Thursday, January 19, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out

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(image via usatoday)

In: Will Disney Buy Pixar? The question of whether or not Steve Jobs will become Chairman of Disney is about to undergo another round of rigorous examination by the Chattering Classes on both coasts. According to Staci at Paidcontent:

"Disney's dealings with Apple are interesting but its connection with Pixar Animation Studios is close to vital -- and a top priority for Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has been able to develop and maintain a good relationship with Pixar chairman Steve Jobs. (The agreement to put Disney content on iTunes, which was made by Iger, is one sign.) Is that rapport strong enough to pull off a Disney acquisition? The Journal reports today that Disney and Pixar are discussing a stock-based option: Disney would pay a premium over Pixar's $6.7 billion market cap in all-stock deal that would make Jobs, who holds more than half of Pixar's shares, the largest individual shareholder of the merged company.

"That, as the Journal notes, 'would vault Mr. Jobs into an even more influential place in the media world, where he already holds tremendous sway as head of Apple Computer Inc.' Some chatter in recent weeks even has Jobs becoming chairman of Disney. No reason here to go into all the background on animation and why Pixar matters so much to Disney. A deal like the one currently under discussion would be a seismic shift in animation entertainment. The key questions beyond the details of any deal ... What would it mean for Disney and the company's media and entertainment activities outside of animation? How would that ripple across those industries? And is the Iger-Jobs relationship, which is working with them as equals, strong enough to survive Jobs' move to a power position inside Disney?"

As you can imagine, Pixar shares are up over 4 percent? Continued here.


(image via amazon)

Out: A & R Reps. God, now who is going to draw a 5 or 6 figure salary from the beleagured record labels for smoking high grade recording industry pot, bribing deejays and banging hott groupie chicks? Not the A & R reps, that's for sure; they goeth the way of the Dodo. In the brave new world that lies before us, the bloated -- and dodgy -- accounting practices of the labels will be streamlined as a result of the digital revolution which minimizes the need -- and costs -- of a middle man. According to Drudgiepoo:

"Music industry sources tell DRUDGE REPORT that Europe�s Recording Industry Association the IFPI will show sales of music via the internet and mobile phones generated sales of $1.1 billion for record companies � up from US$380 million in 2004.

"The findings are released today in IFPI�s Digital Music Report 2006, a comprehensive review of the development of the digital music market internationally. Music fans downloaded 420 million single tracks from the internet last year � twenty times more than two years earlier � while the volume of music licensed by record companies doubled to over 2 million songs.

"Digital music now accounts for about 6% of record companies� revenues, up from practically zero two years ago."

Do you remember that old industry joke: "You can't have a "stAR without A and R" (A considerable pause) Yeah; we're so over that.


(image via LATimes via Janet Van Ham / HBO)

In: Bill Maher. Libertarian bombthrower Bill Maher can finally put his Bachelors degree in English from Cornell to work. According to the LATimes:

"Celebrities promoting their newest movie, book or album have a new stop on the talk-show circuit: Internet megastore plans to announce today a weekly online talk show with host Bill Maher.

"... Inc. is trying to blend commerce with entertainment, much as Starbucks Corp. sells CDs and DVDs alongside coffee to position its brand as a lifestyle. In an e-commerce twist on movie and TV product placement, Amazon will place links to buy the works discussed during the show beside the program's display window.'Two uber-trends are crashing into each other: Retail is trying to turn itself into entertainment at the same time that entertainment is trying to turn itself into retail,' said David Card, senior analyst with Jupiter Research. 'What's unique about the Internet as a medium is it's an opportunity to blend the retail experience, the entertainment experience and the discovery of new stuff. It's hard to do that on TV.'

"Its first episode will feature author Stephen King, musician Rob Thomas, actress Toni Collette and writer Armistead Maupin. 'We're trying to let customers discover new artists, and artists discover new customers," said Kathy Savitt, an Amazon vice president.

"Amazon will tape the pilot, sponsored by United Parcel Service Inc., at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, and make highlights available on-demand starting Tuesday, when King's latest book goes on sale.King is eschewing the TV show circuit to promote 'Cell,' his new book about mobile phones triggering murderous rampages. He plans to make Amazon his only broadcast appearance, his publicist said.'We wanted to do something innovative and different,' said Suzanne Balaban, director of publicity for Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster Inc.

"'This seemed to be a fresh opportunity. It's a new outlet for people to talk about books.'Amazon has promised 12 more shows, starting June 1, which will be shot while Maher's HBO show, 'Real Time With Bill Maher,' is on hiatus. Each will be streamed live Thursday nights at 8 from a Los Angeles sound stage that Amazon is renting from an undisclosed TV studio. Viewers can also watch archived clips or the entire show after it runs."

We're so there.


Whoopsie! (image via

Out: Paris Pisses. What kind of a nation is it? If you're Paris Hilton, a urination. From TheSuperficial (via ohnotheydidnt):

"Paris Hilton's publicists are trying to silence a Hawaiian taxi-driver who claims the socialite urinated in his cab.

"Harden Jamison tells American tabloid National Enquirer the hotel heiress and Simple Life star was too drunk to notice she'd wet herself when he picked her and boyfriend Stavros Niarchos up after a party on Maui."

(A visibly disgusted look) Aww, man ...

"The disgusted cab driver claims he mopped up the mess with a towel and plans to use Hilton's own DNA as evidence against her."

(A considerable pause) Gee whiz! --literally ...

"Jamison has gone public with his story after getting threatened by Hilton's heavies, who hitched a ride in his cab, after making it known that he has a towel drenched with the socialite's urine.

"He says: 'They were all drunk and abusive. I kicked them out and flagged down a cop.'The cab driver claims one of Hilton's pals offered him $200 (�165.70) for the towel."

Why does this story seem extremely plausible to me?

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