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Posts Tagged ‘Dawn C. Chmielewski’

Is It Too Late for AOL’s Cambio?

In what has all the markings of a desperate last-ditch effort, AOL is hoping some Hollywood boldface can come to the rescue of its floundering teens and young adults destination Cambio. Monthly site traffic was down in August to 663,000 uniques, from a year-ago high of 1.4 million.

Per Dawn C. Chmielewski of the LA Times, AOL is hoping to ramp up the excitement this fall by showcasing web series created by McG, reality TV maestro Mark Burnett and others. However, there’s no guarantee this play engineered by GM Nathan Coyle, who came over in April from CAA, will work:

Some digital media analysts expressed skepticism about Cambio’s new strategy of spending big money on big names for a medium that has yet to deliver big advertising dollars.

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Disney Puts Pedal to Cars Merchandising Metal

The all-media screening for Cars 2 is tonight at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, and those parking their less colorful vehicles across the street at Hollywood & Highland have the power of merchandising to thank for this summer’s eve screening. The numbers, per today’s LA Times piece by Dawn C. Chmielewski and Rebecca Keegan, are simply staggering:

In the five years since its 2006 release, Cars has generated global retail sales approaching $10 billion, according to Disney. That ranks the Pixar film alongside such cinematic merchandising standouts as Star Wars, Spider-Man, and Harry Potter, as well as its own paen to playthings, Toy Story, according to researcher NPD.

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Hulu Giving Its Media Conglomerate Owners a Headache

The Hulu.com numbers in today’s LA Times piece by Dawn C. Chmielewski and Meg James are pretty staggering: 27 million unique visitors per month, expected 2011 revenues of $500 million.

But that’s a pittance compared to what the service’s owners – Walt Disney Co., News Corp., and NBC Universal – make annually from cable and satellite TV subscription models. This big three’s concerns about the erosion of their traditional business model has led to a tug-of-war with Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, a high-flyer recruited from Amazon.com:

Kilar has proposed a restructuring that would give him greater autonomy, according to people familiar with the situation, who were not authorized to speak publicly about it.

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LAT In 90 Seconds

42689568.jpgRFLO–Oh Shit: As suspected, Metrolink engineer Robert M. Sanchez sent a text message from his cellphone 22 seconds before he collided with an oncoming freight train in last month’s accident. We’re guessing this might just bolster the argument of lawmakers and activists who are trying to make texting while driving illegal in the rest of the country.

chaplin460.jpgMoving Pictures: Dawn C. Chmielewski reports five Hollywood studios pledged to defray the costs of a $1-billion plan to convert old-fashioned 35-mm film projectors to more modern technology in thousands of theaters throughout North America. So the studios will help make the movies look better. No word on whether they’ll pour the necessary capital into making them actually be better.

42692852.jpgDay Traders: Scott Collins dissects and analyzes how TV news reporters covered and explained the financial crises. Spoiler Alert: They kinda sucked.

LAT In 90 Seconds

Keys to the Magic Kingdom: Dawn C. Chmielewski showcases the internships you wish you had in a story today. But our favorite part of this piece, just might be the headline. It looks like something out of the Hogwarts Daily Herald: ‘Sorcerers’ apprentices concoct new adventures.’

42171694.jpgKatie and Sarah: James Rainey points out that while Sarah Palin‘s third nationally televised interview, with CBS anchor Katie Couric, “found Palin rambling, marginally responsive and even more adrift than during her network debut with ABC‘s Charles Gibson,” she lucked out in that no one was watching.

1540ddda4940.jpgJoel and Rosa: Joel Stein smacks Rosa Brooks with a verbal (and we’re guessing — though it’s so hard to tell with Stein) “joking” glove across the face, saying: “Did you buy a house with less than 20% down, or with an adjustable-rate mortgage, assuming that skyrocketing equity would let you refinance or flip it? Of course you didn’t, because you’re a super-intelligent reader of my column. But don’t you think every single Rosa Brooks reader did?” He lucked out, though, in that no one — not even Rosa — was reading it.

Disney’s “High School” Sweetheart Headed Straight to Bank

high-school-musical-2-new1.jpg

It may be summer but no matter what age range you fall in, it’s hard to escape high school right about now…”High School Musical,” that is. The Disney cultural phenomenon and its bright-eyed cast are everywhere lately from morning television and magazine covers to gossip blogs and radio stations.

It’s all in preparation for Friday’s television premiere of “High School Musical 2.” But before the sing-and-dance spectacle debuts on the small-screen, the Los Angeles Times today took a look at the business impact and profit buzz the tween dream has on Disney.

The story says the studio shelled out $7 million to make the telefilm, up from $4.2 million for the first installment. A small price to pay considering both musicals are expected to generate approximately $100 million in operating profit, reports Times reporter Dawn C. Chmielewski, from its ancillary offerings including the touring show, DVD sales and merchandise.

But, like every high school student who knows their diploma is in the envelope come graduation day, Disney execs are still nervous until the show actually crosses the stage. “That teenage audience is extremely fickle,” veteran media analyst Larry Gerbrandt told LAT. “And they also have this nasty habit of growing up. You have to be able to keep drawing in a younger audience.”

That should be a slam dunk and expect to see record-breaking numbers over the weekend for the big premiere. The only ones who should be nervous are the young stars – Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgins, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu. They’re gonna have to grow up soon and attempt that oh-so-elusive crossover from tween star to adult artist. One of them should get Hilary Duff on speed dial.
– CHRIS GARDNER