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Khan Manka, Jr. - The Chairman's Blog: August 2008 Archives

August 2008 Archives

carl_icahn_2.jpg... to inform me that he was going to wage a proxy battle for control of Manka Bros.  The first thing I needed to do was get out of my mud bath.  The second thing was to find out what a proxy battle was.  As Chairman of the World's Largest Media Company, this was something I should probably know about.

I told Icahn he was out of his mind and most likely forgot to take his medication.  I said, "I'm sorry Book Club didn't go better but this is ridiculous.  We're just a humble giant media company trying to make our movies and television shows in peace." 

He said that he had taken his medication(s) and was doing this because he feels Manka Bros. is grossly undervalued (which is true) and grossly mismanaged (which is not true!... with the exception of the Theatrical Group - but Robin Rafe knows she's on thin ice - or, at least, she knows now).

At this point, Carl Icahn started blabbering about shareholder value and profit margins and blah blah blah.  I just plugged my ears and said 'la la la la' at a high volume.  When he was finished I simply told him:  "Carl, do realize what this studio has been through in the last 90 years and we're still here today?"  I then gave him a laundry list of hardships Manka Bros. has endured over the years.  These include:

  • The Great Mud Slide of '22
  • The Great Cyclone of '34
  • The Great Burbank Tornado of '84
  • The Great Giant Rat Infestation of '92
  • My uncle Simeon Manka even wrote in his autobiography Family Secrets that there was a tidal wave in Burbank that hit the studio in 1920 (but he was crazy so we don't really believe that one).  He died in 1958 on Hollywood Boulevard wearing only a sandwich board that read "Benny's World Of Beef."
  • Louis B. Mayer planted landmines all around the Manka Bros. lot in 1938 (we believe some are still buried around the lot today especially near the main TV building)
  • My uncle, the great Khan Manka (Sr.) was shot, stabbed, strangled, run over by several cars and kidnapped... and that was just in 1935
As I was about to tell him of the grizzly bear attack I survived in my office, Carl Icahn cut me off--

"But you won't survive me.  No one beats The Icahn!"  He hung up.

boxing for frankenstein.jpgI got back into my mud bath.  I just wish things were settled like in the times of my father and uncles.  If someone wanted something, they just fought over it with boxing gloves as in the time my Uncle Khan boxed Carl Laemmle for the movie rights to Frankenstein.

I guess those days are over.  A proxy battle it is.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
carl_icahn.jpgGood afternoon.  As you all may know, I have a Book Club once a month and Carl Icahn heard about it and wanted to join.  He seems like a nice enough guy and he had the cash for the buy-in so - okay.  This may have been the biggest mistake I have ever made.  I had never met the man before but everyone else in the group (Dick Parsons, Terry Semel, Sherry Lansing, Alice Cooper and Barry Diller) all seemed to be fairly well acquainted with him.  

water_for_elephants.jpgOur book this month was Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen.  Because of my broken ankle (the screws come out next week) we held the discussion at my Beverly Hills compound in the main library.  After consulting about the book with Cyrus Weinstein, President of the Manka Bros. Publishing Group, I felt more prepared than ever to discuss it.  He basically said it was a good summer read with decent characters.  So I was ready to give my opinion.

After everyone downed a couple of shots of Slivovitz, we got down to it.  I knew we were in trouble after Carl Icahn pulled out a giant binder of research materials.  Here is my recollection of how it all went down. 

Carl Icahn:  I have an opening statement prepared if you'd--

Barry Diller: 
Fuck that, Carl.  I wouldn't let you take over IAC and I'm not letting you take over Book Club.

Carl Icahn:  One way or another, I'm going to take over Book Club.

Dick Parsons:  Hey, guys, come on - this is about Water For Elephants.

Terry Semel:  I have to tell you something.  I fucking cried at this book.  Why wouldn't anyone get any water for those elephants?

Sherry Lansing: 
Did you even read the book?

Terry Semel:  I don't need to read the book.  I've been in this business so long that just based on the title, I can tell you everything you need to know about that book all the way down to the color of the elephant.

Alice Cooper:  What color was the elephant?

Terry Semel:

Alice Cooper:  He's good. 

Barry Diller:  I can't believe we're already talking about the fucking color of the elephant!  This is bullshit.

Carl Icahn:  The color of the elephant isn't even mentioned in the book.

