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Media Beat: November 04, 2021

By David Farrell

Entertainment One alums form Canadian indie outfit Blink Studios

John Morayniss, Patrice Theroux, Jeff Lynas, and Nelson Kuo-Lee— all veteran executives from Entertainment One— have launched Blink Studios, a Canadian-based indie banner that will develop and produce both scripted and unscripted content.


Endeavor Content will act as its lead strategic investor in Blink, which will be headquartered in Toronto with offices in Los Angeles, with Endeavor co-president Chris Rice joining the outfit as a board member. Endeavor will also be Blink’s priority distribution partner. – Mia Galuppo, The Hollywood Reporter

Rogers pushes back on calls to delay CRTC Shaw takeover hearing

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is reviewing whether Rogers should be permitted to acquire Shaw Communications Inc.’s broadcasting distribution business, which includes a satellite TV service called Shaw Direct, and cable networks in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Northern Ontario. A hearing into the matter is scheduled for Nov. 22.

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“Since the transaction was announced, Rogers and Shaw have met every filing deadline, responded to every request for information and submitted over a million pages of documents and materials to various regulatory bodies reviewing the transaction, including to the commission,” Rogers said in the regulatory filing. – Alexandra Posadzki, The Globe and Mail

Fox beats Q1 earnings expectations

Fox surpassed Wall Street’s expectations for the quarter ending Sept. 30, 2021, with analysts forecasting a $1.03 per share on $2.94 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. On Wednesday, Fox reported adjusted EPS of 1.13 on $3.05 billion in revenue.

Advertising revenues increased 17% from the year-ago quarter, primarily due to continued growth at Tubi and a much more normalized September schedule compared to the COVID-impacted one of 2020, which saw the return of a full schedule of live events at Fox Sports and scripted programming at Fox Entertainment. – Tim Baysinger, The Wrap

Roku Q3 revenue up 51% hits 56.4M active accounts

Roku grew total net revenue 51% year-over-year to $680 million for the third quarter of 2021, but it was lighter than investors expected. – Tod Spangler, Variety

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The highest-paid dead celebrities 2021

Thanks to an insatiable demand for proven hitmakers, there is a bonanza in the boneyard: Over the last year, the total earnings for the 13 best compensated dead celebrities has tripled to nearly $1 billion. – Abigail Freeman, Forbes

Is Amazon changing the novel?

Amazon—which, as its founder, Jeff Bezos, likes to point out, is named for the river that is not only the world’s largest but larger than the next five largest rivers combined—controlled almost three-quarters of new-adult-book sales online and almost half of all new-book sales in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal. ..It’s also a publisher, with sixteen book imprints. Amazon Crossing is now the most prolific publisher of literary translations in the United States, and Audible, another Amazon property, is the largest purveyor of audiobooks. The social media site Goodreads, purchased by Amazon in 2013, hosts more than a hundred million registered users and, may be “the richest repository of the leavings of literary life ever assembled, exceeded only by the mass of granular data sent back to home base from virtually every Kindle device in the world.” But what (literary scholar Mark) McGurl considers the “most dramatic intervention into literary history” is yet another Amazon division, Kindle Direct Publishing (K.D.P.); it allows writers to bypass traditional gatekeepers and self-publish their work for free, with Amazon taking a significant chunk of any proceeds. – Paul Sehgal, The New Yorker

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The battle for the last unclaimed land on earth

Bir Tawil, a 2,000 square km triangle in the Nubian Desert, belongs to both Sudan and Egypt. Neither country wants it. As a result, foreigners keep thinking they can claim it as their own. So far an American, a Russian, and a Brit have argued they should be in charge of this land — which all seems very colonial, no matter how good their intentions may be. – Robert O’Connor, Vice

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