Discovery Gets Government OK to Buy Scripps; TLC and ID Lead Parent to Q4 Earnings Win

Discovery Communications revealed its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 financial results on Tuesday morning — and also, a nice surprise: The U.S. Department of Justice has given Discovery the go-ahead on its nearly $15 billion purchase of Scripps Networks Interactive.

“We are pleased to have passed this significant regulatory milestone on our path to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery. “The conclusion of the Department of Justice’s investigation is an integral step toward closing our transaction. We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world.”

Zaslav & Co. expect the deal will close by the end of next month. Final approval is now in Ireland’s hands.

Also Read: ‘Property Brothers’ Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott Ink New Multiyear Deal With HGTV

Wall Street had forecast Discovery Q4 earnings of 41 cents per share on $1.79 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. The company actually reported 47 cents of adjusted earnings per share (EPS) on $1.864 billion in revenue.

Though earnings declined year over year, cable channels TLC and ID were integral in beating media analysts’ expectations at the top and bottom lines for the recently close 90-day period. Overall, Discovery revenues rose 11 percent across the quarter — both domestic and international sales increased double digits for the company.

For the full year, revenues rose 6 percent overall and adjusted EPS actually increased 11 cents.

“2017 was an historic year for Discovery. We took significant steps to position ourselves for success in a changing industry, while driving growth from our traditional linear business and accelerating our investments in new growth areas like digital and mobile in an effort to reach superfans on every screen,” Zaslav said of his financials. “Solid global advertising and distribution revenue growth helped us achieve our 2017 strategic and financial objectives. Additionally, we remain excited by the prospects for a combined Discovery and Scripps Networks.”

Also Read: New ‘Fast N’ Loud’ Season to Premiere Next Month on Discovery (Exclusive)

DISCA stock closed at $25.17 on Monday, up almost 5 percent per share. The regular U.S. trading day begins again at 9:30 a.m. ET this morning.

Discovery executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarterly and annual results in greater detail.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Flu Season So Bad Discovery Just Ordered New ‘Influenza’ Documentary (Exclusive)

Unabomber Didn’t Watch Discovery’s ‘Manhunt: Unabomber’ But Still Thinks It’s ‘Mostly Fiction’

Oprah Boosts Discovery Stock 7 Percent on OWN Takeover News

Discovery Communications revealed its fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 financial results on Tuesday morning — and also, a nice surprise: The U.S. Department of Justice has given Discovery the go-ahead on its nearly $15 billion purchase of Scripps Networks Interactive.

“We are pleased to have passed this significant regulatory milestone on our path to acquire Scripps Networks Interactive,” said David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery. “The conclusion of the Department of Justice’s investigation is an integral step toward closing our transaction. We look forward to combining these two great companies to the benefit of our enthusiast audiences around the world.”

Zaslav & Co. expect the deal will close by the end of next month. Final approval is now in Ireland’s hands.

Wall Street had forecast Discovery Q4 earnings of 41 cents per share on $1.79 billion in revenue, according to a consensus compiled by Yahoo Finance. The company actually reported 47 cents of adjusted earnings per share (EPS) on $1.864 billion in revenue.

Though earnings declined year over year, cable channels TLC and ID were integral in beating media analysts’ expectations at the top and bottom lines for the recently close 90-day period. Overall, Discovery revenues rose 11 percent across the quarter — both domestic and international sales increased double digits for the company.

For the full year, revenues rose 6 percent overall and adjusted EPS actually increased 11 cents.

“2017 was an historic year for Discovery. We took significant steps to position ourselves for success in a changing industry, while driving growth from our traditional linear business and accelerating our investments in new growth areas like digital and mobile in an effort to reach superfans on every screen,” Zaslav said of his financials. “Solid global advertising and distribution revenue growth helped us achieve our 2017 strategic and financial objectives. Additionally, we remain excited by the prospects for a combined Discovery and Scripps Networks.”

