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OnMedea: October 2009 Archives

October 2009 Archives

Electus - R.I.P.

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electus_headstone.jpgI realize that Electus - the earth-shattering, ground-breaking, cutting-edge new business from Ben Silverman and Barry Diller's IAC/ InterActiveCorp hasn't launched, but I have recently climbed aboard Khan Manka, Jr.'s Time Machine and gone into the not-too-distant future to retrieve the press release announcing (sadly) the company's closure.  Sorry, Ben.

From the Associated Press (July 2011):

Electus, the $100 million start-up from media wunderkind Ben Silverman has decided to close its doors effective immediately after only 18 months in business.  875 staffers (mostly low-level hot chicks in their 20s who ran errands and stuff) were expected to lose their jobs.  The highly-touted venture only managed to produce one original internet series - a show about bed-hopping young flight attendants based at O'Hare International Airport called "The Hub".

Ben-Silverman_electus.jpgElectus, announced by Mr. Silverman with much fanfare in July 2009 (after a completely disastrous run as Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment), was supposed to change the entertainment landscape with the unoriginal idea of marrying advertising, content and distribution in a new media world.

Mr. Silverman was unavailable for comment but released a statement through his representatives:  "I am proud of my accomplishments at Electus.  Even though $100 million doesn't go as far as it used to, I still changed the world!  No one has even come close to doing what I did because nobody had the balls.  What a ride!  Maybe people just aren't ready for forward-thinking."

Mr. Diller was available for comment and simply said about Silverman:  "Fuck that guy."

But don't worry about Ben.  He has landed on his feet and will continue his Quixotic quest to monetize online content from his penthouse suite at The Palms Hotel in VegasGoldman Sachs
has committed $500 million to fund his new, as yet, unnamed venture.
Oh, yeah, one other thing I learned from the future:  The Jay Leno Show was canceled in 2010 and called one of the greatest failures in the history of television.  Sorry, Ben.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
ben_silverman_fortune_40_under_40.jpgSeriously, Fortune?  Are you fucking kidding me?  What, will you sell 15 more magazines with him on the list?  Couldn't come up with that 40th name? 

What about Jeff Weiner - he's under 40 and was named CEO of LinkedIn.  That's a pretty big job and the site actually makes money and is relevant. 

Ben Silverman is irrelevant.  Everyone needs to please stop with the 'Ben Silverman is great' shit. 

If (and this is about the biggest fucking 'if' I've ever written) Barry Diller and Ben Silverman put together a company that changes the media landscape and makes the world a better place, put him on your list next year.  Oh, yeah, he won't be UNDER 40 next year.  Sorry, Ben.

Well, OnMedea is putting together our own list:  ONMEDEA'S TOP 40 FAILURES UNDER 40 and Ben Silverman is in the running for the top of that list. 

Check back here next week for all the exciting details.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

ayn_rand.jpgThere was a story posted on The Daily Beast by Rebecca Dana titled AYN RAND POWER DRESSING in which she writes:

Ayn Rand--author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, mother of Objectivism, and the conservative movement's most rapacious cougar--leapt back into popular culture this year as the hero of the Obama-hating far-right.

But it's not just Glenn Beck and his minions who are drawing inspiration from the writer, who died in 1982.  This fall, the dowdy Russian √©migr√© is en vogue with a whole different set: the free-wheeling, Obama-loving, arugula-eating fashion world.

Now, I do not follow the antics of Glenn Beck (though I may follow a few of "his minions" depending who they are) and I realize that Rebecca Dana did not actually call Ayn Rand a Conservative (just "the movement's most rapacious cougar")... but I just need to put down for the record that she was a staunch anti-Conservative and actually speaks with an almost hatred of them in this extensive audio interview (about 3:30 into the interview she states "I am not a Conservative nor is Objectivism a Conservative philosophy."):

For readers of Ms. Dana's blog who may not actually research her statements, I fear they would form a completely wrong opinion of Ayn Rand - especially by carelessly linking Ms. Rand to Glenn Beck(Having done a little quick research on Mr. Beck, I will refrain from opining on him as I do not want to draw the bloodthirsty freaks in his audience into this discussion.)

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
the_wrap_sex_on_set.jpgSeriously, Sharon

Are you f-ing kidding me? 

