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Posts Tagged ‘Ted Johnson’

PMC, Prometheus Settle Deadline-TVLine-THR Lawsuit

From a PR standpoint, it’s been a strange week for PMC.

On Tuesday, Jay Penske’s operation rolled out a new weekly edition of Variety. But for a variety of reasons (pun intended, sorry), the launch yielded not nearly the boffo media splash it should have.

Now, at the end of a Passover/Good Friday week’s close, there is news of the settlement of a contentious IP theft lawsuit filed by PMC against Hollywood Reporter parent-parent company Prometheus Global Media. In this case, perhaps PMC was readying a big Cesar Chavez Day press release. But instead, Wall Street Journal reporter Ben Fritz this afternoon got to the court documents first, followed by TheWrap’s Lucas Shaw:

When PMC filed the suit, it was seeking more than $5 million in damages, accusing THR of lifting source code from PMC’s site TVLine.com. The two parties settled on $162,500 as well as some other pieces that have not been made public, according to an individual with knowledge of the suit.

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LGBT Journo Panel Will Address Being ‘Out in the Newsroom’

Our friend Phillip Zonkel has let us know about a Saturday March 2 event that he will be taking part in. Zonkel, along with CNN’s Miguel Marquez, LA Times reporter Bettina Boxall, NBC LA’s Mekahlo Medina and LAT assistant travel editor Jane Engle will talk about what it’s like to be an openly gay reporter.

“Out in the Newsroom: A Look at LGBT Coverage and Careers in Journalism” is being sponsored by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) and Los Angeles Press Club. It will take place at the latter organization’s 4773 Hollywood Blvd. HQ from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is to be moderated by Variety political editor Ted Johnson. The suggested donation is $5.

By the way, Zonkel is nominated this year at the GLAAD Media Awards for his Long Beach Press-Telegram two-part investigation of bullying of LGBT high school youth and the willful disregard by certain school districts of state measures designed to mitigate this very ugly phenomenon.

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DGA President’s Google Slam Ignored by Media

When Taylor Hackford (pictured), the elected leader of the Directors Guild of America, points the video piracy finger at Google, it should be a bigger story than the dribble that came out of Wednesday’s Entertainment Content Protection Summit at the Universal Hilton. Part of the reason for the muted coverage, ironically, is that the event was co-presented by Variety, which threw up several articles about the event behind its new pay wall.

Per this throwaway mention in the LA Times, the media imprint of Hackford’s keynote is virtually non-existent. This despite the fact that Hackford pegged the annual aggregate cost of piracy at $25 billion.

Said Hackford during his speech:

“Google is making money through [its] search engine with these [download] sites. We’ve got to be able to say [to Google], ‘You are facilitating illegal activity’… No business model we create can compete with free.”

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus YouTubes for Boxer

Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes a video for Senator Barbara Boxer. Okay, Chuck Norris or the mailman from Cheers – your turn to make a video for Carly Fiorina. Just hope none of the conservative celebs had HP stock. Oops.

Hat tip Ted Johnson.

FBLA Trolls WeHo – Finds Journos

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We went to Patrick Range McDonald‘s birthday party in West Hollywood on Saturday. Here we are pictured with McDonald (in the middle) and Variety’s Ted Johnson.

Other notables at the party include Michael Weinstein, founder of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Mike Gatto, attorney and politico at Mayer Brown, Miki Jackson and John Walsh, who host Neighborhood Point of View (the cable access show), Japhy Grant, editor of Queerty.com, Rick Jacobs, founder of Courage Campaign, Christine Pelisek, staff writer at LA Weekly, Daniel Heimpel and Max Taves, freelancers at the Weekly Jill Stewart, deputy news editor at LA Weekly David Hernandez, longtime gadfly and public access producer Sabrina Venskus, environmental attorney, B. Daniel Blatt, blogger at GayPatriot.net, Tom Whitman, nightlife promoter, Nick Velasquez, Rocky Delgadillo‘s spokesman, writer Luke Thompson and Jim Hoffmaster, character actor.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was, of course, invited but didn’t show. Which was both disappointing and expected…just like his stint as mayor.

Spielberg Also Gives Cash to Fight Prop. 8

110_20_steven_spielberg_.jpg As we reported earlier heartthrob Brad Pitt gave a $100k to combat Proposition 8 that wishes to change the California constitution to ban gay marriage. Now as Ted Johnson of Variety is reporting Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw have matched that amount.

Variety reports:

Spielberg and Capshaw said in a statement, “By writing discrimination into our state constitution, Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate the right of each and every citizen in our state to marry regardless of sexual orientation. Such discrimination has NO place in California’s constitution, or any other.”

It’s not that we’re shocked that Hollywood is so pro-gay. It’s that they’re so pro-marriage.

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 27, 2007

michael bay.jpegTransformers 2 Picks a Date
Paramount and DreamWorks are moving ahead with plans for a Transformers 2 project, stamping down June 26, 2009 as the release date, reports Variety. The story says the date is just a target but isn’t “ironclad” as they still need to lock in Michael Bay and work out the ongoing tension between the two studios.

Reiner Backs Clinton
Variety‘s Ted Johnson writes in today’s paper that director Rob Reiner has given Hillary Clinton’s campaign a boost by endorsing her in the upcoming election. Johnson writes that Reiner’s decision is a “key endorsement” for Hil because he’s “one of the entertainment industry’s most politically-active figures.”

