Tyra's Day In Court, Sean Penn's Split

cityfile · 04/30/09 06:15AM

Tyra Banks took the stand to testify against accused stalker Brady Green yesterday and explained how she's had to hire a bodyguard and driver as a result of the incident. She also said she's no longer jogging outside and has been forced to hire a personal trainer, but we're pretty sure she had one of those long before Green came along. [NYDN, NYP]
• After 13 years of marriage, Sean Penn has filed for legal separation from wife Robin, news that may not come as a huge surprise given his long list of rumored paramours, including Petra Nemcova, Helena Christensen, Ines Misan, Naomi Campbell and Natalie Portman. [P6, People, Extra]
Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts' son, Sasha, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night for respiratory issues. [People]
• Madonna supposedly wants a summer house in the Hamptons. But she can't find a place willing to put up with her horse-related demands. [P6]
• Meanwhile, baby Mercy's 24-year-old father is demanding full custody of his daughter, since Madonna lacks "good morals." [NYP]

Brangelina Goes Shopping, LiLo Plans to Go Topless

cityfile · 04/21/09 06:19AM

• Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie went to the Stop & Shop in Oyster Bay with two of their kids on Saturday and were "very friendly" to employees of the store. Please try to contain your amazement. [Us]
• Lindsay Lohan must be hard up for cash, since she's reportedly in discussions to star in a topless show in Las Vegas. Even worse: She seems to think it will "really revitalize her career and give her some serious theater cred." [Fox]
Early Show anchor Julie Chen and her boss/husband, CBS chief exec Les Moonves, are expecting their first child this October. [P6]
• Speaking of kids, Amy Winehouse's rep says that the rumors the singer is adopting a child from the Caribbean are untrue. Be thankful for that! [DE]

Happy Birthday

cityfile · 12/23/08 07:42AM

Carla Bruni Sarkozy is celebrating today—France's First Lady is turning 41. CBS chief Les Moonves is 60. Conservative coumnist Bill Kristol is 56. Soap star Susan Lucci is 62. Badgley Mischka's James Mischka is turning 48. Author Donna Tartt is 45. Literary agent Elyse Cheney is 41. Retired Army General (and one-time presidential candidate) Wesley Clark is turning 64. Rock star Eddie Vedder turns 44. And The Girls Next Door's Holly Madison is 29 today.

A Makeover for Newsweek, More Media Layoffs

cityfile · 12/11/08 11:31AM

Newsweek is planning to cut staff as well as give the mag a makeover. [WSJ]
• NPR is cutting 7 percent of its staff and dropping two shows. [NYT]
• Ad spending fell 2 percent during the third quarter, although online advertising continued to grow. [Adage]
• Les Moonves isn't too worried about Jay Leno's move to primetime. [NYP]
• Rumor has it Entertainment Weekly may go web-only. [Gawker]
• Reed Elsevier, which has been trying to sell trade titles like Variety and Publishers Weekly, is pulling them off the market. [NYP]
• Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning. [HFPA]

Les Moonves Confident 'CSI' Will Crush Leno: 'By A Lot'

Seth Abramovitch · 12/10/08 01:32PM

As Jeff Zucker foists his last hopes for NBC on Leno and his arsenal of funny newspaper-clipping typos, his arch nemesis—future galactic despot Les Moonves—couldn't help but engage in a favorite pastime:

More Pain for Pecker, Regan's Fat Settlement

cityfile · 12/10/08 10:52AM

David Pecker's AMI, the publisher of the Star and National Enquirer, has been near bankruptcy for months. Now it's one step closer. [NYP]
♦ The details of Judith Regan's settlement with News Corp. have been revealed: It cost the company $10.75 million to make her go away. [Bloomberg]
Janet Robinson says there are no plans to sell the Times. [E&P]
♦ A brief explanation for why newspapers are so screwed right now. [NYT, AP]
♦ An increasingly desperate OK! has cut the price of the mag. [NYP]
♦ The reorganization of Random House will likely leave Sonny Mehta the big winner. [NYO]
♦ Les Moonves on the state of network TV: "The model ain't broke." [THR]
♦ Gus Van Sant's Milk was named by the New York Film Critics Circle as the best film of 2008. [THR]

