Exec summary: I just landed back in NYC, and I have a LOT of media links for you -- from Snapchat's headlines to American Music Awards highlights to President Trump's promos for Fox News. Scroll down to catch up...
View from the West Coast
Ted Sarandos and Bob Iger were both at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit on Tuesday... along with a slew of other media makers... some standout quotes from Beverly Hills:
-- A.G. Sulzberger with a great line while talking Trump: "We won't be baited into becoming 'the opposition.' And we won't be applauded into becoming 'the opposition.'"
-- Sulzberger on the future of the Times print edition: "The time will come when this is a digital-only news organization..."
-- Richard Stengel in conversation with the NYT execs: "We don't have a fake news problem, we have a media literacy problem."
-- Sarandos pushing back on a popular critique of his service: "The notion that things get 'lost' on Netflix is silly. Things get 'found' on Netflix" thanks to the algorithm. "People say, you have so much to watch. Yea, but it's not all for you..."
-- Iger's firmest statement yet about NOT running for president: "It's off the table. I am running the Walt Disney Co."
-- Iger on why he wakes up super early and stays away from screens in the AM: "I like being alone with my own thoughts."
-- Attendees were shown the first footage from next year's "Lion King." Iger said "it gives me chills..."
-- A hint at Uber's ambitions: Dara Khosrowshahi told Nick Bilton, "We're less than 1% of miles driven on the road. I think we'll be 20 to 30%."
-- My panelist George Pyne of Bruins Sports Capital: "I have teenagers at home, and nobody is watching TV." His point: If your company doesn't adapt, others will, and you'll lose a generation of customers...
Before the Netflix session, I schmoozed Sarandos by asking, What worlds are you going to conquer next?
"Not news!" he answered.
Sarandos reiterated this during his talk on stage. "We're a global brand, and our primary focus is consumer joy," he said. Live news coverage isn't "very joyful." The recent Kavanaugh hearings were cited as an example. But as Lucas Shaw pointed out on Twitter: "Netflix is VERY interested in news-based series," they just want projects "with a longer shelf life than live coverage."
Sarandos also talked a bit about Barack and Michelle Obama's projects... He said the content won't necessarily be "political..." Sandra Gonzalez recapped his comments here...
My interview with Radhika Jones
What did it feel like to take over for Graydon Carter? I asked Radhika Jones in an interview on Tuesday... It was one of her first sit-downs since becoming editor of Vanity Fair last December... She revealed that she tried to keep a VF diary, a la Tina Brown... She also talked about moving the mag in new digital directions, the enduring power of the print cover, etc... I'll have more on CNN Business on Wednesday...
FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE
-- "Two northern Idaho newspaper carriers say they were shot at while delivering papers" early Monday... An investigation is ongoing... (Idaho News)
-- Wired's Jessi Hempel is joining LinkedIn as a "senior editor at large..." (LinkedIn)
-- I missed this on Monday even though it involves my employer -- whoops! -- Turner and Jenna Lyons are getting into business together, making TV shows and launching a direct-to-consumer biz... (Vox)
-- Speaking of Turner: WarnerMedia boss John Stankey is speaking at the VF summit on Wednesday...
Landfall on Wednesday
Hurricane Michael looks bad, and is getting worse. The 11 p.m. advisory has maximum sustained winds at 125 mph. The storm is forecast to be near Category 4 strength when it makes landfall on Wednesday afternoon...
-- On Tuesday night both ABC's David Muir and CBS's Jeff Glor anchored from Panama City. NBC's Lester Holt, on a week-long "Across America" tour, was in Montgomery, Alabama. But he's taking a detour and heading to FL for Wednesday's broadcast...
-- CNN's George Howell, John Berman, Erica Hill and Brooke Baldwin will be anchoring from FL on Wednesday...
-- In the storm zone, 176 Walmart stores are airing The Weather Channel on in-store TVs...
Jonathan Swan did it again. He broke the news of Nikki Haley's resignation at 10:04 a.m. ET and sent every other DC reporter scrambling.
This came as a true surprise -- a SHOCK -- in a town not known for 'em. So why? And why now? It's a mystery. Even Swan said later in the day, "I still don't know the real backstory, frankly, nor does anyone really that I've spoken to..."
