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Peter Bart: With Streamers’ Clout Expanding, Hollywood Majors Regret Their Failure To Embrace A Smarter Web Strategy

When Netflix first exposed its intriguing blueprint to the Hollywood studios some years ago, techno-nerds predicted the majors would likely embrace its bold ideas. They were wrong. Hollywood displayed the same chill toward Netflix as it had toward HBO years earlier. Warner Bros declined to invest, for example, but offered to agree to revenue sharing provided it was issued stock warrants for Netflix common stock. Even Amazon, itself a relative newcomer at the time, secretly offered $15 million for a controlling stake, but Netflix would have to play second fiddle to the books and music it was then pushing.

Netflix’s birth pains and its secret Amazon negotiations were revisited this week in a new book by its co-founder Marc Randolph, who, with his principal stockholder Reed Hastings, felt Hollywood really didn’t “get” their message. The book was thus titled That Will Never Work.

(Full disclosure: I didn’t “get” it either,
See full article at Deadline »

John Stankey Hosts Farewell Gathering at Warner Bros. for Kevin Tsujihara

John Stankey Hosts Farewell Gathering at Warner Bros. for Kevin Tsujihara
Kevin Tsujihara’s long tenure at Warner Bros. was saluted Wednesday evening with a reception on the studio lot that drew about 75 people, including his predecessors in the CEO suite, Bob Daly and Barry Meyer.

There was a melancholy air about the gathering in the lobby of the Steven J. Ross Theater because of the circumstances of Tsujihara’s hasty departure. After six years as Warner Bros. chairman-ceo and 25 years with the studio overall, Tsujihara was forced to resign March 18 amid the scandal spurred by the revelation that he had extramarital affair with actress Charlotte Kirk in 2013, and allegations that he used his position to help her land small roles in Warner Bros. movies.

The gathering was hosted by WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey, the former At&T executive who made the call to force Tsujihara to resign as a result of what Stankey characterized as his “mistakes” that were “inconsistent” with
See full article at Variety »

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