Tuesday, March 31, 2009

IRS Seeks New Blood With Teen Tax Talent Search...NOT!

By Con Chapman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. This Midwestern city lies close to both the population and geographic centers of the United States, and this weekend it is ground zero for another subject that is close to the heart of America--taxes.

"We're like a shark," says Internal Revenue Service Regional Director Gene Rollins. "If we don't keep moving, constantly searching for new blood, the nation's tax cheats will swim away from us, and we'll have to bite the leg off some unsuspecting surfer who makes so little money he probably qualifies for no-tax status." .....

Disney rolls into S. Africa, Finland

Article Source: Variety


Company continues overseas expansion

CANNES -- Disney-ABC-ESPN Television has inked multi-year deals with South African paybox M-Net and Finnish broadcast network Nelonen Media at the Mip TV programming market.

Both deals underscore continuing overseas expansion for Disney. They also illustrate Disney's ability to reversion content for local markets, according to Ben Pyne, prexy of global distribution, Disney-ABC Worldwide Television and Disney Media Networks.

"The studios have been able to open up a lot of interest outside the traditional big European markets of France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the U.K. International is ever more important," he added.

As the TV biz is rocked by near global recession, the Mouse House can play to its strengths by the large-scale diversification of its product to meet the needs of key-client broadcast nets and payboxes worldwide.

"The diversity and depth of our portfolios across ABC Studios, ABC Family, Walt Disney Studios and Disney Channel is a major strength," said Pyne.

Disney's M-Net pact homes in on flagship films, but ranges across the portfolios of Walt Disney Pictures, Disney/Pixar and Miramax Films.

It encompasses "There Will Be Blood," "Enchanted," the Disney Channel Original Movie "High School Musical 3: Senior Year," "Wall-E" from Disney-Pixar, and "The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian." .....


Twitter To Be Taught to Ten-Year-Olds in the UK

Image © Twitter

By Duncan Geere

Alongside Wikipedia, how to blog, and how to type on a keyboard. The UK government announced today that it wants to teach Twitter in primary schools as part of a campaign to make online communication and social media part of the national curriculum. Kids will also be taught to use Wikipedia, how to blog, and proper typing skills alongside traditional handwriting skills.

The plans, which also remove the Victorians and Second World War from the primary syllabus, were going to be launched next month, but leaked early in the Guardian. Analysts and teacher groups have cautiously welcomed the moves, though they wonder why current trends are being given so much weight.

Personally, I'm glad that Wikipedia, blogging and proper keyboard usage are being taught - all of those are, for the moment, here to stay. I'm a little confused, though, as to why Twitter has been singled out. It's not that revolutionary and, even speaking as a heavy user, it's current prominence in the news is surely no more than a passing media fad caused by high-profile celebrities joining up. Students should certainly understand online communication, but I'm not convinced Twitter is the best way to show them.

What do you think? Tell us on Twitter - and no, the irony of that isn't lost on me - @techdigest.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cartoon Network Rolls out New Slate

Cartoon Network's live-action 'Survive This' focuses on teamwork.

Upfront presentation includes 13 new series


Article Source: Variety

NEW YORK -- Cartoon Network is getting into the live-action reality biz.

Execs announced a slate of six reality skeins at Cartoon's upfront presentation in Gotham Wednesday. The cabler's ambitious programming slate, unveiled by chief content officer Rob Sorcher and Turner Animation prexy Stuart Snyder, also encompasses seven new animated skeins and four original animated telepics.

In addition to the reality shows, Cartoon has launched a partnership with the NBA, repped by a shortform entry into the network's slate: "My Dad's a Pro," starring Jalen House, son of Celtics player Eddie House.

"If I were a buyer, I would buy," joked NBA commish David Stern to the advertisers in the aud.

The NBA tie-in is likely a response to Disney XD's much-publicized partnership with ESPN. Disney XD is seeking to wrest the 6-11 boys demo from Cartoon, but it faces an uphill battle. Cartoon's focus on boys over the past year has earned it further dominance over its target aud, traditionally the most lucrative kid demographic for advertisers. The presentation was filled with thinly veiled refs to "the kind of sanitized shows you see from the competition," as more than one exec put it.....


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nick Cannon adjusts to his new role as 'execustar'

By Kelly Carter, Special for USA TODAY
NEW YORK — Most employees might try to avoid walking by the boss's office, especially these days with pink slips flying. But when the boss is Nick Cannon, it's a different story.

"I've got co-workers tip-toeing past my door pretending like they're using the copier, going in all of the pantries, but really they're just trying to see if (my wife) Mariah (Carey) is going to walk in. She comes by every once in a while, so they might catch her," he says.

Cannon is rehearsing his lines for Thursday's "upfront" meeting of television network executives with press and advertisers. His new gig? Honorary chairman and development consultant for Nickelodeon's TEENick.....