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Monday, April 28, 2008

Dan Glickman, Chairman, Motion Picture Association of America

Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman, left, joined the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on September 1, 2004. The MPAA serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries. Its members include Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, NBC Universal, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, and Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. Mr. Glickman served as the Secretary of Agriculture from March 1995 until January 2001.

Founded in 1922 the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has an international counterpart, the Motion Picture Association (MPA).
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Oprah Winfrey Earth Day Show

By Holly Wood

It was an interesting show that highlighted touchy feely things that people can
do to improve the planet, such as composting, changing light bulbs and recycling. But the more interesting situation involved Julia Roberts, left, and Sandra Bullock, right. As much as we would like to see them work together, evidently they do not like each other--or one does not like the other. It was odd that Julia Roberts did a segment on her environmentally friendly practices and then Julia Roberts was gone when Sandra Bullock had her segment. But at the end of the last segment with Al Gore, Julia Roberts appeared again but Sandra Bullock was nowhere to be seen. Evidently Bullock's segment had been taped earlier. Clearly somebody was avoiding someone. Oprah dealt with the situation as though there was nothing unusual going on. But we are sure she knows the deal. Share.

Hey Oprah. Why didn't you give us a call? Well clearly we're no Julia Roberts or Sandra Bullock but we guarantee that we're the most interesting and coolest environmental group out there.
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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Danny Glover Gets $18 Million From Hugo Chavez For Movie

Venezuela has given an extra $9 million to the film "Toussaint," a co-production between Danny Glover's Louverture Films and Venezuela's film studio Villa del Cine. The government previously donated nearly $18 million toward the $30 million budget of Glover's pet project about Toussaint Louverture, who led an 18th-century uprising in Haiti. Venezuela has been trying to attract more productions to its $13 million Villa del Cine studio.

This is a shrewd move by Danny Glover. Although we disagree with the politics of dictator-in-waiting Hugo Chavez, right, we do respect Glover's business acumen in securing money to produce this important film. We were critical when Glover, Cornel West, and Harry Belafonte visited with Chavez to criticize America, particularly when Joe Kennedy, of Citizen's Energy Corporation, cut a $100 million advertising and fuel oil deal with Hugo. America does business with distasteful sorts all the time so we guess there is nothing wrong, within that context, with Glover financing "Toussaint" with dictator dollars.
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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time Magazine: How To Win The War On Global Warming

By Environment Man

Time magaine's April Earth Day issue is titled: "How To Win The War On Global Warming and they are proud to make suggestions on how to solve this problem. Time magazine Editor Richard Stengel appeared on the Today Show this morning and showed off the unique cover design that alters the Iwo Jima marines photo hoisting the flag to greenies hoisting a tree. Stengel is pictured at left with another of their unique covers holding the Time Person of the Year magazine (2006). The winner that year was 'you,' well, 'us,' uh, anyone using or creating content on the World Wide Web. The magazine put a mirror on the cover and pronounced:

“For seizing the reins of the global media, for founding and framing the new digital democracy, for working for nothing and beating the pros at their own game, Time’s Person of the Year for 2006 is you. The creators and consumers of user-generated internet sites showed a community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. These blogs and videos bring events to the rest of us in ways that are often more immediate and authentic than traditional media."
Well now this same enthusiasm is being brought to addressing the problem of climate change. We hope they will make some interesting recommendations. Since the issue has not come out yet, we simply don't know. Our guess, though, is that they will make the same old touchy feely personal things that people can do to make themselves feel better about the situation than the actual draconian measures needed to solve the problem. Plus they didn't contact us so we know they aren't really serious. Duh.
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Monday, April 14, 2008

Russell Simmons Starts New Global Grind Web Site

By Holly Wood

Global Grind is the source for today’s media that matters to the hip-hop community. It’s the global view of all the content that is relevant in the hip-hop community. Global Grind invites users to discover and collect what’s important to them and share it with the masses. Find out what others are grinding, submit interesting content and invite friends to interact through photos, videos and stories. (Global Grind)
And it is almost as good as AAEA Hollywood.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Radio One Acquires Community Connect Inc

Radio One, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROIAK and ROIA) has acquired Community Connect Inc. for a transaction price of approximately $38 million. Community Connect Inc. (CCI), which owns and operates a number of social-networking brands under its umbrella including BlackPlanet.com, MiGente.com, and AsianAve.com, is the leading online niche social-networking company. With over 23 million members CCI is a ComScoreTM Top 50 Social Networking web publisher and category leader for building niche online ommunities/destinations for US ethnic groups.

