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August 27, 2014

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Changes for The Hollywood Reporter and Variety

by Brad Trechak, posted Dec 10th 2009 6:00PM
Variety logoMajor changes happened today for two of the biggest trade newspapers in the entertainment industry. First, The Hollywood Reporter, along with Billboard and several other assets owned by the Nielsen Business Media, have been sold to a new investment group called e5 Global Media. Second, Variety will be placing its web site behind a pay wall, requiring a subscription fee to read content beyond a certain number of visits per month.

With regards to The Hollywood Reporter, it's tough to say what will happen with this sale. It may result in major changes or simply business-as-usual. As for Variety, the pay model has been done before with other publications with various degrees of success. While Variety is an industry powerhouse, people are really used to getting their news for free. I wonder if the sale of THR gave Variety the stones to try the new model. More likely it was just coincidence.

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Comcast may own NBC soon

by Brad Trechak, posted Nov 3rd 2009 9:03AM
NBCAccording to the New York Times, Comcast is set to own NBC Universal and all channels that are part of it as early as next week.

This could change the entire television landscape and pretty much give us less of a selection in terms of entertainment. The rumor is that Comcast is going to keep the cable channels, then sell the NBC network. News Corporation expressed interest in the property, but the Comcast talks progressed along far enough to eliminate other potential buyers. It could be argued that having MSNBC partially owned by the same owners of Fox News is a bit of a conflict of interest.

Who would step forward to buy NBC network? The ratings haven't been great and they did do that silly thing with Jay Leno and their 10 p.m. slot. NBC is too much of a name brand to let fall by the wayside. Who do you think should step up and buy the network?

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TiVo offers refurb TiVo HD for $180

by Brad Linder, posted Jul 9th 2008 11:27AM
TiVo HD refurb
When TiVo launched the Series3 video recorder, the first model capable of recording HDTV, the unit received a lot of rave reviews -- and a lot of complaints about the high $800 price tag. A while later, TiVo released the TiVo HD which is basically a stripped down model that sells for just $300. But if even that seems like too much money for you, TiVo's got a heck of a deal going on right now. You can pick up a refurbished TiVo HD for just $180.

The TiVo HD can record up to 20 hours of HD video or 180 hours of standard definition television. Of course, you need to factor the price of a monthly, annual, or product lifetime service plan. Those subscription fees quickly add up and wind up costing more than the unit itself. But it's always nice to save a few bucks up front.

[via TiVo Blog]

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We've got a Weather Channel for sale, a Weather Channel for sale

by Richard Keller, posted Jan 9th 2008 9:00AM

The Weather Channel's forecast isn't that rosyI remember a Saturday Night Live sketch from the late 1970's where Harry Shearer was a DJ at a radio station that only gave the time of day. No music, no news, no weather -- just the time. I am always reminded of that sketch every time I watch The Weather Channel. I mean, who would have thought that 24 hours worth of weather forecasts would ever amount to anything?

Landmark Communications apparently did when it started the channel back in 1982. Now, the network, along with its Weather.com site and various other enterprises, is bringing in billions of dollars to the communications company. Sadly, though, Landmark may lose this linchpin since the family that owns the privately-owned company is looking into putting it up for sale.

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TiVo holiday pricing discount + lifetime service option returns

by Brad Linder, posted Nov 8th 2007 11:03AM
TiVo HDTiVo is offering up a few pre-holiday specials. First up, if you buy a new TiVo between now and Feb 2, you get a discount on monthly or annual subscriptions:
  • The $16.95 monthly fee drops to $12.95
  • Get a year of service for $129 instead of $179
  • Pay $249 for two years instead of $279
  • A 3 year service contract will cost you $299, which is the same price the company's charging now
If you're already a TiVo customer, you don't qualify for any of those discounts. But the company is bringing back product lifetime service option. $399 will get you all the electronic program guide updates you could want. You know, until you decide to upgrade to the TiVo Series4.

[via Crave]

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Get a Series 2 TiVo for free AND make $31

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 19th 2007 12:58PM
Series2 TiVoIn the market for a new TiVo and don't need the latest and greatest features like HDTV support or the ability to record two shows at once? While we're not sure we'd recommend a standard TiVo Series2 recorder to anyone these days (what with the analog TV shutoff just around the corner), if you just want a second recorder for your house, this deal is hard to beat: You can essentially make $31 (after rebate) by picking up a Series2 TiVo.

Here's how it works. Just visit an online retail site with a good price on the Series2. Buy.com is selling it for $139 right now. Then fill out this form for a $170 rebate. TiVo will send you a check for $170 after you sign up for service. You might rightfully point out that this isn't quite "free," since you will need to commit to a service plan. But that $31 should cover most of your first 2 monthly bills, and it will go even further if this is the second or third unit in your household.

[via TiVo Blog]

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Now's the time to get a Slingbox, folks with no cable

by Annie Wu, posted Sep 6th 2007 1:43PM
SlingboxLiving without cable can be a real hassle... especially when one's job depends on it. "TV blogger" kind of implies the need for TV. I recently moved into an apartment where there is absolutely no option for cable television and had no choice but to look into alternative methods of getting quick access to TV. Enter Slingbox, about which I have been hearing nothing but glowing reviews. It's been around for a while, sure, but I haven't had any need for it until now.

For those of you who don't know what a Slingbox is, here's the short explanation: It's a box that you hook up to your home's cable and Internet. Once you grant that Slingbox remote access, you can watch your home's cable TV and access TiVo or DVR on your computer, from anywhere in the world. No subscription is required; it's a one-time purchase. The only catch is that if you're watching your home TV with your laptop in a hotel states away, your family back in the house cannot change channels on that home TV. Not too big of a deal, I think, unless you're already an inconsiderate TV hog. Anyway, since my current apartment isn't my permanent residence, I have cable set up in my house in Florida and I'm doing this whole Slingbox thing.

