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Posts Tagged ‘J.K. Rowling’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Angelou Dies at 86 | Williams Interviews Snowden | Amazon Talks Hatchette Dispute

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Medal of Freedom Recipient Maya Angelou Dies at 86 (FishbowlDC)
Poet and author Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86, according to her literary agent Helen Brann. Angelou received the country’s highest civilian honor — the Medal of Freedom — in 2011 from President Obama, and is most widely known for her award-winning memoir I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings. NYT The cause of death was not immediately known, but Brann said Angelou had been frail for some time and had heart problems. GalleyCat In addition to writing, Angelou proved to be an accomplished Renaissance woman who worked as an activist, entertainer, streetcar conductor, magazine editor, college professor and lecturer. CNN Angelou’s legacy is twofold. She leaves behind a body of important artistic work that influenced several generations. But the 86-year-old was praised by those who knew her as a good person, a woman who pushed for justice and education and equality. In her full life, she wrote staggeringly beautiful poetry. She also wrote a cookbook and was nominated for a Tony. Reuters Literary and entertainment figures, politicians and fans mourned her passing on Wednesday. Obama said his sister, Maya, was named for the author, whom he called “a brilliant writer, a fierce friend and a truly phenomenal woman.” Media mogul Oprah Winfrey, who frequently threw lavish birthday parties for Angelou and considered her a mentor, said she would remember her friend most for how she lived her life. “She moved through the world with unshakeable calm, confidence and a fierce grace,” Winfrey said.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: NBC Secures Olympics | AOL Earnings Fall Flat | Horowitz to Today

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NBC Secures Olympics Through 2032 (TVSpy)
NBCUniversal has acquired the rights to the Olympic Games through 2032. The new deal, valued at $7.65 billion, is the longest U.S. Olympic sports rights agreement in history. TVNewser NBC adds to the three Olympics it secured in an earlier deal: 2016 in Rio, 2018 in Pyeongchang and 2020 in Tokyo, with six more Summer and Winter Olympics through 2032, the host cities of which have not yet been selected. Adweek The deal comes as a major surprise on the week before the broadcast upfront presentations, as rival media outlets appeared to have been altogether unaware that negotiations were in the works. In fact, several sources confirmed that no other networks were so much as invited to bid for the package. This was by design, said IOC president Thomas Bach. Reuters The IOC did not approach ESPN, a network spokesman said, and neither were Fox nor CBS. The agreement includes media rights across broadcast television, cable TV, Internet and mobile platforms. NBC and rival networks have been stocking up on live sports content, which are popular with advertisers because large audiences watch in real-time and do not skip the TV commercials. Mashable NBC has become a player in the live sports industry in recent years, signing deals for the U.S. rights to the English Premier League, the National Hockey League and Sunday night NFL games. The Olympics are an expensive property, but NBC claims that it has been able to turn a profit on them. The price tag for the most recent deal is $1.4 billion more than the previous one.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon, HBO Ink Deal | Net Neutrality on The Ropes | Mixed News for Gannett

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HBO Classics Coming to Amazon Prime (LostRemote)
Amazon is continuing its streaming-TV push, partnering with HBO on a multi-year deal to exclusively bring classic HBO shows to Amazon Prime subscribers, the two companies announced Wednesday. Variety Terms of the deal were not disclosed; it covers only the U.S. Under the agreement, Amazon has exclusive SVOD rights for select HBO programming and will make the first wave of it available to Prime subscribers beginning May 21. That includes full seasons of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, as well as miniseries like Band of Brothers and John Adams. GigaOM Some of HBO’s newer shows will also be available, with a substantial delay: “Previous seasons of other HBO shows, such as Girls, The Newsroom and Veep will become available over the course of the multi-year agreement, approximately three years after airing on HBO.” In addition, Amazon said that it will add HBO Go to its recently launched streaming video box, Fire TV — “targeting a launch by year-end.” New York Post HBO’s coveted content has long been kept beyond reach of outside content bundles like Amazon and Netflix, and only available to subscribers. Amazon’s win will surely be viewed as a loss for Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who still dominates the bundled streaming space, but who also recently announced a price increase for new subscribers. Amazon also increased its prices, but is also seeking to expand its customer base with Fire TV. THR Amazon Prime also has exclusive online-only subscription deals for PBS’ Downton Abbey and Mr. Selfridge, CBS’ Under The Dome and upcoming Halle Berry-headlined miniseries Extant as well as 24, Veronica Mars, Orphan Black, The Americans and Justified. But it has had less success with its own original series; neither Alpha House nor Betas has achieved the pop culture significance of Netflix’s Kevin Spacey drama House of Cards.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Zimmerman’s NBC Suit | JK Rowling Unmasked | Asiana May Sue KTVU