This is why is necessary?  "Sex On The Set, Part 2:  How Fake Is It, Really" - a story so probing, so important, so searing that it needs TWO PARTS

When I punched up this morning (to see what stories Deadline Hollywood had broken earlier) and saw in giant 32+ point type "Sex On The Set, Part 2:  How Fake Is It Really?", my immediate reaction was Albert Brooks' reaction in Broadcast News while he is watching a fluff piece that William Hurt put together.

broadcastnews.jpg"Can we turn on the news?", he says.  "Sorry... sex, tears... this must be the news."  Later, he adds:  "You really blew the lid off nookie."  

With stories like these and upcoming headlines like "Actors Who Adopt ShowBiz Pets" and "Which Models Have Veneers And Which Have Caps", Sharon Waxman (along with "Sex On The Set" writer Gina Piccalo) have fulfilled's mission as a "primary news source focused on the business of entertainment and media" and are well on their way to becoming THE HOLLYWOOD SOURCE FOR... WHATEVER DRIVES TRAFFIC!

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

[Thanks to James L. Brooks and Albert Brooks for my blog headline today.]
Attention to Dawn Ostroff and all those concerned at The CW - it's time. 

It was a valiant attempt to bring back the 1990s glory days of small network success, but it's time - time to kill Melrose PlaceThe CW IS The WB and should be all about The Vampire Diaries and Gossip Girl.  That's your sweet spot.  Melrose Place is too old.  Embrace the mental teenagers that you are!  Stop trying to move out of mommy and daddy's house.  Let CBS get old and die.  The CW is forever young.  Their characters don't pay bills and rent apartments.  But I digress...

Last night's episode, Episode 6 "Shoreline" received a 1.0/2 rating.  That's not A18-49 - THAT'S TOTAL HHs.  It's over.  Air repeats of Roswell or Felicity.  Show Color Bars.  Show anything.  But stop showing Melrose Place.  It's not easy to get that small of an audience.  A show really has to work hard at NOT connecting with viewers to get that low of a rating.

melrose_place.jpgYou pulled the trigger at the right time on The Beautiful Life:TBL, it's time for the characters of Melrose Place to strap on the mini-dresses, stick their feet in cement and jump into the pool.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

Leo Laporte Gets It

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... Ben Silverman doesn't.  I would give Ben the benefit of the doubt, but we all know his new $100 million company with Barry Diller is not going to work (or create anything remotely new or ground shaking). 

As soon as Ben launches his new company (whenever the F that is), the rest of the world will realize that he doesn't get it.  The sooner we get him to retire to the penthouse of The Palms in Vegas so he can bang cocktail waitresses two at a time, the sooner we can move on with our quest for a workable New Media business model.

BUT LEO LAPORTE (founder and chief guru of - or This Week In Technology) GETS IT! 

Please watch this 40 minute speech he recently gave to the Online News Association and you will see what I mean.

As long as we stay away from and stop encouraging these inane ultra Hollywood-types who have no vision, we just may get somewhere.


Jill Kennedy - OnMedea

southland.jpgFrom the executive grave, Ben Silverman has struck again.  Southland, the once promising (for one episode) gritty cop show has been canceled (before its season premiere!).

Another day - another failed show.  NBC is in big troubleMercy, Trauma, Heroes - all cancellations to come.

NBC had better start super-sizing episodes of The Office ASAP. 

Also, maybe think about putting together a few hours of The Biggest Loser Outtakes.  Are there any extra Law & Orders laying around?  Somebody should get Dick Wolf on the phone.  That might work for a week or two.  

Hey, America's (Still) Got Talent - get the cameras rolling!  Or just show re-runs of Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent.  How about that sand artist from Ukraine's Got Talent?  Something is bound to work.  Right?

Thank God The Jay Leno Show only needs a 1.5 rating to make $300 million!

This has been an extremely challenging year for NBC so far - and it's only October 8th.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
love_never_dies.jpg"LOVE NEVER DIES"?  That's the name of the sequel to the Phantom of the Opera

dracula_love_never_dies.jpgYou mean "Love Never Dies" like the tag line to Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 movie "Dracula" starring the great Keanu Reeves doing one of the worst British accents in the history of film?  "Love Never Dies" like that? 

Taking a title from a movie tag line never works.  Does anyone remember "Love Is In The Hair..." the musical version of "There's Something About Mary"?  No!   Because no one was that stupid.

Look, I'm not here to scream fire in a crowded theater and ruin your billion-dollar party.  I'm a musical fanatic and know by heart just about every song Lord Webber has put in a show (and count Aspects Of Love as my favorite - so how crazy am I?)... but come on ALW! 

