Suspect in DC mansion slayings fires his defense attorneys

first_img Top Stories Comments   Share   Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Defense attorney Sean Hanover said he and Wint “had a difference of opinion” that led Wint to dismiss him and a colleague who was handling immigration matters. He did not detail what the disagreement was about.Hanover also said he believes there are multiple people who were involved in the slayings who are still at large, and he said he thinks Wint was “set up,” although he did not elaborate. Police have said in court documents that they believe more than one person was involved in the elaborate crime, but no other suspects have been identified and no one else has been arrested.“We have done a lot of investigation since we first got on this case,” Hanover said. “We believe he was set up.”Hanover said Wint had expressed sorrow over the victims’ deaths. One of the Savopouloses’ daughters, 19-year-old Abigail, was in the courtroom on Thursday, watching stoically as Wint conferred with his attorneys and the judge. The daughter, who like her sister was away at boarding school at the time of the slayings, did not speak to reporters.Wint “was heartbroken like everybody else,” Hanover said. “I can assure you that he never intended or wanted anybody, them or anybody else, to be harmed.” WASHINGTON (AP) — A man accused in the slayings of a wealthy family and their housekeeper inside a Washington mansion fired his defense attorneys on Thursday and will once again be represented by public defenders.Daron Wint, 34, made the decision at the start of a scheduled preliminary hearing, which was then postponed.Wint was arrested in May, a week after the slayings of corporate executive Savvas Savopoulos; his wife, Amy; their 10-year-old son, Philip; and a housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa. According to police, he held the family captive for 18 hours inside their mansion in a wealthy northwest Washington neighborhood. After he received a $40,000 ransom, police said, Wint beat and stabbed the victims to death, set their house on fire and fled in a Porsche belonging to the family. Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Wint is a welder who once worked for Savopoulos, who was the CEO of American Iron Works, a Maryland-based construction-materials supplier. A native of Guyana, Wint has a criminal record that includes numerous complaints for domestic violence.Wint is charged with first-degree murder and related offenses. His preliminary hearing will now be held on July 20.___Follow Ben Nuckols on Twitter at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 3 international destinations to visit in 2019 New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t likelast_img read more

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The Flight Centre Travel Group FLT has strengthe

first_imgThe Flight Centre Travel Group (FLT) has strengthened the European footprint of its flagship global business travel division, FCM Travel Solutions, with the announcement that it has taken 100 per cent ownership of 3Mundi, FCM’s partner in France and Switzerland. In July 2017, FLT made an initial 25 per cent investment in 3Mundi, which has been a licensee partner of FCM since 2015. On 30 June 2019, FLT acquired the remaining 75 per cent of 3Mundi’s business. Executive General Manager – Flight Centre Travel Group Corporate Division, James Kavanagh, said the acquisition has further underlined FCM’s position as one of the world’s largest corporate travel management businesses. “The acquisition will unlock further benefits both for Australian customers as well as FCM’s multi-national clients. France and Switzerland are important corporate travel hubs – in fact France is now the sixth largest corporate travel market in the world.“We now have a stronger corporate network and an even more powerful proposition for French and Swiss customers, and for global customers who travel to and transact in these key markets.” In addition to the UK & Ireland, FCM’s equity-owned footprint in Europe now extends to Germany, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. Globally, Flight Centre Travel Group’s corporate businesses have continued to perform strongly and together generated AUS$ 4.2 billion in TTV during the six months to December 31, 2018, about 37 per cent of the group’s global TTV for the period. Besides FCM Travel Solutions, which has a presence in 97 countries worldwide, FCTG’s corporate brands are: Corporate Traveller, specialising in the SME sector; cievents – a globally recognised full service strategic meetings and event management agency; and Stage & Screen, specialist travel provider to clients in the television, film, music, performing arts, sports and creative industries. Agency NewsFCM SolutionsFlight Centre Travel Grouplast_img read more

