Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin celebrate the unveiling of Steve Irwin’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (credit: Lucas Rossi Photography)Steve Irwin’s Hollywood Star to shine for Sunshine Coast tourismNorth American promotional campaign launched to fuel American growthThe unveiling today of a ‘star’ on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Steve Irwin is set to continue the strong profile of his Sunshine Coast home in the North American market.Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin, were in Hollywood at the unveiling along with some of their closest friends and family from around the world. The newest star is fittingly located directly outside the ‘Iguana Vintage Store’.Terri Irwin said Steve would have been chuffed at the award: “Steve always said that he hoped his message of conservation would live on forever. It means the world to us that Steve’s memory will live on in so many ways, including now on the internationally recognised Hollywood Walk of Fame.“We’re thrilled that so many people have joined us today in khaki to celebrate. It’s wonderful that there are lots of people back home on the Sunshine Coast celebrating too,” said Terri.Visit Sunshine Coast has worked closely with the Irwin family to gain the Hollywood recognition for Steve, who played a key role in elevating Sunshine Coast tourism through the establishment of Australia Zoo.Steve’s popularity in the American market was complemented by the success of his daughter, Bindi, who attracted national and international publicity by finishing as the winner of the top-rating US Dancing with the Stars TV show in 2015.“The Irwins – Steve, Terri, Bindi and Robert – have been great ambassadors for the Sunshine Coast, and they have always been passionate about promoting the region around the world, and particularly in America, where the Hollywood star reflects his legendary status,” said Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Simon Latchford.Mr Latchford said that the American market had been one of the Sunshine Coast’s most powerful international markets over the past five years.“In 2012, the Sunshine Coast was attracting 71,000 room nights annually from the USA worth $5.5 million, but by the end of 2017 that had almost tripled to 190,000 room nights, generating $15.6 million in income for local operators. And Americans stay for over 20 nights on average, sharing their dollars across the region,” said Mr Latchford.“There are many attractive beach destinations in Australia, but to be able to offer attractions of the quality and integrity as Australia Zoo gives us a competitive edge. The fact that it has a backdrop of the Glass House Mountains also highlights our overall ‘naturally refreshing’ message.”Mr Latchford said that Visit Sunshine Coast was capitalising on Steve Irwin’s Hollywood star with a major promotional campaign in America, starting with the donation of a substantial auction prize at the Steve Irwin Gala Dinner in Beverly Hills on 5 May. Funds raised from the auction will go to Wildlife Warriors Worldwide, the charity Steve and Terri created in 2002 for the global conservation of wildlife and wild places.The auction prize includes over $5000 worth of inclusions from Sunshine Coast operators, with a major emphasis on natural escapes, and includes a private Wildlife Hospital tour at Australia Zoo with Bindi Irwin.In addition, Visit Sunshine Coast has partnered with leading North American outbound travel agent Goway Travel, along with Australia Zoo and Tourism Events Queensland to launch a major trade and retail campaign in North America to coincide with the Steve Irwin star accolade.The campaign focuses heavily on educating North American travel agents on the Sunshine Coast destination and is being delivered through numerous media platforms, including two dedicated Sunshine Coast webinars, blog posts, flyers, online advertising and press releases. Agents will also have the chance to win one of six spots on an all-inclusive Sunshine Coast Famil Trip which will take place in the final quarter of 2018, with Fiji Airways as the airline partner.Mr Latchford said that Goway Travel were specialists in the Australian market and would be able to tap into both experienced travellers and potential new visitors to Australia.“Having the Irwins championing the Sunshine Coast really gives us a unique entree to the American travel market because Steve’s face and name still resonates so strongly in the market,” he said.“They love big characters and Steve was deeply popular with Americans for his incredible enthusiasm and energy, and his ability to mix adventure with a true commitment to conservation.“The timing of the campaign is perfect as the American economy and dollar are at their strongest levels for many years, and airline capacity from North America has grown substantially over the past few years.”Source = Visit Sunshine Coast
Riviera Maya, Mexico—Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineGrand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit are tempting travelers with two new culinary-themed packages that feature international cuisine and wine pairings, cooking classes and contests for the whole family, food tours, mixology lessons and more.At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the “Art of Cooking” package includes executive chef-led cooking classes—including a session on preparing a three-course meal complete with a diploma for participation—a wine tasting and even a take-home chef’s jacket. Kids can get in on the fun with junior cooking classes, an awards ceremony and a take-home kit. Offered through December 19th, rates start at $329 a night.At Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, the “Gourmet” package grants access to wine and tequila tastings, cooking and cocktail classes and exclusive food and wine tours at local gourmet eateries. Guests also enjoy a gourmet amenity on arrival, a special Spa Cuisine lunch at the onsite Azul restaurant and one dinner each at Frida, Lucca and Piaf, the resort’s Four Diamond award-winning restaurants, as well as spa and golf discounts. Available until December 18th and from April 16th through December 19th, 2012, rates start at $359 a night.Visit www.grandvelas.com.