Terry Semel:  Shut up, Carl.

Carl Icahn:  Yell at me all you want but I'm going to take over Book Club.  This Book Club is an unfocused joke.  Khan, if you can't even run a Book Club meeting - how can you run a large media company?  Now I know why Manka Bros. is in the shitter.

Khan Manka, Jr.:  Now you're insulting me - in my fucking house?!  It was a mistake to invite you.  Please leave.

Carl Icahn:  No.

At this point, I called Body By Jake (who I had hired to carry me from room to room until my ankle healed) to physically remove Carl Icahn from my house.  As Body By Jake approached putting on brass knuckles, Carl Icahn performed some sort of Kung Fu move and began to twitch oddly, screeching at the top of his lungs.  Body By Jake easily knocked him to the ground and started to drag him out of the room.

Carl Icahn:  I didn't want to be your Book Club anyway.  I just came to tell you I'm taking over controlling interest in Manka Bros. and replacing your pathetic Board Directors... asshole!

Khan Manka, Jr.:  Screw off, Icahn!  You don't take over the World's Largest Media Company.  We take over you!

He laughed and was gone.  This was not the way I wanted my Sunday afternoon to go.

Barry Diller:  Can we please discuss the book now?

This was the worst Book Club ever.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
peter_chernin.jpgjeff zucker.jpgAs I wrote in my previous post, I was expecting a very nice evening with good food, good drink and non-confrontational conversation with my good friends Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal and Peter Chernin of News Corp / Fox - but it didn't work out that way.

After we sat down to my Louis XIV dining table in the dining room I call Valhalla, Zucker pulled out his iPhone, hit a few buttons and showed us the screen:  "Check this fucking out.  That's live Olympic coverage from Beijing.  That's kayaking on my phone, losers!  We have over 180,000 hours of sports programming which can be played on over 50,000 devices.  These events can be seen by over 8 billion people and there are only 7 billion people on the planet." 

iphone_kayak.jpg"How is that possible?," I said. 

"People have multiple devices, idiot, and that's the future.  You watch basketball on your television, swimming on your phone, ping pong on your xBox, Greco-Roman wrestling on your computer - all at the same time with multiple advertisers on each device.  I see a world where we're not making a $1 billion dollars for the entire Olympics, we're making a $1 billion dollars a minute - per device - per sport.  You guys... shit... you guys see a world where kids play with a Red Dot and go to see Space Chimps."

Chernin started to cry again.  "No, they DON'T go to see Space Chimps!"  The failure of Space Chimps really put him over the edge. 

Zucker banged his iPhone on the table, muttering to himself.  I told him if he was having trouble with the signal and wanted to watch something I could turn on the TV.  He told me to fuck off. 

I then mentioned that Manka Bros. had solved the issue between Old Media and New Media over a year ago and we were back making movies and television shows like the old days.  I continued:  "With 'New Media', this is the first time in the history of new technologies that the quality is worse than it was with the old technologies.  The CD improved the LP.  The DVD improved the video tape.  Streaming video online is shit compared to an 80 inch high-definition television - but we're all falling over each other to put our high quality shows in a low quality shitty format."

Zucker cut me off:  "You're a moron, Khan.  This is why Manka Bros. is the dinosaur of the business.  Sure, you're the world's largest media company - but who gives a shit if you're not looking to the future."

"I'll show you the future, Zucker."  My housekeeper and cook, Ismaralda, came out with the first dinner course.  "Ismaralda and her family are the future - not your kids in their prep schools watching skateboard videos on their $600 phones.  She makes $7,000 dollars a year working 18 hours a day for me - plus I sometimes give her bus fare home on late nights when her cousin can't pick her up.  Ask her about your plans for New Media."

Jeff Zucker didn't hesitate.  "Have a seat, Esmarelda.  Let's say you're watching a rebroadcast of Knight Rider on your iPhone and you get a TiVo alert that Deal or No Deal is about to begin..."

Ismaralda interrupted him:  "I don't have a iPhone--"

Jeff Zucker:  "Who gives a shit?  Any device will do.  My point is that you have options.  In the future, you can watch anything you want, anytime you want."

Ismaralda:  "I can barely afford food."

Jeff Zucker:  "OK, fuck this.  I'm out, Khan."  With that, Jeff Zucker got up and left my house. 

