Posts Tagged ‘business’

FX Is the Edgiest and Most Prolific Drama Producer on Ad-Supported TV

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, the prospect of an established actor accepting a role on a television series was as remote as the moons of Saturn. Backsliding from film to the boob tube was a tacit admission of defeat, one that could only lead to the purgatory that was a seat inside a garishly lit 6-foot-square window, flanked by your newfound friends and peers Dixie Carter and ALF. Billy Bob Thornton remembers it well. “When I was coming up, we all did television initially, and that was OK,” he says, speaking from the Calgary set of Fargo , an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 theatrical . “I’d get a bit part on Hunter or Matlock or Evening Shade, but if you were already established and you did TV, it meant the next stop was Hollywood Squares.” While certainly in no danger of fading into the long twilight of syndicated game-show obscurity, Thornton says the changing face of the independent film marketplace has made it increasingly difficult to tell the stories he’d like to pursue as a writer and an actor. “The $20-30 million adult drama, the medium-budget independent film, is a vanishing breed,” Thornton says. “Especially an adult drama with humor, which is my wheelhouse. Television has taken the place of those films. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

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TV Review: TNT’s ‘Inside Job,’ ‘Save Our Business’

February 27, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Neither TNT nor the makers of “Inside Job” (from the producers of “Undercover Boss”) and “Save Our Business” (which seeks to turn entrepreneur Peter Jones into the next Gordon Ramsay, minus the food throwing) — who are each raiding their own respective filmographies — win points for originality with the network’s new business-oriented reality-TV block.... Read more

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Maria Bartiromo Aims To Build Fox Business Network With Morning Show

February 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

When Maria Bartiromo departed her longtime perch at CNBC in November for a competitor, she did so knowing full well it would trigger a condition that would keep her off the air for 60 days – an eternity in the rapid-fire world of business news. But that doesn’t mean she wasn’t working. Bartiromo, who left... Read more

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Show Business Diversity Trailing U.S. Demographics, UCLA Report Shows

February 12, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Minorities and women are falling far short in making inroads into influential Hollywood positions compared with the actual demographics of the U.S. population, a new UCLA study shows. “This disconnect does not bode well for future of the Hollywood industry,” said Darnell Hunt, directors of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies. “Women already... Read more

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Binge Viewing, Cord Cutting and Streaming Platforms Are All the Rage at NATPE

January 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Some hot issues are sure to be addressed at the annual National Association of Television Program Executives gathering this week in Miami—among them, cord cutting, binge viewing, social media and the relentless rise of over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Hulu and Netflix . Producers and distributors of syndicated content are understandably nervous about the trend whereby TV channels want the right to launch an entire season of new episodes at one time on demand,

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CIOs Brand Enterprise Social Tools as Most Overhyped Technology of the Year

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It’s the end of the year, and that means a plethora of stories and lists with a lot of hyperbolic words like “hottest” or “greatest” in the headline rendering some kind of judgment on the prior 12 months. Usually I tend to avoid these stories because there are too many of them . But I was attracted to this one in part because of its balance of the cynical and the not-cynical, and by the source of the survey data: The CIOs of large corporations. It comes by way of Sierra Ventures, the enterprise-focused venture capital firm based in Palo Alto, Calif. For years that firm has maintained a network of about 70 CIOs at some of the world’s biggest companies, and has routinely sought their input on their needs from directly in the corporate IT trenches. Sierra has in turn allowed that advice to help guide its investment decisions and how it helps its portfolio companies grow. Recently it held its annual CIO Summit, and the time came to ask about 40 of those CIOs what was on their minds. The result was a simple survey with one key question: What were the most overhyped and underhyped technologies being hawked to large enterprises during the year? The answers were pretty clear and, at least in the overhyped category, close to unanimous. The most overhyped, in their view, were social tools aimed at the enterprise. This would include products like Jive, Microsoft’s Yammer, Salesforce.com’s Chatter, Moxie, VMWare’s Socialcast and a host of others. Their reasoning, as Al Campa, a partner at Sierra Ventures put it, was equally simple: “They don’t feel there’s any evidence for a return on investment or ROI,” he said. “It just didn’t move the needle for them when compared to other technologies they looked at.” It’s a kind of predictable answer where CIOs are concerned, but not chief marketing officers, or CMOs, said Tim Guleri, a managing partner at Sierra Ventures. “CIOs are all about controlling spending and driving down their costs and finding money to fund innovation elsewhere,” he said.

