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Thursday, June 27, 2013


SAD Day for long form NPR listeners

Exit Interview: Neal Conan, Host of NPR's 'Talk of the Nation'

Credit NPR
Neal Conan joined NPR in 1977.
  • Neal Conan reflects on his time hosting "Talk of the Nation" with WUSF's Dalia Colón.
Neal Conan has hosted NPR's Talk of the Nation for more than a decade, but this week it's Conan himself who has everyone talking.
On Thursday, the veteran journalist will host his final broadcast of the call-in show, which airs four days a week.
NPR announced this spring that it will discontinue Talk of the Nation, which began in 1991. In its place, WUSF will airThe Takeaway, a national call-in show hosted by John Hockenberry. Listen Monday through Thursday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on WUSF. 89.7 FM.
Science Friday with Ira Flatow will continue. Catch it Fridays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on WUSF. 89.7 FM
In an interview with WUSF, Conan discussed what he'll miss about Talk of the Nation, why he never listens to his own show and the public radio host he calls a "genius."

Fighting for Run-a-way production! Duck Dynasty and Vikings rule! "White House Down". LV's Electronic Daisy Festival. Nanula takes leave from Miramax! CNN bringing back 'Crossfire'


"One Life to Live"
Episodes of the soap "One Life to Live" will appear on OWN this summer. (The Online Network / June 27, 2013)




After the coffee. Before going back to my salad diet.


AFCI
A visitor talks with representative Elijah Kahara, left, of Kenya during the AFCI Locations show in Santa Monica in 2007.(Ringo H.W. Chiu / For the Times / April 13, 2007)

They came from around the world to lure production from Los Angeles. Hundreds of film commissioners from around the world will converge on the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday to make their annual pitch to Hollywood.
The Assn. of Film Commissions International (AFCI) begins its 28th annual Locations show, with exhibits from more than 100 film commissions from Morocco to Cambodia, as well as 50 states and cities in the U.S.
This year's showcase is expected to draw as many as 3,000 visitors, among them film producers, location scouts and other industry professionals searching for film locations and the best deals on tax breaks and rebates offered by governments worldwide.
Along with panel discussions on the rapid growth of digital distribution channels such as Netflix and YouTube, the conference also will highlight the latest trends in film incentives at a time when global spending on media and entertainment is escalating.
"The floor of the Locations show is still the only place in the world where industry professionals can gather under one roof to get specific information on incentives right from the source,'' AFCI Executive Director Kevin Clark said. "Our show offers a one-stop shop to get producers all the information they need to make any type of project a reality."
The AFCI Locations show begins at noon Thursday and runs through Saturday. Admission is free but registration is required. 


"Duck Dynasty"
"Duck Dynasty" leads cable shows in viewership, according to Nielsen. (Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg / June 10, 2013)


'Duck Dynasty,' 'Vikings' lift A&E Networks

A+E Networks, the parent of History, A&E and Lifetime, is on a roll with its original programming.
Original shows from the cable programming company, including A&E's "Duck Dynastry" and History's "Vikings" and "Pawn Stars," were among the most-watched cable shows for the second quarter, according to Nielsen.
In fact, A+E Networks had six of the top 10 average most-watched cable shows per episode in the quarter.
"Duck Dynasty" led the pack with nearly 13 million viewers per episode, far outpacing second-place "Vikings," which drew 5.2 million. Coming in third, "Pawn Stars" had 4.9 million.
Other A+E shows in the top 10 included A&E's "Longmire" in fourth place, History's "Swamp People" in sixth and "Bates Motel" in ninth.
Nancy Dubuc, the executive who helped make History Channel a cable juggernaut, was promoted to president and chief executive of A+E in April and has ramped up the company's push for original content.
TNT's "Falling Skies" was the top non-A+E show, at No. 5 with an average of 4.7 million viewers.
In the key 18-49 demographic, A+E had four of the top 10 most-viewed shows. 
Among the networks, TNT took the top spot in primetime with the help of the NBA playoffs. Its primetime viewership increased 4% compared with the same quarter last year. 


DJs
EDM musicians perform at SFX Entertainment's Sensation event in Toronto. (Sensation)


Electronic music promoter SFX files for $175-million IPO

SFX Entertainment Inc., the electronic dance music promoter founded by Robert F.X. Sillerman, on Tuesday filed for an initial public offering to raise up to $175 million. 
The New York company represents festivals and events including Tomorrowland, Sensation and Mysteryland. 
In another sign of the growing business of electronic dance music, or EDM, the company plans to use the money raised in the IPO for acquiring companies and expanding its festival offerings, according to its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission
The global EDM market is projected to reach about $4.5 billion in 2013, said SFX, citing the International Music Summit Business Report.  
The company said it took a single second to sell all 180,000 tickets to its 2013 Tomorrowland festival in Belgium. Its Sensation event in Toronto in May attracted some 25,000 attendees. 
The company generated revenue of $24.8 million in 2012 and a net loss of $16 million.
Sillerman, SFX's chief executive and chairman, was responsible for the combining of the businesses that becameLive Nation
UBS Investment Bank, Barclays and Jefferies are underwriting the IPO. The company plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol "SFXE." 


