SAG-AFTRA targets spring for AMPTP contract talks
By Dave McNary
SAG-AFTRA is planning to launch its master contract talks with the studios in the spring. The union has set its first official step with the “wages and working conditions” meetings dated for Jan. 27 and March 14.
Obituary – Gerald V. Wilson, SAG Finance Exec
Paso Robles Press
Gerald “Jerry” V. Wilson was born on March 3, 1932, in Omaha, Neb., and raised in the Sandhills of Valentine, Neb. Jerry had a distinguished career in finance that spanned 45 years, including two decades as National Director of Finance for the Screen Actors Guild until his retirement in 2002.
Why a lot of actors can’t just come out
By Michelle Garcia
If you're an LGBT actor heading into an audition, you'd better hope that the people making the casting decisions were born after the American bicentennial. Jason Stuart, a working actor and comedian based in Los Angeles, told me that he has noticed filmmakers and TV producers under 35 just don't care about the sexual orientation of the actor coming into an audition.
Opportunities for LGBT performers in Hollywood improving, but discrimination remains
By Air Talk
A new report released by the Screen Actors Guild found that Hollywood is not that gay-friendly when the cameras are not rolling. Despite the rise in gay and transgendered characters in television shows and in movies, gay actors are still experiencing discrimination in Hollywood.
Southern California’s top 100 events / SAG "A" List
Early each award season, the Screen Actors Guild honors stars with its A-list affair at the Shrine Exposition Center. Next year is a milestone for the SAG awards, marking the 20th anniversary of the show.
Defining and demanding a musician’s fair share in the internet age
New York Times
By Ben Sisario
In the music business, they still talk about the “Lars curse”. It has been thirteen years since Metallica’s drummer Lars Ulrich identified the screen names of more than 300,000 Napster users in a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Mayor Bloomberg unveils a New Media job incubator in Brooklyn
The Hollywood Reporter
By Chris O’Falt
The ribbon on the Made in NY Media Center was cut on Tuesday, just 11 months after New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the Independent Film Project (IFP) won the bid to develop and operate the center. What was once a coffee factory and more recently a garage has been quickly converted into the New York film world's new hub, smack dab in the center of the high-tech corridor emerging in Dumbo, Brooklyn.
Paramount to lay off 110 employees
By Justin Kroll
Paramount Pictures has announced it will be eliminating 110 positions on its lot and internationally, slicing 5% of its workforce of 2,200. Paramount CFO Frederick Huntsberry said in a memo to employees that the cuts represented an organizational realignment in select areas and the departments that will be most affected by these cuts will be primarily in the finance, human resources, information technology, international home media distribution, legal and marketing departments.
Disney, Viacom, Discovery, Twitter execs set for Abu Dhabi Media Summit
The Hollywood Reporter
By Georg Szalai
Top executives from the Walt Disney Co., Viacom, Discovery Networks International, Twitter and Google will speak at this year's Abu Dhabi Media Summit, organizers announced on Wednesday. Specific speaker names and the event's keynote presenters will be revealed later.
Where indie game producers come out to play
New York Times
By Harold Goldberg
Digital distribution has been driving sales of independent video games for nearly a decade. But the rise of the indies can be traced in no small part to IndieCade, a quirky, artful gathering that attracts people from around the world to an event that’s known as the Sundance of games.
Hulu Plus hops on board Google’s Chromecast
By Todd Spangler
It took Hulu just two months to bring its subscription video-on-demand service to the $35 Chromecast streaming device for HDTVs — showing how quickly and easily content partners can get on to Google’s low-cost Internet TV platform. Google launched Chromecast on July 24, initially with support for Netflix, YouTube and content purchased through Google Play.
NextRadio seeing early, positive trends on usage
NextRadio and TagStation have released new data via a blog on TagStation's website, reporting impressive early figures on the new service, which allows free FM radio access via smartphones. According to the blog, NextRadio has already garnered over 30,000 downloads of its app.
NFL inks expanded Spanish radio deal
ESPN Deportes Radio is expanding its NFL coverage. The Spanish-language sports network has signed a two-year agreement giving it broader play-by-play rights in the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons. The deal includes exclusive Spanish-language rights to Monday Night Football, National Football Conference playoffs this year and American Football Conference next year, the 2014 Super Bowl, and the 2015 Pro Bowl.
Sirius XM “significantly increasing” streaming focus
It may be satellite radio, but Sirius XM Radio CEO Jim Meyer has internet streaming on the mind. He told the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference last week in New York that the company is “investing heavily” in streaming.
Cable network ad rates rising, says SNL Kagan
Broadcasting & Cable
By Jon Lafayette
Cable network advertising rates rose 4.8% in 2012, continuing a consistent ramp-up that began after the recession hurt ad prices in 2009. According to research company SNL Kagan, cable networks last year attracted prices averaging $6.22 on a CPM (cost per one thousand viewers) basis over their full programming day. Those prices have risen four consecutive years, but they are still well below their broadcast counterparts, Kagan says.