Daily Marauder




Stan Honda / AFP / Getty Images / February 18, 2012


Whitney Houston’s funeral Saturday drew more star power than the Grammys the weekend before including Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keyes, R Kelley, Bobby Brown, and Aretha Franklin. Wait, those last two weren’t there. Bobby Brown left because of a “seating incident” and Aretha Franklin had leg issues even though she performed in concert that very night. [raised eyebrows] I thought Kevin Costner’s words concerning his work with the star on the Bodyguard were intriguing. Not only were they clearly heartfelt but they demonstrated the challenges of being a worldwide star. Incidentally, both the Grammys and Whitney Houston’s funeral both clocked in at 3.5 hrs.


After being in NYC for 10 days, I attempted to mimic that city’s RIPocolypse love. From snow storms to Whitney’s death, everything on Foursquare is a RIPocolypse in New York City. I also wanted to see if a location of this nature would trend in Los Angeles like it trends in NYC. One problem. It never showed up in search results. I contacted one of the co-founders of Foursquare who told me the search results take a bit to update. 3 days later. Same issue. I know we’re on the opposite coast and a little bit farther south than where digital hearts show their affection, but damn it, we Angelinos are digital nerds too. Where is the love?!


Apart from the digital snafu, I also noticed how polarizing Whitney Houston was when I asked friends to check-in to my newly dubbed WhitneyHoustonRIPocolypse. Some were eager to jump on and some simply flat out said no, not because they didn’t want to break out Foursquare, but because they didn’t “feel the love” for Ms. Houston. I do find it intriguing that certain folks feel so negative towards the pop singer because of her demons with drug abuse. I certainly don’t condone it. That said, entertainers, while making a ridiculous amount of cash, are owned by their audience, incapable of living away from prying eyes. Entertainers have the ability to inspire so many but they are human beings like all of us. Let’s be honest, we all have our demons. So, with that, I will continue to want to dance with somebody and yes, my love is your love.


Along with the pop star’s farewell, the din of Linsanity, an homage to the popular NY Knicks player Jeremy Lin, has been reaching fever pitch. Unfortunately, ESPN made the mistake of running a racially fueled headline on Friday bringing Lin fans to punches. Thankfully for the fans, the Harvard alumnus finally joined the social network and took the dive into his first public Facebook page.


In other news, a warmer winter has slowed sales of typical winter purchases, gossip surrounding the coming iPad 3 announcement on March 7th has erupted, and Twitter gets yet another boost from Apple, this time with the release of the Mac operating system Mountain Lion. Take that, Facebook overlords.


Some more Cool Sh-t:

Beauty on the Go: Pop-Up Shopping Wall



Scripps Networks Interactive , owner and operator of the Food Network and HGTV lifestyle television networks, is to acquire a controlling interest of 65% in the Travel Channelat a $975 million valuation and enter into a joint venture with current owner Cox Communications (Techcrunch11/5)

Travel Channel

U.S. regulators said they’re actively working on a request from Hollywood to use anti-piracy technology so studios can offer first-run movies over cable and satellite services. (Bloomberg11/5)

USA averaged 3.47 million prime-time viewers during the week that ended Nov. 1, making it the most-watched, ad-supported cable network during that period. While USA won the overall viewership crown, ESPN‘s lineup of professional and college football won the day in the 25-to-54, 18-to-49 and 18-to-34 demographic groups. Mediaweek (11/3

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt hints that a deal with Twitter could be close, although he dampens speculation that he is planning to buy the microblogging phenomenon. “We do not have to buy everyone to work with them.” Google is believed to be seeking real-time search. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/5351937/Google-chief-hints-at-partnership-with-Twitter.html 5/20)

Google twitter

After NBC “unceremoniously” cancelled “My Name Is Earl,” one of the sitcom’s actors, Ethan Suplee, turned to Twitter to complain. His actions helped spark a Twitter-based campaign to resurrect the series. An earlier geek-led campaign purportedly helped save NBC’s “Chuck.” (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/05/my-name-is-earl-creator-greg-garcia-is-a-writer-because-he-has-a-way-with-wordsasked-for-his-take-on-nbcs-unceremonious-canc.html 5/19)

My Name is Earl

U.S. cable giant Comcast climbed the most in customer-satisfaction ratings among its peers by using Twitter to calm disgruntled subscribers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Comcast employs 10 people to monitor tweets about the company. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a71HPbtIMT20 5/19)

