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]

Peacock-Killer Jeff Zucker Must Go

Pareene · 01/13/10 01:25PM

Many years ago, NBC decided that the guy who came up with the idea of doing concerts on The Today Show would make a great network head. Now they are in last place. Except in jokes, where they are first.

cityfile · 01/12/10 06:09PM

• More on the epic mess at NBC: Conan O'Brien's manager says the late-night host's missive earlier today "came from the heart" and wasn't a negotiating ploy; TMZ reports that Conan is close to signing a deal with Fox; the public is siding with O'Brien over Leno; Letterman is taking lots of pleasure in the drama, naturally; and as for NBC chief Jeff Zucker, the man responsible for creating this disaster, this latest chapter may (finally!) be his undoing.
• Sarah Palin showed up for her first day at Fox News today. [AP, NYT]
• Is Rupert Murdoch about to kick Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to the curb? Some people seem to think so, although it's probably pretty unlikely. [NYM]
• Longtime Condé Nast exec Richard Beckman is leaving the publishing giant to become the CEO of e3 Global Media, the company that is now in control of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, AdAge and others. [NYP, NYT]
• Remember that breach-of-contract lawsuit against CBS that Dan Rather lost last fall? His motion to appeal the decision has ended in defeat, too. [AP]
• ABC is bringing back Cougar Town, The Middle and Modern Family for second seasons. No word on the fate of Conveyor Belt of Love, alas. [LAT]
• Who will replace Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 4? Take your pick! [LAT]
• Google may close its China operations over freedom of speech issues. [PC]
• "Just how bad was 2009 for magazines?" Pretty bad. [NYT]

NBC's Problems Grow Bigger by the Minute

cityfile · 01/12/10 12:48PM

NBC's late-night mess just got a little messier. Conan O'Brien says he is not willing to bump his show to 12:05am, since doing so "will seriously damage what I consider to be the greatest franchise in the history of broadcasting." But he isn't necessarily leaving NBC and says he hasn't received an offer to go elsewhere. Your move, Zucker. [NYT]

cityfile · 12/11/09 03:22PM

• The New York Times is gearing up to cut another two dozen positions at the newspaper, but that's fewer than NYT execs were anticipating. [NYP]
• Cancellations: MTV has pulled the plug on Alexa Chung's daytime show; and HBO's Flight of the Conchords is finished after two seasons. [THR, Variety]
Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo bid goodbye to GMA this morning. [ABC]
• NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who will remain in charge of NBC after Comcast takes control, has been signed up to a new three-year contract. [THR]
• Ex-Daily News editor Debby Krenek is Newsday's new editor-in-chief. [E&P]
• Stodgy Harvard Business Review is getting a sexy makeover! [NYT]
• Grim stat du jour: 367 magazines were shuttered in 2009. [Crain's]
• More on Dave Zinczenko, the laziest magazine editor alive. [Gawker, DF]

cityfile · 12/02/09 03:35PM

Rupert Murdoch is hoping to give the Times a run for its money. The mogul plans to put $15 million into the NYC edition of the Wall Street Journal. [NYO]
• ABC still hasn't said who's replacing Diane Sawyer on Good Morning America, which has led to some "puzzlement and frustration" among staffers. [LAT]
• Why is Comcast planning to keep Jeff Zucker on as NBC Universal's CEO after it takes control of the company? There are no easy explanations, alas. [NYT]
• The Times may "prune" its collection of 70 blogs to cut expenses. [NYO]
• Sam Zell has stepped down as CEO of Tribune; he'll remain chairman. [NYT]
• The lineup for Sundance 2010 was announced today. [Vulture, NYT]
• Tiger Woods' spicy extracurricular activities would have come out two years ago if the National Enquirer hadn't cut a deal with the golfer. Allegedly. [NYP]

cityfile · 11/19/09 03:42PM

• It's official: Oprah says she plans to call it quits in September 2011. [ABC]
• Layoffs: The BusinessWeek cuts continue (and include a handful of the mag's more notable names); meanwhile the AP body count now stands at 90.
• Sarah Palin sold 300,000 copies of her book the first day, alas. [TDB]
• Condé Nast and Adobe are teaming up to bring Wired to electronic reading devices. Digital versions of Vogue, VF, and the NYer will follow. [WSJ]
Vogue's design director is exiting the magazine after a four-year run. [WWD]
• In other Anna news, her de facto stepdaughter, Alexis Bryan Morgan, is leaving the Condé Nast family to take Nina Garcia's old job at Elle. [NYM]
• Cable mogul John Malone isn't happy about the idea of Comcast and NBC teaming up. Meanwhile NBC chief Jeff Zucker is staying mum about the deal.
• Another rumored Playboy bidder is denying interest in an acquisition. [NYT]
• Does Bonnie Fuller's new website stand a chance? [NYP]

The Vampires Are Coming! Lock Up Your Checkbooks

Richard Rushfield · 11/19/09 12:57PM

In a few months, after New Moon leaves the theaters, we will celebrate the milestone of being halfway through our national Twilight journey, with only two more films to go. But first we have to get through this weekend.

