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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Less is more" becomes "bigger is better"

Smartphone owners decide bigger is better, study finds

Smartphones with larger screens -- those measuring 4 inches or more -- have significantly increased in popularity and accounted for 24% of the total market in the U.S. at the end of 2010, according to a study from The NPD Group. Interest in phones with screens that are between 3.5 inches and 3.9 inches increased just 2% in the fourth quarter of last year compared with 2009 figures.

MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily 
Posted 3/21/11

Without Unions we would be indentured servants and slaves!


Today in History, the 40 hour work week became law

The 40 hour work week was brought about because 

organized workers protested and demanded it. It was not 

given to them by some kindly employer, workers had to 

fight for it. Thank a Union Worker today for the 40 hour 

work week.

Olson Twins Sister stars in movies, Fox ready to go digital, Murdocks reelected but not with strong endorsement, Glee has lost one fifth of its audience

From the LA Times Company Town (click here).

News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting has tapped Hollywood and Silicon Valley veteran David Wertheimer as its president of digital operations for the network.

WERTH2Wertheimer will have oversight of Fox's strategy with regard to digital media platforms. Television networks such as Fox are striving to find a balance between making more of their content available online while at the same time trying not to undercut their traditional over-the-air television business model.

"We are taking significant steps forward in engaging Fox audiences across the digital and social realms and David is the ideal person to help us envision and realize the amazing potential that presents," said Kevin Reilly, Fox's president of entertainment, to whom Wertheimer reports.

The post is a new one created specifically for Wertheimer. Bill Bradford, Fox's senior vice president of digital, will now report to Wertheimer.

Wertheimer most recently was chief executive of the Entertainment Technology Center at USC, which serves as something of a digital think tank for the the media industry and is funded primarily by the major movie studios and the TV networks.

Prior to that, he was president of digital entertainment for Paramount Pictures. He also spent several years at NeXT, the computer company founded by Steve Jobs after he left Apple in the mid-1980s.

Vote of no confidence. News Corp. released the full results of last week's shareholder vote and the final tally won't be framed and hung in the media conglomerate's boardroom. Although News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his sons James and Lachlan were reelected to the company's board of directors, the results showed a high level of dissatisfaction with the two sons. In fact, if you exclude shares controlled by Murdoch and a close ally, about 75% of the vote was against returning James to the board. He, of course has been tarnished by his handling of the News of the World phone hacking scandal. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Guardian.

Another bad day. Netflix shares plunged more than 35% after the company released third-quarter results showing a loss of 800,000 subscribers, 200,000 more than it had predicted. The stock, which neared $300 a share in July, is now below $80. Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings, who has been under fire for the company's recent woes, even told shareholders he was sorry for the disappointing performance. More from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.

Nothing to sing about. Fox's "Glee," once red hot, is showing its age. USA Today notes that ratings for the first three episodes of the new season are down more than 20%. Also telling is that people who record the show on their DVR, are taking longer to view the episodes than in the past. "It's not exactly where I'd want it," Fox entertainment head Kevin Reilly said.

Better order now. Warner Bros. is going to stop shipping Harry Potter DVDs and Blu-ray discs to retail chains right after Christmas. The move, per the Hollywood Reporter, is aimed at boosting sales.

Batman is swinging to the top of the sales chart. Warner Bros.' new video game Batman: Arkham City sold 2 million copies worldwide in its first week, the studio said Tuesday. That puts it among the industry's fastest sellers, though still short of blockbuster franchises such as Call of Duty, whose last sequel sold 5.6 million copies on its first day.

About 4.6 million copies of Arkham City have been shipped to stores since it launched Oct. 18, meaning the game has a good chance of eventually selling at least that many copies. Warner's previous Arkham-Batman game, the 2009 hit Arkham Asylum, sold 4.3 million copies.

Arkham City was fueled by Warner Bros.' largest ever marketing campaign and received
What about Bob from Accountemps? Comcast has snagged Turner Broadcasting executive Linda Yaccarino to head ad sales for its cable networks including USA, Bravo and E!, according to the New York Post. This is noteworthy because Yaccarino is well known on Madison Avenue and is the second executive tapped by Comcast for this key position.

Martha Marcy May Marlene got off to a strong start at the box office
Olson Twins Sister off to good start in Indy film. Will Elizabeth Olsen — sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen — end up being a bigger box-office draw than her famous twin siblings?

"Martha Marcy May Marlene," the dark drama starring newcomer Lizzie Olsen, as she is called, got off to a strong start in limited release this weekend. The film about a young woman trying to escape the clutches of a cult collected $137,541, according to an estimate from distributor Fox Searchlight. The means that the movie, which played at two theaters in Los Angeles and two in New York, had a strong per-theater average of $34,385.

While the well-reviewed picture is off to one of best starts of any independent film released this year, it remains to be seen whether it will be embraced by a wider audience than the art-house crowd.

“We seem to be capturing two audiences: an edgy crowd who like to go to the ArcLight and then an older crowd who wants to see a well-reviewed movie,” said Sheila DeLoach, Fox Searchlight’s executive vice president.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Richard Verrier on the plans of Mexican theater chain Cinepolis to bring luxury theaters to California. DreamWorks Animation has tapped industry veteran Chuck Viane to advise it on distribution strategies.

— Joe Flint
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