Kevin Spacey was one of the few low points for Netflix in its generally upbeat fourth-quarter earnings presentation. Deadline Hollywood reports that the $39 million write-down included in that presentation was at least partly related to two projects that involved Spacey—the final season of the streamer’s hit series House of Cards and the feature Gore, which he starred in as Gore Vidal. The House of Cards set was shut down following the charges made against Spacey in October and the already-completed Gore was shelved. While Netflix CFO David Wells noted that write-downs are not that unusual for the company, “we just hadn’t had one of this magnitude.” Despite that setback, there was much for Netflix to be happy about—including 8.3 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter despite a price hike, and profits of $186 million. That performance brought the company’s shares up 8 percent, to a record price of $246.
Digital media company Funny or Die is letting go of its entire editorial staff, according to a report on Paste. Founded by Creative Artists Agency and Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Chris Henchy, with Judd Apatow a principal partner, the company previously laid off about 30% of its staff during a restructuring in the summer of 2016. “Like a lot of other digital media companies, we’re facing tough challenges that we can no longer ignore, and so we must adapt,” Funny or Die CEO Mike Farah wrote in a memo to employees. The cuts are said to be part of a strategy by the company to move away from online content and toward producing shows for television.
Comcast’s fourth-quarter financials, reported yesterday, show that streaming services aren’t the only companies benefiting in the current media environment. While Comcast saw more than 33,000 video customers head for the exits in the fourth quarter, the blow was softened by the addition of 350,000 high-speed internet customers. The company now boasts more than 29.3 million subscribers overall. In addition, Comcast’s NBCUniversal unit showed record profits for 2017. Universal Pictures brought in $5 billion in revenue for the year, while theme parks, broadcast and cable networks also saw increases. The cable networks segment boosted its revenue by 7.5 percent, and content licensing and other revenue were up 34.5 percent.