March 14, 2009 |
Like him or loathe him, Rupert Murdoch is the last of the great media swashbucklers, a throwback to the pirates, cutthroats and visionaries who used to run the business before it was engulfed and devoured by giant risk-averse corporate behemoths. The earthquake that rocked News Corp. this week was a typical Murdoch seismic event. As one of his top executives once told me: "Rupert is a gambler. He tolerates noble failure more than complacency."
December 8, 2008 |
NBC's sweeping shake-up of its entertainment division last week highlights the deep problems it and other networks face in continuing to produce high-quality shows as advertisers slash spending and viewers find alternate ways to watch TV. The General Electric Co.-owned network, which has seen its ratings plunge 14% this season, plans to announce this week that it will merge its two programming groups -- one at the NBC network and the other at its television production studio -- into one unit.
November 5, 2008 |
Woodland Hills-based insurer Health Net Inc. announced a management realignment Tuesday amid weak profit and a downward revision of its earnings projections for 2008 that sent shares sliding. The company posted third-quarter earnings of 17 cents a share. Excluding charges, earnings would have been 35 cents a share -- well off the Thomson Reuters analysts' consensus of 88 cents a share and down from 99 cents a year earlier. Health Net's shares fell $2.44, or 18%, to close at $10.88.
July 26, 2008 |
NO ONE said life was fair, but in the movie business, life often seems like a rigged poker game, especially when it comes to who gets the ax and who gets the cushy promotion. Nowhere is this more evident than at Paramount Vantage, which just laid off the majority of its 100-or-so staffers, a tacit admission that its much-ballyhooed specialty division -- like most of Hollywood's specialty divisions -- had been a big money loser. On the other hand, Vantage founder John Lesher, the one-time Endeavor agent whom Brad Grey hired in late 2005 to reinvent the studio's flagging Paramount Classics art-house wing, got out when the getting was good.
July 8, 2008 |
General Motors Corp. may get rid of some brands, speed the introduction of small cars from other markets and make further white-collar job cuts as it tries to deal with a shrinking U.S. auto market. A person familiar with the company's discussions said Monday that all the options were being considered as GM tries to cope with the dramatic shift in consumer buying habits from trucks to cars and crossover vehicles. The person asked not to be identified because no decisions have been made.
June 20, 2008 |
Yahoo Inc. executives are headed for the door as the struggling Internet pioneer prepares for a major reorganization while fending off a contentious proxy fight that could cost co-founder Jerry Yang his job as chief executive. The brain drain accelerated as a potential buyout by Microsoft Corp. faded and resignation settled in that the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's fortunes would be tied to new ad partner Google Inc.