The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) is conducting a nationwide survey to assess the island’s financial knowledge, with results expected to be announced within the first half of 2018, it emerged on Friday.In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, the CBC’s director of economic analysis and research George Kyriacou said about 1,000 people between the ages of 18 – 79 would make up the final sample.So far, members of the public have been responsive and positive, and Kyriacou stressed that people with better financial knowledge have better chances of enjoying a higher standard of living.Lacking such knowledge is one of the main factors that could explain the income inequality found in developed economies, Kyriacou said.Citizens and consumers who are well informed in economics make better decisions with their family’s finances and increase their financial security and well being, he added.The CBC’s survey was prepared by academics from the Cyprus University of Technology (Tepak) in cooperation with the Durham University Business School and initial results will be ready in the first half of 2018.Commenting on the present situation on the island, Kyriacou said ‘older experiences from the stock market as well as Cypriots’ portfolio management before the 2013 crisis have highlighted the fact that a significant part of our country’s population does not seem to have adequate basic financial knowledge’.He added that previous research on the matter also revealed similar results. In 2010, the Cyprus securities and exchange commission (Cysec) carried out a survey that found the public’s knowledge on matters relating to investments is very low.Tepak also recently tried to measure Cypriots financial literacy only to find that Cypriot students have a serious problem with the matter, Kyriacou added.The CBC’s survey, however, could reap some benefits for society as policies could be created based on the findings so as to reduce financial illiteracy.“The findings could also be used to create a national strategy to effectively combat financial illiteracy, through a targeted and collected effort involving other state institutions such as the education ministry, universities and Cysec,” Kyriacou told CNA.You May LikeMBA Degrees | Search AdsMBA Programs Online - See For YourselfMBA Degrees | Search AdsUndoKelley Blue BookSubcompact Luxury SUV Best Buy of 2019Kelley Blue BookUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoPensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
09Jan Johnson takes oath at Capitol ceremony State Rep. Joel Johnson, at right, today took the ceremonial oath of office as state representative for the 97th House District in the 97th Michigan Legislature. Lt. Gov. Brian Calley administered the ceremonial oath in the state Capitol in Lansing.Johnson serves the people of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin and the east half of Osceola counties.“We want to make especially sure that government is more accountable to the people and their needs,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “There are concerns that government is overreaching in some areas, so making sure that every agency is answering to the people is one of the big things on my agenda this session.”Johnson’s wife, Dawn, their son Clayton Johnson, nephew Darick Tack with his wife Christy and son Joel, took part in the ceremony. Categories: Johnson News,Johnson Photos,News
Categories: Leonard News,Leonard Photos 24Jul Leonard presents tribute to local high school athlete Rep. Tom Leonard, left, presents Logan Hessbrook with a legislative tribute to commemorate his athletic achievements during his senior year at Ithaca High School. A three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball, Hessbrook was named the Lansing State Journal Athlete of the Year.