"Sources tell CNN that almost all senior administration officials found themselves caught off guard by the announcement," CNN's team reports. And some W.H. officials "are questioning her timing." Here's our full story...
Leaving on good terms...
Eliana Johnson's latest for Politico: "Haley's efforts to control the terms and shape the story of her resignation offer an illuminating example of the way she has controlled the narrative about events in which she is involved and been intensely protective of her personal brand..."
--> Now for a new episode of the Trump show: Trump says "many people" want Haley's job...
Why did POTUS tweet on Tuesday morning that "the paid D.C. protesters are now ready to REALLY protest because they haven't gotten their checks" ? Evidently he misunderstood a joke that someone made on "Fox & Friends." Seriously. He repeated the claim at Tuesday night's rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. WaPo's Avi Selk tried to explain it here...
Trump's free commercial for Fox
At the rally, Trump approvingly quoted Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity and went down the line praising his favorite hosts on Fox. Judge Jeanine, Laura Ingraham (just "Laura" to him), Tucker Carlson (just "Tucker"), the "Fox & Friends" crew... "We've got a lot of great folks," he said...
--> To my ear, it sounded like Trump was singing "root, root, root for the home team..."
--> Jeff Zeleny tweeted: "Is President Trump trying to encourage @FoxNews to start airing his campaign rallies live again (which they stopped doing recently) by praising all of their major hosts by name?"
Speaking of Fox...
Fox's big boost from Kavanaugh
Saturday was a HUGE day for Fox News -- Trump's base wanted to watch the Senate confirm Brett Kavanaugh. Fox News "had its most-watched Saturday since the Iraq War," TVNewser notes.
Fox's viewership was elevated all week long, according to Nielsen #'s that came in on Tuesday. The network touted its "highest-rated week of the year in total day among total viewers." Hannity averaged 4.1 million viewers while Carlson and Ingraham both averaged 3.7 mil...
Warren: "America's ready to change the channel"
Elizabeth Warren speaking Trump's language in a Tuesday night tweet hitting back at his continuous "Pocahontas" attacks: "Breaking news: least popular president in modern history can't come up with new rally material, repeats racist rants. America's ready to change the channel, 4 weeks from today. Tick-tock, @realDonaldTrump."
What ABC asked Melania
ABC is out with a promo for Friday night's Melania Trump interview... You hear Tom Llamas asking Q's like "Can women in the #MeToo movement call you a supporter?" and "You're not the first first lady to have to deal with her husband's alleged infidelities. Has this put a strain on your marriage?" and "Let's talk about the jacket... Why did you wear it?" You don't hear her answers yet though... FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO
-- Tribune Media is selling Newsday's former HQ and printing press site on Long Island for $54.5 million... (Axios)
-- Jack Shafer's take on the paper of record's Trump tax probe: "The NYT Bombshell That Bombed..." (Politico)
-- HBO's four "Axios" specials will air each Sunday evening in November... (Axios)
-- "Jackie Calmes, the White House editor at the L.A. Times, is writing a book tentatively titled 'The Fifth Man: The Conservative Takeover of the Supreme Court.' Twelve Books will publish it..." (Politico)
Khashoggi has been missing for one week
Veteran Saudi journalist and WaPo contributor Jamal Khashoggi vanished last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He is feared dead, but Saudi officials are denying any involvement in his disappearance. President Trump, when asked about the case on Tuesday, said "I know nothing right now. I know what everybody else does: nothing."
WaPo: "We demand to know the truth"
In a new statement, WaPo publisher Fred Ryan pointed out that "no evidence has been produced showing he left the consulate." He said the Saudis and Turks have not provided "any satisfactory answers." Instead, "reports about Jamal's fate have suggested he was a victim of state-sponsored, cold-blooded murder. For the sake of Jamal's family, we call again for answers about Jamal and his whereabouts. Silence, denials and delays are not acceptable. We demand to know the truth."
FOR THE RECORD, PART THREE
-- Snap shares hit a new low of $7 on Tuesday. MoffettNathanson came out with a report saying the company is "quickly running out of money..." (LAT)
-- More Snap news coming Wednesday: Cheddar's Alex Heath notes that "Snap's content team is scheduled to present in L.A." at the NewFronts "in front of a bunch of advertisers/TV execs..."
