Posts Tagged ‘president’

Box Office: ‘Lego Movie’ Assembles Huge Fan Base with $60 Mil Holiday Weekend

February 16, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

With its broadened appeal to non-families, Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s 3D animated hit “The Lego Movie” outgrossed four new entries to become the far-and-away box office winner, estimating $48.8 million Friday-Sunday, down a mere 29%, with a whopping $60 million through President’s Day. In just two weeks, “The Lego Movie” has collected a total... Read more

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Time for Comcast to Cash In Once Again on Its Political Clout

February 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Will Comcast's political ties help it earn regulatory approval for its purchase of Time Warner Cable? It can't hurt. Those that opposed Comcast's big merger with NBCU were pretty stunned when the deal was approved three years ago. They shouldn't have been. Every time Comcast CEO Brian Roberts appeared before a hearing, it was practically a love fest. It was obvious he and the firm have a lot of friends in high places at the center of policymaking. Roberts has played the game well—or rather, he's spent well, which is how you play the game in Washington. He's held fundraisers for Obama, bundling more than $500,000 for his re-election and sits on the President's jobs council. Roberts' front man in Washington, the very affable evp David Cohen, is plugged in and also a big financial contributor to the Democrats. He also bundled $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign. The night before the merger with Time Warner Cable was announced, Cohen and his wife attended the state dinner for the president of France. Talk about timing! Last year alone, Comcast spent more than $18.8 million on lobbying to influence issues like net neutrality, retransmission consent, and other cable laws, making it the seventh largest spender, per the Center for Responsive Politics. For 2014, Comcast has contributed to more than $1.18 million to the campaigns of the most influential Congressional leaders, per Open Secrets. Recipients have included House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), as well as critical lawmakers on the commerce committees with jurisdiction over communications laws and the Federal Communications Commission, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), chairman of the subcommittee on communications and technology. Comcast's 100-strong lobby team also has one of the deepest benches, staffed with a few insiders that know their way around regulatory hurdles. Only months after the Federal Communications Commission approved with conditions, the NBCU deal, commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker, a Republican, joined NBCU's Washington office.

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Obama Nominates Kansas City Arts Leader for NEA Post

February 12, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Jane Chu, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as the next chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. Chu would succeed Rocco Landesman, the Broadway producer who stepped down more than a year ago after serving in the... Read more

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White House State Dinner Draws Hollywood-Heavy Invite List

February 12, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The guest list for the White House state dinner for French President Francois Hollande includes a greater-than-usual number of entertainment industry figures, many of whom have connections to France. The standout on the list is undoubtedly Stephen Colbert, whose treks to D.C. in the past have usually been infused with a faux seriousness. Others on the... Read more

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FIP Exec Shebnem Askin Joins Fox Turkey TV Channel

January 7, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Fox International Productions’ exec Shebnem Askin has joined Fox Turkey as Executive Vice President of Programming at the TV channel, which is among the top five stations in the country’s booming TV market. Askin, who was Senior Vice President of International Acquisitions and Sales at FIP, will now be in charge of boosting Fox Turkey’s... Read more

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‘Homeland’ Season Finale Shocker: For Fans, Next Stage is Acceptance

December 16, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

There are several ways to view the current season of “Homeland,” but for those committed to stick with the show, the most logical attitude – in the various stages of grieving – would be acceptance. What started out as one of the most bracing shows on TV – one that had President Obama famously clamoring... Read more

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Elton John Shows in Russia Will Go On Despite Anti-gay Policies

December 6, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

BERLIN — Elton John’s shows in Russia will go ahead as planned, the Russian promoters have confirmed. There had been rumors that President Vladimir Putin’s anti-gay “propaganda” policies would stop the event from being staged. The promoters, SAV Entertainment, have told fans that the two shows, tonight in Moscow and Kazan on Saturday, would go... Read more

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While Yahoo Gave Few Details About Couric’s New Role, Here’s What a Previous Deal With Her Wanted (Memo)

November 27, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In her flashy announcement about the hiring of television news star Katie Couric as the global anchor and “face of Yahoo News,” CEO Marissa Mayer gave the very barest of details. According to her blog post, there will be an unspecified “growing team of correspondents.” And Couric will be “shooting features for our homepage.” And she will start in early 2014. For such a big move in news, there was an amazing lack of news about exactly what Couric would do — from the what to the when to the where to the how much. Thank goodness for sources close to the situation, who note that the lack of specificity was due to the still largely undetermined solid specifics about what Couric is going to do for the millions of dollars she will be paid by Yahoo. That’s due to a lot of reasons, including the fact that Couric still has another big job. While she will no longer be a special correspondent for ABC News, which did not work out as planned on either side, that has not actually taken up a lot of her bandwidth of late. Instead, she has been working on her five-day-a-week syndicated daytime talk show, called “Katie.” While its future is unclear, it still needs to complete its second season, and that will take up a lot of Couric’s time, according to numerous sources, which Mayer was aware of. In addition, according to Yahoo sources, Couric can also do other projects, including on television, as part of the deal.

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Acer’s Executive Reshuffle Reshuffled

November 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Acer just ousted its second CEO in a month. Two weeks after tapping Jim Wong as its next chief executive officer, the PC maker on Thursday said he too will step down “in light of the company’s recent performance.” Instead, Acer founder Stan Shih, who retired from the company in 2004, will return to it as chairman and interim corporate president. The 68-year-old Shih’s return, nine years after his retirement, is another dramatic turn in Acer’s crisis of leadership which began earlier this month with the resignation of CEO J.T. Wang and his replacement by Wong. That move, which followed a nasty third quarter loss and the announcement of a middling round of layoffs, was intended to right Acer as it struggles amid the worst market for personal computers in history. But now, not a month later, both Wang and Wong are out, and power is being consolidated around Shih in what Acer describes as an effort “to boost the companys decision making efficiency.” A troubling game of music chairs for Acer, but a necessary one it seems. The world’s No. 4 PC maker has been suffering amid declining demand for computers. According to Gartner, third quarter worldwide PC shipments fell 8.6 percent year-over-year, their sixth straight quarter of decline. And Acer, once the world’s second biggest PC vendor behind HP, has been having a harder time than most keeping its footing. Here’s the announcement: 2013-11-21 Acer’s Board Elects Stan Shih as New Chairman and Interim Corporate President as J.T. Wang and Jim Wong Step Down TAIPEI, TAIWAN Acer announces that its Board of Directors has elected the company founder, Stan Shih, as Chairman and interim Corporate President with immediate effect. Shih shall serve as Acer’s Chairman until the end of his term on the Board. Chairman & CEO J.T

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SNL Helps Obama Through Presidential Depression with Paxil Second Term Strength

November 19, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Most presidents go through a second-term depression, but Obama's has been particularly dismal. To help out, Saturday Night Live has introduced Paxil Second Term Strength, a depression medication for the narrowest target market imaginable: the president of the United States. Paxil Second Term Strength makes you feel like you're giving a speech on a college campus in 2008 or getting Bin Laden all over again. It's even powerful enough to deal with symptoms from Benghazi to that time Jay-Z and Beyonc

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