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The Latest Post Malone Aerosmith merge to close

first_imgThe Latest: Post Malone, Aerosmith merge to close VMAs Madonna appears in the press room at the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP) by The Associated Press Posted Aug 20, 2018 5:23 pm PDT Last Updated Aug 20, 2018 at 10:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emailcenter_img NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Latest on the MTV Video Music Awards (all times local):11:55 p.m.Post Malone was joined on stage by Aerosmith to give a wild-verging-on-bizarre dual performance to close the MTV Video Music Awards.Malone, wearing garb that looked like a toddler’s footie pyjamas with yellow, blue and pink smiley faces, began the Monday night performance with fellow rapper 21 Savage on his hit “rockstar.”He was then joined by the actual rock stars who are nearly 50 years his senior.Malone picked up a guitar and played along as Aerosmith dropped a short segment of “Dream On” then broke into 1975’s “Toys in the Attic.”Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry and singer Steven Tyler leaned into the same mic as the man-bunned, face-tattooed Malone as all three screamed the song’s chorus.___11:45 p.m.The queen of soul got a less than royal tribute at the MTV Video Music Awards when Madonna came out to deliver a rambling story about Aretha Franklin’s music without any performance of the late singer’s classic songs.Madonna presented the video of the year award to Camila Cabello on Monday night after talking at length about her own career.A short archive video of Franklin was played before Madonna declared that Franklin “changed the course of my life.”She ended the speech by saying “I want to thank you, Aretha, for empowering all of us, RESPECT.”Cabello then accepted the trophy from Madonna, winning the biggest award of the night for “Havana.”She bowed in respect to Madonna, and dedicated the award to her.___11:30 p.m.After a mini cast reunion on the pink carpet outside, MTV announced the return of the series “The Hills” during the Video Music Awards.It’ll be a docuseries called “The Hills: New Beginnings.” MTV said in a statement that it’s slated to premiere next year. It will follow the personal and professional lives of original cast members alongside their children and friends in Los Angeles.A slew of original cast members reunited on the carpet including Justin Brescia, Stephanie Pratt, Frankie Delgado, Ashley Wahler, Audrina Patridge, Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt.The original reality show aired for six seasons, ending in 2010. It initially focused on the LA lives of Lauren Conrad and housemate Montag, along with Patridge, Whitney Port and several other friends.___10:40 p.m.Entering in a flowing gown hovering above the stage, Jennifer Lopez descended and unleashed a medley of her hit songs, including “Waiting For Tonight” and “My Love Don’t Cost A Thing” before accepting a lifetime achievement award at the MTV Video Music Awards.The 49-year-old JLo turned Radio City Music Hall into a nightclub with walls of lights and dancers Monday night then accepted the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.With Cardi B cheering her on from the audience and the help of DJ Khaled on stage, the actress, singer and dancer hit career highlights with “Jenny From the Block” and “I’m Real” as she bathed the stage in gold costumes.Lopez came back to the stage to accept the honour from presenter Shawn Mendes, saying that her wildest dreams had come true. Lopez said people doubted her ability to juggle it all, but that she had to “forge my own path and make my own rules.”___10 p.m.With a human wall, the immigration debate took centre stage at the MTV Video Music Awards in a performance criticizing the Trump administration’s policy of separating families at the border.Wearing white T-shirts reading “We Are All Human Beings,” more than two dozen immigrant children and their parents joined Logic and Ryan Tedder on stage Monday night.The children, including some younger kids who appeared intimidated by the crowd, stood in a line, some swaying and clapping to Logic’s new song, “One Day.” He debuted it Friday with a new music video based on true stories of separations at the U.S.-Mexico border.On stage, their parents came out from behind, simulating reunions. The protesters hoisted faux candles in the air as the song concluded.Trump dropped the policy more than a month ago after a political firestorm, but of more than 2,500 children who were initially separated from parents and guardians, hundreds remain in federal custody including more than 400 whose parents left the U.S. without them.___9:15 p.m.Cardi B, the night’s leading nominee, new mama and super-hot rapper, opened the MTV Video Music Awards swaddling a precious bundle.The rapper, who gave birth to daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus just weeks ago, told the crowd Monday night she had a surprise in her arms and pulled back the blanket to reveal a Moonman trophy.The rapper had already won an award before the show began, song of the summer for her song “I Like It,” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin, and was the leading nominee of the night, up for 10 awards.She declared as she stood on the stage: “I am the empress. The liberals voted for me,” before introducing the show’s first performer, Shawn Mendes.___8:50 p.m.Cardi B walked into the MTV VMAs as the night’s top nominee and already a winner.MTV announced on the carpet Monday night about 30 minutes before the awards show that the rapper was the winner of the song of the summer award for “I Like It,” with Bad Bunny and J Balvin.Cardi B wasn’t there to accept the award because she was opening the show where she’s nominated for 10 awards, including video of the year for “Finesse” with Bruno Mars.___8:40 p.m.Stormy Daniels’ attorney, Michael Avenatti, found himself in the thick of the youthful crowd arriving at the MTV Video Music Awards talking politics. More specifically, talking elections.He told The Associated Press on the pink carpet Monday night that young people will play a “big role” in the 2020 elections. But what about this year’s races? Avenatti’s on it. He’s travelling around the country trying to raise money for democrats. His goal is to hit up 20 states. He’s been to four or five so far.Avenatti has been on a media blitz since taking on the adult film star Daniels as his client in a legal case against President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Avenatti was vague about whether he’ll run for president in 2020. He said whoever runs “better be in store for a cage match.”And the latest with Daniels? Avenatti says “She’s doing great. She’s in it for the long haul.”___8 p.m.Cardi B slayed on the pink carpet in a low-cut body-hugger of a dress by Nicolas Jebran as performers, presenters and nominees arrived for the MTV Video Music Awards.The draped velvet-fuchsia number worn by the “Bodak Yellow” rapper had a high slit to go with its down-to-there neck. It had one long sleeve and draped detailing at the shoulder on the other side.Cardi B will open Monday’s show and is the night’s top nominee just weeks after giving birth to daughter Kulture Kiari Cephus.She’s up for video of the year with “Finesse,” her collaboration with Bruno Mars.___11 a.m.Cardi B will make her first public appearance as a mom at the MTV Video Music Awards, and it might be worth it: She could be the night’s big winner.The rapper is the top contender with 10 nominations. She will open Monday’s show, which kicks off at 9 p.m. EDT from Radio City Music Hall in New York.Cardi B and Bruno Mars are up for video of the year with “Finesse.” Other nominees for the top prize include Drake, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Childish Gambino, Camila Cabello and Ariana Grande.Most of the top nominees, including Drake, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Mars and Gambino, won’t attend the VMAs.Performers include Travis Scott, Nicki Minaj, Shawn Mendes and Grande. Jennifer Lopez will receive the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.MTV also plans on honouring Aretha Franklin, who died last week.last_img read more

