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Posts Tagged ‘Lionsgate’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Google Buys Songza | MSNBC Holds Second Place

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Google in Deal for Songza, A Music Playlist Service (NYT)
In a sign of growing consolidation in the digital music business, Google announced on Tuesday that it had bought Songza, a three-year-old app that competes with Pandora and others in making customized playlists of recommended songs. Re/code The New York Post reported in June that the deal could be worth $15 million. Unlike some acquired startups, Songza won’t be shutting down. Its team will be joining Google in New York and helping with contextual recommendation features for Google Play and possibly YouTube down the line. GigaOM Songza offers custom curated playlists based on categories like genre, mood, decade and activity (“Drinking at A Dive Bar,” “’60s International,” etc.) and offers song suggestions based on the time of day and week. The service is free and songs aren’t interrupted by ads. THR The acquisition comes on the heels of Apple’s deal to purchase Beats Electronics and its streaming music service for $3 billion. Amazon also has jumped into the music streaming market with the launch of the Prime Music service, which comes as part of its $99 annual Prime subscription. The move appears to be part of Google’s plans to compete in this increasingly crowded music-streaming space, which is already dominated by Spotify. Variety Google said it plans to use Songza to make its Play Music service more attractive. The Songza purchase also comes as marketers are spending more on online and mobile radio services in the U.S. Ad sales generated $1.65 billion in the U.S. last year, a gain of 26.3 percent, according to digital research group eMarketer. That’s expected to increase another 23 percent to $2 billion this year.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Logan Returns to CBS | DOJ to Review Music Licenses

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Lara Logan Back at Work on 60 Minutes (THR)
Lara Logan has returned to work at CBS News. The news ends a suspension that began last fall after an erroneous 60 Minutes report on the Sept. 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other U.S. personnel. TVNewser Logan was asked to take a leave of absence in November after the flawed report. Logan’s report was centered around an interview with Dylan Davies, a man who claimed to have been a witness of the attacks; it was later revealed that he had not been present that night. In retracting the story, Logan said “We were misled and we were wrong.” The Associated Press The internal CBS review of the incident concluded Logan and her 60 Minutes colleagues should have done a better job checking out Davies’ story before it went on the air. The internal review also said that a speech Logan made in urging the U.S. to take action in response to the Benghazi raid represented a conflict of interest for a reporter later doing a story on the incident. Deadline Hollywood CBS declined to provide any more information about Logan’s return, such as when Logan will be seen on the air and what type of stories she is working on. The newsmag returns to original reports in the fall. Variety Logan is best known for her work as a foreign correspondent, filing many reports from dangerous areas, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Before formally joining CBS News in 2002 as a 60 Minutes II correspondent, Logan already had 14 years of journalism experience, including 10 years in the international broadcast news arena. She served as a correspondent for GMTV, the weekday morning news program of Great Britain’s ITV, and as a freelance correspondent for CBS News Radio, a role that included occasional appearances on the CBS Evening News.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Prometheus Buys Mediabistro | FNC Books Clinton | Fox’s Reilly to Step Down

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Prometheus Global Media to Acquire Mediabistro (FishbowlNY)
Thursday morning, Mediabistro announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its editorial and e-commerce assets to PGM-MB Holdings, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prometheus Global Media, for $8 million cash. FishbowlDC As part of the deal, PrometheusGM will add to its portfolio mediabistro.com and editorial sites including FishbowlDC, FishbowlNY, TVNewser and PRNewser, as well as the Mediabistro Job Board, and Mediabistro’s education business. THR Prometheus Global Media is the parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Adweek magazines. Mashable The deal still needs shareholder approval, which could happen by mid-July. The tradeshow portion of the company will remain with Mediabistro CEO Alan Meckler under a new company — Mecklermedia. The company’s 3D printing and bitcoin assets are also not a part of the deal. The site gained a following in media circles, particularly in New York and Washington, D.C., thanks in part to its job board and professional skill development courses. The acquisition provides Prometheus with a new cadre of editorial pieces that fit with the company’s other focused media assets. Prometheus also runs the Clio Awards for advertising and the movie event company Film Expo Group. Poynter / MediaWire Mediabistro alums include Brian Stelter, who wrote for TVNewser and now hosts Reliable Sources at CNN, and Patrick Gavin, who worked for FishbowlDC. In 2007, Laurel Touby sold Mediabistro.com for $23 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Oprah Eyes Clippers | Viacom to Buy Channel 5 | Time Warner Profits Soar