Peter Chernin started eating in silence.  As Ismaralda started back to the kitchen she said to Peter:  "Did I hear you made Space Chimps?  "Yes, my studio made Space Chimps."  

"I loved that movie!  So did my whole family."

Peter smiled.  Another victory for Old Media.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
jeff zucker.jpgpeter_chernin.jpgGood morning.  My cook, Ismaralda, made lobster last night so I decided to invite a couple of my friends and fellow moguls Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal and Peter Chernin of News Corp / Fox over for dinner.  I thought it was just going to be a nice pleasant evening with some really good wine and really good food.  But I was wrong... again.  Because of my broken ankle, I hired Body By Jake to carry me around from room to room until I recovered.  He was unavailable last night because of some audition for a cat commercial so I had to manage myself on crutches.  

Jeff Zucker was the first to arrive and he set the tone for the evening when he first saw me:  "$300 million for a fucking red dot?  What are you whacked out of your skull?"  I told him he sounded like he's living in that "schadenfreude world" that he loves to talk about.  And he's absolutely right.  We are all wishing for him to fail. 

Peter Chernin came to the door right after and looked just awful.  His shirt was untucked and dirty, his tie was loose and on the outside of his wrinkled jacket.  Tears in his eyes.  I was shocked.  He always seemed to have the image of a man in complete control.  I asked:  "Peter, what happened?"  He looked up:  "Space ChimpsSpace Chimps broke my heart.  Fucking Batman!"  I could tell Peter Chernin has had a break down.  Space Chimps opened weeks ago.

I tried to cheer him up.  "Come on, Peter, it's just a movie.  It didn't work.  Manka Bros. has movies that don't work every week.  You still have your money and your power.  You've got the best margins in the business.  Things will get better."

He didn't look at me and just made a beeline for an open bottle of Slivovitz on the bar.  [Our main MBS advertiser, Slivovitz, has saved me on many occasions - including recently with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev.]

Zucker continued his assault on me:  "And what the fuck is up with your leg?  Are you that much of a pussy?"  I explained my horrific injury.  He rolled his eyes:  "Do you realize I have two broken ankles, a dislocated knee, I'm just getting over two bouts of colon cancer, my car doesn't start regularly, there's a nail in my brain and I still managed to play 12 sets of tennis today and worked 120 hours last week in 8 different countries?!"

"I guess that's why NBC is the #4 network", I said.  His face got very red but he pulled back:  "I'm not taking that bait, Khan.  MBS' ratings are so low it doesn't even register on Nielsen and you just bought a fucking red dot for $300 million!!!"

Ismaralda came in to tell us dinner was ready.  Peter Chernin said he would meet us in a few minutes.  He had to make a call to his shrink.

As we all sat down to dinner, the conversation turned to what the industry has been buzzing about for a couple of years now - Old Media vs. New Media

This was a fascinating conversation - and I will pick it up here tomorrow.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

khan_manka_parking_spot.jpgWhat I mean to say is... WHO - THE FUCK - IS IN MY PARKING SPOT?!!!  As you all know, I haven't been in the office for awhile - but if I did decide to show up, this piece of shit Toyota Tercel would be sitting in my spot! 

I have notified my assistant, Vicky Adler-Modry, to have this car crushed into a cube and thrown in the Pacific Ocean!  The owner of the car will be traced and fired.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
david_chang_sm.jpgGood morning.  As our stock price hovers around the $0 mark and brokerages have changed the recommendation on our company from "sell" to "immediately sell", I thought I should blog today for Mr. Manka and clarify a few of the remarks he made yesterday during our Q2 2008 earnings announcement / summer party.

First of all, Mr. Manka has a severely broken ankle and is on heavy pain medication (which I'm told can affect your memory and ability to comprehend what is actually going on around you).  So, with that - let me set the record straight.

jessica_reif_cohen_small.jpgJessica Reif Cohen of Merrill Lynch did NOT arrive drunk to the party "giggling like a chicken".  Ms. Cohen was actually driving the car because the driver we hired was the one that was drunk.  She was concerned for his safety and made him ride in the back.  Thank you, Ms. Cohen.  That was very heroic and you deserve our highest thanks.

benjamin_swinburne_morgan_stanley_sm.jpgBenjamin Swinburne of Morgan Stanley was horrified at the comments attributed to him.  He would never be so crude in a party atmosphere.  And... he's right.  Those comments about "double digit growth in his pants" were made by... me.  I said them.  That's right.  I'm... sorry.

meredith_whitney_sm.jpgMeredith Whitney of Oppenheimer & Co. has been the most grievously misrepresented by Khan Manka's remarks.  I was standing right next to Ms. Whitney and know it couldn't have been her who said such vile things because... it was me also.  Yep.  I just don't know how to behave.  Please call off your zebras and especially tell your professional WWE wrestler husband to stop threatening to kick my ass.  We know he can kick my ass.  I deserve it.  Also, please give us back our line of credit.  We really need it.  We have several movies that are half way through production and we must finish and release them to hit our 2009 numbers.

As for the others who were "misrepresented" in Mr. Manka's remarks:

  • Jeffrey Logson of BMO Capital DID pee on Mr. Manka's white carpet.  I WILL NOT BACK DOWN ON THIS ONE!
  • Ian Sigalow of Greycroft Partners did not punch a hole in Mr. Manka's Picasso.  That hole was already there and, in fact, Mr. Sigalow is so great he has offered to pay for the restoration himself.  We think the hole got there during Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev's visit.
henry_blodget_sm.jpgAnd, finally, Henry Blodget of the very influential industry blog Silicon Alley Insider, we're so sorry.  You didn't back up the toilets.  Those toilets were probably already backed up for weeks (most likely from the Bulgarian Women's Choir or... better yet... I most likely did it.  Yes, I did it).

I hope this helps set the record straight and everyone can stop punishing us.

chang1_small.jpgDavid Chang - CFO - Manka Bros. Studios
khan_manka_house_party.jpgThere is a Bulgarian proverb that says:  "If you call one wolf, you invite the pack." 

Manka Bros. reported second-quarter earnings yesterday in the form of a summer party.  I invited the top Wall Street entertainment analysts that cover our company to my house for an informal discussion.  I sent the Manka Bros. jet (the Joey 1) to pick them up.  It sounded like such a great plan.

I am told they all started to drink heavily on the plane.  What happened next will probably go down as the worst few hours in the history of our company (the stock price, I believe, is reflecting that today).  I have yet to decide who (or how many) will be fired.

jessica_reif_cohen.jpgI knew we were in trouble when the first town car arrived and Jessica Reif Cohen (Merrill Lynch) fell out of the car giggling like a chicken.  Car after car arrived full of some of the most influential people on Wall Street.  All drunk.

A meet and greet area was set up on The Great South Lawn of my house so that I could make a few opening remarks.  I arranged for Terry Semel to introduce me.  He knew the Wall Street game inside and out and always seemed to know exactly what to say to a crowd like this (I thought).  After everyone got a refill (I believe I heard Spencer Wang of Credit Suisse say"Where's my fucking drink!?"), Terry stepped up to the podium and began.

Terry Semel:  "As we enter the 20th century, my friend Khan Manka is poised for that future.  I don't know how he makes money.  Most of the stuff I've seen from his studio has been shit.  It boggles my mind.  Ladies and gentlemen, Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman and CEO of Manka Bros. Studios."
He walked toward the bar and left me to the wolves.  I will not forget that... ever.  I made my remarks.

Khan Manka, Jr.:  "Manka Bros. Studios is the world's largest media company.  That is undisputed.  As you can see from the chart we have placed on your tables, based on size, we are, indeed, the largest.  Even with a challenging second quarter - which I'll get to in a moment - we are still projecting double-digit growth in--
benjamin_swinburne_morgan_stanley.jpgAt this point, Benjamin Swinburne of Morgan Stanley interrupted:

Benjamin Swinburne:  I'm projecting double-digit growth, too... in my pants!
This got a big laugh and high fives all around.  That pretty much put an end to my opening remarks.  It all just fell into drunken chaos after that. 

meredith_whitney.jpgMeredith Whitney (a top banking analyst from Oppenheimer), who personally has the power to freeze Manka Bros.' lines of credit and bring down once untouchable banks, pretty much ended all financial discussions for the day.

Meredith Whitney:  Khan, we know your numbers better than you know your numbers.  They're fucked!  I just have one question for you...

Khan Manka, Jr.:  Yes?