This acquisition is another example of Radio One Inc.'s continued strategy of diversification outside of the radio broadcasting space in order to deliver a more holistic approach to targeting African-Americans. Radio One purchased GIANT, a magazine targeting urban consumers in December 2006 and has an interest in the African-American targeted cable network TV ONE. This acquisition gives Radio One a strong foothold in the ever growing social networking and multicultural online space.

Upon closing the transaction, current president and founder Ben Sun will continue to run CCI and will report to Tom Newman. Community Connect Inc. has approximately 100 employees and is headquartered in New York City.

Contact: Peter D. Thompson, Radio One, Inc, EVP and CFO
http://www.blogger.com/ 301-429-4638
_____________________________________________________________________ Radio One, Inc. (www.radio-one.com) is one of the nation's largest radio broadcasting companies and the largest radio broadcasting company that primarily targets African-American and urban listeners. Pro forma for recently announced transactions, Radio One owns and/or operates 53 radio stations located in 16 urban markets in the United States. Additionally, Radio One owns Magazine One, Inc. (d/b/a Giant Magazine) (www.giantmag.com), interests in TV One, LLC (www.tvoneonline.com), a cable/satellite network programming primarily to African-Americans and Reach Media, Inc. (www.blackamericaweb.com), owner of the Tom Joyner Morning Show and other businesses associated with Tom Joyner.
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If Tavis Smiley Does Not Get His Way He Will QUIT

Tavis Smiley quit the Tom Joyner Morning Show this week because, according to Joyner, he is getting hate from Black folk for criticizing Senator and Presidential Candidate Barack Obama. Smiley left NPR when he felt that they were not giving him enough love by promoting him more.

Smiley was highly critical of Obama's refusal to attend his C-Span-covered "Covenant" forum, "The State of the Black Union," in February in New Orleans. Of course, Dick Gregory killed during his presentation. We are very proud of our founding board member. Go Dick. Smiley also criticized Obama for not traveling to Memphis for the 40th remembrance ceremonies marking the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Smiley is the author of the best-selling "Covenant With Black America" and hosts self-named interview shows on PBS and Public Radio International. He formerly hosted a show on Black Entertainment Television (BET)in Washington. He was released from BET by Robert Johnson.

So it appears that if Tavis does not get his way he will take his ball and go home. It is his right.
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Monday, April 07, 2008

What's Up With Radio One? Significant Changes

Kathy Liggins Hughes founded Radio One but her son, Alfred C. Liggins III, right, as CEO turned it into a multimedia empire by taking the company public in 1999 and brokering a $1.3 billion deal with media powerhouse Clear Channel. Radio One grew to 70 stations in 22 markets, with billions in assets, and 18 million mostly black listeners nationwide. In 2001 Radio One expanded further, making it the largest urban-market radio company, entrenched in 22 markets with 18 million listeners. Liggins moved into cable television with the creation of TV One in a partnership with cable giant Comcast.

Two events greeted RadioOne in the first quarter of 2008:
1) approval of new headquarters in Washington, DC and
2) write-down and stock decline.

RadioOne moved out of the district in 1997 but with the signing of the Land Disposition Agreement with Broadcast Center One Partners, RadioOne and TVOne will move their headquarters into a planned $144 million complex at 7th & S Streets Northwest on top of the Shaw Howard Green Line Metrorail Station. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2011. The D.C. Council provided $22 million in tax breaks and grants for the deal and expects $19 million in new taxes in 20 years from the project plus 680 new jobs and contracting opportunities for local, small and disadvantaged businesses. Broadcast One Partners also includes developers Four Points LLC and Ellis Development LLC.

