MEXICO CITY – Mexico bid farewell Monday to its beloved adopted son, Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez, in a national tribute filled with the late Nobel winner’s favorite roses and music.A coffee-colored urn containing his ashes was placed on a podium, surrounded by yellow roses, in Mexico City’s domed Fine Arts Palace as a string quartet played classical music.Dozens of guests applauded when his widow, Mercedes Barcha, and other relatives dressed in black arrived at the ornate cultural center, where Mexico pays tribute to its late artistic icons.Hundreds of people lined up outside the palace to pay their last respects to the author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude.”Known affectionately as “Gabo,” García Márquez died Thursday in the Mexico City house where he lived for decades with his wife and two sons. He was 87.Visiting Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos was to deliver remarks later with Mexican leader Enrique Peña Nieto.“I want to thank him for the pleasure he gave me in reading books,” said Joseline López, a 21-year-old Venezuelan medical student who queued outside the palace.“‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ will survive 100 more years in our hearts,” she said, clutching three yellow roses.García Márquez first moved to Mexico in 1961 and it was there that the veteran journalist wrote his seminal novel, a family and historical saga that was published in 1967.He was a leading exponent of “magical realism,” a style of story-telling that blends fantasy and realistic elements.The cause of his death has not been disclosed but he died a week after a bout of pneumonia. Relatives of Gabriel García Márquez stand next to the urn containing his ashes, during a tribute to him at the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City on April 21, 2014. Ronaldo Schemidt/AFPHe ‘loved’ Mexico The palace was bedecked with his favorite flower, the yellow rose that he so often wore on his lapel for good luck.Many mourners wore the rose as violins played Haydn and Handel. A large portrait of García Márquez hung on a wall.“He loved this country. He was very grateful and felt as Mexican as any other person,” Jaime Abello, director of the Ibero-American New Journalism Foundation founded by García Márquez, told MVS Radio.His biographer, British writer Gerald Martin, said he understood the secular nature of the ceremony because García Márquez was not a religious man.“But he was a man who respected other people’s beliefs, like his mother. Almost his entire family was very Catholic,” Martin told Colombia’s Caracol radio.“He joked that he didn’t believe in God but feared him a lot,” said the author of “Gabriel García Márquez: A Life.”His native Colombia will hold its own ceremony at Bogotá’s cathedral on Tuesday for the man Santos hailed as “the greatest Colombian of all time.”Then on Wednesday, to mark World Book Day, Colombians will have readings of García Márquez’s novel “No One Writes to the Colonel” in more than 1,000 libraries, parks and universities.The family has not said where the author’s final resting place will be, but Colombia hopes that the family will divide García Márquez’s ashes between his homeland and Mexico.His wife Barcha “says that it is a very difficult decision that will be taken in due time,” said Rafael Tovar, president of Mexico’s National Culture and Arts Council. Facebook Comments Related posts:Nobel writer Gabriel García Márquez hospitalized in Mexico Legendary novelist Gabriel García Márquez leaves hospital, in ‘delicate’ condition The great and magical Gabo Texas university acquires Gabriel García Márquez’s personal archive
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday warned Cyprus its moves to explore for energy around the eastern Mediterranean were “untimely and dangerous”, adding that Ankara would continue to protect the rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots.Ankara has said it will take measures against Cyprus for engaging in gas and oil exploration around the divided island, arguing it has no jurisdiction to explore for hydrocarbons.“Turkey thinks there is an opportunity for cooperation on energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean but the unilateral steps by the Greek Cypriot side are untimely, dangerous and encourage a deadlock,” Yildirim said.The tensions over energy exploration flared up after talks to reunify the island collapsed on July 7, marking the end of a process seen as the most promising in generations to heal the conflict.