at CBS News yesterday afternoon. And Sony Pictures has announced that it's cutting 450 positions at the studio.
• For the first time in a long time, CNN has surpassed MSNBC in primetime. Neither network is close to catching up with Fox News, though. [Politico, LAT]
• A reality show about The Oprah Winfrey Show is coming to Oprah's new cable channel next January. The network will also be home to shows about imprisoned women, "miracle detectives," and workaholic parents. [NYT]
• News Corp. is in talks with James Cameron about an Avatar sequel. [THR]
• Did you catch the New York Post's "prosti-dude" story today? Some staffers at the paper were a little less than thrilled with the PR stunt, it seems. [Gawker]
• Condé Nast's new fraud hotline should make ratting out co-workers (for stealing office supplies, expensing meals with friends, etc.) much easier! [NYP]
• More on this morning's Oscar nominations. [THR, NYT, TE, LAT]
• Meet Hollywood's top 40 moneymakers for 2009. [Vanity Fair]

cityfile · 01/13/10 04:40PM

• Sick of the Leno-Conan saga yet? Conan is still negotiating an exit from NBC (and will probably continue ripping the network to shreds on his show until a deal is done). And now there's a rumor that Jay Leno may bolt from NBC as well, since "it looks like he is the reason that Conan is now without a job." The good news for everyone involved? All that drama has been great for ratings.
• The fact it was NBC chief Jeff Zucker who greenlit The Biggest Loser a few years back? Judging by the coverage today, it's looking increasingly likely that those three words haunt him forever/serve as his career epitaph. [NYT, NYP]
Roger Ailes isn't leaving Fox News, says News Corp. prez Chase Carey. [LAT]
CBS Early Show news anchor Russ Mitchell is leaving the program. [NYT]
• Last night's season premiere of American Idol reeled in 30 mil. people. [LAT]
• Sarah Palin's debut on Fox News last night scored big ratings, too. [HP]
• Did you hear Vogue staffers have to take the subway from now on due to cost cuts? Needless to say, Anna Wintour is exempt from this sort of insanity. [P6]
• Not too many Condé Nast employees were sad to see Richard Beckman leave the company. And there's no word yet on who will replace him. [NYO, NYP]
• Ben Silverman, the second-worst executive in the history of NBC (see above), but who got lucky and was canned just in the nick of time, is engaged. [P6]
Project Runway returns to the air—and NYC—tomorrow night. [NYDN]

cityfile · 01/11/10 03:54PM

• NBC finally confirmed yesterday that it's canceling Jay Leno's 10pm show and moving him back to late-night. Whether Conan O'Brien stays at the network or jumps to Fox remains an open question for now. [NYT, TMZ, NYP]
• More bad news for NBC: The network expects to lose money broadcasting the Winter Olympics from Vancouver later this year, which would be a first. [NYT]
• Sarah Palin has signed on to join Fox News as a contributor. Exactly what she'll be doing there—and how much she'll get paid—is unclear. [NYT]
• In case you missed the front-page Times story about Fox News CEO Roger Ailes yesterday, he makes a ton of money for Rupert Murdoch, doesn't get along much with Murdoch's kids, and hates liberals. Oh, and he's armed. [NYT]
• TV news: NBC has ordered six new drama pilots for the fall now that the network is moving Jay Leno out of primetime; CBS reports it's close to signing David Letterman and Craig Ferguson to new contracts; and Fox is renewing Glee for a second season, which should come as a surprise to no one.
• Simon Cowell wasn't kidding when he said he was leaving American Idol? He'll depart the show after the current season to host The X Factor on Fox. [LAT]
• As many as 1,200 AOL employees could get pink-slipped this week. [NYT]
Avatar continues to rake it in. The movie was No. 1 for a fourth straight weekend and has now grossed $1.34 billion around the world. [MTV]
• Erica Hill is saying goodbye to CNN and is joining CBS News. [NYDN]
• Tucker Carlson's politics site, The Daily Caller, launched today. [WaPo]
• Did NBC try to poach Barbara Walters last year? Seems so. [HP]

cityfile · 11/25/09 02:48PM

• Sarah Palin's memoir is officially No. 1 on the US bestseller list, alas. [NYT]
• A Swiss court has granted bail to director Roman Polanski. [Times UK]
• Oprah will sit down with the president as part of a Christmas special. [THR]
• All that drama at the AMAs is boosting sales of Glambert's new album. [LAT]
• Related: Is there a double-standard when it comes to gay performers on network television? CBS's Early Show asks the question, then answers it. [HP]
• Fox is looking forward to the return of Idol and 24 in a few weeks. [NYT]
New Moon has a lock on the long weekend box office, not surprisingly. [LAT]
• Carla Bruni-Sarkozy on her decision to appear in Woody Allen's next film: "Maybe I will be terrible. But, in my life, I cannot let such a chance go." [BN]

Katie Couric's Forbidden Dance of Gin

John Cook · 11/23/09 10:29AM

When CBS News anchor Katie Couric isn't asking Sarah Palin gotcha questions, she's doin' Da Butt, or the Lambada, or whatever white ladies do when the Black Eyed Peas are on the sound system. More unbelievable images after the jump.

cityfile · 10/19/09 03:29PM

• The New York Times says it will cut 100 newsroom jobs, or roughly 8% of its editorial workforce, via buyouts and/or layoffs. [NYT, NYO]
• The Condé Nast cuts continue today at Wired, Glamour and Lucky. [Gawker]
• The bad news for NBC: It's facing blowback from its affiliates over Jay Leno's 10pm show. The good news: MObama is booked on Leno this Fri. [LAT, AP]
• Meanwhile, Vivendi, NBC and Comcast are inching along in their respective negotiations to hand over control of the network to Comcast; and former News Corp. exec Peter Chernin has signed on to advise the cable giant. [NYT, WSJ]
• CBS News paid tribute to late 60 Minutes creator Don Hewitt today. [AP]
• Ticket sales were up big this weekend. As expected, Where the Wild Things Are came in No. 1 at the box office with $32.5 million in sales. [LAT, THR]

Vogue Cuts, The NYT Changes Course & The WSJ Wins

cityfile · 10/14/09 02:40PM

• The Condé Nast job cuts have made their way to Anna's domain on the 12th floor of 4 Times Square: Vogue laid off six staffers today. [AllThingsD]
• More bad news for Condé: some advertisers are reportedly "jumping ship" after the recent shake-up at Brides. On the plus side, The New Yorker appears to be hiring, so you can take that as good news if you'd like. [NYP, NYO]
• Remember how the New York Times Co. was planning to sell the Boston Globe? Yea, well, NYT publisher Artie Sulz has changed his mind. [AP, BG]
• Mike Bloomberg totally approves of Bloomberg LP's decision to buy BusinessWeek. Translation: The mayor backs the decisions he, himself, makes even if he contends that he wasn't actually responsible for making them. [NYT]
• Is Bloomberg LP's acquisition of BusinessWeek part of a big, new plan to compete with the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones? Sure seems like it. [NYT]
• Meanwhile, WSJ staffers gathered today to toast the news that the Journal has surpassed USA Today as the top-selling paper in the U.S. [Politico, E&P]
• CBS News is now "investigating" the David Letterman saga (and his employer CBS!) as part of a future story. That must be a bit awkward, huh? [NYO]

Who Is David Letterman's Alleged Extortionist?

John Cook · 10/02/09 11:38AM

It boggles the mind that the man accused of hatching a bizarre scheme to blackmail David Letterman appears to be an experienced and talented television journalist. Here's what we know about Joe Halderman.