SHAKEUP SEES NBC NEWS CHIEF OUSTED
NEW YORK (AP) – There’s a major shakeup at NBC News. And it sees the man who ran that division twice now – out of a job. Andy Lack has been ousted as part of a corporate restructuring at NBCUniversal. The new head of the news division is Telemundo executive Cesar Conde, who takes charge of NBC News, MSNBC – and CNBC. Lack had two runs as head of NBC News; the first was from 1993 to 2001 and he returned in 2015. During his last tenure, there were missteps. Hiring former Fox talking head Megyn Kelly was widely considered a failure. And Ronan Farrow says he took his reporting on Harvey Weinstein to New Yorker magazine because NBC wasn’t interested. Yesterday’s announcement to ditch Lack came the same day Farrow won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on the Weinstein scandal.
N.Z. FILMMAKER TABBED FOR “STAR WARS” FRANCHISE
NEW YORK (AP) – What does a famous director get as a present for the unofficial “Star Wars” holiday, “May the Fourth?” In the case of Taika Waititi, it was confirmation that he’d direct a new “Star Wars” film. Disney waited until yesterday’s Star Wars “holiday” to tab the New Zealand filmmaker for a new film in the franchise. It’s no surprise; it had been expected for months that Waititi would be asked to take control of the Star Wars galaxy. He had already helmed the season finale of the “Star Wars” streaming spinoff, “The Mandalorian.”
TOM HANKS SPEAKS AT OHIO UNIVERSITY – REMOTELY
DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – Tom Hanks says for those graduating college this year, the term B.C. means “before coronavirus.” The Oscar-winning actor made a surprise appearance at a virtual graduation for students at Wright State University’s Department of Theater, Dance and Motion Pictures over the weekend. Hanks says students graduating now are “the chosen ones” because they started in “the olden times,” before life was complicated by COVID-19. Hanks was among the first major Hollywood figures to announce he’d been sickened by the disease caused by the new coronavirus. He has since recovered.
NICOLAS CAGE TO DO “TIGER KING” SERIES
LOS ANGELES (AP) – There seems to be no stopping the Joe Exotic saga. And it has pulled movie actor Nicolas Cage into the mix. Cage will be doing his first TV series, starring in a miniseries about the colorful wild animal owner featured in the Netflix “Tiger King” series. The eight-part series will be done by Imagine Televisions Studios and CBS Television Studios. No word on who will end up airing the project.
MICHELLE OBAMA DOCUMENTARY POISED TO AIR
NEW YORK (AP) – People have seen her as first lady, a mother, an author and the host of a successful book tour. And tomorrow night, you can get an inside look at Michelle Obama during her successful, rock star-like tour. The documentary, like the book, is titled “Becoming” – and will air on Netflix. The behind-the-scenes treatment of the book tour was produced by Higher Ground Productions, a film company founded by the Obamas.
PRINCE HARRY, MEGHAN TO WRITE A BOOK
LONDON (AP) – Since they announced themselves as a couple, we’ve only heard about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle through the London tabloids, news reports and the occasional interview. Now they are planning to tell their own story. Harper Collins say the couple is doing a book titled “Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family.” It’s due out Aug. 11 in both the U.S. and the U.K.
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2