-- Here are the specs for Google's two new phones, the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3XL... (CNN)
Hadas Gold emails from London: It's official: Comcast is now in control of Sky and holds 77% of its shares. Sky will delist its shares from the London stock market on November 7...
About Sky News...
More from Gold: Notably Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement on Tuesday that Comcast is "fully committed to ensuring Sky News' future, maintaining its editorial independence." Sky News was a big hold up for UK media regulators when Rupert Murdoch was trying to take over, and Comcast made certain commitments in its bid re: continuing to fund Sky News and keeping it editorially independent. British politicians and regulators have made public comments warning Comcast to adhere to that commitment. Sky's chairman James Murdoch, along with six other directors, resigned from Sky's board shortly after Comcast's announcement...
Update on Civil coming Wednesday
Jill Disis emails: Can a blockchain company re-invent journalism? That's the question for Civil Media, which is trying to sell a cryptocurrency that will power its new model for newsrooms. The company has about a week left to sell its "Civil tokens," which Civil says will be used to tip journalists, launch new newsrooms and support or challenge the work released by existing ones.
There have been a few hiccups with the sale so far, and the sales numbers that are public right now don't look so hot. But Civil's founders say they're forging ahead -- they just announced a new partner, Forbes, and they plan to release a lot more info about the sale and their partners Wednesday morning...
Chloe Melas emails: The American Music Awards did not disappoint on Tuesday night. The evening kicked off with Taylor Swift performing for the first time at an awards show in nearly three years. She ended up breaking the AMAs record previously set by Whitney Houston for the most awards given to a female artist -- Swift now has 22. She also got political during her third and final speech of the night, when she took the stage for the coveted "Artist of the Year" award. "And you know what else is voted on by the people?" she said. "The midterm elections on November 6th. Get out and vote."
More: Billy Eichner and Kathryn Hahn also got political. And host Tracee Ellis Ross wore an "I am a voter" shirt at one point during the show...
As Lisa Respers Francenoted here, voter registration reportedly spiked after Swift put up her political Instagram and encouraged her followers to register.
But Swift's post is not necessarily translating to newfound support for the two candidates she endorsed. The NYT is doing live polling in the Phil Bredesen-Marsha Blackburn race, and Nate Cohn says he isn't seeing much movement in Bredesen's direction, despite Swift's new backing for him...
In between, on Thursday the 18th, CNN will host a town hall in McAllen, Texas, with Beto O'Rourke... "Ted Cruz's campaign initially accepted CNN's invitation to participate but later declined, a network official said." Details here...
Twitter live-streaming local TV debates
The social network streamed Monday's Wisconsin Senate debate and Tuesday's Oregon gubernatorial debate... And there's more to come. "Twitter is working with local broadcasters so that everyone nationally will be able to tune in to watch important midterm election debate" live on Twitter, a company spokesman says. "In many cases, voters will also be able to tweet questions for the candidates to answer..."
FOR THE RECORD, PART FOUR
-- Hmmm: It looks like Apple has "fixed a problem with 'manipulation' on the top podcast charts..." (BI)
-- Charlie Gasparino has been stirring the CBS pot this week... On Tuesday, he revealed that CBS told employees in an October 2 memo that more than 150 people have been interviewed in the company's sexual harassment probe... (Fox)
-- Two recommended reads about 🏈. First, John Ourand's interviews with four top sports media execs about "why NFL ratings are up this year..." (SBD)
-- And here's USA Today's deep dive into Trump's effects on NFL ratings last year... (USA Today)
Celebrating Major Garrett's book
Spotted at Michael's Tuesday night -- at the NYC party for Major Garrett and his new book "Mr. Trump's Wild Ride" -- David Rhodes, Norah O'Donnell, John Dickerson, Gayle King, Jericka Duncan, Anthony Mason, Megyn Kelly, Sandra Smith, Ari Melber, Caitlin and Alex Conant, Mosheh Oinounou, Brian Steinberg, Jake Seiwert, Adam Bellow, Ann Tannenbaum, Michael Grynbaum, Oliver Darcy, Steve Battaglio, Christa Robinson, many more...
