Travelport launches new version of agent desktop

first_imgTravelport has revealed a new version of its travel agency point-of-sale solution, Travelport Smartpoint.Available for all Travelport-connected agencies, including those using the Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan GDS, Smartpoint 6.5 incorporates new features designed to improve the user experience besides allowing extra revenue generation for agents.  A new hotel search facility will search for accommodation using a full or partial address. It also integrates a hotel billback solution utilising Virtual Account Numbers, or ‘VANs’, as provided by eNett International.In the airline space, Travelport has now integrated SeatGuru into Smartpoint, allowing travellers to view airline seating arrangements and in-flight amenities. The products and services of many airlines are now presented in a more visually stimulating manner through the use of Travelport’s Rich Content & Branding.“Travelport Smartpoint is designed to give our travel agents the most effective selling experience possible, allowing them to deliver value to their customers and sell smarter,” explained Jason Clarke, Travelport’s Managing Director for agency commerce.last_img read more

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first_img AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Apr 30, 2019 3:10 pm PDT WALL STREET JOURNAL-BEST SELLERScenter_img Bestselling Books Week Ended April 20.FICTION1. “Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid” by Jeff Kinney (Amulet)2. “Redemption” by David Baldacci (Grand Central)3. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)3. “Someone Knows” by Lisa Scottline (Putnam)4. “Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild” by Dav Pilkey (Graphix)5. “Pete The Cat” by James Dean (Harper Festival)6. “God Gave Us Easter” by Lisa Tawn Bergan (Waterbrook)7. “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss (Random House Books for Young Readers)8. “It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny” by Marilyn Sadler (Random House Books for Young Readers)9. “Lost Roses” by Martha Hall (Ballantine)10. “Katt vs. Dogg” by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein (Jimmy Patterson)NONFICTION1. “Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic Bitch Handbook” by Stassi Schroeder (Gallery)2. “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life” by David Brooks (Random House)3. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama (Crown)4. “Girl, Stop Apologizing” by Rachel Hollis (HarperCollins Leadership)5. “We Are the Gardeners” by Janna Gaines (Thomas Nelson)6. “Life Will Be the Death of Me…And You Too” Chelsea Handler (Spiegel & Grau)7. “Crushing God Turns Pressure Into Power” by T.D. Jakes (FaithWords)8. “Educated” by Tara Westover (Random House)9. “The Path Made Clear” by Oprah Winfrey (Flatiron)10. “Girl, Wash Your Face” by Rachel Hollis (Thomas Nelson)FICTION E-BOOKS1. “Redemption” by David Baldacci (Hachette)2. “The Mister” by E.L. James (Vintage)3. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)4. “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin (Bantam)5. “Sie Trying” by Lee Child (Jove)6. “The Doctor” by E.L. Todd (E.L. Todd)7. “The 13-Minute Murder” by James Patterson (Grand Central)8. “Fortune Furlough” by Jana Deleon (Jana Deleon)9. “World Without End” by Ken Follett (Signet)10. “Normal People” by Sally Rooney (Hogarth)NONFICTION E-BOOKS1. “Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind” by Yuval Noah Harari (Harper)2. “The Mueller Report” by The Washington Post (Scribner)3. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover (Random House)4. “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life” by David Brooks (Random House)5. “The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor” by Gina Hololka (Clarkson N. Potter)6. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama (Crown)7. “Next Level Basic: The Definitive Basic Bitch Handbook” by Stassi Schroeder (Gallery)8. “Life Will Be The Death of Me” by Chelsea Handler (Spiegel & Grau)9. “Maybe You Should Takk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)10. “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou (Knopf)NPD BookScan gathers point-of-sale book data from about 16,000 locations across the U.S., representing about 85 per cent of the nation’s book sales. Print-book data providers include all major booksellers and Web retailers, and food stores. E-book data providers include all major e-book retailers. Free e-books and those sold for less than 99 cents are excluded. The fiction and nonfiction lists in all formats include both adult and juvenile titles; the business list includes only adult titles. The combined lists track sales by title across all print and e-book formats; audio books are excluded. Refer questions to Michael.Boone(at)wsj.com.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Local police chief joins Jenkins during House ceremony honoring 911 anniversary

