TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
1:48 pm
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Former Local Texas Fox Affiliate Producer Kills Himself Outside News Corp. Building in Manhattan (NY Daily News; WSJ; Austin Chronicle)

“A former Fox producer from Texas with a grudge against his bosses shot himself to death outside company headquarters in Midtown Manhattan on Monday morning, police said,” reports the New York Daily News.

The story continues, “A suicide note and a gun were found with the body of Phillip Perea, who suffered one bullet wound to the chest, sources said. A stack of business cards that read ‘The American Workplace Bully: How Fox News ended my career’ was found nearby.”

According to the Wall St. Journal (which, like Fox, is owned by News Corp.), Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy said in a message to employees Monday “This morning, a former employee at FOX 7 KTBC (Austin) committed suicide outside FOX Television Stations’ headquarters in New York City. He was employed at our Austin television station for ten months and has not been with the station or FTS since June 2014. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy.”

The WSJ story says Perea was 41 years old.

To read about the incident that sparked Perea’s ire, here is a link to an article in the Austin Chronicle.

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
1:45 pm
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Longtime Fox Ad Executive Gets Major Promotion Amid Restructuring (TVWeek)

“Bruce Lefkowitz has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales for Fox Networks Group (FNG), it was announced today by Toby Byrne, President, Advertising Sales for FNG, to whom Mr. Lefkowitz will report,” the Fox Networks Group said in a press release.

 

The release continues, “Mr. Lefkowitz, who previously served as Executive Vice President, Advertising Sales for Fox Cable Entertainment, is now the second-highest ranking ad sales executive at FNG. The move, which complements the previously announced restructuring of FNG’s sales team, will place Mr. Lefkowitz in charge of advertising revenue and sales strategy for all broadcast, cable, sports, Spanish-language media and non-linear platforms.  He will also supervise Fox’s sales offices in Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles.”

The announcement notes that “Prior to joining Fox Cable Networks in January 2002, Mr. Lefkowitz served as Senior Vice President, National Advertising Sales for Discovery Networks where he had oversight of the day-to-day management and strategy of advertising sales for Discovery’s national television networks and digital companions. In 1996, Mr. Lefkowitz was Vice President, syndication ad sales and business development for New World Sales and Marketing. In 1994, he was promoted to Vice President, Turner International Ad Sales in London, England.

“In this capacity, Mr. Lefkowitz launched and headed the London based European sales operation for TNT and Cartoon Network Europe. He began his sales career at Turner Entertainment Networks as a trainee and was promoted to Account Executive in 1988.”

In speaking about Lefkowitz, one of Madison Avenue’s most popular executives on either side of the table, Byrne said in the release, “Lefko is one of the most respected executives in the business. His management experience across the linear media marketplace and cross platform ad sales has him well-prepared for this opportunity. He is an enthusiastic and energetic manager, and I look forward to working with him in his new role as we navigate the evolving media landscape, finding creative ways to grow revenues and deliver maximum value to our clients.”

The announcement also says that “One of Mr. Lefkowitz’s additional responsibilities will be to supervise the department’s six new “agency leads.” According to Mr. Byrne, ‘The company has recently transformed and aligned the sales team to match up with specific agency partners. Guiding every step of this reorganization is a firm commitment to best serve agency and client objectives with customized, measurable results.  A major priority will be ad product innovation – exemplified by our recent acquisition of TrueX, which offers advertisers a unique, highly engaged advertising platform in our premium digital content.’”

Our good friend Jon Lafayette of B&C broke this story earlier today.

Bruce Lefkowitz 01_2015 1

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
12:17 pm
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Latest Cosby Accuser to Step Forward Is Former Entertainment Executive Cindra Ladd. She is Also the Wife of Alan Ladd, Jr. He is an Oscar-winning Producer and Former President of 20th Century Fox and Former Chairman of MGM/UA.

Cindra Ladd, the wife of well-known Hollywood executive Alan Ladd, Jr., is the latest woman to say she was drugged and then raped by Bill Cosby.