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Zimmerman Lawyer to Move ‘ASAP’ Against NBC News (The Washington Post / Erik Wemple)
Saturday’s not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial will enable the neighborhood-watch volunteer to resume his case against NBC News for the mis-editing of his widely distributed call to police. Back in December, Zimmerman sued NBC Universal Media for defamation over the botched editing, which depicted him as a hardened racial profiler. According to Zimmerman attorney James Beasley, the case against NBC News was stayed pending the outcome of the criminal case. Now that’s out of the way, and Beasley is ready to proceed. TVNewser It was on NBC’s Today, regular readers may recall, that a severely out of context spliced clip of Zimmerman was played. A number of NBC News staffers lost their jobs over the edits, and Zimmerman’s legal team subsequently sued. The Atlantic Wire NAACP president Ben Jealous told CNN’s Candy Crowley that his team has been in contact with the attorney general’s office, but he doesn’t expect the Justice Department to act until the end of the any civil suits that result from George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict. HuffPost Melissa Harris-Perry shared a very personal response to the Zimmerman verdict on Sunday, telling viewers that she felt “relief” at her ultrasound when she found out she was giving birth to a daughter instead of a son. HuffPost Gawker provoked a wide range of reactions after it posted a haunting, graphic image of Trayvon Martin’s dead body on Friday. The site used a huge picture of a screengrab from MSNBC, which fleetingly — and seemingly accidentally — showed Martin’s corpse as an image was being discussed during the Zimmerman trial. Gawker To Trayvon’s parents, Sabrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, I’m sorry that I feel compelled to share this photograph. Were I a slave to journalistic norms, I would say that it’s somehow in the public interest to see him there. I would point out Florida’s sunshine laws, and the TV network’s incompetence, and argue the inevitability that this image would’ve gained a wider audience than it has already. The Root And about the whole “this is what happens” bit: Have you been around for the past year? Spent any time on Twitter during the trial? It may come as a surprise, but people get that already. And just about anyone paying attention has shared your “good old-fashioned rage that this kid is dead” for a while now. None of it — none of it at all — required a visual.

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Terry Gilliam Still Chasing After Windmills

During a recent visit to Los Angeles, director Terry Gilliam took the time to chat with LA Times “Hero Complex” main man Geoff Boucher. The beleaguered filmmaker (who turned 71 last week)  was in town for an American Cinematheque sponsored screening of Brazil and his latest project, the Italian-made short The Wholly Family.

Much like Orson Welles, Gilliam has spent a large portion of his career battling Hollywood execs and chasing after film financing. That remains the case today, with his decade-old project The Man Who Killed Don Quixote still languishing and likely never to be finished. But it is all by choice, thanks to a decision made decades ago in the San Fernando Valley:

“Look, the last proper job I had was [in the 1960s] at the Chevrolet assembly plant in Van Nuys. It was the night shift, and when I quit I said I would never work for money again. I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point.”

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J.K. Rowling Unveils ‘Pottermore,’ an Online Reading Experience

This morning Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling finally revealed what the Pottermore website is all about. Rowling is introducing an interactive online reading experience, which may just revolutionize the way we read. Unlike e-books, which largely emulate the analog experience, the site will experiment with ways to further explore the stories and characters. Rowling has written new material, and will be “sharing additional information I have been hoarding for years about the story.”

Rowling, who has retained the digital rights to her books, will sell the Potter series as e-books exclusively through the site. That means she’s cut out the middle men booksellers, and can do what she likes with pricing. No word on what prices will be yet, but the website itself promises to be free.

The site will open in October, and its success or failure could serve as a baromoter for the future of digital publishing.

LA Writer Learns Not All Quidditch Players Are Harry Potter Nerds

Robert Ito has a fun piece over at Salon about the recent Quidditch tournament held in Los Angeles. The Western Cup brought together eleven college teams at Cheviot Hills Park for a weekend of real-life Harry Potter gamesmanship.