first_img Categories: News The Michigan House of Representatives today commemorated the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by honoring the eight military members and first responders from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty in the past year. This marks the third year the House has conducted the memorial ceremony.State Rep. Nancy Jenkins attends the third annual 9/11 ceremony held by the Michigan House of Representatives along with Chief Larry Weeks from the Morenci Police Department.As a part of the ceremony, state Rep. Nancy Jenkins was joined by Chief Larry Weeks of the Morenci Police Department.“These brave men and women deserve our recognition for the sacrifice they made while protecting our communities and our country,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “It was a privilege to take part in this special ceremony, and I am honored that Chief Weeks was able to be a part of this as well.”The event included an invocation by Rep. Bruce Rendon, the presentation of the colors and acknowledgment of all first responders and their families in attendance.### 11Sep Local police chief joins Jenkins during House ceremony honoring 9/11 anniversarylast_img read more

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Rep Farrington addresses rise of digital currency with advancing legislation

first_img06Dec Rep. Farrington addresses rise of digital currency with advancing legislation Categories: Farrington News,News Plan in bipartisan package approved by House Law and Justice CommitteeA proposal from state Rep. Diana Farrington protecting Michigan consumers by expanding criminal definition in instances where money changes hands today was approved unanimously by the House Law and Justice Committee.Farrington’s bill, House Bill 6254, amends the money laundering section of the Michigan Penal Code to include cryptocurrency as a potential element of crime. The proposal is one of six addressing digital currency in a bipartisan update to current laws.Cryptocurrency first started to appear in the United States in the early 1990s, but its popularity has taken off due to a surge in online business and the ease and unregulated nature of exchange. Several major merchants across the country now accept digital forms of currency. Cryptocurrency is not officially recognized as a form of money, so loopholes have naturally arisen in outdated current laws which specifically define a transfer of money in forms of crime.“These bills don’t create any new crimes or penalties, they merely update laws so we don’t have something fall through the cracks with legal interpretation in situations with bad actors,” said Farrington, of Utica. “This alternative form of currency is being used more frequently, and it is a priority of mine to look out for Michigan consumers.”The six bills in the package, HBs 6253-58, move to the House for further consideration.last_img read more

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Nonprofit Campaigning against Public Lands Ranching Sued for Trespassing

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares June 15, 2014; Boise WeeklyThe Western Watersheds Project, a nonprofit conservation group that opposes public lands ranching, is being sued by more than a dozen ranchers and landowners for trespassing on their properties repeatedly over nine years in an effort to collect water samples. The ranchers and landowners are seeking actual, nominal, and punitive damages.Jonathan Ratner, who is the director of the Wyoming chapter of the Idaho-based group, is also named in the suit. In his comments about the trespassing charge, “[he wouldn’t] say it’s absolutely impossible, but I am extremely careful on those fronts, and I cannot believe that.…Any other situations I have no information to comment on at the moment.”According to a press release from the attorney bringing the suit, “Landowners are not comfortable having an extreme biased [sic] organization that has not demonstrated the professional qualifications to collect credible data trespassing their lands.”“This is likely an attempt by the livestock industry to prevent us from doing our work on public land in the interest of wildlife habitat,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds. “We are only trying to force the agencies to implement federal laws that are already on the books to protect the environment but are not being enforced properly.”—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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National Council of La Raza Calls for Washington NFL Team Name Change

