Exec summary: We're all glued to the TV for Singapore summit coverage... so let me start with a different story... Tuesday's future-of-media showdown in DC...
AT&T decision day
When the AT&T-Time Warner deal was struck, Donald Trump was still just a candidate. The announcement was made 597 days ago. On Tuesday, it may finally be allowed to proceed. OR, a judge may deliver the deal a death blow.
Here's everything you need to know about how it's going to go...
Here's how it'll happen
Judge Richard Leon is waiting til after the market closes to issue his ruling in US v. AT&T. He is expected to read part of the ruling aloud in his courtroom at 4pm. But he may get started a little late. Either way, don't expect to hear the news right away. Reporters and others in the courtroom will stay seated until he's done speaking... And only then will news outlets be able to send out alerts.
The full ruling is expected to be uploaded to PACER after Leon presents it in court. Jessica Schneider, Hadas Gold and Jeffrey Toobin will be in court for CNN's live coverage... I'll be in the newsroom with our editors...
The word on the street...
...Continues to be favorable for AT&T and Time Warner. Conventional wisdom is that the companies will prevail in some fashion. But it could be a narrow ruling... and/or there could be conditions attached... Hadas Gold's newest story lays out the options.
The real unknown is what will happen AFTER the ruling. Appeals are likely either way. If AT&T wins, will the DOJ seek an injunction to stay the ruling while the government appeals? If so, will the D.C. Circuit Court rule in the DOJ's favor? That could throw a wrench into the deal.
Here's a key date to keep in mind: AT&T intends to close the deal/make the acquisition effective on Monday, June 18. It'll move forward even if there's an appeal, as long as there's not an injunction barring the companies from proceeding.
Multiple ways this deal could still fall apart
But here's another key date: Thursday, June 21. That's when the existing deal agreement between the AT&T and Time Warner expires. If Leon sides with the DOJ, OR if he sides with AT&T but a stay is granted, dragging this case out even longer, the paths of the two companies may diverge.
Per BTIG's Rich Greenfield, if the companies win but there's a stay, he believes Time Warner will "demand compensation to extend the current merger termination date beyond June 21st."
And if the DOJ wins, Greenfield believes "it is highly unlikely that Time Warner is interested in extending the merger termination deadline. In turn, the merger will for all intents and purposes be dead if Judge Leon rules in favor of the government."
"This decision will likely serve as the litmus test for other potential M&A and has broad implications for stocks in the cable, telco and media space," UBS analyst John Hodulik told the WSJ.
Dylan Byers ticked through the possibilities in PACIFIC... Along with Comcast's expected bid for the 21st Century Fox assets, challenging Disney, we could see another T-Mobile + Sprint attempt... Plus, "Hollywood studios like MGM, Lionsgate and Sony may all consider mergers in order to scale up and compete with bigger companies..."
For the record, part one
-- Madison Marriage and Matthew Garrahan's latest: "The inside story of why Martin Sorrell quit WPP..." (FT, behind a pay wall)
-- This delightful NYT story about IHOP's IHOb stunt is one long eye-roll, but it admits IHOb was a "21st century marketing success story..." (NYT)
-- Congratulations, Brianna!! "It's a boy for CNN's Brianna Keilar and husband Fernando Lujan..." (WashPost)
Prayers for Larry Kudlow
President Trump delivered a shock at 8:35pm when he tweeted that Larry Kudlow had suffered a heart attack back home. Trump said Kudlow was at Walter Reed. Were it not for the summit, his choice to share the medical news via Twitter would be more fiercely debated. Anyway, the W.H. said two hours later that Kudlow "experienced what his doctors say" was "a very mild heart attack." Sarah Sanders said "his doctors expect he will make a full and speedy recovery."
Photo op for the ages
The handshake happened. President Trump and Kim Jong Un's meeting was seen around the world... except in North Korea. The country's tightly controlled state media did not broadcast the moment live, according to CNN's Will Ripley. What did viewers see instead? "Color bars."
In the US, the handshake happened in prime time -- 9:04pm ET -- causing ABC to briefly interrupt "The Bachelorette."
Trump critic Max Boot tweeted: "For both men the summit is already a success. The spectacle is all. Both leaders revel in the spotlight and want media attention to buttress their legitimacy at home."
What will be accomplished?
