Gina's Feed
Oct 7, 2009

US FCC chief lauds wireless cos, to focus on spectrum

SAN DIEGO, Oct 7 (Reuters) – The top U.S. communications
regulator praised recent moves by big wireless companies to
open their networks and said he would work to overcome a
looming shortage of airwaves used by the industry.

U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius
Genachowski said on Wednesday that consumers would benefit from
the latest move by AT&T Inc <T.N> to open its network to
Internet voice services and a partnership between Verizon
Wireless and Google Inc <GOOG.O>.

Oct 6, 2009

Disney, Universal name new studio chiefs

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co and Universal studios unveiled changes at the top on Monday, as Hollywood’s worst-performing major houses try to turn things around in a potentially record year at the box office.

Disney on Monday said it had replaced popular studio chairman Dick Cook, who shocked the industry with his departure about two weeks ago, with Rich Ross: a newcomer to film who as Disney Channels Worldwide chairman steered powerhouse franchises like “Hannah Montana” and “High School Musical.”

Oct 6, 2009

Disney studio head Rich Ross seen as team player

LOS ANGELES, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s new studio
chief Rich Ross has done a pitch-perfect job of putting
corporate goals set in 2005 by incoming CEO Bob Iger in motion
– think global, embrace new technology and invest only in
products Disney can sell across all its business divisions.

As the head of Disney Channel Worldwide since 2004, Ross
oversaw a slate of pre-teen TV fare that rose to a ratings
crescendo with sitcom “Hannah Montana” and made-for-TV movie
“High School Musical”.

Sep 29, 2009

Stanford moved to federal lockup in Houston

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday agreed to move accused swindler Allen Stanford to a federal lockup in downtown Houston to be closer to his attorneys, who are sifting through over 4 million documents in his case.

Stanford, 59, has been housed in the Conroe, Texas jail, about 40 miles north of Houston, since his arrest on June 18.

Aug 4, 2009
via MediaFile

Disney hikes theme park prices — necessity or confidence?

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Magic, Disney’s way, just got a little more expensive, as it does every year around this time when Walt Disney World raises its admissions prices.******WIth its prices generally tracking the national economic exuberance or lack thereof, the fact that Disney raised prices this week for, among other things, its “Magic Your Way” multi-day tickets, appears to reflect expectations for some recovery at least in consumer spending somewhere on the horizon.******With the recession still weighing on family vacations, Disney hiked the resort’s most popular multi-day passes by a relatively gentle 2.5 percent to 5.3 percent this week, compared with a rise of more than 16 percent in the boom year of 2006, according to data compiled by Pali Capital analyst Rich Greenfield.******This price hike, whatever its size, may simply be aimed at mitigating a 7 percent lag in hotel bookings at its domestic parks in the current quarter, as well as margin-gouging discounts at its Walt Disney World hotels, which boosted attendance but saw revenue drop by 9 percent last quarter.******Disney CEO Bob Iger himself expressed a glimmer of optimism on a conference call to analysts  last week, saying he say signs of ”economic stabilization”, but would not commit to ending the hotel discounts that have been propping up park attendance since last year’s market crash.******A spokesman for Disney Parks and Resorts said the price increases resulted from the company’s “continuous monitoring” of park prices relative to other forms of entertainment like football games, skiiing or concerts – and by that calculus, a park visit, at $79 for a one-day, one-park adult ticket was still “great value for the money.”******So if having fun is getting pricier again, that’s a good thing. Right?

Jun 29, 2009
via MediaFile

Broadcom’s Nicholas heads south for July 4 weekend

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Indicted Broadcom Corp co-founder Henry Nicholas III on Monday asked the federal judge presiding over his upcoming stock options backdating and drug possession trials to let him travel to Mexican holiday spot Cabo San Lucas with his family for the July 4 holiday weekend, court documents showed.Prosecutors and guarantors of Nicholas’ $3.3 million bail had no objection to the plan for Nicholas to leave the United States on Friday and return on July 8, the documents showed.Nicholas’ bail conditions bar him from leaving the continental United States without court permission and call for drug testing, home detention and electronic monitoring. His attorney, James Riddet, said Nicholas will not fly “or have possession of his personal airplane during this trip”.Nicholas and Broadcom’s former CFO William Ruehle have pleaded not guilty to a 21-count indictment that accuses them of scheming to backdate millions of stock options and to falsify docuemnts to further the fraud from 1999 to 2005.The case was one of the biggest stock options backdating scandals among many that rocked corporate America when they began surfacing in 2006.Nicholas has also been accused of keeping a supply of illegal drugs that he used to spike the drinks of industry executives and Broadcom customers at parties held at his home in Southern California and Las Vegas and at a California warehouse.The federal indictment also alleges that Nicholas hired prostitutes for himself and others and then used payoffs or threatened violence to keep the conduct secret. The indictment also details a 2001 incident in which a pilot flying Nicholas and some friends to Las Vegas had to don an oxygen mask during the flight to avoid marijuana smoke emanating from the cabin.Nicholas has pleaded not guilty to the allegations.