Posts Tagged ‘president’

Second Time’s Not a Charm: Hulu Sale Called Off Again, With Plans to Pump $750M Into Video Service

July 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

According to a press release just issued by the three companies that own the Hulu premium online video service, there will be no sale of the unit. It is the second time that Hulu has been on the block in recent years, and the second time it has been taken off. Talk about seller’s remorse. The companies — 21st Century Fox (formerly News Corp), Comcast’s NBCUniversal and the Walt Disney Company — said Hulu would be recapitalized with $750 million in new funding to propel growth. The other bidders left in the recent round was a joint effort by AT&T and former News Corp COO Peter Chernin. Earlier this week, as AllThingsD had reported, another bid by Guggenheim Partners was rejected by the owners. Sources close to the situation said that there is a possibility that some current bidders for the service — such as DirecTV or Time Warner Cable — could be part of that effort via new strategic distribution deals to make the service larger. It’s another abrupt end to what has been a very noisy and leak-filled auction process — the last time its owners tried this, Hulu was pulled off the market in 2011, after not attracting adequate bids. And while the press release from the companies was practically jaunty about the prospects of keeping the property, about which they have long had mixed feelings and even outright hostility at times. It’s the great conundrum of the digital age for old-media giants — get on the train, even grudgingly, or you end up getting left behind by massive consumer trends. The growth of other premium video sites like Netflix — as well as Apple TV and similar video efforts by Amazon and Google, all of which are now gaining steam and more meaningful revenues — has resulted in more than a bit of worry from the media giants. While it has resulted in many more buyers of its content, of course, not controlling the distribution has been a concern, too. That’s especially true as some of the video distributors of television and movie content have also become creators, such as some laudable efforts by Netflix. One big concern will be the ability of the trio of Hamlet-like owners to retain talent at Hulu. According to numerous sources, the team has been dissipating as the debate over the service’s fate has dragged on. While the current team has been larded over with retention packages, the company needs to convince its team that this time, the idea of growing Hulu is real. More to come, obvi, but here’s the release: 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company to Maintain Ownership Positions in Hulu Companies Make Commitment to Recapitalize Hulu with $750 Million in New Funding to Propel Future Growth NEW YORK & BURBANK, Calif. – -(BUSINESS WIRE) — 21st Century Fox, NBCUniversal and The Walt Disney Company today jointly announced that they will maintain their respective ownership positions in Hulu and together provide a cash infusion of $750 million in order to propel future growth

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As Egypt Erupts in Political Tumult, Twitter Translates High-Profile Tweeters

July 3, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In an ongoing effort to make Twitter more widely accessible to the world, Twitter continued its efforts in experimenting with tweet translation on Wednesday, giving people the ability to see some high-profile Egyptian Twitter users’ tweets translated into local languages. The update is in lockstep with the tumult occurring in the Middle East, as the world watched Egypt’s military oust Mohammed Morsi from his elected position as President of the nation. “As part of our experiment with Tweet text translation, we’ve enabled translation for some of the most-followed accounts in Egypt, so people around the world can better understand and keep up with what’s happening there,” a Twitter spokesman said in a statement. The move is also a part of Twitter’s ongoing experimentation with translation of tweets in general. Earlier this week, Twitter began dabbling in providing a Bing-powered translation feature to some users, which displayed a tweet in its original language, while also presenting the translated text beneath it.

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Nokia to Acquire Siemens’ Stake in NS Networks For $2.2 Billion

July 1, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Finnish mobile giant Nokia Corporation announced on Monday that it planned to buy Siemens 50 percent stake in Nokia Siemens Networks for approximately €1.7 billion, or $2.2 billion U.S. “With its clear strategic focus and strong leadership team, Nokia Siemens Networks has structurally improved its operational and financial performance,” Stephen Elop, President and CEO of Nokia, said in a statement. “Furthermore, Nokia Siemens Networks has established a clear leadership position in LTE, which provides an attractive growth opportunity. Nokia is pleased with these developments and looks forward to continue supporting these efforts to create more shareholder value for the Nokia group,” he said. The joint venture was founded by Nokia and Siemens in 2007, a combination of Nokia’s business group and Siemens’ telecom network operations business. The company has grown to service and provide telecom infrastructure to upwards of 150 countries globally. While Nokia’s handset business has struggled to stay above water against stiff competition from companies like Apple and Samsung, NSN has been a relatively bright point on Nokia’s balance sheet; the joint venture began posting profits again in 2012 , and has done so for consecutive quarters ever since. Nokia plans to keep the existing CEO, chairman, management and governance structure at Siemens, the company said, and NSN’s headquarters will remain in Espoo, Finland. Siemens’ restructuring plan, currently underway, will also remain unchanged.

