Archive for December, 2011

Judge: Marvel owns Ghost Rider rights

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Court rejects writer's claim to character

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Hurd Loses Appeal to Keep Accuser’s Letter Confidential

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO and current Oracle president Mark Hurd has lost an appeal before a court in Delaware in which he sought to keep confidential a letter that contained allegations of sexual harassment. That means the letter — or at least a partially redacted version of it — will ultimately be made public, though it wasn’t clear exactly when that will be. The court ruled Wednesday. Hurd had intervened in a shareholder lawsuit against HP earlier this year in which an HP investor, Ernesto Espinoza, sought to make public both the Fisher letter and a report documenting the results of an internal investigation conducted by HP’s board of directors. Espinoza had argued that shareholders are entitled to read them in order to investigate possible corporate wrongdoing and waste arising from the relationship and Hurd’s subsequent resignation, including the terms of Hurd’s severance package from HP. “In the Court of Chancery, documents filed in a court proceeding are public records unless a party seeking confidentiality demonstrates ‘good cause,’” the court’s opinions reads, referring to the Delaware court where the case began. “The Court of Chancery decided that the intervenor,” — referring to Hurd — “did not establish good cause to maintain the confidentiality of the letter. We agree and affirm.” The court had earlier ruled that the internal HP report conducted by the law firm Covington & Burling will remain confidential. The eight-page letter, dated June 24, 2010, was addressed to Hurd and was written by Jodie Fisher’s attorney, Gloria Allred. Hurd turned the letter over to HP’s then-general counsel, Michael Holston, who then turned the matter over to HP’s board of directors. An internal investigation exonerated Hurd of the sexual harassment claims; it found instead inconsistencies with expense reports that came to light in the course of the investigation that violated its business conduct. The finding prompted Hurd to resign on Aug. 6, 2010.

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Start-Ups Need Staff to Get Investors’ Cash

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Many Silicon Valley start-ups have had a tough time finding qualified computer engineers amid a growing talent war. Investors are adding to the pressure. Venture capitalists and Bay Area entrepreneurs say local start-ups face extra hurdles in raising money or are denied funding if the companies don’t have what is considered to be a full team of qualified employees — especially engineers. This has traditionally been the case, but the problem has become more pronounced in recent years as the number of solo entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley has grown. Read the rest of this post on the original site

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Gang-Tackling TV’s Ratings Roster

December 29, 2011  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television is a football-delivery mechanism that occasionally transmits the odd episode of NCIS , so it should come as no surprise that National Football League and college games accounted for the biggest ratings of 2011. According to Nielsen, NFL programming served up nine of the year’s top 10 largest audiences, while the BCS National Championship Game and Monday Night Football dominated on cable. With an average draw of 111 million total viewers, Fox’s Feb. 6 coverage of Super Bowl XLV became the single most-watched broadcast of all time. The Packers-Steelers brawl easily out-delivered the previous record holder; CBS’ presentation of Super Bowl XLIV (Saints-Colts) drew 106.5 million viewers, edging the series finale of M*A*S*H by a margin of some 500,000 souls. Perhaps more importantly, the Super Bowl drew a 39.9 rating among adults 18-49, about five times what American Idol averaged (8.0) as the top-rated program of 2010-11. Along with the pre- and post-game shows, viewers also flocked to the AFC Championship Game on CBS (54.9 million) and the NFC Championship Game on Fox (51.9 million). The lone entry on this year’s top 10 list that had nothing to do with the NFL was the 83rd Academy Awards. ABC on Feb. 27 managed to scare up 37.9 million viewers, down 9 percent from Oscar’s year-ago 41.7 million.

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Holiday Reading: The SEC Dissects Groupon’s Original Prospectus

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A point-by-point takedown of Groupon’s original prospectus by the sticklers at the SEC became public this week. In a letter dated June 29, the SEC asked Groupon to clarify its accounting and informal remarks in its S-1 filing from June 2 . The filing was amended multiple times before Groupon went public in November . Back in June, the SEC found fault with Groupon extracting marketing costs from its income , saying it was “potentially misleading.” The regulators also asked for a lot of schoolmarm-y tweaks. For instance, the SEC quotes Groupon’s statement “Our customers and merchants are all we care about,” and asks the company to “Please balance the statements regarding the premise that your customers and merchants are all you care about with a discussion of your fiduciary duty to shareholders.” Also made public this week were further SEC memos from this summer and fall that haggle over specific points. Additionally, there are a couple of Groupon memos to the SEC regarding a crucial rally-the-troops internal email that was published here on AllThingsD . Groupon argued with the SEC that Mason’s leaked email should not have been viewed as an offer to sell Groupon stock to investors, but rather “ inadvertent dissemination to the public of the internal communication.” The company agreed to add the letter to its prospectus

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CBS wins quiet Wednesday race

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Reruns dominate in run up to new year

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Canal Plus Spain bets on ‘Falcon’ miniseries

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: European co-production teams BSkyB, ZDF

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Irisarri steps down at Spain’s Vertice

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

International News: Company faces tough market conditions at home

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Bob Parsons’ SOPA-Box (Comic)

December 29, 2011  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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U2 tops 2011 concert biz

December 29, 2011  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Music News: Top 25 domestic tours grossed $1.19 bil, per Pollstar

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