Showbizreporting's Blog

December 26, 2009

SAG USA

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 8:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Keep paying attention to the Ad industry. Watch for indicators and please report your findings here.

Assaf and Anthony

http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=141153

Who Gets the Highest Ad Rates Online?

With All the Talk of CPMs Going to Zero, Here’s a Survey of Who’s Commanding Top Dollar
by Michael Learmonth _Published: December 21, 2009

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Online ad rates, we’re told, are on an express train to zero, helped along by gagillions of impressions generated by Facebook, Twitter and its ilk, and the networks, exchanges and targeting technologies that allow advertisers to buy audience as a commodity, without dealing with individual sites at all.
And while the recession has put another hit on CPMs — the term ad buyers and sellers use as shorthand for the cost for 1,000 impressions — across the web, some sites can still pimp fat ad rates either by virtue of their reach, specialized audience or unique environment.
Who’s getting the best ad rates on the web today? The slideshow that follows, culled from agency buyers and media sellers, is far from scientific, but gives a good sense of who can still charge bank and why.

1. Yahoo.com $600,000/day roadblock
2. CBSSports.com CBS March Madness on demand $70 CPM
3. Hulu.com $35-plus CPM
4. Dailycandy.com $70 CPM for daily e-mail
5. aol.com $500,000 to $700,000 for a home page takeover
6. youtube.com home page $400,000/day roadblock with video
7. ABC.com Full episode player $45-plus CPM
8. twitter.com/KimKardashian Kim Kardashian’s Tweet Stream $10,000 per tweet
9. WSJ.com Wall Street Journal video $75-$100 CPM
10. WebMD.com $40-$60 CPM
11. MarthaStewart.com $25 CPM
12. Forbes.com $90 CPM per welcome interstitial
13. Bloomberg.com $50 CPM for “C-level display inventory
14. Turner Networks (CNN.com, TNT.tv, NBA.com, AdultSwim.com, etc.) $500,000 for all-site, day-long roadblock
15. YouTube.com/espn ESPN Brand Channel, YouTube $22 CPM
16. Economist.com $91 CPM/Site Takeover
17. Energy.nationaljournal.com National Journal Energy Blog $364/CPM

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November 26, 2009

Request from Richard

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 1:13 am
Tags: , ,

Dear Friends –

Tomorrow marks Thanksgiving. We are so thankful for your help, ideas, love and spirit. You have indeed saved lives as we celebrate the extension of the Motion Picture Home’s operating license for the Long Term Care and Acute Care Units for another year. This time next year I hope we are in an even greater mood as we celebrate the return to ‘Taking Care of Our Own’ in its original meaning and context.

Okay, got a favor to ask of you:

I’m putting up a special page on http://www.facebook.com/l/19ae2;www.savingthelivesofourown.org. Please send me photos of you, your mom and dad, or other images that I can put up on the website under the stirring words and music offered to us by the great Keith Emerson.

Being a last minute procrastinator – I need them right away. If you can get them to me a.s.a.p. I’ll be able to post them tomorrow.

Hope you have a great holiday!

Best,

Richard

September 15, 2009

RSVP for STMPH Event

Filed under: Entertainment — showbizreporting @ 5:20 pm
Tags: , , , ,

“Dear Friend – Please try to make this very important event.

Call me if you have any questions, need a ride, etc., etc.

Thanks,

Richard
213-369-1097”.

Event: Evening Before Eviction Rally
“To Protest the Closing of the Motion Picture & Television Fund Long Term Care Center”
What: Rally
Start Time: Friday, September 18 at 7:00pm
End Time: Friday, September 18 at 10:00pm
Where: Century Park

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:
http://www.facebook.com/n/?event.php&eid=278145360202&mid=119c591G42327ab2Gd01d59G7

September 8, 2009

A Message from Ken Howard

Subject: A message from Ken Howard

Fellow Hollywood SAG Members,

The most important question in this election is this: What steps must we take to strengthen the Screen Actors Guild and make sure we can negotiate the best possible contracts? I’ve described very clearly what I think the answer is. We need to build close relationships with all our fellow entertainment unions and approach future contract negotiations as a united front. Most critically, the two unions representing performers in our industry must work together as one. The surest way to achieve that is by merging SAG and AFTRA into one powerful national union.

Please go to http://www.facebook.com/l/;uniteforstrength.com/?p=734 and you’ll see important video messages from Tom Hanks, William H. Macy, and Felicity Huffman explaining why they – along with Sally Field, Tony Shalhoub, Hector Elizondo and so many other SAG members – agree with me.