Major's toast closed with the best line: "Credible journalism will always outlast incredible politicians."
Two "Panama Papers" projects
"Netflix has committed to finance and release 'The Laundromat,' the Steven Soderbergh-directed drama about the Panama Papers scandal," Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. scooped Tuesday. "David Schwimmer has just joined a killer cast that is led by Oscar-winning Darkest Hour star Gary Oldman, The Post's Meryl Streep and Life Itself's Antonio Banderas."
That film won't be streaming for a while. But there's an Alex Winter documentary about the data leak, titled "The Panama Papers," on the festival circuit right now. On Tuesday EPIX announced that it will premiere the film on November 26...
Drama at Annapurna
"Annapurna president of film Chelsea Barnard has exited the studio," The Wrap's Trey Williams reports, citing an insider. "Barnard had been championing two films" at Annapurna, Jennifer Lopez's "Hustlers at Scores" and the tentatively titled "Fair and Balanced" about Roger Ailes and Fox News.
Both projects were dropped on Tuesday. "Hustlers at Scores" may shift over to STX Entertainment.
Per The Wrap, "Megan Ellison will take a more active role in the studio's day-to-day in Barnard's absence..."
What about the Ailes movie?
The Jay Roach film was just about to start production, according to Deadline's Anthony D'Alessandro. But there are whispers about trouble with the script and problems with the budget.
Now it needs a new home. The filmmakers are "considering Focus Features and co-financier Participant Media," D'Alessandro hears. Meantime, "BRON Studios continues to stay aboard as co-financier." BRON said Tuesday, "We love the project, filmmakers and cast and look forward to supporting their vision."
Speaking of the cast: It's an all-star lineup. John Lithgow as Ailes, Charlize Theron as Megyn Kelly, Nicole Kidman as Gretchen Carlson, Allison Janney as Susan Estrich, Kate McKinnon as a fictional producer, Margot Robbie as a fictional producer, Malcolm McDowell as Rupert Murdoch...
Over at Showtime: The TV miniseries based on Gabriel Sherman's book is moving full steam ahead...
FOR THE RECORD, PART FIVE
-- "James Gunn is heading from Marvel to DC. Gunn, who was fired from directing the third installment in his Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, has come on board to write Warner Bros. and DC's Suicide Squad sequel, with an eye to helm. Gunn has closed a deal to pen the script..." (THR)
-- "The Alec Baldwin Show" will premiere on ABC this Sunday at 10... Robert De Niro and Taraji P. Henson are his guests this weekend... And Kim Kardashian West is on next weekend... (Deadline)
Garbage in, garbage out?
Brian Lowry emails: Picking on reality TV has become extra fashionable during the Trump presidency, given the temptation to couch the ongoing storyline in unscripted-TV terms. But Kareem Abdul-Jabbar still finds an interesting hook into the corrosive nature of the reality TV culture in his latest THR column, which suggests that the follow-your-gut mentality often espoused in those shows feeds a kind of anti-intellectualism that filters beyond them.
The money quote: "One can see why encouraging people to 'go with your heart' is so popular: It puts everyone on the same intellectual level. Forget experts, authorities, facts, statistics or science -- everyone is an expert of the heart. Feelings now carry as much weight as the opinions of those who conduct extensive research, who spend years studying and compiling evidence before reaching any conclusions. By elevating the heart above the brain, we discourage people from being rational in favor of being emotional." Read on...
Following up on last night's lead story in the newsletter, about the UN climate change report, Brian Lowry emails:
Many fear that the news media doesn't/won't have the collective attention span to provide the kind of sustained coverage that climate change warrants. So comic Patton Oswalt couched the threat in science-fiction movie terms, addressing the news networks directly in a viral tweet on Tuesday.
He wrote: "This. This is all you have to cover from now on. You know how in the meteor movies the news is JUST about the meteor? This is a meteor. Coming right for us. In our lifetimes."
Thanks for reading. I'm landing back in NYC now. If you're at the FOLIO conference on Wednesday, say hello! I'll be on this panel moderated by Erik Wemple.
And as always, your feedback is welcome... it helps make the newsletter better... so email me here...