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Rep Crawford takes part in annual Sept 11 ceremony

first_img Categories: Crawford News,K-Crawford Photos,News 08Sep Rep. Crawford takes part in annual Sept. 11 ceremony Legislator invites family of fallen USAF major to eventcenter_img State Rep. Kathy Crawford of Novi on Thursday was joined at the Michigan House of Representatives’ annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service by the family of a U.S. Air Force pilot who died in the line of duty in March.           Crawford said Maj. Andrew Becker of Novi died during a training exercise in New Mexico. She was joined at today’s ceremony at the Capitol by Becker’s parents, Gary and Stacy Becker. Also joining the representative were Novi Patrol Officer Bob Manar, and Novi Fire Captain Mark Theisen, first responders from the communities she serves.“It was a somber and sad moment to read his name out with the other 13 first responders or members of the military from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty,” Crawford said. “I hope this ceremony brings comfort to his family.”Crawford said Becker’s father, Gary Becker, said his son was inspired to enlist in the Air Force because of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, which occurred soon after he graduated from Novi High School.Crawford said it is important to recognize those serving in the military and local first responders for the work they do to protect our nation and our communities.“The events of 2001 showed us the courage and tenacity of first responders who went into the World Trade Center and members of the military who rushed to the aid of their comrades in arms at the Pentagon,” Crawford said. “I don’t think we can recognized these heroes enough.”#####last_img read more

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Leutheuser applauds Hillsdale court officials for legislative success

first_img New law solves staffing problem at youth drug treatment facilityLegislation introduced by state Rep. Eric Leutheuser after hearing about an issue making it difficult to staff a drug treatment facility for local youth was recently signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.Leutheuser said Hillsdale County Probate Judge Michelle Bianchi and Juvenile Court Administrator Megan Stiverson approached him regarding the issue last year. Because the facility in question is operated by the Hillsdale County Juvenile Drug Court, even part-time direct care workers must currently have at least two years of work experience or 30 college credit hours.“Without this update to the law, it was difficult for them to find people in our community with college experience who are willing to work part time,” said Leutheuser, of Hillsdale. “This legislation improves that situation by giving them more hiring freedom.”In response to their concerns, Leutheuser introduced House Bill 4218, now Public Act 12 of 2018, to align the employment standards for court-run programs with similar county-run facilities, which are not required to meet such rigid education qualifications.“This is a fair solution that will make it easier for court-operated treatment programs in small towns like ours to find the employees they need,” Leutheuser said. “I applaud Judge Bianchi and Administrator Stiverson for all of their work on this issue.”### 06Feb Leutheuser applauds Hillsdale court officials for legislative success Categories: Leutheuser Newslast_img read more