ESPN on July 15 will launch the first integrated video player on YouTube and also will be the first network to run pre-roll ads on the Google-owned site, the Walt Disney Co. unit announced at its upfront. “We’re programming dayparts as if ESPN.com was a new network,” said Sean Bratches, ESPN’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We want to make ESPN and our partners’ brands available to fans in every conceivable way.” Advertising Age (5/19)

The DVD box set of the just-ended season of “24” on News Corp.’s Fox network became available for sale the day after the airing of the season finale. News Corp. describes the unusually quick DVD release as an “experiment” amid changing viewing habits in the digital age. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/technology/news/e3ic8543054a8a9084dc949c8916b611a54 5/19)


You’d be hard pressed to find someone who tries the online streaming radio service Pandora that doesn’t like it. In fact, some users like it so much that they actually ask for ways to pay the company, to make sure it stays alive (something that has been a question mark given the oppressive Internet radio licensing costs). And while there has been a limited subscription version for some time, Pandora has never proactively promoted it. But starting tomorrow it’s taking the freemium model seriously, with the launch of Pandora One. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/pandora-gives-the-freemium-model-a-thumbs-up-with-pandora-one/ 5/19)

pandora one

Remember TotalMusic, the failed music initiative created by Sony BMG and UMG that was built from the start with the goal of serving as Facebook’s music platform (and was ultimately rejected by the social network)? Its assets were recently acquired by Project Playlist, the troubled music streaming startup that just lost its CEO to MySpace last month and has had lawsuits pending from the major record labels since late last year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/the-record-industrys-failed-totalmusic-project-finds-a-new-home-at-project-playlist/ 5/19)


A U.S. district judge is ordering YouTube to pay $1.61 million in royalties to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the performance rights organization, for streaming music on the video site. YouTube is expected to pay songwriters going forward. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090519/1127454934.shtml 5/19)

Google has released a new version of Reader that’s been tweaked a bit. Google has added a new set of tabs in the trends page called “Friends Trends,” where you can see which friends share the most content and whose shared items you read. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/google-releases-new-version-of-reader/ 5/19)

Friends Google

Following a suit filed by Discovery Communications against Amazon in March alleging infringement on a patent held for e-book technology, Amazon has filed a lawsuit against Discovery alleging infringement on four e-commerce patents held by the company. Discovery has not responded in court to the suits but is in the “process of reviewing those and will respond appropriately in due course.” The Wall Street Journal (5/20)

Looks like Windows Media Center, that hub for video and audio which I’ve never used, is getting full Netflix streaming support. This is good news for those of you running HTPCs with Vista on them — no need for an extra layer or front-end, just open up WMC, enter your info and you’re on your way. (http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/05/20/windows-media-center-gets-netflixd 5/20)

WMC Netflix

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Football fans flocked to watch the 2009 NFL Draft, with the NFL Network, ESPN and ESPN2 gauging a record 39 million viewers, based on data from Nielsen. This year’s viewership number equates to approximately 2.5 million more tuning in from the previous year and also breaks the 2007 record of 38 million viewers. (Cynopsis 4/28)


Beginning next week, FOX is moving its newer animated comedy Sit Down, Shut Up out from under The Simpsons‘ shadow on Sundays to 7p followed by reruns of American Dad at 730p. The final episodes of King of the Hill’s last season will fill the 830p time period following The Simpsons. (Cynopsis 4/28)


(Below) It’s official.  I’m outside the target demo age range.  Now, I officially feel bad for watching The Hills…

MTV serves up a variety pack of new programming covering different genres such as reality, fashion, sports, comedy, animation as well as a live afternoon show. MTV continues to aim its programming to the millennial generation, those born between 1980-2000, with shows that are “aspirational, escapist and optimistic.” Nine new series join MTV’s lineup. (Cynopsis 4/28)

Despite a strong push by TNT with its coverage of the NBA playoffs, USA Network maintained its dominance in the weekly ratings race among ad-supported cable nets. For the week that ended April 26, USA averaged 3.18 million total viewers; TNT finished with 2.93 million viewers and finished No. 1 in the 18-to-34, 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 demographic groups. Mediaweek (4/28)

The U.S. Supreme Court says that the Federal Communications Commission may penalize even the occasional use of certain expletives on the air. The court’s ruling says the FCC — prompted by Cher’s use of the F-word during a 2002 live broadcast — is justified in fining broadcasters. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/04/28/ST2009042801819.html 4/29)

