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October 14, 2012

Japanese company Softbank to acquire majority stake in Sprint

  • $20B purchase price for a 70 percent stake in Sprint, according to CNBC, which says the deal will be announced tomorrow morning. It’d be a huge gamble that the company can duplicate its success building out LTE in Japan to the American market. Can they do it? source
23:57 // 1 year ago
August 29, 2012

Like Charlie Sheen? You’re gonna be seeing a lot of him on FX

  • 90 episodes of “Anger Management” locked in for next two years source

» That’s a lot of Sheen: In what might be one of the most unusual contracts signed in television history, FX has agreed to air a new episode of Charlie Sheen’s post-“Two and a Half Men” comeback show 45 out of the 52 weeks of each of the next two years, which means that the show is going to be ready for syndication by September 2014. Why so many episodes in such a short time? A locked-in cost. Even if the show, which has had strong but inconsistent ratings, is a major hit, it won’t cost FX any more to air the show, which reportedly costs less than $1 million per episode to produce. And as Sheen owns roughly 40 percent of the show, there’s likely strong encouragement to want to send to syndication quickly. But even so, that’s aggressive scheduling for network that generally airs shows in 10-episode blocks. FX planned it this way, though, setting a ratings threshold that automatically kicked in a 90-episode renewal if ratings were high enough.

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23:22 // 1 year ago
July 12, 2012

Know that studio that comes up with those bizarre animations around the news? Next Media Animation now has a deal with Reuters to create animations for them. Now, Reuters isn’t getting into the wacky animation business so much, but they will be giving similar treatments to serious takes on news stories. Here’s an example. No wacky humor, but still engaging animation. (thanks Matt)

11:59 // 2 years ago
February 29, 2012

U.S. scores diplomatic breakthrough with North Korea

  • the deal The U.S. got North Korea to agree to curb its nuclear testing and enrichment processes and allow outside investigators to monitor its main reactor, which is a fairly major breakthrough for the countries.
  • the perk In exchange, North Korea will get 240,000 metric tons of food aid. While the U.S. has long considered offering aid for purely humanitarian reasons, North Korea insisted that it be tied to this deal. source

» Significant, if “limited”: This result came after a set of talks last week that initially did not seem to go well, but later proved be palatable for the North Koreans. The two countries previously were close to some sort of deal before Kim Jong-il’s death, but the latest development seems to have gone over. “The United States still has profound concerns regarding North Korean behavior across a wide range of areas,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, ”but today’s announcement reflects important, if limited, progress in addressing some of these.”

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10:32 // 2 years ago
October 18, 2011
I thought that I would find myself in this situation many more years. If they wanted to secure my freedom, they had to pay a price for this.
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit • Discussing his situation on Egyptian television this morning after getting freed from captivity in the Gaza Strip. Freedom for Shalit, who was there for five years, did cost Israel immensely — they had to release over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners to allow for his freedom. Nearly 500 were freed today. In Palestine, those prisoners were welcomed with cheers by Hamas — while Shalit’s own return was much more subdued, with Israeli officials concerned that freeing so many prisoners at once could cause security issues. source (viafollow)
10:15 // 2 years ago
October 17, 2011

Israel’s prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit draws heavy controversy

  • 1,000 number of Palestinian prisoners expected to be freed in an exchange with Israel; as you might guess, this is controversial for some
  • one number of Israeli prisoners expected to be freed in exchange; this one, however, is Gilad Shalit, whose plight is fairly well-known source

» The fight goes to court: While Shalit’s parents fight for his freedom, families of the victims of militants in Israel aren’t exactly quite happy with this situation, and are trying to fight it in court. It’s unlikely the court is willing to fix this, but Israeli leaders are trying to soft-pedal this nonetheless. “I understand the difficulty in accepting that the vile people who committed the heinous crimes against your loved ones will not pay the full price they deserve,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote in a letter to families affected by the exchange.

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11:45 // 2 years ago
October 9, 2011

The Simpsons gets a longer lifespan, but the voice actors lose out

  • whoo-hoo After a few weeks of tense negotiations with the show’s voice actors, “The Simpsons” will have two more full seasons before it finally goes into syndication heaven — making for 25 full years.
  • d’oh The negotiations centered on a fight over giving the voice actors back-end profits, which appears to be something they weren’t able to get. Also, fans of the show may just want to see it end. source
11:17 // 2 years ago
September 26, 2011
0:02 // 2 years ago
May 10, 2011
Microsoft really wanted this. Microsoft right now is trying to do things to keep up with other faster-growing technology companies.
Bahl & Gaynor Inc. money manager Matt McCormick • Explaining why Microsoft went after Skype — offering a reported $8.5 billion for the company. They offered that much because they had to. Skype reportedly rebuffed any offers that were less than $7 billion. Steve Ballmer, during the announcement of the deal, suggested that the technology would be used for, among other things, its Xbox console, Office technology, Windows Mobile phones (where they could gain a real advantage, by the way) and corporate phone software. Skype is so widely-used that Microsoft could be sitting on the next generation of phone technology — something they need to stay in the game. (Also, a side note: Google was the only other serious bidder, but they didn’t get close to $7 billion.) source (viafollow)
20:42 // 3 years ago
May 9, 2011

BREAKING: Microsoft close to buying out Skype. Holy cats!

  • $7 billion for Microsoft to prove that they’re still in the game source

» The deal is close: Reports suggest a deal could be reached by Tuesday, which of course would be big. See, Skype has a huge userbase — around 663 million users — and they make billions of minutes worth of VOIP calls each year. Clearly Microsoft would be a better choice to own this company than eBay, but then again, anyone would’ve been a better choice than eBay.

22:12 // 3 years ago