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OnMedea: August 2009 Archives

August 2009 Archives

disney_buys_marvel.jpgMy spidey senses nailed this one.  Friday I said it would happen - and now it is so!

My colleage Nikki Finke loves to say "TOLDJA" - but she didn't get this one!

In a deal that shocked everyone in the industry except me, Disney today announced it will purchase Marvel Entertainment - the total value about $50/share or $4 billion for company.

Here's the press release:


Worldwide leader in family entertainment agrees to acquire Marvel and its portfolio of over 5,000 characters

Acquisition highlights Disney's strategic focus on quality branded content, technological innovation and international expansion to build long-term shareholder value

Burbank, CA and New York, NY, August 31, 2009 --Building on its strategy of delivering quality branded content to people around the world, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) has agreed to acquire Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:MVL) in a stock and cash transaction, the companies announced today.

Under the terms of the agreement and based on the closing price of Disney on August 28, 2009, Marvel shareholders would receive a total of $30 per share in cash plus approximately 0.745 Disney shares for each Marvel share they own. At closing, the amount of cash and stock will be adjusted if necessary so that the total value of the Disney stock issued as merger consideration based on its trading value at that time is not less than 40% of the total merger consideration.

Based on the closing price of Disney stock on Friday, August 28, the transaction value is $50 per Marvel share or approximately $4 billion.

"This transaction combines Marvel's strong global brand and world-renowned library of characters including Iron Man, Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Thor with Disney's creative skills, unparalleled global portfolio of entertainment properties, and a business structure that maximizes the value of creative properties across multiple platforms and territories," said Robert A. Iger, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. "Ike Perlmutter and his team have done an impressive job of nurturing these properties and have created significant value. We are pleased to bring this talent and these great assets to Disney."

"We believe that adding Marvel to Disney's unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation," Iger said.

"Disney is the perfect home for Marvel's fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses," said Ike Perlmutter, Marvel's Chief Executive Officer. "This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney's tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world."

Under the deal, Disney will acquire ownership of Marvel including its more than 5,000 Marvel characters. Mr. Perlmutter will oversee the Marvel properties, and will work directly with Disney's global lines of business to build and further integrate Marvel's properties.

The Boards of Directors of Disney and Marvel have each approved the transaction, which is subject to clearance under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, certain non-United States merger control regulations, effectiveness of a registration statement with respect to Disney shares issued in the transaction and other customary closing conditions. The agreement will require the approval of Marvel shareholders. Marvel was advised on the transaction by BofA Merrill Lynch.

Investor Conference Call:

An investor conference call will take place at approximately 10:15 a.m. EDT / 7:15 a.m. PDT today, August 31, 2009. To listen to the Webcast, turn your browser to or dial in domestically at 800-260-8140 or internationally at 617-614-3672. For both dial-in numbers, the participant pass code is 51214527.

The discussion will be available via replay on the Disney investors website through September 14, 2009 at 7:00 PM EDT/4:00 PM PDT.

About The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a leading diversified international family entertainment and media enterprise with five business segments: media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, interactive media and consumer products. Disney is a Dow 30 company with revenues of nearly $38 billion in its most recent fiscal year.

About Marvel Entertainment, Inc.
Marvel Entertainment, Inc. is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a library of over 5,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in licensing, entertainment (via Marvel Studios and Marvel Animation) and publishing (via Marvel Comics).


I think it's a great deal for Disney.  Great for owners of IP in general.  It puts a premium on content creation and content ownership.  Bully for you, Bob Iger!  Electronic Arts is next and then you guys are all set.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

disney_buys_marvel.jpgMARK MY WORDS - ONMEDEA-PHILES!  It's going to happen. 

Send me an email on Monday morning that says:

You were right!"

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
script_girl_2.jpg... and New York, for that matter.  And I'm talking about WRITERS

Of course, there are some small roles in film and television that are played by unattractive female actresses (the psychotic neighbor, the diner waitress, the homeless woman, the awkward teen friend, etc.) - and we sort of understand why 'on-camera' talent has to have a certain look.

