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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Super PAC Mad Libs

Super Pac Advertising Forumula and Power

"Post PC"...Is Apple right that pads and PC's are merging?

Apple’s new iPad takes aim at the PC
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook speaks in San Francisco during the product launch event for the company's latest iPad. (Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images / March 7, 2012)

 
 
 
Apple rolled out its latest iPad, but it's not called iPad 3 or iPad HD.

Rather it stuck with simply calling it the iPad, a move that speaks to the company's ambitions to have its blockbuster tablet supplant the ubiquitous personal computer.

In unveiling the upgraded iPad on Wednesday, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook repeated the theme that the difference between PCs and tablets would soon vanish, and that the iPad was the "poster child for the post-PC world."

PHOTOS: Apple unveils new iPad

Analysts who saw the presentation tended to agree.

"The iPad is encroaching more and more on the kinds of tasks that we've historically associated with PCs," said Ross Rubin, an analyst at NPD Group.

Apple showed a number of new features for the latest iPad — including sophisticated photo and video editing and games featuring powerful graphics — that have been a mainstay of bulkier PCs.

Aligning the iPad more closely with the PC may also be a way to continue its world dominance of the tablet market. Apple's iPad accounts for 70% of the tablet market and has sold 55 million units in two years.

Cook, who strolled the stage in an untucked button-down shirt and a pair of jeans — perhaps an attempt to reflect the casual manner of his predecessor, Steve Jobs — showed he was not afraid to take a swipe at his competitors. Flashing up images of a Samsung Electronics tablet running Google Inc.-powered Android software, Cook said the software looked unimaginative and lackluster.

"It kind of looks like a blown-up smartphone app," Cook said, "because that's exactly what it is."

IPad competitors from Samsung, HTC Corp., LG and others have had trouble catching up. The only device to win more than a sliver of the market has been Amazon's much cheaper $199 Kindle Fire, which accounted for 14% of tablets shipped during the fourth quarter.

But with an updated iPad, Apple is looking to widen the gap once again.

The company highlighted the iPad's new screen, which it called "resolutionary" because of its high-definition, photo- and video-friendly display.

The new device, which will start at $499, also carries a faster computer processor for powerful graphics, includes a 5-megapixel camera and works with faster 4G wireless networks from Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc.

PC sales have been flat in recent years, while tablet sales have been growing rapidly. They are expected to double globally this year, to about 120 million from 60 million in 2011, according to research firm IHS ISuppli.

The iPad's new features were largely as rumored — although the new device did not include Siri, the iPhone's voice-controlled assistant. The device does, however, offer a voice transcription feature, enabling users to dictate emails and the text of documents.

The lack of an explosive new feature — or a fancy new name — did not bother Forrester Research analyst Sarah Rotman Epps.

Many Apple observers, including the technology media, "want Apple to invent something that makes cars fly and has mind control," Epps said, but for average consumers, "Apple has probably met and exceeded their expectations."

Consumer demand for the new device seemed high, causing Apple's Web page for early iPad orders to load slowly and make it difficult for some to buy a device. The iPad will be available in stores March 16.

In October, Apple introduced its latest iPhone only to encounter a wave of criticism that the device was too similar to the previous model. But the iPhone 4S went on to become a huge hit, selling a record 37 million units in one quarter and quieting some of the naysayers.

The rollout Wednesday had the air of a rock concert as satellite trucks and news vans lined the street in front of the event center where Apple unveiled the device. Tourists hovered on the sidewalk, snapping photos of a massive, multicolored Apple banner.

The company also lowered the price of the iPad 2 model to $399, probably to compete with lower-priced offerings from rivals.

Apple also announced a newer version of its Apple TV, the $99 set-top box that enables users to stream films and television shows. The newer Apple TV will offer much higher definition 1080p resolution.

david.sarno@latimes.com

Beverly Hills and Las Vegas Management Seeking New Talent

Attention all talent Sharry Flaherty Management is seeking new talent for roster.. Please submit your current head shot and resume to vegastalent1@aol.com I will be setting up interviews. I manage talent in Vegas and have an office in Beverly Hills. Able to travel to LA is a plus, most of the work I submit you for is in LA. but need talent in Vegas as well.