Meredith Whitney:  Pull my finger.
She then doubled over in hysterics and threw up on my world's largest media chart.  Throwing up on my stuff seemed to be the overriding theme of the day. 

Here are a choice few lowlights:

  • Glenn Vogelman of Goldman Sachs climbed one of my backyard trees and refused to come down until we all called him "Our Lord and Master"
  • Jeffrey Logsdon of BMO Capital tried to spell his name on a white carpet in my master bathroom as though it were snow
henry_blodget.jpgOn top of everything else, my Beverly Hills compound has been wrecked.  I have 15 bathrooms in my house and 14 of the toilets are backed up (thank you, Henry Blodget!)

I could go on and on...

At some point, I told my senior executives to fight back.  We have worked too hard building this company to have these snide little pricks and prickesses make some little comment in their quarterly report that sends our stock plunging.  It's kill or be killed!

There was screaming, fighting, biting, stabbing... everything you wouldn't expect from a second-quarter earnings report.  

I fear telling my executives to fight back was a strategic mistake.  This morning, every major brokerage house has a "sell" rating on our stock (MBX:  NYSE).  Oh, well, I knew this was coming.  At least I was able to sell a giant block of shares before we announced earnings.

los angeles sunrise.jpgSo, it's morning at Manka Bros.  We must move forward.  We have a new day ahead of us and much work to do.  We have the world's best movies and television shows to produce.  So get to work.  We won't be having a third-quarter earnings party. 

As yesterday was wrapping up, Vijay Jayant of Lehman Brothers asked me if we could give him any guidance going forward.  I said - "Here's your guidance.  Drop the bottle of Dom Perignon and get off my fucking property!"

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

P.S. - I'm going to need the Manka Bros. Strategic Planning Group to come clean up this mess.

manka_bros_10K.jpgGood morning.  I was informed yesterday on my return from Yemen that we were supposed to report our Q2 2008 results today.  The timing is just terrible for this.  I told my CFO - David Chang - that, based on the numbers, we should shake up the normal conference call format of the report and do something a little different.

So today, I have decided to invite several top Wall Street analysts to my Beverly Hills compound for a party / discussion.  We have made all the necessary arrangements and dispatched the jet to New York to pick them all up.  All food, drink and accommodations will be provided by Manka Bros.  All senior Manka Bros. executives will be made available to serve the analysts and to talk over our results. 

With this informal gathering, we hope to convince the Street that Manka Bros. is headed in the right direction.  We feel Wall Street has unfairly punished our stock (MBX: NYSE) due to poor results.  This party today should convince the financial world and our shareholders that we are the best run and best positioned company in not just the media sector - but in the entire free world.

The caterers have just arrived.  Check back here tomorrow for a full report on our Q2 2008 Results Summer Party.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios
khan_manka_house.jpgDo not disturb me.  Last week was terrible and I think I snapped one of the screws in my leg

The ground has been broken in San'a, Yemen for the $1 Billion Dollar Manka Fun Park Yemen.  I'm curious to know who's idea it was for Manka Bros. to 100% finance this venture.  In talking with Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, he told me they were willing to fund 90% of this park but we turned him down.  After going there and spending a little quality time, I believe this was a great error in judgment.  The President told me proudly that last year he had 45 tourists from other countries.  He's expecting 60 next year.  This will not be enough to cover the cost of the park.  Yes, I approved this deal but that doesn't make it my fault.  I haven't decided who will take the fall - but someone will fall.

The Yemeni Airport Guard removed all the alcohol from the Manka Bros. corporate jet (the Joey 1) so the ride home was awful.  Luckily the pilot, Ray Dyson, had a little bit of pot, so that helped. 

fabiola_beracasa.jpgI made Ray stop in St. Tropez to pick up alcohol and a good friend of mine, socialite Fabiola Beracasa, who needed a lift home to New York.  Fabiola had this young guy with her - Chace Crawford (from The CW TV show Gossip Girl).  He tried to talk to me about the show but I quickly handed him a list of the people who are qualified to talk to me and he isn't on that list.  I also told him that I hated most television shows especially those on my own network - MBS.  I pretty much only watch Ice Road Truckers and a home design show called Curb Appeal.  To get him to leave me alone, I told 'CC Rider' (which is what Chace Crawford wanted me to call him) that we would put him in some movie or TV show if that CW gig doesn't work out.  [Robin Rafe or Jay McBee - find something for this kid to do.]

Fabiola is planning her "End of Summer" party in the Hamptons.  I told her I would not mention anything about when it is or the guest list (all I can say is that Mort Zuckerman is on the bubble and Barry Diller is out - ha ha!).

And now I'm home.  I worry that we have just thrown $1 billion out the window.  Sixty tourists would have to pay over $150 million a ticket to break even in the first year.  Perhaps someone in accounting can help me with the math.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

Good morning,

This is Vicky Adler-Modry, Mr. Manka's Executive Assistant.  I received a fax from him this morning from the Sanaa Nights Hotel in San'a, Yemen.  As you may have read in yesterday's blog, he was in Yemen for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new Manka Fun Park Yemen.  He did not seem to pleased with the arrangements over there and is coming back early. 

Here is an image of the fax:
khan_manka_saana_nights_fax.jpgFollowing is the text of his fax:

"Did anyone come to Yemen before we made this deal?  Jordan would have (??) better.  No TV!!  Can't watch Olympics.  No Alcohol - can't get DRUNK!!!  Coming home early.  KMJ"

This is all the information I have at the moment.  I don't have his arrival time in Los Angeles.  The jet is still on the ground in San'a, Yemen.  Please do not call the office for updates.  I will update you as I get any new information.


Happy Friday!

Vicky Adler-Modry,
Executive Assistant to
khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

cyrus_weinstein.jpgGood morning from New York.  Khan Manka, Jr. is unavailable to write today as he is off to San'a', Yemen to scoop up the first shovel of dirt at the Manka Fun Park Yemen construction site.  Construction will begin Monday on the $1 billion park which will open in 2010.  I'm sure he'll fill us in on the details of this exciting new venture.

tony_disanto.jpgToday, I would like to write about something I read in Entertainment Weekly.  It was a quote by Tony DiSanto, MTV's Executive Vice President of Series Programming and Development, and he was talking about The Hills - the very successful 'reality' series on MTV.  This is the quote:  "It's (The Hills) almost becoming like a novel at this point, like this generation's A Tale of Two Cities or Oliver Twist.

(For the record, I have heard of no incident on The Hills where one of the girls sacrifices her life on the guillotine for the other.  And I definitely haven't seen any starving orphans in a workhouse who become beggars and thieves on the streets of London.  Maybe they do symbolically.  Maybe that's what he meant.)

After reading that quote, I decided I had to meet this man and arranged for a lunch at Michael's here in New York a couple of days ago.  First of all, he's a very nice man and I in no way mean to impugn his character.  And obviously he knows his literature.  I don't believe he realized it but we had met before at Norman Mailer's last book launch party in April 2007 for The Castle In The Forest.  He was there with Kourtney Kardashian who is on another 'reality' show called Keeping Up With the Kardashians (I wonder which classic novel that one would be?). 

After we exchanged pleasantries and expressed a mutual admiration for the jobs we do at our companies, we ordered a very nice bottle of wine and settled in.  My first question confused him but I think it was because he was talking on his bluetooth while trying to pick up the waitress.  I asked him:  "If the The Hills is this generation's Tale Of Two Cities, what was last generation's Tale Of Two Cities.  The only generation that can claim Tale Of Two Cities is the one that lived during Charles Dickens' time."  His answer:  "I don't know... Harry Potter?"

I gave pause and ordered lunch.  I ordered my usual (Pan Roasted Atlantic Cod).  Tony ordered the chicken and fries.

After he got off the phone and had a good gulp of wine, we got down to some real conversation.  What other TV shows can be equated with great literature?  Shows that give kids of this generation the same impact and knowledge of a great classic book.  What I was expecting to hear from him was, you know, 'Deadliest Catch is this generation's Moby Dick' - sort of an apples to apples comparison.  But this guy was all over the map.  I must confess, I didn't understand him at all.  Here's a sampling:

  • American Idol ("... this generation's Holy Bible")
  • Masterpiece Theatre ("... who gives a shit")
  • Project Runway ("... this generation's The Brothers Karamasov")
And, finally, I couldn't resist...

