Friday, January 20, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via theeconomist)

In: The Economist's King Content. The Economist's story about Old Media's weakening grip on distribution in the digital age is interesting. As advertising revenues move from Old Media companies like the New York Times to Craigslist, the gatekeepers are struggling to keep up. The Economist begins (link via paidcontent):
"... Media companies are suffering intense pain�and it is starting to seem worryingly permanent. In America shares of 'old' media firms such as News Corporation, Comcast and other giants of television, film, radio and print, have fallen 25% behind the S&P 500 in the past two years, despite some heroic financial results. Meanwhile, the market value of Google, which made its debut on the stockmarket in 2004, is now equal to the combined worth of Walt Disney, News Corporation and Viacom, three beasts of the old media jungle. One investor, who recently moved two-thirds of his $1 billion fund out of American media and into emerging-market companies, moans that 'the market thinks something's going to get them, whether it's piracy, personal video recorders, or Google.'

"Desperate to rescue its share price, Viacom broke itself in two on January 3rd. Time Warner, the biggest media group of all, is under attack from Carl Icahn, a corporate predator perfectly adapted to sniff out the weak and vulnerable. The big groups have seen their newspapers and magazines lose readers and advertising to the internet; their music businesses suffer piracy and falling sales; and someone else's video games captivate new generations of consumers. Now come fears about film and TV, the bedrock of their business."

The full, fascinating story here.


(image via aufemenin)

Out: Scarlett's Style. Just yesterday we were told that Woody Allen, on the set of Matchpoint, took time out from his helming duties to inquire of Scarlett Johanson -- a propos of nothing -- about the state of her virginity. Creepy, to be sure. Now, a day later, the Woodman returns the favor via Fashionweekdaily:

"Sarah Horne: What do you think of Scarlett�s style?

"Woody Allen: I have had many conversations with Scarlett on this subject. The main thing I tell her is to simplify. I think that she dresses older than she should. I would tell her to wear her hair looser, to lessen the makeup and heavy red lipstick. Be more natural. It�s a starlet thing. She is a beautiful girl but I have told her to tone it down.

"SH: Are there any specific designers you would recommend?

"Woody Allen: I wouldn�t go that far. But I have told her to dress her age, instead of dressing like my Aunt Minnie."

Because, Woody seems to be saying, one needs to hold onto one's youth. Passionately. Maybe even, like, going so far as to take tasteful nudes of it and hide them from your lover.


(image via flickr)

In: Adrien Brody Went Bombing with Tupac. Everyone, it seems, has a Tupac story. Adrien Brody, who kissed Halle Berry, proves, once again, that he is the blackest white man in Hollywood. In this month's Mass Appeal Magazine, Oscar-winner Adrien Brody chimes tells a sordid tale:

"Mass Appeal: So you were in Bullet with Tupac, right? Oh, yeah. I went bombing with Tupac. Get the fuck outta here. I went bombing in Brooklyn with Tupac. On the wall, he was writing �Thug Life� before any Thug Life albums were out, and he had it on his chest. I was like, What the fuck is Thug Life? That�s cool. I think some of it might be on the wall in a scene in Bullet. I forget what I wrote.

"Mass Appeal: Did you spend a lot of time with �Pac?

"AB: Mickey [Rourke] and �Pac�s boy had this fistfight, so we�re all just chilling, drinking in Mickey�s trailer. �Pac would come out in a blaze of smoke, and we would all hang out a lot. One night, we shot all night. I finally got one take or two takes, because the sun was coming up. I just came through in the crunch. It was independent guerilla film making, craziness. Afterwards, I was hanging under the Major Deegan [Expressway] in a limo at like four in the morning when I played my �Pac my beats on cassette! I remember chilling with �Pac, just cruising on the way home in the back of the car, sun coming up�it was a dream come true. It was just one of those moments."


(image via enjanerd)

Out: The WashingtonPost Blog. In what can only be construed as yet another sign of the poisonous partisan atmosphere in our nation's capitol, the Washington Post Blog has been shut down. Says via DrudgiPoo:

"The Washington Post shut down one of its blogs Thursday after the newspaper's ombudsman raised the ire of readers by writing that lobbyist Jack Abramoff gave money to the Democrats as well as to Republicans.

"At the center of a congressional bribery investigation, Abramoff gave money to Republicans while he had his clients donate to both parties, though mostly to Republicans.

"In her Sunday column, ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote that Abramoff 'had made substantial campaign contributions to both major parties," prompting a wave of nasty reader postings on

"There were so many personal attacks that the newspaper's staff could not 'keep the board clean, there was some pretty filthy stuff,' and so the Post shut down comments on the blog, or Web log, said Jim Brady, executive editor of"


(image via on3productions)

In: The Sundance Channel Swag Bag. The Sundance Swag bags are infamous. New York Times Op Ed pieces refer to their magnetic allure on indie anti-materialist tastemakers and directors (They couldn't help it). A 2003 shoving match over those bags o' delight have led this year to only a limited number given out to "pre-selected individuals." (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment) Says Indiewire:

"The Sundance Channel Gift Bag is being given to 250 pre-selected individuals, including cable and satellite affiliates, film and TV makers, talent, and strategic marketing partners, according to Kirk Iwanowski, SVP of marketing at the network. And what's some of this year's loot for the lucky group? Kenneth Cole returns with a full grain leather duffel bag containing the new Apple video iPOD (60 gb); an AMC entertainment card worth $150; Block head-ware; a full year membership to the chic David Barton Gym, including five private training sessions; a visit to Exhale Spa; a $100 gift card to China Grill; Grey Goose Vodka; J Crew cashmere gloves; a 'day of skiing' at the Sundance resort, including ski rentals and passes for two; a two-night stay at a W Hotel and more including an DVDs from ThinkFilm and Sundance Channel as well as a Leonard Cohen CD.

"According to Iwanowski, distributing the extravagant bag is well-worth the effort. 'From [Sundance] Channel's point-of-view, it's a 'thank you.' That said, for our promotional partners, it certainly provides access and a rather unique and controlled environment in which to get their brands into the hands of key influencers within their (commercial and consumer) target.'"

A Leonard Cohen CD?

No comments: