Geffen Looking to Purchase NY Times: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer May 18, 2009

Media mogul David Geffen is seriously interested in purchasing a large stake in The New York Times Company. Rumors of Geffen's interest have increased in the past few weeks, especially after Google said they were not interested in the publishing company. Geffen has yet to make an offer, with reports noting that he wants to wait until the company is desperately looking for a buyer, something that CEO Arthur Sulzberger has said the family is not interested in doing.

Facebook is in the final stages of financing $150 million to repurchase stock from employees. The buy back of stock estimates that each of the 15 million shares are worth $10 each. The sale of stock is part of a program that allows Facebook employees the opportunity to sell up to 20% of their common shares.

Sony's Angels & Demons took in $48 million domestically to edge out Star Trek at the box office. While the sequel to The Da Vinci Code did well at home, it did even better internationally, grossing over $104.3 worldwide. Together the two films show a strong start for summer blockbusters, earning over $300 million together so far.

After one full season as the top programming chief at NBC, Ben Silverman is getting slack for having yet to produce a true breakout. Silver, who has been a high ranking exec at NBC for two years, has also had a hard time increasing ratings for the Peacock, which continues to fall behind networks like Fox and CBS in the ratings, who have bonafide hits in the CSI series and American Idol.

Microsoft will take a stance on software piracy through investments in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. The goal is to crack down on illegitimate software by establishing intellectual-property rights in China, where copyright law is lax. Microsoft has traditionally replaced intellectual-property concerns on the Chinese government, but will now take matters into its own hands, with similar initiatives in Chongqing.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press) and the upcoming, Get Digital: Reinventing Yourself and Your Career for the 21st Century Economy (2009, Lake House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at For information about Get Digital Classes, visit