Viacom buys Pluto and Netflix joins the MPAA

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Posted: Jan 23, 2019 6:54 AM


A version of this article first appeared in the "Reliable Sources" newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

Netflix scores its first Best Picture nomination

"Netflix has morphed into a full-blown Oscars force," THR's Pamela McClintock wrote. "The streamer scored 15 Academy Award nominations Tuesday," 10 of them for Alfonso Cuaron's "Roma," which is up for best picture. "The 15 noms Netflix amassed this year equal the 15 nods total it has collected in previous years," McClintock noted.

Fox Searchlight also scored 15 nominations... Disney and Universal(including Focus) landed 17 each... But Netflix was the standout.

"With its nominations," CNN's Sandra Gonzalez wrote, "'Roma' has tied the record held by 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' for the most nominations received by a foreign language film." Keep reading for full Oscars coverage...

The MPAA's new member

Netflix is the newest member of the Motion Picture Association of America, a development first reported by Politico on Tuesday. It is "the first tech company to join the Hollywood trade group" that includes all the big studios, Deadline noted. Will Amazon join next?

Viacom buys Pluto

Claire Atkinson broke the news with a tweet on Tuesday: Viacom is acquiring Pluto TV. It's an ad-supported streaming service that comes preloaded on lots of smart TV sets.

Pluto is "the latest digital technology company that Viacom has acquired over the past year," after AwesomenessTV and VidCon and Whosay, Axios' Sara Fischer wrote Tuesday evening. She says more acquisitions "are expected..."

Another record-breaking year for the games biz

"American gamers helped fuel a record-breaking $43.4 billion in revenue for the U.S. video game industry in 2018," Variety's Emily Gera wrote Tuesday, citing data from a market research firm and the gaming world's trade association. This is an 18% uptick from 2017.

Acting ESA President and CEO Stanley Pierre-Louis: "The impressive economic growth of the industry announced today parallels the growth of the industry in mainstream American culture..."

The Economist's version of "The Daily"

The Economist is preparing to launch its first daily podcast -- titled "The Intelligence." This trailer describes it as a "new current-affairs podcast, published every weekday by Economist Radio, that provides a unique perspective on the events shaping your world." As far as I can tell, it's the first daily podcast produced by the magazine...

FOR THE RECORD, PART ONE

-- Russell Baker, who wrote decades of prize-winning newspaper columns, authored 15 books, and hosted "Masterpiece Theater," has died. He was 93. (NYT)

-- Bret Baier returned to "Special Report" on Tuesday night after a terrifying car accident in Montana over the weekend. Watch his emotional description of what happened... (Twitter)

-- The Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards were handed out at Columbia U. on Tuesday night. Here are the winners. CNN and WNYC each took home two awards... It's especially notable to see a local news outfit like WNYC winning twice in one year... (Columbia)

-- For the first time in a decade, the duPont judges awarded a "gold baton," to the PBS newsmag "FRONTLINE..." (PBS)

Headline of the day

From CNN.com: "State Department cancels border security conference due to shutdown over border security."

Politico: "Trump exasperated by gaffe-prone Giuliani"

That was Politico's news-making headline on Tuesday night... The story said Trump has been enraged by Rudy Giuliani's "walk-backs" and reversals... Although many observers have posited that Rudy has been doing this intentionally...

NYT's Maggie Haberman tweeted out the story and said "Trump is definitely frustrated with Giuliani but Giuliani isn't going anywhere. Overall Trump likes what he does."

Here is CNN's latest reporting on the subject: "A member of the Trump legal team tells Evan Perez tonight 'Rudy's not getting fired.'" And according to Jeff Zeleny, a source who spoke with Trump on Tuesday "said Trump likes the obfuscation of it all, and doesn't detect any sense of firing..."

Remember W.H. briefings?

ABC News reported on Monday: "White House sets record for longest span with no press briefings during the Trump presidency." This record spurred some criticism on Tuesday...

Trump offers an excuse

Oliver Darcy emails: It has been more than a month since Sarah Sanders last held a press briefing -- and now, we have an explanation from the President. Trump turned to Twitter Tuesday morning to explain that "the reason" Sanders does not hold briefings anymore is because he feels "the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately." Trump said "certain members of the press" are worse than others and added that he told Sanders "not to bother" since "the word gets out anyway!"

>> Trump's tweet prompted a response from WHCA president Olivier Knox, who said in a statement that the Trump admin's move "sets a terrible precedent..."

Trump's "irrelevant" press shop

Darcy emails: CNN's Kaitlan Collins and Kevin Liptak published a must-read on Tuesday about the White House comms team. Their story said a prolonged power struggle has led to a muddled messaging strategy during the shutdown, which has resulted in West Wing staffers deeming the dysfunctional press shop to be "irrelevant."

According to Collins and Liptak, there is no clear leader among Sanders, Bill Shine, Kellyanne Conway or Mercedes Schlapp -- though Collins and Liptak reported that Trump has developed a warm relationship with Sanders and offers her praise in private...

What is Bill Shine doing?