DISCA stock closed at $25.17 on Monday, up almost 5 percent per share. The regular U.S. trading day begins again at 9:30 a.m. ET this morning.

Discovery executives will host a conference call at 8:30 a.m. ET to discuss the quarterly and annual results in greater detail.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Flu Season So Bad Discovery Just Ordered New 'Influenza' Documentary (Exclusive)

Unabomber Didn't Watch Discovery's 'Manhunt: Unabomber' But Still Thinks It's 'Mostly Fiction'

Oprah Boosts Discovery Stock 7 Percent on OWN Takeover News

Miles Teller on That Esquire Interview: ‘I’d Think I Was the Biggest Douchebag Too’

“Thank You for Your Service” star Miles Teller was shaken by that Esquire article that labeled him as “kind of a d-ck,” because contrary to what the article said, he does care what people think about him.

“If how that story made me look was how I really was, I’d think I was the biggest douchebag too,” the actor said in a new interview with Vulture. “The main idea in that story was that Miles Teller doesn’t give a rat’s a– what you think of him. That’s really not true. I absolutely do care what people think about me.”

That said, the actor added, “I can’t put much weight into whether the public likes me because the more important thing is that, as an actor, I can truly say that there’s not a single director or actor who I’ve worked with who’d have a bad thing to say about me. I’ve never missed a day of work. I’ve never not known a line. So I feel good about where I am.”

Also Read: How ‘Only the Brave’ Went From Magazine Pages to the Multiplex

The actor said the profile did prompt some soul-searching — just a little anyway. “If you really let that kind of thing get to you, man, it’ll get stuck in your head,” he said. “And when I put my head to my pillow at night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I honestly felt like I was behaving like an a–hole to people…. I know who I am, and it’s not who I was in that story.”

The 2015 Esquire article started with the sentence, “You’re sitting across from Miles Teller at the Luminary restaurant in Atlanta and trying to figure out if he’s a d-ck.” Later, the author bluntly wrote, “so yeah, he is kind of a d-ck.”

In the Vulture piece, the actor also spoke about playing parts in big-budget films versus independent movies.

“It’s never, never, never just for money, but it is okay to do something bigger budget that then lets you pay off student loans or pay off your parent’s mortgage,” he added. “There’s a human side to show business that people at home don’t think about. If I did a role that — my uncle’s quadriplegic — and if I did a role that meant I could buy him a handicap van, or I could take my grandparents to Ireland … I can go to bed at night just fine.”

Also Read: Miles Teller Blames Club After Public Drunkenness Arrest That He Claims Didn’t Happen

Of course, “Fantastic Four” and the “Divergent” series come to mind. Of the former, which was a big-budget bomb widely panned, Teller said he “didn’t know it would turn out how it did” and that he didn’t have a lot of control over where the movie was going, which is why he believes many actors go into producing: “It’s frustrating to be such a collaborator on the set but then nobody asks you s— about the film once you’re not on set anymore.”

Teller also added that a statement he made about “Divergent” was another “thing that got taken out of context.” Teller told W Magazine in 2014 that “Divergent” had made him feel “dead inside” and that he had taken the film for “business reasons.”

“I was talking about doing five movies in 15 months or something,” he explained. “I was saying I was burnt out from all the work, not because of anything about ‘Divergent.’ … Why would I ever sign onto something and then badmouth it? It doesn’t make any sense.”

But what is one role he wants for himself?

“I want to do, like, a ‘Tootsie,’” the actor said, referring to Sydney Pollack’s 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who poses as a woman.

Read the full interview here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Miles Teller Shows the Scars of War in ‘Thank You For Your Service’ Trailer (Video)

Miles Teller Arrested on Public Drunkenness Charge

Miles Teller to Star in Nicolas Winding Refn Amazon Series ‘Too Old to Die Young’

“Thank You for Your Service” star Miles Teller was shaken by that Esquire article that labeled him as “kind of a d-ck,” because contrary to what the article said, he does care what people think about him.

