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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Branson’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Raven to Retire From A&E | NBC Undecided on Virgin Galactic Series

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A&E Networks Chairman Abbe Raven to Retire (THR)
Cable pioneer Abbe Raven is set to retire. Her last day as chairman of A&E Networks will be Feb. 2. The news comes nearly a year after Raven’s protégé, Nancy Dubuc, was elevated to CEO and Raven to chairman. Deadline Hollywood Dubuc took oversight of the day-to-day operations of the company, while Raven remained in charge of A&E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, including distribution, as well as public policy initiatives and corporate outreach. A year ago, Dubuc also took over distribution. She will remain president and CEO. Variety Raven’s role as chairman will not be filled. Raven is without question one of key architects of A&E Networks’ growth, particularly in the past 15 years. The company, a joint venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney, is home to some of cable’s most prosperous channels, but as a private concern it is shielded from quarterly earnings scrutiny. Under Raven and Dubuc, A&E has rapidly expanded its domestic and international portfolio, which generates an estimated $3.8 billion in annual revenue. TheWrap Prior to her position as president and CEO, Raven held high level executive roles at the company’s properties A&E Network, The Biography Channel and The History Channel. WSJ The handoff also comes at a challenging time. After setting cable-television ratings records last year with hits like Duck Dynasty on A&E and The Bible on History, the company’s two biggest channels have endured sharp declines this year. A&E’s ratings are down 32 percent so far this year in total viewers and 25 percent in its target demographic of 25- to 54-year olds, while History’s ratings are down 15 percent in both total viewers and those 25 to 54.

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Conan Faces Steep LinkedIn Battle

It’s been a few days now since Conan O’Brien set up a LinkedIn profile and declared his intention to topple Sir Richard Branson‘s status as the site’s most followed Influencer. So how is Coco doing?

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Vampire Weekend Guest Edit a Print Newspaper

Readers of the free daily newspaper Metro, designed as a 20-minute commute read for “young and ambitious professionals,” may notice a little extra youth and ambition in today’s New York, Boston and Philadelphia print editions. That’s because some very special guests helped fashion the content.

Per a brief item in the Boston Globe, members of the band Vampire Weekend took time out from their touring efforts for an editorial meeting in NYC:

Metro features editor Pat Healy told us he met with Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson in New York to “brainstorm some topics” for the paper. Some, like Koenig’s idea to write about all of the fashion designers from the Bronx, didn’t fly. But others, like Batmanglij’s pitch to report on genetically modified food, did.

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Bay Area Firm Claims Last Laugh with Jason Headsets.com Gambit

The auctioned switch of one Jason Sadler‘s name to Jason Headsets.com officially took place January 1. A month later, the company that paid $45,000 for these goofy one-year naming rights is claiming victory:

“The money we paid to buy Jason’s last name equates to $900 a week, or $125 a day,” said company president Mike Faith. “That’s incredibly cheap for the $6 million value of [media] coverage we’ve already had on this. We’re calling Jason our Six Million Dollar Man.”

The company, founded in 1997 and specializing in headsets for office telephone systems, says that in addition to stories by outlets like CNNMoney.com, TechCrunch and The Huffington Post, their investment has triggered close to a quarter million in additional sales. The six-million figure comes via a study Headsets.com commissioned from Universal Information Services.

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Internet Show Host Gives New Meaning to ‘Landing an Interview’

It honestly doesn’t get much cooler than this. To inaugurate Virgin America’s LA-Philadelphia route, What’s Trending host Shira Lazar has today bumped her usual Wednesday 10:00 a.m. PT broadcast slot to 1:30 p.m PT / 4:30 p.m. ET. So as to accommodate a live stream interview with fellow passenger Sir Richard Branson, with whom she crossed this great broadband land of ours today, west to east.

The conversation will take place on the ground at the Philadelphia end and will incorporate live viewer chat as well as questions submitted @whatstrending. Lazar will later share interviews done during the flight with It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia cast members Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose and Glenn Hower.

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Richard Branson’s Virgin iPad Mag Takes Off Tomorrow

Sir Richard Branson didn’t get his name on Forbes 2010 list of billionaires without making a few waves along the way.  Tomorrow the British industrialist will add another accomplishment to his well-publicized portfolio by launching Virgin’s digital magazine, Project, at a press conference in New York.  Paidcontent.org’s Robert Andrews reports that Virgin Digital Publishing group tasked former FHM UK editor-in-chief Anthony Noguera to produce the new mag alongside Branson’s daughter Holly.

Project’s debut edition will feature a video of actor Jeff Bridges from Tron on the cover – an unconventional move that will certainly raise the magazine’s production costs.  Project is positioning itself to rival to News Corp.’s soon-to-be released digital newspaper, The Daily, and — according to a company statement — will offer a truly unique user experience:

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Playboy Eyes New CEO

flanders.pngHas Playboy Enterprises finally found someone to permanently take the reins of the faltering company?

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the adult entertainment company is most likely going to offer its top spot to Scott Flanders, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif-based media company Freedom Communications.

Since Hef‘s daughter Christine Hefner stepped down as CEO of Playboy in December the company has been under the guidance of board member Jerome Kern. But even radical changes to the print model announced by Kern last month couldn’t stem rumors that Playboy was looking for a buyer. (Last week, Virgin Group denied rumors that Richard Branson was in talks to buy Playboy.) The company, which cut 80 jobs in October, has been struggling this year, reporting print and digital revenue declines in the first quarter and predicting additional drops for Q2.

Perhaps bringing in an outsider like Flanders could be exactly the kind of infusion the company needs to survive, although even WSJ was quick to point out the possible deal may fall through. Flanders formerly served as chairman and CEO of mail order music retailer Columbia House, where he helped terminate a merger of the company and CDNow that had been in the works when he came on board in 1999. In 2005, BMG bought Columbia House and Stuart Goldfarb, then president and CEO of BMG Direct, took over leadership of the acquired company. Flanders was appointed to the top spot at Freedom in January 2006.