News Briefing for Friday, May 2, 2008 It’s good-posture Friday in the Cable360 newsroom. No slouching allowed.
Cablevision’s stock price has been sinking this year, while Comcast and Time Warner Cable’s stocks have been on the rise, and some investors speculate that Cablevision CEO James Dolan has been deliberately driving down the price as revenge for shareholders’ rejection of the Dolan family’s buyout offer last year, the Wall Street Journal reports. Cablevision has been publicly looking at acquisition targets, including the Long Island newspaper Newsday and the Sundance Channel, which has hurt the company’s share price. If the shares dip low enough, the Dolans might come back with another, lower, buyout offer, cynics say, according to the Journal. [Wall Street Journal | New York Times]
A rare good day on Wall Street helped boost the share prices of some big media companies. Shares of News Corp., the New York Times, Walt Disney Co., Viacom and Time Warner were up yesterday. [Forbes | Bloomberg | New York Times]
The FCC voted yesterday to cap subsidies to rural phone service providers, Reuters reports. The cost of the rural phone subsidy program has shot up, but the wireless industry has been lobbying hard to prevent the FCC from imposing a cap. [Reuters]
We know you’ve heard this already this week, but an announcement from Microsoft is expected today about its plans to nominate a proxy Yahoo board of directors and appeal directly to Yahoo shareholders in its quest to absorb the Web technology company. [Wall Street Journal]
Apple and the top Hollywood studios struck a deal that will enable iTunes to offer movies the same day they are released on DVD. [Wall Street Journal]
Dish Network added hi-def local channels in Norfolk, Portsmouth and Newport News, Va.
Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus…ah, never mind, it’s just a media reflex. [Associated Press]
This month marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Frank Sinatra. In tribute, Turner Classic Movies is showcasing Sinatra’s movies (and some TV work) every Sunday and Wednesday in May, beginning this Sunday night with the TV special from 1965, Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music. Cable360’s recommendations: The Tender Trap (May 14), Young at Heart (May 18), Some Came Running (May 21), On the Town (May 25), The Man With the Golden Arm (May 28), The Manchurian Candidate (May 28) and Suddenly (May 28). The guy was a live-wire actor in the same vein as John Garfield and the young Robert De Niro. Just ask Martin Scorsese if you think we’re kidding.
Tonight on HBO: Dave Stewart has a heart-to-heart with Ringo Starr in Ringo Starr: Off the Record. Ringo was the Thelonious Monk of rock ’n’ roll drummers—no wasted notes, musical silences and inspired fills.
Sign of the Times: The Home Depot is shutting down 15 of its stores. [Washington Post] We’re about to close the polling on our current Cable360 home page question: “During the current economic slowdown, which of cable’s services will triple-play subscribers drop first?” Visit Cable360, scroll down and vote. And don’t let your ward bosses sway you.
What are the best companies to work for in the cable industry? Help CableFAX: The Magazine decide by nominating the companies you think should be on our list of the Top 10 Places to Work in Cable by completing our online nomination form. We will run the Top 10 Places to Work as a Web exclusive on Cable360.net and on CableFAX: The Magazine’s home page.