Ladd makes her accusations in an article she wrote in today’s Huffington Post. She says the incident happened in 1969.

Other than her roommate, she says she didn’t tell anyone about the assault for 36 years. Ladd adds, “I only revealed nine years ago what happened that night to my husband of nearly 30 years after another woman went public with similar allegations and sued Cosby. I always thought I was the only one. I couldn’t believe he had done this to others. I told my story to our attorney, who is also a good friend, because I was considering going public then, but eventually chose not to because the case was settled.”

Then Ladd writes, “This is the first time I have chosen to speak out about that night. It is also the last time I intend to address it publicly. I have no plans to sue, I don’t want or need money. I have no plans for a press conference or for doing any interviews.”

She then addresses the issue of why she is publicly coming out at all: “The simple answer is that it’s the right thing to do. The truth deserves to be known. As I write this, more than 20 women have come forward, many with stories that are remarkably similar to mine. In response to these brave women, I have read comments like, ‘What took them so long?’ and ‘What are they after now’? I would ask these people to remember that up until relatively recently, prosecuting rape was a ‘he said/she said’ proposition where the victim was blamed for having worn ‘suggestive clothing’ or questioned as to why she went somewhere with her rapist.

“When this happened to me, the idea of drugging someone and raping them was almost fantastical. It was years before ‘date rape’ drugs made the news, but it was a perfect modus operandi for a predator, rendering his victim unconscious or so incapacitated as to be unable to clearly answer police questions about the incident. After having done a lot of work on myself, I realize that we are only as sick as the secrets we keep. Once those secrets are spoken aloud, even if to just one person, they lose their power. I no longer feel the shame that kept me silent. Yes, I could have told my story years ago, and in hindsight I probably should have. It’s time now that my voice be added and to finally pull the curtain back from this dark moment in my life.”

To read more about what Cindra Ladd has to say about this, we urge you to click here and read her entire piece.

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:12 am
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ABC Puts Five Dramas in Development (Variety; Deadline)

ABC has added five dramas to its development slate, with terrorism, arms dealing and the Bible among the themes, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

“The pickups included ‘Quantico,’ from Josh Safran (‘Gossip Girl’) and Mark Gordon; arms-dealing drama ‘Runner’ (previously developed at Fox); biblical entry ‘Of Kings and Prophets’; procedural ‘L.A. Crime’; and ‘Mix,’ a restaurant dramedy from Rashida Jones,” the story reports.

“Quantico,” focusing on a sleeper terrorist being trained by the FBI, received a script commitment from ABC in September, and will be written by Safran.

To read more about these pilots please click on the link above, or on this link to a similar story at Deadline.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:10 am
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Controversial Reality Series to Wrap It Up (B&C)

A reality series that been under attack throughout its run is ready to call it quits after a final season. B&C reports that Discovery Channel will pull the plug on “Amish Mafia” after season four.

The show returns Feb. 10 for its fourth and final season.

Said Laurie Goldberg, group executive VP of public relations for Discovery: “It’s a combination of the show running its course and its not really being consistent with [channel President] Rich Ross’s vision for the network.”

“Amish Mafia,” which is presented in a docu-reality style, has endured criticism from the outset over its depicitions of the Amish community, with scholars and law-enforcement officials among those accusing the show of presenting an inaccurate image of the Amish.

AMISHMAFIA

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:10 am
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NBC News Extends Deal With ‘Today’ Show Regular (LA Times; Variety)

One of the on-air personalities on NBC’s morning show “Today” has signed an extension with NBC News. The Los Angeles Times reports that the network has inked a deal for at least another three years with co-anchor Savannah Guthrie.

Variety notes that the deal “would seem to position the venerable morning program for more news, and less of the drama that has plagued it in recent months.”

