News Corp. has tapped J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs and Centerview Partners to advise the media empire about splitting itself into two separate companies, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap.
Rupert Murdoch’s company legitimized rumors of a potential cleaving on Tuesday in a statement saying that it was “… considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies.”
Under that scenario, its publishing unit, a division that includes Dow Jones International and the New York Post, would reportedly be spun off from News Corp.’s more lucrative television and film business.
Potentially fueling the move, analysts say, is pressure to inoculate those assets from legal liabilities involving hacking and bribery at News Corp.’s U.K. tabloids. Though the company shuttered News of the World, the paper where most of the hacking took place, last year, it potentially faces legal costs and settlements of up to $1 billion.
“I think it’s a good move,” Matthew Harrigan, an analyst for Wunderlich Securities, told TheWrap on Tuesday. “I imagine they’ll try to work it in a way where they try to fund the liabilities in the U.K. off the publishing assets.”
In the short term, investors certainly seem to like the idea. News Corp. shares have surged this week and were up 2.14 percent on Wednesday to $22.43.
Jennifer Lopez may want to think twice about opening up her heart so completely to beau Casper Smart. In the new issue of In Touch – on newsstands now – Casper’s former best friend shares that Casper is a “self-promoter” who will go to great lengths to further his own career.
“Casper is a snake,” dancer Josh Ayers exclusively tells In Touch about his former best friend, whom he stopped speaking to a couple of months ago.
According to Josh, Casper “just got lucky” and hit the jackpot when his then-girlfriend of two years, Aisha Francis, got him a job with Jennifer, 42. But while Aisha and Casper were going through a rough patch, she turned on the TV one day last November and watched in shock as she learned that Casper had moved on with Jennifer.
“Aisha was really good to Casper,” notes Josh. “But he used her to get what he wanted, then left her for J. Lo.”
Josh, who watched Casper manipulate women for more than five years, tells In Touch: “He’s willing to do whatever Jennifer wants as long as it furthers his own career.”
Actor Giovanni Ribisi and model Agyness Deyn tied the knot over the weekend. Not only did they continue to keep their relationship on the down low, but the actual wedding too? They should share those secrets with some of their co-stars and colleagues.
The 37-year-old Ribisi and the 29-year-old Deyn were caught kissing in line at the L.A. County Registrar’s office this weekend. This is where they shyly confirmed to those around them of their new union.
Deyn is a well-known model who also appeared in the Sam Livingston flick Clash of the Titans. Ribisi has appeared in several popular films such as Saving Private Ryan and Avatar. He will be in the new movie coming out with Mila Kunis and Mark Wahleberg called Ted. For those Friends fanatics out there, he was Phoebe’s brother (Frank.)
Ribisi has a 14-year-old daughter with first wife Mariah O’Brien. Maybe the next thing on Ribisi and Deyn’s plate will be a secret baby shower.
Apparently, Justin’s mom is the one who has it going on.
According to a recent interview with actress-singer Selena Gomez in The Mirror, Gomez revealed that her boyfriend, singing sensation Justin Bieber, is wary to let the One Direction singer near his mom. “Both me and Justin still have really hot mums,” Gomez stated. “And Justin was like, ‘Harry might have become one of my best buddies, but with his record we need to keep him away from our mums”.
Harry Styles, one-fifth of the band One Direction, has had multiple encounters with older women in the past, including one with DJ Lucy Horobin, a 32 year-old, married woman. Caroline Flack has also been one of 18 year-old Styles’ flings in the past.
Mom-to-be Anna Faris and her husband Chris Pratt went out do run some errands in Los Angeles, Calif. on Wednesday (June 27). The 35-year-old actress wore black shorts and a black t-shirt to cover her bump. When Anna noticed the cameras she gave a wave.
The couple are expecting a boy in the fall.
Life & Style reports Faris is “very excited” about their son.
The source said, “She’s six months along and everything is going great, just as planned.”View Slideshow »»
A&E has renewed “Longmire” for a second season less than a month after its series premiere.
The western-themed series, which stars Robert Taylor as Wyoming sheriff Walt Longmire and Katee Sackhoff as his deputy Vic Moretti, premiered Sunday, June 3 at 10 p.m. with a particularly strong 4.1 million total viewers, making it the year’s top new scripted cable drama. The second episode grew 22 percent in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, with 1.2 million viewers in that demo.
