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Warner Bros Discovery And Paramount In Merger Talks

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According to several media sources, Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global are in early talks to unite.

The owner of HBO channels and CNN would collaborate on the arrangement with the company behind the Mission Impossible movie and CBS News.

The transaction would unite two of Hollywood’s “Big Five” companies, with Warner and Paramount having a combined market value of $38 billion (£30 billion).

The talks are in their early stages, and a deal may not be reached.

According to the news site Axios, Warner CEO David Zaslav and Paramount CEO Bob Bakish discussed a prospective merger during lunch this week in New York.

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Warner Bros Discovery And Paramount In Merger Talks

Streaming episodes and films has forced traditional media businesses to invest swiftly to compete with Netflix, Amazon Video, and Apple TV.

Warner and Paramount have had to commit to significant cost-cutting to reduce billions of dollars in losses from their video streaming businesses.
As a result, their stock prices remain significantly below their all-time highs in the early days of streaming.

According to Axios, the CEOs discussed how their respective companies’ primary streaming services, Paramount Plus and Max (previously HBO Max), could unite to better compete with Netflix and Disney Plus.

The company is under a lot of pressure to find a buyer or strategic partner because of the amount of debt accumulated in recent years while expanding its streaming service.

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Warner Bros Discovery And Paramount In Merger Talks

According to analysts, Warner Bros., the firm behind this year’s blockbuster Barbie, has a little better cash situation, partly thanks to some astute mergers.

Last year, AT&T’s WarnerMedia division and Discovery merged to form Warner Bros. Discovery, which comprised Discovery Channel, Warner Bros. Entertainment, CNN, HBO, Cartoon Network, and properties such as Batman and Harry Potter.

Paramount owns CBS, the BBC’s US partner.

According to media reports, additional industry consolidation is on the way.

Netflix’s and other large internet companies’ domination in the media arena is undeniable, not just in terms of financial performance but also in enormous portfolios of shows and subscriber numbers.

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Warner Bros Discovery And Paramount In Merger Talks

In recent months, Netflix’s crackdown on account-sharing resulted in the creation of new accounts, primarily in the United States, Canada, and Europe, increasing the company’s overall number of customers to 247.2 million worldwide.

As of November 2023, the overall number of subscribers to Paramount Plus is 63.4 million, and the total number of members to Warner Bros Discovery is 95 million.

Both Paramount and Warner Bros. refused to comment.

The studios, located in Hollywood, California, is one of the oldest and most renowned film studios in the world. Founded in 1912, it has been a major player in the entertainment industry, producing numerous iconic films and television shows.

Paramount has a long history of creating blockbuster movies and has been a significant contributor to the development of American cinema.

The studio continues to be a dominant force in the entertainment business, producing high-quality content that resonates with audiences worldwide.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024: Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

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Starbucks and the union representing its employees in the United States said Tuesday that they have agreed to begin negotiations to achieve a labour agreement.

The announcement was a watershed moment for the two parties, who had been at odds since Workers United initially organised baristas at a Starbucks location in Buffalo, New York, in late 2021.

“Starbucks and Workers United have a shared commitment to establishing a positive relationship in the interests of Starbucks partners,” the company stated. Workers United reiterated these remarks in a similar statement.

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

Workers in more than 370 company-owned Starbucks stores in the United States have voted to unionise but have yet to reach a labour agreement with Starbucks.

The process has been cruel. Federal courts have sometimes ordered Starbucks to restore employees fired after leading unionisation efforts at their locations. The National Labour Relations Board’s regional offices have also filed at least 120 complaints against Starbucks for unfair labour practices, including refusing to bargain and reserving wage hikes and other benefits for non-union employees.

Starbucks stated Tuesday that, as a gesture of goodwill, it will provide workers in unionised locations the benefits promised in May 2022, including the option for customers to tip their credit card purchases.

Starbucks was the first to say it desired a better relationship with the union. In December, the corporation stated it intended to reopen labour negotiations to ratify contract agreements by 2024. Before that, the two parties had not spoken in seven months.

During last week’s conversations, the two sides agreed there was “a constructive path forward on the broader issue of the future of organising and collective bargaining at Starbucks.”