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares October 28, 2014; Washington PostDan Snyder might be well advised to listen to people in the know, take stock of their message, and accede to changing the racially insensitive name of his Washington, D.C. National Football League (NFL) franchise.The latest group to take the field against the Washington Snyders is the National Council of La Raza, the nation’s largest Latino civil rights organization. Over the weekend, NCLR’s board of directors unanimously voted to ask Snyder to change the team’s name.“Our brothers and sisters in the Native American community have been clear and consistent in their call to change both terms and images that they consider demeaning. As an organization committed to fairness and equality for all, NCLR fully supports these efforts,” La Raza President and CEO Janet Murguía said in a statement. “The Latino community well understands that words matter and that they can denigrate, disparage and dehumanize. We should treat all people with the respect and dignity they deserve.”Last year, the NAACP passed a resolution calling on Snyder to change the team’s name, a position it has taken since 1992. “It is disappointing that this derogatory moniker remains embedded in one of our nation’s premier sporting teams,” said Lorraine C. Miller, who was interim president and CEO of the NAACP at the time, in a press release. “We stand alongside all American Indians who are calling for Washington owner Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name.”Toward the end of last year, 85 civil rights organizations participating in the annual meeting of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, including the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Human Rights Campaign, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, unanimously called for a name change. Describing the team’s name as treating Native Americans as “less than human,” the director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau, Hilary O. Shelton, said, “We all hope they change it very soon. There is really no excuse for not doing so.”“This is not someone else’s problem, this is everyone’s problem,” Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference, said in a press release. “Having an offensive slur for the Washington team name teaches young people to celebrate the denigration of people for being who they are.”We are struck, however, by the recollection of Henderson’s observation that the name-change controversy is everyone’s problem. That should be doubly so when the Washington team takes actions that clearly affect other institutions. In this instance, Snyder’s creation of the Original Americans Foundation, with the all-too-transparent purpose of helping the team past this annoying and burgeoning public relations problem, takes the name controversy into the realm of philanthropy. However, the Washington, D.C. area philanthropic trade association, the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers, and the national foundation trade association, the Council on Foundations, have both so far refrained from taking a position on the team’s name, much less speaking out about the larger purpose of the Original Americans foundation.It’s time for philanthropy to see the use of a racial epithet as the name of the Washington, D.C. NFL franchise and the creation of a foundation with overtones of winning support for the racially disparaging name as a problem—and not just for Snyder, professional football, and the National Football League. If it really is everyone’s problem, then organized philanthropy ought to line up with the civil rights community and add its voice to the huddle demanding a name change for the Washington team.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Superior Court Judge Calls CT Ed Funding Irrational Befuddled and Misdirected

