In: Arlen Spector. Whether or not one agrees or disagrees with Senator Arlen Spector's decision to switch parties, he has captured the news cycle and genuinely surprised even the in-the-know Washington chattering class, who prides itself upon its insider's knowledge. Spector now puts Al Franken -- if he ever gets seated -- as the filibuster-proof 60th Democrat vote.
Spector, who was always a wild card, has been even more so since his recurring battle with Hodgkin's disease. His upcoming votes on health care -- and how his struggle with Hodgkins affects it -- will be closely watched.
(image via fretbase)
Out: Guitar Hero? Although the numbers speak in GH's favor, the economic situation and the online buzz suggests that Guitar hero backlash is just around the cdorner. From Paidcontent:
"The company has had tremendous success with Guitar Hero: the Metallica installment nearly cracked NPD’s top-10 best-seller list for March, despite only being available for the last week of the month, and Guitar Hero III topped the $1 billion sales mark in January. But judging from some negative gamer reactions around the web (and slower growth in music game sales overall), the franchise may be losing some of its luster: 'That list of bands that should never get Guitar Hero games is coming true. Next, it’ll be Guitar Hero: Coldplay. God help us all,' wrote one Kotaku reader. And on Joystiq: 'Ugggg I am so sick of these band games. Just release a f—ing download. I don’t need a whole game.'"
In: WME Entertainment. The WMA-Endeavor Merger is the talk of Hollywood. The 111-year-old William Morris Agency has agreed to join the 14-year-old Endeavor agency, cofounded by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel's brother, Ari. Endeavor, with its history, represents established names (Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and John Travolta) across all industries of entertainment, while Endeavor, the brash upstart, trafficks in the hip up-and-comers (Javier Bardem, Sacha Baron Cohen, Larry David, and Josh Schwartz of "Chuck." From DeadlineHollywoodDaily's Nikki Finke:
"6 PM: Three of the Endeavor partners who will sit on the new WME Entertainment board -- Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell, and Adam Venit -- are at William Morris offices right now introducing themselves to and shaking hands with the WMA agents and staff. 'It's eerily quiet,' one insider tells me. Earlier, Morris boss Jim Wiatt went to Endeavor and introduced himself ... WMA had been obstinate when it cames to the two agencies' discussions about who should stay and who should go if and when the two tenpercenteries merge. Endeavor's Ari Emanuel, for instance, was screaming at Wiatt, and battles broke out among some of their subordinates. Eventually, that too was worked out."
Layoffs, in this lousy economy are expected, but the combined entity could have yearly revenues in the range of $250 million to $300 million.