My opponent, Anne-Marie Johnson, sees it differently. She and her group, Membership First, chose to fight with AFTRA heading into last year’s TV/Theatrical negotiations, and it cost us terribly:

    – SAG members lost tens of millions of dollars in increases and countless job opportunities during a ten month contract stalemate.

    – SAG covered only 10% of the 2009 TV pilots.

    – Lower revenues led to a 2-year budget deficit of $10 million, requiring 8% of SAG’s staff to be fired.

    – Reduced earnings meant fewer members qualified for SAG health insurance and pension credits.

    – Lower earnings contributed to the need for major changes to SAG’s pension and health plans, which will take effect in January, including higher health insurance premiums and deductibles, and a lower pension accrual rate.

With results like these, it’s no surprise that Anne-Marie Johnson and Membership First are now trying to sound like they embrace the idea of working together with AFTRA. But what you hear them saying may be very different from what they mean.

    – They say they want “all performers in one union”… but they steadfastly oppose merger, the obvious way to accomplish that.

– They say SAG should “share services” with AFTRA… but they want to immediately end the legal agreement that prohibits SAG and AFTRA from publicly attacking each other.

– They say SAG and AFTRA must negotiate together in 2010… but Ms. Johnson pledges her first act if elected would be to ask performers who are members of both unions to choose between them. Is she suggesting that SAG should raid AFTRA’s membership? That would be ruinous.

We CANNOT afford to go back to the go-it-alone approach of Anne-Marie Johnson, Connie Stevens, and Membership First. Unite for Strength is dedicated to protecting the future for actors. If you agree that SAG is made stronger by working in partnership with our fellow entertainment unions, please vote for me, Amy Aquino, and all the Unite for Strength board candidates.

Respectfully,

Ken Howard

VOTE USAN – USF

http://www.facebook.com/l/;www.UnitedScreenActors.com

September 4, 2009

MPTF UPDATE!

Dear Friends –

Things have heated up to a fever pitch in our battle to save not only the Residents of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Long Term Care Center, but also the future of Motion Picture and Television Healthcare.

Before I go into a lengthy explanation of recent events, you need not read any further than this, if you want to do something to help keep the Long Term Care facility open:

1. Sign our petition and urge your facebook friends to also sign our petition. Go to: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keepthemptfhomeopen

2. Call the MPTF at 818-876-1900 and ask for Dr. Tillman or Ken Scherer. Insist they refrain from closing the home and forcing ts elderly residents out. Ask for Rabbi Rosenberg’s extension and urge him to follow the moral imperative of his faith and stop the unnecessary deaths that we believe are resulting from these unnecessary transfers. Tell him he should be a voice for the families who are against this, and not for the corporate mindspeak of those who sign his paycheck.

3. Call Dreamworks Studios at 818 695 5000 and tell MPTF Chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg the same thing.

Last week in a sadistic show of balls and bravado, Dr. Nate Neumann along with a security thug traveled the hallways of the LTC reminding Residents that they were moving out. Our Residents are made of stout stuff, and as lesser elders would be terrified, the overwhelming sentiment was one of ‘F You’ and ‘Hell no, we won’t go!’. As it turns out, their admonitions reached the ears of our attorneys, and I believe that any communications between staff and Residents that fall outside of their healthcare needs will be routed to the firm of Girardi + Keese.

Speaking of legal, this has been posted on the website of http://www.savingthelivesofourown.org :

Despite the recent letter from David Tillman telling you that long-term care will close, which has been the Fund’s position since January 2009, there is no obligation to cooperate with MPTF’s attempts to force you to move out ‘voluntarily’ or for you to vacate your home.

As you know, our lawyers told MPTF’s lawyers that any contact regarding the moving of plaintiffs/Residents is to take place through Girardi & Keese. Remember, you are not to be frightened or intimidated into moving out. If you are contacted directly by any MPTF employee about moving, or should you have additional questions, we suggest you contact legal@savingthelivesofourown.org or speak with Jim O’Callahan’s office at Girardi & Keese, 213-077-0211 immediately.

For those Residents who are now interested in joining the litigation, please contact us while there is still the opportunity to have your rights respected and protected. Send an e-mail to: legal@savingthelivesofourown.org and your inquiry will be answered. Make sure you specify who your family member or loved one is at the MPTF facility.