I was originally going to buy the basic tuner from the official website for about $129, but then I checked out Amazon and saw the same thing for $99.99. Just as I was about to buy it, my family in Florida insisted that they look around in stores before I buy anything, to save on shipping and handling. So here's the best part...

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TiVo selling Series3 for $499

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 26th 2007 9:34PM
TiVo Series3 saleThe biggest (and pretty much only) complaint with the high definition Series3 TiVo is it's $800 price tag. Well, apparently TiVo's been paying attention -- and selling enough units to make it cost efficient to drop the price of the box. Because TiVo's offering one heck of a discount in its latest promotion.

For $499.99 you can pick up a Series3 TiVo plus a wireless TiVo adapter. No need to fill out any silly rebates, and there's free shipping included. That's $360 worth of savings.

The offer is only good through April 30th. But now that TiVo's starting to offer discounts on Series3 units, I think it's fair to say there'll be another promotion along soon. The company almost always has one rebate offer or another available for Series2 boxes.

Speaking of which, the latest Series2 deals include a free wireless adapter with an 80-hour single-tuner box or a 180 hour dual-tuner box for $70 or $120 respectively.

[via TiVoBlog]

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Just in time for Christmas: Dustin Diamond's sex tape is for sale

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 13th 2006 2:13PM
dustin diamondWhether you're a Christian or, like me, belong to a secret church that worships elves, you gotta love the holiday season. This year you can make the season even brighter for someone by giving them what will probably be the most popular gift this year next to the new Play With Me For A Week Then Throw Me In The Closet And Never Think About Me Again Elmo: Dustin Diamond's four year old sex tape. Who among us hasn't wished upon a star for our own copy of Screech doing the nasty with a strange woman? I'm going to wait for the enhanced DVD version with audio commentary from Francis Ford Coppola, but if you just can't wait, porn company Red Light District, the same company that released Paris Hilton's infamous sex tape, will be releasing the video online and in stores. If I were you I'd grab my sleeping bag and grab a spot in line now.

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Terrytoons art for sale

by Adam Finley, posted Sep 7th 2006 10:01AM
terrytoonsDamn, I wish I made more money. Animation historian Jerry Beck recently became the possessor of several pieces of original animation art from Terrytoons, the studio that brought us such cartoons as the original Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle, among many others. The artwork doesn't feature any recognizable characters, but as Beck points out in this post, despite what art dealers might tell you, this art is worthwhile to anyone with an appreciation for classic animation. These pieces were originally thrown away when Terrytoons closed down in the 1960s, but an employee salvaged them and kept them for over forty years, unable to convince any art house to purchase them. Check out Beck's Art Sales page here, which also features a handful of other animation-related pieces, many of which are reasonably priced.

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Colbert's speech now on DVD

by Adam Finley, posted May 8th 2006 4:09PM

stephen colbertSo you saw him at the White House Correspondents Dinner, watched the clips on YouTube and GoogleVideo, and talked about it ad nauseam on this very site and various other blogs and messageboards. Of course, I'm talking about Kenneth T. Walsh, chief correspondent for US News and World Report. Seriously, who let that guy speak, anyway? Don't they have some kind of screening process for these kind of events?

Yeah, okay, I'm actually talking about Stephen Colbert, who was either very funny or very not funny, depending on, well, whether you thought he was funny or not. Anyway, several blogs have been reporting that the DVD of the event is now available on the CSPAN Web site. Of course, you can also just watch the event on GoogleVideo, too, but you don't get the joy of loading a disc into something, which is really what life is all about.

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John K selling art on his blog

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 5th 2006 3:33PM
john kricfalusiI've been spending an insane amount of time over on John Kricfalusi's blog, and the other day I saw this post which I thought some of you might find interesting. It seems John has been hooked up with a gallery and plans to sell some original pieces through his blog. My excitement over this was instantly dilluted by the notion that I'll probably never be able to come up with the kind of money these drawings will most likely take in. John K, to get the unenlightened up to speed, was the creator of Ren and Stimpy, and has worked alongside such animation legends as Ralph Bakshi. The man is an icon in the world of animation (and a very opinionated one at that). Seeing him embrace the whole blog concept and interact so freely with his fans is quite refreshing, and his genuine enthusiasm for animation, style, and design, not to mention his expertise, makes his blog worth checking out.

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Univision put up for sale

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 12th 2006 8:16AM
A. Jerrold PerenchioHere's an interesting fact: founder, chairman and CEO of Univision, A. Jerrold Perenchio, does not speak Spanish. Now, he's also the central figure in the recent decision to put the popular Spanish language channel up for sale. Some speculate the channel could draw in as much as $12 billion from possible buyers, and people like CBS' Leslie Moonves, Rupert Murdoch, Time Warner, and Televisa, one of Univision's content providers, have all expressed varying degrees of interest. Univision hasn't been failing in the ratings. On the contrary, it's actually been doing exceptionally well. The decision to sell the company appears to be based on the 75-year old CEO's desire to finally leave the network he began.

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Donahue's house is for sale, God's in his heaven, and all is right with the world

by Adam Finley, posted Aug 18th 2005 7:48PM
If you find yourself absent-mindedly digging through your couch cushions and find $25 million, you might be interested to know that Phil Donahue has his house up for sale for exactly that amount. Donahue, who's long-running talk show which ran from 1970 to 1996 and paved the way for folks as diverse as Oprah and Jerry Springer, won't be moving from the neighborhood, however. He and his wife, the actress Marlo Thomas, plan to stick around.

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