Posts Tagged ‘year’

Actor Joseph Ruskin Dies at 89

January 1, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Film, television and stage actor Joseph Ruskin died Saturday of natural causes in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 89. Ruskin garnered 124 television credits, including “Mission: Impossible” and “Star Trek,” and appeared in 25 films, including “The Magnificent Seven,” ”Prizzi’s Honor” and “Smokin’ Aces.” His last performance was onstage this year in the Anteus Theatre... Read more

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POLL: What Was the Worst Movie of 2013?

December 31, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Razzies have issued their annual shortlist for Worst Movie of the Year, making it the perfect time to ask our readers: What was your least favorite movie experience of 2013? Note–We added a few options to the Razzies list, including Roland Emmerich’s “White House Down” (pictured above).

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Apple CEO Tim Cook Made $4.25 Million This Year

December 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Another nugget of data from Apple’s latest shareholder proxy : CEO Tim Cook took home a compensation package valued at $4.25 million this year, little changed from the year prior. In its annual proxy filing on Friday, Apple said Cook’s pay for fiscal 2013, which ended in September, consisted of $1.4 million in salary and a bonus of $2.8 million. In 2012, Cook’s compensation package was $4.2 million. So Cook’s pay remained steady over those two years, with one noteworthy exception: He gave up about 7,123 Apple shares tied to the company’s annual performance. Because of the decline in Apple’s stock this fiscal year the company’s board decided that only 72,877 shares out of a tranche of 80,000 should vest. Cook — who in June explicitly requested vesting terms tied to the company’s performance — forfeited the remainder. Based on Apple’s closing stock price of $560.09 on Friday, those shares would have been worth nearly $4 million.

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Tech Stocks Hover Near 2013 Highs, Paving Way for 2014 IPOs Like Alibaba, Box and Dropbox

December 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

iStock Today, the tech sector got a pretty nice post-Christmas present, as stocks of many companies in the sector continued to remain near their highs for the year. And with 2013 seeing the most U.S. tech IPOs since 2000 — according to a recent report, there were 45 in the year — 2014 is looking to be another strong year for public offerings. Those include, though will not be limited to: Alibaba Group, which could exceed Facebook’s $16 billion outing; Box, the file-sharing site; Dropbox, the online storage upstart; Candy Crush maker King.com; Coupons.com, the digital couponing site; Lending Club, the peer-to-peer lending service; clean-tech firm Opower; and Internet dating company Zoosk. The impact of the upcoming IPOs has already been felt on existing issues, most especially Yahoo. Though some of the excitement around the stock has been due to the shimmery image of CEO Marissa Mayer, its continued core business declines have been largely ignored by investors in favor of its 24 percent stake in Alibaba. In contrast to Yahoo’s lagging results, the Chinese Internet giant’s performance has been spectacular, and it has had more than a halo effect on shares of the Silicon Valley company. Yahoo’s stock is close to its 52-week high — reached on Tuesday at $41.05 — and is up 104.6 percent in the year to date. Search giant Google is getting its bump from its own strong performance, up 57.6 percent for the year and hovering close to its $1,118 per share high. The same goes for Microsoft — despite all the uncertainty around the identity of its new CEO, the pending departure of Steve Ballmer has its shares up 40 percent for the year and also close to its nearly $39 high. Retail giant Amazon is up more than 60 percent, close to its $405 high

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A New Perk for Google Employees? It Could Be Low-Interest Personal Loans.

December 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Forget the free gourmet food. If peer-to-peer lending marketplace Lending Club has its way, low-interest loans may be the next big employee perk at Google. According to sources, Google is among the companies Lending Club has been pitching on putting cash holdings to work by offering low-interest loans to employees, with the Lending Club platform facilitating the deals. (Perhaps it has to do with Google’s new late-stage investment fund Google Capital . which happens to have recently led a $125 million investment in Lending Club, by acquiring shares from existing shareholders.) Lending Club’s pitch is part of the company’s strategy to push beyond its initial focus on peer-to-peer loans by opening up its platform to large institutions such as banks and corporations as it eyes a potential 2014 IPO. A Google spokeswoman declined to comment, noting: “There’s nothing to share on Google’s end.” Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche said that his company is not currently working with Google on such an initiative, but would not confirm or deny that talks have taken place. Still, he did confirm that his company is in talks with large companies — with employee counts of Google’s size or larger — about facilitating this type of human-resources benefit. “The program we’re putting in place gives the ability for large companies with lots of employees to make loans to their employees and use their treasury reserves, on which they are earning like one or two percent, and put them to work,” he said in a recent interview. “At the same time, they would be offering a lower interest rate to their employees than what they’re paying on their credit cards or other loans they have. It’s really an HR benefit and recruiting tool.” Laplanche imagines employees using these loans to pay off high-interest credit card debt, large student loans or simply to consolidate debt into one loan, with payments being automatically deducted from paychecks

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Hulu’s Revenue to Pass $1 Billion This Year

