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TVBIZWIRE
Jun 23, 2017
9:28 am
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Bill Cosby’s Latest Plans Spark Outrage (TheWrap, CBS)

In the wake of the mistrial in his criminal sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, Bill Cosby is the focus of renewed outrage for plans to conduct a series of “town halls” on sexual assault.

TheWrap reports that Cosby’s plans, announced by a spokesperson for Cosby, have drawn condemnation from victim advocacy groups along with sparking anger among social media users.

Much of the criticism appears to be focused on the apparent plan to help athletes and other young people avoid being accused of sexual assault, rather than preventing assault itself.

In a statement, Jodi Omear, a spokesperson for the anti-sexual violence organization RAINN, said: “It would be more useful if Mr. Cosby would spend time talking with people about how not to commit sexual assault in the first place.”

Nita Chaudry, co-founder of the women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, spoke out even more strongly, saying in a statement: “Let’s call this tour what it really is: Bill Cosby’s ‘how to get away with rape and sexual assault’ tour. The fact that Cosby, a man who has admitted to drugging women with Quaaludes, would have the audacity to travel the country teaching men how to avoid rape accusations is a disgusting display of rape culture in action.”

Cosby’s plans came up on the CBS daytime show “The Talk,” where Aisha Tyler in particular expressed outrage. You can see her comments below …

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 23, 2017
8:59 am
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Broadcast Drama Series Getting a ‘De Facto Cancellation’ (Deadline)

A drama series that hasn’t exactly been hitting it out of the park in the ratings will be getting what Deadline.com calls a “de facto cancellation.” The series, Shondaland’s “Still Star-Crossed,” is being bumped by ABC from its Monday slot starting next week, after just three airings.

The “Romeo & Juliet” sequel is being moved to Saturday, where it will return July 8 with its fourth episode.

“The scheduling downgrade is a clear sign that the medieval drama won’t go beyond its first season,” Deadline reports. “‘Still Star-Crossed’ is expected to get a de facto cancellation next week when the options on the cast expire.”

The most recent episode reportedly delivered 1.6 million total viewers and a 0.3 average rating in the key 18-49 demo in live+same day.

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 23, 2017
8:40 am
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Crazy Road Rage Video From Southern California Is Trending Viral (YouTube)

A road rage video that was just posted on YouTube, showing an incident in California in which a motorist and a biker clash on the freeway, has been getting a lot of attention. Here’s the clip …

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:41 pm
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Bill Cosby Plans Series of ‘Town Halls’ on Sexual Assault (WBRC)

Following the declaration of a mistrial in his sexual assault case, TV legend Bill Cosby now plans to hold town halls on sexual assault.

Cosby spokesman Andrew Wyatt said on “Good Day Alabama” on WBRC-TV Birmingham: “Mr. Cosby wants to get back to work. We are now planning town halls and we’re going to be coming to this city sometime in July. We’ll talk to young people, because this is bigger than Bill Cosby.”

Wyatt added: “This issue can affect any young person, especially young athletes of today, and they need to know what they’re facing when they’re hanging out and partying, when they’re doing certain things that they shouldn’t be doing. And it also affects married men.”

Ebonee Benson, a spokeswoman for Camille Cosby, appearing on the same program, added: “Laws are changing. The statute of limitations for victims of sexual assault are being extended. So this is why people need to be educated. … A brush against the shoulder, anything at this point, can be considered sexual assault and it’s a good thing to be educated about the laws.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:37 pm
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Looks Like There May Be a Bidding War for the Chicago Sun-Times (NY Post)

“A second suitor has emerged for the Chicago Sun-Times — hoping to keep Tronc, the owner of the Chicago Tribune, from owning both Windy City daily papers,” The New York Post reports.

Tronc’s bid for the paper is being reviewed by Washington regulators, the report notes. Meanwhile, the new bid is coming from Edwin Eisendrath, who once ran for governor of Illinois after serving as a Chicago alderman,

Eisendrath reportedly is backed by about 15 wealthy individuals and the Chicago Federation of Labor. The weekly Chicago Reader would be a part of the deal.

Eisendrath told The Post: “We’ve raised a lot of money already — nearly $15 million.” He added: “We think it is important to keep a second voice to serve the 99 percent.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:31 pm
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President of Writers Guild West Won’t Seek Re-Election (Deadline)

The Writers Guild of America, West is on track to have new leadership this fall following the news that the guild’s president, Howard Rodman, will not seek re-election. Deadline.com reports that Rodman is expected to be succeeded by David Goodman, who is currently the organization’s vice president.