To all concerned, we continue to work closely with the lawyers on a daily basis. Diligent efforts are underway to secure our goals. We remain very optimistic.

Be sure to tune into Tom Girardi’s radio show CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE Airing every Saturday at 5:00 pm on KRLA 870 AM.!

http://www.girardikeese.net

When you frighten and intimidate elderly people, the term ‘sadistic’ comes to mind along with other adjectives and characterizations that have no place being attributed to care givers. It’s gotten that bad friends.

We need your support more than ever. Please urge your facebook friends to join our group, more importantly – to sign our petition. I’ll save you the scroll up:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/keepthemptfhomeopen

We are planning a huge rally in the near future. Stay tuned for details.

Thank you so much for your efforts. You are saving lives.

Best,

Richard Stellar

June 11, 2009

Digital Media Law: Trademark Protection and Facebook Usernames

Digital Media Law


Trademark Protection and Facebook User Names

Posted: 10 Jun 2009 07:17 AM PDT

Trademark protection just got a slightly more complicated, but in a good way. Starting now, there’s a new step that trademark holders or their attorneys should take to protect their trademarks or service marks.

You probably already know that registering domain names corresponding to your marks gives you important practical protection. Now Facebook has entered the equation. Starting this Friday, June 12, users will be able to register a Facebook user name on a first-come, first-served basis at http://www.facebook.com/username/. It’s about time—the old format for accessing someone’s profile included a string of random digits. My old Facebook URL looks like this: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=551052414. My new one will be nicer.

Competing social networking sites, such as LinkedIn and MySpace, have had plain-language user names for a while now. But the new Facebook scheme has something built in that the other sites apparently don’t: a mechanism for trademark protection. That’s welcome news for rights-holders. Here’s how it works.

At http://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_rights, there’s a “Preventing the Registration of a Username” form for entering your company name, title, email, trademark, and registration number. (Oddly, there’s no place to enter your own name.) As that last data item suggests, only registered marks are eligible, although I’d recommend that holders of trademark applications in process simply enter the application number instead. Filling in the form will prevent someone else from using your trademark as a user name.

What happens if an infringer registers your trademark before you fill out the form? In that case, fill out Facebook’s “Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim)” at http://www.facebook.com/copyright.php?noncopyright_notice=1 and hopefully the matter will be taken care of. Facebook doesn’t describe the procedure it follows for these forms.

Finally, what if someone maliciously fills out the “Preventing the Registration of a Username” form and blocks you from using your own mark as a user name? Facebook’s FAQ (at http://www.facebook.com/help.php?page=899) doesn’t address that, but I’d suggest filling out the Notice of Intellectual Property Infringement (Non-Copyright Claim) form and providing as many details as known.

June 3, 2009

DIGITAL MEDIA LAW: SAG TV/Theatrical Ballots Later Than Expected; SAG Litigation Continues; and More (APR. 29, 2009)

 

Digital Media Law

 

SAG TV/Theatrical Ballots Later Than Expected; SAG Litigation Continues; and More

Posted: 29 Apr 2009 02:19 AM PDT

The ballots for SAG’s recently approved TV/theatrical contract won’t be going out until mid to late May, a source tells me, several weeks later than the early May target that the Guild stated as recently as a week or so ago. That means that ratification, if achieved as expected, will not come until early to mid June, since balloting is expected to be a three week process.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, explained that writing the pro and con statements has only just begun. That process takes a week, and then another week is allowed for rebuttal statements to be written.

(BTW, a copy of the proposed TV/theatrical agreement is available here. I’ve not yet done an analysis, but in the meantime you can read SAGWatch’s.)

Meanwhile, ballots for the commercials contract will be mailed to both SAG and AFTRA members Thursday, and due back May 21, reports Variety. It’s expected to pass easily. In contrast, the TV/theatrical contract will probably pass with a yes vote in the 60%-75% range, roughly in the neighborhood of the AFTRA deal, which achieved 62%. Only a simple majority (i.e., just over 50%) is required.

In other SAG news, Unite for Strength revealed in a Facebook email several days ago that the force majeure compromise is 33 cents on the dollar. “Force majeure” refers to arbitration claims on behalf of about 500 actors for a portion of wages lost due to the 2007-2008 Writer Guild strike. The claims amount to about $63 million, and, thus, the total settlement is about $21 million. I’m told SAG members will get checks several weeks after the agreement is ratified.

