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Friday, January 29, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Are the French going mad? That is a question that some investors might ask, as the global elite wander – or trudge – through the snow in the Davos ski resort this week. On Wednesday night, Nicolas Sarkozy, French president, strutted into the Davos limelight by becoming the first French leader to deliver the opening keynote at the event. And, as one might expect, the speech was an odd blend of lofty, arresting rhetoric, unexpectedly geeky comments about global accounting standards and capital treatment of securitised products (which Mr Sarkozy apparently thinks leaves French banks at a disadvantage). But perhaps the most arresting 'soundbite' was a call for a resurrection of the Bretton Woods global currency accord. 'The prosperity of the postwar era owed much to Bretton Woods ... we need a new Bretton Woods,' Mr Sarkozy declared, in a speech that prompted a large part of the Davos audience to rise to their feet with wild applause. 'We cannot preach free trade and also tolerate monetary dumping.' Now, cynics with long memories might point out that the French have often muttered this kind of thing before (and Mr Sarkozy himself has used the 'Bretton Woods' tag on several occasions in recent months). And the fact that he unveiled this in Davos says as much about France’s determination to shape the global intellectual debate, at a time when America is looking increasingly confused, as any plans to start a clear policy initiative." (FT)



"Warner Music Group CEO Lyor Cohen flies United. Coach. Sure, he uses his miles to upgrade to business, but there are no black cars at Warner anymore, Jet Blue is the company airline, you see the music business is in the middle of a storm, and Warner's battened down the hatches, is doing its best to sail through. One thing you can't argue with is Warner's increased market share. Sure, Universal is still the behemoth, but Warner is growing its piece of the pie. As for overall revenues? Well, Lyor hopes they go up. He spent the morning at Cricket, looking at their mobile music model. He said the interface was fantastic. And that a music fee was just going to be added on to the bill of these customers without contracts. I'll have to wait to see it. But I must say, Lyor was not unfamiliar with the issues. He spoke of transparency. We needed it. A manager, an act should be able to log on every day and see where their music was streamed, what they got paid. Is this ready today? No. Is this in the near future? No. But Lyor said it was inevitable. Trust must be reestablished." (LefetzLetter)



"(Howard Stern) started the show talking about how interesting it is getting the show started. He said he doesn't feel like talking first thing in the morning. He said he comes out of the box with all of that energy. He said he was talking to Gary about Conan O'Brien because they reported that he had sold 2 pilots to NBC. Howard said that's a move that networks do and they just bury the pilots. He said they sometimes build into the deal that the network will look at the pilots but that doesn't mean that they're going to get them made. Howard said he told Gary that they're telling Conan that they're going to work with him but they'll never produce the shows. Howard said that they'll say the pilots will be looked at but they won't make them. Howard said it's a way to keep Conan calm for now." (Marksfriggin)




"Nicole Kidman was among the stars who donated $250,000 each to Haiti at a fund-raiser hosted by director Paul Haggis. Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Gerard Butler, Daniel Craig and Sean Penn each pledged to give $50,000 a year for five years to Artists for Peace & Justice's Haiti relief fund. Haggis persuaded the actors to donate at a brunch at his LA home Sunday which raised $4.5 million. The charity founded by Haggis promises to spend 100 percent of donations on emergency relief and medical supplies." (PageSix)



"There was a monsoon in progress as Geoffrey and I drove to the prestigious LA Art House, superbly managed by its brilliant director, Kevin Conroy, for the opening night of Sacha's new show titled 'Prism; the Many Faces of Sacha Newley.' We couldn't imagine how we would get inside without getting soaked until we recognized the Beverly Hills Hotel valet gang, the creme de la creme of the business. As we climbed the stairs we couldn't miss seeing Sacha, talented artist son of Joan Collins, and actor/lyricist Anthony Newley, whirling like a dervish through the terrific turnout of LA's finest who'd braved the deluge to come to the exhibition. With his mop of brown curls flying and impish grin, Sacha managed to be everywhere at once. You could tell he was thrilled to be in the art world of Los Angeles, a city where he lived much of the time while growing up." (Sahron, the Lady Sondes/NySocialDiary)



"That Jamie Foxx, Usher, Taylor Swift and Ke$ha are expected at Clive Davis' pre-Grammy bash tomorrow night at the Beverly Hilton." (PageSix)



"Jordan's King Abdullah II joined Spanish monarch King Juan Carlos in Madrid for a private luncheon hosted by Queen Sofia before meeting with prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Abdullah II's wife, Queen Rania, meanwhile, has headed to Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum." (VanityFair)



"As of Tuesday, it was looking like Sundance 2010 was not going to be a buyers’ market after all. The festival could only boast two deals: Davis Guggenheim’s documentary Waiting for Superman to Paramount Pictures and the Ryan Reynolds-starrer Buried to Lionsgate for over $3 million. But in the last two days indie distributors have become a lot more comfortable with what’s screening at the festival. In the past 24 hours three movies now have theatrical distribution attached to them. Focus Features purchased The Kids Are All Right by director Lisa Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon) for a reported $4.8 million, making it the largest deal of the festival. The comedy starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore centers on a lesbian couple whose teenage children want to reunite with their biological father (Mark Ruffalo). Filmed in only 24 days, the cast luckily gelled together without much time." (Popwatch)

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