Rep. Jon Bumstead joined a number of legislators outside in the 20-degree weather to go swimming today. The representatives took part in the fifth annual Polar Plunge in front of the Capitol building, braving the cold to jump into a pool.“It made for a cold day at work, but it’s for a great cause,” said Rep. Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “We raised a lot of donations and attention for the Special Olympics. I think all the divers are proud we could help that organization.”All donations received from the Legislative Polar Plunge go directly to Special Olympics Michigan to help support their activities. Polar Plunges take place all over the country in cold weather and is well-known for the colorful costumes and shivering swimmers they produce.Special Olympics in Michigan brings year-round sports and athletic competition to over 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities. ##### Categories: Featured news,News,Photos Tags: Polar Plunge, Rep. Bumstead, Special Olympics 03Mar Rep. Bumstead takes the ‘Polar Plunge’ for Special Olympics
The House Law and Justice Committee today approved legislation by state Rep. Peter Lucido seeking to protect children from criminals with multiple abuse violations.“All forms of repeated child abuse are despicable and should be treated with increasing penalties,” said Lucido, vice chair of the Law and Justice Committee. “We have to protect our future and most precious citizens better. This will do that by putting the people who are reckless over and over again someplace where they can’t hurt kids.”House Bill 4486 strengthens penalties starting with a second conviction, expanding possible prison time up to five years for a third-degree offense and two years for a fourth-degree violation. Current law allows for two-year and one-year sentences for respective convictions.A third-degree violation occurs when an individual “knowingly or intentionally” causes a child to be harmed, while a fourth-degree infraction involves reckless actions that leads to the physical harm. Under Lucido’s legislation, any prior child abuse conviction – regardless of degree – counts as a repeat violation and qualifies for more strict sentencing.First-degree violations, which a defendant “knowingly or intentionally” intended to cause serious physical or mental harm to a child, can carry up to life imprisonment. A second-degree infraction can include a penalty of 10 years in prison for a first violation, 20 years for the second.“Regardless of the offense, these are all acts with potentially terrible lifelong effects on children and we need to level the field,” said Lucido, of Shelby Township. “This gives our law enforcement and prosecutors another weapon to defend our kids.”HBs 4486 and 4487 both advance to the House for its consideration.### 31Oct House committee approves Lucido bills to better protect children from abuse Categories: Lucido News,News
03Aug Rep. Sheppard continues ‘Sit Down with Sheppard’ in August Categories: Sheppard News State Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance invites residents of the 56th District to meet with him during his August in-district office hours.The times and locations are as follows:Monday, Aug. 6 from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Dena’s Family Restaurant, 15391 S Dixie Hwy in Monroe;Wednesday, Aug. 15 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Forest View Lanes Recreation Bar & Grill, 2345 W Dean Road in Temperance;Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Old 23 Grill, 3168 Lewis Ave. in Ida; andFriday, Aug. 24 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Ottawa Lake Co-Op Elevator Co., 7433 Lynch Road in Ottawa Lake.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Sheppard’s office at (517) 373-2617 or JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov.#####
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares November 28, 2014; Electronic IntifadaAs of Monday morning, 118,214 people had signed an online petition asking Save the Children to revoke the “Global Legacy” award it gave to former British prime minister Tony Blair. Sparking worldwide protests was clearly not the intent of Save the Children, but that’s what its U.S. arm accomplished with its honor for Blair.Perhaps the U.S. arm of Save was not quite as familiar as its British counterparts with the multiple controversies Blair has been associated with in the UK. Within hours of the draft and circulation of an internal letter criticizing the Blair award as “morally reprehensible,” nearly 200 Save staff, including regional executives, signed on.Representatives of other NGOs were less than kind toward the idea of honoring Blair. The executive director of Human Rights Watch, Kenneth Roth, tweeted: As this man defends any dictator who’ll pay him, @SaveChildrenUK inexplicably gives him award. http://t.co/29MmhrNZDn pic.twitter.com/PlVyYEQ1XK— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) November 21, 2014 He later corrected the tweet to refer to STC in the U.S.It is hard to believe that this crescendo of criticism was entirely unanticipated by Save’s U.S. arm. In 2010, for example, Blair received the “Liberty Medal” from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The Center’s president, former AOL executive and later CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service during the Bush administration, David Eisner, said at the time, “We understand…how differently Tony Blair appears to be viewed by many people in the UK as compared with many people in the U.S.”Except in this case, the head of Save the Children in the UK apparently had a hand in the U.S. branch’s decision to honor Blair. Jasmine Whitbread, the CEO of Save the Children International, wrote to staff about the