  • Keeping Up With Kardashians ("I've actually given this one some thought - it's definitely this generation's Ulysses).
tony_disanto_2.jpgWith that, he pressed his ear, receiving another phone call.  I sort of felt the urge to receive a phone call myself.  So I pressed my ear and told Tony DiSanto I needed to wrap things up.  I picked up the check.

As we shook hands, I noticed he was looking at a woman's ass and not at me.  Perhaps he can develop a new 'reality' show based on that ass.

It was at this point that I realized Publishing and Television divisions will never really be able to work together.  We in Publishing are just dinosaurs in a dying format trying to get to retirement and they're just trying to get laid.

cyrus_weinstein_small.gifCyrus Weinstein - President - Manka Bros. Publishing Group

Good morning.  Saturday night, during my monthly poker game with Jeff Berg, Mark Canton, Mike Gravel and Dawn Ostroff, someone asked me how Manka Bros. plans to make money on short-form content.  I am so fucking sick of this question.  Ever since I made the announcement last week that we would be spending $1 billion on short-form content, I have received thousands of emails from rival studio bosses (i.e. Ron Meyer), Wall Street analysts (i.e., Jessica Reif Cohen), Manka Bros. shareholders (i.e., Carl Icahn) and Manka Bros. employees (i.e., Cyrus Weinsein).

Alright, sure, we don't have a 'business model' or a precedent in this area and the only online series we've attempted has been Forensics and that was already a hit on our MBS Television Network - so that's not really 'original'.

I have a very simple answer this annoying question.  The answer is:


These things are great.  You put an ad at the top or bottom or side or in the videos and people click on them, purchase the products and this supports our business.  Banner advertising is the single most brilliant invention since the internet itself.

Manka Bros. wins.

The Advertisers win.

America wins.

Any more stupid questions?  As for the poker game, I definitely got back my campaign contribution from Gravel.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

Good morning.  This morning is much better than yesterday.  Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev finally left my house and we had the carpets and furniture steam cleaned. 

Last night, my friends David Geffen, Bob Iger, Hollywood super agent Ariel Emanuel and Wolfgang Puck came over to visit me.  They had read about my horrible night with the Prime Minister and wanted to cheer me up.  David even brought me some better pain medication than the doctor prescribed - good man!  Anyway, over cocktails and duck sausages (courtesy of Chef Puck), I mentioned that today (August 1st, 2008) I would have a huge announcement that would change the face of entertainment forever.  Well, this is it. 

MANKA BROS. IS GOING TO SPEND $1 BILLION (OVER THE NEXT YEAR OR SO) ON SHORT-FORM INTERNET CONTENT This is an amazing opportunity for our company and a big roll of the dice.  Every other studio seems to be doing it (not that that is why I do anything) and it's time for Manka Bros. to jump into this space with two feet.

My guests all started buzzing and I could tell they were beginning to understand the huge possibilities of the internet.  I wouldn't be surprised if Bob Iger ran back to Disney last night and started to work on an internet strategy for his company.  So it was a good night.


Plus, we've already had some considerable success in this space (i.e., our Award-Winning short Scoiattolo che mangia aranchio (Squirrel Eating Orange) and our original online series Forensics (based on the successful MBS series of the same name).

I'm sure many of my operational execs at Manka Bros. are reading this and wondering where the money will come from and, most important, who gets to spend it.  Ethan Rubidoux is the current President of the Manka Bros. Digital Distribution group - but there is no way I am giving that weirdo $1 billion to spend on little cartoons and short movies.  Myself and Lloyd Grohl will control the fund and spend it only on the best projects.  So get those pitches ready! 

We will either raise the money from one of our existing banks or just spend it from the cash we have on hand.  Those are details for David Chang to work out.  I'm just here to make the announcement.  So get ready for a bunch of fruit and muffin baskets arriving from over-zealous agencies.

And, don't worry, this will not affect our core businesses.  We will still be producing more movies, television and music than anyone else.  This is a just another new business.  A one billion dollar new business! 

So start thinking 'short' people.  This is a great day for Manka Bros. and a great day for our industry.

khan_jr1_small.jpgKhan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. Studios

About Khan Manka, Jr.

Khan Manka, Jr. - Chairman & CEO - Manka Bros. StudiosKhan Manka, Jr. assumed the title of Chairman of the Board of Manka Bros. Studios - The World's Largest Media Company - following his father Harry Manka's death in 1976. Before that he was the member of several Southern California rock bands.

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