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.
September 12, 2008 |
For the first time since it fought off an unsolicited takeover bid from Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. on Thursday threw open its doors to give the media a glimpse of what it has planned to improve its waning fortunes. The event at its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters was all about Yahoo's new mantra: Be open. It featured a lineup of executives who showed off how they plan to redesign popular parts of Yahoo to include more content from elsewhere on the Web. Executives say the changes are designed to enhance the Yahoo experience for the company's more than 500 million users worldwide and for its advertisers.
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.