THE PHANTOM IS NOW GOING TO HAUNT CONEY ISLAND?!  Are you fucking kidding me?!

Why the fuck would Christine Daae even take a gig at Coney Island?  Why the fuck would you hire the SISTER ACT lyricist to do LOVE NEVER DIES?! 

I have plenty of more 'Why the fucks...?' but I'll cut it off right there and just say - please prove me wrong, Lord Webber, but this has 'disaster' written all over it.

Seriously, I haven't heard this bad of an idea for a musical since Manka Bros. announced they were adapting "Rampage Of The Stegosaur" for Broadway!

Lord Webber, if you're so insistent on putting a ridiculous premise like that out there (and you wrote it) then all this show deserves is a joke title - something like:

  • The Phantom Goes West
  • Yankee Phantom
  • Coney Island Ghost (I believe ALW actually wanted to call it The Phantom of Coney Island - or something horrible like that)
  • Christine Daae's A Little Whore (Thanks to Shane the intern.  He says it'll work in Vegas.)
  • Coney Opera
  • The Phantom 2: Life's A Beach
  • Etc.
So, "Love Never Dies" by Lord Webber bows in London on March 9, 2010 (with a most-likely closing date after the summer 2010).  I'm sure there will be enough Phantom phanatics to justify a decent run - but Lord Webber doesn't take bad reviews and slowing box office lightly (i.e., The Woman In White).  And this musical is destined for bad reviews and slowing box office.
Good luck to you and your soon to be crestfallen cast.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

P.S. - Please don't have them sing a song on the Coney Island Roller Coaster.  I don't want to see The Phantom and Christine circle the theater in a roller coaster singing a love ballad.  Please.

nobel_prize_chemistry_2009.jpgYOU'VE GOT TO BE F-ING KIDDING ME!! 

I apologize but this cannot stand!  I am shocked and saddened by today's news of the 2009 Nobel Prize winners for Chemistry

Seriously?  Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath

Somebody please tell me if this is a joke!  Because it's NOT FUNNY!

The Noble Prize Committee (who have lost an infinity amount of respect from me for this decision) said that the winners were awarded for:

"Studies of one of life's core processes: The ribosome's translation of DNA information into life.  (I won't stoop so low as to explain what ribosomes do.)  This year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry awards Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas A. Steitz, and Ada E. Yonath for having showed what the ribosome looks like and how it functions at the atomic level.  All three have used a method called X-ray crystallography to map the position for each and every one of the hundreds of thousands of atoms that make up the ribosome."

Unbe-fucking-lievable!  Well, good luck to you all... hacks.  My five-year-old daughter could poke more holes in your research than she currently does to my couch cushions.

I know I normally focus on on TRUTH IN MEDIA (i.e., the cover up of Sarah Palin's "Going Rogue" ghost-writer Lynn Vincent) - but this announcement today threw me for a loop. 

This is the beginning of the end of the Nobel Prizes!

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
OK - it's time to redesign your website.  That's just hideous!

digital_hollywood_2009.jpgCome on - you're called DIGITAL HOLLYWOOD!  A site like that makes people go running back to Analog.  Simplified complexity, please.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

ben_silverman_barry_diller.jpgOK, Ben

It's been nearly three months since you announced you were leaving NBC to start a new company that will "capitalize on the ever-evolving world of multimedia production and distribution."   We're still waiting.

Who knows?  Maybe you actually did stay at NBC to help launch the new season (or whatever) like you claimed you were going to do. 

If you stayed, most likely you left the morning after The Jay Leno Show premiered so that you could tell people that it was a hit while you were there. 

[Note: Latest ratings for The Jay Leno Show (10/5/09): 2.9/5 - but, according to John Ferriter, it only needs a 1.5 to make NBC Universal $300 million!]

I know it must be difficult to be a cutting-edge wunderkind and I'm not trying to rush you - but it's time to announce your new venture. 

I'm sure Barry Diller can't wait to hear about it either.  He's got $100 million riding on your genius. 

Don't worry, Ben - Vegas will still be there after you launch your company.  And... don't forget... hot chicks dig launch parties

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
ben_silverman_barry_diller.jpgOK, Ben

It's been nearly three months since you announced you were leaving NBC to start a new company that will "capitalize on the ever-evolving world of multimedia production and distribution."   We're still waiting.

