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Veteran Publicist Cari Ross Joins Gersh as Communications Chief

For the first time in the agency’s history, Gersh now has an in-house communications executive. Veteran publicist Cari Ross has joined Gersh to serve as senior vp of communications, working out of the Los Angeles office and overseeing all communications, social media, imaging and press relations, effective immediately. Ross segues to the post after more […]

Los Angeles TV Shoot Days Decline, But Overall Filming Remains Robust

Filming in Los Angeles stabilized above pre-pandemic levels in the second-quarter of 2022 after posting three consecutive all-time quarterly records. Despite a drop-off in shooting from the start of the year, local production from April to June finished 2.7 percent and 6.8 percent ahead of the same periods in 2018 and 2019 respectively, according to […]

Participant Ups Four Execs in Campaigns and Engagement

Participant has elevated four executives in the campaigns and engagement department, which is meant to extend the reach and impact of Participant’s films through marketing, digital resources and social. Michaela Bethune has been named senior vp digital and creative marketing, having previously served as vp audience development. She recently worked on campaigns for Judas and […]

Byron Allen Buys Black News Channel for $11M

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is buying the Black News Channel, with plans to revive the bankrupt cable news outlet and significantly grow its distribution footprint. Allen’s company is acquiring “substantially all” of BNC’s assets for $11 million, with a bankruptcy court in Tallahassee, Florida, formally signing off on the sale. BNC is available in […]

Wall Street Debates Netflix: Is the Worst Over Or Has Its Growth Stalled?

Netflix kicked off entertainment industry earnings season with a bang — and a lot of news — late Tuesday, with Wall Street analysts dissecting its second-quarter results, outlook and commentary overnight. After its shock first-quarter subscriber loss, the fact that the global streaming giant lost 970,000 subscribers instead of the predicted 2 million in the […]

VFX House Cinesite Acquires Montreal’s L’Atelier Animation

VFX House Cinesite has added Montreal’s L’Atelier Animation to its expanding studio network in Canada and Germany, the company said Wednesday. Terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed. But Cinesite, headquartered in the UK and having moved from creating digital visual effects to feature animation on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and […]

AMC Theatres Repurchases High-Interest Debt at Steep Discount

AMC Entertainment has chipped away at its debt mountain by repurchasing around $72.5 million of its 10 percent second lien debt due in 2026 for $50 million, or around a 31 percent discount. “This action is one more step along our recovery glidepath. We will continue to seek creative and meaningful strategies to further strengthen […]

Hollywood’s Mirage Earnings Season: Fear That the Worst Isn’t Here Yet

It’s the economy, stupid. The phrase made famous in the 1992 presidential campaign could well be on Wall Street’s mind as entertainment giants report their second-quarter earnings in late July and August. After all, the upcoming quarterly results might not look so bad, as streaming hits like Stranger Things and Obi-Wan Kenobi respectively boost viewership […]

Former Warner Bros. Exec Launches Production Company Big Owl Pictures in Australia

Shaun Murphy, former head of television at Warner Bros Australia, on Wednesday announced the launch of television and film production company Big Owl Pictures. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, the venture has received backing from private equity group, Balance Vector. Murphy will serve as CEO and executive producer at the new outfit. He says Big Owl Pictures will […]

UTA’s Private Equity Move: A Battle for Scale With CAA and WME

Amid upheaval in Hollywood, as entertainment giants invest in their direct-to-streaming efforts, and as they try to find a balance between subscriptions, advertising, theatrical releases and other business models, the major talent agencies are scaling up, betting that the demand for content — and for top-shelf talent — will keep growing. And it’s all backed, […]

Diverse Representation Launches Summer Immersion Program for HBCU Law Students

Diverse Representation, the organization dedicated to supporting Black representatives (agents, attorneys, managers, publicists and financial advisors) in sports and entertainment, has launched a new program to expose law students to opportunities in Hollywood. As part of a partnership struck with Southern University Law Center last September, the first-ever Summer Entertainment Immersion Program will take place […]

Second Activision Blizzard Worker Group Launches Union Drive With CWA

A new group of workers at video game behemoth Activision Blizzard is launching an attempt at unionization with the Communications Workers of America. Quality assurance (QA) testers at Blizzard Albany in New York have organized and are asking for voluntary recognition of their group from management, the workers tweeted on Tuesday. On Tuesday they additionally […]