Kate Hudson, Connor Franta, and Jess Cagle Honored at Los Angeles GLSEN Respect Awards

With less than three weeks to go until the general election, the rhetoric of the 2016 presidential campaign was the topic on everyone’s minds at the 2016 GLSEN Respect Awards in Los Angeles on Friday. This year’s awards honored Kate Hudson with the Inspiration Award, YouTube star Connor Franta with the #Gamechanger Award, and People… Read more »

AT&T Has Reached a Deal to Acquire Time Warner. Now What?

After a report just two days ago that AT&T and Time Warner had engaged in “informal” talks about a possible merger, the two companies have reportedly reached a deal in which the telecommunications powerhouse will buy Time Warner for more than $80 billion. The deal could be officially announced as early as tonight.

The new behemoth will combine Time Warner’s hefty film and TV properties (including Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS and CNN) and AT&T’s robust broadband (U-Verse), wireless (AT&T) and satellite (DirecTV) offerings.

In the deal, AT&T will pay Time Warner $105 to $110 per share in cash and stock, which comes to more than $80 billion overall, according to The Wall Street Journal. AT&T has a market capitalization of around $230 billion, while Time Warner is worth $70 billion.

It’s the biggest media merger since Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal was completed in 2013.

After AT&T’s unsuccessful attempt to purchase T-Mobile in 2011, the company shifted its focus to video, acquiring DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion.

As TV viewing habits have rapidly shifted in recent years, owning content is becoming even more important than distributing it, and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson had been looking to add more original content. The Time Warner deal offers a variety of intriguing possibilities to entice cord cutters, cord shavers and cord nevers.

Assuming the deal withstands regulatory scrutiny, many questions surround the new company that comes out of the surprise megamerger. Here are three of the biggest:

How will the combined content portfolio be organized?

While Time Warner has the bulk of the film and TV properties, the new company will have to decide what to do about AT&T’s Audience Network, which is available to DirecTV and U-Verse subscribers but offers many shows—like mixed-martial-arts drama Kingdom—that would seem right at home on the rebranded, grittier TNT.

Its various sports deals will also require attention. Turner has long-term rights to March Madness, NBA and MLB games, and had early talks with the NFL about this season’s Thursday Night Football package, which was ultimately split between CBS and NBC. But the combined company also has DirecTV’s lucrative NFL Sunday Ticket package. AT&T will have to determine whether those sports deals are more valuable separately—NFL Sunday Ticket is a major contributor to DirecTV’s subscriber base—or together, where they power a sports network offering that could go head-to-head with ESPN.

AT&T might want to look at how Comcast successfully merged its own networks (E!, Golf Channel and what was then called Versus) into NBCUniversal’s portfolio.

No matter how things shake out, Peter Chernin, who previously ran Fox Broadcasting, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Filmed Entertainment, could take on a major role overseeing the combined companies’ content operations, according to the Hollywood Reporter. In 2014, Chernin Group formed a joint venture with AT&T called Otter Media to create and acquire media and digital brands.

Will the company want dueling streaming skinny bundles?

The interest in over-the-top—or OTT—services has intensified as companies look to entice the 20 million U.S. households without a pay TV subscription. The new company will find itself with competing streaming services offering skinny bundles of network and cable channels, both of which are expected to launch within in the next several months. Time Warner bought a 10 percent stake in Hulu last August, and as part of that deal, the company’s Turner portfolio of networks will be available on Hulu’s new livestreaming service set to launch early next year.

But AT&T already has its own skinny-bundle streaming service coming by the end of 2016. Called DirecTV Now, its subscribers will be able to stream more than 100 channels without a long-term contract or any hardware (like a set-top box) on their phones, tablets and connected-TV devices like Roku. Will there be room for both services?

What huge deal is next?

Megamergers like AT&T and Time Warner’s frequently send other media companies on shopping sprees to catch up, whether via friendly acquisition or hostile takeover. CBS Corp. and Viacom are already looking into recombining after the two split a decade ago.

But in the rush to keep pace with AT&T-Time Warner, other companies that could be in play now include 21st Century Fox (which made a failed $80 billion bid for Time Warner in 2014, when Time Warner said the $85-per-share offer was too low), Disney, Verizon (which made a $4.8 billion deal for Yahoo in July), Apple, Google and Amazon. Media companies like Netflix, Discovery Communications, AMC Networks and Scripps Networks Interactive should see a lot of interest for those potential buyers in the coming weeks and months.

Member Of Nobel Academy Says Bob Dylan Is Being “Arrogant” But Please Email Them?

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 19:  A man reads a book about Bob Dylan at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse) on October 19, 2016 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The 2016 fair, which is among the world's largest book fairs, will be open to the public from October 19-23.  (Photo by Hannelore Foerster/Getty Images)Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize In Literature last week. It was a big deal! Except because he’s Bob Dylan, he’s being really weird about it, refusing to acknowledge it in any way and completely ignoring the Swedish Academy’s attempts to contact him. More »

Horrorella Reviews OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL!

If there is any director who could not only make this work, but make it fly, it is Mike Flanagan.

Read the full article on AICN

You know how they say “You can’t polish a turd”? Well, usually that’s true. But there are exceptions to every rule, and the exception to this one is the prequel to 2014’s OUIJA. Based on the Hasbro boardgame (you know, as if a zillion other movies about ouija boards have never been made), the first film was uninspired and dull. It tread familiar ground and did so in lifeless and dumpy manner. The only plus was an appearance from genre great Lin Shaye, but those two minutes of screen time were not enough to save the clunky, predictable mess that made up the rest of the film.
But like I said earlier, exceptions to every rule. OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL takes up the mantle and proceeds to tell a story that is scary, emotional and entertaining. A complete 180 from its source. This prequel fills in the backstory that was thrown lazily into the mix during the third act of the first film. Set in Los Angeles in 1967, the film follows widowed mother, Alice (Elizabeth Reaser) and her two daughters, Lina (Annalise Basso) and Doris (Lulu Wilson). Alice works as a medium, providing psychic readings and seances to grieving people. Though her work is 100% showmanship (she doesn’t actually channel any spirits), she does it with a sense of purpose. Not a mere con artist, she believes in her work as being an important part of the healing process, helping her clients to make peace with the loss of loved

Finish the article on AICN

People Editor-in-Chief Says Writer’s Account of Trump Assault is True, ‘Good for the Public’ to Read

Numerous women have come forward in recent weeks accusing Donald Trump of sexual misconduct, but Natasha Stoynoff’s account is one of the most damning. Stoynoff, a reporter for People magazine, wrote a first-person essay on Oct. 12 about her experience of allegedly being physically attacked by the Republican presidential nominee while on assignment in 2005. Stoynoff’s account was unlike… Read more »

Kevin Meaney, Actor and Stand-Up Comedian, Dies at 60

Kevin Meaney, a stand-up comedian who made several appearances on late-night shows and was a beloved figure in the comedy scene, died Friday. He was 60. His agent, Tom Ingegno, confirmed to CNN that Meaney was found at his Forestburgh, New York, home on Friday. A cause of death has not yet been revealed. Meaney, with his… Read more »