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Posts Tagged ‘Meg James’

LAT Entertainment Journos Talk to ASU Students About the Job at Hand

Talk about an informative field trip stop. Last month, a group of students from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication came to LA and got to listen to the following LA Times entertainment journalists panel March 12: Steven Zeitchik, Amy Kaufman, Chris Lee, John Horn, Mary McNamara, Meg James, Scott Collins and Dawn Chmielewski.

The event was part of an ASU west coast swing titled “Covering the Business of Entertainment,” which has also encompassed visits to studio lots. From the Reynolds Center report about the panel discussion:

Kaufman said that reporters have to be careful about what information is on and off the record. It’s not a good idea to ruin a relationship with a publicist or contact, she added.

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Report: Rupert Murdoch Interested in the LA Times*

A day after KPBS relayed Doug Manchester’s possible interest in acquiring the LA Times, there is news of a much bigger media mogul sniffing around this city’s prized daily newspaper. According to LA Times reporter Meg James, her new boss could potentially turn out to be none other than Rupert Murdoch:

News Corp. executives have had preliminary talks with debt holders about acquiring the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, according to two ranking News Corp. executives and others familiar with the situation.

These people cautioned that talks are in the early stages, and that a deal is by no means certain… On trips to Los Angeles, Murdoch is known to mark up the newspaper with a Sharpie pen to illustrate how he would design pages.

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Innovative AT&T Web Series a Big Hit with Asian Americans

The key takeaway from Meg JamesLA Times article about a successful campaign created for AT&T by Long Beach firm InterTrend Communications comes four paragraphs down:

“The subculture is actually becoming the mass culture,” explained Julia Huang, InterTrend’s founder and chief executive. “The people who are watching Web series … are actually leading the way of how media is consumed and how the culture is shaped.”

InterTrend was hired to connect AT&T with a demographic that has been found to watch twice as many Web videos as any other ethnic American group. The result was the English-language Away We Happened, an interactive YouTube soap opera that has racked up more than 10 million views. The drama focuses on a young couple played by Sacramento actor Victor Kim and Internet personality Jen Frmheadtotoe.

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Larry King NOW Moves Across Town to Glendale

In our review of the first week of broadcasts of Larry King’s Internet talk show, we noted how strange and unusual it was to watch the suspender-ed one gabbing from the comfort of his Beverly Hills home. No longer.

Per an interview in the LA Times, the ora.tv/Hulu weekday program has been relocated to new studio facilities in Glendale, with paint colors picked out by wife Shawn. For people living in the Jewel City, this is a big deal. First came the Americana at Brand; now follows SoCal’s closest active, broadcast brand-equivalent to that term (excepting, by King’s own admission, Vin Scully):

King’s plan is to keep asking questions and continue Larry King NOW for another seven years — until 2020, or until he dies.

“I think that’s the way it’s going to end,” King said. “I will fall over. And Shawn will emcee the funeral, but she’ll be late. She’ll be home doing her hair.”

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Magic Johnson Launching African-American Focused TV Channel

Throughout his NBA and business career, Magic Johnson has always aspired to achieve great things. So it’s only logical that he would choose to call his new TV channel Aspire.

Per an LA Times article this morning by Meg James and Greg Braxton, Johnson’s channel is the first of several planned by Comcast TV as part of the company’s recent agreement with the FCC and Department of Justice to diversify. Aspire will offer a 24-hour mix of inspirational, family-friendly movies, comedy, music and more. From the article:

“This is so exciting for me, I’m pinching myself,” Johnson said in a phone interview. “This is big for myself, for the African-American community and the African-American creative community. I wanted a vehicle to show positive images and to have stories written, produced and directed by African-Americans for our community. Aspire — that’s how I’ve been leading my life.”

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Saban Aims to Put Julius on Cartoon A-List

Today is monkee day at Saban Brands. Per Meg Jamesfun piece in the LA Times, the company that made mega-millions with Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers is now banking on the crown jewel of its 2010 OC acquisition, Paul Frank Industries.

Along with a 2012 cartoon Christmas TV special being officially announced today, Saban plans to have 1990s fashion icon character Julius the Monkey power a cross-country Winnebago tour and a balloon in this fall’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. But Saban and co. are still struggling with a key aspect of the Xmas show:

The TV project has forced the question: What is the right look and voice for Julius? “If we were to come out with some slick version of Toy Story for Paul Frank, that wouldn’t feel right for the characters,” said Ryan Heuser, who in 1995 co-founded the company with Paul Frank Sunich in Heuser’s Huntington Beach garage. ..

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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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LA TV Stations Reap Election Ad Bonanza

LA Times TV industry beat reporter Meg James has the lowdown on a different kind of boffo BO, though some might argue that it still involves a bunch of 3-D jackasses.

Via the newspaper’s Company Town blog, James tips her own story about some staggering figures being compiled by Wells Fargo Securities media analyst Marci Ryvicker:

Ryvicker found that LA stations had collected $105 million [in political ad spending] by the third week of September – three times as much as New York stations. And that was before the candidates’ spending sprees kicked into high gear. By the time election season is over, LA stations could take in as much as $150 million in political money.

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Loeb Award Finalists Announced — SoCal (Finally) Represented

01largenews.jpg Unlike some of the other prizes recently, SoCal newspapers are better represented in this morning’s announcement of Loeb finalists (the award is based out of Los Angeles, so we’d better be!).

Some of the local points of pride:

Finalists in the Breaking News category include Claudia Eller, Richard Verrier, Maria Elena Fernandez, Jay A. Fernandez, Meg James, John Horn and Joseph Menn for their LAT writers’ strike coverage.

In the Best Writing category, Lisa Girion is up for her story “Coverage Denied.”

Congratulations!

(photo of 2001 winners from the OC Register)

LAT In 90 Seconds

s-BRITNEY-GEORGE-large.jpgDid George Clooney Call The Cops on Brit? Probably not, but consider this HuffPo item when reading today’s lede: “Police were called to Britney Spears’ neighborhood after someone reported a swarm of paparazzi trespassing in the singer’s gated community.”

rootsscreen_2.jpgLAT‘s New Favorite Pub: No. Not that kind of pub. The LAT has an item about Roots, “an ambitious new online magazine that focuses on African American culture, politics and genealogy,” which launched yesterday. Owned by the Washington Post and featuring such bylines as Malcolm Gladwell, Charlayne Hunter-Gault and William Julius Wilson, we wonder if reporter David Sarno wrote up a resume and cover letter along with his blog post.

34988900.jpgWe Totally Didn’t Know That: In this story about how The Guiding Light is changing its production value, we learned where “soap operas” got their name. Kinda cool — thanks, Meg James!

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