The two major reveals of Ito’s piece are: 1) A league-wide absence of reported groin injuries, despite the presence of broomsticks on the field; and, 2) A healthy west coast team player mix of Potter fans and people who could care less about J.K. Rowling. UCLA political science major and Western Cup tournament director Harrison Homel explains:

“I came from a Harry Potter place, but I know a lot of people who didn’t,” he says. “There absolutely are players who haven’t read the books. For some, this is the only Harry Potter-related thing they do. The game is sort of able to bridge that gap between people who otherwise aren’t playing any sports, and people who are very, very active, but maybe aren’t as interested in nerding out about Harry Potter.”

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J. K. Rowling is Greedy: Salon

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Writing in Salon, the Machinist, aka Farhad Manjoo, gets all het up because J. K. Rowling, “the most well-remunerated writer in history,” dares to assert control over her creations by filing suit to stop Steve Vander Ark’s publication of a Harry Potter lexicon. Here’s the gist:

In her suit, Rowling, arguably the most well-remunerated writer in history, asserts complete and total control over the Harry Potter creative universe — a stance that, if affirmed by the court, would strike a deep blow to the legions of fans who have added immeasurably to her work online. Her attorneys claim that Vander Ark’s book will compete with Rowling’s own planned Potter encyclopedia; the lexicon, they say, is thus nothing more than an attempt to “make millions of dollars off the back of Ms. Rowling’s creativity.”

Manjoo seems to think that Vander Ark, who started a fan site, deserves to cash in on Rowling’s work, because he’s a scholar of Potter. And Rowling is greedy for not letting someone else glom onto her work.

Salon’s readers make all the right points:

The key point in your post, I think, was the part about the fans viewing Rowling as a rather amusing, and perhaps minor, player in their little universe. This is classic fandom.

Tideswimmer

Not only is he showing his true colors as a fan (“HP doesn’t belong to JK Rowling anymore, it belongs to us” – his words), but he is ruining things for all the other fans of all the other fandoms, by forcing JK to create a precedent.

Serai1

Farhad Manjoo seems to have a problem with J K Rowling. This is the man who, just before the release of the Deathly Hallows book, wrote that Rowling and her publishers had, in this day and age, no right to be aggrieved at a copy of the book being leaked to the Internet prior to publication date. Manjoo then duly gave his readers pointers to the offending site and leaked some extracts himself.

DavidW

The Machinist? He’s a tool.

Maxim.com Names Queen Elizabeth II as #1 Available Rich Woman/Prince Philip Not Reached for Comment

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Maxim.com (which has NOTHING to do with Maxim magazine, according to the email pitch) has selected a group of rich women who aren’t paired off, and thus available to anyone.

And facts don’t stand in the way of the masterminds at Maxim.com:

#1 Queen Elizabeth II

Age: 80
Net Worth: $720 million
Source: Blueness of blood
Marital Status: So lonely
Key to her heart: At this point you’d pretty much have to be king of the universe. And British.
She’s not the richest person on this list, but landing the Queen of England would be the greatest single achievement in the history of male gold-digging ever. Let the teabagging begin.

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J.K. Rowling, Fans Slam TimesHarry Spoiler

To J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter faithful, what the Times did in reviewing the series’ final installment yesterday — an apparent violation of an industry-wide embargo — was akin to telling a 4-year-old that Santa isn’t real, the Easter Bunny is a creation of Cadbury’s marketing division and your Mom put that dollar under your pillow, retard.

The Times readers, too, were miffed — as evidenced by today’s letters-to-the-editor. Except this one, from a Tricia Lugger of Royal Oak, Michigan:

To the Editor:

I know you’re going to get blasted for “spoiling” the midnight launching of the newest Harry Potter book, but thank you for remembering that The Times is a newspaper and not an advertising engine. While I can appreciate that J. K. Rowling would like total control of who reads her book and when, the news should never allow the owner of content to control the dissemination of discussions.

Harry Coverage:

  • Spoiling The Harry Potter Spoilers
  • Judith Miller On The Harry Potter Leak
  • Harry Potter Leaked!
  • Harry Potter Nerds Get New Cover To Argue Over
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