“Steps to end the unjust, baseless restrictions imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people must be taken without delay,” Yildirim said.He was speaking at a ceremony in Nicosia to mark the 43rd anniversary of what Turkey calls the “Cyprus Peace Operation” of July 20, 1974, when Turkish troops invaded the north of the island in response to a brief Greek-inspired coup.Air raid sirens wailed over the south of Cyprus at dawn on Thursday, marking the hour Turkish forces landed.Turkey last week sent two ships and a submarine to monitor the “West Capella” drilling vessel, which was contracted by France’s Total and Italy Eni, moved into position in the eastern Mediterranean to start exploring for gas.The Turkish military said on Wednesday its vessels’ monitoring activities in the region were continuing.You May LikeSUVs | Search AdsThese SUVs Will Take Your Breath Away. Research 2019 Luxury Crossover SUV DealsSUVs | Search AdsUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCypriot tycoon launches ‘Bank of Cannabis’UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
14Nov Miss Michigan Teen USA joins McBroom, Casperson at Capitol Iris Robare, 16, learns what it’s like to be ‘Rep. for a Day’Rep. Ed McBroom welcomes Miss Michigan Teen USA Iris Robare to the House floor during Tuesday’s legislative session.Gladstone resident Iris Robare recently learned what it’s like to be “Rep. for a Day” at the Michigan Capitol as the guest of Rep. Ed McBroom and Sen. Tom Casperson.The winner of the 2014 Miss Michigan Teen USA pageant, Robare attended House Natural Resources Committee and Senate Transportation Committee hearings and sat with McBroom and Casperson during Tuesday’s legislative sessions in the House and Senate chambers.“It was really inspiring to be here,” Robare said. “I think it’s really important for young people to get involved in government, so to see everything firsthand was incredible. I’m excited to bring these issues home and share this wonderful experience with my classmates.”A junior at Gladstone High School, Robare is involved in cross country, track and Youth in Government, where the 16-year-old is running for state governor for next year.Miss Michigan Teen USA Iris Robare joins Sen. Tom Casperson in the Senate chambers.“Iris is a motivated young lady with a lot of potential for her future, and I hope she learned a lot about state government while she was in Lansing,” said McBroom, R-Vulcan. “With her talent and dedication, I am confident she will do amazing things to serve our communities, maybe even as a state representative or senator someday.”Casperson echoed the sentiment.“It was an honor to have Iris here representing the U.P.,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “I’m sure she knows we’re in her corner for the Miss Teen USA pageant next summer.”As Miss Michigan Teen USA, Robare’s platform is “Mental Health Issues in Teens.” She hopes to be involved in government someday, as either a teacher or lobbyist focusing on mental health policies.### Categories: News
11Sep Rep. O’Brien invites local leaders to 9/11 ceremony at state Capitol State Rep. Margaret O’Brien was honored to welcome Jim Williams (left), Fire Marshal for the Kalamazoo City Department of Public Safety, and Cpt. Todd Kowalski, Fire Marshal for the Kalamazoo Township Fire Department, to a special ceremony at the Michigan Capitol today honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and recognizing Michigan first responders who lost their lives in the past year.“I am very humbled to take part in a ceremony to honor those who lost their lives 13 years ago on September 11, and to pay tribute to the brave men and women from our own communities who died in the line of duty in the past year,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Michigan’s first responders willingly take great risks to ensure the safety and well-being of all of us, and they deserve our utmost gratitude and respect.” Categories: News
13May House Republicans announce beginnings of a road-funding solution Rep. Sheppard: I’m optimistic and eager to fix our roadsThe House Republican caucus today proposed a long-term plan to reform road funding in the Great Lakes State and repair rundown roads and dilapidated bridges. Proposed solutions include using current state revenue and reprioritizing restricted funds.Rep. Jason Sheppard said it’s merely a starting point, but he’s optimistic about the plan because it addresses exclusively road and transportation funding, unlike Proposal 1.“I’m committed to refining the solution offered today for the people of the 56th District, all citizens of Michigan and to sustain and improve our economy,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “We have a serious infrastructure problem in this state and it’s our job in Lansing to fix it.”A key portion of the House Republican package invests future state revenue growth directly into funding road and bridge revitalization, bringing total additional infrastructure funding to more than $1 billion annually within four years.“While I am not yet fully supportive of the plan unveiled today, I am eager to work throughout the summer to deliver a calculated solution for our state because we’ve waited far too long to take action,” Rep. Sheppard said.Elimination of hybrid vehicle credits, redirection of tobacco settlement dollars and tribal gaming revenue speak to the fairness pillar of the House Republican plan. Additionally, hard-working Michigan taxpayers deserve quality assurance by way of project bidding requirements to ensure high-quality, affordable construction projects for citizens.“We need a straightforward, sensible plan and this proposal just might be the start Lansing needs to produce reliable road funding for the people of Michigan and our economy,” Rep. Sheppard said.Committee discussion on the package will begin as soon as possible. Categories: Sheppard News
