Dan Rather's Suit Dismissed; Name Change at TLC

cityfile · 09/29/09 01:59PM

• It's all over for Dan Rather and his long-running legal campaign against CBS. A state appeals court dismissed the ex-anchor's lawsuit today. [Reuters, NYP]
• At least four parties are still in the bidding for BusinessWeek. But Bloomberg LP remains the most likely acquirer of the struggling magazine. [BW, Reuters]
• An "unbelievably conscientious" Sarah Palin has finishing her memoir in less than four months. You can not buy the book beginning on November 17. [WP]
• Michelle Obama will appear as guest on Sesame Street's season debut. [NYT]
• TLC announced today it's dropping Jon Gosselin from Jon & Kate Plus 8. This news calls out for name change, obvs, so it'll be Kate Plus 8 from now on. [THR]

Rather's David v. Goliath Battle with CBS Goes On

Andrew Belonsky · 09/21/09 09:46PM

CBS and its hot shot lawyers were impotent in their efforts to thwart old manDan Rather's $70 million wrongful termination suit. Now Rather's lawyers want Viacom big wig Sumner Redstone to take the stand. It's war! [Reuters]

Disney Buys Marvel, NBC Gets 'More Colorful'

cityfile · 08/31/09 01:55PM

• Get ready for the Spider-Man ride at Disney World: Walt Disney has agreed to pay $4 billion in cash and stock to acquire Marvel Entertainment. [NYT, WSJ]
• Because she was clearly the very best person for the job, Jenna Bush has signed on with the Today show. The daughter of the former president will be contributing stories "about once a month on issues like education." [THR]
The Final Destination was No. 1 at the box office this weekend with a $28.3 million take; Inglourious Basterds came in No. 2 with $20 million. [THR]
• Newsstand magazine sales continue to fall. Single-copy sales fell 12 percent during the first half of the 2009 compared to the same period in 2008. [AP]
• NBC's new slogan for its fall marketing campaign? "More colorful." [Variety]

Reader's Digest Goes Ch. 11, The Weinsteins On the Brink

cityfile · 08/17/09 12:03PM

• Another media company falls: Reader's Digest Association, the publisher of Reader's Digest (duh) and a handful of other titles (like Every Day with Rachael Ray), says it will file for bankruptcy protection shortly. [Reuters]
• As you may have heard, things haven't been too well for Harvey Weinstein and his brother, Bob. So what will happen if they don't turn the mini-studio around? "I'll be... making cheap hamburgers, or selling trailers, or refrigerators, or something," says (a refreshingly honest) Harvey. [NYT]
• Fashion mags are looking a bit thin this fall, in case you haven't heard. [WSJ]
• Don't expect the feud between Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann to dissipate: Ratings for both have been up since the war of words began anew. [LAT]
• Comedian Steve Harvey is joining Good Morning America. In related news, comedian Mo Rocca is hosting a web-based show for CBS News. [ABC, NYT]
District 9 was No. 1 at the box office this past weekend. [ABC News]

Walter Cronkite's Death & Harry Potter's Big Win

cityfile · 07/20/09 11:31AM

• News of Walter Cronkite's death on Friday evening didn't generate a Michael Jackson-like reaction, but the hour-long CBS News special honoring him on Sunday proved a ratings winner. In related news, the network will continue airing Cronkite's voice-over introducing the CBS Evening News. [NYT, NYT]
• Is Janice Min leaving Us Weekly? That's the rumor, at least. [P6]
• Fashion magazines are looking a little thin this fall, not surprisingly. [MW]
Padma Lakshmi is in talks with NBC to star in a sitcom. [Variety]
• More changes are afoot at Interview: Evan Schindler is the troubled mag's new president. And Stephen Mooallem has been named editor-in-chief. [NYT]
• As expected, the new Harry Potter movie mopped up at the box office this weekend with $79.5 million in ticket sales. The big loser? Brüno, which fell to fourth place as sales plummeted 73 percent. [EW, Variety]

Conan's Debut, Salinger's Suit, Paris's New Show

cityfile · 06/02/09 11:13AM

• Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show debuted last night. The reviews were mixed, although he did very well in the ratings, not surprisingly. [Variety, THR]
• Playboy Enterprises named Scott Flanders as its CEO yesterday. [NYP]
• Lawyers for author J.D. Salinger have filed suit against an author who is publishing a book billed as a sequel to The Catcher in the Rye. [NYT]
• Five magazines—Popular Photography, Flying, Boating, Sound & Vision and American Photo—have been sold to Bonnier Corp. by Hachette. [Crain's]
• Paris Hilton and producer Michael Hirschorn have teamed up to bring a version of Paris Hilton's My New BFF to Dubai. Yes, Dubai. No joke. [Variety]

Most Obnoxious Press Questions For Obama: A Roundup

Ryan Tate · 03/24/09 10:15PM

The president fielded questions tonight about his daughters, the attorney general of New York and a kooky Chinese plan for an international currency. Anything on the nitty-gritty of his trillion-dollar bank bailout? Nope.

Blago's Book, Martha's New Approach, The End of Arena

cityfile · 03/03/09 11:44AM

• Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has landed a six-figure advance to write a book about "his rise and fall, and the dark side of politics." [LAT]
• CBS chief Les Moonves says he no longer has any plans to merge the company's news operations with Time Warner's CNN. [B&C]
Martha Stewart Living is "broadening its editorial focus" to "beauty, travel and fashion" in order to appeal to advertisers. [Mediaweek]
• Jane Velez-Mitchell's show on Headline News has been doing well. [NYT]
• The Philly Daily News will be folded into the Philadelphia Inquirer. [Gawker]
• Thomson Reuters is launching a new video-on-demand service. [NYT]
• Arena, the 22-year-old British men's style magazine, is no more. [WWD]

Hero Pilot Cheats on Katie Couric

Ryan Tate · 02/03/09 02:02AM

After promising himself to CBS, pilot Chesley Sullenberger gave an interview to ESPN. Katie Couric should have known. "Sully" may be dreamy, and is definitely a hero, but he's also a media heartbreaker.

Michael Phelps Sleeps With Anderson Cooper

Ryan Tate · 11/30/08 11:57PM

Anderson Cooper has to consider it one of the highlights of his career thus far, a thoroughly pleasurable counterbalance to his weeks of depressing Hurricane Katrina coverage back when the CNN anchor was still paying his dues: A flirty interview with champion Olympic swimmer and fellow heartthrob Michael Phelps, complete with shirt removal, medal-fondling, a cozy little nap together and the line, "Mind if I hold one? They're very heavy!" Viewers of Cooper's own AC360 are used to being brought in on this sort of innuendo; it was only a matter of time before the 60 Minutes contributor started beating CBS' larger audience over the head with the "boys make me giggle" routine. So to speak. (Clip after the jump.)

Keith Olbermann Obnoxious, Couric And Letterman Agree

Ryan Tate · 11/20/08 11:45PM

Katie Couric is on the Late Show again tonight, to try and convince David Letterman that she didn't purposely steal John McCain for her CBS Evening News that night the Republican presidential nominee infamously flaked on Letterman. Of course this is a lie, assuming Couric is as ruthlessly competitive as any network news anchor must be in order to succeed. But her exchange with Letterman is worth watching if only for all the fun bashing of Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC shouting head who filled in for McCain. Click the video icon to watch.

Couric Wonders: Why Didn't Anyone Ask Palin About Me?

Ryan Tate · 11/20/08 04:48AM

Greta Van Susteren and Matt Lauer were first out of the gate with lengthy Sarah Palin interviews after the election. The chats were slammed as softball jobs by some critics, and you can now add Katie Couric to that group, at least in one regard: She wishes someone had asked the former Republican vice presidential nominee why she didn't answer Couric's simple and ultimately devastating question about what newspapers and magazines Palin reads. Hopefully Lauer, who hosted Today with Couric for nine years, doesn't take the critique personally, particularly since Couric may very well end up back at NBC. Click the video icon to watch Couric explain her thoughts on David Letterman's Late Show.