Archive for April, 2012

Syfy: Big Network Sizzle

April 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Syfy: Big Network Sizzle

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NBC wins big at Sports Emmys

April 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV News: Network nabs eight kudos

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Google Sales Boss Nikesh Arora Gets An $8 Million Payday

April 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Nikesh Arora, who runs Google’s ad business, is set to cash an $8 million paycheck next month. The one-time payout, disclosed via an SEC filing today, is compensation for a chunk of stock and option grants he’s giving up as part of a new pay package. Last year Arora made $23 million , most of which came from stock and options.

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Atlas Independent takes on ‘Revenge’

April 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Dark comedy stars Wood, Brody, Phillippe, Wiig

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Syfy: Upfront Sizzle Reel

April 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

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Apple and Taxes: What the New York Times Missed

April 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

I have never seen the exterior of the offices of Braeburn Capital in Reno, Nevada, and so I have the New York Times to thank for the photograph of its offices that accompanied its Sunday front-page story on how Apple avoids paying certain taxes, among them California state corporate income taxes. As the person who six years ago this month revealed in BusinessWeek that Apple had incorporated in Nevada where the corporate tax rate is zero, I found the account by Charles Duhigg and David Kocieniewski of the many financial tricks that Apple employs to minimize its tax exposure to contain a lot of old news, but also some new fascinating details. Who couldn’t love a phrase like “ Double Irish with a Dutch Sandwich ” to describe arcane accounting and legal tricks? But the implication the story leaves you with — that Apple is somehow doing society a disservice by not paying its fair share of corporate taxes — is simply wrong on many levels. The most dubious of lines that the Times attempts to draw is between Apple and the budget crisis at De Anza College, a local community college where Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was once a student. The college is facing a “ death spiral ” because of a decline in funding from the state. This funding, the reader is led to conclude, would be more plentiful if corporations like Apple were to step up and pay and not escape the tax bill by setting up an office in neighboring Nevada. What the Times fails to make clear is how community colleges are funded in California. The picture is much more complicated. California community colleges draw the majority of their funding from the state’s general fund — which is drawn directly from the state’s personal and corporate income taxes — and from local property taxes collected by counties. As of the 2009-2010 budget cycle, these two buckets made up about 88 percent of the system’s funding. State lottery funds, federal funds and student fees made up the remainder. Tax policy wonks — which I’m not — will remember that California was the birthplace of the property tax revolt movement in the 1970s. In 1978, California voters overwhelmingly approved a measure that limits the amount by which property taxes can increase each year. Since then, at least one estimate pegs the amount that the state’s taxpayers have avoided paying at north of half a trillion dollars as of 2009 . In February, the property tax shortfall facing the state community college system was $41 million . Conclusion: If there is to be blame for the shortage of taxpayer funding at De Anza College, a healthy portion of it should be laid at the door of California’s own voters and taxpayers, who in 1978 thought that property tax limitations were a good idea. I had a few other problems with the story. Take sales taxes. When you buy a Mac in New York, you pay a sales tax of 8.875 percent

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TruTV Taps Fresh Reality Slate for Upfront

April 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TruTV is headed into its upfront season with a new slate of reality programs and a new mandate: define "reality." These days, said executive vp and COO Marc Juris, the discussion of reality programming isn't nearly nuanced enough.

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1927 best picture winner ‘Wings’ gets PG-13 rating

April 30, 2012  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film News: Par pic to get re-release in Cinemark theaters

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‘Mad Men’ Minute Ep 7 At the Codfish Ball

April 30, 2012  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Mad men Minute Ep 7 At the Codfish Ball

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CrowdFanatic: A Facebook App for Fanboys and the Brands That Love Them

April 30, 2012  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

With the rise of social networks, professing one’s love for a particular brand is as simple as clicking “Like” on a Facebook page. But, for Facebook, that activity can be somewhat siloed: You’re either preaching to the choir on a fan page or sharing that love with your circle of friends via status updates. While that may not irk the average “Twilight” fan, it’s a potential thorn in the paw of social media marketers who want their campaigns to go viral. Enter CrowdFanatic , the recently launched app that lets fans interact on Facebook by pitting opposing groups against one another. Thus, Google Android fans can challenge Apple zealots in an “arena,” a page where participants can exchange comments back and forth, making the case for their particular beloved product. From there, anyone can share a link to the discussion to attract others. In other words, the app essentially gives fanboys of different stripes a battleground to duke it out in. In a time where viral marketing can make or break a given product (the Pebble smart watch , for example), the idea is an interesting one for brands looking for a wider reach. Get enough users to rally behind your cause — be it a movie, a political candidate or a laundry detergent — and the court of public opinion could turn more customers and supporters your way. While individual fans can start their own “arenas,” the most obvious use case is for social media marketing campaigns. The app is currently free to all Facebook users, but founder Yaron Bazaz and his team are currently working on a plug-in for Facebook brand pages, wherein companies could connect CrowdFanatic to their page for a licensing fee, as well as a cut of the revenue share from an online donation system

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