Sim City is Back. A Couple of French Fries! FOX Dominates Republican Audience. Why was Nicollette Sheridan drummed off Despirate Housewives? Can Terra Nova be saved? Media Kingpins on the Forbes Billionares List.


SimCity to be re-released
From the LA Times Company Town, click here for the latest industry news.

Move over, CityVille. SimCity is coming back to town. 
The game franchise that first defined the city-building genre in 1989 will be re-released next year as a multi-player online computer game, developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts Inc.
This time, however, SimCity has an environmental theme, a la “An Inconvenient Truth," the 2006 documentary about Al Gore's campaign to educate the public about global warming. In SimCity, a fetish for coal burning plants in one city can spread smog and sickness in adjacent cities run by other players, for example.

This could prompt players to ask, “What would Al Gore do?” But because it’s a game, Maxis developers know players often prefer to be mischievous. Every toddler who builds towers of wooden blocks knows it’s more fun to knock them down, Godzilla-style.

And so it will be with SimCity.

“For the first time in SimCity, players’ decisions will have consequences that will extend beyond their city limits,” said Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president of Maxis. “It’s up to the players to decide whether to compete or collaborate to shape the world of tomorrow -- for better or for worse.”

To announce the title, Electronic Arts tapped documentary filmmaker Davis Guggenheim for a fireside chat at its news conference Monday night at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Guggenheim, who directed "An Inconvenient Truth" and "Waiting for Superman," professed a love of the SimCity franchise as a player.

Guggenheim said documentaries, as with games, are still entertainment -- not a high school science lecture.

Bradshaw, who heads up the Maxis studio in Emeryville, Calif., concurred, promising plenty of fun when the game comes out sometime in 2013.

Kelly Clarkson is joining ABC's Duets
Photo: Kelly Clarkson. Credit: Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

Finding its voice. ABC wants its own hit singing competition show. The network, according to TV Guide, has signed up  Kelly Clarkson, Lionel Richie, Robin Thicke and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles for "Duets." The show will be similar to NBC's "The Voice" in that the four singers will mentor wannabe stars.

Daily Dose: Steve McPherson, the former head of ABC Entertainment who left the network almost two years ago in a cloud of controversy and allegations of bad behavior, has kept a low profile since then. But on Friday he is expected to resurface to testify in the wrongful-termination battle between "Desperate Housewives" co-star Nicollette Sheridan and the show's creator, Marc Cherry. McPherson, who has been focusing on his wine and liquor businesses, will be appearing just days after his former nemesis at the network -- Mark Pedowitz -- offered his version of events of what led to Sheridan's being written off the show.

Big night. While Super Tuesday didn't exactly settle the Republican race, it did show the dominance of Fox News. Not only did Fox beat its cable rivals CNN and MSNBC with its poll coverage, it even beat NBC's hourlong special on the results. More on the numbers from the New York Times.

Cloudy cloud. A new iPad wasn't the only thing Apple unveiled on Wednesday. The computer giant also confirmed its plans to allow customers who have bought movies through iTunes to park them in Apple's iCloud service, where they can be accessed anytime via iPhone, iPad or Mac. This being Hollywood, nothing is ever simple. While several studios -- including Paramount, Sony and Warner Bros. -- are on board with the plan, 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures are not. That's because their deals with HBO will need to be renegotiated first. Details on this complex situation from the Los Angeles Times and All Things Digital.


Netflix to the rescue? Deadline Hollywood reports that Netflix has made inquiries about acquiring "Terra Nova," the expensive dinosaur drama that Fox canceled on Monday. While Netflix already has a deal to bring one canceled show back -- Fox's critical darling "Arrested Development" -- trying to save "Terra Nova" may be a reach. The show is very expensive and it is unclear if there is enough demand from viewers for such a move to make much business sense for Netflix. Additionally, actors from "Terra Nova" are already being cast in new pilots. I will agree with one Deadline commenter who responded to the news by saying, "and Peyton Manning will return to the Colts and bring another championship to Indianapolis." Huffington Post has dinosaur video from the premiere episode

Sumner slowing down? On Thursday, Sumner Redstone will be at Viacom's annual meeting. Normally, this is hardly news. But since Redstone, the chairman of the media giant, originally was planning to skip the meeting for undisclosed reasons, speculation about the health of the 88-year-old mogul has heated up. The Wall Street Journal has a curtain raiser on the meeting and the concern about Redstone.