Electric Daisy Carnival
Rave fans dance during a set by DJ David Guetta during the Electric Daisy Carnival at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2011. The EDC is one of the largest electronic music festivals in the world. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Electric Daisy Carnival documentary

The Electric Daisy Carnival is getting the documentary treatment from a pair of filmmakers who were behind the recent Justin Bieber and Katy Perry concert movies.
“EDC 2013: You Are the Headliner” is being directed by Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of production company Magical Elves. The film will focus on next month's Electric Daisy festival in Las Vegas, a music event that is expected to draw 345,000 people. 
Production company Haven Entertainment is making the movie in conjunction with Electric Daisy producer Insomniac Events. Los Angeles-based Insomniac puts on electronic dance music concerts at venues across Southern California and elsewhere. A 2010 iteration of the Electric Daisy rave drew as many as 200,000 to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
However, Insomniac, which is headed by Pasquale Rotella, has been plagued by troubles in recent years. The Los Angeles Times reported in February that since 2006, at least 14 people who went to concerts produced by Rotella and Reza Gerami of Go Ventures have died from overdoses or in other incidents related to drugs.
Rotella and Gerami and others were indicted in March 2012 on bribery charges related to raves at the Coliseum and the Sports Arena. They are alleged to have made payments to a stadium manager but have pleaded not guilty.
Despite the negative publicity, Insomniac has attracted strong interest from at least one prominent company looking to purchase the events firm. The L.A. Times reported May 4 that Insomniac has had talks with concert and ticketing giant Live Nation Entertainment Inc. regarding a sale to that company, though no deal has been completed.
Cutforth and Lipsitz's film will focus on fans preparing for -- and then experiencing -- the three-day festival in Las Vegas. The documentary will also incorporate footage of an Electric Daisy event that took place in New York on May 17-18, and another that will run in Chicago on May 24-26. 
"EDC has evolved into a unique pop culture movement and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to film it," said Cutforth in a statement. He and Lipsitz co-produced 2011's "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never" and co-directed last year's "Katy Perry: Part of Me." 
Insomniac's Rotella and Simon Rust Lamb, the company's chief operating officer, are serving as executive producers on the film.
“I’m very excited for audiences to witness the passion that goes into making EDC Las Vegas an unforgettable experience for the fans, who I consider our headliners,” said Rotella in a statement. 
“EDC 2013: You Are the Headliner” isn't the first documentary to focus on the dance music festival. The 2011 film "Electric Daisy Carnival Experience," which was directed and co-produced by Kevin Kerslake, became infamous after its Hollywood premiere spun out of control.
The July 2011 event at what was then called Grauman's Chinese Theatre spiraled out of control when thousands of people tried to crash the premiere. Police in riot gear responded to the disturbance and some people threw bottles at the officers.


The Skinny: Had dinner at the iconic diner Pann's on Wednesday night and now I can't move. But it was worth it. Thursday's headlines include a potential scandal involving a top Miramax executive, CNN bringing back "Crossfire" and moguls getting ready for Allen & Co.'s annual Sun Valley, Idaho, conference.



Daily Dose: While Food Network personality Paula Deen continues to get beaten up by the media and business partners (see below) for her use of racial epithets in the past, a growing number of people who have worked with her are taking to Facebook to defend her and attack the media coverage. Brianna Beaudry Blagg, a producer who worked for Deen for many years, wrote on her Facebook page that Deen is a "warm, caring, compassionate person, with close friends of all races and sexual orientations." Deen, she said, is "flawed like all of us." As for the media, Blagg said, "I find it disturbing the way her words are being distorted in our scandal-hungry 'headline instead of the whole story' media culture, and the sheep-like angry-mob cruelty that goes along with that."

