Peter Bart: Scaling Up Through Mergers No Fun Anymore For Moguls

Deadline | 4/19/2018 | Peter Bart
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The time has come to augment the endangered species list, with Hollywood media moguls as the latest entries. They used to be the loudest voices in the room, but now you need a scorecard to figure out who’s in charge of what.

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Week - CEOs - AT - T - Time

Consider this week: The CEOs of AT&T and Time Warner took the stand in federal court to slam the Justice Department for opposing their vaunted merger (what will be the fate of CNN and HBO?). Les Moonves must audition again for the (dubious?) privilege of running the newest proposed iteration of CBS-Viacom. With the abrupt dismissal of Gary Barber, MGM shareholders are looking for a new leader and business plan (will the Mark Burnett attachment hold firm?). And tense meetings continue within the newly forged Disney-Fox empire to hammer out a new power structure (will Rupert Murdoch truly limit his clout to the Fox News propaganda machine?). SEC filings revealed that Comcast’s bid for Fox was 16% higher than Disney’s, but Disney still won.

And there are still other tremors out there: What are Sony’s plans for Hollywood and vice versa — Tony Vinciquerra, perhaps the quietist voice in the room, has yet to set forth his overall road map. And speaking of road maps, Hollywood has yet to fully assimilate the emerging strategies of Netflix, Amazon, Apple or other newbies browsing along its borders.

Maelstrom - Contrast - Era - Mavens - Steve

To those of us who have been around awhile, the present maelstrom poses a sharp contrast to the era when tough-minded mavens like Steve Ross, Charles Bluhdorn, Michael Eisner, Sumner Redstone or, yes, the original Rupert Murdoch, presided over their global...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Deadline
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