This morning marked the official start of the long-anticipated U.K. trial of two former News of the World editors (and a few other peripheral individuals) for several criminal charges of conspiring to obstruct justice, hacking a murdered child’s cell phone, and interfering with a police investigation. Predicted to last around six months, the trial will place the News Corporation and its Australian owner, Rupert Murdoch, under even more glaring scrutiny. Here’s what you need to know.
The long-awaited criminal trial of former News of the World editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, who face conspiracy charges related to hacking the phones of murder victims and celebrities alike, is slated for this September. According to a rumor spreading around News Corp, things could get salacious.
ExaroNews a British investigative web site, has just published the full transcript of a secretly recorded meeting between media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the staff of The Sun, a U.K. tabloid owned by News Corp., in which Murdoch admitted that he was aware for decades that journalists from his newspapers had been bribing both police and public officials.
Ink may run in Rupert Murdoch's icy veins, but he's dumping his first love—newspapers—for the bitch-whore of film. News Corp. announced today that all of its newspapers and publishing assets (the dying, scandal-ridden ones) will be spun off into a new stand-alone company called Papers'n'Shit, leaving its film and television assets to make fistfuls of money unmolested by dinosaur media.
• Nielsen has concluded a deal to sell handful of trade titles like The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard to a consortium of investors that includes Jimmy Finkelstein and Guggenheim Partners. Rupert Murdoch's son Lachlan was once part of the investor group, but ended up dropping out. [AdWeek, NYP, LAT]
• Nielsen also said today that it's shuttering two titles: Editor & Publisher, which dates back to 1884, and book pub Kirkus Reviews. [E&P, NYT]
• AOL and Time Warner are officially separate companies now. [WSJ, AP]
• George Stephanopoulos starts his new job of GMA anchor on Monday. [LAT]
• The controversy over MTV's latest series, Jersey Shore, rages on. [THR]
• Hollywood PR powerhouse PMK/HBH has pretty much imploded. [Wrap]
• The 30 worst women's magazine covers of the aughts. [Buzzfeed]
• The city's laziest magazine editor: Dave Zinczenko of Men's Health. [Gawker]
• Another ex-Post staffer has filed a salacious lawsuit against the paper. [HP]
• Yet another magazine is no more. Giant gave up the ghost today. [Gawker]
• Rupert Murdoch's son, Lachlan Murdoch, is teaming up with media investor Jimmy Finkelstein to bid on a handful of media trade titles owned by Nielsen, including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, and AdWeek. [NYT]
• The guy who runs Clubplanet.com says that if Maxim's owners don't sell him the mag, it will go bust by March. Maxim isn't impressed. [P6, AdAge]
• One sector of the magazine biz that's doing well: Airline publishing! [WSJ]
• Did BusinessWeek just replace Maria Bartiromo with Charlie Rose? [BI]
• The good news for Jay Leno: His ratings seem to have stabilized in recent weeks. The bad: More people are watching shows they recorded on their DVRs rather than tune into NBC's misguided 10pm experiment. [THR, NYP]
• New Moon topped the box office once again this weekend, as expected. [THR]
Yesterday was a beautiful day, with blue skies and unseasonable warmth. The birds sang, children danced, and our hearts were full of love as we learned that Lachlan Murdoch might return to New York and resume his role at News Corp. We cried tears of joy, hopeful for the possibility that the most luscious mogul would come back to us. But as the sun went down, the rain came, washing away the happiness and ushering in a gray, cold, miserable excuse of a morning:
The weather today is expected to be gorgeous, with the fall sun brightly shining, warming our flesh and our hearts one last time before the leaves turn. Children skip through the streets, pleasant music drifts from the windows of friendly neighbors, and your morning coffee is served with an earnest hug. There's magic in the air, and after an unpleasant week full of school shootings and perverse congressmen, we begin today with hope:
• Lachlan Murdoch sells 11 Spring Street for an undisclosed sum. That's it. He's gone. And so the dream of carrying his baby in our waiting womb dies. [The Real Estate]
• When Corcoran starts using babies to sell multimillion-dollar lairs, it's time to get those tubes tied. [Copyranter]
• Vogue warhorses so old, senile that they enjoy Devil Wears Prada. [The Watcher]
• Rob Havrilla reviews Madonna on her disco cross: "Holy shit. This is my professional reaction. Holy shit." [VV]
• Robert Downey Jr. has signed a deal to write his memoir for HarperCollins. It'll be just like A Million Little Pieces, but true. [USA Today]
• Seth Mnookin punches a teddy bear. [Seth Mnookin]