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Rep Kahle supports comprehensive plan to improve school safety in Michigan

first_img08May Rep. Kahle supports comprehensive plan to improve school safety in Michigan Categories: Kahle News,News State Rep. Bronna Kahle today voted in favor of a comprehensive plan to improve school safety in Michigan.The plan would create a statewide school safety commission to review security procedures and suggest improvements. Grants would be provided to make security improvements, with priority placed on school buildings with the greatest need. Schools would designate a local liaison to work directly with the commission.“This plan establishes a framework that could help make every school in Lenawee County and the entire state more secure,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “Keeping students and teachers safe at school is a must so they can focus on learning. This common-sense strategy is a step in the right direction.”Other pieces of the House plan include:Requiring schools to submit incident reports to the statewide school safety commission. The reports would provide the commission with examples of how incidents and threats were handled to develop best practices for other Michigan schools to follow.Requiring new school construction or major renovation projects to include safety features such as reinforced entryways and remote door locks.Making the OK2SAY school safety program permanent by eliminating a sunset date. The program allows the confidential reporting of tips on potentially harmful or criminal activity directed at students, school employees or school buildings.Mandating consistent, standardized training related to school violence incidents as part of the requirements to be a licensed law enforcement officer in Michigan.House Bills 5828-30 and 5850-52 advance to the Senate for further consideration.####last_img read more

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Foundations Pensions and the Detroit Institute of Art Still a Complicated Picture

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesApril 16, 2014; Detroit Free PressOvercoming all sorts of obstacles, including a recent challenge to the deal cut between foundations and the state to convert the Detroit Institute of Art into a nonprofit free from City ownership and control, the Retired Detroit Police and Fire Fighters Association has agreed to an arrangement in which their pensions would be protected from any cuts. That stands in contrast to the pensions for those Detroit retirees who did not work for the uniformed police and fire; their pensions will be cut 4.5 percent in the deal and will receive no annual cost-of-living adjustments, compared to a pledged 1 percent (down from 2.25 percent) annual adjustment for police and fire pensions. Essentially, all the police and fire retirees are accepting is a cut in their future COLA adjustments, which reports say could be adjusted upwards if the pension fund investments do better in the markets.Part of the deal is that the pension boards have to accept the spinning off of the DIA, which would be helped by an $816 million fund capitalized by the state and by private foundations over twenty years. State legislators still have to act to authorize the state’s $350 million contribution to the “grand bargain.”While pensioners come out better than expected in this deal, Detroit’s bondholders are not likely to be happy. The emerging deal treats pensioners better than bondholders. As a result, bond insurers like Syncora and Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. have been highly critical of the DIA “grand bargain,” suggesting that four investors had offered as much as $2 billion for portions of the DIA collection and assets. Syncora and FGIC were joined in that action by AFSCME Council 25, the public sector employee union that may have civilian pensioners in its ranks.Nonetheless, this step with the uniformed pensioners reflects a quickening pace of negotiations and agreements that could help the city’s emergency fiscal manager, Kevyn Orr, reach his October deadline for the city to exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy. Most of the local press reporting has greeted the FGIC/Syncora/AFSCME argument with hostility, but the reality is that the grand bargain is still up in the air. The state hasn’t yet officially acted to approve its contribution. The DIA itself has to put in $100 million, and that’s not easily generated. Orr has implied that if the bondholders don’t agree to his proposed cuts in their returns, he could push them through in the form of a cramdown (a forced court-approved deal allowable if one class of creditors agrees to the deal they’re presented), but taking that action could jeopardize the grand bargain.It would seem that the foundations involved in the DIA grand bargain are simply interested parties committed to saving the art from disposition on the market, but philanthropy overall isn’t so above the fray. Just recently, public employee unions raised vociferous objections to the millions of dollars of grants from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation for public pension research. The unions complain that the foundation’s research agenda is clear: to replace defined pension benefits with pensions that look more like 401(k)s or hybrids.A former Enron trader, John Arnold has denounced the criticisms as an “organized smear campaign” against him and his foundation. The unions’ opposition to the Texas billionaire’s interest in pension reform may be partly due to his role as a visible and large campaign contributor to Barack Obama. National Public Pension Coalition executive director Jordan Marks describes Arnold as a “right-wing ideologue bent on gutting public pensions,” notwithstanding his generous contributions to Obama’s election campaigns. Is Arnold alone in philanthropy with concerns about the future of public sector pensions, or perhaps public sector unions themselves? We doubt it.Foundations outside of Detroit will inevitably be facing pension contribution pressures in the wake of the precedent of the Detroit grand bargain. Just imagine the pressures from the $71 billion unfunded liability of the California state teacher retirement fund which some say will go bankrupt by 2043, the public pension funds in Memphis which have been annually been receiving 25 percent less than actuarial guidelines from the city government, or Chicago’s $19.5 billion in unfunded pension liabilities that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is hoping to partly address with a $250 million annual property tax increase. It is difficult to imagine that pensioners and creditors won’t be knocking on foundations’ doors, but perhaps without the mantle of saving the DIA as camouflage for getting money from foundation endowments into pension fund accounts.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Indiana Forms Foundation to Supplement Inadequate State Health Funding

