Even during the weekend before the big “fake” news week, the President created a series of mini-crises. Among them: reneging on a promise to sign the rather benign declaration ending the G7 meeting; tweeting at Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for repeating a bunch of complaints about the President’s policies, and shunning Angela Merkel. Again. As a million tweets noted, “Who needs enemies when you’ve got friends like that?”
So, what else is new? Well, in my column of June 6 I got at least one prediction right (temporarily, anyway): Title I did not tank the internet … but it sure has caused some furrowed brows and court challenges. T-Mobile is now more concerned about its bid for Sprint being approved (papers filed on Monday) than a faster lane for Layer 3 TV (for now). Besides, Layer 3 TV has a clever work-around already.
CTHRA (the Cable TV Human Resource Association or something like that) did meet and embraced disruption.
I got another item mostly right as last week's most-anticipated television production started in Singapore promptly at 9:00 p.m. ET Monday (9:00 a.m. Singapore time on Tuesday the 12th). The respective heads of state (both the totally authoritarian and the wannabe authoritarian ones) shook hands, made kissy faces and sat down for a “bigly” bit before signing a rather bland promise to promise to denuclearize the peninsula. Rocket Man and the Great Orange Id were quite pleased. Ain’t it amazing what flattery can accomplish? Despite a lack of detail in the sort of treaty-ish paper, one reporter was criticized by the Secretary of State for simply inquiring about it. “Ludicrous to even ask,” he said.
Back in the U.S.A., PromaxBDA convened on the 12th at the New York Hilton. Across the Hudson in Jersey City at the Hyatt Regency, the Advertising Research Foundation’s Audience x Science retreat opened with a keynote on “The Future of Media: An Epic Battle.” It generated applause, if not any real answers.
In Manhattan, Tuesday afternoon featured U.S. District Judge Richard Leon's decision on AT&T's attempt to acquire Time Warner. Trump lost. The newly named Warner Media is a big, new part of AT&T (the ghost of Southwestern Bell) called Warner Media. Jeff Bewkes will consult for a while. Jeff Zucker got a nice extension.
Meanwhile, back in Singapore, South Korean President Moon Jae-in didn’t crash the meeting to announce that he and North Korean Dear Leader Kim Jang Un had declared an end to the Korean War. But President Trump did kind of nicely agree to drop the “provocative” (as the North calls them) war games with South Korea. Jaws dropped at both the Pentagon and in Seoul. The gesture was a complete surprise to everyone. Not my predicted withdrawal (yet).
Thursday was Flag Day as Axios’ Kim Hart interviewed Federal Confusion Commission Chairman Ajit Pai, who had ducked having a stated opinion on AT&T/TW and punted regulation of the internet to the Federal Trade Commission. Pai did agree that FAANG companies should be considered in any upcoming merger conversations. Meanwhile, the Attorney General quoted the New Testament’s Roman 13 to justify separating migrant kids from their parents. The President saluted a North Korean General and slapped tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods.
Friday sent former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to jail for attempting to suborn testimony. I drank some Montanya dark rum.
What week! And this one looks the same. Comcast bid for Fox in an all cash (can you say “taxes”?) deal and Fox will meet this week to discuss. I’ve got a suggestion, though; why doesn’t Comcast just bid for the international assets and let Disney overpay for the domestic stuff? The FIFA World Cup is underway, Apple signed Oprah (Discovery execs were gnashing teeth), Trump tweeted Merkel on immigration mistakes (hers, not his, of course), and I’m not sure I’m in America anymore.
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