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Facebook Wants to Court Creators. It Could Be a Tough Sell.

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the past 18 months, Chris Cox, Facebook’s top product executive, watched with surprise as Instagram came alive in ways he hadn’t seen before.As young people looked for ways to express themselves digitally in the pandemic, Mr. Cox became captivated by the content of creators like Oumi Janta. The Senegalese roller-skater, who is based in Berlin, shot to fame when she posted videos to her Instagram account of herself dancing in skates to techno music. Her viral success — and that of others — made Facebook, which owns Instagram, realize it needed to do more to court creators, …

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Work at Home or the Office? Either Way, There’s a Start-Up for That.

SAN FRANCISCO — Before the pandemic, Envoy, a start-up in San Francisco, sold visitor registration software for the office. Its system signed in guests and tracked who was coming into the building.When Covid-19 hit and forced people to work from home, Envoy adapted. It began tracking employees instead of just visitors, with a screening system that asked workers about potential Covid symptoms and exposures.Now as companies begin reopening offices and promoting more flexibility for employees, Envoy is changing its strategy again. Its newest product, Envoy Desks, lets employees book desks for when they go into their company’s workplace, …

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Fox’s New Channel Changes the Climate for Weather TV

Sean Hannity will not be giving a forecast (yet). But Fox Weather, which will be funded by advertisers, is aggressively poaching star meteorologists from Houston, Seattle, St. Louis and other markets. It is also taking a run at major talent at the Weather Channel, with several Hollywood agents recounting frenzied bidding wars. A top Weather Channel meteorologist — Shane Brown, whose title was “senior weather product architect” — defected to Fox last month despite efforts to keep him.Inside Mr. Murdoch’s company, the view is that the sometimes-staid world of weather TV is ripe for disruption. Fox is hiring a throng …

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They Resurrected MGM. Amazon Bought the Studio. Now What?

The producer Matt Tolmach, who has two projects in the works at MGM, including the horror film “Dark Harvest,” set for release on Sept. 23, said Mr. De Luca’s passion for good stories is infectious. “He read the script and he called me, and we had an hourlong conversation just about the possibilities and how amazing it would be and how we can push the boundaries,” he said of “Dark Harvest.” “That’s what he does. He makes your movie better.”As Mr. De Luca sees it, the new MGM is about “treating the filmmakers like the franchise,” he said. …

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Artist David Choe on His New FX and Hulu Show

An hour into our interview, the artist David Choe admits that he lied about something.He said he had turned down two offers to do a television show many years ago, one from the producer Scott Rudin, the other from the celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. He had said the same thing during his first burst of media attention nearly 10 years ago; and he said it again during a Zoom call last week from his home in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.Mr. Choe, a street artist known for his colorful and explicit imagery, became known outside the art …

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Turn Tech to Your Advantage in the New Hybrid Workplace

When working with colleagues from a remote setting, a text or an email is probably fine for quick conversations, like setting up a meeting. But for more serious discussions, a phone or video call is probably better.Video calls can get tedious, so they should be used sparingly and mainly when there is a clear purpose for video, Dr. Simon-Thomas said. That could be a meeting with visual aids in a presentation. Or a first-time introduction to a colleague, when it’s nice to see a face.Whether in the office or at home, if you’re going to write …

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How David Ellison Built Skydance Into Hollywood’s Smart Bet

The equity deal with RedBird and CJ Entertainment valued Skydance at about $2.3 billion. At its current pace of growth — revenue is expected to increase more than 40 percent this year compared with last, the company said — Skydance could be worth $5 billion or more in a few years. Mr. Ellison would most likely pursue a sale or an initial public offering at that point.Skydance could quickly become an acquisition target. After Amazon’s $8.45 billion purchase of MGM, content engines with access to established intellectual property, Skydance included, are hot prospects. Even if Skydance parts ways with Paramount next year, the expiring …

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James Bond, Meet Jeff Bezos: Amazon Makes $8.45 Billion Deal for MGM

Amazon’s appetite for movies became ravenous during the pandemic. It paid $125 million for the rights to “Coming 2 America,” $80 million for “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and $200 million for “The Tomorrow War,” a Chris Pratt adventure that will arrive on Prime on July 2. Amazon also has Oscar ambitions, buying the rights to “Sound of Metal,” which was nominated for best picture and other top awards at this year’s ceremony and won the Oscars for sound and editing.The problem: Amazon Studios has had limited bandwidth, most of which is tied up with television series — including a coming “Lord of the Rings” …

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Discovery and AT&T: How a Huge Media Deal Was Done

Deals are rarely smooth, and an anomaly with Discovery’s share price dovetailed with the negotiations. Discovery’s stock began to inexplicably rocket in February and March to $75 from $45 because of a convoluted trading scandal involving Archegos, a little-known private investment firm that bet big on Discovery and other companies via derivatives using billions in borrowed money.With banks forced to buy shares to hedge their spiraling exposure to Archegos, Discovery’s market value jumped nearly 60 percent, for no obvious reason to outsiders. But by May, the stock had returned to where it was during Mr. Zaslav’s initial approach, …

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‘It’s Magic What We Do.’ Movie Theaters Get Starry-Eyed Once More.

Cinemark, for instance, lost $208 million in the first quarter of 2021. Yet, “Today I am pleased to report that we are now actively on the road to recovery,” the company’s chief executive, Mark Zoradi, said during an earnings call.Today in BusinessUpdated May 19, 2021, 2:36 p.m. ETThere are reasons for moviegoers to be excited, too. “Fast and Furious 9” debuts on June 25. (It opens in China this weekend.) The musical “In the Heights,” adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway show, will open June 11. Marvel’s “Black Widow” comes out on July 9, while Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” will open on July 30. (Both will …

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