☀️WBD top execs get 2022 pay raises; MARVEL ENT Chairman out at DISNEY
Women's NCAA hoops ratings set records / More layoffs at ROKU / YANKEES go DtoC Streaming
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY March 30, 2023.
Where today in ‘impromptu inspiration’ week is… well it’s MLB Opening Day! So the warmer days of Summer aren’t too far off 😎 (remember, I’m in NYC so we count these kinda things). The season kicks off today with the GIANTS vs. YANKEES at 1:05p and the full lineup today is here, where all 30 teams are playing.
Axios has you covered here on a quick guide to the new rule changes in the game (just scroll all the way to the bottom).
20 YANKEES games will also stream on AMAZON PRIME this year (list is in the link). AMAZON holds a minority stake in the YES Network which airs the vast majority of the team’s games… and YES announced they’re also going DtoC Streaming as of today.
SO: To stream the YANKEES / NETS / LIBERTY and KNICKS / RANGERS / DEVILS / ISLANDERS, it’ll cost New Yorkers $550 a year (with annual plans).
That doesn’t include the METS, or whatever ESPN will cost someday (thankfully your local NFL team is still free til 2033). Those 8 and 9-figure player contracts don’t pay for themselves people. More details on all of this down in THE MEDIA BIZ section today.
PIVOTING FROM GREED: Back again to 60 Minutes for some real ‘impromptu inspiration’ about people dedicating their careers to changing the lives of others - this profile on people who became disabled through spinal cord injuries who are now regaining their sense of touch via prosthetic limbs and (soon to be) Bluetooth sensors was really a marvel (with much more plainly dressed heroes… making far less money than the DISNEY variety).
Still a ways to go on the tech here for sure… but just another reminder to enjoy whatever blessings & abilities you have, and sometimes focus on the things you can control in your day like how you spend your time - even on a bad day, just making time to put down your work (and phone scrolling) for a 30 minute walk in the sun and fresh air can be a win 😎. (also make sure to watch 👇 til the very end 🥲).
PLUS: The Firm is getting a sequel! Well at least a sequel novel - DOUBLEDAY will publish The Exchange : After the Firm by John Grisham on October 17, featuring everyone’s favorite protagonist Mitch McDeere 15 years later, with a more international approach. The 1993 movie was the highest-grossing Grisham film adaptation ever.
AND: Dolly & Garth are your hosts for the ACMs this May 11 on AMAZON PRIME.
OH: If Zaz is giving you $50 + the point spread for the UCONN 🏀 game on Saturday, you’ll have no trouble collecting - WBD CEO David Zaslav made $39.3 Million in 2022, a year where WBD’s stock dropped about -60%. Granted, other large scale economic factors were at play there… but stock price is stock price. Let’s see what 2023 brings after the big HBODISCOMAX+ event on April 12.
Bonus: $21.8 Million (down from $26.4 Mil in 2021, although that included an extra $4.4 Mil bump for ‘leadership during covid’ and closing the WBD deal, so this is about average)
Base salary: $3 Million (same as always)
Stock awards: $1.2 Million (down from $13.2 Mil for 2021)
Stock Option awards: $1.6 Million (down from $202 Million in 2021)
Other: $925k (down from $1.1 Million in 2021)
The breakdown for the rest of WBD’s top execs, who all got compensation bumps in 2022, is down in THE MEDIA BIZ section.
Reminder - top WBD exec stock compensation is now tied more closely to Free Cash Flow in 2023… so expect that to be emphasized in future earnings calls.
Wakeup Box Office Poll: Sequel month continues with Dungeons & Dragons tomorrow at 3,850 US locations. Tracking has it anywhere from $30 Million to $40 Million, so we’ll keep the March down-the-middle split voting tactic in effect:
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
YANKEES add to the year for the Cable TV bundle (especially in the NYC market).
MOFFET NATHANSON sees Ad biz trouble for the 2nd half of 2023 too.
DISNEY parts ways with key figure in the Nelson Peltz debacle.
ROKU lays off another 6% of their staff.
All WBD top execs get pay raises in 2022.
Women’s MARCH MADNESS doing fantastic #s for ESPN.
NETFLIX sets animated series led by Ali Wong.
CBS renews Blue Bloods… but only after getting a $ discount.
Dune 2 will be a no-go for VENICE, and more.
PLUS: A kudos to Oliver Darcy at CNN’s Reliable Sources for laying out the reason I no longer include much TWITTER news here, as Oliver clearly tracked & outlined all the things Elon has announced he would do… that he then didn’t, or changed his mind on in the past 5 months alone while running TWITTER. #BoyWhoCriedWolf
AND HUH: Almost 3 years into the CBS STUDIOS 5-year deal with the NAACP to create TV projects, forged after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, zero projects have made it to air anywhere according to the LA Times.
Granted - it’s a studio not a network, so it has to have someone buy one of the 8 projects they developed in the partnership thus far… but CBS Studios is certainly attached to a Broadcast network, several other Cable networks and 3 Streamers - one specifically focused on Black audiences. A look at what’s still in active development is in the link.