“If how that story made me look was how I really was, I’d think I was the biggest douchebag too,” the actor said in a new interview with Vulture. “The main idea in that story was that Miles Teller doesn’t give a rat’s a– what you think of him. That’s really not true. I absolutely do care what people think about me.”

That said, the actor added, “I can’t put much weight into whether the public likes me because the more important thing is that, as an actor, I can truly say that there’s not a single director or actor who I’ve worked with who’d have a bad thing to say about me. I’ve never missed a day of work. I’ve never not known a line. So I feel good about where I am.”

The actor said the profile did prompt some soul-searching — just a little anyway. “If you really let that kind of thing get to you, man, it’ll get stuck in your head,” he said. “And when I put my head to my pillow at night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I honestly felt like I was behaving like an a–hole to people…. I know who I am, and it’s not who I was in that story.”

The 2015 Esquire article started with the sentence, “You’re sitting across from Miles Teller at the Luminary restaurant in Atlanta and trying to figure out if he’s a d-ck.” Later, the author bluntly wrote, “so yeah, he is kind of a d-ck.”

In the Vulture piece, the actor also spoke about playing parts in big-budget films versus independent movies.

“It’s never, never, never just for money, but it is okay to do something bigger budget that then lets you pay off student loans or pay off your parent’s mortgage,” he added. “There’s a human side to show business that people at home don’t think about. If I did a role that — my uncle’s quadriplegic — and if I did a role that meant I could buy him a handicap van, or I could take my grandparents to Ireland … I can go to bed at night just fine.”

Of course, “Fantastic Four” and the “Divergent” series come to mind. Of the former, which was a big-budget bomb widely panned, Teller said he “didn’t know it would turn out how it did” and that he didn’t have a lot of control over where the movie was going, which is why he believes many actors go into producing: “It’s frustrating to be such a collaborator on the set but then nobody asks you s— about the film once you’re not on set anymore.”

Teller also added that a statement he made about “Divergent” was another “thing that got taken out of context.” Teller told W Magazine in 2014 that “Divergent” had made him feel “dead inside” and that he had taken the film for “business reasons.”

“I was talking about doing five movies in 15 months or something,” he explained. “I was saying I was burnt out from all the work, not because of anything about ‘Divergent.’ … Why would I ever sign onto something and then badmouth it? It doesn’t make any sense.”

But what is one role he wants for himself?

“I want to do, like, a ‘Tootsie,'” the actor said, referring to Sydney Pollack’s 1982 comedy starring Dustin Hoffman as an out-of-work actor who poses as a woman.

Read the full interview here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Miles Teller Shows the Scars of War in 'Thank You For Your Service' Trailer (Video)

Miles Teller Arrested on Public Drunkenness Charge

Miles Teller to Star in Nicolas Winding Refn Amazon Series 'Too Old to Die Young'

Ireland Picks ‘Song Of Granite’ As Oscar Submission

Pat Collins’ Song Of Granite has been selected by the Irish Film & Television Academy to represent Ireland in this year’s Oscar Foreign Language race. The pic, which bowed at SXSW this year, tells the life story of Joe Heaney, the legendary singer of traditional Irish music knows as sean nós. Oscilloscope snagged U.S. rights to the film and has already set a November 15 theatrical release.
Collins co-wrote the script with Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde and Sharon Whooley, and…

Pat Collins’ Song Of Granite has been selected by the Irish Film & Television Academy to represent Ireland in this year’s Oscar Foreign Language race. The pic, which bowed at SXSW this year, tells the life story of Joe Heaney, the legendary singer of traditional Irish music knows as sean nós. Oscilloscope snagged U.S. rights to the film and has already set a November 15 theatrical release. Collins co-wrote the script with Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde and Sharon Whooley, and…

‘The Keepers’: Here’s What Has Happened Since the Netflix Series Debuted

Netflix’s “The Keepers” debuted two months ago, and since then, filmmaker Ryan White has seen positive developments in the case: More victims have spoken out and police are investigating further into Father Joseph Maskell’s past life.

