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Hollywood Breakdown

Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.

The Golden Globes are under scrutiny again following an LA Times exposé

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The Golden Globes are this weekend, and the days of the awards ceremony being a small funky party are long gone. Now the Globes are big business, but a recent LA Times investigation reveals some problematic practices at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the small group that votes on the winners.

Feb 26 2021

4mins

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Netflix, HBO Max and Apple seek out kids’ programming to hang on to subscribers

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Streaming services are constantly looking for ways to fight churn, which is when viewers sign up for a service and then drop it after they’ve watched a particular show. Kids’ shows and movies seem to be the most churn-proof content, so streamers are making big investments in that department. 

Feb 19 2021

4mins

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Agencies drop Armie Hammer, Gina Carano, Marilyn Manson, Morgan Wallen

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In a recent spate of actors and singers — including Armie Hammer, Gina Carano, Marilyn Manson — getting in trouble for past or current behavior, talent agencies are figuring out how to deal. In some cases, the agencies are dropping clients entirely, and in others, like with Shia LaBeouf at CAA, the relationship is being put on hold. 

Feb 12 2021

4mins

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Fox News falls to third place in cable rankings after years of dominance

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Fox News ratings soared during a Trump presidency, but viewership numbers went down when Trump attacked the network. With a new Biden administration, Fox ratings continue to dip as viewers seek more right-wing content. The network is now behind CNN and MSNBC. 

Feb 05 2021

5mins

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Sundance goes virtual for a different kind of film festival

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The Sundance Film Festival kicked off this week, but there will be no crowded screenings in Park City movie theaters. Instead the famous festival will be mostly virtual, with some screenings around the country where theaters are allowed to be open.

Jan 29 2021

5mins

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Netflix celebrates 200 million subscribers, moving closer to global streaming domination

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Netflix officially has 200 million subscribers as it exponentially grows during the pandemic. The streamer, which holds more than $15 billion of debt, also says it no longer needs to borrow money. However, all streaming services share the fear of churn, where customers sign up for a service to watch one or two things and then unsubscribe. 

Jan 22 2021

4mins

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For most-streamed shows, ‘The Office’ on Netflix reigned supreme in 2020

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Nielsen released year-end streaming data for 2020, and more minutes were spent watching “The Office” on Netflix than any other show. The top 10 most-watched original series were all on Netflix, except for the Disney+ show “The Mandalorian.” When it came to movies, kids’ movies on Disney+ dominated, with “Frozen II” coming in at number one.

Jan 15 2021

4mins

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Facebook and Twitter go tough on Trump after US Capitol assault

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Facebook has banned President Trump, at least until his term is over. Twitter issued a 12-hour suspension of his account on Wednesday. It’s a fraught time for social media companies as their platforms were used to organize the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. 

Jan 08 2021

4mins

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Roku and HBO Max finally cut a deal

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Nearly seven months after WarnerMedia launched HBO Max, Roku users finally have access to the streaming service. Roku has 46 million users, so WarnerMedia was desperate to make a deal with the digital media player before the release of “Wonder Woman 1984” on Christmas Day. 

Dec 25 2020

3mins

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Hollywood fumes at WarnerMedia’s big HBO Max move, guilds and agencies start to speak out

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When WarnerMedia announced all of its 2021 movies would stream on HBO Max the same day they open in theaters, Hollywood was completely blindsided. Now the industry is starting to speak out. Christopher Nolan blasted Warner Bros. Then the Directors Guild of America and the powerful agency CAA both sent angry letters to the studio. 

Dec 11 2020

4mins

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Warner Bros. sends entire slate of 17 movies to HBOMax in 2021

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WarnerMedia announced all 17 of its 2021 Warner Bros. movies would debut in theaters and stream on HBOMax at the same time. This shatters the traditional window between theatrical release and streaming that is the foundation of the movie theater business. 

Dec 04 2020

4mins

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Mark Burnett was supposed to bring hits to MGM. Instead he’s brought chaos

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Mark Burnett is best known for reality TV hits like “Survivor,” “The Voice,” and “The Apprentice,” which gave Donald Trump a national audience. Five years ago, he joined MGM Studios as the chairman of worldwide television. His management style hasn’t won him many fans as it’s proved to be much like the outgoing president he once promoted.

Nov 27 2020

4mins

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‘Wonder Woman 1984’ will land in theaters and HBOMax on Christmas Day

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Throughout the pandemic, movie studios have struggled to decide whether to move big films to streaming services or risk putting them in theaters. With “Wonder Woman 1984,” WarnerMedia is going to try doing both. The superhero sequel will open in theaters (those that are actually open, that is) on December 25, 2020 and also be available to stream on HBOMax the same day.

Nov 20 2020

4mins

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As Trump attacks Fox News, more conservative networks get a ratings boost

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Fox News flourished under a Trump presidency, but trouble in paradise began on Election Night, when the network made an early call for Joe Biden to win Arizona. The call ended up being correct, but Trump was upset that their announcement changed the momentum. Now the President’s most hardcore fans are turning to Newsmax, a network that’s even further to the right than Fox. 

Nov 13 2020

4mins

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Fox News leads cable news ratings on election night, slips on Nov. 4

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Broadcast news ratings were down this year compared to 2016. Cable news ratings remained stable compared to the last election, led by a strong showing from Fox News viewers.

Nov 06 2020

4mins

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Netflix raises prices, other streaming competitors see success

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Netflix increased pricing for its standard and premium plans to $13.99 and $17.99, respectively, as it continues to position itself as the streaming frontrunner.

Oct 30 2020

4mins

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Quibi shuts down as Hollywood tries to pinpoint what went wrong

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Quibi announced it’s shutting down next month, and Hollywood is trying to pinpoint what went wrong.

Oct 23 2020

3mins

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Disney reorganizes to focus on streaming. Will investors be happy?

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Amid an industry-wide wave of reorganization, Disney has just announced a restructuring and the creation of a new division for content distribution.

Oct 16 2020

4mins

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Streaming is Disney’s path forward, says investor Daniel Loeb

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The movie business has struggled to make money during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some industry insiders say it should prioritize streaming.

Oct 09 2020

4mins

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Hollywood’s coronavirus protocols worry some workers behind the scenes

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Hollywood’s production schedule is largely back up and running after shutting down at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, raising questions about the standards and protocols in place across the industry.

Sep 25 2020

4mins

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iTunes Ratings

53 Ratings
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Bitesize and Wonderful

By Dan Van Poolmate - Mar 02 2018
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Nice slice of information each week. Perfect to queue between longer podcasts.

Excellent!

By theWorldofCinema - Jun 07 2010
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Another great show/podcast from KCRW.