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Election 2016: How Big Data + Social Data Will Determine the Next President

June 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright AKIllustration The presidential election means big business for the ad industry, with a whopping $6 billion spent on 2012 election ads last year across all media according to the Center for Responsive Politics . Last year’s election broke records, both at the poll and in the boardroom, with recent figures confirming the 2012 election as the most expensive in history, about $700 million over the next most expensive election. As our nation ramps up for 2016, the role of big data + social data in influencing election decisions cannot be ignored. Social data drove the 2008 presidential elections and big data drove the 2012 election. In 2016 it will be the marriage of the two that will determine the next President of the United States. Back in 2008, online social impact was still in its infancy and while people flocked to social channels like Facebook and Twitter to share their thoughts and influence others, there was not yet a way to measure impact beyond overall sentiment. Social media was akin to guerrilla marketing, and yet these tools were extremely influential in giving people a voice in the policies being discussed that swayed the outcome of the election. People wanted change and were not afraid to share their opinions in public conversations, and the global discussion encouraged others to step into the polling booth to cast their ballots. It’s a Numbers Game 2012 showcased the rise of political data science and big data, how campaign managers and pollsters gathered public opinions about each candidate, compared this with state-by-state election data and wove all the pieces into a comprehensive political campaign for each party. What social media was to 2008, data-driven campaigning was in 2012

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Paris Barclay Elected DGA President

June 23, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

TV director Paris Barclay has been elected president of the Directors Guild of America for a two-year term, succeeding Taylor Hackford. Barclay was selected by acclamation of the 147 delegates at the DGA’s convention on Saturday at DGA headquarters in Los Angeles. He’s the first African-American to serve as DGA president. “I got surprisingly emotional... Read more

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Sarah Palin To Rejoin Fox News Channel As Contributor

June 13, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is set to rejoin Fox News Channel as a contributor, the News Corp. cable-news outlet said Thursday. Palin, a one-time Republican candidate for U.S. Vice President who has parlayed her exposure in national politics into punditry, books, media appearances and even a short-lived TV show on Discovery Communications’  TLC, offered... Read more

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Sony’s Next-Gen PlayStation 4 Will Cost $399, Launch "This Holiday Season" — With More Than Just Games in Tow

June 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The PlayStation 4 will cost $399 and will go on sale “this holiday season,” Sony announced at its E3 press event tonight in Los Angeles. That’s $100 less than the Xbox One, which Microsoft said today would retail for $499, starting in November. Sony announced the PS4 back in February, but didn’t show the console at that time. Now we know what it looks like, and — surprise! It’s a smooth, black, rectangular box with buttons and a disc drive. Just as Microsoft began its earlier presentation by talking about the Xbox 360, Sony began by talking about its existing hardware: The PlayStation 3 and the handheld PS Vita. However, no hardware refresh was announced for either device. “Vita is just beginning its life cycle,” Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Jack Tretton said, noting that the Vita will be the “ultimate companion device” to the PlayStation 4. And the Vita could use some more companions. The Vita has been consistently outsold by the rival Nintendo 3DS, and both handhelds have suffered from the seasonality problems that largely don’t affect those other mobile games — the ones on phones and tablets. Tretton said Sony’s “commitment is as strong as ever” heading into the PlayStation 3′s seventh holiday season

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What the Tech Industry and Politicians Are Saying About NSA’s Massive Data Collection

June 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

The tech industry had a lot to say this week amid reports of massive government surveillance of Internet and telephone activity . The Internet giants accused of giving the government access turned to the Web to defend themselves , while others in the industry voiced strong criticism over the apparent government activity. Meanwhile the federal government, including President Obama and Director of National Security James Clapper, defended their actions, while others in Washington said it was time to rein in some of the surveillance tactics. Here are a smattering of opinions offered up this week. Ray Ozzie, Lotus Notes founder, former Microsoft executive, speaking at the Nantucket Conference: “I hope that people wake up, truly wake up, to what’s happening to society, from both a big brother perspective and little brother perspective. … We got what we asked for, and now it’s time to pull it back. Imagine if you had an administration targeting journalists or groups of people based on political leanings.” (via ) Mark Zuckerberg, in a post on the social network: “Facebook is not and has never been part of any program to give the U.S. or any other government direct access to our servers. We have never received a blanket request or court order from any government agency asking for information or metadata in bulk, like the one Verizon reportedly received. And if we did, we would fight it aggressively. We hadn’t even heard of PRISM before yesterday. “When governments ask Facebook for data, we review each request carefully to make sure they always follow the correct processes and all applicable laws, and then only provide the information if is required by law. We will continue fighting aggressively to keep your information safe and secure.” David Drummond, chief legal officer, Google, in a blog post : “We cannot say this more clearly — the government does not have access to Google servers — not directly, or via a back door, or a so-called drop box. Nor have we received blanket orders of the kind being discussed in the media.

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SEO Follies: ‘Walking Dead’ Actress? Well, Sort of, but…

June 8, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

I was eating lunch when the news hit that a “‘Walking Dead’ actress” had been implicated in mailing ricin-tinged letters to President Obama and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Then I clicked on the link: “Shannon who?” I thought. Having seen every episode of the AMC zombie drama, it was a little jarring. For a... Read more

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David Shane Joins Relativity

June 1, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Relativity has tapped PR veteran David Shane as exec VP of corporate communications. Shane reports directly to CEO Ryan Kavanaugh and President Tucker Tooley. He’s responsible for developing and directing communication strategy, overseeing media relations and serving as a communications advisor to the executive team. Shane will also work with the film, TV, sports, music,... Read more

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