Mar 18, 2018
3:22 am

A Single Winning Ticket Was Sold in Saturday Night’s Powerball Lottery, Worth $456.7 Million (Powerball website)

Here’s the full statement that was released by Powerball officials, as found on the official national Powerball website:

A single ticket sold in Pennsylvania won the Powerball jackpot in the Saturday, March 17 drawing.

The ticket matched all five white balls and the Powerball to win the jackpot worth an estimated $456.7 million; $273.9 million cash value – the 8th largest jackpot in Powerball game history!

The winning numbers in the March 17 drawing were: 22-57-59-60-66, Powerball 7, Power Play 2X.

Three tickets matched all five white balls in the drawing. The tickets were sold in California, Missouri and Texas.

The ticket sold in Texas won a $2 million prize after the 2X multiplier was drawn, because it included the Power Play option.

No location was given as to where the winning ticket was sold in Pennsylvania. In California, the ticket sold that picked 5 out of 5 numbers correctly – but not the powerball — was bought at Ed’s Liquor on Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. That ticket will pay $1.2 million.

There was no location given as to where the 5 out of 5 runner-up tickets were sold in Missouri or Texas.




Mar 16, 2018
10:10 pm

In Court Papers President Trump Weighs In, Legally For the First Time, on the Stormy Daniels Affair, Claiming She Owes at Least $20 Million for Breaking Confidentiality Agreement (NYTimes; USA Today)

“President Trump, weighing in directly,” for the first time, on the case of Stormy Daniels — whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — “claimed in court papers filed by his lawyers on Friday that the porn actress who alleges she had an affair with him violated a confidentiality agreement at least 20 times, exposing her to damages of at least $20 million,” reports The New York Times.

The story says, “Mr. Trump formally joined his legal team’s response to Ms. Clifford’s suit [that the confidentiality agreement is invalid] in a motion, filed Friday, to move the case from state court in Los Angeles, where Ms. Clifford filed her claim, to federal court.”

The Times adds, “Until now, Mr. Trump had kept his distance from the legal wrangling, leaving it to his personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to take the lead in refuting Ms. Clifford’s claims. And the White House has refused to say how involved Mr. Trump had even been in the initial agreement with Ms. Clifford, signed in October 2016.”

Trump “vehemently” denies any affair took place, according to previous statements by Cohen.

Notes USA Today, in its story, “The filings came a day after news emerged that 60 Minutes planned to air an interview with Daniels on March 25.”

The USA Today story also says that “Charles Harder, an attorney who represented Hulk Hogan in a lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker Media, signed on to represent Trump in moving the case to federal court and [trying to force] the matter back into secret arbitration proceedings.”

Mar 16, 2018
5:11 pm

Cable Drama Series Renewed (TVWeek, USA Network)

An acclaimed cable drama series just picked up a renewal and will be back for a second season. USA Network announced the pickup today for “The Sinner,” giving it an eight-episode order for summer 2018.

Derek Simonds returns as executive producer and showrunner, with Jessica Biel and Michelle Purple executive producing through their company Iron Ocean, and Charlie Gogolak as executive producer. Brad Winters will also serve as executive producer.

Antonio Campos, who directed the first three episodes of season 1, will return to direct and executive produce the first two episodes.

Please click here for details about the show in the full announcement.

Mar 16, 2018
5:09 pm

Unusual Documentary Tracks the Creative Journey of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll (TVWeek, HBO)

A new two-part TV documentary chronicles the creative journey of the performer widely recognized as the king of rock ‘n’ roll.

Elvis Presley: The Searcher” premieres April 14 on HBO, featuring interviews including Scotty Moore, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Red West. The project tracks the King from his childhood through his final 1976 Jungle Room recording sessions.

“He was a boy from Tupelo who grew up to become the biggest star in music. Along the way, he absorbed a staggering range of influences, creating a revolutionary sound in his lifelong search for self-expression,” HBO says in today’s announcement.

Please click here to see the full announcement.

Mar 16, 2018
4:51 pm

Snapchat Stock Loses $800 Million After Rihanna Lashes Out (CNN, Instagram)

Stock in Snap, the owner of the social media site Snapchat, plummeted this week after pop star Rihanna blasted the company over an ad she found offensive, CNN reports.

“The singer tore into the app on Thursday for allowing an offensive ad to appear on its platform,” the story reports. “Her remark sent Snap’s stock down nearly 4%, erasing nearly $800 million from its market value. Snap’s stock closed down 1% on Friday.”

The report adds: “The ad in question was for the mobile game ‘Would You Rather?,’ and it presented users with two options: ‘Slap Rihanna’ or ‘Punch Chris Brown.’ Brown pleaded guilty in 2009 to beating Rihanna during an argument while they were dating.”

In response to the ad, Rihanna put out a statement on Instagram saying: “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance but I know you ain’t that dumb. You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it.”

Snap was distancing itself from the ad, saying in a statement provided to CNN: “We are investigating how that happened so that we can make sure it never happens again.”

Mar 16, 2018
3:07 pm

Motion Picture Academy President Under Investigation (Variety)

“John Bailey, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is under investigation for allegations of sexual harassment,” Variety reports. “The Academy received three harassment claims on Wednesday and immediately opened a probe, according to sources familiar with the situation.”

Bailey became the organization’s president in August.

“If he were forced to step down, he would be temporarily replaced by Lois Burwell, a veteran makeup artist who is the Academy’s vice president, until the next election in July,” the report notes.

