• AFTRA Puts Teamsters Talks on Hold
    The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists has put off the continuation of talks with Teamsters Local 399. The Teamsters cover 11 AFTRA-employed business representatives who have been working without a contract since Sept. 5. The next meeting between the two organizations is now now scheduled for Sept. 29. A source close to the negotiations said that the Teamsters are seeking 4% annual pay increases over each of the next three years. AFTRA's most recent offer included annual increases of 2%, 2.5%, and 2.5%. A walk-out is not inevitable, since a unanimous strike authorization vote raises the ...
  • Silverman's Electus Creates Shows For BET, MTV
    Ben Silverman's new production company Electus will be creating a reality contest for DJs, "Master of the Mix," financed by the drinks company Diageo, to air on BET. Launched less than a year ago and f inanced by Barry Diller's IAC, Electus considers itself a fully integrated multimedia entertainment studio that brings together producers, creators, advertisers and distributors under one roof. Electus aims to team with advertisers earlier in the life cycle of a show. To that end, his start-up is adding the Diageo show to others including, the interactive telenovella, "Pedro & Maria," for MTV. The company has ...
  • Stephen Colbert To Testify Before House on Immigration
    Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert is slated to testify at a congressional hearing Friday on immigration titled "Protecting America's Harvest." One Republican source said Colbert will be testifying "in character," the Bill O'Reilly-like muse Colbert uses for his show. A House Judiciary Committee spokeswoman, confirming Colbert would testify, said the hearing matter was a "serious issue .. this is not a TV stunt." Some Republicans have already expressed unhappiness with Colbert testifying. The hearing is to be before the House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee. Colbert's participation rose out of taking part in the United Farm Workers' "Take Our Jobs" ...
  • FCC Paves Way For Faster Mobile Devices
    U.S. regulators paved the way on Thursday for new, faster wireless devices by opening unused television airwaves for mobile broadband use. Device makers such as Dell Inc, Nokia and Motorola Inc stand to profit from the Federal Communications Commission's unanimous vote to allow unlicensed wireless devices to operate on this unused spectrum. The empty airwaves, called "white spaces," were freed up during the digital transition in 2009, and consist of the spaces between existing broadcast channels. Tech companies have lobbied to deploy a new, super WiFi system using these airwaves that would boost Internet speeds in homes, businesses, schools ...
  • Sara Lee Agrees To Limit Food Marketing To Kids
    Sara Lee is the latest food company to join the Council of Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Initiative. Sara Lee has joined 16 other companies in pledging to only market products to kids 11 and under that meet government or American Heart Association standards for "healthy" foods. Sara Lee has promised that all TV, online, radio, print and other ads directed to an audience that is "primarily" under 12 will meet those guidelines. The company will also restrict the use of third-party licensed characters in ads targeted to child audiences, will not advertise its products in elementary ...
  • Warner Bros Moves Digital DC Comics Jobs To Hollywood
    The core of DC Comics' digital content business will move to Warner Bros' Burbank, California, offices and the print publishing operations will remain in New York. Wildstorm, its stand-alone imprint based in La Jolla, Calif., will be closed, but the Wildstorm characters will continue to be published under the DC banner. DC Entertainment President Diane Nelson said the moves, schedule to be completed by end of 2011, would likely lead to some layoffs. DC employs 250 people. Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc, has been eager to fully exploit the DC brands, which include characters like ...
  • Teens Deliver Brand WOM
    Teens produce a disproportionate amount of "word of mouth" about products and services. A recent report from Keller Fay Group backs up this phenomenon. Based on data collected during a one-year period (July 2009 through June 2010), the report says teens "engage in a significantly higher level of word of mouth about all categories than the total public." For instance, 78% of 13-17-year-olds, vs. 57% of the general public, engaged in word of mouth about "media & entertainment" brands during that period; 67% of 13-17s, vs. 39% of the public in general, talked about "technology" products. There were ...
  • Lawmakers Call for Smart Grid Access To Wireless
    The FCC is scheduled to vote Thursday on final rules allowing mobile broadband devices to use the so-called white spaces, spectrum assigned for television use but not occupied by TV stations. But U.S. Representatives Doris Matsui and Anna Eshoo, both California Democrats, called on the FCC to allow so-called smart grid devices -- digital electricity meters for homes and businesses -- to also use white-space spectrum. Electric utilities would "substantially benefit" from using the white spaces, the lawmakers added. Using the white spaces spectrum, sometimes called super Wi-Fi, utilities could automate meter reading and send outage notifications more efficiently. ...
  • Turner, NCAA Ink Slam Dunk Digital Deal
    Turner Sports has forged a 14-year partnership with the National Collegiate Athletic Association that will see the media giant assume control over all of the digital operations for the NCAA, including ad sales, under the newly formed brand NCAA Digital. The new digital rights pact, which encompasses 23 sports, was spurred by Turner's deal earlier this year to broadcast the NCAA men's basketball championship over the next 14 years-a deal that also included Web streaming rights. Now Turner says it will bolster the digital coverage of college sports across the board, starting first with a relaunch of NCAA.com. Turner ...
  • Diller: Internet TV Will Transform TV Biz
    AC/InteractiveCorp. Chief Executive Barry Diller said at an investor conference the Internet has enormous potential to transform the distribution chain in the media and entertainment business, including the TV business. He said emerging online video services, such as Google, bring about the end of the pay-TV industry's ability to bundle channels together, allowing consumers to access just the content they want. "[The Internet's] ability to put you, without any filter, straight to the consumer, is going to have a huge effect [on video producers]," said Diller. "The 'a la carting of life' becomes possible for the first time once ...
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