first_imgShare10TweetShareEmail10 Shares August 28, 2015; Indianapolis StarPublic-private partnerships are often the solution to problems and needs that the public sector cannot, or will not, address on its own. They run the gamut from the local school bake-sale to statewide private foundations created to fill gaps in public funding, as is the case in Indiana.Indiana’s state legislature is looking to address the fact that it is one of the 10 states that spend the fewest dollars on public health by creating a nonprofit to ask individuals and corporations to donate to public health initiatives.According to the Indianapolis Star, the Healthy Hoosiers Foundation will focus on reducing the state’s infant mortality, obesity and smoking rates. It will also raise funds to improve childhood immunization rates.“No other state is funding their health department in this way,” said the foundation’s executive director.Indiana is the ninth-most obese state; more than two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight. The infant mortality rate is 7.15 per 1,000 live births, one of the highest in the nation. Moreover, more than one million Hoosiers smoke, according to the article.The foundation will focus this year on reducing rates of infant mortality and smoking by spending whatever it raises for the state’s anti-tobacco program. Almost 16 percent of pregnant women in Indiana smoke, compared with the national average of 8.5 percent.The state’s “Baby & Me” program enrolls pregnant women, gives them tobacco-cessation counseling and requires that they quit before delivering. The foundation hopes to raise about $500,000 this year to enroll an additional 1,500 women.To date, the Community Health Network, IU Health, and senior living operator CarDon & Associates have become sponsors of the Healthy Hoosiers Foundation. State health officials told the Star that the foundation’s creation should doesn’t mean that state legislators are not funding the health department at the level it should.“We’re doing a lot of great work here but there are gaps…the Healthy Hoosiers Foundation can amplify [innovation].”Foundation supporters say that taxpayers might favor tax-deductible donations to the foundation over a tax increase to pay for public health programs. They also believe that it will respond more quickly than the legislature. Still, the paper points out that creating such a foundation lets the legislature off the hook when it comes to funding public health: “Time will tell whether the foundation improves public health funding in the state or reduces it.”Public health spending is lower in Indiana than most other states—it ranks 44th in state public health funding per capita.“The last thing we want to do is provide another excuse to partly fund public health,” one skeptic told the paper. “This shouldn’t be used as a substitute for government investment in public health.”—Larry KaplanShare10TweetShareEmail10 Shareslast_img read more

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Samsung and Telekom South Africa have a signed an

first_imgSamsung and Telekom South Africa have a signed an agreement to jointly drive the take up of connected TVs in the country.The companies plan to market Samsung Smart TVs bundled with fixed-line broadband in South Africa.“Samsung and Telkom will collaborate in areas that will drive easy access to affordable and bundled data and Samsung’s Smart TV technology which will enable an interconnected home,” Samsung said in a press statement.last_img

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Cablevision has sued Viacom in the US claiming th

first_imgCablevision has sued Viacom in the US, claiming that the channel owner forces it to air less popular networks in order to carry the likes of Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.In an antitrust lawsuit filed in a federal court in Manhattan, Cablevision argued Viacom was illegally coercing it to pay for 14 “lesser-watched ancillary networks” like Palladia, MTV Hits and VH1 Classic in order to access its “must-have” channels.In a move that could prove a challenge to the long-held practise of cable channel bundling, Cablevision argued that Viacom was harming Cablevision and its customers and impairing competition by making it take networks that “many subscribers do not want to watch.”“The manner in which Viacom sells its programming is illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong,” Cablevision said in a statement.However, Viacom defended such channel bundling practises, claiming that it reflected the competitive nature of the cable business and had been found legal by a number of federal courts. It also accused Cablevision of trying to “use the courts to renegotiate our existing two-month old agreement.”In a statement the firm said: “At the request of distributors, Viacom and other programmers have long offered discounts to those who agree to provide additional network distribution.”last_img read more