Who knows?  Maybe you actually did stay at NBC to help launch the new season (or whatever) like you claimed you were going to do. 

If you stayed, most likely you left the morning after The Jay Leno Show premiered so that you could tell people that it was a hit while you were there. 

[Note: Latest ratings for The Jay Leno Show (10/20/09): 3.6/6 - but, according to John Ferriter, it only needs a 1.5 to make NBC Universal $300 million!]

I know it must be difficult to be a cutting-edge wunderkind and I'm not trying to rush you - but it's time to announce your new venture. 

I'm sure Barry Diller can't wait to hear about it either.  He's got $100 million riding on your genius. 

Don't worry, Ben - Vegas will still be there after you launch your company.  And... don't forget... hot chicks dig launch parties

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
Gourmet cover.jpgSad news today for foodies who have way too much time on their hands.  Gourmet Magazine, the magazine that showed all of us hack-chef-wannabees that we had no chance of ever being any good, is going out of business.  [I mean, seriously, look at that picture - who can possibly make that?  It's hard enough just ordering pizza.]

The print business is living a nightmare.  Conde Nast also announced they are axing three other titles (Cookie, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride).  The publishing business model, as it stands today, is truly fucked up but Gourmet has a different problem.  It is a victim of its own name. 

Gourmet is a top-notch magazine to be sure and its Editor-In-Chief Ruth Reichel is one of the classiest and most talented publishing executives in the business (and one hell of a good cook). 

The problem with Gourmet, in this economic climate, is its title.  The middle and lower income people that purchased a subscription for $1 an issue finally gave up on the dream of having 5-star restaurant food in their apartment.  It just wasn't practical in the overall scheme of things.  It's the equivalent of reading a copy of Yachting when you have no idea if you're going to have a job next year - much less... a yacht.  Scary stuff.

ruth_reichl.jpgBon Appetit and Food & Wine are scraping by (maybe) but only because their generic titles allow them to have cover stories like 10 (Great) Wines for Under $10 Bucks, and Feed Your Family For Less Than 5 Cents A Day.  The best Gourmet could do was Eat Like A King On A Prince's Salary (or something like that).

The good news is the website (which includes the fabulous and TV show will continue (I didn't know there was a TV show - but good luck with that).

I wish the Ruth Reichl and her entire staff the best of luck as they try to move forward.  It's a fucked up world and nothing is fair right now.

Once we start extending the OnMedea brand into the food & wine area, I'll be looking for a few good writers.  But you may need to learn how to make a grilled cheese first.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea
going_rogue_sarah_palin_cover.jpgThe cover of Sarah Palin's latest work of fiction "Going Rogue: An American Life" was released today by publisher HarperCollins

Anyone waiting to see if Ms. Palin can write in complete sentences WON'T be able to find that out anytime soon because she didn't really write the book.  Most likely she talked into a speaker phone from her Chevy Suburban to Ghost Writer Lynn Vincent who turned Ms. Palin's incoherent thoughts into a simple, easy-to-understand prose that will further separate the growing division in America.

What do we know about Lynn Vincent?  Not much lately.  I have a feeling Ms. Vincent has been locked in Dick Cheney's bunker and will remain there until "Going Rogue: An American Life" is safely in the $1 bins at Costco (or when Ms. Palin becomes President - whichever comes first). 

What we DO know about Lynn Vincent (46) OFF-THE-RECORD is that she is a total Christian Right wacko with hardcore beliefs about abortion, gay marriage, Jews, Democrats, Muslims, etc.  In general, she's a woman with a deep hatred in her heart for all those who are not like her. 

ON THE RECORD, she's a fairly solid writer who (I'm sure) has gay and Muslim friends.  OK, maybe gay friends.  OK, in the closet gay friends.  OK, maybe not.

Lynn_vincent_going_rogue.jpgOver the next few weeks (until the book is released in November), there will be numerous attempts by the "Illegal-should-be-abolished" media on the left to dig up more about Ms. Vincent.  But I have a feeling she will be "unavailable for comment" (though Fox News may be able to land an "Exclusive".  Hannity will be "tough but fair" and manage to wring out what her favorite flavor of Jell-o is).

As tempting as it is to go after whatever low-hanging fruit there is on Ms. Vincent, I say the real focus should remain on Ms. Palin - who, frankly, must be stopped.

