Film Moguls Still Upbeat Despite Current Economy


Jeffrey Katzenberg, speaking at the Communacopia conference hosted by Goldman Sachs say that their product is, “at worse, recession-resistent and, more optimistically and historically, has actually been recession-proof.”

Katzenberg spoke those words Wednesday at an investor conference summing up the general response to the current financial crisis amongst media moguls.

Rupert Murdoch, claimed he is not planning further acquisitions of newspapers, not even, as has been speculated, the New York Times. “We’re not doing anything while the economic future is as murky as it is now.” Still, he said, “Hard times are good for big companies.”

Time Warner’s Jeffrey Bewkes told The Hollywood Reporter that “a weak economy and the current market turmoil could create buying opportunities.”  Bewkes noted that TW would look for acquisitions in core areas, such as film and TV production businesses, US and international TV networks and maybe magazine brands. He did not mention specific companies.

Leslie Moonves, according to Variety, noted that Bank of America has been a major advertiser for CBS. “Merrill Lynch was not” a big spender, Moonves added. Despite everything, “we still love the network TV business,” he said.

As for the movies, Murdoch acknowledged that Fox had, as expected, a rotten summer. He said the studio “will be OK” for the rest of this year but that most of its big upcoming releases won’t really show up in profits until 2010.