CBS head honcho Les Moonves wants those newspaper ad dollars

Jackson West · 09/23/08 04:40PM

CBS CEO Les Moonves pontificated at the Mixx conference in New York today, saying that he loves the Internet, really. Departing from the party line of other networks, Moonves pointed out "The Internet is not cannabalistic; it is only additive," presumably referring to audience attention share between television and the Web. So how's CBS going to capitalize? The plan is go after what's left of the newspaper industries advertising with CNet and local affiliates. [MediaWeek] (Photo from Andrew Mager)

Can CNET Possibly Become Cool?

Hamilton Nolan · 09/08/08 12:09PM

CBS bought CNET, the tech-focused online conglomerate, for $1.8 billion earlier this year. Which prompted the general reaction "Really, that much?" And also, "Isn't this two fundamentally boring brands combining to form a larger, still boring brand?" Well one brave man says no, it's much more promising than that: CBS CEO Les Moonves, who engineered the deal! But is he right? It's hard to see why he would be: Moonves is counting on CNET to raise CBS' revenue by two points within three years, which would mean that its online growth would have to offset the "flattening out" of CBS' own TV and radio ad revenue. But CNET is basically a tech news brand, and a pretty unexciting one. CBS is a general interest brand, and an unexciting one. So why try to make CNET another unexciting, general-interest brand?


cityfile · 08/27/08 12:08PM

Anna Wintour, John Lithgow, and Les Moonves and Julie Chen (left) watching a match at the US Open ... Rachael Ray buying fruits and veggies at the Greenmarket ... The four American Idol judges on a red carpet at Chelsea Piers ... Supermodel Miranda Kerr taking a stroll downtown ... Don Cheadle waving outside the David Letterman show ... ... Carmen Electra blowing kisses from her SUV ... Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian acting like idiots at JFK ... Vanessa Minnillo shuttling between talk show appearances in Midtown ... Lindsay Price heading into an event at the Empire Hotel ... and Katie Holmes showing up to watch a performance of August: Osage County.

CBS wants 50 percent revenue growth from digital in three years

Jackson West · 07/31/08 05:20PM

In a conference call to discuss CBS's quarterly results, CEO Les Moonves pointed to the recently announced selloff of radio stations and acquisition of CNET as an effort to jumpstart growth. Profits for the quarter were up a measly 1 percent, and the stock price was down slightly on the news. Moonves is looking for the CBS Interactive division to grow its annual revenue to $1 billion in three years.That's presuming online ad industry growth matches expectations despite a larger economic downturn, which Moonves assures us all it certainly will. In fact, the 50 percent target is modest; it translates to 14.5 percent a year. Which means Moonves is assuming that CBS Interactive will underperform the online-advertising market, which is expected to grow 20 percent a year or more. (Photo by Getty/Vince Bucci)

Sun Valley Welcomes You!

cityfile · 07/08/08 06:23AM

It won't be quite as cheery as usual at Herb Allen's annual media mogul retreat, which kicks off today in Sun Valley. This time last year, the credit crisis was but a blip on the radar. Oh, how things have changed over the past twelve months. Without the billions on hand to close big deals, the economic downturn has made life pretty depressing for the master-of-the-universe set. But gather they will— the tennis and hiking must go on, damnit—and aside from the handful of players who were dropped from the invite list on account of their declining influence, all the media big shots are expected. Among those who will be cruising in on their company-owned jets: Rupert Murdoch (along with son Lachlan), Warren Buffett, Viacom chief Philippe Dauman, Les Moonves, Howard Stringer, Edgar Bronfman Jr., Jeff Bewkes and Dick Parsons of Time Warner, NBC's Jeff Zucker, Universal's Ron Meyer, Paramount chief Brad Grey, and Disney's Bob Iger.