“I am seeing that ‘The Keepers’ is having a positive impact, not just in the sense that more victims have come forward but it is also having a positive impact in showing people that they aren’t alone and that it’s possible to move forward and confront your painful past,” White told TheWrap during a recent interview.

White said that many new victims have come out of the woodwork since the series was released: “A lot of people watched the series and realized that they weren’t the only ones and now have the courage to talk about it. Hopefully, it will lead to a lot of healing.”

Also Read: ‘The Keepers’ on Netflix: Will There Be a Season 2?

There has also been a lot of movement in terms of investigating Maskell. “The Keepers” explores the murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, who disappeared in November 1969 and whose body was discovered in January of 1970. The documentary investigates whether Maskell had Sister Cathy killed because she was about to expose him and others for sexual abusing teenage students at Archbishop Keough High School. Maskell died in 2001, and until his death, he had denied the allegations.

According to CNN, Father Maskell’s body was exhumed in February to see whether his DNA matched the DNA from the murder scene. Two days before “The Keepers” was released, Baltimore County Police found that the DNA profile did not match.

“No one’s prevailing theory was that his DNA would be there,” White added, referring to many people’s idea that Maskell ordered the murder but himself did not orchestrate it. “It’s a huge outward sign that they are taking Maskell seriously as a suspect now, and it definitely begs the question why these tests weren’t done when he was alive and Jean Wehner [Jane Doe] was coming forward. He could’ve been arrested.”

According to White, the documentary prompted a lot of digging into Maskell’s past, specifically when he relocated to Ireland. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maskell worked as a psychologist amid his sexual abuse allegations in the United States. Whether he assessed any children or teens during his time in Ireland could not yet be determined by the agency doing the review.

“We were only concentrating in our documentary for the most part on certain parts of Maskell’s character but he had a long career before and after his time at Keough,” White said. “A predator doesn’t stop abusing so it’s been a sad truth that people from other sides of his career — and from Keough — have come out of the woodwork.”

Also Read: ‘The Keepers’ Filmmaker: Father Maskell Abused 40 Victims, Not Just the 6 in Netflix’s Doc

Moreover, a few days after the documentary was released, the Baltimore Police Department launched an online form for people to report sexual offenses related to the docuseries.

“We have been contacted by victims from the past who want to report the sex offenses that occurred to them,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

In July, a Change.org petition was launched and has since garnered over 42,000 signatures asking the Archdiocese of Baltimore to release information they have on Maskell. White told TheWrap he had asked for these documents during the making of the documentary, and is “dubious” whether they would even release them now.

Lastly, a few weeks before the series came out, Maryland extended the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse, on which the senate voted unanimously. The previous statute of limitations provided that child sex abuse victims could only sue until age 25 — now, they can sue until the age of 38.

“It might be people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons but it’s good news for sexual abuse victims,” White added.

However, the major developments in the case since the documentary’s debut won’t change White’s mind about making a second season. Previously, he had said he wouldn’t want to make a follow-up season given how “painful” the process was for all the people involved.

“I’m still standing behind that, but I’m not going to say never,” White said about a second season. “There is a lot of information coming to us right now and there could be certain developments that I would document. But, at the moment, I’m not dead set on that. I’m still preoccupied with promoting the series and to make sure it has the largest impact that it can have. I’m still very happy where it ended. The series will end up shaking the branches in Baltimore and nationwide to have more information coming out that could lead to justice and murder being solved.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Keepers’: Baltimore Archdiocese Says It Has Paid More Than $470,000 in Settlements to Maskell Accusers

‘The Keepers’: What’s Behind the Name of the Netflix Documentary Series?

