Jul 3, 2015
8:17 am

Two TV News Crews Robbed at Gunpoint, Cameraman Pistol-Whipped (SFGate)

Two television news crews were attacked Thursday while covering a story, with one of the attackers, who wore a ski mask, pistol-whipping a camera operator.

SFGate.com reports that the crews, from Bay Area stations KTVU-TV and KNTV, were hit while they were reporting on a fatal shooting at Pier 14 in San Francisco. They were robbed of cameras, reportedly by a group of three men.

“The mugging — the latest in the Bay Area to target television crews — happened at 6:03 a.m. at the pier along the Embarcadero and was captured in part on the air,” the story reports. “KTVU reporter Cara Liu was reporting live when someone ran up and stole camera equipment belonging to KNTV, which also had a crew on the scene. During the incident, KNTV camera operator Alan Waples was pistol-whipped.”

KTVU’s Brian Flores was about to send it to Liu live at the scene when she reportedly appeared startled, saying, “Hold on, hold on, wait,” before disappearing from the screen, SFGate reports. At the time, Waples and KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez were apparently being robbed at gunpoint.

Moments later, KTVU anchor Flores asked: “Cara, you still there?,” and she replied, “Sorry, there’s an incident out here.”

When Flores asked, “What’s going on out there, Cara, doing OK?,” no one responded, as Liu and KTVU photographer Keith Crook had gone to help the KNTV crew.

The assailant reportedly pointed a gun at Crook and made off with both stations’ cameras and tripods, fleeing in a black BMW.


Jul 3, 2015
8:04 am

NBC Series Gets Second Season (TVWeek)

NBC has signed on for a second season of a freshman series. The Peacock Network announced Thursday that it has renewed the variety show “I Can Do That.”

The network placed an order for an eight-episode season, after the show’s six-episode first season, which wrapped June 30, crowned Nicole Scherzinger as the winner of the celebrity competition.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

Said Telegdy: “This series thrust our celebrities out of their comfort zones and into exciting, unpredictable situations and they rose to the occasion each week. We are thrilled to bring new challenges and up the ante for season two.”

Season one featured Scherzinger competing against Cheryl Burke, Ciara, Jeff Dye, Joe Jonas and Alan Ritchson. The show is hosted by Marlon Wayans.

“I Can Do That” averaged a 1.7 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million total viewers in “most current” results from Nielsen Media Research, according to NBC, and topped its time period entertainment competition from ABC and CBS in 18-49.

i can do that

Jul 3, 2015
7:11 am

Series Sets Ratings Record for OWN (TVWeek)

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is celebrating a ratings record this week. The cable channel announced that Tuesday’s premiere of the prime-time soap “The Haves and the Have Nots” delivered 3.3 million total viewers, making it the most-watched season premiere in OWN history.

The program was also the highest-rated telecast in series history among the network’s core demo of women 25-54, with a 2.80 rating.

OWN announced that the episode was the highest-rated Tuesday night cable telecast in 2015 to date among women 25-54.

“Additionally, Tuesday’s premiere ranked as the night’s #1 cable telecast among W25-54 and W18-49, making OWN the night’s #1 cable network among W25-54 and W18-49,” the network noted.

the haves and the have nots-OWN“The Haves and the Have Nots”

Jul 3, 2015
7:07 am

CEOs of Sprint and T-Mobile in Nasty Online Exchange (USA Today)

The executives leading the country’s No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers fired off nasty online messages to each other this week.

USA Today reports that Marcelo Claure of No. 3 Sprint and John Legere of No. 4 T-Mobile went off in a war of words on Twitter.

Legere got things rolling with a tweet targeting Sprint’s “All-In Plan.” The T-Mobile exec wrote: “I give credit to @sprint for swinging the bat when they do but #allin is a swing and a miss, guys!!”

Legere’s tweet prompted a flurry of tweets from the usually polite Claure, which reportedly included the message: “I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke…. You say one thing but behave completely different. It’s all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell.”

Then came a flurry from Legere, including: “You mad bro?” “When it comes to self-destructing, Marcelo is #Allin.” “Think I hit a nerve at the end of a rough week? Maybe end of the Q is a hard day over there. @T-Mobile numbers speak for themselves. #comingsoon.”