That's What You Get For Ordering The Boss' Wife To Kansas

Nick Denton · 06/02/08 04:46PM

Rick Kaplan's exit from The Early Show-less than three months after the veteran TV producer was brought in to turn around the troubled CBS morning programme-has never been adequately explained. CBS's valiant flacks said he needed a rest after working two jobs, and would be focus on the network's election coverage. Blog Jossip speculated that Kaplan wanted a pay rise that CBS News chief Sean McManus wasn't prepared to give; but it would be surprising for an executive to attempt renegotiation so soon after taking a new job. Here's a more plausible narrative. According to a CBS insider, Kaplan's big mistake was falling out with his boss' wife, Early Show presenter Julie Chen.

Should Barack Get a Talk Show, or Should Tyra Be President?

ian spiegelman · 06/01/08 12:59PM

CBS president Les Moonves on talk show host / former supermodel Tyra Banks: "We're in a new day. We've seen with Tyra that the audience is changing. In the past, her audience would have been primarily African-American, but the television audience in general is becoming increasingly colorblind, and younger viewers are particularly colorblind. It's similar to the pattern we're seeing with voters and Barack Obama-he and Tyra have a similar appeal to the youth audience." [NYT]

CBS, meet your new anchorwoman

Owen Thomas · 05/29/08 01:40PM

CNET TV personality Natali Del Conte has recorded outtakes from her Loaded Web-video show. The highlight: Del Conte's reinterpretation of Flashdance. This makes us think of an obvious synergy play, now that CBS is buying CNET. CNET hired Del Conte and moved her to New York specifically to get her airtime talking about gadgets on the major broadcast networks. CBS, last I checked, is a major broadcast network. If CBS is serious about reversing its news division's aging demographics, CBS should move Loaded from the Web to primetime. Heck, Katie Couric's not doing so well in the anchor seat. Les Moonves, why not give Natali a spin?

Moonves declares CNET new CBS Interactive headquarters

Jackson West · 05/20/08 03:40PM

In an address to employees after a tour of the CNET building in SoMa, CBS chairman Leslie Moonves proclaimed, "CNET is CBS Interactive's worldwide headquarters." It might have been meant to stoke employees on the deal. But it could just as well remind workers who just went through a round of layoffs that they now face redundancy with CBS's own online publishing teams.

CBS CEO Les Moonves to visit CNET next Tuesday

Owen Thomas · 05/16/08 05:40PM

After buying CNET for $1.8 billion, CBS CEO Les Moonves is getting around to inspecting his new property next Tuesday, we hear. Moonves is visiting CNET's San Francisco headquarters to address the troops. So far, beaten-down CNETters, weary of the fight with hedge fund Jana Partners, seem mostly supine in CBS's embrace. Show some spirit, guys! We suggest testing your new CBS overlords' sense of humor by wearing some 2006-vintage "I Hate Les Moonves" T-shirts, from the days of his tussles with Howard Stern. Ironically retro, of course.

CBS Not Reinventing The Sitcom And Cop Show Wheel Here, Folks

Seth Abramovitch · 05/14/08 12:00PM

Following a detour in last season's CBS programming strategy which saw the network throw a few wackier ideas against the fridge to see what stuck (Drac Steele, Vampire P.I. and The Singing Venetian, Hugh Jackman's addition to the musical-casino genre, were what stuck), it seems they have returned to the dependability of laugh-tracks and procedurals for the fall 2008-09 season. At their upfronts announcement this morning at their New York offices, Les Moonves and trusty commandantes Nina Tassler and Kelly Kahl made official their last-minute, 22-episode order of The New Adventures of Old Christine, the unlikely story of what happens when Elaine loses her balls and spends the majority of her leisure time bickering with her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Following them on Wednesdays is a new sitcom, Project Gary, starring Jay Mohr, while another new, single-camera comedy, Worst Week, joins the Monday night lineup, alongside all the wisecracking nerd-geniuses and Britney guest spots you've come to expect.