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Media Gumbo: Jim Cramer staying on the Street.com and only on the Street.com, Harvey Weinstein feels stiffed by Jeff Zucker, hates his guts and more…

Published: Wednesday, April 09, 2008

If the war between NBC Universal and the Weinstein Company doesn’t give a major boost to the new season of “Project Runway” we don’t know what will. In an article in Today’s New York Post, Harvey Weinstein is painted as money hungry back stabber, who is taking the show from NBC Universal’s Bravo cable network and handing it to the Lifetime simply because Lifetime is offering more money. Jeff Zucker is painted as a low baller who wants to keep the show for the current rate even though the show is making NBC Universal boat loads of money. This seems to be getting uglier and uglier and there is only one person who may come out on top smiling and that’s Lifetime Entertainment Prexy Andrea Wong. If she does end up with the show, by the time the show airs, everyone will know Lifetime is the new home of “Project Runway”. She will probably only need to use half of her marketing budget. Come on, you can’t buy this publicity!

Big mouth Jim Cramer, the cofounder of popular financial website Thestreet.com and host of CNBC’s “Mad Money” has renewed his contract with Thestreet.com and will get $1.3 million in his first year. However Cramer won’t be able to write for any competing websites which we don’t know why he would even want to in the first place.

Disney is going heavy on animation and already has some top level celebs on board to voice some characters. The company pulled the curtains up on its animation slate via a splashy 3 hour presentation and it looks like Bob Iger is planning to milk this thing. The slate, while not entirely a surprise to Disney followers, is certainly ambitious. Over the next five years, Disney's offerings will include a quartet of straight-to-DVD animated features starring Tinker Bell and her friends; the company's first hand-drawn musical in nearly two decades, "The Princess and the Frog"; a 3-D retelling of "Rapunzel"; and much-anticipated additional installments to the "Cars" and "Toy Story" franchises.

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The new New Line + Disney's boys + NBC Uni to unload stations + Newspapers continue to fight for online love

Published: Thursday, March 20, 2008

The New New Line: After announcing that he will fold the legendary New Line into the even more Legendary Warner Bros Studios because he can, Jeff Bewkes has a new man in charge now at a more smaller and nimble New Line as other top execs wait around to be fired. Toby Emmerich has been named Prexy and Chief Operating Officer.

Disney's Boys: Disney continues to corner the kiddie market with the announcement that they have entered a deal with teen sensations The Jonas Brothers to produce a new reality show based on their everyday life on tour and off. They sure know how to milk em don't they?

NBC Universal To Unload Some Stations: In an attempt to leave smaller markets behind, NBC Universal says that it is selling two of it's many stations WTVJ in Miami and WVIT in Hartford, Connecticut. No word on how much the company will pocket after a sale but we're sure it won't be chump change.

Newspapers continue their fight: In the never ending effort to remain relevant in these internet dominated times, a bunch of newspaper publishers are joining a new ad network called quadrantONE which helps newspaper publishers to capture money that advertisers are taking away from printed newspapers and moving online as they see more people spending their time on the Internet. These newspapers would sell their soul for ad dollars.

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Was Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons too cool for his own good?

Published: Monday, December 17, 2007

This is “Media Gumbo” a new feature you will see here on Media Wire Daily twice a week. I couldn’t let these guys have all the fun. I am not a media expert, or even trying to be one. I don’t think such a thing even exists. Some people just like to call themselves experts to feel important. Me? I am simply a lover of all things media, digital, print, you name it. With “Media Gumbo” I get to say my piece on the industry I love and hate. –SHOMARI HINES, FOUNDER, MEDIAWIREDAILY.COM

Over the years Dick Parsons has been called the cool head in the media industry. The man is like a fire extinguisher due to his ability to put out flames with cool diplomacy and calming tone. But were these very skills silently working against Dick Parsons? We all know the story of how Dick calmed the ruff waters after the nasty AOL Time Warner merger, but after that storm was over, Other than the fact he dropped the AOL from the corporate name, Dick Parsons really didn’t do anything bold to move the stock. In some ways I saw him as a “If it’s not broken all the way then don’t fix it” kind of guy. Like a car that’s been running OK on 4 cylinders after an accident, but it’s an 8 cylinder engine under the hood. Why not get all cylinders pumping again? Under his leadership the only thing Time Warner really did was reduce dept among some other improvements but why didn’t Dick make more drastic moves to deliver for shareholders. One of the reasons could be because he was afraid of failure and wanted to keep things as they were long enough to then turn over any future bold and risky decision making to a successor. Enter the Bewkes Administration….

Why does everyone think Rupert Murdoch is going to ruin the Wall Street Journal?
When the Dow Jones, News Corp deal was announced, rumors and speculations went into overdrive. The main focus of these rumors and speculations were about the future of the Wall Street Journal. It is/was believed that he was/is going to inject the tabloid DNA of his other popular tabloidish newspapers like the New York Post and the Sun into the highly regarded WSJ depleting its reputation. But if anyone cared to take a step back and look at the big picture, they would ask, why would he ruin a good thing with such a huge following? The answer, he isn’t. If you ask me, Rupert Murdoch is the best thing that will ever happen to the Wall Street Journal. The paper was badly in need of a cash injection to expand the WSJ brand online and off. He took the paper from the cold dead hands of the Bancroft family and will build on what is a legendary foundation. I am personally looking forward to seeing how Murdoch ties it in with the Fox Business Network, as well as other News Corp media properties. A News Corp acquisition of social networking business website Linked-In would be the icing on top.

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