first_imgShare6TweetShare2Email8 SharesSeptember 7, 2016, The New York TimesOn November 22, 2005, fifteen Connecticut students and their families brought an action in the Hartford Superior Court challenging the constitutionality of Connecticut’s education system. The Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Educational Funding filed CCJEF vs. Rell as a project for Yale Law School students.Last Wednesday, Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher issued a 90-page decision calling the state’s system of education funding “irrational” and asserting that it violated the constitutional rights of students. He gave the state 180 days to propose new funding formulas. Even if the attorney general successfully appeals the decision to the Supreme Court, the Connecticut legislature will likely be required to take some action as a result of this Superior Court decision.Mouskawsher, at the beginning of the decision, wrote:It is for the General Assembly to decide how much to spend on schools, but the state must at least deploy in its schools resources and standards that are rationally, substantially, and verifiably connected to teaching children. […] Many of our most important policies are so befuddled or misdirected as to be irrational. They lack real and visible links to things known to meet children’s needs.The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) rates Connecticut’s schools among the best in the country. NAEP (known as the “nation’s report card”) shows that Connecticut’s fourth and eighth graders have the highest average reading scores in the country. Nevertheless, NAEP also found that poor Connecticut students performed worse than poor children in 40 other states. Today’s New York Times offers this bleak comparison between the Bridgeport and neighboring suburban Fairfield school districts.Judge Moukawsher said that the current system “has left rich school districts to flourish and poor school districts to flounder,” violating the State Constitution to give children a “fair opportunity for an elementary and secondary school education.”The state has faced a punishing fiscal crisis this year, resulting in layoffs and spending cutbacks. That led the General Assembly to cut state education aid to some of the poorest districts, with more than $905,000 cut from Bridgeport, and more than $600,000 cut from New Haven. Comparatively wealthy districts got more money: Branford, a New Haven suburb, got a funding increase of $300,000.Connecticut’s public schools, like those in most states, are financed through a combination of local property taxes and federal and state money; however, the breakdown varies from national averages. The majority of funding is local (58 percent), supported by state funds (38 percent). Federal revenue composes only about four percent of school funding in Connecticut, about half the national average. The reason for the low percentage of federal spending is that Connecticut’s local and state allocations place it fifth in the nation in total per-pupil public education spending.Funding formulas are supposed to address and amend disparities. Even when the state and underfunded school districts are enduring severe budget cuts, the state still held to its practice of favoring affluent towns.“An approach that allows rich towns to raid money desperately needed by poor towns makes a mockery of the state’s constitutional duty to provide adequate educational opportunities to all students,” Judge Moukawsher wrote.The judge’s far-reaching ruling is also as much about school reform as it is school funding. The state is ordered to create new standards for completion of both the elementary and high school, including the creation of a graduation test. The state is also ordered to revise its system of evaluating teachers, principals and superintendents. These one-size-fits-all mandates may erode the flexibility of the state and individual school districts to comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act. This ruling will also place significant pressure on the state legislative and executive branches of government responsible for setting education policy in Connecticut.“Nothing here was done lightly or blindly,” Moukawsher said, reading his entire 90-page decision from the bench, a highly unusual undertaking that took close to three hours. “The court knows what its ruling means for many deeply ingrained practices, but it also has a marrow-deep understanding that if they are to succeed where they are most strained, schools have to be about teaching children and nothing else.”NPQ writes frequently about issues like these that persist in many states, such as the recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the state’s school funding schema is unconstitutional. Here are graphs that show how children in poor school districts score an average of more than four grade levels below children in the richest districts. The analysis also reveals that the largest achievement gaps between white and poor minority students exist in the wealthiest communities.Many education reform advocates and others, especially poor families, are grateful for Judge Moukawsher’s bold and scathing ruling. The decision has the potential to profoundly reshape public education in Connecticut. If the ruling stands as written, changes in school financing, school graduation requirements, and teacher evaluations will ensue.Only time will tell whether the state will comply with or appeal the decision. New Haven attorney David Rosen, who directed the Yale law students and wrote some of the motions in this 11-year old case, with the support of pro bono attorneys at Debevoise & Plimpton, now has 60 days to “weigh in” on the state’s willingness to obey the judge’s order.Meanwhile, the state’s capacity and willingness to give all children their constitutional right to an adequate education hangs in the balance.—James SchafferShare6TweetShare2Email8 Shareslast_img read more

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FBI Data Doesnt Show the True Picture of the Rise in Hate