December 18, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hulu has had a solid year: the multiple-broadcaster joint venture is on track to break $1 billion in revenue for its owners this year, thanks in large part to the strength of subscription revenue and deep ad partnerships across its series, some of which are greenlit on the condition that they land sponsorships . Revenue, said newly appointed CEO Mike Hopkins, is "up from $695 million in 2012." Hopkins' blog post on the year can be found here , but here's the literal money quote: "When you think about the fact that Hulu first launched out of beta in 2008, it’s quite an impressive feat to scale the business from zero to $1 billion over the course of just six years." A lot of the company's growth has to do with increased adoption of Hulu Plus. Hulu has slowly amped up the number of ads in its free service and closed off larger and larger portions of its content to non-paying customers. As it's done that, Hulu has also brought on more and more partners, including boutique vintage movie distribution company The Criterion Collection , which shows classics (several of which it don't have in-print DVD pressings) ad-free in addition to the digital network's ad-supported content. In addition to beefing up international business (Hulu's Japanese arm is growing), the number of advertisers on the books has increased, though Hulu has kept mum about how much (or indeed, whether) the uptick in sponsors has fed increased revenue. "In 2013, we saw our roster of advertisers expand to more than 1,000 brands–a 15 percent increase over last year," Hopkins wrote. With increased spend on the original content front and high-profile series like The Wrong Mans

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Berlinale Unveils Six Pix in Perspektive Deutsches Kino Section

December 18, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — The Berlin Film Festival has announced the first six films in its Perspektive Deutsches Kino program, which showcases the work of up-and-coming filmmakers working in Germany. “This year, I paid special attention to variety in content and cinematic aesthetics,” said section head Linda Soffker. “Directors who tell familiar stories using new images, with... Read more

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Facebook to Sell Video Ads

December 17, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Facebook Inc. will begin selling video advertisements later this week, according to people familiar with the matter. The ads, which will play automatically in users’ news feeds may help Facebook capture a share of the $66.4 billion advertisers are expected to spend on U.S. television this year. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Broadcast Spend Drops 18 Percent to $4.18 Billion in Q3

December 16, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The sugar rush of last year’s Summer Olympics and political spend has given way to the inevitable crash, as third-quarter advertising expenditures were down significantly from Q3 2012. According to a new report from Kantar Media, overall Q3 TV spend dipped 6 percent to $17.2 billion on unfavorable comparisons to the year-ago July-September period. Broadcast TV took the biggest hit, dropping 18 percent to $4.18 billion. Predictably, spot TV also took its lumps, falling 15 percent to $3.8 billion. “Comparisons against Q3 of 2012 are skewed by last year’s record-breaking Summer Olympics and political campaign ad spending, which artificially boosted the market,” said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America. Swallen added that the London Games and the presidential and local elections injected “more than $1 billion in incremental money into the TV marketplace.” Of course, the broadcast marketplace as a whole did not directly benefit from the huge cash infusion provided by the Olympics. NBC booked north of $1 billion in ad sales for the 2012 London Summer Games, a haul it sweetened with another $300 million in affiliate and digital revenue. (While the Winter Olympics don’t have quite the impact of the Summer Games, NBC expects to make a profit on Sochi, for which it paid a $775 million rights fee. Earlier this fall, NBC Sports evp of sales and marketing Seth Winter said NBC already secured a record $800 million in Sochi sales.) As Swallen notes, advertising driven by the Olympics, other sports programming and elections accounts for a steadily increasing share of TV sales . Whereas these categories accounted for $12.8 billion, or 19 percent, of the estimated $68.4 billion in overall TV sales in 2008, last year’s incremental spend accounted for 22 percent of the total TV take—a hearty $16.8 billion wedge of the $75.2 billion pie. National cable networks aren’t nearly as in thrall to the Olympics and political eddies. Per Kantar, cable was up 5 percent to $6.24 billion. Pricing increases and an ongoing inflation of hourly ad time contributed to this increase.

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Audi Revs Up Another Super Bowl Spot

December 13, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Audi is gearing up for its seventh straight Super Bowl appearance, signing on for 60 seconds of airtime in what may well be one of the most-watched segments in the year’s highest-rated broadcast. According to Loren Angelo, director of marketing, Audi of America, the automaker has landed the plum A position in the commercial pod that airs immediately after the halftime show. While Angelo is keeping details about the creative under wraps, he did say that the long-form spot will showcase the 2015 Audi A3 sedan , a luxury compact designed to compete with the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Priced to appeal to younger, first-time car buyers (the MSRP is $29,900), the A3 sedan will be the first member of the manufacturer’s revamped line to appear in showrooms. After arriving in the spring, the sporty four-door will be joined later in the year by diesel, hybrid and convertible models. As it did with last year’s “Prom” spot and the 2012 “Vampire Party” execution, Audi will make the A3 ad available shortly before the Super Bowl kicks off. “We’ve had a great deal of success with doing advance releases,” Angelo said. “We get much greater attention from the American audience when we put it out there ahead of time. The social sharing that takes place gets us greater attention and advance buzz.”

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