“Bailey’s tenure has been marked by a historic shift in the Academy’s approach to misconduct by its members,” Variety adds. “In October, the Academy voted to expel Harvey Weinstein less than 10 days after The New York Times first reported on his history of sexual harassment. The Academy also replaced Casey Affleck, who settled two sexual harassment lawsuits in 2010, as the presenter of the best actress award at this year’s Oscars.”

Mar 16, 2018
2:27 pm

In Fox News Fracas, Hannity Says Shepard Smith Is ‘Clueless’ About What Hannity Does (Deadline, The Hill, TVWeek, Twitter)

“The much-proclaimed wall between opinion and reporting at Fox News got topped with some barbed wire today as opinionator Sean Hannity called news man Shepard Smith ‘clueless’ about how the other half works,” Deadline reports.

Hannity sent out a tweet aimed at Smith in response to comments by Smith in a Time magazine article. You can see Hannity’s tweet below.

In the Time profile, Smith says: “I get it that some of our opinion programming is there strictly to be entertaining. I get that. I don’t work there. I wouldn’t work there. I don’t want to sit around and yell at each other and talk about your philosophy and my philosophy. That sounds horrible to me.”

Hannity responded: “While Shep is a friend with political views I do not share, and great at breaking news, he is clueless about what we do every day. Hannity breaks news daily-Warrant on a Trump assoc, the unmasking scandal, leaking intel, Fisa abuse, HRC lawbreaking, dossier and more REAL NEWS!”

In the midst of the fracas, The Hill reports that Smith announced today that he’s taking what he calls a “previously planned one-week vacation.” Smith also quipped that when he returns “everything will be peachy-keen & hunky-dory.”

Mar 16, 2018
11:59 am

Four of Time Inc.’s Best-Known Magazines May Be Sold Off by the Company’s New Owner (Reuters)

A number of iconic magazines appear to be going up for sale as the media company that recently became the owner of Time Inc. explores what to do with its acquisition.

Reuters cites sources saying Meredith Corp. has hired advisers to look into selling Time, Fortune, Money and Sports Illustrated. Meredith acquired Time Inc. for $1.84 billion in January.

“The move illustrates how Meredith sees some of Time Inc.’s titles that attract primarily male readership as not playing to its core strength in women’s magazines, which include Better Homes & Gardens, Family Circle and Martha Stewart Living,” Reuters reports. “The Des Moines, Iowa-based company has tapped investment banks Citigroup Inc and Houlihan Lokey Inc to find potential buyers for the magazines, the sources said this week. There is no certainty that a divestiture will occur, the sources added.”

Reuters adds: “While it’s possible that media, telecommunications or technology companies could express an interest in the magazines, a sale to wealthy individuals, such as philanthropists or billionaires, is viewed by Meredith as more likely, according to one of the sources.”

Mar 16, 2018
11:33 am

Porn Star’s Lawyer Says Six More Women Have Come Forward Alleging Sexual Relationships With Trump (CNN)

An attorney representing porn star Stormy Daniels, who reportedly had an affair with Donald Trump, says more women have surfaced who allegedly had affairs with Trump.

“We’ve been approached by six separate women who have claimed to have similar stories to that of my client,” Michael Avenatti said this morning on CNN’s “New Day,” where he was interviewed by Chris Cuomo. “Two of them — at least two — have [nondisclosure agreements]. We’re in the very early stages of vetting those stories.”

Avenatti said the stories being told by all of the women involve Trump, but stressed that the stories have not been vetted and added that his legal team is “not vouching for these stories.”

“Avenatti also told Cuomo that Daniels has faced physical threats, saying she’ll disclose more details in an upcoming ’60 Minutes’ interview later this month,” CNN reports. “He would not answer whether or not it was someone close to the president who threatened her, and later told CNN he couldn’t answer a question about whether he or Daniels filed a police report.”

“Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has filed a complaint against the president over a nondisclosure agreement she claims is void,” the report adds. “The agreement was made just before the 2016 election with Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, who paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence about an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006.”

Mar 16, 2018
11:11 am

Amazon Rarely Discusses Its Viewer Numbers, But a New Report Uncovers Some Key Stats (Reuters, MediaPost)

A new report breaks through the veil of secrecy that Amazon tends to keep around the the viewer and subscriber numbers for its Amazon Prime video service. Reuters examined company documents that the news service says reveal “for the first time how the retailer’s bet on original video is paying off.”

The documents “show that Amazon’s U.S. audience for all video programming on Prime, including films and TV shows it licenses from other companies, was about 26 million customers. Amazon has never released figures for its total audience,” Reuters reports.

“The internal documents compare metrics that have never been reported for 19 shows exclusive to Amazon: their cost, their viewership and the number of people they helped lure to Prime. Known as Prime Originals, the shows account for as much as a quarter of what analysts estimate to be total Prime sign-ups from late 2014 to early 2017, the period covered by the documents,” Reuters reports.

The story reports that Amazon’s top TV shows drew more than 5 million people worlwide to Prime by early 2017.

MediaPost adds: “Prime Video is available to all Amazon Prime subscribers, or as a standalone offering for $8.99 per month. The company doesn’t reveal how many Prime subscribers it has, but Wall Street estimates range from 70 million to 90 million. With 26 million people watching videos through the service, that means there are tens of millions more people with access to the library of videos that aren’t yet watching.”

MediaPost notes that the numbers make Amazon “one of the largest streaming video services in the world, behind only YouTube and Netflix.”

“For comparison, Netflix has more than 118 million global subscribers, while Hulu has more than 17 million subscribers,” MediaPost adds. “CBS All Access has more than two million subscribers. YouTube has two subscription offerings, but most of its viewership comes from its free video offerings. YouTube has said it has more than 1.5 billion unique worldwide viewers each month.”

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