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Business Features

Does CAA Have a Succession Problem?

For those of a certain age who like to think that they’re still young — and who doesn’t? — it is sobering to realize that when Michael Ovitz bowed out of the agency business in 1995, neither Tom Holland nor Zendaya had even been born. People who weren’t around in those days can’t begin to […]

In TV’s Wild West, Which Channels Will Be Dropped Next?

Walt Disney’s new carriage agreement with cable giant Charter Communications is widely seen as a game-changer for the pay TV and streaming sectors, creating a new blueprint for how such deals are structured. Analysts and industry sources point to two key pieces of the deal that will likely be felt: ad-supported streaming in the bundle, […]

Creators Once Dreaded the Pressure of Ratings, Now They’re Fighting for the Data

Striking writers and actors are pressing a few common issues as they seek better contracts from the media companies represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. One big one: Both?unions want more transparency about how many people are watching streaming series and movies and, along with that, a bigger share of streaming […]

Inside the NFL’s All-Media Blitz: How Roger Goodell Conquered Hollywood

The origins of the NFL’s streaming business can be traced, in part, to a party at Bill Gates’ house outside of Seattle several years ago. The event was timed to a summit that Microsoft was hosting, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recalls chatting with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos there. “I was just talking about our […]

Wall Street’s M&A Sharks Are Getting Ready for a Feeding Frenzy of Hollywood Deals

On Aug.?17, days after its strike passed the 100-day mark, the Writers Guild of America West issued a call for lawmakers and regulators to look into the deals of three Hollywood giants: Netflix, Disney and Amazon. “Pay and working conditions for writers have become so dire, and media conglomerates so unresponsive, that 11,500 writers went […]

Box Office: Warning Signs Amid Summer’s Big Highs

In addition to the chaos of the strikes, Hollywood is facing a moment of reckoning after some of the costliest franchise installments in history were washed out to sea at the 2023 summer box office, while such original fare as Barbie and Oppenheimer created a surprise cultural tsunami. A box office aficionado would have to […]

Cable News Finally Seeks Exit From Pay TV Bundle

When Mark Thompson was hired as CEO of The New York Times in 2012, he knew that he was facing skepticism from within the storied news organization, wary of the TV executive coming in with a mandate to transform its business.  “An outsider has many disadvantages, but one advantage is a ‘cold eye,’?” Thompson recalled […]

Why Streaming Services Are Pushing Subscribers to Ad Tiers

On Disney’s last quarterly earnings call Aug. 9, CEO Bob Iger waited until the end of his opening remarks to drop the hammer: His company’s streaming business was introducing price increases. Big ones. The monthly cost of the Disney+ and Hulu ad-free tiers would be rising by nearly 30 percent, or $3. For a company […]

Scraping or Stealing? A Legal Reckoning Over AI Looms

For nearly 20 years, Karla Ortiz has worked as a concept artist, bringing to life an entire universe of characters in projects like Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Thor: Ragnarok. She’s credited with coming up with the main character design for Doctor Strange in her own blend of impressionist and magic realism styles honed […]

Strike Impact Hits Earnings as Executives Size Up War Chests

In the first round of corporate earnings since the double strike began, the financial hits are starting to come into view. While hoping and planning for a resolution in September, Hollywood studios, streamers and affiliated businesses have begun forecasting lower revenue, content spend and, in some cases, a lower outlook for the year. Because?while some […]

For Actors Podcasting During a Strike, Speaking Out of Turn Is the Big Concern

“We’re not allowed to talk about Scrubs.” That was the consensus that co-stars Zach Braff and Donald Faison reached almost immediately during the Aug. 1 episode of their Scrubs rewatch podcast, Fake Doctors, Real Friends. The pair, like many actors with thriving audio platforms, had been unsure of how to approach their side gig during […]

Behind the Brawl Over Streaming Revenue Sharing for Actors

Striking actors and the media companies they work for remain far apart on negotiations for a new contract, with no talks taking place since SAG-AFTRA members took to the picket lines July?14. Both the union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing studios,?seem dug in to their respective positions. One of the […]