Morning Fix: Hollywood wary of 21st Century Fox’s ambitions. Blake out at Sony.
After the coffee. Before figuring out who to torment today.
The Skinny: Whenever “The Godfather” comes on I can’t change the channel. I also then start tweaking the script to fit the media world. I may need more therapy, or at least a vacation. Today’s roundup includes more stories about 21st Century Fox’s move on Time Warner. Also another shake-up at Sony Pictures and some Comic-Con previews.
Daily Dose: Another reason 21st Century Fox is eying Time Warner may be Time Warner’s strong presence in Latin America, which is the fastest-growing pay-TV market, according to media analyst Todd Juenger. In a new report, Juenger said Fox and Time Warner have gobbled up valuable real estate there, along with Discovery Communications. Juenger said Viacom and AMC Networks have been left in the dust in the region.
A call to arms. Hollywood unions are starting to sound alarm bells about 21st Century Fox’s pursuit of Time Warner. If consummated, a combination of 21st Century Fox and Time Warner would put two of Hollywood’s biggest movie and TV producers, as well as several top cable networks, under one roof. That would give one company tremendous leverage over the creative community. The Writers Guild of America, West wants its members to rise up and get out their checkbooks to help WGAW combat a potential merger. Think of it as a pledge drive against consolidation. More from the Los Angeles Times and Financial Times on how Hollywood’s worker bees are responding to all the deal talk.
Keeping balance on the balance sheet. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has never been afraid to make big bets. But when it comes to 21st Century Fox’s pursuit on Time Warner, the mantra coming from his underlings is “discipline.” The company doesn’t want to overpay for Time Warner and may not push its offer to the $100-per-share range that analysts think would win it the company. The Wall Street Journal looks at 21st Century Fox’s balance sheet and the debt it may have to take on to get a deal done.
Blake bids adieu. Sony Pictures Entertainment Vice Chairman Jeff Blake is the latest to exit the studio, which is going through a management restructuring. Blake has been with Sony Pictures for more than two decades and oversaw its marketing distribution units. More on Blake’s departure and other recent moves at Sony from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Online programmer BiteSize wants to take a bite out of traditional TV.
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