And: “Isn’t it cute that Marcelo’s been following me on twitter since joining? Now he’s starting to sound like me to get attention-it’s working!”

The exchange came as the two companies are pushing rival low-cost plans, and follows rumors last year that the two companies were exploring a merger as they compete against the larger AT&T and Verizon.

sprint and t-mobile

Jul 3, 2015
5:47 am

Lifetime Gets Into the Subscription Video Game (TVWeek)

Lifetime has rolled out its entry in the increasingly crowded subscription video market, with A+E Networks announcing the launch Thursday of Lifetime Movie Club.

The direct-to-consumer subscription service offers subscribers access to a library of Lifetime Movies without commercial interruptions for $3.99 a month.

“The subscription video service comes in time for the 25-year anniversary of Lifetime Movies and is available exclusively on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch at launch,” the company announced.

The announcement adds: “The app will feature over 30 movies with new titles refreshed weekly. Lifetime Movie Club subscribers will also enjoy monthly Featured Playlists starting with ‘Summer Lovin’’ which will include irresistible titles like ‘Sex & the Single Mom,’ and ‘One Hot Summer.’ Additional playlists to come include ‘Dramatic Affairs,’ ‘Murder & Mayhem,’ ‘Ripped from the Headlines,’ and more.”

The list of titles in the Movie Club offering includes “Flowers in the Attic,” “Coco Chanel,” “A Girl Like Me: The Gwen Araujo Story,” “The Trip to Bountiful,” “Too Young to Marry” and “Dawn Anna.”

lifetime movie club

Jul 2, 2015
12:31 pm

‘The View’ Is Rebooting — and Two of the Current Hosts May Be Out (Variety)

ABC is in the process of putting together a reboot for “The View,” and current co-hosts Nicolle Wallace and Rosie Perez may be headed out the door, Variety reports.

The daytime chatfest has been falling off in the ratings, and for the second year in a row, a number of changes are coming.

Moderator Whoopi Goldberg, however, remains safe, according to the report.

As for Wallace and Perez, “One or both women could be dropped because network execs are underwhelmed with their contributions to the show’s signature Hot Topics segment, which is expected to shift focus permanently toward more lighthearted celebrity fluff,” Variety reports.

The report adds: “The changes come as instability behind-the-scenes at the show continues, say insiders, which probably isn’t what Disney/ABC Television Group president Ben Sherwood was hoping for when he shifted oversight of the program from ABC’s daytime division to its ABC News unit as part of a previous reboot effort that brought in Wallace and Perez last September.”

An ABC News spokeswoman declined to comment for the story, and reps for Wallace and Perez weren’t responding, the report notes.

Show founder Barbara Walters retired back in May 2014, and since then the program has seen its ratings drop. Now affiliates are pressuring ABC to pump life back into the show, the report notes.

The numbers for the second quarter of 2015 show “The View” averaging 2.48 million total viewers, down 16% from a year ago, and pulling only 386,000 in the demo of women 18-to-49, a decline of 18%.


Jul 2, 2015
12:17 pm

Paris Hilton in Horrifying Fake Plane Crash Prank — Except It Turns Out She Was In on the Joke (Here’s the Video) (TMZ)

A video showing a terrified Paris Hilton caught in a prank in which she endured a near plane crash has been creating a stir on the Internet. But in the latest development, TMZ.com reports that Hilton was in on the joke.

You can see the prank video at the bottom of this post.

“TMZ has obtained a document prepared by the Egyptian production company behind the prank,” the website reports noting that the offer went out to a number of U.S. celebrities back in March. The celebs were reportedly offered something in the million-dollar range to participate.

TMZ quotes the document stating: “We will act as if something is going wrong and ask all passengers to jump off the plane!!! Of course everyone will panic, we’ll be having skydivers in disguise with us on board. … We will monitor the funny reactions from our celebrity guest when they fear jumping off the plane.”

The prank reportedly had the support of the government of Dubai, where the stunt took place.

Soon after the video surfaced, media outlets — including TMZ — were reporting that Hilton planned to sue the pranksters. But that was before word surfaced that it was all an act by Hilton.

