VIACOM/CBS BOSS SHARI REDSTONE SAYS MERGER WILL HAPPEN WITH OR WITHOUT LES MOONVES
As she seeks to combine CBS and Viacom into a single company, media mogul Shari Redstone risks losing her most talented executive, whose leadership could be critical to ensuring the proposed merger succeeds. Such is the difficulty facing Redstone. Her long-time friend and business ally, powerful CBS chief executive Les Moonves, has emerged as one of the biggest obstacles to a potential CBS-Viacom tie-up
MEANWHILE VIACOM IS TRYING TO KEEP BIDDERS AT BAY
Merger talks between CBS and Viacom will likely result in a deal — despite thorny negotiations over price and whether CBS boss Les Moonves will get to name his own No. 2 exec at the merged company. Viacom in recent days got an expression of interest from a major media and tech company — but it was rebuffed.
IS SNAP ABOUT TO RELEASE A NEW SPECTACLES?
Snapchat’s corporate parent Snap Inc. may be getting ready to release a new version of its Spectacles wearable device soon: On late Tuesday, the FCC published a new filingmade by the company for a “wearable video camera.”
AT&T-TIME WARNER CASE CLOSE TO BEING WRAPPED UP
U.S. antitrust enforcers are set to conclude their case against AT&T’s proposed takeover of Time Warner as their economic expert — a critical witness for the government — is scheduled to take the stand Wednesday. Professor Carl Shapiro from the University of California at Berkeley will testify.
SNAP INC TESTING COMMERCE WITH SNAPCHAT DISCOVER PUBLISHERS
Snap has been stepping up efforts to curry favor with publishers, especially as publishers continue to feel the impact of Facebook’s news feed changes. Its newest pitch: commerce. Snap has begun testing a commerce function within a handful of Snapchat Discover publisher channels, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of Snapchat’s test.
CONDE NAST UK'S HUGE GENDER PAY GAP
The British wing of Condé Nast had among the worst gender pay gaps of any of the big American media companies with overseas wings, paying men on average about 37 percent more than it paid women employees, when using the “mean” average hourly pay.
HERE IS MEREDITH'S NEWLY REDESIGNED SHAPE MAGAZINE
SHAPE magazine, Meredith Corporation's leading millennial women's active lifestyle brand with an audience of more than 14 million, today unveiled its inaugural redesign issue.
FACEBOOK WILL NOW PAY PEOPLE FOR REPORTING DATA ABUSES
Mark Zuckerberg has a new talking point as he faces a grilling before Congress: Facebook announced a new program to pay people who report “any misuse of data by app developers.” Facebook didn’t explicitly say how much it will fork out, saying the compensation will be based on “the impact of each report,” similar to its existing bug-bounty program.
DISCOVERY INC REBRANDS THE ENTHUSIASTS NETWORK AS MOTOR TREND GROUP
As part of the rebrand, Velocity, a U.S. TV destination for automotive fans, will be renamed Motor Trend Network in fall 2018. The joint venture’s Motor Trend OnDemand digital product will continue to be available to consumers on mobile and connected devices via the Motor Trend app and will also be available online.
FOX'S LONDON OFFICES RAIDED
The London offices of Rupert Murdoch owned 21st Century Fox were raided by European Commission officials on Tuesday. Though the exact reason behind the raid is unclear at this stage, a statement from the commission explained that it was over concerns that Fox may have "violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices."
PENSKE MEDIA EXPANDS ITS BRANDED LICENSING EFFORT
Penske Media Corporation (PMC) today announced the expansion of its branded licensing efforts for its iconic titles such as WWD, Variety and Robb Report as part of its overall global growth strategy. Penske Media, which currently publishes 20 international editions of its brands, will continue to prioritize brand integrity as well as quality localized content in its increased international strategy.
SINCLAIR FACES RENEWED RESISTANCE OVER ACQUISITION OF TRIBUNE MEDIA
Sinclair is encountering resistance from the Federal Communications Commission as it seeks approval for its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune. At issue is Sinclair’s proposed plan to spin off Tribune-owned television stations in New York and Chicago so that it will be in compliance with the FCC’s ownership regulations.
VIACOM OFFERING UP MORE WAYS TO CONNECT BRANDS AND VIEWERS
A year ago as it approached the upfront, Viacom wined and dined media buyers, telling them about the new strategy new management planned to execute at the struggling media company. A year later, at a similar set of dinners, Viacom plans to tell buyers that the strategy is working.
NETFLIX AND FOX FACE OFF IN POACHING SUIT
Attorneys for Netflix and Fox traded arguments on Tuesday in a high-stakes case involving the alleged poaching of two Fox employees. The case revolves around the key question of whether 20th Century Fox, or any studio, can hold its employees to fixed-term contracts.
ESPN'S NEW 'GET UP' MORNING SHOW STRUGGLING TO ATTRACT VIEWERS
ESPN’s new morning show Get Up is not off to the start anyone in Bristol would have dreamt up for it. One week in, the reviews have been lukewarm and, more troublingly, the ratings have been fairly awful, down 24 percent over its first four shows from last year’s programming in the same time slot.
GIZMODO MEDIA STAFFERS CLASH WITH THEIR NEW BOSS
A day after Gizmodo Media’s top exec left the company, the Univision unit’s employees clashed with their new digital boss at a meeting that left people “panicked” and “frustrated.” The exec was Sameer Deen, who was recently elevated from head of Univision.com to lead all Univision digital.