THR reports that Disney is canceling its Disney Mobile MVNO service, the second such Disney-branded project to bite the dust in less than a year following ESPN Mobile. Read the full Disney shuttering story here.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Mike Lacey, Diane Ljungaeus Defend LA Weekly, Jill Stewart Against LA Observed

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Village Voice honcho Mike Lacey writes LA Observed a letter to set things straight about the LA Weekly’s cross town move, editors, departing writers, and just about everything, and after checking around to make sure it wasn’t a fake and hearing from Lacey’s lawyer–KRod posts it, with annotations. Laurie Ochoa wrote him as well, despite his claims to never hear from her.

FBLA hears that a few other people have written to protest his increasingly personal attacks on LA Weekly news editor Jill Stewart, who’s been our editor a few times. One of these is Diana Lungaeus of the LA Press Club, who kindly allowed us to post her letter here:

From: “Diana Ljungaeus”
To:
Subject: Defending Jill Stewart
Date: Thu, 27 Sep 2007 00:11:45 -0800

Kevin,
I had really hoped to stay out of this for several reasons – one being that I am the executive director of Los Angeles Press Club. Let me, therefore, point out that I am writing this solely as a friend and colleague of Jill Stewart. To see her persecuted by LA Observed in the way that I have witnessed of late not only hurts her, but damages journalism itself. Jill would never, not even in “attack-mode,” single out another writer by name as untrustworthy or unethical. She of course gladly will go after news institutions and their weak, non-substantive, gossipy news coverage.

Your description of Jill as somebody journalists cannot work with couldn’t be further from the truth. I know this because for several years we worked together on the Press Club board, where she was a popular leader–managing to get busy journalists to work as a team even though this often can be compared to herding cats. And, most importantly, she did this with good humor and was well-liked, even by writers from competitor organizations. Among her many responsibilities she was the editor for our newsletter, The 8 Ball, for four years. During this period she motivated a large mix of volunteers to take time out from their busy schedules to write for the 8 Ball–Bob Baker, Alex Ben Block, Michael Collins, Ted Johnson, myself and Karen Ocamb, to mention a few.

We all know Jill as a hard worker who makes things happen. I also know Jill as an editor, having written for her for the Weekly. Not many others would have given me that chance, knowing I write English as a second language. My first assignment for Jill was “Malibu Bad Neighbor,” about the son of an African dictator who bought the most expensive home in Malibu and is trying to become a force in Hollywood. The story was ignored by local media, even though a national network currently is digging into it–thanks to the Weekly coverage.

Another reason I am inclined to defend her is that Jill brings solid news coverage to LA Weekly. Jill marches to the beat of her own drum and we sometimes disagree, however, she is “independent” in the deepest sense of that word and I salute her for it!

Diana Ljungaeus

Some speculate that Stewart’s take down of the LA Times’ Arnold groping stories may have cost that team of writers a Pulitzer nod. Could Roderick be trying to avenge the John Carroll crowd? And after the paper had been so nice to him, too.

Earlier:
Wiener & Pals Recall the Good Old Days at the LA Weekly—It’s All Jill Stewart’s Fault
Jill Stewart in at LA Weekly, Alan Mittelstaedt Out

Trade Round-Up: Sept. 14, 2007

magic johnson.jpegJohnson Helps Clinton Campaign
Following up on Oprah‘s ritzy fundraiser for Barack Obama last weekend in Montecito, Variety gives the deets on another campaign party planned for Southern California this weekend but this time it’s Magic Johnson hosting a bash for Hillary Clinton. Variety‘s Ted Johnson writes that some are calling the back-to-back events “an unprecedented courting of African Americans by each campaign”

Valkyrie Gains Access in Germany
Tom Cruise‘s star power has helped German officials change their minds, allowing the filmmakers behind Cruise’s Valkyrie to shoot at Bendlerblock, the original site where officers behind the failed 1944 plot to kill to kill Adolf Hitler were executed.

Gore to Appear at Emmys
Al Gore really loves Hollywood. Well, actually he loves the award shows. Gore is set to appear at this Sunday’s Emmy telecast during which his cable network, Current TV, is nominated in the interactive TV category. Variety reports that the showing will make him a veteran of the “Hollywood loop” following appearances at the Grammys, the Oscars and now the Emmys.

Foster Pic Expected to Win at B.O.
THR takes on the weekend boxoffice with Carl Diorio projecting that the Jodie Foster-starrer The Brave One will win the weekend taking in approximately $15 million. Other openers include Mr. Woodcock and Dragon Wars.

Joy in Toronto for Weinsteins
In more Toronto Film Festival news, the Weinstein Co. has acquired North American distribution rights to the music docu Joy Division, THR reports. Grant Gee directed the pic, an account of the late 1970s English rock band.

- CHRIS GARDNER

Variety: The Greatest Stories That Never Were, Like Katie Changes News Forever

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Ted Johnson, in Variety, has a great twist on the year-end wrap-up piece–stuff that never happened, no matter who predicted it or how loudly it was chanted. Our best pick:

Katie Couric revolutionizes the evening news. Amazing interviews, commentaries and personality. Plenty of personality. After touring the country in advance of the most-hyped debut in recent memory, Couric has hardly reshaped the evening news business, or even redefined it. Rather, her broadcast has proven to be more like–well like the news was when Bob Schieffer was anchor. Nor has there been a ratings shift. Given the glacial pace of changing viewing habits, more can happen over time, but Couric has proven the limits of how much you can really change a broadcast rooted in the 1960s. Likewise, her departure from “Today” may have created a brief opening in the morning, but Meredith Vieira has proven a seamless replacement and the competitive landscape in the morning is largely unchanged.

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