“Rodman has served one two-year term as president and was eligible under guild rules to serve another, but chose not to,” Deadline reports. “The guild’s nominating committee selected two candidates to succeed him, but only Goodman accepted the nomination.”

The report adds: “Marjorie David, a WGA West board member, has been nominated to succeed Goodman as vice president, with an unnamed candidate declining to run against her.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:19 pm
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Son of Reggae Star in Coma After Jail Beating (AP, YouTube)

The son of one of the icons of reggae music is in a coma after an attack in a New Jersey jail. The AP reports that Jawara McIntosh suffered traumatic brain injuries in the attack and has been hospitalized since February.

McIntosh, the son of the late Peter Tosh, was reportedly serving a six-month sentence in Bergen County Jail after pleading guilty to marijuana possession. McIntosh performs under the stage name Tosh1.

His father was a pro-marijuana activist whose 1976 hit “Legalize It” remains a rallying cry for the marijuana legalization movement. The Jamaican-born Tosh founded the Wailers along with Bob Marley.

“Jawara McIntosh is also a pro-marijuana activist and performed the song outside of the New Jersey statehouse in April 2014 during a rally pushing for state and federal lawmakers to legalize or decriminalize marijuana,” the AP reports. “Attorney Jasmine Rand said Thursday the family has filed a notice that it plans to sue the county and also wants the U.S. Justice Department to investigate.”

Peter Tosh was killed in a home invasion robbery in Jamaica in 1987.

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:11 pm
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Cannes Festival Names Its Media Ad Network of the Year (MediaPost)

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity has named its Media Network of the Year. After winning one Gold, five Silver and five Bronze lions and earning 14 shortlists in the Media Lions category, OMD Worldwide received the honor, MediaPost reports.

“It’s been a fruitful festival for Omnicom Media Group,” MediaPost notes. “In addition to OMD’s Media Network of the Year honors, sibling agency Hearts & Science — just a year old and competing at Cannes for the first time — was the only network to earn two Golds in the Media category, while also winning a Silver.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
3:01 pm
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Parole Denied for Manson Follower (ABC News)

One of the followers of cult leader Charles Manson had her parole request denied Thursday. ABC News reports that a board turned down the request by convicted killer Patricia Krenwinkel “after officials investigated whether battered women’s syndrome affected her state of mind at the time of the notorious murders nearly five decades ago in California.”

“Krenwinkel, 69, was previously denied parole 13 times for the slayings of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people,” the story reports. “The next night, she helped kill grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary in what prosecutors say was an attempt by Manson to ignite a race war.”

Following the hearing, Keith Wattley, an attorney for Krenwinkel, said: “They were willing to discount the level of control through the violence, threats, intimidation that was substantiated by their own investigators.” Wattley added that the board “claimed to somehow not understand how she could follow the orders she was given.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 22, 2017
10:07 am
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HBO Sued for Defamation (Daily Beast)

A defamation lawsuit was filed Wednesday against HBO, Time Warner, the writers of the pay-cable network’s “Last Week Tonight” and its host, John Oliver, by coal baron Robert E. Murray, the Daily Beast reports.

The suit focuses on the most recent episode of “Last Week Tonight,” in which Oliver reportedly attacked Donald Trump’s use of coal miners for PR purposes.

“The suit, filed on June 21 in the circuit court of Marshall County, West Virginia, holds that Oliver and his team ‘executed a meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character of and reputation of Mr. Robert E. Murray and his companies’ by airing an episode that ripped into him. Murray runs the country’s largest privately owned coal company, Murray Energy Corporation,” the story reports.

The story quotes a section of the complaint that says: “They did this to a man who needs a lung transplant, a man who does not expect to live to see the end of this case.”

“The lawsuit isn’t a surprise to Oliver,” the Daily Beast notes. “In fact, the British comic said on the episode of his show that aired on June 18 that he expected it, noting that Murray has sued several other media outlets in the past (including, in May, The New York Times). In the episode, Oliver criticized Murray’s business practices, saying he doesn’t do enough to protect his miners’ safety. Oliver also noted that his team contacted Murray’s company before the episode aired, and that the company sent a cease-and-desist letter — the first time that had ever happened to his show.”

The report adds: “At the heart of Murray’s complaint is Oliver’s discussion of the collapse of one of his mines in Utah, which killed nine people. Oliver said on the show that a government report concluded the collapse happened because of unauthorized mining practices, and also noted that Murray holds the collapse actually happened because of an earthquake.”

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