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GAMING by Marauder
January 9, 2009, 12:05 PM
Filed under: GAMING | Tags: , , , , , , ,


The soon-to-launch Disney XD brand, which comprises a cable channel and a companion Web site that includes a social network and games, is aimed at the elusive viewing audience of boys ages 6 to 14. The channel is a rebranded version of Toon Disney; programming is expanding to include live-action shows, original movies, music and sports from sister-channel ESPN. Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “We looked at the landscape and feel that girls are being served — if not superserved — and preschoolers are also well-served, but boys really haven’t been.” The Wall Street Journal (1/8)

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GAMING by Marauder
January 8, 2009, 12:05 PM
Filed under: GAMING | Tags: , , , , , , ,


The soon-to-launch Disney XD brand, which comprises a cable channel and a companion Web site that includes a social network and games, is aimed at the elusive viewing audience of boys ages 6 to 14. The channel is a rebranded version of Toon Disney; programming is expanding to include live-action shows, original movies, music and sports from sister-channel ESPN. Rich Ross, president of Disney Channels Worldwide, said, “We looked at the landscape and feel that girls are being served — if not superserved — and preschoolers are also well-served, but boys really haven’t been.” The Wall Street Journal (1/8)

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With its venerable “WWE Raw” fightfest, USA attracted an average 3.11 million viewers during the week ended Dec. 14, according to Nielsen live-plus-same-day figures. It was the first weekly ratings race that ESPN did not win since the beginning of the 2008 football season. Mediaweek (12/16)


Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films has made final a programming-collaboration deal with HBO that will give the cable network known for cutting-edge content access to series, movies and documentaries. The deal came together after Harpo executives, citing the need for greater creative freedom, ended a 15-year relationship with ABC. Los Angeles Times (12/17) , The Wall Street Journal (free content) (12/16)


The Walt Disney Co. sometime in 2009 will purchase a 49% stake in a new joint venture with Russian TV station operator Media-One Holdings and begin offering the broadcast equivalent of the Disney Channel in the country. Russia, according to these articles, is considered to be one of the last great untapped regions of the globe for the media industry. The Wall Street Journal (12/16) , The New York Times (12/16)


A&E Network’s sixth season debut of Intervention last Monday night at 9p attracted 1.6 million A25-54 viewers, 1.7 million A18-49 viewers and 2.2 million total viewers. GRB produces the series for A&E. (Cynopsis 12/17)


CBS Corporation is the latest entertainment company to eliminate staff as employees of CBS Entertainment and CBS Paramount Network Television were laid off Monday. A few high-level CBS Paramount TV executives were also let go: EVP Maria Crenna who served under President David Stapf; SVP/Head of Comedy Brian Banks; and VP/Current Programming Jocelyn Freid. (Cynopsis 12/17)

Viacom‘s BET, with popular shows such as “106 & Park” and “College Hill,” now is available in nearly 30 African countries. The recent move puts the network, which serves up African-American-centric content, in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean and the U.K. MediaPost Communications (12/16)

FOX approved a 13-episode order for Glee, a musical comedy series from Ryan Murphy (Nip/Tuck, Popular). The 60m series, featuring a soundtrack of popular songs, is about an energetic high school teacher, Will Schuester (played by Matthew Morrison) who is charged with bringing back the McKinley High School Glee Club to its winning glory days by encouraging a group of misfit students to compete in the Nationals. (Cynopsis 12/17)

Fox Business Network has inked a new digital-carriage deal with Charter Communications that will add about 200,000 homes in the Midwest and Northeast to FBN’s subscriber total. The network recently completed a similar deal with Cox, and the two new agreements mean the FBN soon will be available to 45 million homes. TVWeek.com (12/16)

CBS Paramount Network Television signed a first-look deal with actor Laurence Fishburne and his Cinema Gypsy Productions, reports Variety. Fishburne recently joined as star of CBS’ CSI: Crime Scene Investigation also produced by CBS Paramount Network TV. (Cynopsis 12/17)

MTV introduces a diverse slate of new reality series set to debut in first quarter 2009. Also new for the network next year will be a two-hour primetime block on Sundays starting at 9p. (Cynopsis 12/17)

AT&T’s U-Verse IPTV service reached a milestone, signing its 1 millionth subscriber across 79 markets in 16 states. (Cynopsis 12/17)

Fox Cable Networks made a deal with DIRECTV and Verizon FiOS to make FUEL TV On Demand available to viewers, with 10 original hours of action sports programming each month. (Cynopsis 12/17)

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