Axios Pro: Media Deals

September 27, 2023

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Good morning, Media Deals readers!

🗣️ Quote of the day: "While I did have a very outward facing or high-profile role in my last job, certainly the intensity is very different," X CEO Linda Yaccarino tells the FT in a new profile.

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1 big thing: The strike ends, deal vibes begin

Illustration of a wooden prop dollar bill surrounded by stage lighting

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Hollywood is partially open again, and that may renew dealmaking among production companies. Capital reserves can loosen up; projects can restart.

What they're saying: "Expect to hear more about that," Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph told Kerry last week when asked about future acquisitions.

  • Kevin Hart's media company Hartbeat raised $100 million from private equity firm Abry Partners last year. Randolph says the writers strike was one reason the firm kept "quiet over the summer" as it focused on supporting its scripted staff. She expects to make deals next year.

Details: In a letter to Writers Guild of America members sent yesterday, WGA leadership confirmed that its negotiating committee and the leadership bodies governing its east and west divisions had all voted unanimously to approve the agreement, Sara Fischer writes.

  • Production of most live talk shows, including late-night, should return in the coming days and weeks. Shows that require acting will likely remain on hold, given the ongoing actors strike that started in mid-July.
  • The three-year deal, published by the WGA, gives members most of what they had been fighting for, including wage increases, better residual payouts, staffing minimums and guidelines around the use of artificial intelligence.

Yes, but: The deal isn't sealed yet. Members of the WGA still need to vote to ratify the agreement. Votes will take place Oct. 2-9.

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