• Fox Needs Hits, CEO Admits
    Peter Rice, chairman and chief executive of the Fox Networks Group, acknowledged that Fox Broadcasting had some lackluster shows last season and needs to up its game this season, according to the Los Angeles Times. Rice made the remarks at the Television Critics Assn.’s press tour in Beverly Hills over the weekend, where admitted: “We need some new hits. That will be our focus.” The LAT notes that Fox saw overall viewership numbers and the 18-49 demographic both decline last season, while only two new shows survived: “Sleepy Hollow” and “Brooklyn 99.”  Other established series, including “Glee,” “New …
  • Native Ad Outfit MGID Moving to Santa Monica
    Native advertising company MGID is relocating its headquarters from New York City to Santa Monica, according to the LA Business Journal, which first reported the news. The move is already underway and the Santa Monica offices are staffing up with local hires in areas including sales, marketing, and content moderation. Chief marketing officer Maria Shinkevich tells the LABJ: “We expect to double U.S. monthly revenue by the end of the year due to more close contacts with our existing and potential lifestyle, sports and entertainment clients.”
  • Walt Disney Backs Buzzstarter, Others in Accelerator Program
    The Walt Disney Company has chosen 11 companies to take part in Disney Accelerator, a 15-week mentorship and investment program offered by Burbank-based Disney and powered by Boulder-based Techstars, according to the LA Business Journal. The list of companies backed by Disney includes Buzzstarter, a programmatic content marketing platform; Cogo, a startup focused on developing a platform for monetizing video content; Jogg, specializing in video acquisition and sharing; and Twigtale, devoted to parenting advice and technology. Each company will receive $120,000 in investment capital for development purposes. The program runs through October, at which time the 11 companies make their …
  • New Form Incubator Backs YouTube Stars
    New Form Digital, a Los Angeles-based digital studio backed by director Ron Howard and producer Brian Grazer, is launching a new venture called New Form Incubator, which will help YouTube stars produce short films, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. New Form Incubator will fund and develop 14 films, ranging in length from three to 10 minutes, for YouTube stars including Joey Graceffa, Joe Penna of MysteryGuitarMan and Sawyer Hartman, all of whom have accumulated millions of subscribers on the video-sharing platform. The films will be distributed in partnership with companies like AOL and Turner Broadcasting, according to the LAT.
  • Chinn Heads Audience Analytics Program at USC's Lear Center
    Dana Chinn, a media analytics strategist and faculty member at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has been named director of the Norman Lear Center’s Media Impact Project (MIP). The MIP is a joint project between the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, which aims to advance audience measurement research and ultimately help news organizations understand how to build and retain audiences in the digital age. The project is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and …
  • Actors' Union Strikes Deal On Contracts
    SAG-AFTRA, the largest union in Hollywood for actors and performers in the film, TV and radio business, has agreed to a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the organizations announced Friday. The previous contract expired on June 30. The new contract provides for small pay increases for SAG-AFTRA’s 165,000 members, per the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news. This is the first new contract negotiated by the union since it was formed by the merger of SAG and AFTRA, previously separate unions, in 2012.
  • Fuisz Media Raises $2M In Seed Funding
    Santa Monica-based Fuisz Media, which produces interactive videos for marketers, advertisers and e-commerce platforms, has raised $2.1 million in seed funding. The group of investors includes Metamorphic Ventures; Lerer Hippeau Ventures; WGI Group; United Talent Agency; Mesa+; Buddy Media founder Michael Lazerow; LegalZoom co-founder Brian Lee; Roku CMO Matthew Anderson; and Admeld founder and CEO Ben Barokas. The new funding announcement coincided with the launch of Fuisz Interactive Video, which enables businesses to produce interactive videos compatible with a wide range of players. Fuisz’s clients to date include Nike, Target, and Wal-Mart. Fuisz co-founder and CEO Justin Fuisz stated: “The …
  • Summer Box Office Numbers Not Spectacular
    While Paramount’s "Transformers: Age of Extinction" did pretty well on its opening weekend, raking in nearly $100 million in ticket sales nationally, its success merely highlights the fact that no other early summer blockbuster has actually broached the $100 million mark on its opening weekend -- the first time that’s happened in a decade. Overall summer box office revenue is down 15% so far, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which notes that movie industry execs are quietly voicing concern about this box-office softness, amid worries about their big “tentpole” movie strategies. Opening weekend sales are crucial if summer blockbusters are …
  • LAUSD Backs Off iPad Plan, Will Offer Other Devices
    After a decidedly mixed reception for its distribution of an iPad to every student last year, the Los Angeles Unified School District is dropping the universal iPad program in favor of a wider range of devices, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported the news earlier this week. Under the new initiative each one of LAUSD’s 27 high schools will be able to choose one of six different laptop computers to be distributed to their students. In addition to iPads, the devices on offer this year include the Chromebook, Lenovo Yoga Touch, Microsoft Surface Pro 2, and Dell Latitude …
  • Campaign Highlights LAX Makeover
    The Los Angeles International Airport has been getting a major makeover and a new multimedia digital ad campaign is highlighting the newly modernized air travel hub, as well as ways to avoid hassles and inconvenience as the upgrades continue. The campaign, “LAX is Happening,” targets fliers and residents who live within 10 miles of the airport and centers on a Web site with project resources, tools, and tips, including real-time LAX traffic and road closure maps, “insider” traffic tips and shortcut videos, information on the planned LAX upgrades, including new dining and retail options, and direct access to the airport’s …
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