first_imgShare7Tweet14Share2Email23 Shares“LGBT love is stronger than anti-gay hate” by Alisdare HicksonDecember 19, 2017; NBC NewsThe numbers do lie, at least when it comes to the numbers of hate crimes in FBI reports. For example, NBC News notes “the Sikh Coalition said it received 15 legal intakes in 2016 from those who believed they were targeted in hate incidents. FBI data shows seven incidents.” How do such gaping data holes happen?Readers may remember our coverage of the problems in the reporting or lack thereof of police-related shootings across the US. The data was so bad, in fact, that first the Guardian and then the Washington Post began their own tracking systems, a situation that the former director of the FBI himself called ridiculous, in that both papers had more information than his own agency did.After a few years of activists and the media commenting on the absurdity that the United States lacks a reliable central count of “arrest-related deaths,” the Department of Justice has just announced that it will from now on require all police departments and medical examiners to give the DOJ full accountings of deadly incidents involving police under their command. But on top of that, the DOJ will seek to confirm fatal cases seen in media reports and elsewhere. The article announcing the program cited the Guardian’s “The Counted” as an influence and a source.It’s good that nonprofits have created a parallel reporting system, because the issue of bad data is not confined to arrest-related deaths. The FBI recently released its 2016 Uniform Crime Reporting data indicating the hate crime statistics in the United States for that year. According to the report, there was just a five percent increase in hate crime incidents as compared to 2015, with the total number of incidents being 6,121. Interestingly, since this data began being tracked in the early 1990s, the percentage of law enforcement agencies that indicate no hate crimes occurred in their jurisdiction has increased from 73 percent in 1991 to 88 percent in 2016. This data stands in stark contrast to what we know to be true, which is that hate crime, particularly against certain populations, has been on the rise. NPQ has thoroughly documented these cases, especially since the 2016 election, which spurred a new wave of hate crimes. Thus, an important question is raised: Can the FBI’s data be trusted?The answer is simple. The FBI’s data grossly underestimates the true extent of the hate crime problem in the United States. This issue has roots not only in how the FBI collects hate crime data, but also the voluntary nature of the Hate Crime Statistics Program. Law enforcement agencies volunteer their hate crime data and cannot be compelled to provide their statistics. In 2016, 15,254 law enforcement agencies participated in the Hate Crime Statistics Program. While the reporting agencies’ jurisdictions include close to 90 percent of the population, there are still agencies that do not report, making up the remaining 10 percent of the population. There is also some indication that the number of participating agencies is decreasing.Moreover, because it is not mandatory to provide this data, collection and accuracy fall by the wayside. This is evident when we look at the Bureau of Justice Statistics data indicating there were 250,000 hate crime victimizations each year between 2004 and 2015. This huge difference is due in part to the fact that the BJS data includes both hate crime cases that were reported to law enforcement and those that were not. BJS estimates that about half of hate crime victimizations are not reported to the authorities, bringing the count down to 125,000 per year. This is still astonishingly far off from the FBI’s numbers.Some advocates, such as Sim J. Singh, the national advocacy manager for the Sikh Coalition, argue that mandated reporting is the solution. He says, “FBI hate crime data represents the tip of the iceberg and understates the magnitude of hate crime in America. The only way to bridge the data gap is for law enforcement agencies to adopt mandatory hate crime reporting.”This is absolutely needed. Yet, even if reporting hate crime statistics becomes mandatory, there is still the issue of defining hate crimes and ensuring that officers accurately identify crimes as motivated by bias. ProPublica found that crimes that were clearly motivated by bias were not reported as such by law enforcement. For instance, scratching obscenities onto a car might get reported as solely vandalism as opposed to also being flagged as a hate crime. In this way, the true number of hate crimes gets diluted.To truly get close to capturing accurate hate crime data, officers need to be trained from the academy level to view crimes through a social justice lens so they can recognize hate crimes for what they are when they occur. Further, there needs to be consensus on which definition of hate crime gets reported. For instance, in some states, crimes motivated by bias against gay people are not classified as hate crimes. However, under federal law, crimes motivated by sexual orientation are considered hate crimes. It needs to be clear to officers that the federal definition takes precedence in reporting.Myesha Braden, a former prosecutor in the Department of Justice, explains why this training is so important: “If an officer knows coming into the police academy that hate crime is one of the important crimes they’ll be investigating, at least the seed is planted.”Accurately capturing hate crime data is critical for too many reasons to list. However, two reasons arguably rank supreme. First, if crimes are not recorded as hate crimes, they will not get prosecuted as hate crimes. This means that a criminal can get away with a much lighter sentence and can then go on to harm more individuals. Secondly, and importantly for nonprofit organizations, is that federal data such as the FBI’s hate crime report drive legislative efforts and advocacy. If the FBI’s data show low rates of hate crime, legislators will not be motivated to pass laws protecting victims. Moreover, the general public won’t see it as a problem and will not rally behind organizations that advocate on behalf of victim groups.The huge discrepancy between the FBI’s numbers and that of nonprofits and other agencies tracking hate crime data cannot be chalked up to bureaucracy and data getting lost in the shuffle. This is a clear indication that the government does not prioritize accurately tracking hate crimes and protecting its victims.—Sheela NimishakaviShare7Tweet14Share2Email23 Shareslast_img read more

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Football governing body UEFA has awarded media rig

first_imgFootball governing body UEFA has awarded media rights for the 2012-15 UEFA Europa League in Albania to Vizion Plus and Tring TV.Each match night the first pick match will be broadcast on free-to-air channel Vizion Plus while four live matches will be shown across the family of Tring-branded pay channels. A highlights programme will be broadcast on both the free and pay outletsAll rights have been granted on a platform-neutral basis, with the rights also being exploited on the internet via www.vizionplus.tv and www.tring.tv, as well as on mobile.last_img read more