The Variety report adds: “For Guthrie, the maneuver would seem to be a vote of confidence in her recent tenure at ‘Today,’ which started under difficult circumstances. Guthrie took the place of Ann Curry, the longtime news anchor at ‘Today’ who ascended to the co-anchor spot only to find her on-air style did not mesh well with that of Matt Lauer or expectations of senior producers.”

Curry was moved out of the position in a highly public shakeup in June 2012.

 guthrie

 Savannah Guthrie in an Official NBC Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:08 am
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Top Media Executive Takes a Massive Pay Cut. But Shed No Tears. He’s Still Worth $5.4 Billion (Bloomberg)

One of the biggest executives in the media business has taken a massive pay cut. Bloomberg reports that Sumner Redstone, executive chairman of Viacom Inc. and controlling shareholder in the media giant, received a cut of about two-thirds to his total compensation in 2014.

Redstone’’s total shrank to $13.2 million, the piece reports, attributing the change to a smaller gain in his pension. Redstone, 91, also controls CBS Corp. and his net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is $5.4 billion.

The company’s CEO, Philippe Dauman, meanwhile, received a raise, with his compensation rising to $44.3 million, up from $37.2 million in 2013.

The report cites a regulatory filing late last week by Viacom Inc., which owns MTV, Nickelodeon and other channels.

RedstoneSumner Redstone Speaking About Five Years Ago at Boston University

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:06 am
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Multiple Oscar and Emmy Winner Having Trouble Finding Work (NY Times)

Two Oscars and two Emmys, along with a Golden Globe, a string of major nominations and countless other awards, apparently aren’t enough to keep actress Dianne Wiest working steadily.

The New York Times, in an interview with Wiest, 66, to promote her role in the upcoming dark comedy “Rasheeda Speaking,” quotes Wiest saying, “I have to move out of my apartment soon” because she’s having trouble finding work to pay the rent.

Wiest won her second Emmy in 2008, for her supporting role on HBO’s “In Treatment.” She won an Emmy in 1997 for “Road to Avonlea” and also has two Oscars, for “Hannah and Her Sisters” and “Bullets Over Broadway.”

But those two Woody Allen movies may have contributed to her career issues. “After her early work with Woody Allen … Ms. Wiest said that she felt she was typed as ‘a nice mom and that’s it. That’s all that ever came, except in theater,’” the report notes.

wiestDianne Wiest Winning Her Oscar in 1995 for “Bullets Over Broadway”

 

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:05 am
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Our Hog Warts Are Acting Up Again, Telling Us This Upcoming Disney Movie Will Be a Blockbuster

Disney is making a live-action film version of its hit animated movie “Beauty and the Beast,” and wait until you hear who they have just signed to play Belle: “ ‘Harry Potter’ alum Emma Watson, according to Jeff Sneider at The Wrap.

The article adds, “Bill Condon (‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn’) will direct from a script written by Stephen Chbosky, who directed Watson in ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower.’”

The story also says that “Watson is set to play Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ which is the latest Disney classic to receive a live-action adaptation following ‘Maleficent,’’“Cinderella” and Jon Favreau’s upcoming take on ‘The Jungle Book.’”

emmawatson

Emma Watson on “Ellen” Last Year

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 26, 2015
6:04 am
Comment

Airlines Cancel 5,200 Flights Due to Impending Blizzard. It’s Our Non-TV Story of the Day (USA Today)

“Air travelers faced chaos Monday in the Northeast, thanks to a major winter storm that grounded thousands of airline flights even before the first snowflakes had fallen in the region,” reports USA Today.

The article continues, “Airlines reacted to a major snowstorm that’s expected to wallop parts of the Northeast by cancelling more than 5,200 through Wednesday. Of those, at least 3,200 were already announced by Sunday – a day before the storm’s first flakes fell along the East Coast.”

The story adds, “As for the poor weather, the region’s major air hubs were expected to see snow develop Monday, with conditions worsening into the evening. Tuesday was expected to be even worse – so bad that all flights may end up being grounded at some of the busiest airports.”

To read more details about the impending storm, please click on the link above which will take you to the original story and related ones.

 

 

 

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