Also read: 56 Reasons to Watch TV This Summer
Based on Craig Johnson’s mystery novels, “Longmire” also stars Lou Diamond Philips. Warner Horizon Television produced the series, with Hunt Baldwin John Covey, Greer Shephard and Michael M. Robin executive-producing.
Deadline first reported the news.
Ann Curry’s messy exit suggests that despite NBC’s new regime the new crew has learned nothing from the old crew and the ghost of Conan O’Brien.
Once again, a prominent piece of talent – this time Curry – was left hanging out to dry, embarrassing the network, angering dedicated viewers and rewarding a loyal employee with an undignified escort to the curb.
In the case of Conan O’Brien in 2010, the bungled management of his failed turn as “Tonight Show” host turned the 16-year, true-blue veteran of the network into an embittered enemy with an army of Twitter followers. It spelled the end of network chief Jeff Zucker. It tarnished NBC’s brand and cost them a pile of money.
The departure from the “Today” show of Curry, a 15-year veteran of NBC, may not be as bad a debacle, but it’s hardly been elegant.
Her official exit as “Today” co-host on Thursday followed more than a week of frenzied speculation in the media and on the web about her fate, leading the morning co-host to finally break her silence to USA Today on Wednesday and say that she has been “hurt deeply” by the leaks and gossip.
What happened this time? Insiders tell TheWrap that people within NBC News — Matt Lauer, NBC News chief Steve Capus and “Today” show executive producer Jim Bell — were divided over Curry.
Some felt she was the source of the once-dominant show’s declining ratings. Others said the show itself had lost its dynamism and its wide ratings lead over “Good Morning America” for other reasons.
Ultimately, two insiders told TheWrap, NBC CEO Steve Burke had to step in and adjudicate the situation.
Particularly damaging were the multiple leaks to The New York Times in which unnamed NBC insiders said Curry had too much “empathy,” and lacked chemistry with Lauer. That led Curry’s lawyer Robert Barnett to wring every advantage out of the standoff; he was in no hurry to give NBC a quick conclusion.
So negotiations took more than a week.
On Thursday Curry broke down in tears as she told viewers that she’d be leaving her dream job to be a roving correspondent for NBC News.
For Lauer’s sake, he had better hope ratings start to climb again, because from here on in he won’t have Curry as an excuse.
Savannah Guthrie, Curry’s presumed successor, also may face challenges if she gets the job. NBC’s high-profile coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games in London — with former “Today” co-host Meredith Vieira already touted as a special correspondent — could leave Guthrie in the shadows.
Television observers — including plenty of passionate commenters on TheWrap and elsewhere – insist that Curry was only a small part of “Today” show’s problems.
And either way, the network has once again managed to wring a lose-lose out of a delicate management situation.
Photos: Getty Images
Trying to warn children off succumbing to body image pressures is no good if so many adults succumb to them
A Thai anti-smoking advert, which shows children going up to adults smoking in the street and asking for a cigarette, has gone viral. The adults lecture the kids on not smoking. Then the child hands them a flyer, which asks: “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?” All the adults – not actors – throw away their cigarettes.
The same question could be asked in reference to the Home Office leaflet on body image that invites parents to show children photographs of Britney Spears and Keira Knightley before and after being airbrushed. Dr Katherine Rake, chief executive of the Family and Parenting Institute, says: “There is widespread concern about the way children are targeted by images that undermine their sense of self-worth.”
Maybe the way to get children to feel under less pressure is to get adults to feel under less pressure. The message is: “We adults like to distribute impossible images of humans because other adults want to see them. But you kids should know better than to fall for our psychologically destructive grown-up tricks.”
Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike” brings to mind the old joke about non-dairy creamer — we know what it isn’t, but what is it? If you’re expecting a sexy and voyeuristic peek into the world of muscular dancers taking off their clothes for roomfuls of rowdy women (i.e., the movie that the ads and trailers are selling), you’ll be disappointed at how lackluster and, ultimately, repetitive the stripping sequences are.
If Soderbergh wanted to use male stripping merely as a catchy hook on which to hang an interesting story or a captivating character study, well, the script by first-timer Reid Carolin provides a slight, familiar story alongside characters who aren’t all that interesting. And while “Magic Mike” tries to use the business of sexual fantasy to make a point about the depressed state of the new millennial economy, Soderbergh already covered that ground to much better effect in “The Girlfriend Experience.”
Perhaps the most surprising thing about “Magic Mike” is the way that it hews, intentionally or unintentionally, to the plot of a previous male-stripper epic, the 1981 TV movie “For Ladies Only,” which featured Gregory Harrison as a would-be Serious Actor who instead becomes Manhattan’s hottest male exotic dancer while his best pal (played by a pre-“Beastmaster” Marc Singer) sinks into drug addiction.