Darcy sends one more: Since Shine accepted a position in the Trump W.H., it has been unclear exactly what impact or role he has had. Collins and Liptak reported that some officials have been disappointed by his approach. "So far, Shine's contribution has largely consisted of phoning Fox News hosts and booking officials on the shows so they can defend the President on a network whose audience largely already favors him," Collins and Liptak wrote...

If you were POTUS...

...Would you spend time live-tweeting Fox News?

I ask because Trump spent a lot of time doing that on Tuesday. It's not new at this point, but it's still odd. As WaPo's Philip Bump tweeted in the A.M., "Two years in, it's still remarkable that the president of the United States starts most days by hyping things he's watching on a morning cable news show."

Trump resumed his Fox-watching in the evening, leading former Obama aide Dan Pfeiffer to tweet: "The President can have dinner with anyone in the world, can go anywhere, can get anyone on the phone, has access to movies before they come out and instead sits alone in his bathrobe every night and live tweets Tucker Carlson while begging for praise."

Read more of Tuesday's "Reliable Sources" newsletter... And subscribe here to receive future editions in your inbox...

FOR THE RECORD, PART TWO

-- About Cliff Sims' book: The author of "Team of Vipers" (I can't believe I called it "Team of Rivals" last night!) will be on "GMA" next Monday, followed by "Nightline" and "The View..." It's an ABC rollout...

-- CNN's Fareed Zakaria (the man I'm very lucky to count as my "lead-in" on Sunday mornings!) made Foreign Policy's annual list of the top 100 Global Thinkers, AND the mag's Top Ten of the Last 10 Years... (FP)

-- CBS "does not currently accept any cannabis-related advertising," so it apparently turned down this wannabe Super Bowl advertiser... (CNN)

-- "While some states have legalized marijuana used for medical purposes, federal law would prevent TV outlets from running national commercials," Brian Steinberg explains... (Variety)

-- "A bankruptcy court judge on Tuesday confirmed iHeartMedia Inc.'s restructuring plan that allows the company to slash its debt load and hand over control to a group of bondholders..." (WSJ)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 36578

Reported Deaths: 2258
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10188604
Lake3876207
Allen181071
Cass15919
Elkhart158528
St. Joseph135838
Hendricks120478
Hamilton119194
Johnson1125113
Madison60061
Porter56233
Clark53942
Bartholomew53139
LaPorte44824
Howard44236
Tippecanoe4344
Jackson4012
Delaware39741
Shelby39722
Hancock35427
Boone32436
Floyd31941
Vanderburgh2913
Morgan28626
Noble27821
Montgomery24917
Clinton2471
White2399
Decatur23132
Grant22923
Dubois2113
Kosciusko2052
Harrison19622
Marshall1872
Henry18512
Vigo1828
Greene17226
Dearborn17122
Monroe17113
Lawrence17124
Warrick16729
Miami1461
Putnam1427
Jennings1324
Orange13122
LaGrange1282
Scott1263
Franklin1168
Ripley1086
Daviess10416
Carroll952
Wayne906
Steuben902
Wabash812
Newton8010
Fayette797
Jasper741
Jay580
Clay533
Randolph523
Rush513
Fulton511
Washington501
Pulaski500
Jefferson491
Whitley453
DeKalb451
Starke423
Perry390
Huntington382
Sullivan371
Wells350
Owen341
Brown331
Benton320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford250
Adams231
Switzerland220
Spencer221
Fountain222
Gibson202
Parke180
Posey160
Martin140
Warren131
Ohio130
Vermillion100
Union100
Pike60
Unassigned0180

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 125915

Reported Deaths: 5795
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook813443880
Lake8647334
DuPage7997394
Kane6672205
Will5799285
Winnebago246566
McHenry167779
St. Clair126292
Kankakee98954
Kendall83919
Rock Island70325
Champaign6777
Madison62465
Boone49817
DeKalb4508
Sangamon36029
Peoria30111
Jackson30010
Randolph2734
McLean22613
Ogle2253
Stephenson2115
Macon20020
Clinton19017
Union17114
LaSalle16016
Whiteside14913
Coles13817
Iroquois1355
Warren1220
Out of IL1161
Grundy1112
Knox1020
Jefferson10116
Monroe10012
McDonough9113
Unassigned900
Lee821
Tazewell815
Cass760
Williamson753
Henry700
Pulaski580
Marion520
Jasper467
Macoupin462
Adams441
Morgan421
Perry420
Vermilion421
Montgomery411
Livingston362
Christian354
Jo Daviess321
Douglas280
Jersey241
Menard220
Bureau211
Fayette213
Ford211
Woodford212
Washington190
Mason180
Mercer180
Carroll172
Hancock171
Shelby161
Alexander140
Schuyler130
Bond121
Franklin120
Fulton120
Moultrie120
Clark110
Crawford110
Johnson110
Logan110
Piatt110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Wayne91
Effingham81
Henderson80
Massac70
Saline70
Greene60
Wabash60
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland40
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
White20
Calhoun10
Edgar10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
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