March 14, 1999 |
A weathered lighthouse marks the entry to Florida's newest theme park, but just beyond, a fiercer icon looms: the Hulk Coaster, which blasts riders from 0 to 40 mph in two seconds before turning them upside-down in a zero-gravity loop. Fans of Walt Disney Co.'s comfortable and inviting amusement parks might be taken aback by this collision of Marvel Comics and seaport exotica at the entrance to Islands of Adventure. But Islands is no Disney park.
February 12, 1999 |
Seagram Co. reported a $226-million fiscal second-quarter loss Thursday after taking a $405-million pretax charge on its acquisition of music and film company PolyGram. Montreal-based Seagram said its loss for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was 62 cents a diluted share, contrasted with a profit of $28 million, or 8 cents, for the same period in 1997. Revenue was $3.3 billion, versus $3 billion a year earlier. Its shares rose 63 cents Thursday to close at $49.31 on the New York Stock Exchange.
February 4, 1999 |
Is the next big thing about to get axed in the Universal Music blood bath? Independent label owners hope so. They are circling the carnage like buzzards, scrambling to identify which recording acts will be slashed as Seagram Co. combines its Universal Music Group with PolyGram, which it purchased last year for $10.4 billion. With nearly 250 acts headed for the chopping block, it is inevitable that at least a few of the artists discarded by Seagram will resurface and make a splash elsewhere.
January 30, 1999 |
A Saudi prince is in the advanced stages of talks with Seagram Co. to buy PolyGram's remaining film assets, sources said. But they cautioned that a deal is far from certain. Seagram, which has been trying to sell PolyGram Filmed Entertainment since May to offset its $10.4-billion purchase of entertainment group PolyGram, declined comment. After failing to get $1 billion for the entire film company, it opted to sell it in parts, with MGM Inc. paying $250 million for the movie library.
January 22, 1999 |
As Seagram restructures its music business following its $10.4-billion acquisition last month of PolyGram, the company is counting on Jimmy Iovine to play a key role in the success of the reorganized group, which folds the Geffen and A&M labels into Interscope Records to form IGA.
December 11, 1998 |
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment chief Michael Kuhn on Thursday became the first executive casualty in PolyGram's movie division stemming from Seagram Co.'s $10.4-billion takeover of the music and film giant. Sources said executives from Seagram's Universal Studios Inc. unit told Kuhn of their decision Wednesday on the eve of Thursday's formal takeover of PolyGram. Sources said Kuhn, who led music giant PolyGram's push into Hollywood, is so far the only executive to lose his job.
December 10, 1998 |
Seagram Co. today becomes the world's music superpower as it completes its $10.4-billion purchase of PolyGram. Though the company is instantly transformed into the leader in global market share, it is preparing deep cuts--some much deeper than expected at well-known labels--to reduce costs, raise margins and rest the company's future on a leaner roster of acts most likely to generate profit.
December 4, 1998 |
Like a movie that gets remade every few years, one of Hollywood's most familiar corporate plots is being recycled yet again. An outsider buys a studio, vows to tame a notoriously unruly business, then proceeds to have his lunch eaten. It happened to such huge companies as Coca-Cola Inc., Japanese electronics conglomerates Sony Corp. and Matsushita and insurance company Transamerica. Now, it's spirits giant Seagram Co.'s turn.
November 10, 1998 |
In the most massive restructuring in the history of the music industry, Seagram Co. has developed plans to slash $300 million in costs annually from the PolyGram and Universal music groups by integrating dozens of business operations in 44 markets around the world. The unprecedented move will result in the shuttering of well-known labels, the closing of plants and warehouses as well as the loss of thousands of jobs.
November 5, 1998 |
Viacom Inc.'s earnings from continuing operations soared in the third quarter, thanks to video sales of "Titanic," continued strength of its cable networks such as MTV, a strong year from Paramount Pictures and the ongoing turnaround at its Blockbuster Video unit. Net income in the quarter ended Sept. 30 dropped 68% to $138.4 million, or 34 cents a share.