After the coffee. Before going back to my salad diet.
The Skinny: Had dinner at the iconic diner Pann’s on Wednesday night and now I can’t move. But it was worth it. Thursday’s headlines include a potential scandal involving a top Miramax executive, CNN bringing back “Crossfire” and moguls getting ready for Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley, Idaho, conference.
Daily Dose: While Food Network personality Paula Deen continues to get beaten up by the media and business partners (see below) for her use of racial epithets in the past, a growing number of people who have worked with her are taking to Facebook to defend her and attack the media coverage. Brianna Beaudry Blagg, a producer who worked for Deen for many years, wrote on her Facebook page that Deen is a “warm, caring, compassionate person, with close friends of all races and sexual orientations.” Deen, she said, is “flawed like all of us.” As for the media, Blagg said, “I find it disturbing the way her words are being distorted in our scandal-hungry ‘headline instead of the whole story’ media culture, and the sheep-like angry-mob cruelty that goes along with that.”
Is there a movie in this? Richard Nanula, chairman of independent production company Miramax, took a leave of absence after pictures of a man identified as him appeared on the Web having sex with an adult entertainment actress. Colony Capital, a co-owner of Miramax, declined to comment on the pictures or elaborate on Nanula’s leave. Nanula, former chief financial officer for Walt Disney Co., is also a principal at Colony. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Two lives to live. Oprah Winfrey’s cable channel OWN has bought rights to air the new episodes of the soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” that recently appeared online. For the soaps, getting exposure on OWN should broaden their audience while the cable channel gets some programming with a built-in following. The next logical step (actually what should have happened two years ago when ABC canceled the two soaps) is for OWN to become the new home for the shows. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.
Round up the usual suspects. Media moguls and a gaggle of reporters will descend on Sun Valley, Idaho, early next month for boutique investment bank Allen & Co.'s annual conference. The event attracts business leaders from all industries but is best known as the birthplace of several big media mergers including Walt Disney-ABC and Comcast-NBC. Reporters used to be able to mingle with the big shots during the conference but over the last few years, Allen & Co. has made it much less press-friendly. Reporters now are often barred from the bar and need an escort to go to the bathroom. That’s why you won’t see me there this year. Better things to do then stand outside a building yelling, “Hey Barry Diller! Any deals happening?” A preview from the Hollywood Reporter.
Tough month. Paula Deen’s business partners continue to flee the Food Network personality after acknowledging she has used racial epithets years ago. On Wednesday, after Deen went on NBC’s “Today” to apologize, retail chain Wal-Mart said it is severing ties with her. More from the Associated Press. Food Network has already said it will not renew Deen’s contract.
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