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Digital Rapids announced today that Broadcater Tur

first_imgDigital Rapids announced today that Broadcater Turner Broadcasting System has chosen Digital Rapids’ Kayak dynamic workflow platform for multi-screen video services.The two companies have expanded an existing relationship to collaborate on the development of advanced workflows to bring Turner’s premium content to various platforms.“We have developed our own custom Kayak components, enabling seamless integration with Turner’s existing business systems and we are pleased to partner with Digital Rapids to further our digital encoding initiatives,” said Brooks Tobey, senior vice-president of sales solutions and multiscreen development and delivery at Turner,According to Digital Rapids, Kayak enables media organisations to design, deploy and manage customised workflows.last_img read more

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Modern Times Groups MTGx digital accelerator unit

first_imgModern Times Group’s MTGx digital accelerator unit has licensed second screen specialist Monterosa LViS Studio cloud-based platform to launch a companion game for the Winter Olympics, Sochi Legends.Sports fans can test their knowledge by answering daily trivia questions to gain bronze, silver and gold medals. During live Ice Hockey games, they can also win medals and score points by correctly predicting events in the game.The LViS platform provides components and APIs for developers to make high-volume, real-time interaction, including live trivia, predictions, leaderboards and a new competitions management service, according to Monterosa.The platform is also being used by sports media and technology company Deltatre for Canada’s CBC and by TV2 Norway to power a mobile app for the Olympics.“Modern audiences expect to be able to engage more with the content they love, and MTG aims to help them. Sochi Legends enables sports fans of all ages to get a little closer to the 2014 Winter Olympics by taking part in daily quizzes and predictions. Leveraging Monterosa’s LViS platform enabled us to develop this solution speedily and gives us the ability to repeat this and build on it for future audience engagement,” said Fergal Walker, managing director for MTG’s audience interaction solution Like.tv.last_img read more

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Netflix has reportedly sued former vice president

first_imgNetflix has reportedly sued former vice president of information technology operations Mike Kail – who now works at Yahoo – alleging that he took kickbacks from vendors while working for the SVoD service.According to reports by tech site re/code and the Wall Street Journal, Kail was accused of fraud, breach of fiduciary duties and other improper actions.Netflix alleges that Kail accepted commissions of 12% to 15% on monthly fees paid to two IT service companies, VistaraIT and NetEnrich, between 2012 and this year.The lawsuit was filed in a California Superior Court earlier this week.  Kail currently works as chief information officer at Yahoo.last_img read more

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Sarah Bakkali Channel producer and distributor The

first_imgSarah BakkaliChannel producer and distributor Thema has named Sarah Bakkali as distribution senior manager for France and French-speaking territories.Bakkali replaces Vincent Glatigny, who is to dedicate himself to a personal project while continuing to carry out specific assignments for Thema.Bakkali previously worked for Thema as distribution and marketing manager for Europe and the Middle East.She will be replaced in that position by Maxime Carboni, who previously worked for France Medias Monde in charge of news channel France 24’s European distribution.Both Bakkali and Carboni will report to distribution senior vice-president Patrick Rivet.last_img read more

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Delphine DAmarzit Canal Group has named Delphine

first_imgDelphine D’AmarzitCanal+ Group has named Delphine d’Amarzit as group secretary-general, reporting to Bertrand Meheut.D’Amarzit was previously head of the government’s economic finance section within the Treasury Department, charged with overseeing regulation of the financial sector and its contribution to economic growth. At Canal+ she succeeds Laurent Vallée who has been named secretary general of the French Constitutional Council.last_img