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Oprah Considering Los Angeles Clippers Bid (ESPN)
Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison will join together in a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA’s board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, Geffen said Wednesday. FishbowlNY Others interested in buying the Clippers include Diddy (he even created his own hashtag #DiddyBuyTheClippers) and Floyd Mayweather. THR The OWN Network founder would pair with music mogul Geffen and Oracle co-founder Ellison in an investor role. On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver pledged to force the sale of the Clippers after audio recordings of racist remarks made by owner Donald Sterling surfaced on TMZ days earlier. Sterling, who has owned the Clippers franchise since 1981, faces a ban from attending all NBA games as well as making any business decisions for the team. LA Times / Sports Now Winfrey, in reference to Sterling’s comments, told TMZ on Tuesday that “the plantation days are over.” She also denied having interest in purchasing the team on her own. However, Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, issued a statement Wednesday confirming that she’s in talks about becoming an investor. Reuters The advisory finance committee of the NBA’s governing board scheduled a meeting for Thursday to review the next steps for forcing a sale of the Clippers, as urged on Tuesday by NBA commissioner Adam Silver, a league spokeswoman said. Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981 for $13 million when the team was based in San Diego, has not indicated whether he would relinquish ownership without a fight. Experts have estimated that the franchise, which moved to Los Angeles in 1984, could now be worth as much as $800 million.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: García Márquez Dead at 87 | Whoopi Gets New Gig | Wallace Re-Signs

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Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Laureate, Dies at 87 (GalleyCat)
Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez passed away Thursday. He was 87 years old. Time The Nobel Prize-winning author was hospitalized for nine days in late March for an infection in his lungs and urinary tract. He had been recovering in his home in Mexico City since April 8. NYT His death was confirmed by Cristóbal Pera, his former editor at Random House. García Márquez, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982, wrote fiction rooted in a mythical Latin American landscape of his own creation, but his appeal was universal. His books were translated into dozens of languages. He was among a select roster of canonical writers — Dickens, Tolstoy and Hemingway among them — who were embraced both by critics and a mass audience. The Guardian Journalists gathered outside García Márquez’s house in Mexico City in the hope that one of the family members who was reportedly at his side would emerge. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto expressed sadness at the death of “one of the greatest writers of our time,” in the name of Mexico, the novelist’s adopted home. Chilean writer Luis Sepúlveda was quoted by the Mexican newspaper Reforma as saying that he was “the most important writer in Spanish of the 20th century.” WSJ Born in the sleepy town of Aracataca, Colombia, García Márquez was best known for his 1967 masterpiece, One Hundred Years of Solitude. In a career spanning more than 60 years, García Márquez wrote some of the Spanish language’s most revered books, many of which became best sellers in the U.S. They included Autumn of The Patriarch, Chronicle of A Death Foretold, Love in The Time of Cholera and The General in His Labyrinth. García Márquez was also an accomplished journalist, whose lyrical, deeply reported stories first caught the eye of readers in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, in the early 1950s. He later became renowned not only his profiles of presidents and despots but for the real-life close ties he cultivated with leaders ranging from Fidel Castro to Bill Clinton to François Mitterrand.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Pulitzers Announced | Google Buys Drone Maker | Relativity Eyes Maker Studios

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2014 Pulitzer Prizes Announced (FishbowlNY)
The Pulitzer Prizes celebrate the best of the best, and Monday we learned the latest recipients of journalism’s highest honor. TVNewser The Washington Post and the U.S. edition of The Guardian have won the award. They will share the Public Service award for their series of stories on NSA surveillance, as revealed by Edward Snowden, an NSA contractor who gave the top-secret information to the news organizations. The Pulitzer committee said the journalism was “marked by authoritative and insightful reports that helped the public understand how the disclosures fit into the larger framework of national security.” Politico Snowden immediately declared the decision “a vindication.” The reporting on the former government contractor’s leaks was led by journalists Glenn Greenwald and Ewan McAskill at The Guardian, Barton Gellman at the Post, and Laura Poitras, who worked with both newspapers. NYT The Boston Globe won the breaking news prize for its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, which killed three people and wounded at least 260. The Post won a second award, for explanatory journalism. Eli Saslow, 31, a staff writer, won for a series of articles on American families that rely on the federal food stamp program. GalleyCat Author Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book The Goldfinch. The novel about an orphan also won Amazon’s Best Books of the Month “Spotlight Pick” in October 2013 and was shortlisted for 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Amazon Prime Price Hike | McCarthy to Wonkblog | Drone Covers Harlem