State Rep. Hank Vaupel invites residents to join him for this month’s district office hours.Rep. Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, says office hours will be held on Saturday, Aug. 22 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Uptown Coffee, located at 102 East Grand River in Howell.“I encourage all to attend,” said Rep. Vaupel. “It’s a great opportunity for me to hear thoughts, ideas, questions and concerns from residents in our district.”No appointments are necessary. Those who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Vaupel’s office by phone at 517-373-8835 or by email at HankVaupel@house.mi.gov.### 14Aug Rep. Vaupel office hours will be held Aug. 22 Categories: Vaupel News
Categories: Steven Johnson News 31Oct Legislation to repeal ineffective state law has committee hearing State Rep. Steve Johnson this week testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of legislation to repeal the outdated Michigan Explosives Act, which is ineffective and inconsistent with federal laws.“This issue was brought to my attention by the Michigan State Police,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “It is critical that our state departments and agencies are following Michigan law. When requirements become outdated or ineffective by advances in security and safety, we need to update the law so our law enforcement agencies can effectively do their jobs.”Laws regulating explosives have evolved since 1970, when the current state law was enacted. Michigan’s law mandating state-issued explosives permits is unneeded and ineffective, since a person cannot possess explosives in Michigan without first acquiring a federally issued permit. Federal explosive permitting laws protect and vet applicants more thoroughly than state law by requiring a background check and information on handling, security and storage of explosives.House Bills 4523, 5137, 5138 (sponsored by Rep. Steve Johnson) and 4524 (sponsored by Rep. Scott VanSingel) await further action by the House Judiciary Committee.###
Categories: News,Sheppard News 08Nov Rep. Sheppard elected to vital Michigan House leadership position for 2019-20 State Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance today was named to a key leadership role by his Michigan House colleagues for the 2019-20 legislative session.Sheppard will serve as the majority caucus whip, a job of critical importance in communicating key information among legislators. Sheppard will inform colleagues about important issues and decisions coming up on the House floor to continue moving Michigan forward. He will also serve as a liaison between caucus leaders and other members, tracking votes and assisting legislators with policy-related questions.“I am honored and humbled by the faith shown in me by House colleagues,” Sheppard said. “Importantly, this role will have benefits for Monroe County as we continue to move Michigan forward. It gives our community a seat at the table as key decisions are made about what’s best for Michigan’s families and hard-working taxpayers.”Sheppard will be serving his third term representing a House district including much of Monroe County.Sheppard also will serve on committees in the upcoming legislative session. Appointments are yet to be announced.###
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares txking / Shutterstock.comFebruary 10, 2015; Rockdale CitizenThe backstory of Alejandro Lopez reflects what the nonprofit navigators of the Affordable Care Act bring to the process of getting health insurance coverage for people in need. Raised in Texas, Lopez never had a full physical until he was 18. His family got medical care when they attended free clinics. His mother’s lower legs, according to this article, were amputated because of inadequate medical attention. It is a story of what happens to poor families who don’t get quality medical care because they lack health insurance.Today, Lopez is a federally certified healthcare navigator participating in an event at Macedonia Baptist Church in Conyers, Georgia, to help people enroll in health insurance under the ACA. “I totally understand how these