Roundup: Paramount’s new boss, Alec Baldwin trial, Bluey fans ‘uproar’

David Ellison Paramount CEO

More on Paramount and Skydance merger, Washington Post, I Was Actually There

Paramount Merger

Meet David Ellison, Paramount’s future boss and Hollywood’s newest mogul

David Ellison’s Hollywood career has been defined by high-octane blockbusters filled with suspense, stunts and improbable plot twists, reports The New York TimesBenjamin Mullin.

But on Sunday he landed his biggest cliffhanger yet, striking a deal to merge with Paramount after months of negotiations with the company and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone. If the deal closes, he will be in charge of a sprawling media empire that includes CBS, MTV and the Paramount movie studio.

See also: Paramount Global and Skydance Media to merge

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Paramount to continue job cuts until Skydance deal closes, memo says

Paramount Global will continue reducing the size of its workforce until its merger with Skydance Media closes, the company’s co-CEOs said in a memo seen by Reuters on Sunday, hours after the companies announced the deal, reports Reuters. 

Paramount will also look to divest some of its assets, co-CEOs Brian Robbins, George Cheeks and Chris McCarthy said in the memo.

“Until the transaction closes, it’s business as usual – we will continue to operate as an independent company and move forward with the strategic plan we outlined at our town hall,” they said. 

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Paramount’s third act will still offer plenty of drama

Not that they have much choice in the matter, but Paramount Global’s shareholders should still give David Ellison a chance, reports The Wall Street Journal‘s Dan Gallagher

The troubled media giant has finally wrapped its on-again, off-again merger deal with Skydance Media. Under the deal announced late Sunday, Skydance founder Ellison will become chief executive officer of Paramount while holders of the company’s Class B shares can elect to receive an equal number of shares of the newly combined company, or $15 a share in cash up to a total payout of $4.3 billion. The $15-a-share price tag is a 56% premium to the record low the stock hit last month after Paramount’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, issued a surprise thumbs down to Skydance’s last offer. It is also about half of the stock’s value from two years ago, when the company’s Top Gun: Maverick dominated the summer box office on its way to grossing nearly $1.5 billion globally. 

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Jeff Shell and David Ellison Dish on Paramount plans: it’’ll be “creator-friendly again”

Late Sunday night, after the consortium led by David Ellison’s Skydance sealed the deal to ultimately gain control of Paramount Global, Ellison spoke with Shari Redstone, who controlled the company through her family’s National Amusements and ultimately made the call to sell the family business, reports The Hollywood Reporter‘s Alex Werpin.

Redstone “was incredibly gracious and kind,” Ellison recalls.

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Business of Media

Washington Post ‘third newsroom’ creation gets underway

The Washington Post’s planned creation of a “third newsroom” has taken a key step with one of its managing editors assigned to the task, reports Press Gazette‘s Bron Maher.

The third newsroom, first announced by Post chief executive William Lewis last month, is intended to help the legacy news title reach new audiences – especially those who might currently only see its work off-platform including on social media – and find new revenue streams.

It will be distinct from the Post’s news and opinion operations and the aim is that it will be operational by the third quarter of the year.

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Alec Baldwin on trial: Is the actor to blame for a fatal shooting on set?

Alec Baldwin’s temper is the stuff of Hollywood legend. His volatile behaviour on the set of The Edge – he refused to shave his beard – left such an impression on producer Art Linson that he made a movie about it, What Just Happened, with Bruce Willis caricaturing Baldwin as a tantrum-throwing star, reports Variety‘s Gene Maddus.

But he is also an adept and dependable actor. Dean Goodine was the prop master on The Edge, a thriller filmed in the Canadian Rockies. Before one key scene, he showed Baldwin how to load dummies into a Winchester Model 1886.

“I have no stories other than of him being professional,” Goodine says. “He paid attention to all the training. He did the scene flawlessly.”

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“Not just ‘tragedy porn’”: I was actually there, from Port Arthur to The Beatles

It was when Kirk Docker and Josh Schmidt were making You Can’t Ask That that the idea for their next show was born, reports TV Tonight‘s David Knox.

“We did an episode on disaster survivors on You Can’t Ask That,” Docker tells TV Tonight.

“We had a woman who was at Port Arthur, and I thought ‘I’ve never really heard your take.’ If I was sitting next to her at a dinner party, I’d want to ask her all about it.

“We realised there was something in moments, in unpacking the story.”

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‘Outrageous’: Aussie Bluey fans in uproar after missing out on episodes

Bluey fans in Australia are in an uproar after being forced to wait for the release of new episodes that have been made available internationally, reports News Corp’s Joshua High.

The official Facebook page of the beloved Aussie show shared an announcement on Thursday revealing the first batch of new mini episodes were now streaming.

Seven were released in total for fans in America, but Australians have been left with just five to binge instead.

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Top Image: David Ellison

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