‘The Keepers’: Sister Cathy’s Medical Examiner Also Worked on JFK, JonBenet Ramsey Cases

Netflix’s “The Keepers” debuted two months ago, and since then, filmmaker Ryan White has seen positive developments in the case: More victims have spoken out and police are investigating further into Father Joseph Maskell’s past life.

“I am seeing that ‘The Keepers’ is having a positive impact, not just in the sense that more victims have come forward but it is also having a positive impact in showing people that they aren’t alone and that it’s possible to move forward and confront your painful past,” White told TheWrap during a recent interview.

White said that many new victims have come out of the woodwork since the series was released: “A lot of people watched the series and realized that they weren’t the only ones and now have the courage to talk about it. Hopefully, it will lead to a lot of healing.”

There has also been a lot of movement in terms of investigating Maskell. “The Keepers” explores the murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik, who disappeared in November 1969 and whose body was discovered in January of 1970. The documentary investigates whether Maskell had Sister Cathy killed because she was about to expose him and others for sexual abusing teenage students at Archbishop Keough High School. Maskell died in 2001, and until his death, he had denied the allegations.

According to CNN, Father Maskell’s body was exhumed in February to see whether his DNA matched the DNA from the murder scene. Two days before “The Keepers” was released, Baltimore County Police found that the DNA profile did not match.

“No one’s prevailing theory was that his DNA would be there,” White added, referring to many people’s idea that Maskell ordered the murder but himself did not orchestrate it. “It’s a huge outward sign that they are taking Maskell seriously as a suspect now, and it definitely begs the question why these tests weren’t done when he was alive and Jean Wehner [Jane Doe] was coming forward. He could’ve been arrested.”

According to White, the documentary prompted a lot of digging into Maskell’s past, specifically when he relocated to Ireland. According to the Baltimore Sun, Maskell worked as a psychologist amid his sexual abuse allegations in the United States. Whether he assessed any children or teens during his time in Ireland could not yet be determined by the agency doing the review.

“We were only concentrating in our documentary for the most part on certain parts of Maskell’s character but he had a long career before and after his time at Keough,” White said. “A predator doesn’t stop abusing so it’s been a sad truth that people from other sides of his career — and from Keough — have come out of the woodwork.”

Moreover, a few days after the documentary was released, the Baltimore Police Department launched an online form for people to report sexual offenses related to the docuseries.

“We have been contacted by victims from the past who want to report the sex offenses that occurred to them,” the department wrote on its Facebook page.

In July, a Change.org petition was launched and has since garnered over 42,000 signatures asking the Archdiocese of Baltimore to release information they have on Maskell. White told TheWrap he had asked for these documents during the making of the documentary, and is “dubious” whether they would even release them now.

Lastly, a few weeks before the series came out, Maryland extended the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse, on which the senate voted unanimously. The previous statute of limitations provided that child sex abuse victims could only sue until age 25 — now, they can sue until the age of 38.

“It might be people doing the right thing for the wrong reasons but it’s good news for sexual abuse victims,” White added.

However, the major developments in the case since the documentary’s debut won’t change White’s mind about making a second season. Previously, he had said he wouldn’t want to make a follow-up season given how “painful” the process was for all the people involved.

“I’m still standing behind that, but I’m not going to say never,” White said about a second season. “There is a lot of information coming to us right now and there could be certain developments that I would document. But, at the moment, I’m not dead set on that. I’m still preoccupied with promoting the series and to make sure it has the largest impact that it can have. I’m still very happy where it ended. The series will end up shaking the branches in Baltimore and nationwide to have more information coming out that could lead to justice and murder being solved.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Keepers': Baltimore Archdiocese Says It Has Paid More Than $470,000 in Settlements to Maskell Accusers

'The Keepers': What's Behind the Name of the Netflix Documentary Series?

