ViacomCBS is changing its name to Paramount, but investors don’t seem too bullish on the company’s performance. Shares of the company slid more than 20 percent in early trading on Feb. 16, following the unveiling of the new moniker on Feb. 15. Paramount’s streaming services, Paramount+ and Showtime, currently have 56 million subscribers combined—putting them far behind Netflix (222 million), Disney+ (130 million) and HBO Max (74 million). However, the company is looking to up that number to 100 million by 2024, a big increase over its earlier projection of 65 million to 75 million. As part of that drive, it is bulking up its streaming content with the addition of such titles as “South Park” and a new “Star Trek” movie. In addition, starting in 2024, all Paramount films will be exclusively streamed on Paramount+ in the US after their theatrical runs.

PJ O'Rourke
P.J. O'Rourke

P.J. O’Rourke, who went from editing the National Lampoon to manning the foreign affairs desk at Rolling Stone and writing for such publications as the Atlantic and Weekly Standard, died of lung cancer on Feb. 15. A sort of walking definition of “political incorrectness,” O’Rourke started out as a liberal, but later landed on the Republican side of the fence, where he stayed until the emergence of Donald Trump turned him into a Hillary Clinton supporter in the 2016 presidential election. Author of such books as “Parliament of Whores” and “Republican Party Reptile,” O’Rourke treated figures on both sides of the political divide with humor and an appropriate lack of respect. His varied career also included a longtime stint on NPR’s “Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!” podcast, where he made his debut shortly after 9/11.One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on,” he wrote in Rolling Stone in 1989. “And when you do find somebody, it's remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver's license.”


Lee Enterprises, publisher of newspapers including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tulsa World and Richmond Times-Dispatch, won a victory in its effort to defuse a hostile takeover from hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which took over the Tribune Publishing newspaper chain last year. A Delaware court ruled in favor of Lee's move to reject Alden’s nominees to the company’s board on procedural grounds. Alden attempted to nominate the new members last year as it was trying to get the board to accept its offer to buy the company at $24 per share. After Lee rejected both ideas, Alden sued, alleging its board nominees were illegally ignored. Lee, which says that Alden “grossly undervalues” its papers, said Feb. 15 that the judge supported its decision to reject Alden's nominees because the hedge fund didn't meet Lee's technical requirements to nominate board members. Alden said it will now urge shareholders to vote against Lee chairman Mary Junck and one other longstanding board member at the company's March 10 annual meeting.