shared feeling of being “frustrated and disappointed” in the reaction to the Blair award, suggesting that Save in the U.S. hadn’t anticipated this reaction and needed to have conducted a better “risk assessment.” However, she also revealed that the head of Save the Children UK, Justin Forsyth, a former associate of Blair’s during his time as prime minister, played a significant role in the U.S. arm’s decision to honor his former boss. Another Blair connection, Jonathan Powell, Blair’s former chief of staff, is on the STC board.Unless STC had been completely out of commission, it had to have been aware of the multiple Blair controversies and gave a broad hint that it knew: the award was given to Blair for his work in Africa, his achievements in debt relief, and his anti-poverty work. Some people truly believe that Blair is worthy of the multiple honors he has received from Save and other organizations, both for his African involvements and the “Make Poverty History” campaign he launched while still at Downing Street.However, many people hold him responsible for Britain’s participation in the U.S. war in Iraq, which has not only killed hundreds of thousands of people but has led to the virtual dissolution of Iraq and the current Sunni Islamist rebellion led by the partisans of the Islamic State (ISIL). A government investigation of the UK’s role in the war is expected to take Blair to task directly and extensively. To them, that outweighs whatever he might have achieved in his post-PM charitable and philanthropic endeavors—but that history, too, earns Blair plenty of criticism.After resigning as prime minister, Blair became special envoy to the Middle East Quartet, presumably to mediate between Israel and Palestine, but he was frequently excoriated as strongly pro-Israel and hardly a “neutral interlocutor.” Although Blair has established a foundation dedicated to increase understanding amount the world’s major religions, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, he has also been active as a consultant through Tony Blair Associated, picking up a list of clients that don’t exactly suggest world peace and international understanding. As NPQ wrote in 2012, Blair’s clients have included the government of Kuwait, the autocratic ruler of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (on a contract with some $13 million), and even Muammar Gaddafi and his son Saif, helping the latter with his Ph.D. thesis.More recently, on a contract apparently funded by interests in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Blair has been recruited to provide economic development advice to the regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military coup in Egypt last year. Apparently promising significant “business opportunities” to the Sisi economic development crew, Blair seems to have overlooked one of the significant pre-coup criticisms of the Egyptian military, that much of the Egyptian economy was controlled by business interests that themselves were controlled by the military.It is sad to say, but Blair’s consulting has led him to bed down with some unsavory political characters. Roth’s description of Blair as “a well-paid dictator’s PR agent” puts the lie to the humanitarian award from Save the Children’s U.S. branch. Like his U.S. partner, George W. Bush, who created the PEPFAR initiative against HIV/AIDS in Africa, Blair has done some laudatory work. But his philanthropy doesn’t outweigh his role in the UK’s involvement in Iraq and his post-PM role as éminence grise for a number of international autocrats.The bigger issue, however, is what this award, such as it is, says about Save the Children. The humanitarian awards business itself is pretty pathetic, honoring stars and celebrities rather than the people on the ground risking their lives to fight international poverty without the cushion of $13 million sidebar contracts with dictators. Why might Blair want this award, one of a number of awards he has gotten over the years (he was one of a number of people named “Men of the Year” in 2014 by GQ magazine)? About to be excoriated in print by his own government for his role in the Iraq war, facing repeated calls to remove himself from any possible role in Middle East peace negotiations due to his pro-Israel bias, and seen cavorting with the likes of the late Gaddafi and the not-late Nazarbayev, awards like this burnish Blair’s tattered image, thus the involvement of his former advisor at STC UK to help the U.S. Save give Blair the award.But why would Save do this? As its own staff has made clear, many think that Blair is an affront to the values and beliefs of the organization. Others might be concerned that Save’s association with Blair compromises its effectiveness in countries that have their own versions of Nazarbayev to confront. People might think that Save, with two senior Blair people in its leadership, is less than a fully independent, nonpolitical, nonpartisan NGO.Whitbread’s leaked letter suggested that she was fundamentally concerned with containing the negative reaction to the Blair award and resuscitating the NGO’s image with the public and its donors. Perhaps the more logical strategy for Save is to rebuild trust and preserve its independence by repudiating the Blair award and to prune its leadership of people who are linked too closely to the political regimes of either the U.S. or the UK—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share26TweetShare6Email32 SharesOctober 12, 2016; Washington PostAn article in the Washington Post last week asked: “Is America more divided by race or class?” Both have risen to the top of the nation’s collective consciousness recently, particularly during the rather unorthodox 2016 presidential campaign. Donald Trump has seen his