Richard Nanula
Richard Nanula is taking a leave from Colony Capital and Miramax for "personal reasons," a Colony Capital spokeswoman says. (Colony Capital)
Is there a movie in this? Richard Nanula, chairman of independent production company Miramax, took a leave of absence after pictures of a man identified as him appeared on the Web having sex with an adult entertainment actress. Colony Capital, a co-owner of Miramax, declined to comment on the pictures or elaborate on Nanula's leave. Nanula, former chief financial officer forWalt Disney Co., is also a principal at Colony. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Getty Images
Leslie Moonves
Les Moonves - P 2013Round up the usual suspects. Media moguls and a gaggle of reporters will descend on Sun Valley, Idaho, early next month for boutique investment bank Allen & Co.'s annual conference. The event attracts business leaders from all industries but is best known as the birthplace of several big media mergers including Walt Disney-ABC and Comcast-NBC. Reporters used to be able to mingle with the big shots during the conference but over the last few years, Allen & Co. has made it much less press-friendly. Reporters now are often barred from the bar and need an escort to go to the bathroom. That's why you won't see me there this year. Better things to do then stand outside a building yelling, "Hey Barry Diller! Any deals happening?" A preview from the Hollywood Reporter.

Tough month. Paula Deen's business partners continue to flee the Food Network personality after acknowledging she has used racial epithets years ago. On Wednesday, after Deen went on NBC's"Today" to apologize, retail chain Wal-Mart said it is severing ties with her. More from the Associated Press. Food Network has already said it will not renew Deen's contract.

Oprah Winfrey
The Oprah Winfrey Network said Wednesday it would offer two longtime soaps. Above, Oprah Winfrey is seen after delivering the commencement address at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., in May. (Elise Amendola / AP / May 30, 2013)

Two lives to live. Oprah Winfrey's cable channel OWN has bought rights to air the new episodes of the soaps "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" that recently appeared online. For the soaps, getting exposure on OWN should broaden their audience while the cable channel gets some programming with a built-in following. The next logical step (actually what should have happened two years ago when ABC canceled the two soaps) is for OWN to become the new home for the shows. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.


Maker Studios co-founder Danny Zappin files a civil suit against co-founder Lisa Donovan
Former Maker Studios CEO Danny Zappin has filed suit against the digital media company's co founders, including Lisa Donovan, above. Maker Studios personality Kassem G (Kassem Gharaiben) was not named in the suit. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / August 31, 2010)


Former Maker Studios CEO sues co-founders, board members

Former Maker Studios Chief Executive Danny Zappin has filed suit against the digital studio's co-founders and board members, alleging that he was the victim of a conspiracy to oust him from the board.
Zappin contends in a civil suit filed Wednesday in state Superior Court in Los Angeles that Maker's founders -- Lisa Donovan and Ben Donovan -- and others at the company participated in an alleged scheme that changed the composition of its board, and resulted in his removal as a director.
He stepped down as chief executive on April 16, with former Endemol executive Ynon Kreiz assuming management responsibilities for the company. Zappin remained on the board, and served as a consultant to the new media company he helped launch in June 2009. 
Zappin attracted headlines in December, when he engaged in a highly publicized spat with one of Maker Studios' biggest stars, Ray William Johnson, who left the network.
Upon his departure as chief executive, Zappin lauded Kreiz as a seasoned executive well equipped to manage the budding studio, which had received $36 million in funding through an investment round led by Time Warner Investments.
"As the former CEO and chairman of Endemol, the world's largest independent production company, and as the co-founder and CEO of Fox kids, Ynon has the specific media exec experience that we need to take Maker to the next level," Zappin wrote at the time.
Zappin was voted off the Maker board in June. 
In court documents, Zappin alleges that Kreiz and board members who represented the company's financial backers hatched an elaborate scheme involving the buying and selling of shares to gain control of the company, and misled Zappin about their intentions.
"Among other things, the [venture capital funds] wanted to rapidly create a 'liquidity event' so they could sell Maker and obtain significant returns on their investments irrespective of the best interests of Maker,'' the suit alleges. "Kreiz ... touted ... that he could turn Maker into a $1 billion company in three years."
Maker issued a statement, denying the suit's allegations of breach of fiduciary responsibility, fraud, concealment, misrepresentation and conspiracy.
“The lawsuit is without merit and the allegations are baseless," Maker said in a statement. "We regret that Danny is taking this step and involving the Company he co-founded in litigation.”
Zappin is asking the court to unwind the actions of the board and install new directors.



China
A woman stands in front of advertisements for Chinese and foreign films at a movie theater in Shanghai, China. (Eugene Hoshiko / Associated Press / February 13, 2013)

China's domestic box office has generated about $1.63 billion in the first half of the year, a government panel said, another sign of the film industry's growth in that country.
It's the first time China's box office take has hit the milestone of 10 billion yuan in the first six months of the year, according to the National Film Development Special FundsManagement Committee.
The committee did not offer comparative data for last year.
China is now the world's second-largest movie market behind the United States, with box-office takings reaching $2.74 billion in 2012, and it's expected to take the No. 1 spot within a few years



On the set of "White House Down"
'Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan enjoyed "White House Down." CNN is bringing back "Crossfire," the granddaddy of cable political talk shows.