cityfile · 11/10/09 04:37PM

• Comcast and GE have reportedly agreed that Jeff Zucker will remain the CEO of NBC Universal as part of their proposed $30 billion joint venture. Well done, gentlemen. Good to see things get started on the right foot. [Reuters]
• In related news, Zucker's totally brilliant plan to move Jay Leno to 10pm is paying off beautifully. Leno sank to a brand new ratings low last night. [NYT]
• Anita Dunn, the White House communications director who started the administration's war with Fox News last month, is stepping down. [WP]
• Hey, it's not all bad news for Condé Nast. Self is doing pretty well. [WWD]
• The creators of Will & Grace are working on a Twitter-inspired show. [THR]
• The nominations for the 2010 People's Choice Awards were announced today, just in case you happen to be care about that sort of thing. [LAT]
• Aerosmith is looking for new lead singer, in case you're job-hunting. [LAT]
• George Lopez and Wanda Sykes' debuts this week scored solid ratings. [NYT]
• Simon Cowell made $75 million last year, earning him the top spot on Forbes' list of primetime's top-earning men. Ryan Seacrest exploded in tears when he heard he came in No. 3 with $38 million. Or so we'd like to think. [Forbes]

The Peter Chernin-Comcast Conspiracy Is Revealed

Richard Rushfield · 10/20/09 01:33PM

For the past few months Hollywood's favorite two guessing games have been: Who's going to take over NBC/Universal and what's going to happen to ex-Fox chief Peter Chernin? Well, yesterday the two games collided in a paradigm-exploding pile-up.

NBC's Sale, BusinessWeek's Deal & Fury at Fox News

cityfile · 10/13/09 02:41PM

• There may be other suitors for NBC in addition to Comcast. Like News Corp. And Liberty Media. And Time Warner. Or maybe not. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, for one, says he isn't interested. [THR, DHD, Gawker, AdAge]
• More on the sale of BusinessWeek: "Knowledgeable sources" say Bloomberg is paying $2-$5 million in cash for the mag. And another source reports the mag will be changing its name to Bloomberg BusinessWeek. Naturally. [BW, NYT]
• The war between the White House and Fox News goes on. [NYDN, ABC, CJR]
• If you notice TV commercials seem more upbeat than usual, it's because the advertising world has decided to be cheerful and optimistic again. [NYT]
The Atlantic has determined that NBC CEO Jeff Zucker and New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. are "Brave Thinkers," for some reason. [NYO]

Comcast's Plans For NBC; Blagojevich's New Gig

cityfile · 10/09/09 03:24PM

• Comcast is "leaning toward" keeping Jeff Zucker as NBC Universal's CEO if it goes ahead with a deal to buy take control of the company. [Bloomberg]
• The Fine Living Network will be rebranded as the Cooking Channel—and positioned as a Food Network competitor—in the second half of 2010. [AdAge]
• Some laid-off staffers at Condé Nast are furious about the severance they've received; chances are ex-Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl isn't one of them. [NYP]
• Does NBC's decision to cancel Southland "signal an abandonment of a decades-long commitment to drama"? Some seem to think so. Meanwhile, the show's producers are looking for a new home for the cop drama. [NPR, LAT]
• Let the hair battle begin: Disgraced former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich may be a contestant on Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice next season. [CT]

Condé's Closings; Changes at Universal and Disney

cityfile · 10/05/09 02:15PM

• More on Condé Nast's decision to shut down four magazines, including Gourmet, Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride: An estimated 180 people will likely lose their jobs as part of the move, although CEO Chuck Townsend says the company has no plans to shutter any other titles. [NYO, AdAge]
• If Comcast goes ahead with a deal to take a controlling stake in NBC, Jeff Zucker, NBC Universal's CEO, may need to find a new job. [NYP]
Don Imus' radio show debuted on Fox Business today. [WP]
• Rich Ross, the president of Disney Channels Worldwide, is taking over Walt Disney Studios; he's succeeding Dick Cook, who was ousted on Sept. 16. [NYT]
• Universal Pictures has fired chairmen Marc Shmuger and David Linde. [LAT]
• CBS has been busy ridding YouTube of David Letterman's mea culpa. [NYT]
Zombieland was No. 1 at the box office this weekend with a $25 million take. Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs dropped to second place. [Variety]
• It wasn't all bad news at Condé Nast today: The New Yorker landed its biggest ad buy since 2005 with a $1 million deal with HSBC. [Folio]

Leno's Fall, Bloomberg's Bid, Dan Brown's Big Day

cityfile · 09/16/09 01:36PM

• As expected, ratings for Jay Leno's new show are falling fast. [THR]
• Bloomberg LP appears to now be in the lead to buy BusinessWeek. [NYP]
• Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol sold 1 million copies its first day. [NYT]
• Don't try to talk to Vogue publisher Tom Florio about what changes are in store for the mag now that those McKinsey consultants have finished their review. (He's not talking about it.) Meantime, McKinsey's final report will be handed over to Condé Nast's management next week. [NYO, WWD]
• Fox News boss Roger Ailes collected $24 million in compensation last year, which is $2 million more than his boss, Rupert Murdoch, took home. [BW]
Jay-Z has his 11th No. 1 album. That puts him ahead of Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most chart-toppers. But he's still behind the Beatles. [LAT]