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Maria Contreras-Sweet Bid Leads Weinstein Co Auction; Staff Would Stay, Bob Weinstein Exit, Women Lead Board

EXCLUSIVE: After a protracted bidding process, the sale of the scandal-scarred The Weinstein Company..

EXCLUSIVE: After a protracted bidding process, the sale of the scandal-scarred The Weinstein Company is close at hand, and the company will rise from the ashes with a future that will be forged by women, timely on a day when the Golden Globes is expected to be dominated by the #metoo theme, which was borne out of allegations of sexual assault and harassment by co-founder Harvey Weinstein. Maria Contreras-Sweet, former head of the U.S. Small Business Administration for the Barack Obama administration, has emerged as the frontrunner to soon complete a deal to buy the pieces and resurrect a company that will be renamed, and majority controlled by women, sources said. Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Enterprises and Lantern Capital are minority partners in the bid, sources said. The derby isn’t quite done yet and Lionsgate is also squarely in the mix.

Bob Weinstein, who founded TWC with brother Harvey Weinstein, is expected to exit and set up his own company and take the Dimension Films name along with properties that include The Six Million Dollar Man, which has interest from both Warner Bros, and potential star Mark Wahlberg.

As Deadline reported last December, the board pored over bids –more than 20 came in, including bids for just the TV component, or the library — and the ones in the final round include Lionsgate, a Killer Content bid backed by Abigail Disney (daughter of Roy Disney), Shamrock Capital, Vine Investments, Sony (for the television business), MSD Partners, Critical Content, Versa, and Qatar-based beIN, which owns Miramax. The finalists are Contreras-Sweet, Lionsgate and Killer Content, which would for sure put women at the helm, as well as Sony, Shamrock and Vine, the latter two for the library.

Wall Street Journal reported last week that the company will sell for around $500 million, a figure I’ve also heard. That number includes a purchase around $275 million, an infusion of fresh capital, plus the assumption of liabilities and operating costs that includes keeping employed the long suffering 157 or so staffers and managers whose lives turned upside down the moment that The New York Times and The New Yorker detailed shocking first person accounts of sexual assault and harassment allegedly perpetrated by Harvey Weinstein, who was summarily fired by the board of directors.

TWC will quickly be renamed and it is all moving quickly as the intent is to complete the deal before the money runs out in February, when it would need bankruptcy protection. Phoenix might be an appropriate name given the potential turnaround here, but that is taken by Mike Medavoy’s company. There is the possibility this new company could be in motion for Sundance, where Weinstein was once the biggest buyer of prestige films, going all the way back to Steven Soderbergh’s sex lies & videotape.

If it is Contreras-Sweet who emerges victorious, she certainly puts a positive face on a company that badly needs one. Her bid has no contingencies, and solid backing. She is an immigrant from Guadalajara, Mexico and was executive chairwoman and founder of ProAmerica Band, a commercial lender to small to mid-sized business with a specialty in the Latino community. She became California’s cabinet secretary overseeing the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency before spending three years as a member of President Obama’s cabinet.

Contreras-Sweet has followed through on her pitch letter to the board of directors in late November, where she promised to not only assume liabilities but also infuse new capital to retain staff and pay suppliers. While the shock of the Weinstein scandal left those with TV or movie projects wanting to get far away with series and films that have been stalled, that stigma might be removed if this deal makes. Her bid was blessed by Gloria Allred, who will rep numerous women who file civil lawsuits against Weinstein. Included is contingency funding that will be paired with insurance policies to cover liabilities related to claims against Weinstein.

The bidder inherits a strong lineup of library titles and output deals with the likes of Netflix. Projects include the Kevin Costner-Taylor Sheridan series Yellowstone, movies like the recut Benedict Cumberbatch-Michael Shannon-starrer The Current War and the Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes musical In The Heights, Hotel Mumbai, the Armie Hammer-Dev Patel starrer Hotel Mumbai, as well as numerous other series and films. It might make possible the David O Russell-directed series with Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore, which was scrapped at Amazon even though it had a two-season commitment.

Investment banker Lloyd Greif said word has circled that it came down to Contreras-Sweet and Lionsgate, with motivations that couldn’t be more different: Lionsgate is looking to bulk up its portfolio at a time when companies are looking to grow larger in the wake of the Disney acquisition of Fox and the pending merger of AT&T and Time Warner.

“You’re either prey or predator,” Greif said. “This is an opportunity to buy on the cheap.”

In this scenario, Lionsgate would look to acquire content, but it doesn’t need or want the The Weinstein Co.’s organization. Even the tainted Weinstein brand might disappear, Greif said.

Contreras-Sweet presents a phoenix-rising-from-the ashes opportunity, in which, “The phoenix is wearing a dress,” Greif said. The ne company, he said, “will be accepted by the entertainment community at large — writers, actors and directors.”

Contreras-Sweet is the only potential acquirer who would keep the studio intact — making her the likely preferred buyer, assuming all offers are roughly equal. This option also gives The Weinstein Co.’s board to claim a modest victory at a moment of defeat. After all, the investors who were close to a megadeal with ITV that imploded when Weinstein was investigated for groping an actress/model in New York. are essentially walking away losing their investment. The board is expected to be gone in the new configuration.