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Amazon Prime Gets Price Bump to $99 A Year (VentureBeat)
Nine years after it launched, Amazon Prime is getting an inevitable price increase. Amazon announced Thursday that Prime will now cost $99 per year in the U.S., a slight bump from the previous $79 a year price. WSJ The Seattle retailer said the 25 percent increase was needed to offset rising delivery and content-acquisition costs. The $99 price takes effect for new members on March 20. Existing Prime members will pay the higher rate when they renew. CNNMoney In February, Amazon said it was considering raising the price to $119 a year. Prime members get two-day shipping on a large number of Amazon items at no extra cost, plus the ability to borrow Kindle books and stream movies and television shows. The company also said that it has increased the benefits of the program, now offering free shipping on 19 million items, up from only 1 million nine years ago. It also introduced its video streaming service in 2011 and recently launched Amazon-produced shows. THR The $99 price point may open the door for a tiered pricing system that would allow people to subscribe to Amazon Instant Video or Kindle’s lending library separately. Amazon does not disclose the number of Prime members, but research from Cowen and Co. estimates that there are about 23 million members in the United States, representing a 37 percent increase year-over-year in January. The research also indicates that 95 percent of Prime members visit Amazon monthly and 85 percent make a purchase.

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Lionsgate Sued Over Hunger Games Nail Polish

News has been spreading for weeks on film and beauty blogs that China Glaze, a popular nail polish brand, was creating a special collection for the upcoming Hunger Games movie. This little fishie already had her favorite colors all picked out. But the nail polishes have been killed, thanks to Lionsgate, who terminated the contract with China Glaze parent company American International Industries (AII) on November 17.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, AII is now suing Lionsgate for $10 million dollars, on the grounds that the contract between the two companies was improperly terminated, and after the brand had sunk millions into the production of the nail polish. We’re rooting for AII on this one, in part because they got screwed over by a giant film company, but mostly because we really wanted a bottle of Flaming Gems (lower right-hand corner.)

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 10, 2007

russell crowe.jpegYuma Scores at Boxoffice
James Mangold and producer Cathy Konrad‘s follow-up to their Walk the Line, the western 3:10 to Yuma starring Russell Crowe and Christian Bale, took top stop at the boxoffice over the weekend. Variety reports that it played on the high-end of expectations with Ben Fritz writing that it was moved up to “give it more breathing room” before the release of Brad Pitt’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Read about how the rest of the pics played here.

Cates to Produce Oscars, Again
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is standing by its lucky guy Gil Cates who has signed on to produce the Oscarcast again next year. It will be his 14th time driving the Oscar train, a job that in itself has garnered 99 Emmy nominations and 25 wins, Variety reports.

Variety on Blanchett, Elizabeth
On the heels of her best actress win at the Venice Film Festival, Cate Blanchett made her way overseas to Toronto to tout a return to the throne in Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Variety‘s Todd McCarthy is happy to see her reprise the role that made her famous, but that’s about it. “Without the pleasure of watching Cate Blanchett…there would be little to recommend this latest of many cinematic and television accounts of the celebrated monarch’s life…” If you care to read on, click here.

Penn to Go Gay for Gus
Gay helmer Gus Van Sant is pushing Sean Penn and Matt Damon for a biopic about openly gay politico Harvey Milk. Penn is attached to play Milk with Matt attached to play the assassin who guns him down, reports THR out of Toronto. Sideways Michael London is producing.

Lionsgate loves Mandate
In other Toronto news, Lionsgate said in THR Monday that it has made a buy to acquire Mandate Pictures for $56.3 million in cash and stock. The trade paper writes that the deal reunites Lionsgate with Joe Drake, who prior to launching Mandate served as head of Lionsgate’s international distribution. Since he left, he has been involved in Mandate pics like Stranger Than Fiction and the upcoming Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Angelenos About To Be Freed From “Capitivity”

captivity.jpgAlmost as soon as the billboards for the Lionsgate film Captivity went up, the complaints came in.

Women were outraged by the four panel billboard that showed a woman being kidnapped, confined, tortured and killed. Go figure. Quite a few of them told the movie studio that if they wanted misogyny with their morning commutes, they’d listen to Howard.

As a result, the studio (which claimed to have no knowledge of the billboards) will be pulling all 40 of them by Tuesday, according to the LAT.

Lionsgate had partnered with After Dark Films, which said the billboards’ release was an “accident.”

Sources tell FBLA that this mistake could cost the film a “Not Rated” designation by the MPAA — which would keep the film out of many theaters. Our crusading insiders also told us that After Dark Film is considering making a contribution to an organization that helps abused women.

We’d like to see a portion of any contribution go to giving the film’s star, Elisha Cuthbert, just one role in which she isn’t bound and gagged.