Here’s the video:

Jul 2, 2015
12:09 pm

NBC’s Iconic 30 Rock Gets a New Name (Philly.com)

NBC’s historic 30 Rock — the building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan — has a new name. Philly.com reports that the building is now known as the Comcast Building, after new signs were unveiled Wednesday.

“The building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza — known internationally for its Christmas tree, and more recently as the home of Tina Fey’s television comedy — has officially been renamed, according to NBCUniversal, which is owned by Philadelphia-based cable giant Comcast,” the story reports.

The change has been in the works for some time, with Comcast obtaining approval for the change from New York City a year ago.

In a statement Wednesday, the company said: “Comcast NBCUniversal unveiled the new granite pier naming stones located at the entryways to 30 Rockefeller Plaza earlier today. The new Comcast NBCUniversal rooftop signage will be illuminated this evening, adding the company’s logo to the New York City skyline. The signage features the Comcast logo on the north and south facing roof exteriors and the NBC Peacock on the western facing rooftop façade. This is the first time in history that the iconic NBC Peacock logo will appear atop the network’s historic broadcast headquarters.”

The 70-story building, which was completed in 1933, is said to be the 14th-tallest skyscraper in New York City, at 850 feet. It was known as the RCA Building from 1933 to 1988, and became known as the GE Building starting in 1988. Along with “30 Rock,” one of its nicknames has been “The Slab.”


Jul 2, 2015
12:01 pm

Interest in One Sport Is Surging Among Fortune 500 Companies (Autoweek)

A major sport is experiencing a surge of interest from Fortune 500 companies. The sport is NASCAR racing.

“For the third consecutive year, the number of Fortune 500 companies utilizing NASCAR as part of their marketing mix has increased,” Autoweek reports. “In fact, nearly half of America’s Fortune 100 companies invest with NASCAR to help drive their business and more than one in four Fortune 500 companies are on board.”

A new analysis released Wednesday by NASCAR indicates that corporate involvement in the sport among Fortune 500 companies was up 7% from a year ago and 20% from 2008, with 130 companies now involved.

High-tech companies are a big part of the picture.

Steve Phelps, chief marketing officer for NASCAR , said: “Technology is incredibly important for us. It’s not only about helping us grow, financially, but how technology helps change people’s perception of NASCAR. Technology helps us on the race track with things like safety initiatives and brings fans closer to the sport they love in many ways.”

Involvement in NASCAR by tech firms was up 66% from 2013, according to the latest analysis.

nascar logo

Jul 2, 2015
9:31 am

Troubled Miss USA Pageant Finds New TV Home (AP, THR)

The Miss USA pageant, which was homeless this week after being dumped by both NBC and Univision, has been rescued by the Reelz Channel, the AP reports.

The report quotes a statement released today by Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard saying that the pageant and its contestants “are an integral part of American tradition” and announcing that Reelz will carry the pageant.

Hubbard added: “As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed notes: “Reelz, owned by Republican donor Hubbard, previously picked up the high-profile ‘The Kennedys’ miniseries after History Channel made the decision to yank it amid controversy, including pressure from the Kennedy family. Producer Joel Surnow told The Hollywood Reporter in 2011 he believed History killed the project because of his conservative political views.”

Reelz reaches about 70 million homes. The statement from Reelz and Hubbard did not mention the controversial remarks by pageant co-owner Donald Trump about Mexicans, which were cited by NBC this week when the network severed ties with the real estate mogul. Trump sparked controversy with the comments during a speech in June kicking of his bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

Trump has filed a $500 million lawsuit against Univision after the Spanish-language network pulled out of the beauty pageant.

“Reelz said the Miss USA pageant will be televised July 12, its originally scheduled date on NBC,” the AP story notes, adding: “The pageant will have to scramble after a mass exodus of performers, hosts and judges who cited opposition to Trump’s views as the reason.”

A rep for rapper Flo Rida, who was reportedly the highest-profile artist scheduled to appear during the Miss USA pageant, confirmed Wednesday that he would not perform. The other two announced performers, country singer and “The Voice” winner Craig Wayne Boyd and pop singer Natalie La Rose, have also pulled out.

reelz channel

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