Today in Events: Academy Awards Set to Once Again Go Hostless; Could Trump Washington Hotel Become a Marriott, and a Hilton?; United Has Major Expansion Plans for Denver Hub
1. ACADEMY AWARDS SET TO ONCE AGAIN GO HOSTLESS: This year's Oscars will go hostless for the second consecutive year. The show takes place February 9, and will be broadcast on ABC. The Hollywood Reporter: "ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke made the announcement Wednesday during her time before press at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena. ... 'The main goal, which I’m told the Academy promised last year, is to keep the show to three hours,' Burke said at the TCA winter press tour last February when she confirmed that the Oscars ceremony later that month would go on without a host. 'The producers decided to wisely not have a host and have the presenters and the movies be the stars. That’s the best way to keep the show to a brisk three hours.' Last year's kudocast, which saw Green Book win for best picture, averaged nearly 30 million viewers, up a whopping 11.5 percent year-over-year, and a 7.7 rating among the all-important adults 18-49 demographic, up 13 percent from a year ago. That bucked a downward spiral for the awards show, which in 2018 hit an all-time low of 26.54 million viewers and a 6.8 in the 18-49 demo."
2. COULD TRUMP WASHINGTON HOTEL BECOME A MARRIOTT OR A HILTON?: Some big names are in the running to buy the Trump Organization's downtown Washington hotel, and the company has set a January 23 deadline for bidders, according to The Wall Street Journal. Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, told the paper in a prepared statement that the hotel has “received tremendous interest” from “the biggest names in hospitality.” Washington Business Journal: “JLL declined to tell The Wall Street Journal what entities have expressed interest, but the report cites anonymous sources familiar with the process who say that a mix of domestic and foreign private equity firms, family buyers, and hotel operators are potentially in the running—including Marriott International and Hilton Worldwide. Marriott and Hilton would likely partner with a buyer to manage the hotel, according to the report.”
3. UNITED HAS MAJOR EXPANSION PLANS FOR DENVER HUB: United Airlines has big plans for the Mile High City. The carrier has revealed plans that could turn Denver into its largest hub in five years. The Chicago-based carrier will add about 50 daily departures a year from Denver International Airport with an aim of more than 700 departures on peak days by 2025, Steve Jaquith, the head of United’s Denver hub told a Denver City Council committee Wednesday. The airline is scheduled to fly more than 550 peak day departures this summer. The Points Guy: “That full potential could see Denver become United’s largest hub by departures. While multi-year airline growth plans rarely play out as expected, the airline is adding flights at a faster clip in Denver than at either its two larger hubs, Chicago O’Hare or Houston Intercontinental, according to Cirium schedule data. Chicago is scheduled to see about 670 departures and Houston 570 departures on peak days this summer.”