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Slovakian production company JOJ Media House has l

first_imgSlovakian production company JOJ Media House has launched a new female-focused TV channel, TV Wau.The lifestyle channel will be available on platforms including cable service UPC Slovakia, which will air it on its entry-level digital package as well as its basic and exclusive digital packages, and satellite service Skylink, which will include it in its digital package.last_img

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Total spend on programming across the five main UK

first_imgTotal spend on programming across the five main UK public service broadcast (PSB) channels, as well as the BBC’s digital channels, dropped 2% year-on-year in 2012, according to Ofcom stats. In its Public Service Broadcasting Annual Report 2013, the UK broadcast regulator said that the decrease in spend resulted in £2.9 billion (€3.37 billion) going on programming across the channels – a 17% real terms decrease over the last five years.This was in spite of a substantial 14% increase on first-run sports rights spend to £563m thanks to the London Olympics and Paralympics, and a slight 0.3% year-on-year increase on first-run originated programmes to £2.5 billion.“Over the five-year period between 2007 and 2012, first-run spend across the five main PSB channels and the BBC digital channels decreased by 13% (£384m) in real terms; the reductions in spend were most substantial on BBC Two (down 28%), while ITV/ITV Breakfast, Channel 4 and the BBC digital channels all recorded a decline of 13%,” said Ofcom.However, year-on-year real-term spending on originated content varied by network – with BBC One upping spend by £55 million to £797 million as BBC2 had a £46 million decline to £286 million. ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all maintained a similar level of spending on first run content in 2012 compared to 2011.Ofcom said that viewers still continue to watch PSB channels in large numbers, but while the proportion of people who watched BBC One and Channel 5 in an average week has remained broadly stable over the last five years, weekly reach of BBC Two, ITV and Channel 4 has declined over the past five years.BBC Two’s reach decreased from 58% in 2007 to 52% in 2012; ITV from 70% in 2007 to 64% in 2012; and Channel 4 from 59% in 2007 to 51% in 2012. BBC One stayed level at 78% while Channel 5 has gone from 40% reach in 2007 to 39% in 2012.“The combined viewing share of the five main PSB channels was 52% in 2012, down from 64% in 2007. However, this decline is offset by an increase in viewing to their digital portfolio channels, with combined viewing almost doubling from 12% in 2007 to 21% in 2012,” said Ofcom.The research found that 76% of viewers of PSB channels said they were satisfied with them, the same as a year earlier. News remained the most highly rated aspect of the PSBs, with 85% of viewers placing high importance on the provision of trustworthy news, compared to 81% last year.last_img read more

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Paolo Agostinelli a senior channels executive at

first_imgPaolo Agostinelli, a senior channels executive at Sky Italia, is leaving the Italian pay TV operation to head up programming operations at Tata Sky.Sky Italia is owned by Twenty First Century Fox Indian DTH platform Tata Sky is a joint venture between Indian conglomerate Tata Group and Star, which is also owned by Twenty First Century Fox.Agostinelli’s departure has led to new appointments within Sky Italia programming department: Luca Revelli will take charge of relations with third party channels in addition to his current position as head of digital activities & special projects. Giovanni Uboldi will be in charge of the pay per view and VOD. Both will report to executive VP of programming Andrea Scrosati.At Sky, Agostinelli was VP, partner channels, PPV & VOD. From the 23rd of this month he will be chief programming officer and business strategy officer at Tata Sky where he will report direct to company CEO Harit Nagpal.He joined Sky in 2008 having previously been at management consultants Bain & Company.Commenting on the appointments, Sky Italia CEO Andrea Zappia said: “This appointment makes me proud because it shows that in Italy we are able to grow talents able to fill the most coveted and prestigious roles in other markets. It also demonstrates the tremendous value created from belonging to a successful global group such as 21st Century Fox.”last_img read more

