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Archives: August 2009

Disney Acquires Comic Book Giant Marvel For $4B

disney=marvel.jpgTwo public media companies who have made big money from cartoons announced a huge deal today.

The Walt Disney Co. (DIS) announced today that it will acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. (MVL) — including its portfolio of more than 5,000 characters — for $4 billion in stock and cash. Marvel shareholders will receive $30 in cash per share plus about 0.745 in Disney shares, the companies said.

In a conference call about the deal this morning, Disney CEO Robert Iger said the deal would help build shareholder value and strengthen Disney’s position worldwide. Iger said the deal should be completed by the end of 2009.

Under the terms of the deal, Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter will continue to oversee his company’s properties and will work with Disney to integrate the brands into the new company.

Full release after the jump

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Former First Daughter Joins “Today”

jenna.jpgIf you’ve been wondering what former President George W. Bush‘s daughters have been up to, look no further than morning TV.

Jenna Bush Hager will soon be starting a gig as a correspondent for NBC‘s “Today” show. Although the 27-year-old is currently a teacher in Baltimore, she will be working part time at her school while working part time out of NBC’s Washington, D.C. bureau to produce once monthly stories for the morning show.

Hager was sought out by “Today” executive producer Jim Bell, who told the Associated Press that she had a “natural presence” on air during previous “Today” show appearances.

In fact, during an appearance in April 2008 — the video’s below — she seems very comfortable being interviewed and being on camera. But will that translate into being a good reporter?

We’ll find out when Hager files her first report, which will most likely focus on education, next month.

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Former first daughter Jenna Bush joins Today — Associated Press

Earlier: Jenna Bush Locked Out

FBLA’s Top 5 Stories Last Friday

The FishbowlNY Newsstand: Your Morning Glance

Mt. Wilson Transmitters Threatened

KPCC just sent this email out:

As you may know, 89.3 KPCC’s transmitter on Mount Wilson is under threat by the Station Fire. We have several backup plans in the works, so if the transmitter goes down, we are prepared to be back on the air as quickly as possible. In the meantime, there are plenty of additional ways for you to stay up to date on the fire’s course and impact on our communities:

  • Listen to KPCC’s online stream, easily accessible from the home page at

  • Read the latest news updates, field reports and blog posts at

  • Join our Facebook page and follow KPCC on Twitter.

  • Our stations in the Inland Empire (89.1 KUOR) and Coachella Valley (90.3 KPCV) will not be affected by an outage at Mount Wilson.

    We’ll bring you extended wildfire coverage throughout the day today, including a special extended edition of AirTalk from 9am to noon. KPCC reporters are on the scene in La Crescenta and at the command center near Hansen Dam, as well as at the Oak Glen Fire near Yucaipa. We’ll be hearing from them this morning.

  • KPCC has done a great job covering the fire. The local television stations yesterday were mute. Er – moot. Pick one. Ironically if the television transmitters do go, the coverage of the disaster will remain the same.

    We watched CNN yesterday to get information about the fires. Of course, Fredricka Whitfield pronounced La Canada, like the country to the north of the US. Ahem.

    TVB has more on the transmitters here.

    Photo credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

    Attention Grammar Nerds: We’ve Found You a Compatriot

    We met Craig Gaines at the LA Weekly cocktail party over the weekend. Gaines writes a blog about grammar called The Writing Guide. Gaines is not as nearly as embarrassed about this as he should be. Not that he’s not embarrassed by it, just not as much as he should be.

    His site is a grammar geek’s delight. Topics range from improperly capitalizing nouns to prepositions to punctuation. You know, but interesting.

    Watch out Strunk and White!

    Military Cancels ‘Media Analyst Contract’ With Rendon Group

    Kevin Baron at Stars and Stripes writes:

    The U.S. military is canceling its contract with a controversial private firm that was producing background profiles of journalists seeking to cover the war that graded their past work as “positive,” “negative” or “neutral,” Stars and Stripes has learned.

    “The Bagram Regional Contracting Center intends to execute a termination of the Media Analyst contract,” belonging to The Rendon Group, said Col. Wayne Shanks, chief of public affairs for International Security Assistance Forces-Afghanistan.

    But Jason Chupick from our sister blog, PRNewser points out:

    Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, military spokesperson for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said the practice of denying reporters embed positions is “flat out incorrect,” on NPR’s On the Media today.

    That interview is here:

    Previously on FBLA:

  • PJ Tobia Posts the Rendon Group Report On Him

  • Self-Pimp: FBLA Editor Takes on Tampa Tribune Editor

    YouTube to the rescue!

    The Economist Reaches Record Circulation In North America

    economist.jpgHere is one good story coming out of today’s Audit Bureau of Circulations’ semi-annual report.

    London-based The Economist has reached a record circulation of over 800,000 in North America, thanks to 8.5 percent increase since last year.

    The Economist‘s global circulation has grown six percent since last year, hitting over 1.4 million. The magazine said today that this is the 56th consecutive time its global circulation has risen according to six-monthly ABC numbers, and its global circulation has doubled in the past decade.

    The magazine has seen circ growth in other areas of the world as well: circulation in the Middle East and Africa has increased by 125 percent over the past five years, with a growth of three percent in the last year; United Kingdom growth was also three percent; and circ in the Asia Pacific and Latin America regions each grew four percent. In North America, the magazine now has circulation of 810,821.

    “The Economist is for anyone who wants to make sense of the world,” said Alan Press, The Economist‘s senior vice president, marketing in a statement. “Our consistent global growth over the last 26 years shows that there are more and more curious people who seek out intelligence and insight and have discovered that The Economist offers both.”

    Two Firefighters Killed Battling Blaze

    The massive fire in the Angeles National Forest took two lives on Sunday afternoon. The Los Angeles Country firefighters were among the more than 2,000 fire personnel currently battling the blaze. More from the Los Angeles Times on the tragedy:

    The two firefighters were killed when they drove off the side of a treacherous road in the Mt. Gleason area, south of Acton, around 2:30 p.m., said Los Angeles County Deputy Fire Chief Mike Bryant. They were later identified as Arnaldo Quinones, 35, of Palmdale and Tedmund Hall, 47, of San Bernardino County.

    “This accident is tragic,” Bryant said, choking up as he spoke Sunday evening. “This is a very difficult time for L.A. County Fire Department and the men and women that serve day in, day out.”