But writers?  Why do they have to look a certain way?  They just have to be able to write.  Right?  Quasimodo should be able to make it in this town - that is, if Quasimodo was a really good writer.  Is that naive? 

Being fairly new to L.A., I was shocked to learn that the new crop of budding female screenwriters (those under 30) are freakin' hot.  And, of the females out there writing (and there are millions), the hot ones seem to be the only ones getting meetings

There is a very high profile production company down the hall from my office which receives a good amount of foot traffic from writers pitching script ideas.  The males that come in are pretty much all unattractive, unkempt and fat (the standard male screenwriter uniform of baseball cap - [Cubs preferably], shorts and a giant t-shirt is a cliche... but in this case, a true cliche).  [Note:  If the male screenwriter becomes successful, then his body changes - he's still unattractive but now he's 'kempt' and very much in shape.  Success leads to getting laid, getting laid leads to getting in shape.] 

The female writers that come in are all hot.  There's not one Wendy Wasserstein in the bunch.  Some wear glasses to have that 'smart' look - but they all accentuate their boobs and have a nice tight ass.  Perhaps this current wave of new writers was influenced in some way by Scriptgirl411.  Even though ScriptGirl is mostly satire, there is a certain fantasy that male producers have (and have had since Hollywood began) and she hits it right on the head. 

scriptgirl.jpgFemale screenwriters make up a extremely low percentage of screenplays written in this town (oh, let's say 2%, though accurate data is very hard to come by) - so I suppose when male producers feel they need to hire a female to give the script a 'certain voice', being the shallow boys that they are, they would prefer to spend all that time with someone hot.  That's pretty much the way this town works in every area of entertainment (even catering... thank you Giada De Laurentiis!).

I do believe this is just a fad and it will change once some of the beautiful but untalented writers start to get screen credits and the movies fail at the box office.  Talent will win the day - much as it did for older male screenwriters who were shut out in the 90s for younger guys right out of film school. 

Today, it doesn't seem to matter how old a male writer is, the quality of the script seems to win out.  This is mainly due to the low number of projects being greenlit and the low tolerance for bad writing.   Top male executives (and a couple of females) at production companies and studios can no longer take a chance on being the "cutting edge" type or "trend setting".  In today's economy, their jobs and bonuses are very much on the line - so they'd better get it right (write).

However, it's funny, but when it's a hot, young, female screenwriter, film executives have an amazing tolerance for bad writing.  This, too, will change. 

Talent will win the day - though it's much easier to get tits in the door than a foot

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
angela_bromstad_paul_telegdy.jpgAngela Bromstad, President of Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios and Paul Telegdy, EVP, Alternative Programming and Production, NBC and Universal Medea Studios spoke to reporters at the Television Critics Assocation summer press tour in Pasadena on Wednesday and I think we got a pretty good idea of where NBC is headed. 

It's going to be quite a challenge for the duo to top Ben Silverman's amazing run as programming head (in which NBC solidified it's position as the #4 network).  Now Ben is off to try to bring down Barry Diller's media empire (maybe that wouldn't be the end of the world).

The main take-away from Wednesday's meeting with the press was Ms. Bromstad and Mr. Telegdy's commitment to quality.  They...ahem... definitely seemed to be on the same page.

angela_bromstad_2.jpgpaul_telegdy.jpgAngela Bromstad:  "Our goal is to bring back high-quality, sophisticated dramas and comedy and a  brand of alternative that falls into that."

Paul Telegdy:  "[Paula Abdul] is an exceptional piece of talent... as a viewer, I'd miss her on the show [American Idol]."  In regards to possibly pursuing her for a show on NBC... "I wouldn't rule anything out."

paula_abdul.jpgPaula Abdul (from 2007):  "I don't understand how this man [some radio host] can call me a whining bitch.  I've never in my life been called a whining bitch and a loser."

I think if NBC could somehow get Paula Abdul in her own show saying things like the above, it would be amazing and a perfect fit for the new commitment to quality.  Hey, maybe they could even get that guy Screech from Saved By The Bell (the one that had to have a garage sale in Kansas to try to save his house).  That would really put NBC on the road to  recovery.

