Morning Media Newsfeed: DWA, Hasbro Merger Talks End | The Onion Exploring Sale

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DreamWorks Animation, Hasbro End Merger Talks (THR)
Hasbro has called off merger negotiations with DreamWorks Animation, sources say. The deal chatter, which became public on Wednesday, appears to have been derailed in part by the performance of Hasbro’s stock and potentially the high price sought by DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. WSJ News last week that the toy maker was in early acquisition talks with the film studio drove the two companies’ stocks in opposite directions. Hasbro investors sent the toy company’s share price down more than 4 percent on Thursday and nearly 2 percent on Friday, when they settled at $54.02 on Nasdaq. Adweek DreamWorks reportedly wanted $30 per share, a relatively steep incline for stock trading at roughly $22. NYT / DealBook Also playing a role was a negative private reaction by the Walt Disney Company, which comprises roughly 30 percent of Hasbro’s business through licenses for Star Wars, Marvel characters, Frozen and the Disney Princesses toy line. Variety Neither side has officially commented on why the talks fell apart, nor the potential of a deal. Hasbro follows recent conversations DWA has had to sell the toon studio. In September, it discussed such a sale with Japanese tech giant SoftBank, that also ended just days later.

Satirist Onion Inc. Said to Hire Adviser for Sale (Bloomberg)
Onion Inc., owner of the satirical news site The Onion and the entertainment site the A.V. Club, has hired a financial adviser for a possible sale, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The company, which calls itself “America’s Finest News Source,” is working with the investment bank GCA Savvian, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Re/code In an email distributed Friday, Onion CEO Steve Hannah tells his employees he’s pursuing what bankers call a “dual track process” — they’re looking for an investor or a buyer. FishbowlNY The Onion has been making changes for the past few years. In 2012, it moved all editorial operations out of New York and consolidated them in its Chicago headquarters. Then just last year, The Onion ceased all print editions and went digital only. Fast Company In an effort to keep up with the Web’s metabolism, The Onion launched ClickHole this past June, a parody site that laces the Internet’s take- and listicle-driven economy with The Onion’s satirical venom. The Onion Inc. is owned by fund manager David Schafer, who bought the company in 2003.

Walmart’s Vudu Joins Disney Movies Anywhere (Variety)
Walmart’s Vudu streaming service has joined Apple’s iTunes and Google’s Play store to support Disney Movies Anywhere. The retailer will become available through Disney’s app on Nov. 18. GigaOM This means that Vudu users who have linked their account with Disney Movies Anywhere will be able to access Disney titles they have previously bought via iTunes or Google Play through Vudu apps, and vice versa. Interestingly, Vudu is also the first retailer that has partnered with both Disney’s cloud locker and the UltraViolet locker run by most other major studios. Deadline Hollywood At Disney’s mobile showcase Friday morning outlining initiatives from its brands, stand-alone video apps for its biggest YouTube stars such as PewDiePie, a revamped ESPN.com online presence, and ImagiCademy, a new hybrid service providing learning and entertainment for children, were also announced. Variety Disney is giving “SportsCenter” the boot as it looks to put a greater emphasis on ESPN’s network of channels on mobile devices. ESPN will relaunch a new online presence in April, which will have the sports cabler’s website and apps operate under one name — that of the cabler itself — in the U.S. and the U.K.