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Apple is saying “we see your Obama’s, and we raise you an Oprah, Netflix.” Tim Cook and Co. have formed a production partnership with Oprah for its planned on-demand video service. Hulu is reportedly in talks with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence.
After a half-assed attempt at streaming programming, including Planet of the Apps and Carpool Karaoke, Apple’s plans to launch a full-fledged direct to consumer streaming product a la Netflix and Amazon Prime are in progress. No details have been leaked on the release date (you’re better than that 9to5Mac), but major names including Reese Witherspoon and JJ Abrams are linked to the project.
Have no fear stay-at-home moms, Oprah’s relationship with OWN, of which she owns 25.5% along with the Discovery Channel, won’t change.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “If Oprah’s partnership with Apple is even half as successful as her collab with Weight Watchers, both parties are going to be very, very happy.”
ON THE SPECTRUM
America’s intellectual capacity, or lack thereof, never ceases to amaze: AT&T will rebrand Time Warner as WarnerMedia to avoid mix-ups with the former Time Warner cable company … already renamed Spectrum.
According to CEO John Stankey, “Our consumer research suggests this confusion isn’t going away any time soon.”
In a widely expected move Stankey, the current CEO of AT&T will remain in charge, having accepted Turner Chief Executive Officer John Martin’s resignation. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will stay on for the transition … or until he overstays his welcome.
As a refresher, AT&T’s $65B purchase of Time Warner includes TW’s media business only, including HBO, Turner Broadcasting, and the Warner Bros. studio. Time Warner cable was sold to Charter in 2016. And in case your grandmother asks, Time magazine is close to being sold to Meredith.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “Just when you thought America couldn’t get any more incompetent, it does. I guess AT&T deserves a big thank you on behalf of the American populous for not allowing our tiny little pea brains to explode at the thought of Time Warner having spun off as two different entities.”
GIRL GONE WILD
Apparently, you can bullsh*t a bullsh*tter. Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes duped some of the most sophisticated investors in the world, including the Walton family, Rupert Murdoch, and Betsy DeVos, out of some $600M.
On Friday, Holmes and the Mini-Me to her Dr. Evil, Ramesh “(It’s Not Always) Sunny” Balwani, were indicted on charges of wire fraud stemming from having defrauded investors as well as doctors and patients. They both face up to 20 years in prison. Unsurprisingly, Theranos stepped down as CEO shortly thereafter.
There was little that the duo didn’t lie about, including their products use on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan, the efficacy of their blood testing solution and the use of commercially available testing procedures to produce results that were often wrong.
Water Cooler Talking Point: “It is literally so easy to hate this woman: she dresses like Steve Jobs, she lied about her product helping save soldier’s lives, and apparently she makes your nightmare of a boss look like Mother Theresa.”
IN OTHER NEWS
- A game of chicken with the global economy on the line: that’s what China and the US are playing as the current trade war heats up. On Friday, Beijing issued retaliatory tariffs on 659 US goods, mostly in the agricultural space, in the exact amount and at the same rate as US tariffs.
- No summer Fridays at Tesla. Elon Musk sent a company-wide email on Friday praising his employees, but demanding radical improvements to meet their goal of 5k Model 3s per week. Ah, the old compliment sandwich.
- Perry Ellis founder George Feldenkreis, in partnership with Fortress Capital, will take middle management’s favorite department store brand private in a deal worth $437M.
- MLB attendance for the 2018 season thus far has been well below the Mendoza line. Boasting just 27,328 per game, attendance is down 6.6% from this date last year and 8.6% overall. You don’t have to be a sabermetrics savant to know that this is the baseball equivalent of an 11.50 ERA.
- US indices were down Friday:
- DOW: -0.47%
- S&P 500: -0.25%
- NASDAQ: -0.47%