BRAD GREY — Hollywood woke up Monday to the news that Brad Grey, who ran Paramount Pictures for 12 years as chairman and CEO and before that was a partner in the powerhouse management/production company Brillstein-Grey Entertainment, had died of brain cancer at 59. Grey exited Paramount officially in February. Grey, who produced The Sopranos, as well as Garry Shandling’s The Larry Sanders Show was a true magnet for talent in Hollywood.
Here are some reactions to the death of the man who oversaw a number of Paramount franchises including Transformers, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Paranormal Activity and Jackass.He also worked on Real Time with Bill Maher and The Steve Harvey Show.
David Chase, The Sopranos creator:
“Brad was a grand partner and colleague. His taste was exquisite, he was so intelligent. When you went to pitch with Brad, it was actually fun. He had such confidence underneath a cool, amused exterior. The thing I will remember most about Brad is his generosity. He loved movies, he loved entertainment, he loved life. He loved his success and he made sure to share it with the people who surrounded him. I’m going to miss him terribly.”
Martin Scorsese, Oscar-winning filmmaker:
“Brad Grey was a true friend, and he genuinely loved movies. Our professional relationship started with The Departed, which he basically shepherded into existence —sadly, he is uncredited as a producer on that picture, but that’s the title he deserved. He and I worked together on every picture I made since, all the way through Silence, and he was always extremely protective of the creative process, very careful to keep it separate from all infighting and financial entanglements — in other words, the business. Like so many of Brad’s friends, I’m in a state of shock.”
Filmmaker Ava Duvernay:
Before Selma was released, he invited me to dinner. Fab stories. Good laughs. And shrewd advice that I still use. May his soul be at rest.
POPCORN MAN — The Post’s Page Six has exclusively learned that rocker Billy Joel has donated funds to rebuild the Hamptons’ beloved Sag Harbor Cinema after it was burned in a fire, and the popcorn stand will be named after him out of gratitude.
Meanwhile, we also hear that Harvey Weinstein and Martin Scorsese have also chipped in to help the Sag Harbor Partnership raise the $8 million it needs to complete the project.
Headed by artist April Gornik — wife of painter Eric Fischl — the partnership is buying the damaged theater from its owner of 38 years with the aim of raising funds privately from donors to launch a Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center with year-round “education, outreach and programming.”
Plans include the preservation of the large, historic “curved scope” screen, plus two others, and the addition of a “locally owned and sourced cafe.”
The group says it still needs to pull together $6 million in donations by July 1 to “protect current donations.”
A Big Tent Party is scheduled for July 16. It seems that the guest list, at least, will be starry.
MURDOCH’S CRY — Battered Rupert Murdoch will rally the Fox News troops on Wednesday, unveiling plans to renovate its second-floor newsroom in Manhattan. All Fox employees are invited to join the exec chairman in Studio F for a presentation to unveil plans for the first major Floor 2 overhaul in two decades, according to the invite. Staffers will get the pep talk in two shifts, to accommodate the crowd. The event is intended as a venue in which Murdoch will talk about moving the company forward, and its future.
After having been stung by a series of sexual harassment and racial discrimination lawsuits (to the tune of a reported $45 million so far) that have seen top executives pink-slipped and ratings magnet Bill O’Reilly put out to pasture, and with MSNBC ratings surging in the wake of Donald Trump White House internecine chaos, the Fox News crew could use the boost.
Fox News eked out a first-place total-viewer finish in primetime this past Monday, but only 2,ooo viewers ahead of MSNBC (2.53M vs. 2.528M). But, FNC finished third in primetime in the news demo, 25-54, with 499K viewers, well behind CNN’s 608K and MSNBC’s winning 662K viewers. Last week, FNC topped all of cable in primetime and total day in total viewers.
Needless to say, the broadcasting biz is in free fall. I like Rachel Maddow … although at times I feel like I’m being talked down to!
SHORT TAKES — PR-pasha David Salidor at Limani in Manhasset, Long Island; directly opposite from the Pulse magazine headquarters …”One Night In Bangkok” producer Joel Diamond and actress Rebecca Holden in NYC next week … Epic Record’s L.A. Reid sacked? Here’s some more intel via Billboard: “The harassment claim that preceded Antonio “L.A.” Reid’s exit last week from the top job at Sony’s Epic Records alleges that other Epic executives knew about Reid’s alleged conduct. On Sunday night, an attorney representing one of Mr. Reid’s female assistants sent a letter to Sony Music’s general counsel about alleged sexual harassment his client had endured on a daily basis over the course of a year, seeking a settlement and prompting a company investigation. Reid, his lawyer, the claimant and her lawyer all declined to comment, while a person in Reid’s camp said the letter contained inaccuracies. But the attorney’s letter points out that on multiple occasions, the assistant had complained to her immediate supervisor about Reid’s misconduct, but the supervisor offered no direction or solution for what had occurred, according to a source who has seen the letter. She also complained to another high-ranking Epic executive about the harassment, and in response, she was told: ‘Before you say anything more, think about what that means for you. Just think about what it means’.” With Reid gone, the fate of Epic — home to stars including Mariah Carey, Fifth Harmony and DJ Khaled — is unclear. Sony hasn’t yet indicated who might replace the 60-year-old Reid, who had run Epic since 2011, nor has it announced any other executive hirings or departures … Our friend Deb Caponetta, on the Left Coast, posited this for President Trump: They should offer Trump a deal, if he leaves and takes Pence and Ryan with him he can go, no investigation, no charges, no problem. Deal expires Thursday! … Robert Funaro (The Sopranos; Vinyl) heads to USA’s The Sinner with Jessica Biel and Bill Pullman. Congrats …Happy BDay to Wizard World’s Jerry Milani.
Till next time… Leave your comments below.