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BBC director general Tony Hall BBC director genera

first_imgBBC director general Tony HallBBC director general Tony Hall will call for the UK public broadcaster to have greater independence, and for an external regulator for the Corporation to ensure that is safeguarded.The BBC boss will address UK business leaders in Cardiff, Wales, later today and the contents of his speech have been widely reported on the BBC and elsewhere.As well as calling for external regulation, he will tell the business people listening that when he returned to the BBC in 2012, having been in its news department in the 1990s, he saw a greater level of political interference.“The foundations of the BBC’s independence became weaker,” Hall will say. “The traditions and informal arrangements which protected it had been eroded. Politicians had not done this deliberately – it happened under all parties.”Discussions around the licence fee should be open and transparent, he will add, mooting the possibility of an online vote to capture the views of the public.Hall will also warn of ‘unintended consequences’ should the next BBC Charter place restrictions on the services the BBC can develop, or the specific programming it makes.“If, having cut our money, the charter also cuts our creative freedom to reinvent our services, or our commercial freedom to make up the shortfall…. letting this happen would not just have unintended consequences for the BBC, but for the UK’s creative economy as a whole,” the BBC boss will say.He will also advocate a longer, eleven-year, period between BBC Charter renewal, in contrast to others calling for a shorter five-year renewal period.The BBC is under pressure to rein in costs and make savings, and has pledged to make further cuts to achieve some of these. It has also controversially floated plans for BBC Studios, a new production unit that could make content for third parties as well as BBC channels.These situations are playing out as the Corporation lobbies for an acceptable Charter renewal, as opponents call for it to take on greater responsibilities and for wider restrictions and cost cuts.last_img read more

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French service provider Iliad TelecomFree has tak

first_imgFrench service provider Iliad Telecom/Free has taken second place in the country’s broadband internet market ahead of SFR, with 6.3 million high-speed and very high-speed customers.Free recruited 123,000 new fixed line subscribers in the first half of the year, equal to the amount recruited for the same period last year. Additions were driven to some extent by discounting, with fixed ARPU falling slightly to about €34. ARPU for customers with the advanced Freebox Révolution set-top and gateway was flat at €38. The company said its fixed-line revenues nevertheless increased by 3% to €1.3 billion.Free added 400,000 mobile customers over the same period, despite a decline in the overall market. The company had over 12 million mobile customers at the end of June, turning in revenues  of around €1 billion.Free said its TV service now offered over 500 channels, including over 170 HD channels and 70 channels with catch-up functionality.last_img read more

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Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix has appointed fo

first_imgUnbreakable Kimmy SchmidtNetflix has appointed former Universal Television president, Bela Bajaria, as its vice-president of content.Bajaria will lead the team at Netflix responsible for licensing content from the major US studios and agreeing co-production deals with the major US networks.She will also oversee a new team developing original unscripted programs for Netflix, as the subscription video service looks to up its original production output.Bajaria was previously president of NBC’s network and cable production arm, a role she stepped down from in June. Here she oversaw creative programming for the studio, producing series including Brooklyn Nine-Nine for Fox and Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for Netflix.Prior to Universal Television she simultaneously worked as senior vice-president, cable programming for CBS TV Studios, and senior vice-president of movies and miniseries for the CBS network.“Bela is a great creative television executive with broad experience and deep industry relationships,” said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.“Having worked closely with her on Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we know we have found the perfect executive to lead this new effort.”With the announcement, Netflix said it is updating its industry content licensing practices to better serve consumers around the world and move spending away from “traditional licensing into co-production and development partnerships with studios and networks”.Netflix is currently co-producing a number of series including Star Trek: Discovery with CBS, The Alienist with Paramount TV and the recently-launched ABC series Designated Survivor with E One – sharing windows globally with original broadcasters and ensuring early financing.Speaking at the RTS London Conference last week, Sarandos also said that Netflix has co-production deals in place with the three main UK terrestrial broadcasters and that four more of these deals will be announced before the end of the year.“I am looking forward to joining Netflix, an innovative company that supports creative vision and fosters risk-taking. Having worked closely with Ted, Cindy and the team, I know they are great creative partners and care deeply about the experience of talent, their partners and their members,” said Bajaria.Last month, Netflix’s chief finance officer, David Wells, said that Netflix aims to move to a 50-50 split between licensed and original content as part of a “multi-year transition” whereby original content will help to differentiate Netflix’s offering.Following Bajaria’s exit from Universal Television this summer, Pearlena Igbokwe stepped up to replace her, coming across from NBC Entertainment where she was executive VP, drama programming.A month later, Universal Television’s executive VP of drama development Russell Rothberg also left the US-based NBCUniversal production company.last_img read more