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US telco Verizon has agreed to buy content deliver

first_imgUS telco Verizon has agreed to buy content delivery network (CDN) provider EdgeCast, in a bid to “deepen and enhance its video delivery and web services capabilities.”Verizon said that the deal will see Verizon Digital Media Services integrate EdgeCast in order to meet the “exponential growth in online digital media content,” and to “broaden its portfolio of site acceleration services for digital enterprises” – including studios, broadcasters, retailers and enterprises.“The combination of EdgeCast and Verizon Digital Media Services will allow us to fully exploit and accelerate growth in internet media consumption and online business performance. EdgeCast’s industry-leading technology and strategically placed assets, combined with Verizon Digital Media Services’ video solutions, improves our ability to deliver the rich, reliable and quality digital media services that our customers have come to expect,” said Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services.EdgeCast has more than 6,000 accounts and serves digital brands including Tumblr, TubeMogul, Viagogo and Vzaar.Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, though US tech blog TechCrunch reported that deal will be worth more than US$350 million (€255 million). Verizon said it hopes to finalise the acquisition in early 2014.The news comes after Verizon bought the assets of upLynk earlier this year – a company that has exclusive technology that streamlines uploading and encoding video content for live, linear and on-demand.last_img read more

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TVN has launched what it claims will be Polands f

first_imgTVN has launched what it claims will be Poland’s first social TV app, a second screen service that went live to coincide with the launch of the latest season of Poland’s Got Talent.The app, called ‘Mam talent!’ went live at the weekend and market the launch of season seven of the local version of the hit Got Talent franchise.TVN said that 60,000 viewers used the app during the first episode and that more than 1.35 million interactions took place within the course of the program – including opinion polls and quizzes related to the show.“Today viewers expect much more from television than just ready-made entertainment offering to enjoy as passive viewers. They want to participate actively, exert an influence on what and whom they watch, be free to evaluate, express their preferences and likes and to confront them with other viewers’ opinions,” said Edward Miszczak, TVN management board member for the programming department.“Our second screen “Mam talent!’ application is an excellent tool – it enables them to do that fast and easily via mobile phone or tablet with an extra fun aspect.”last_img read more

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Severina Pascu Intense price competition includin

first_imgSeverina PascuIntense price competition, including from overbuilders, and barriers to consolidation are among the challenges facing cable operators in central and eastern Europe, according to a panel of regional operator CEOs and content providers at Cable Congress in Brussels yesterday. Severina Pascu, CEO, UPC Romania and Hungary said the main differences were the lower internet penetration compared with western Europe and the lower share of people consuming content on multiple devices. She said that Hungary and Romania nevertheless have a real thirst for broadband speed.Pascu said that the region had to some extent leapfrogged technology. She said about 25-30% of people adopted technology quickly.Pascu said that both Hungary and Romania are extremely price competitive. However, playing that game meant operators will ultimately lose. She said UPC had focused on building value through new services. “A small segment in the market is willing to pay for high quality,” she said.She said UPC in Romania faces a large number of network overbuilders, leading to intensified price competition. However, making sure the product on the market addresses a real customer need can help drive growth, she said. “Innovation and customer experience will drive not only revenue per subscriber but also the number of subscribers,” she said.Pascu said demand for illegal content is sometimes due to demand being frustrated. UPC launched premium service MyPrime in December, offering content for an affordable price, which she said could counter the appeal of illicit services.Pascu said that consolidation is necessary, but that this can be held up by unreasonable expectations about price and by other interests taking precedence.Tomasz Zuranski, CEO of Polish cable operator Vectra said that for operators, the Polish market has matured along western European lines. However, the operator environment is still highly fragmented. “The scale is not comparable with the likes of Virgin Media,” he said.Zuranski said that TV consumption remained largely passive and that overall TV consumption is, if anything, going down. He said he would like to see the development of advanced services where cable can play a significant role. “We need more rights for other devices,” he said. Broadcasters should also provide non-linear content and players to position themselves for the future, he said. Zuranski said there is a lot of overlapping infrastructure in Poland, which pulls down ARPU. Cable also faces competition from DTH.Harald Rosch, CEO of Bulgarian operator Blizoo Media and Broadband sadi that ARPU in Bulgaria was about €10, meaning that operators and consumers had to be more creative in how they deliver and access services. Low ARPU is driven by low income, with average household income of about €400. Price competition adds to the downward pressure on ARPU, he said.Rosch said four big players account for 60-70% of the Bulgarian market, while the remainder is determined by competitors who often don’t pay for content. Rosch said that BitTorrent and internet piracy was less a problem than small operators that do not pay for content. Some take content like HBO but only the big four pay for it.Levente Malnay, CEO AMC Networks International – Central Europe, said that hours spent watching TV are high compared with other countries. However, he said, distribution competitors often undermined each other via aggressive pricing. “There are high ARPU potential customers,” he said.Malnay said AMC has tried to clear all relevant rights for its partners, providing non-linear rights to favoured partners, but that barriers remain to getting content rights for all devices and distribution opportunities.last_img read more