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

On Tuesday, Starbucks and Workers United announced that they will also consider ending their case. Starbucks sued Workers United in October, alleging that a pro-Palestinian social media post from a union account early in the Israel-Hamas conflict enraged hundreds of customers and harmed the company’s brand.

The corporation insisted that the union not use its name or likeness. Workers United countersued, claiming Starbucks defamed the union and indicated it backed terrorism.

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Starbucks And Workers United, Long At Odds, Say They’ll Restart Labor Talks

“While there is plenty of work ahead, coming together to develop this framework is a significant step forward and a clear demonstration of a shared commitment to working collaboratively and with mutual respect,” the organisation said. Starbucks repeated the comments.

SOURCE – (AP)

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

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The Federal Aviation Administration imposed a 90-day deadline for Boeing to address quality and safety issues.

According to the agency, FAA Administrator Mike Whitaker and Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun met for a full day on Tuesday, during which Whitaker made the demand.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

That discussion occurred the day after a year-long FAA-commissioned investigation discovered a “disconnect” between Boeing executives and employees about safety, with employees fearing transfer or stopped career progression for reporting safety issues.

The discussion came ahead of the expected release of a six-week FAA investigation of Boeing’s production line, which was prompted by investigators discovering that key bolts were not put on a Boeing 737 Max 9 door plug that burst open during flight.

The FAA stated that the Boeing plan must address shortcomings in the company’s Safety Management System, or SMS, and integrate the SMS programme with another quality programme. SMS is a guidebook designed to guide staff through the procedures necessary to ensure the safety of flights.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

However, despite a comprehensive rewrite of the handbook in recent years, the panel discovered that “many Boeing employees did not demonstrate knowledge of Boeing’s SMS efforts, nor its purpose and procedures.”

The group that reported on Boeing’s safety inadequacies on Monday suggested that the firm resolve those flaws within six months; the FAA’s new directive sets a shorter deadline.

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FAA Gives Boeing 90 Days To Come Up With A Plan To Address Quality Issues

Boeing’s proposal must result in a “measurable, systemic shift in manufacturing quality control,” according to the FAA.

Boeing has a history of safety breaches. The January 5 blowout incident resulted in a 19-day emergency grounding of all Max 9s and renewed scrutiny of Boeing following the tragic Max 8 disasters in 2018 and 2019.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

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LONDON ROTHSCHILD — his family announced that Jacob Rothschild, 87, a financier and philanthropist from the legendary Rothschild banking line, died on Monday.

Jacob began his career in 1963 at the family bank, NM Rothschild & Sons, before branching out to develop enterprises and charity organisations. His family paid tribute to him in a statement.

“Our father Jacob was a towering presence in many people’s lives, a superbly accomplished financier, a champion of the arts and culture, a devoted public servant, a passionate supporter of charitable causes in Israel and Jewish culture, a keen environmentalist and much-loved friend, father and grandfather,” a statement from his family stated.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

“He will be buried in accordance with Jewish custom in a small family ceremony, and there will be a memorial at a later date to celebrate his life,” they continued, without revealing any other information.

According to last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, the Rothschild family is worth approximately 825 million pounds ($1 billion). It donates millions of pounds to Jewish interests, education, and art.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the political and cultural heavyweights who paid tribute to Rothschild. Blair lauded him as a “towering figure in Britain’s Jewish community” and praised his efforts to promote Middle East peace.

Jacob was born in Berkshire, west of London. He attended Eton College and studied history at Christ Church College, Oxford University.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

After leaving the Rothschild Bank, he took over Rothschild Investment Trust, now RIT Capital Partners. He served as chairman of the business, one of the largest investment trusts on the London Stock Exchange, until 2019.

He also co-founded the then-J Rothschild Assurance Group, now St James’s Place, with Mark Weinberg in 1980 and served as deputy chairman of what was then BSkyB Television, among other duties.

In the cultural sector, he served as chairman of the National Gallery of London’s board of trustees and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

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Jacob Rothschild, Financier From A Family Banking Dynasty, Dies At 87

The Rothschild Foundation, which manages the family’s former home, the country house Waddesdon Manor, announced that Jacob Rothschild’s daughter Hannah will follow him as chair.

Jacob was married to Serena for over 50 years until she died in 2019. They have four children (Hannah, Beth, Emily, and Nat) and several grandchildren.

SOURCE – (AP)

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