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Jørgen Madsen Lindemann MTG president and CEO Mo

first_imgJørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.Modern Times Group has sold its 50% shareholding in Czech free-to-air broadcaster Prima, with plans to invest further in “digital transformation”.Announcing the sale, Nordic free and pay TV broadcaster MTG said it is considering using the proceeds to increase its ownership in Germany-based online games developer InnoGames from 21% to 51%.The sale means MTG is cashing out of FTV Prima Holding, a company that operates one of the biggest free-to-air networks in the Czech republic, Prima, alongside a sting of other Prima-branded TV channels and the Prima Play streaming service.MTG agreed to sell its stake in the business to Czech company Denemo Media at an enterprise value of €237.4 million. MTG bought the 50% holding for €87 million in 2005 and said it will make a total cash return of double its original investment.“Prima Group is a great business with a very talented team delivering popular news and entertainment programming,” said MTG president and CEO, Jørgen Madsen Lindemann.“Over the past 11 years, we and our local Czech partner have transformed the Czech media landscape by launching a wide variety of channels and services, and establishing Prima as the go-to brand for information and entertainment.”Alongside its flagship Prima channel, FTV Prima Holding runs: male-skewing Prima Cool; female-focused Prima Love; family channel Prima Zoom; movie channel Prima Max; and online streaming service and app Prima Play. Earlier this month the company also launched a new channel aimed at Slovak households called Prima Plus.On top of this, the company operates a number of websites, including: cooking and health site Prima Fresh; fashion and beauty site Prima Style; women’s site Prima Zeny; and price comparison site Prima Radce.Discussing MTG’s future plans, Lindemann said that it is constantly reviewing opportunities to “expand our digital operations and footprint further” and is considering investing part of the FTV Prima sales proceeds to take a majority holding in InnoGames.“This is perfectly in line with our strategy to invest in relevant, complementary and scalable digital content and communities, and online gaming is the third vertical in our MTGx digital video entertainment portfolio,” he said.MTG completed its acquisition of 21% of InnoGames in December and said at the time it would look to acquire a further 14% during 2017 based on a total enterprise value of €260 million for the company.InnoGames was founded in Hamburg in 2007 and makes free-to-play online strategy and role-playing games that are monetised through in-game purchases. Its titles include Elvenar, Tribal Wars I & II, Grepolis, The West and Forge of Empires, which between them have more than 150 million registered players.MTG said that FTV Prima Holding contributed SEK 1.226 billion of sales and SEK 201 million of operating income (EBIT) for the twelve months to the end of Q3 2016.It estimated its total cash return on the investment, including dividends received and the sale price, will come to approximately SEK 1.6 billion.Denemo Media is a Czech joint venture between Denemo Invest, which owns 75% of the business, and GES Media Asset, which holds the remaining 25%.last_img read more

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US overthetop TV service Pluto TV has launched a

first_imgUS over-the-top TV service Pluto TV has launched a free video on demand (VoD) offering consisting of thousands of movies and TV shows.The VOD collection includes content from Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), and Warner Bros and will be available alongside the 100-plus streamed TV channels that Pluto TV already offers.“We are always striving to deliver the best curated entertainment offerings to our viewers,” said Tom Ryan, CEO of Pluto TV. “Over six million viewers enjoy our lean-back offering of more than 100 live, interest-based channels.”“We’re excited to give them even more ways to enjoy the content they love, and now they can pick specific movies and TV shows to watch on demand. Both options are curated and completely free.”The new VoD offering will feature movies such as Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Birdcage, Thelma & Louise, Mad Max, The Hours, Defiance, The Kite Runner and Dances With Wolves.The TV shows on offer will include Fear Factor, American Hoggers, I Love New York, The Dead Zone and Paranormal State.Last month, Pluto TV, appointed former NBCUniversal executive, Robert Magdlen, as chief programming officer. In October last year it raised US$30 million (€27 million) in a funding round led by ProSiebenSat.1 Group, which also included participation from Scripps Networks Interactive.last_img read more

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