Another approach may be just to expand Jay Leno to three hours every night (sort of like Sabado Gigante on Univision).

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
John Hughes 01.jpg
He will be missed.  Especially to those of us who were young when he was at his creative peak.  Rest In Peace.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
DawnOstroffSmall.jpgMs. Ostoff made this horrific comparison yesterday in Pasadena at the Television Critics Association Press Tour.

[From The Hollywood Reporter:  "It was really a 'Sophie's Choice,' Ostroff said of trying to choose projects for next season with only 10 hours to fill.]
Seriously, Dawn?  There was no other phrase you could use. 

"Sophie's Choice" was a decision Holocaust survivor Sophie Zawistowski had to make on which of her children would live and which would die in a Nazi concentration camp.  Sure, it was a work of fiction by William Styron - but he has even said that it was based on a real story (fyi, Meryl Streep won the Academy Award for her portrayal in the movie).

The decision on which child a parent would choose to live and which to die is the same as which TV show on The CW makes the schedule and which doesn't?  The Gossip Girl spin-off or The Vampire DiariesSupernatural or One Tree Hill

sophies_choice.jpgI know it was said on the fly and was meant to convey that it was a difficult choice - but come on.  Imagine what the Right Wing Pundits would say if President Obama, during the recent Beer Summit, said "It's really a 'Sophie's Choice' in deciding which beer to drink." 

I started OnMedea with the intention of having a positive tone in regards to the world of media (with the exception of anything concerning Ben Silverman) - but that's been really difficult based on what I'm discovering out there. 

I certainly hope Ms. Ostroff made the right decision and the new "Melrose Place" lives up to her expectations.

For the record, Sophie chose the boy.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea - (I understand the slight irony that I write these things under the blog title OnMedea - a fictional woman who slaughtered her kids after finding out her man had an affair.) 

video_game_bubble.jpgNintendo's earnings today must have been a troublesome sign for all the major video game companies (EA, Activision Blizzard, Sony, etc.). 

With a couple of exceptions (most notably Midway Games), the video game industry has had a pretty great party over the the past five years.  But is the party ending and the hangover beginning?

Long answer:  Yes.

Are major media companies prepared for the coming burst? 

Long answer:  No.  I believe that most believe the bubble will grow and grow and grow - until it becomes an infinite sphere with impenetrable walls that cannot burst. 

A bubble that cannot burst.  Hmmm.   Wouldn't that be marvelous?!

If Q4 2009 is as frightening as Q2 2009 for the industry, major media companies may wish to revisit their aggressive games company acquisitions strategy (or AGCAS).  Maybe it should be revisited today.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
disney_pixar_stickers.jpgHere's a simple request for all the lawyers and senior executives at the Happiest Place On Earth.  Can you please keep your meathooks and your legalese off of my kid's Disney/Pixar sticker book?  It's a freakin' STICKER BOOK for Christ's sake! 

Do we really need "Copyright Disney/Pixar" on every single fucking sticker?  There are about 200 stickers to a page and every tiny little sticker has "Copyright Disney/Pixar" on it. 

For the good of the planet, save a few million gallons of ink! 

Do you think the pirates out there making counterfeit stickers aren't able to replicate your brilliant attempt at control of your intellectual property? 

It's not necessary.  Nobody gives a shit. 

Viacom doesn't plaster a copyright notice all over Dora the Explorer and they're selling a hell of a lot more stickers.

I know it may seem like a stupid request - but I know there were way too many corporate and lawyer meetings about that copyright notice - and it's an unbelievable waste of time.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
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About Jill Kennedy

Jill Kennedy - Blogger - OnMedea Jill Kennedy is an Ivy League MBA / refugee from Lehman Brothers.

Manka Bros. (and the Manka Business Channel) hired her (for a very low sum) to cover the world of media (not the world of Medea) in her own words without corporate interference.

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About Medea

Medea Medea was a real bitch from classical mythology - as most famously dramatized by Euripides.

She was a sorceress and wife of Jason, whom she assisted in obtaining the Golden Fleece. When Jason deserted her, she chopped up their children. One could say, Medea acted as rationally as a major media company.


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