That settlement amount—33 cents on the dollar—is on the low side, but that was a tradeoff. SAG wants its contract to expire in mid-2011, to synch up with the WGA, AFTRA, and DGA. That’s an issue created by the ten-month delay that the hardline Membership First faction inflicted on the union; without the delay, the deals would have synched up as a matter of course. To get synchronicity at this late date, SAG had to give something up.

Remember also that the claims are under arbitration. SAG could have gotten zero cents on the dollar if the arbitration had proceeded; or it could have prevailed altogether. With that much uncertainty, a settlement in the 50% range might have been expected. That would have yielded a total of about $31 million, rather than $21 million. So, it’s a reasonable conclusion that SAG gave up about $10 million in order to get the synchronized expiration date—and prompt payment to the affected members.

The Guild also had to agree to modify the TV-related force majeure language in a way that reduces the likelihood of future force majeure claims. To put this in context, though, I’m told there has never been an industry-wide force majeure claim before. The studios obviously want to avoid seeing one again, not only to reduce their costs, but also to decrease the strength by which SAG members would support a writers strike in the future. (In other words, if actors have to bear the entire cost of their own lost wages, they may be less likely to enthusiastically support a strike by a sister union.)

Speaking of lost wages, I also have a couple of factoids on the SAG layoffs: the total number of people laid off was 36 (not 35, as previously reported), with an additional 26 unfilled positions that will remain unfilled. That’s a total reduction in force of 62 positions, and the annual savings to the Guild is $2.5 million in salaries ($4 million if bonuses and other factors are included).

Moving from lost wages to lost causes, there are developments in the lawsuit filed against SAG by the union’s own president, Alan Rosenberg, and his fellow Membership First plaintiffs 1st VP Anne-Marie-Johnson and board members Diane Ladd and Kent McCord. That suit, as you may rather have forgotten, seeks to unseat the TV/theatrical negotiating task force, as well as interim National Executive Director David White and Chief Negotiator John McGuire. That group—plus the commercials negotiating committee—is the team that managed to close two deals in as many months, while MF closed nothing at all over several years.

The lawsuit, in my opinion, hasn’t got a Popsicle’s chance in hell. After all, what judge is going to unwind a twice-ratified union leadership change? Incredibly, the lawsuit proceeds on not one but two tracks, since there are now both a trial court action and a concurrent appeal. Rosenberg’s and his co-plaintiffs’ solicitude for the members apparently includes spending their money on pointless multi-pronged litigation—understandably, since abandoning the litigation before this summer’s SAG election would be no boon to MF’s election prospects. Indeed, if MF ever wins control of the Board again, you can expect a motion to have SAG reimburse Rosenberg et al. for their no doubt considerable litigation costs.

In any case, there are developments on two fronts. In the trial court, SAG filed its Answer to the plaintiffs’ first amended complaint. A variety of defenses are asserted, including that the complaint is moot (because the SAG Board re-fired the previous NED, Doug Allen, at a meeting, after having first done so by a written assent document), interferes with the union’s right of self-governance, and is barred by the wrongful acts of Rosenberg and his co-plaintiffs (this presumably refers to the 28-hour filibuster over which Rosenberg presided in an attempt to prevent Allen from being fired).

Meanwhile, in the Court of Appeal, Rosenberg & co. filed their Appellant’s Opening Brief several days ago, accompanied by multi-volume, multi-hundred page appendices of documents. The arguments are simply a rehash of the arguments Rosenberg and his co-plaintiffs made in the trial court–which were rejected not only by the trial court judge, but also in an earlier appeal. Yes, the current appeal is actually the second, and the case is only three months old.

What next? As the name implies, the Appellant’s Opening Brief is the first brief in the appeal. The next few weeks will see the filing of the respondent’s brief (SAG’s brief) and the reply brief (in which Rosenberg et al. get to reply to SAG’s brief). Then comes oral argument, unless the court decides to proceed based on the briefs alone (which I think the court has the right to do, but I’m not sure).

For those who find appellate work dry and lifeless (it’s all briefs and legal arguments, with no witnesses or jury), the trial court action will grind on as well, doubtless with demurrers, a motion to dismiss, motions for summary judgment, depositions, interrogatories, requests for production of documents, and all of the other costly accoutrement of modern-day litigation. Actually, that’s pretty dry and lifeless too. This could go on for months, providing amusement to everyone except SAG’s accountants. As in entertainment, so too in litigation: the show must go on.

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