appeal to “make America great again” ring particularly true with the white working class but has been unable to match Hilary Clinton’s popularity with people of color. Is it race or class that most determines where someone ends up on the voting spectrum?According to the Post, it’s actually an intertwining of both. An analysis by the newspaper on responses to the 2012 and 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES) surveys concluded that while African Americans and whites are consistently widely politically divided regardless of income, high-income Latinos and whites share similar political views. When asked about their support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), African Americans and whites held steady at 75 percent and 50 percent in favor, respectively, regardless of income. Latino voters strongly supported the ACA in low- and middle-class respondents, but support from high-income Latinos narrowed to mirror that of wealthy whites.In another example, low-income voters of all three races overwhelmingly opposed cutting domestic social program budgets. This opposition held for African Americans regardless of income, but opposition to cuts decreased in both Latino and white voter groups as income levels rose.Generally, African Americans and whites who identify as Democrats remain so regardless of income level, but white independents tend to switch to the Republican Party as their wealth increases. Latinos, who in lower-income brackets are 20 percent more likely to be Democrat than whites of the same income, are less likely to be Democrats in at higher-income levels, where their numbers match those of their white counterparts.The similarities in political views between high-income whites and Latinos should make Republicans sit up and take notice (though, given the remarks by their 2016 presidential candidate about Latinos, this may not be the year to take action). But while these surveys and polls are interesting, they are also limited, catching a representation only of a particular moment in time and without all of the complex variables that impact how people think. As the Atlantic has pointed out, polling Latinos is particularly difficult given the diversity among Hispanic subgroups and language barriers, for example. Additionally, the groups polled by the CCES may not make it to the polls at all. Voter ID laws disproportionately affect low-income and communities of color, suppressing voter turnout in these populations, which traditionally vote Democrat.What might be most interesting about the results of the Post’s analysis are the questions it raises: How do the lives of Latinos, African Americans, and whites in the United States differ at each income level? What are the similarities? What influences Latinos at a higher-income level to have political preferences almost identical to whites? And what accounts for the significant differences at all income brackets between African Americans and whites? Some of the answers are obvious, but a deeper dive might uncover valuable insights towards a more equitable society.—Melinda CrosbyShare26TweetShare6Email32 Shares
Revenues from Scandinavian telco TeliaSonera’s TV services were up 13% in the second quarter ending June 30 to SEK1.2 billion (€140 million).The total number of TV subscriptions rose by 143,000 from the second quarter of 2011 and by 30,000 during the quarter to 1.2 million.In Finland, TV subscriber numbers were up 15% year-on-year.
Estonian public broadcaster ETV has teamed up with the country’s leading transmission services provider Levira to pilot the broadcasting of 1080i HD services using the DVB-T2 standard.The pilot project will aim to test the parameters for reception on different screens, including both TVs and other devices such as tablets.About 250,000 Estonian homes are equipped with HD TVs. ETV’s HD signal will be receivable across mainland Estonia via existing rooftop aerials.
Satellite operator Intelsat has announced the pricing of its IPO of 19,323,672 shares at a price of US$18 (€13.70) per common share, while a concurrent offering of three million series A non-voting mandatory convertible preferred shares will be priced at US$50 per share. Intelsat expects to raise about US328.8 million net from the common shares offering and US$142.9 million from the preferred shares offering. The proceeds will be used to reduce outstanding indebtedness.On the mandatory conversion date, May 1, 2016, each Series A preferred share, unless previously converted, will automatically convert into common shares.The Series A preferred shares will have a 5.75% dividend rate and a liquidation preference of US$50 per share. The Company has granted the underwriters in the initial public offering of common shares a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2,898,550 common shares.
Al Jazeera is in talks to acquire Spanish producer Mediapro, according to local reports.The Qatari state funded broadcaster has been aggressively rolling out channels internationally and has also been acquiring key sports rights.A deal for Mediapro would give Al Jazeera rights to several key soccer clubs and competitions including games from Barcelona and Real Madrid. Mediapro and Al Jazeera have already worked together on the international distribution of soccer rights.Spanish publication El Economista said that Al Jazeera and Medipro are in talks and “could soon announce an unprecedented operation in [Spain]”.Mediapro produces and distributes sports as well as general entertainment content. Its sports rights arm has local rights to the main Spanish league as well as the Copa del Ray, Champions League and English Premier League competitions among others.Outside of football, it is the local TV rights holder for Formula 1 and Euroleague Basketball.