Depending on what media bubble you're in, you're either hearing that "we've gotten so much out of this already" (Sean Hannity) or you're hearing that Trump is doing further damage to the US by legitimizing a dictator.
MAGA Twitter is full of Nobel talk. "Just this handshake alone merits a Nobel Peace prize," Charlie Kirk tweeted. Of course, we know what many of those boosters would be saying if Barack Obama had tried this.
As for what will really be accomplished -- stay tuned. During one of the later photo ops, CNN's Jim Acosta shouted, "Mr. Kim, will you give up your nuclear weapons, sir?" He did not respond...
Notes and quotes
-- Former AP Pyongyang bureau chief Jean Lee tweeted: "To see Trump & Kim shake hands is both stunning & chilling. It's a powerful moment that augers a change in the tense US-#NorthKorea relationship. But it also legitimizes the path Kim took to get here: Testing #nuclear weapons with potential to wreak unimaginable destruction..."
-- CJR's Pete Vernon: "Fox News and MSNBC make a big deal of their hard news reporters, but on an important news night, they anchor with opinion hosts. Maddow, Hannity, Ingraham, etc."
-- Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC: We will never really know "what happened in that meeting because both men are known and established liars..."
-- On a lighter note: CNN's Steve Brusk tweeted: "Dinner at the White House/DC assignment desk tonight -- what else? Singapore noodles."
As we predicted: Hannity is interviewing Trump
"Congratulations to you for securing the first post-summit interview with President Trump," Kellyanne Conway told Sean Hannity on Monday's "Hannity." Congrats? We'll see if it's really an "interview..." But Hannity WILL be taping with Trump in Singapore in the coming hours... Fox will release highlights sometime Tuesday, and the sit-down will air on "Hannity" Tuesday night...
For the record, part two
-- ANOTHER departure from the W.H. comms team: director of rapid response Steven Cheung's "last day of work was Friday..." (Politico)
-- About those reports that Charlie Rose was invited back to the Allen & Co. Sun Valley retreat this year: "He never planned on going. He has other commitments," a Rose friend told Joe Pompeo... (Twitter)
-- Jeremy Barr tweeted: "Per memo -- Lex Haris, who resigned from CNN last June after the botched Russia / Scaramucci story, has been named interim lead of CBSNews.com..." (Twitter)
WashPost's midterms plan
The WashPost is announcing its midterm coverage plan on Tuesday... Here's a sneak peek:
-- This summer David Weigel will start anchoring a campaign newsletter...
-- Dan Balz, Michael Scherer, Mary Jordan, Robert Costa, Jenna Johnson, and Michelle Ye Hee Lee are some of the campaign team members... Cathleen Decker is campaign editor... More hiring news coming soon...
-- The Post will offer an "election calendar" that people can add to their phone or Gmail account...
-- Also of note: "The Politics team will also use The Post's automated storytelling technology, Heliograf, to help tell election stories at the district level, such as details about current office-holders, their challengers, key voter information and the district's voting history. Heliograf will keep these hundreds of pages up-to-date as the election season progresses..."
De Niro apologizes*
One day after his "F--- Trump" outburst at the Tonys, Robert De Niro issued an apology. But not to Trump.
While giving a speech in Toronto, he said, "I just want to make a note of apology for the idiotic behavior of our President. It's a disgrace, and I apologize to Justin Trudeau and the other people at the G7. It's disgusting."
"His website is often blamed for contributing to the decline of the newspaper industry, but now Criagslist founder Craig Newmark is giving $20 million to train future journalists at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism," Hadas Gold writes.
"Newmark has no personal connection to the school, but said he chose CUNY because it's a public institution with a diverse population and serves the types of students he once was -- those who rely on financial aid to get through school." Read more...
Tapper's NYC book party
Spotted at an NYC shindig for Jake Tapper's new novel "The Hellfire Club:" Ben Stiller, Jeff Zucker, Allison Gollust, Amy Entelis, Meghan McCain, SE Cupp, John Goodwin, MJ Lee, Alex Burns, Ed O'Keefe, Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon, Kate Bolduan, Brooke Baldwin, James Fletcher, Michael Barbaro, Julie Bloom, Catherine Rampell, Federico Quadrani, Alexander Nazaryan, AJ Katz, more...