Who to hit up for a raise. Forbes has come out with its billionaires list and, as usual, lots of media industry kingpins are on it. Here's a look at who went up in the rankings and who went down.

Rush Limbaugh




















Ad loss amounts to 'a couple of french fries'. The flight of advertisers from “The Rush Limbaugh Show” continued Wednesday, with a total of 45 national and local companies pulling their spots, according to the liberal activist groups angered by the talk radio host for calling Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.”

But Limbaugh told his audience that the reports of advertiser defections had been greatly exaggerated by his opponents, and that the companies that pulled ads accounted for a small minority of the overall ad inventory on the 600 affiliates that carry his show.

“That's like losing a couple of French fries in the container when it's delivered to you at the drive-through,” Limbaugh said. “You don’t even notice it.”

OP-ED: Limbaugh and the hypocrisy of the gaffe

An industry expert at the trade magazine “Talkers” said that the system for buying radio advertising is extremely complex and it would be hard to assess Limbaugh’s ad losses in the short run.

The liberal advocacy group Media Matters said it had recorded a list of 45 sponsors — mostly national, but including a dozen that aired spots on WABC in New York, which the group monitors — that had abandoned Limbaugh by Wednesday afternoon. They included big companies like J.C. Penney and Capital One and also local advertisers like Norway Savings Bank.

Several different activist groups chronicled, and encouraged, the advertiser defections, with much of the news about their decisions delivered on Facebook and Twitter. The individual social media missives revealed a complicated situation, including instances in which advertisers said they had maintained a “no run” policy for the Limbaugh show, even before the Fluke controversy.

OBAMA: I thought of my daughters when I called Sandra Fluke

J.C. Penney said via Facebook: “It has come to our attention that a handful of local radio stations may have played jcpenney radio spots adjacent to or during The Rush Limbaugh Show. To be clear, jcpenney is not a national advertiser of this show. We have a strict 'No Run' policy in place specifically regarding The Rush Limbaugh Show.  After jcpenney confirms the facts, we will contact any local radio station that is in violation of our radio advertising parameters to ensure that our 'No Run' policy is adhered to regarding this program."

The liberal interest group Think Progress reported that Capital One had dropped its Limbaugh ads. It quoted the bank as saying: “Yes. We have reiterated our advertising choices to our media partners. If an ad did run, it was not authorized by us, and we do not want it to happen again.”

Netflix told the digital culture website Boing Boing: “Spotted your tweets and wanted to let you know that Netflix has not purchased and does not purchase advertising on the Rush Limbaugh show. We do buy network radio advertising and have confirmed that two Netflix spots were picked up in error as part of local news breaks during the Rush Limbaugh show. We have instructed our advertising agency to make sure that this error will not happen again.”

Limbaugh told his audience Wednesday that any defections had been inconsequential. He said some new advertisers already had signed on, following his commentaries on Fluke last week. “Everything is fine on the business side.  Everything's cool,” he said. “There is not a thing to worry about. What you're seeing on television about this program and sponsors and advertisers is just incorrect.”

Angelo Carusone, campaign director for Media Matters, suggested that a review of Limbaugh’s website or radio show suggested otherwise. He said that a position on the Limbaugh homepage long occupied by the computer security firm Carbonite had been left blank. And Carusone forwarded his group's log of sponsor time during Limbaugh's show Wednesday as it aired on WABC in New York, showing that many spots were occupied by free public-service ads.

Michael Harrison, publisher of “Talkers,” said he opposes economic campaigns against radio hosts, whether they are liberal or conservative. He argued that such campaigns, if successful, tend to stifle free speech.

But Harrison contended that only a decline in audience would do serious damage to Limbaugh.
“If the listeners are bailing out, then I would say there is a long-term problem,” Harrison said. “Then he would lose sponsors and new ones would be harder to find.” But Harrison said there are not yet indications of a listener exodus from the Limbaugh program.

“His audience is not outraged,” Harrison said, adding that Limbaugh was turning the issue already into a campaign against allegedly untrustworthy mainstream media. “If you listen to his show, he is making it an us-against-them thing. That’s how he built his whole show in the first place.”


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Eddie Murphy's "A Thousand Words" had about that many hurdles to find its way to the box office.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I'm more valuable than a new iPad. Twitter.com/JBFlint