Channing Tatum (on whose life experience this film is loosely based) stars as Mike, who thinks of himself as an entrepreneur — his gigs include roofing, furniture design and car detailing — but who makes a living shaking his groove thing every night for Tampa’s most pent-up females. On a construction job, he meets young college dropout Adam (Alex Pettyfer) and figures “The Kid” (as Alex is known for the rest of the movie) would make a better stripper than roofer.
The Kid stumbles through an impromptu baptism by fire at the strip club (as Harrison’s character did) before getting hooked on pills (as Singer’s character did), while Mike strains to become anything that is Not a Stripper (as Harrison’s character did). Replace the questionable early-’80s fashions with zeitgeist-y concerns about the recession, and you’ve pretty much got the same movie.
Soderbergh doesn’t shoot the stripping sequences as though he were directing a musical; it would be tempting to say that he’s going for a documentarian’s approach, but an actual recent doc about exotic dancing — Frederick Wiseman’s “Crazy Horse” — offers up numbers that are much more elaborate and significantly sexier. The naughty bits of “Magic Mike” are, for the most part, dull, and not in a way that feels like a directorial choice.
Outside of the club, Soderbergh mutes the Florida sunshine to a grimy overcast-ness, part of an overall strategy to give the movie a more 1970s feel. (Said strategy includes everything from organically unstructured Altman-esque scenes, complete with overlapping background dialogue, to the use of the vintage, Saul Bass–designed Warner Bros. “W” logo that was retired 20 or so years ago.) But even if we don’t talk about them much, there were bad movies in the ’70s, too.
Both Tatum and Matthew McConaughey (as the strip club’s figuratively and literally oily manager) continue their streak of movies in which they prove that they’re actors and not just himbos, and they’re matched by Cody Horn as Adam’s concerned sister. Horn brings a young-Diane-Lane vibe to the proceedings, and her scenes with Tatum bring “Magic Mike” its only moments of feeling like a genuinely compelling story about recognizable human beings.
Pettyfer doesn’t have it in him to inject any life into the non-character he’s playing, and Matt Bomer and Joe Manganiello have so little dialogue that they barely register at all. (Manganiello plays a dancer known as “Big Dick Rich,” and that one detail is about as much as we ever learn about him.)
Riddled with show-biz clichés, stick-figure studs and re-heated ideas, “Magic Mike” thrusts its junk in your face despite having a very empty G-string.
“Red Hook Summer” made a splash at Sundance, and with good reason.
The latest installment from director Spike Lee’s Chronicles of Brooklyn seems like an innocent, coming-of-age tale at first: A young Atlanta boy, Flik Royale (Jules Brown), goes to stay with his overtly religious, preacher grandfather Bishop Enoch Rouse (Clarke Peters) in the Red Book projects of Brooklyn for summer vacation. Flik considers the summer to be a waste until he befriends Chazz Morningstar (Toni Lysaith) who opens him up to new experiences.
But the film caused a commotion with a scene involving a sexual act and Bible scripture. And if that hubbub — along with Lee’s return to the role of Mookie from his claim-to-fame film, “Do the Right Thing” — doesn’t hook you, then we don’t know what will.
So check out the trailer below to get a taste of Lee’s artsy, new work, and see the controversy first hand when the film hits theaters Aug. 10 and expands Aug. 24.
Jean-Bernard Levy, the chief executive officer of Vivendi, will step down from the French media conglomerate, with an announcement possibly coming from Vivendi on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Levy, 57, has been with the company for a decade.
The departure comes on the heels of a disagreement over strategy with the company’s board of directors, a source told the Journal. Vivendi’s board has been pushing for a change in how the company handles its assets, which include EMI’s music division, Activision Blizzard and the French premium television channel Canal+. Levy has been a proponent of the status quo, contrary to some shareholders’ wishes. According to the Journal, Vivendi’s share price has fallen to a near-decade low recently.
Vivendi has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment.
According to the Journal, Vivendi’s board and managers had a meeting in Paris last weekend over strategy. The company said following the meeting that it would have no announcements about the company’s “necessary evolution,” though it made no specific announcement about what that change would entail.
Also read: GE Begins NBCU Stake Buyback From Vivendi
Vivendi is reportedly preparing to bring French industrialist Vincent Bollore, a close associate of Vivendi founder Jean-Rene Fourtou, onto its board in the coming months.