• It's been two days since Condé Nast announced plans to shut down four of its magazines, but the bad news continues to trickle in. According to some number-crunching by Newsweek, the magazine giant could see ad revenue drop by $1 billion in 2009; rumor has it additional layoffs went down today; and the decision to shutter Gourmet is still generating controversy.
• CBS execs must be breathing a sigh of relief. Despite the insane media attention focused on David Letterman's sex scandal over the past week, Late Show advertisers appear to be sticking by him. [NYT]
• TV news: NBC has canceled the cop drama Southland. And ABC is picking up three show for the full season: Modern Family, Cougar Town, and The Middle.
• A Project Runway videogame is coming to the Wii next spring. [Variety]
NBC executives hop back and forth from a certain TV production company with the alacrity of former Pentagon officials working their connections for a corrupt defense contractor. The latest? Today Show producer Noah Oppenheim is moving to Reveille, the production unit started by NBC wunderkind co-boss Ben Silverman. Reveille-now owned by mogul-daughter Elisabeth Murdoch-brought shows such as The Office to NBC. So now Oppenheim will be pitching projects to his former boss on behalf of the very company which made Silverman's fortune. How very cosy. (TV Newser)
Elisabeth Murdoch—the daughter of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, owner of all currently operating media outlets—has a personal story that Horatio Alger would appreciate. Sure, today she's the CEO of her own production company. But she started with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Elisabeth Murdoch was once a lowly, unappreciated "broke acquisitions executive" on the bottom rung of the ladder, according to Elisabeth Murdoch. In a recent speech to a crowd of other wealthy entertainment executives [Hollywood Reporter], she delivered a tale of woe and triumph that will serve as an inspiration to people who, like Murdoch, had to work their way up with pure grit:
Meet media up and comer Elisabeth Murdoch. She's a TV whiz whose company just made a $125 million acquisition! The Times says she "Sets Her Own Course in TV" and now has "the beginnings of her own global entertainment business!" How does she do it?? "Sony helped finance Ms. Murdoch's acquisitions, having recently raised its stake to 20 percent from 14 percent. Another source of funds was a distribution from the Murdoch family trust last year, in which each of the Murdoch children received $100 million in News Corporation stock for their personal use." Oh, right. That. [Times]
Shine, the TV production company run by Rupert daughter Elisabeth Murdoch, has announced its 2006 profits: Negative $3.6 million. Okay, the company is worth almost $500 million, so it's not the end of the world. But you would think that her dad could hook up some "synergy" to help her out. Synergy, Rupert! Shine also owns the company that makes the US versions of The Office and Ugly Betty, so they'll probably do better soon. Chin up, moguls! [Guardian UK]
Ben Silverman is the hard-partying, 37-year golden boy of NBC's entertainment division, and until this week had only one real blemish on his record: the conflict of interest in his buying for NBC many shows he himself created, though his production company, Reveille. No worries, though, because his "close friend" Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert, has taken his production company off his hands and given $125 million in return. The only wrinkle is that Silverman and Murdoch are still considered sufficiently tight that Silverman has to double-check decisions involving the production company the same way he did when he owned the thing. The friends go back 10 years, and Silverman was once Murdoch's agent. Even with the headaches, the deal is still a wise move; Silverman's financial conflict goes away, and he deepens his relationship with a fellow up-and-coming media executive and her dynastic family by becoming one of her major clients. [LA Times via Time]