Eutelsat is to use IBC to showcase Ultra HD, including the launch of a second channel, new features of turnkey connected TV platforms and its ‘smart LNB’ at IBC.Eutelsat, which launched a dedicated Ultra HD channel in January, is now to launch a channel with HEVC encoding that will be multiplexed with the existing Quad HD signal in the same Eutelsat 10A transponder.This second channel is aimed at being decoded by Ultra HD set-top boxes equipped with HEVC chipsets that will feed consumer Ultra HD TV sets via a single HDMI cable. Working in partnership with broadcasters, Eutelsat plans to show exclusive Ultra HD content on the latest generation of consumer displays at IBC.Eutelsat will also present the latest features of IPTV platforms tailored for broadcasters and network operators that are taking viewing beyond linear TV to non-linear services and beyond the TV set onto multi-screens and mobile devices. Eutelsat will also show the performance of DTH/broadband platforms that show how a hybrid infrastructure can deliver interactivity.Eutelsat will also launch the first live demo of its ‘smart LNB’, designed to enable broadcasters to operate their own ecosystem of linear television and connected TV services directly by satellite. The ‘smart LNB’ is a new-generation electronic feed connected to an antenna with an embedded transmitter to provide services such as HbbTV, pay-per-view, social networking, live show participation, personal subscription management and audience measurement.Eutelsat will exhibit at IBC on stand 1.D59
3D channel High TV 3D has begun broadcasting on the Hispasat satellite platform at 30° West.Hispasat will broadcast High TV 3D across Europe from its Hispasat 1E satellite in partnership with media services provider Telefónica Servicios Audiovisuales.Hispasat said it and High TV 3D are also exploring opportunities to distribute 4K TV content. Hispasat already airs its own demonstration channel, Hispasat 4K, which was launched at IBC last year.Hispasat has in recent months been focusing more actively on the TV distribution business, marketing the 30° West position to its client base of content providers, teleports and TV operators.
Kevin Spacey in House of CardsUAE-based pay TV operator OSN has retained the rights to the fourth season of Netflix’s House of Cards, despite Netflix’s launch in the country earlier this year as part of its 130-territory expansion.The fourth season of the show is currently available on OSN Play, the operator’s online TV service, and will remain on this platform until March 18.The show will also air weekly on the OSN First HD channel from March 21, with episodes also made available via OSN’s catch-up TV service.Netflix launched in the UAE in January, with a promise that Netflix originals would be made available on the platform over time. However, neither House of Cards nor Orange is the New Black are available on the Netflix platform in the country.Netflix this week did however make its first major Arabic-language acquisition, securing global rights to Zinzana, a prison-set drama from UAE-based director Majid Al Ansari. The movie, produced by Image Nation Abu Dhabi and starring Ali Suliman and Saleh Bakri, was shown at the Dubai Film Festival in December.
Canadian media group Entertainment One has denied receiving a takeover approach from UK broadcaster ITV, as analysts suggest the real value in the company is in its TV division.Bloomberg yesterday reported preliminary talks had begun between the pair over the potential deal, citing sources close to the discussions.Both sides initially declined to comment, but London-listed eOne later released a statement, saying: “Entertainment One notes the press speculation regarding a potential offer. No approach has been received.”eOne owns properties such as Peppa Pig, has an extensive unscripted business, and a scripted division that has spawned shows including Rookie Blue and Welcome to Sweden. It also distributes The Walking Dead (pictured), Fear the Walking Dead and new procedural Private Eyes.ITV has been bulking up through acquisitions throughout CEO Adam Crozier’s reign, which began in 2010. Last year, it acquired Talpa Media and Twofour Group. It already owned other production groups such as Leftfield Entertainment, and all of these businesses sit alongside production and distribution arm ITV Studios.Analysts at Credit Suisse said it did not “see clear strategic rationale from ITV’s perspective”, noting the broadcaster’s management only this week had reiterated a plan to focus on format development and drama, and that eOne was primarily a distributor.The investment bank suggested ITV could try to buy just eOne’s television assets, which are growing in strength, and valued that business at £219 million (US$310.1 million). However, Toronto-based eOne has previously said its TV and family divisions (the latter houses Peppa Pig) would be key drivers going forwards.eOne’s film unit, which distributes the Hunger Games movies currently accounts for about 70% of eOne’s revenues.Speculation over eOne’s future has amplified since former shareholder Marwyn exited, with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board then taking an initial 17.9% stake, though this has now risen to 19.8%.Shares have nosedived since July last year, though they have risen today on the ITV news. In December, the firm undertook a controversial refinancing initiative, which hit a previously-announced plan for eOne to double in size by 2020.A rights issue and a profit warning have also rocked the boat, but news of the ITV interest sent them up from £1.65 per share at 8am GMT to nearly £1.90 at 10am.eOne has in the past considered selling to a larger content group such as Sky or Vivendi, but this route bypassed in favour of more organic growth. Recent purchases have included bringing Naked & Afraid producer Renegade 83 into the growing factual division.Credit Suisse said London-listed ITV, whose own ownership future is under scrutiny with the likes of Liberty Global building stakes, would likely “have the capacity to buy eOne outright”.An ITV spokesman said: “We don’t comment on speculation.”