RadioOne recorded a $404 million write-down in its company value with company losses in the last quarter of 2007 of $386 million ($3.91 a share). (The Washington Post, 2/22/08) (The Washington Times, 1/25/08)
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Russell Simmons Offers Prepaid Visa Card

The RushCard is a prepaid Visa card. It offers the convenience of a credit card, without the debt. It’s prepaid which means that the money you put on the card sets the limit for how much you can spend. Much Safer than Cash. Access Your Money…Anytime, Anywhere with the Power of a Visa Debit Card - even through ATMs

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Some Actors ARE Better Than Other Actors

By Holly Wood

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) has an infraunion crisis in that the actors who don't work as much are more inclined to vote to strike than actors with adequate and abundant work. So is the guild in fact facing a 'Class of Actor' conundrum in terms of strike/no strike motivations? Contract negotiations between SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) will begin on April 15 and the current contract expires on June 30. Working actors actually want to prevent less working or nonworking actors from voting. WOW. And we thought the writers strike was interesting.

I guess we can expect an attempt to change the rules of the 120,000 SAG by its 71 member national board. It is doubtful that Hollywood liberals will adopt any sort of undemocratic and basically antiunion measures that would undercut any rank and file members. Internal squabbling has also led to a split between SAG and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artist (AFTRA), which represents actors in soap operas, news programming and other areas. SAG members work in movies, television and commercials. SAG feared that AFTRA, which is much smaller, would cut a deal with studios that would not necessarily benefit SAG members and would undercut SAG negotiations.

SAG wants a better dealt than the deal reached by the Writers Guild of America (WGA): increased compensation from work used on the Internet and other media, as well as an increased share of DVD revenue, which the WGA yielded on easily. (The Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2008)
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PlanetGreen To Be 24 Hour Environmental Network

It has been in the planning stage for a year and will debut on June 4: PlanetGreen. Just as The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) is replacing Discovery Health, PlanetGreen will replace Discovery Home. The $50-$100 million makeover by Discovery Communications LLC is an attempt to produce an entertaining show about the environment. Good luck with that. If they really want to put some pep in environmental information dissemination, they should hire us: "The Never Ending Adventures of Environment Man." Now THERE would be an exciting show.

The Planet Green Network is the brainchild of David Zaslav, who was formerly with NBC Universal, which produces "TheGreen" for Robert Redford on "The Sundance Channel" (NBC Universal is owned by G.E.). Why are the words for these shows crunched together? Is that the new thing? Or is it just to complement future websites. Speaking of which, Discovery bought the website Treehugger.com for $10 million. Hey David? Give us a call. (Press Release)
(The Wall Street Journal 3/21/08)
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Friday, April 04, 2008

Green "Battleground" For Ludacris & Tommy Lee on Discovery Channel

The Discovery Network has signed Ludacris and Tommy Lee, former drummer in Motley Crue, for a new Planet Green show called "Battleground Earth." The ten-episode series will premiere in July or August. Planet Green debuts in 50 million homes on June 4. In "Battleground," Ludacris, left, and Tommy Lee, right, will cross the country competing in various challenges designed to highlight green issues. It will end with the two artists meeting in Los Angeles to co-headline a concert at the Greek Theater with proceeds benefiting Griffith Park. Ludacris' real name is Chris Bridges.

The Greif Company, which produces A&E's "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," is behind "Battleground." The executive producer for "Battleground" is Leslie Greif and Adam Reed with co-executive producers Steve Jones, Howard Lee and Lisa Caruso. Eileen O'Neill is general manager of Planet Green.
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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Live Nation Deal Could Make Jay-Z Bill Gates of Hip Hop

Jay-Z is leaving his longtime record label Def Jam for a $150 million deal with Live Nation that includes financing for his own entertainment ventures, recordings and tours for the next ten years. Live Nation is competing directly with the industry’s established music labels over the rights to distribute recordings, sell concert tickets, market merchandise and control other aspects of artists’ careers. Live Nation has already struck less comprehensive deals with Madonna and U2. Live Nation’s core business has revolved around major rock and country tours, and with Jay-Z it is making an unexpected foray into hip-hop. Last year’s “American Gangster” sold one million copies in the United States; “The Black Album,” from 2003, sold well over three million. He owes one more studio album to Def Jam, where he was president for three years before stepping down in December after he and the label’s corporate parent, Universal Music Group, could not agree on a more lucrative contract.

