cityfile · 10/30/09 01:24PM

• Miramax's chief, Daniel Battsek, has been forced out of the company. [LAT]
• The Washington Post Co. reports revenue and profits were up in the third quarter, not that it had anything to do with its newspaper division. [AP]
• Sony posted a loss for its most recent quarter even though it says it's sold 9 million Michael Jackson albums since his death in June. [AP, Wrap]
• The Travel Channel may fetch $1 billion as part of a bidding war. [NYT]
Shepard Smith is Fox News' man of reason, according to Lloyd Grove. [TDB]
• Related: Jon Stewart ripped Fox News apart again last night. [TDS]
• Will new talk shows hosted by Wanda Sykes, George Lopez, and Mo'Nique revive the late night format? Probably not, but they're going to try. [WSJ]

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]

Will Miramax's Impending Doom Signal the Death of Studio Indies?

Foster Kamer · 10/03/09 12:15PM

The Disney-owned production house named after founders Bob and Harvey Weinsteins' parents, Miramax, is—like Bob and Harvey's current shop—facing tough times. But while The Weinstein Company struggles for air, Miramax is being choked out by its corporate parents.

Miramax Layoffs, Time Inc. Rumors & Letterman Fallout

cityfile · 10/02/09 02:27PM

• Time Inc. is "not for sale," says Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes. [DF]
• Meanwhile, Time Inc., Condé Nast, and Hearst are looking to team up and create a "Hulu for magazines." Another winning idea, clearly. [FT, ATD]
• Miramax is fast approaching non-existence. Disney, Miramax's parent, is cutting 50 jobs at the company, leaving it with just 20 employees. [NYT]
• The pros and cons to a marriage between Comcast and NBC. [AdAge]
• The Washington Post and Bloomberg are launching a joint news service. [AP]
TV Guide dismissed several execs yesterday, including its publisher. [NYP]
• Former Warner Bros. and Yahoo! chief Terry Semel was interested in buying the Nets, but he couldn't compete with Russian mogul Mikhail Prokhorov. [P6]
• Will the David Letterman drama ultimately hurt the show's ratings or send skittish advertisers running for the exits? That's unlikely, say observers. [THR]
• The cover of Sarah Palin's forthcoming (and already best-selling) memoir, Going Rogue, has been revealed. Try to contain your excitement. [AP]

Gawker's 'Status Galley' Book Club: Joshua Ferris' The Unnamed

Foster Kamer · 07/12/09 09:45PM

Publishers release "advance reader copies" or "galleys" of books for the New York Literary Elite to have before the masses and Oprah ruin them for you. Being spotted with some merits certain kinds of "status"...that we're about to ruin.

The Mood in Cannes, Update From the Upfronts

cityfile · 05/19/09 11:59AM

• How are things going at the Cannes Film Festival? It depends on who you talk to. The Journal says it's been "conspicuously less frenzied" and business has been "slow." The Hollywood Reporter says it's beating expectations and "doomsayers" have been "proven wrong." Take your pick. [WSJ, THR]
• NBC is dropping Medium and My Name Is Earl for the fall, but bringing back Chuck. It's also renewed Law & Order for a 20th season. [NYT, AP, NYT]
• What can you expect on ABC this fall? More Dancing With the Stars. [THR]
• CBS is ditching Without A Trace, but has renewed Numb3rs. [EW]
• Time Warner Cable is dropping HDNet and HDNet Movies as May 31. [MC]

Outraged Activists Suggest 'Full Blindness' is the New 'Full Retard'

STV · 10/01/08 05:10PM

You really can't make this stuff up: If it's not the developmentally disabled failing to grasp the point of Tropic Thunder's "full-retard" satire, then it's the blind protesting a movie they can't even see. Or so says the president of the National Federation of the Blind, who sat in on a recent screening of the Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo film Blindness with a few sighted allies, only to emerge outraged over the depiction of townspeople reduced to madness and violence when struck by a blindness epidemic. Based on Nobel laureate Jose Saramago's novel, the film actually reflects the author's metaphor of sudden, corrupted social order; little did Saramago know he was actually composing the Simple Jack of modern literary allegories. We mean it! Take back his Nobel Prize! And boycott Blindness, while you're at it; that's the least you could do for a guy with grievances (after the jump) like NFB boss Marc Maurer's:

AUDIO: Leaked Harvey Weinstein Tapes Warn Tarantino Of 'Midnight Phone Call' From Enraged De Niro

Kyle Buchanan · 09/26/08 11:50AM

As if suffering through Righteous Kill and a stultifying Letterman Top 10 weren't career punishment enough for Robert De Niro, the actor has found himself the subject of just-leaked phone calls between Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein during the making of Jackie Brown — and the conversation paints the supposedly money-grubbing De Niro in a light more unflattering than the entirety of Rocky & Bullwinkle:

'House Bunny' Writers Recall Weinstein Fart Directives and Other Hollywood Dues-Paying

