Celebrity & Gossip
The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter Thursday, January 16, 2020

The all-new Hollywood Reporter offers unprecedented access to the people, studios, networks and agencies that create the magic in Hollywood. Published weekly, the oversized format includes exceptional photography and rich features.

United States
MRC Media, LLC
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48 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
heat index

Mark Pedowitz Broadcast’s longest-tenured network chief re-ups with The CW, including a promotion to chairman/CEO that will keep him overseeing all creative and business decisions. Kristen Stewart The star notches her second straight box office underperformer as Fox thriller Underwater debuts to $7 million domestically after Sony’s disappointing Charlie’s Angels reboot. Amy Sherman-Palladino The creator’s Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, spikes in viewership as the season three debut outdraws the second by a sizable margin, per Nielsen. Bob Pittman The iHeartMedia CEO presides over a new round of staff layoffs across the country amid a major restructuring of the radio broadcasting giant. Showbiz Stocks $8.94 (+11%) AVID TECH (AVID) The media-platform firm releases an updated live-sound “Venue” product for concerts, broadcast events and theater productions. $149.40 (-5%) SPOTIFY (SPOT) Bernstein initiates coverage of the music streamer with an “underperform” rating, figuring investors are…

5 min.
can meghan monetize ‘megxit’?

They’ve received the queen’s blessing and weathered vicious tabloid fallout as well as precedent-breaking statements from Buckingham Palace, but as Meghan Markle and Prince Harry head west, the duo have yet to plot out the deals that will build their newly “independent” life. No sooner had the duke and duchess of Sussex revealed their shocking exit — or “Megxit” — from the U.K.’s royal family, from which they planned to step down as senior members, than talk switched to their next move. The idea of Markle, who made her name on the USA Network series Suits, going back in front of the cameras has Hollywood asking around as her former agency, Gersh, stays mum for now. “If Meghan called anybody right now, believe me, we’d all run to the phone,” says…

3 min.
a theater overtime exemption that ‘makes no sense’

While a strong December film slate helped lead U.S. box office revenue to a projected $11.4 billion in 2019 (down 4 percent year-over-year), many lower-level employees at top theater chains in multiple states worked without overtime or holiday pay — as they have for much of the past century. Now, a widely circulated petition by staffers at AMC Theatres is hoping to draw attention to a longtime exemption in 1938’s federal Fair Labor Standards Act that allows exhibitors to refrain from providing staff with time-and-a-half pay rates in states without strict overtime laws. “The theater can take advantage of employees and schedule them as much as possible without having to worry, since there’s no overtime pay,” says Mathew Carpenter, who recently left his job at AMC and was among the 7,496…

1 min.
tv on your phone, no data plan required

Linear broadcasters can finally take full advantage of the mobile age starting this year thanks to a new effort that will bring TV to phones — without using consumers’ cellular service or data plan. This effort, an FCC-approved broadcast transmission system called NextGen, kicked off Jan. 8 at CES in Las Vegas and is set to roll out in 60 U.S. markets in 2020. It’s an upgrade of the country’s free, over-the-air basic TV that local broadcast stations can opt to offer consumers for their supported TV or mobile devices, potentially bringing in new revenue streams. At CES, 20 new TV models with NextGen support debuted from set-makers like LG, Samsung and Sony in a range of sizes and prices. The ability to receive an over-the-air TV signal on a…

2 min.
game makers stare down major union drive

As global video game spending marked a high in 2019 at $109 billion, calls to unionize the industry have ratcheted up. On Jan. 7, one of the largest labor unions in the U.S., the 700,000-member Communications Workers of America, revealed plans for a major effort to organize gaming employees. The drive, called the Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, could bring change to an industry that is largely nonunion. “[The video game industry] is a part of the economy that’s making truly massive profits, and it’s clear that folks are not benefiting to the degree that they ought to,” says Tom Smith, CWA director of organizing. Leading CWA’s CODE are two new full-time staffers, Wes McEnany and Emma Kinema. Priorities include pay rate standards and layoff protections. Kinema cites “wide discrepancies in…

1 min.
verizon tries ‘mix & match’ tv

It’s not an a la carte offering, but Verizon took a step in that direction when it unveiled a new plan for its dwindling Fios service on Jan. 9. If it catches on, it could mean fewer subs for channel operators at a time when they’re already grappling with cord-cutting and “skinny bundles” from the likes of Dish Network’s Sling and others. Dubbed “Mix & Match,” it works like this: A household chooses from three speeds of internet and names the five TV channels it requires and Fios chooses the appropriate package that has those, plus more than 100 others that are semi-tailored to their preferences. (With its traditional TV bundle, Fios has been shedding customers for years, down to 4.2 million total.) Costs vary for the service, but it could…