Jay-Z, 38, whose real name is Shawn Carter, has produced past ventures that included the Rocawear clothing line, which he sold last year for $204 million, and the chain of 40/40 nightclubs. His first venture with Live Nation is his current 28-date tour with Mary J. Blige. Live Nation is expected to contribute $5 million a year in overhead for five years, with another $25 million available to finance Jay-Z’s acquisitions or investments. The venture, to be called Roc Nation, will split profits with Live Nation. The overall package for Jay-Z also includes an upfront payment of $25 million, a general advance of $25 million that includes fees for his current tour, and advance payment of $10 million an album for a minimum of three albums during the deal’s 10-year term. A series of other payments adding up to about $20 million is included in exchange for certain publishing, licensing and other rights. These are speculations from sources close to the deals because Michael Cohl, Live Nation's chairman, does not discuss terms of the Jay-Z arrangement. (The New York Times)
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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Cable News Shows Diversify In Response To Campaign

FOX News, CNN, and MSNBC went from being almost completely segregated to sprinkling Blacks throughout their programs to discuss, well, mostly 'Black' issues. We suppose all white panels could have continued to discuss Rev Jeremiah Wright, but management and the producers must have realized that they really didn't know what Blacks thought about it. We like it. We just wish Blacks would also be used to discussed the myriad issues facing society today. We do, however, understand the width, depth and height of the sickness.The cable shows have given new prominence to a handful of contributing black commentators:

Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist, campaign manager Al Gore run (CNN)
Roland S. Martin, journalist and radio host (CNN)
Amy Holmes, conservative strategist and speechwriter (Bill Frist R-TN) Jamal Simmons, Democratic strategist, Obama supporter and veteran press spokesman (CNN)
Michelle Bernard, conservative, lawyer (MSNBC)
Eugene H. Robinson, columnist, The Washington Post (MSNBC)
Joe Watkins, Republican strategist (MSNBC)
Harold Ford, Jr., a former Democratic congressman from Tenn (MSNBC) (Formerly FOX)
Juan Williams, National Public Radio correspondent (FOX)
Angela McGlowan, a Republican strategist (FOX)

But according to the National Association of Black Journalists, "The black pundits often disappear as quickly as they arrive and too often talk only about race.

"Gwen Ifill, a senior correspondent for “The Newshour With Jim Lehrer" on PBS and moderator of “Washington Week” covers general issues and has been with the program for some time. (The New York Times)
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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

"Ike" Leggett Brings Some Hollywood To Montgomery County

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) has signed a deal with music producer Live Nation to open a venue in 2010 at the former JCPenney site on Colesville Road. But the deal is contingent upon receiving state (Maryland) and county funds.

LiveNation.com, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a leading destination for music fans as a live music search engine and it offers tour dates and information on artists and venues to fans around the world, as well as an important access point for concert tickets for registered ticket club members, VIP parking and club access. Collectively, Live Nation's websites are the second most visited event websites in the United States. Live Nation is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, trading under the symbol "LYV," is considered to be the future of the music business and is revolutionizing the music industry: onstage and online. It has the most live concerts, music venues and festivals in the world and the most comprehensive concert search engine on the web.

Irish supergroup U2 just signed a long-term deal with US concert promoters Live Nation after inking a 12-year agreement. In 2007 Live Nation signed a 10-year 120 million dollar deal with Madonna for three studio albums, as well as promote concert tours and merchandise.
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Hollywood Conforms To Washington, DC Subway Rules

Hollywood is finally using the Washington Metropolitan Area Subway (Metro) system more. Directors love the distinctive look of Washington's subway -- its honey comb ceilings, long escalators and shiny modern trains with the "M" logo. But filmmakers have to follow Metro's strict rules in order to film there. This includes scenes in the film: No eating, drinking, running, jumping over fare gates, shooting bad guys on the tracks and no exceptions.

Metro does not profit from the projects, but it gets bragging rights. The District made $63 million from film and TV shoots in 2007. Metro approves requests from Hollywood, TV producers, charities, banks, government agencies, and film students. Washington's transit system gets about 50 to five film requests a year. Of the 103 requests since 2006, Metro also rejected these four. Metro doesn't allow filming during rush hour or portrayals of anything illegal in the system. Metro officials do not want people to get the wrong idea. And train accidents are a sensitive subject because three Metro employees were killed in a six-month period in 2006.

Directors really like the Rosslyn Station because of its long escalator and it is the only station where you can see trains rushing by on the upper and lower levels at the same time. A recent crew rented two rail cars for $1,000 an hour for 10 hours. (The Washington Post)
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