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Amazon has added over 600 channels apps and games

first_imgAmazon has added over 600 channels, apps and games to the US Amazon Fire TV platform in the last three months, in what it claims is the “fastest growing selection of any streaming media device”.The firm lists Popcornflix, Funny Or Die, Candy Crush Saga, and Fox News among its popular new titles. It also said that GameFly is now available exclusively for streaming media devices on Amazon Fire TV, letting customers play PC games titles, including action role-playing title Darksiders II, and racing game Dirt 3.“The team is working hard and moving incredibly fast to bring even more movies, TV shows, live TV, sports, music, channels, apps and games to the Amazon Fire TV platform every week – and it shows. Amazon Fire TV selection has grown 127% in just the last 6 months, and is continuing to accelerate,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president of the Amazon Appstore.last_img read more

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Netflix has updated its Windows 10 app with a new

first_imgNetflix has updated its Windows 10 app with a new user experience and responsive layout.The new version of the app is based on Microsoft’s Universal Windows Platform, which is designed to work across all Windows 10 devices – including PCs, tablets and phones.The updated browsing experience offers vertical scrolling through categories and horizontal scrolling through titles, while a new details view includes “large, cinematic artwork for the show or movie” as well as content suggestions.“Our members on Windows run across many different screen sizes, resolutions and scaling factors. The new version of the application uses a responsive layout to optimise the size and placement of items based on the window size and scaling factor,” said Netflix.last_img read more

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The digital Makers Channel has launched in the UK

first_imgThe digital Makers Channel has launched in the UK. The service will be run in the UK by Makers MD Eline van der Velden who has made several digital shows for Endemol Beyond and Dailymotion.The free OTT channel, which has been optimised for mobile viewing, curates videos and webisodes from various sources and also has a layer of original content with well-known faces from Instagram, Facebook and other social networks and platforms. Online talent on board includes comic Emily Hartridge and Daniel Johnson, a VIP hairdresser for football stars.The content is grouped into six categories: comedy and pranks, cooking and food, beauty and lifestyle, gaming, music and entertainment. Makers said new content will be added weekly.The service is brand and ad-supported, with the owners promising near-live tracking of video views.Talent making original content for Makers gets a revenue share, which the channel claims is among the highest in the business at 70%.Eline van der Velden said: “I’ve been making viral content for years – my own show Miss Holland has been watched millions of time around the world – and as a web series fan myself, I know when something bombs.With so many platforms allowing anyone to upload their videos, the amount of irrelevant content you have to trawl through to find something genuinely great is too much for most people. At Makers Channel we don’t let just anyone upload – we hand pick everything.”The channel launched in the Netherlands last June 2015. It has a deal with Fox in the Netherlands to produce a new influencer based TV series.Makers Channel CEO Marko van Kampen said: “We have a proven track record in the Netherlands, with Makers Channel delivering solutions for global brands like L’Oréal and Danone by working with our influencers to co-create content that reaches the influencer fan base they want to connect with.“The UK launch is a key milestone for us; we know the UK’s millennial and gen Z audiences are hungry for quality content on their devices and we’re excited to be able to provide this for them on our mobile first platform.”last_img read more

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Polish broadcaster TVN has agreed a new deal with

first_imgPolish broadcaster TVN has agreed a new deal with Warner Bros., covering the studios TV series and features.The agreement gives TVN the free TV and basic pay rights to a raft of new and catalogue titles.Series included in the deal include Lethal Weapon and Lucifer. Feature films include The Lego Movie, Godzilla, American Sniper, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Suicide Squad.“We are delighted to expand on our deep-rooted relationship with Warner Bros. International Television Distribution,” said Piotr Korycki, vice president of the management board at TVN.“With this deal we are entering our third decade of co-operation. The best productions of the studio will air exclusively on our networks.”Jeffrey Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution added: “We have long enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with TVN. We look forward to many more years of our feature film and television titles airing across their channels.”last_img read more

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