“The board could say, ‘We saved all these people’s jobs!'” Greif said.

No comment from TWC.

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Writer Rips Ex-Gersh Agents After Network Meeting Canceled

UPDATED: Writer-producer Jorge Reyes had some harsh words for his former Gersh agents, claiming they..

UPDATED: Writer-producer Jorge Reyes had some harsh words for his former Gersh agents, claiming they canceled a meeting they’d scheduled for him with a Fox executive before he fired them and moved to the Verve agency last week.

“So Gersh found out I was going over to Verve &asked my mgr about it this morning,” he wrote on his Twitter feed Monday. “I had a meeting at Fox this afternoon. I get there, they told me the meeting was ‘cancelled by my mgmt company.’ When I checked, I found out it was Gersh calling to cancel my meeting.”

“The agents names at Gersh are Roy Ashton, David Rubin, & Shan Roy,” he continued. “I don’t know which one of those small motherfuckers did that, so they can all share the blame. If they did that, who’s to say they wouldn’t badmouth/talk shit to the execs I’ve already met?”

“I’ve alerted my management company & Verve. We also let the exec at Fox know what happened, who apologized to me & was shocked that Gersh did that.”

Reyes, a writer-producer on USA Network’s Queen of the South and creator of the Kevin Hill TV series that ran on UPN in the early 2000s, signed with Verve shortly after the agency signed the WGA’s new Code of Conduct.

In a statement Tuesday, Gersh said that it had “set these meetings several months ago before the strike when Mr. Reyes was a Gersh client. When the client signed with another agency, the meetings were removed from the books as is normal protocol. We wish Mr. Reyes the best.”

“I actually liked these guys before this,” Reyes tweeted of his former Gersh agents. “They dropped the ball on a couple of things pre ATA conflict. Verve was originally in the running when I signed with Gersh. When they signed the COC (Code of Conduct), I thought this was a good time to move, given my other concerns.”

“They don’t have to like that I moved,” he added. “But they were ALREADY fired, and in no position to cancel a meeting with an exec that wanted to meet me because of my writing. Now I’ll be fine. But this is vindictive, fucked up, & I wouldn’t put it past them to try & sabotage me.”

Added Reyes in his series of tweets: “BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKERS. I plan to email every exec I met and tell them this. Roy Ashton, David Rubin, Shan Roy. Remember the names. You come for me, you better not fucking miss.”

On Friday, Reyes tweeted that “I am now a Verve client. There had been discussions way previous to the WGA/ATA conflict, but now seemed as good a time as any for me. Looking forward to the other mid-level agencies coming to their senses for all of us soon. #WGASolidarity”

Here are his tweets:

So Gersh found out I was going over to verve &asked my mgr about it this morning. I had a meeting at Fox this afternoon. I get there, they told me the meeting was “cancelled by my mgmt company.” When I checked, I found out It was Gersh calling to cancel my meeting. 1)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) May 20, 2019

The agents names at Gersh are Roy Ashton, David Rubin, & Shan Roy. I don’t know which one of those small motherfuckers did that, so they can all share the blame. If they did that, who’s to say they wouldn’t badmouth/talk shit to the execs I’ve already met? 2)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) May 20, 2019

I’ve alerted my management company & verve. We also let the exec at Fox know what happened, who apologized to me & was shocked that Gersh did that. 3)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) Read More – Source

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Writer Rips Ex-Gersh Agents After Network Meeting Canceled

UPDATED: Writer-producer Jorge Reyes had some harsh words for his former Gersh agents, claiming they..

UPDATED: Writer-producer Jorge Reyes had some harsh words for his former Gersh agents, claiming they canceled a meeting they’d scheduled for him with a Fox executive before he fired them and moved to the Verve agency last week.

“So Gersh found out I was going over to Verve &asked my mgr about it this morning,” he wrote on his Twitter feed Monday. “I had a meeting at Fox this afternoon. I get there, they told me the meeting was ‘cancelled by my mgmt company.’ When I checked, I found out it was Gersh calling to cancel my meeting.”

“The agents names at Gersh are Roy Ashton, David Rubin, & Shan Roy,” he continued. “I don’t know which one of those small motherfuckers did that, so they can all share the blame. If they did that, who’s to say they wouldn’t badmouth/talk shit to the execs I’ve already met?”

“I’ve alerted my management company & Verve. We also let the exec at Fox know what happened, who apologized to me & was shocked that Gersh did that.”

Reyes, a writer-producer on USA Network’s Queen of the South and creator of the Kevin Hill TV series that ran on UPN in the early 2000s, signed with Verve shortly after the agency signed the WGA’s new Code of Conduct.

In a statement Tuesday, Gersh said that it had “set these meetings several months ago before the strike when Mr. Reyes was a Gersh client. When the client signed with another agency, the meetings were removed from the books as is normal protocol. We wish Mr. Reyes the best.”

“I actually liked these guys before this,” Reyes tweeted of his former Gersh agents. “They dropped the ball on a couple of things pre ATA conflict. Verve was originally in the running when I signed with Gersh. When they signed the COC (Code of Conduct), I thought this was a good time to move, given my other concerns.”

