WWE ‘Smackdown’ Makes $1.4B Return to USA Network
WWE‘s SmackDown is returning to USA Network in October 2024 in a five-year agreement with NBCUniversal, according to The Wall Street Journal. The deal is estimated at approximately $1.4 billion, a 40% increase from Fox’s deal for the program. Fox has been the home for SmackDown since 2019. Additionally, WWE will produce four yearly primetime specials for NBC’s broadcast network. The specials will air on NBC starting in the 2024-25 season.
Will Smith Throws it Back with ‘Class of 88’ Podcast
Will Smith is hosting a limited podcast, Class of ’88, celebrating one of the most defining years of hip-hop. Produced by Wondery, Audible, Westbrook, and Awfully Nice, the show will feature the likes of Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, Darryl ‘DMC’ McDaniels, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Rakim, and Chuck D. Guests will pay homage to the music, fashion, and film that left a mark on the genre at the time and are still recognized today. The Oscar-winning actor and DJ Jazzy Jeff enjoyed commercial success in 1988 with their hit single “Parents Just Don’t Understand.” The track made history as the first to win the Grammy for Best Rap Performance at the 1989 awards. All eight episodes of the Class of ’88 will come out on Oct. 26 exclusively on Amazon Music and Audible.
Lil Wayne Announces 'Tha Fix Before Tha VI’
Tha Carter VI is on the way, but Lil Wayne doesn’t want his fans to wait for the new project to be completed before hitting them with new music. The New Orleans rapper announced that he will drop Tha Fix Before Tha VI via his social media accounts. Weezy has stayed busy recently, leading out Deion Sanders and the Colorado football team last weekend in Boulder and making routine appearances on Skip Bayless’ Undisputed, for which he also recorded a new theme song.
Quavo Visits the White House to Discuss Gun Violence
Quavo is turning the grief he experienced after losing his nephew and fellow Migos member Takeoff to gun violence into activism. The Atlanta-raised emcee was in Washington, DC, on Wednesday for a panel discussion on gun violence prevention. Partnering with the Community Justice Action Fund, the 32-year-old met with members of Congress and, afterward, met privately with Vice President Kamala Harris. Quavo and his family — including his sister, Titania Davenport, Takeoff’s mother — have launched The Rocket Foundation to honor the late rapper’s legacy and support programs that save lives through community-based solutions to prevent gun violence.
Rupert Murdoch is Leaving Fox, Hands the Reins to Son
Billionaire media exec Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corporation, effective mid-November, the 92-year-old announced Thursday. In a memo to staff, Murdoch said, “For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams.” In the note, Murdoch added that his son Lachlan, who already serves as chief executive of Fox Corporation, will become the sole chairman of both companies.
Microsoft Unveils New Surface Device, AI Software at NYC Event
Microsoft is preparing for its next generation of computing products. The tech giant hosted an event in New York City on Thursday that spotlighted its newest devices, including the Surface 11. Additionally, the company unveiled the Surface Laptop Studio 2 and the Surface Laptop Go 3. Additionally, Microsoft announced the enterprise availability of Microsoft 365 Copilot, which features AI software to help enhance the Word and Excel experiences. CEO Satya Nadella expressed his excitement at the innovative product, the company’s first in many years. Each model will hit the market on Oct. 3, but preorders are currently open.