'The Keepers': Sister Cathy's Medical Examiner Also Worked on JFK, JonBenet Ramsey Cases

ISIS Claims Responsibility for London Terror Attack, Attacker Identified as British-Born

ISIS claims Wednesday’s attack in London was carried out by one of its “soldiers” who “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition.”

On Thursday, the extremist group released a statement to ISIS’ Amaq news agency, which it routinely uses to announce its role in deadly attacks. It read, according to Newsweek: ‘The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition.’

The attacker has not been identified, but British officials have said the man was “British-born” and had been investigated before regarding violent extremism in the past, according to the Independent.

British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a powerful message on the heels of the terror attack: “We are not afraid.”

May told lawmakers in the House of Commons on Thursday that the “act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as normal.”

Also Read: UK Media Misidentify Jailed Man as London Terror Suspect

She said the carnage was “an attack on free people everywhere,” which is evident by the wide-range of victims. People from 11 countries were hospitalized, including 12 from the U.K., three from France, four South Koreans, two Greeks, two Romanians and one apiece from Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy and America, according to the Associated Press, citing May.

The attacker killed three people, including a police officer, and injured multiple people. Eight people have been arrested in a series of overnight arrests in London and Birmingham.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with May to offer condolences.

Spoke to U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May today to offer condolences on the terrorist attack in London. She is strong and doing very well.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2017

Parliament resumed work on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the deadly attack, and observed a minute of silence to remember those killed.

Related stories from TheWrap:

UK Media Misidentify Jailed Man as London Terror Suspect

London Terror Attack Near Parliament Leaves 5 Dead, at Least 20 Injured

Today in Trumpland: Corruption, Collusion, Leaks and More Russia

ISIS claims Wednesday’s attack in London was carried out by one of its “soldiers” who “carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting citizens of the coalition.”

On Thursday, the extremist group released a statement to ISIS’ Amaq news agency, which it routinely uses to announce its role in deadly attacks. It read, according to Newsweek: ‘The perpetrator of the attacks yesterday in front of the British parliament in London is an Islamic State soldier and he carried out the operation in response to calls to target citizens of the coalition.’

The attacker has not been identified, but British officials have said the man was “British-born” and had been investigated before regarding violent extremism in the past, according to the Independent.

British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered a powerful message on the heels of the terror attack: “We are not afraid.”

May told lawmakers in the House of Commons on Thursday that the “act of terrorism tried to silence our democracy, but today we meet as normal.”

She said the carnage was “an attack on free people everywhere,” which is evident by the wide-range of victims. People from 11 countries were hospitalized, including 12 from the U.K., three from France, four South Koreans, two Greeks, two Romanians and one apiece from Germany, Poland, Ireland, China, Italy and America, according to the Associated Press, citing May.

The attacker killed three people, including a police officer, and injured multiple people. Eight people have been arrested in a series of overnight arrests in London and Birmingham.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he spoke with May to offer condolences.

Parliament resumed work on Thursday, less than 24 hours after the deadly attack, and observed a minute of silence to remember those killed.

Related stories from TheWrap:

UK Media Misidentify Jailed Man as London Terror Suspect

London Terror Attack Near Parliament Leaves 5 Dead, at Least 20 Injured

Today in Trumpland: Corruption, Collusion, Leaks and More Russia

Ireland’s Biggest Studio, Ardmore, Is Put Up for Sale

Ireland’s Ardmore Studios has been put up for sale, it was announced Tuesday. The 18-acre site in Bray, County Wicklow, is the largest studio facility in Ireland, offering seven sound stages, and is the only media hub in the country able to provide full-service production, post-production and support services for feature film and television productions…. Read more »

Ireland’s Ardmore Studios has been put up for sale, it was announced Tuesday. The 18-acre site in Bray, County Wicklow, is the largest studio facility in Ireland, offering seven sound stages, and is the only media hub in the country able to provide full-service production, post-production and support services for feature film and television productions.... Read more »