“They don’t have to like that I moved,” he added. “But they were ALREADY fired, and in no position to cancel a meeting with an exec that wanted to meet me because of my writing. Now I’ll be fine. But this is vindictive, fucked up, & I wouldn’t put it past them to try & sabotage me.”

Added Reyes in his series of tweets: “BRING IT, MOTHERFUCKERS. I plan to email every exec I met and tell them this. Roy Ashton, David Rubin, Shan Roy. Remember the names. You come for me, you better not fucking miss.”

On Friday, Reyes tweeted that “I am now a Verve client. There had been discussions way previous to the WGA/ATA conflict, but now seemed as good a time as any for me. Looking forward to the other mid-level agencies coming to their senses for all of us soon. #WGASolidarity”

Here are his tweets:

So Gersh found out I was going over to verve &asked my mgr about it this morning. I had a meeting at Fox this afternoon. I get there, they told me the meeting was “cancelled by my mgmt company.” When I checked, I found out It was Gersh calling to cancel my meeting. 1)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) May 20, 2019

The agents names at Gersh are Roy Ashton, David Rubin, & Shan Roy. I don’t know which one of those small motherfuckers did that, so they can all share the blame. If they did that, who’s to say they wouldn’t badmouth/talk shit to the execs I’ve already met? 2)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) May 20, 2019

I’ve alerted my management company & verve. We also let the exec at Fox know what happened, who apologized to me & was shocked that Gersh did that. 3)

— The Coolest (@jorgereyes) Read More – Source

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10 Coronation Street spoilers: Rana’s killer revealed and a special episode about Carla’s mental health

(Picture: ITV)
It’s a special week of Coronation Street as there will be episodes each day culminati..

(Picture: ITV)

It’s a special week of Coronation Street as there will be episodes each day culminating in a very special mental health episode on Friday centring around Carla Connor (Alison King).

As Carla’s condition worsens, Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) is at a loss believing her to be taking her medication when really she’s throwing it away. The episode will follow her as she suffers a psychotic episode – can Peter save her?

Elsewhere, Nick Tilsley (Ben Price) and David Platt’s (Jack P Shepherd) secret is finally out – Audrey (Sue Nicholls) discovers they stole her money! What will happen next? Nick will be out to save his own skin, that’s for sure.

And the biggest news to date – Rana Habeeb’s killer is finally revealed.

10 Coronation Street spoilers

  • Gail realises that Natalie is the woman who stole Audrey’s money.
  • Gary discovers what Sarah has done but the next thing he knows he’s tied to a radiator in Rick’s office and the loan shark is about to kill him.
  • Lorraine Kelly pops up on the Platts’ holiday.
  • Shona ends her engagement to David in a fit of jealousy over Natalie.
  • David comes clean to Audrey about the stolen money.
  • Carla secretly flushes away her anti-psychotic medication.
  • The identity of the roof saboteur is revealed!
  • Sally is given a nasty shock when she finally takes delivery of her horse.
  • Nick asks David to take the rap for stealing the £80k. Will he do it?
  • A special episode follows Carla as she experiences a psychotic episode.

Monday 27th May – at 9pm

Gail chases Lorraine Kelly in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

The Platts all set off on holiday and Gail becomes convinced she’s spotted Lorraine Kelly, so she chases her down on a pedalo.

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Natalie shows up with news for David and Nick. Shona is horrified to see David in a close conversation and sees red, calling off the engagement.

Gary finds his passport in an envelope and Leanne reveals how they got it back.

Carla’s mental health practitioner worries as he finds her suffering paranoia, and Sally, Jenny, Sinead and Yasmeen get excited about their new horse.

Tuesday 28th May – at 9pm

Rick is going to kill Gary in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

Gail googles Natalie and comes up with an image that shocks her – she recognises Natalie’s tattoo as the one on the girl who stole Audrey’s money!

David decides to tell Audrey the whole truth – how will she react?

Gary wakes up in Rick’s office, accused of stealing back the passports, and things are looking very dire indeed.

Sally gets a call saying she needs to collect her horse from the stables as the previous owners haven’t paid, but she’s frazzled as she prepares for a dinner party. Tim tells her to focus on the party while he goes and sorts out the horse.

Wednesday 29th May – at 9pm

David tells Audrey the truth in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

Audrey is stunned as David and Nick try to explain – but can they get her to forgive?

Carla is questioned by the police about the factory roof, and she becomes confused and upset, believing Rana is still alive. Peter gives her the medication she needs, but she secretly flushes it away.

Rick tells Gary he’s going to kill him for his betrayal. When Rick’s briefly distracted, Gary manages to get a message to Sarah. Will she see it in time?

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The identity of the person behind the roof collapse is revealed.

Sally and her guests sit down to their meal but they’re shocked to discover a horse in the bag garden – but not just any horse – an old nag.

Thursday 30th May

David and Nick fight in Coronation Street
(Picture: ITV)

The Platts return to Weatherfield and Nick tells Leanne David forced him to Read More – Source

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