Somewhere buried in the digital universe there is further proof that she is completely out of her mind and... dangerous.  For the good of the world, it is our duty to dig it up before she writes again.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

P.S. - Sarah, you should have gone more "Coulter" with your cover.  The men want to see you in a black mini-dress (especially Sean Hannity and his repressed sexual urges).

jay_leno_has_failed.jpgBased on last night's overnight ratings (September 30, 2009:  4.1/7), the above headline is what nearly every television production executive is screaming down the halls today (with the exception of those at NBC Universal.  They're probably screaming something like... Will Comcast contribute to my 401K?  What happens to our stock options?, etc.).

Now, a 4.1/7 is a grand slam on The CW.  If every show on The CW got a 4.1/7, Dawn Ostroff (President) would be carried around on one of those Cleopatra-type chairs.  However, this is NBC and this is Jay Leno.  We've heard from stories past (lies in my opinion), that Jay only needs to "get a 1.5 rating (A18-49) to make $300 million a year for NBC".  So a 4.1/7 is comfortably in that range - but still pathetic based on pre-season expectations.

However, there is a way that NBC can save face in the middle of this debacle.  They don't even need to cancel The Jay Leno Show (why would you when you're making that kind of bank?  I'm sure Comcast will do a complete audit in due-diligence - so one day we'll know for sure).

Here's what you do, NBC: BUY BILLBOARDS strategically-positioned around every major television production facility (as demonstrated below).  Every week, update the profit number of The Jay Leno Show and then put a tag at the bottom that reads something like:  "Hey TV Execs, how are your fall shows doing?  Throwing Off Any Cash?"

jay_leno_profit_billboard_600.jpgThis would bring home the fact that The Jay Leno Show HAS NOT FAILED.  It might just stop this town from obsessing over ratings and fucking market share.  Ask The Food Network about their profits?  I think they'll tell you they're doing just fine.  And when was the last time they got even a 1.0/3 share?  It means nothing. 

But, NBC, you have lost the PR war and it's time to fight back.  Forget trying to put TV stars from other networks on with JayJay is about movie stars and pop icons.  Fuck Julianna Margulies, Jay.  You don't need her or her TV friends and complaining in the media about it makes you look like a pussy (even more so).

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

P.S. - I have nothing against Julianna Margulies.  Big fan.  She's just F-ed by example.

the_wrap_nbc_universal_comcast.jpg"COMCAST DENIES A DEAL IS DONE, BUT DOES NOT DENY TALKS."  Are you really fucking kidding me, Sharon?

So this is the way it's going to be?  Semantics.

Everyone in the world with a blog could report anything (anything) and find a way to call it a true story. 

My five-year-old daughter could tell me she knows where Iran is hiding a nuclear bomb and I could report:  "A trusted source tells me that Iran is hiding a nuclear bomb in a closet in La Canada."  I do consider my daughter to be "trusted".  She's the "source".  Iran would come out immediately and call the story "inaccurate" - but I wouldn't be a liar.

I'm stunned that nobody calls bullshit on a story that mentions quite a few details about a deal that is far from complete. 

sharon_waxman.jpgYet nobody calls Sharon Waxman at a liar.  Semantics.  Or... I suppose, because nobody really cares. got everything it needed from this story.  National exposure.  Who cares if it's "inaccurate"?  That's not the point. 

Comcast and GE get everything they want out of the story - a test of the market to see what the rumor, if true, would do to their stock prices.

Even so, it's absolutely ridiculous.

"Comcast is in talks to buy the entertainment giant NBC Universal from General Electric... ACCORDING TO KNOWLEDGEABLE INDIVIDUALS."  WTF does that mean?  I consider myself to be a "knowledgeable individual" - does that mean I could have been a source even if I didn't know about the meeting?

"Deal points were hammered out...EXECUTIVES FAMILIAR WITH THE MEETING SAID."

Who are these "Knowledgeable Individuals" and "Executives Familiar With The Meeting" - and why the fuck are they talking to

Are "Sources" protected in online journalism?   What kind of a crazy-fucking world is it when Nikki Finke is the reserved one in a big entertainment business story like this?  Maybe it's because she didn't break the story and would love to see it discredited.  Actually, not "maybe" - I'm sure she wants to see it discredited.

The biggest surprise of all is that nobody is calling bullshit or lies lies lies.  In today's journalistic environment, that means the story is, most likely, true.  And if I had the chance and "sources" to break this story, I would have done the same thing.

jill_kennedy_small.jpgJill Kennedy - OnMedea

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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