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Tristan Walker’s Next Act: Building a Procter & Gamble for People of Color

December 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In his first few months as an entrepreneur in residence at Andreessen Horowitz, Tristan Walker dreamed big when it came to startup ideas. There were the seeds he planted for a new kind of bank. There was the idea for a venture aimed at tackling childhood obesity. But, then, Walker decided his best bet was to found a company that was more “authentic” to him and his experiences. What he came up with was Walker & Company Brands, a next-generation Procter and Gamble with a straightforward, if ambitious, mission: To make health and beauty simple for people of color. That’s what he told me in an interview on Sunday night about his new company, which has raised $2.4 million led by Los Angeles-based Upfront Ventures, with backing from Andresseen Horowitz, SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Sherpa Ventures and the William Morris agency’s Charles King. Prior to Andreessen Horowitz, Walker ran business development at Foursquare, where he worked for nearly three years. On the surface, at least, the switch from a social-networking site to a consumer product goods company doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But when you hear Walker talk about his reason for creating Bevel, a $29.95 a month shaving kit that is the first brand launching under the Walker & Company umbrella and accepting pre-orders today , you can understand his motivation. Here’s an edited version of our conversation. Where did this idea come from? Tristan Walker: I was at Andreessen Horowitz for about nine months and I feel personally that I spent seven months of my time there chasing problems I probably wasn’t the right guy to solve. I wanted to build a bank.

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A Tale of Two Cities? A Q&A With Gavin Newsom on San Francisco’s History of “Animus” With Tech.

December 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

On the occasion of San Francisco finally getting its first major public Wi-Fi installation this week — nearly a decade after such an initiative had been proposed and awarded to Google and Earthlink — it seemed timely to call on Gavin Newsom. Newsom is the current lieutenant governor of California and former San Francisco mayor who had led the initial project. While still hurting over some political setbacks back then on the issue and wanting a little credit for his early efforts, he had some interesting thoughts on the history of intersections between San Francisco technology initiatives and public backlash against the tech industry. It’s a relevant and ongoing conversation as tensions continue in the city, which both embraces its tech hegemony and is also a little uncomfortable with the social and economic debates it brings. Representatives from local tech companies met behind closed doors yesterday with current Mayor Ed Lee for a conversation about “how the tech sector and the city can keep working together to continue San Francisco’s economic success for the benefit of everyone,” according to organizer Ron Conway, who said that specific areas of discussion included education, jobs and affordable housing. Here’s the conversation with Newsom, which has been edited slightly for length and the level of detail about local political skirmishes of the past. As one of the drivers behind the failed efforts for free citywide Wi-Fi when you were San Francisco mayor, what are your reflections on Wi-Fi launching on Market Street this week? I’m pleased, and I guess as a good Irish Catholic, you could say God’s delays are not God’s denials. It’s great to see the city step it up. I love the idea of Market Street because it’s the intersection of the old and the new San Francisco — symbolically, not just substantively.

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Cisco to Spend $4 Billion to Create 1,700 Jobs in Canada

December 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The love affair between Cisco Systems and the nation of Canada got a little more serious today: They’re now going steady. The networking giant announced plans to spend $4 billion over 10 years to boost the company’s operations in the Province of Ontario to 5,000 people by 2024, which would amount to an increase of about 1,700 jobs from current levels. Cisco CEO John Chambers has been wooing Canada for about a year now. Last year, Chambers couldn’t stop gushing about how Canadian policymakers have made the region “the easiest place in the world to do business,” and that the U.S. could learn a thing or two from them. It’s all part and parcel of Chambers’s long argument with the U.S. over the corporate tax rate. Cisco had about $48.2 billion in cash and short-term investments on its balance sheet as of the quarter ended Oct. 26. Chambers has long been a vocal critic of a U.S.

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Apple Doesn’t Want to Pay the Feds’ E-Book Lawyer $70,000 a Week

November 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

As part of its punishment for the e-book antitrust trial it lost this summer , Apple is supposed to be footing the bill for a court-appointed “ compliance monitor .” Apple is not happy about this. At all. While it appeals the court’s ruling in the trial, Apple is now contesting the way that its monitor, former federal prosecutor Michael Bromwich, is going about his business. Among Apple’s complaints, filed in federal court this week: Bromwich is doing too much, by doing things like demanding interviews with Apple CEO Tim Cook, board member Al Gore, and Jony Ive (“whose sole and exclusive responsibility at Apple is to perfect elegant product designs,” according to an Apple attorney). Bromwich is charging too much — more than $1,100 an hour. Apple says this is “higher than Apple has ever encountered for any task.” Bromwich’s bill for his five-person team’s first two weeks of work: $138,432.40. Bromwich’s response, which he has sent to Apple and its attorneys as part of a lengthy back-and-forth over the past few weeks: You people seem to think I’m working for you. “Apple has sought for the last month to manage our relationship as though we are its outside counsel or consultant,” he wrote in a letter to Cook and his board last week. My fees are reasonable, and you have no idea what a reasonable fee looks like. Also, it doesn’t matter if you think my fees are reasonable, because you don’t get to negotiate them: You just pay them. The court will approve them

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