-- NBC says Hoda Kotb has the first joint interview with Kim Kardashian West and Alice Johnson... It'll air on Thursday... (USA Today)
-- CBS News prez David Rhodes poking fun at reporters who ask why he promoted Jeff Glor rather than hiring a "celebrity" anchor for the evening news: "I can't figure out why you guys didn't overpay for someone for whom expectations would be set way too high..." (Variety)
-- Congrats to Frank Rich and co.: HBO has renewed the media dynasty drama "Succession" for a second season... (Variety)
REMEMBERING ANTHONY BOURDAIN
"We are stuck in the unknowable..."
Bourdain's girlfriend Asia Argento asked for privacy when he died last Friday, but there has been ample speculation about their relationship. Argento asked her friend Rose McGowan to speak out on Monday.
"Do NOT do the sexist thing and burn a woman on the pyre of misplaced blame," McGowan wrote in an open letter. "Anthony's internal war was his war, but now she's been left on the battlefield to take the bullets."
She added: "Sometimes we are stuck in the unknowable, and that is where we are now, a massive wave of darkness that threatens to swallow everyone in its wake..."
CNN anchors reflect on Bourdain's life
If you missed our hour-long tribute to Tony on Friday and Sunday, check out some of the highlights here... I collected some of the reflections from Alisyn Camerota, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, Christiane Amanpour, and other anchors.
"Tony Bourdain is the guy you just want to hang out with -- like, through osmosis, you hope to learn a thing or two about life," Brooke Baldwin said in the tribute broadcast. "Losing Tony was losing a member of your family. Our CNN family." More here...
The entertainment desk
Update on the potential movie about Gawker's demise
Sandra Gonzalez emails: Francis Lawrence ("The Hunger Games," "Red Sparrow") has signed on to direct a film about about the lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker. It will be based on "Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue" by Ryan Holiday. Oscar winner Charles Randolph (The Big Short) is set to write the screenplay. A search is underway for actors to play roles including Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan and Nick Denton...
Brian Lowry emails: In this new story on Monday, Adalian took a deep dive into Netflix's business model, asking, among other things, whether the service is undermining its originals by drowning them in sheer volume. The question provoked a slightly testy response from a company executive, who said, "Most Netflix originals get far more viewership than if they existed on other platforms." But of course, the maddening aspect of that is Netflix won't provide evidence of its success, or lack thereof, in terms of its user data...
And for what it's worth, I agree with the general too-much-of-a-good-thing premise -- which I've also raised -- a contention about which Netflix sounds defensive...
Amazon buys "Modern Love"
Amazon "has handed out a straight-to-series order for an anthology based on the New York Times' popular Modern Love column," THR's Lesley Goldberg reports. "The half-hour romantic comedy anthology explores love and the human connection. Over eight stand-alone episodes, Amazon's Modern Love will explore love in its multitude of forms, including sexual, romantic, familial, platonic and self-love." Filmmaker John Carney will write/direct/produce...
Speaking of Amazon...
New Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke gave a group interview to Hollywood beat reporters... Embargoed til Monday... The NYT says "her message to Hollywood's creative community boiled down to this: Amazon now has its act together -- come join us..." (NYT)
Where his basic question -- what do the fans want? -- becomes problematic is that "fans" seldom speak with one coherent voice...
DC Entertainment prez stepping aside
Brian Lowry emails: The makeover of DC Entertainment continues, with Geoff Johns -- a renowned comics writer, who hasn't fared as well with his screen endeavors -- exiting his creative position for a writing/producing deal designed, as Variety put it, to "cushion the landing..."
Wise words for those who didn't win Tonys...
Tina Fey quoted Beyoncé to lift up the cast and crew of the Broadway production of "Mean Girls" after being shut out of the Tony Awards – despite 12 nominations. According to video posted by a woman who attended the production's after party, Fey quipped: "As Queen Bey said, 'the best revenge is yo' paper," quoting Beyoncé's "Formation."
"Mean Girls" has played to sold-out crowds and grossed more than $18 million in less than three months, according to Broadway World...
Our lead story on Sunday's "Reliable Sources" was a wake-up call. A new Pew survey finds that seven out of ten Americans are overwhelmed with the amount of news coverage... But right now is a really bad time to have "news fatigue..." Here's my opener...
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