STV · 08/25/08 07:30PM

We hope you got a kick out of Sunday's profile of Karen McCullah Lutz and Kirsten Smith, the screenwriters behind last weekend's highest-grossing new release The House Bunny, as well as previous hits 10 Things I Hate About You, Legally Blonde and She's the Man. Now the two are moving into producing, adaptations and will soon have an ABC series loosely based on their lives — another long stride in their champagne-soaked march toward world conquest. But what more should viewers at home expect from the personal stories of perhaps the most successful writing duo on Earth without a Y-chromosome between them? After the jump, The NY Times tips off a few more key secrets of Being Lutz and Smith:

Harvey Weinstein Hasn't Much To Give

Ryan Tate · 08/08/08 07:59AM

It's been such a rough couple of years for Harvey Weinstein. The movie mogul has seen disappointment at the box office, his MySpace for millionaires continues to flatline, the value of its video distributor has been decimated. Perhaps that's why his charitable foundation, set up in honor of his parents like former studio Miramax, contributed just 96,000 last year. Apparently that's not much when you're a man of means. According to Cityfile, just $64,000 of that amount went to actual charities, the rest being overhead. Assuming Weinstein isn't stashing his donations somewhere else, one has to wonder whether he hates the poors — or is just afraid of becoming one. (On the mogul scale, of course.) [Cityfile]

Harvey's Tumble

Nick Denton · 07/09/08 01:38PM

Could 2008 be the year that Hollywood has waited for so long, when that "indestructible cockroach" of independent movies-New York's Harvey Weinstein-finally runs out of luck? Forget about disappointing revenues from movies such as Quentin Tarantino's Grindhouse; one should be looking at the plight of a boring home video distributor which was supposed to be the Weinsteins' salvation.

Latest Show On Broadway: Harvey Weinstein In Other People's Money

Nick Denton · 06/20/08 09:25AM

Variety reports in typically sycophantic fashion that Harvey Weinstein will bring some of his greatest movie hits to Broadway-starting with Finding Neverland in 2010, followed by a stage version of Pink Floyd's The Wall, Shakespeare in Love, Chocolat, Cinema Paradiso, and Shall We Dance. Weinstein and his brother have "mega" TV plans too. The film producer's entertainment interests-which range from movies to reality television, online social networks, fashion and the theater-seems impressive both in breadth and the financial confidence they would indicate. But don't be fooled.

What's Stopping Cannes From Embracing Bleak New Julianne Moore Film?

STV · 04/29/08 12:30PM

The Cannes rumor mill is whirring at full speed again today as the trades pick up whispers that the Julianne Moore/Mark Ruffalo drama Blindness is likely to occupy the opening-night slot. The Toronto Star is saying it's a done deal, but it's not official, and we're not so sure; with barely two weeks remaining before the May 14th opener, word over the Defamer transom suggests that Blindness is bad enough to make festival programmers wait — and make distributor Miramax stall — before committing the plum spot to a stinker.

Weinsteins Set New Standard for DVD Oblivion

STV · 02/28/08 03:11PM

With interests including Halston, A Small World and, well, the Weinstein Company, the post-Miramax Weinstein brothers have proven their uncanny ability to diversify, crash and burn as well as any moguls this side of Charles Keating. No reversal of fortune is complete, however, without a boutique DVD label and a few classics freshly extracted from Harvey Weinstein's TiVo:

Harvey Weinsten's Missteps

Doree · 04/12/07 04:47PM

Is it perhaps your fault, movie-goer, that Grindhouse opened to startlingly bad box office? As the Times writes today, its take is $11.6 million, to be exact—less than half than had been projected. Grindhouse's disappointing opening, coupled with the less-than-stellar showings by films like Factory Girl and Breaking and Entering, has led to speculation that Harvey Weinstein—for so long, the Manhattan king of Hollywood and the pioneer of the sorta-independent film—might be vulnerable for the first (well, sort of second!) time in his formidable career. Is he suffering from outsized expectations? Or is there something more nefarious at work? To the evidence!

More Successl For The Pessl: Miramax Options 'Special Topics'

Emily Gould · 01/11/07 09:40AM

More good news for publicity-shy author Marisha Pessl: she not only has a fancy new paintbox, she now has a movie deal. Variety reported today that Miramax Films and producer Scott Rudin have bought film rights to her debut novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics. A preternaturally prescient Pessl forsaw this outcome; in an interview in September's Bookslut (that we, uh, remember somehow), Pessl talked about what she'd want to happen with her book's movie rights: "I hope it goes to someone really good, like Sofia Coppola." Well, no dice on that front, but there's still a chance — albeit a slim one — that Pessl will get her way when it comes to casting: "I like the idea of hiring all unknowns!" We're happy for the Pessl, and we hope for her sake that the deal was a big fat one — the loft she shares with her hedge-fund husband looks a little cramped in this picture; and we were concerned that she wouldn't have enough room for her painting hobby.