RTL Group is to combine SpotX and Smartclip into a single integrated ad-tech company by the end of next year. The broadcast outfit said it would roll the combined platform across its operations and boost it with further acquisitions.Guillaume de Posch and Bert HabetsRTL said that the combined SpotX-SmartCcip would focus ad-server development, addressable TV, bringing dynamic ad-insertion capabilities in house and close collaboration with the Group’s minority shareholdings, VideoAmp and Clypd.Co-CEOs Guillaume de Posch and Bert Habets said that the “ambitious growth plan” for the advertising units was part of the acceleration of the company’s ‘total video’ strategy.“We have now decided to combine both companies into one integrated ad-tech company by the end of 2018. We will roll out the platform across our operations and scale it up with further acquisitions and partnerships,” the pair said.The move to combine the two advertising technology outfits follows the closing of RTL’s agreement to take full control of SpotX at the beginning of October.RTL posted solid Q3 results on the back of a strong performance by its core German broadcast business. Group revenue was up 1.5% to €1.372 billion, due to higher revenue from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and Groupe M6. EBITDA however jumped by 17.4% to €263 million, with EBITDA from the German unit rising by 23.9% and M6 EBITDA jumping by 36.5%.RTL’s investment in multichannel networks BroadbandTV and StyleHaul meanwhile continued to deliver for the broadcast group in the first nine months of the year.Digital revenue for the first nine months was up 30.2% to €560 million, boosted by the sale of American Gods to Amazon Prime Video as well as the first fully consolidated revenues from Smartclip and Divimove.
ShareTweet “At that meeting we will discuss the next steps of the campaign as we continue to fight to ensure these vital projects are delivered.” People Before Profit Councillor Eamonn said last week that if the decision was taken to locate the new medical school elsewhere, it should be resisted.He added: “The emergence of a possibility that the medical school will not built at Magee in the foreseeable future is of great concern and should be greeted by a roar of anger.Mayor of Derry and Strabane Council Councillor Michaela Boyle“The neglect of Magee has been a simmering source of discontent in Derry for a long time, going back to the 1960s.“It is a blast from the discredited past.“It has been going on for too long and if there isn’t an unequivocal denial of this report, Derry should take to the streets.”The medical school is considered vital, not only for the expansion of student numbers at Magee, but also as a means to address the crisis within general medical practice in the north-west.The Department of Health said that wherever the medical school is located in the long term, it will not happen without a minister in Stormont to sign off the project.A spokeswoman said: “The department has been providing ongoing assistance to Ulster University in the development of the university’s proposal for a graduate entry medical school over the past 18 months.“However, it must be stressed that completion of this business case should be distinguished from any process to consider the commissioning of additional medical places in Northern Ireland.”A spokeswoman for Ulster University said the university was “steadfast” in its commitment to establishing a medical school in the north-west.She added: “We have clear plans to grow Magee. In 2018, Ulster University opened a new state-of-the-art teaching block at the Magee campus, marking an £11m investment.“A recent philanthropic donation of £5m in data analytics research and the purchase of the Foyle College lands signals our ambition in the city.”Mayor to convene meeting as Medical School campaign steps up was last modified: June 11th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: However, the Department of Health said last week that there was no guarantee it will go ahead in the city.The Mayor said: “The city and district is united in its will to see a medical school established at Magee as well as the continued expansion of the university. “In order to help deliver this important project, which has the support of all key stakeholders in the North West, the campaign will be intensified in the time ahead. She added: “As Mayor, I will be convening a meeting of the key stakeholders, including the city’s MP and other civic and political leaders this week. Medical school proposed for Magee CampusTHE Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Michaela Boyle, says the campaign to deliver a medical school for Magee and the continued expansion of the university is to intensified and a meeting with key stakeholders is to be convened this week.A business plan has been submitted by Ulster University to build a world class medical school at its Magee campus in Derry. Councillor Eamonn McCannDEPARTMENT OF HEALTHDerry and Strabane CouncilMagee CampusMayor Michaela BoyleMayor to convene meeting as Medical School campaign steps uppeople before profitUlster University