folks feel,” Lopez said, and that’s partially the value of nonprofits in the ACA. They have recruited people from the community who know what people without health insurance are facing when they try to understand the world of premiums, copays, and deductibles. If you have had health insurance, the stuff is complex enough; if you haven’t, it’s like entering a strange new world of completely foreign concepts.That’s the case in Massachusetts, where navigators employed by the nonprofit Casa Latina in Northampton sometimes have to deal with the basics, such as helping potential applicants set up an email account. Navigator Diana Soler says that even clients with some Internet skills still find the process of signing up for insurance on the marketplace websites “confusing and time consuming.” Without help, applicants such as Giancarlo Garofalo and his wife Victoria found themselves stymied by the process until they got help from a Casa Latina navigator. Casa Latina is one of 15 nonprofits funded by the state to provide navigator services to potential ACA enrollees.“Many people find this process overwhelming, especially people for whom the computer is another world,” Soler explains. “We’ve had people from a very wide variety of socioeconomic scales coming and asking for assistance,” adds Cameron Carey, the development director for the Community Health Center of Franklin County, which also helps people through the enrollment process. “People with degrees, even in cases with advanced degrees are having difficulty navigating the system.”In Pittsburgh, one of the nonprofit navigators groups is the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, which has been sending navigators downtown to focus on “vulnerable populations such as women, African-Americans, and Latinos,” according to Beth Heeb, the Y’s COO. Although some state legislators in the commonwealth have proposed tighter state oversight of the navigators who, they charge, might be misleading the public, the Pennsylvania Health Law Project says that there are no instances of navigators causing that kind of problem. Rather, the navigators are consistently lauded for their help. “I wouldn’t know what the heck I was doing [without navigators],” said Courtney Keeton, a student at Community College of Allegheny County who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. “This is my first time without insurance.”Notwithstanding the suspicions of state legislators, navigators get pretty high marks across the board, partly because they identify with the people and communities they are trying to help find insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Potential consumers don’t find themselves in sterile government offices talking to a clerk at a cubicle or behind a glass barrier like a bank teller. The navigators come to them where they are and typically engage in conversations that go as long as needed, sometimes 90 minutes. While the navigators are being examined through the lens of making the Affordable Care Act work, they are also more broadly demonstrating something about how government, through partnerships with nonprofit service providers, can find ways of getting services to people in need rather than hoping that eligible persons somehow screw up their eligibility and miss on the resource.—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share2Tweet5ShareEmail7 Shares March 4, 2019; Connecticut MirrorConnecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s proposed debt diet would suspend until the 2020–21 fiscal year a key $25 million capital grant program that has sustained many Connecticut nonprofit service providers. The state grant has provided hard-to-raise funding for capital improvements, building repairs, and information technology upgrades that help maintain and enhance the physical plant and back-office functions of nonprofits employing 190,000 people and helping 500,000 statewide. These kinds of overhead costs are often not popular with other funders, but they are vital to programmatic success. According to the Connecticut Mirror,“The capital grant “has become imperative in order for us to continue to do business,” said Barry Simon, CEO at Hartford-based Oak Hill School, the largest nonprofit agency serving clients with physical and intellectual disabilities.“It really has been a life-saver,” said Steven Girelli, president and CEO of the Klingberg Center in New Britain, which serves children and adults struggling with trauma and other behavioral health needs.The annual grant program was launched in 2013 by then Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to mitigate the financial hit the private, nonprofit sector has been facing.”But Lamont is motivated by the stark reality of increasing budget deficits. The cost of state pension and retirement benefits are projected to explode in the next decade, contributing to budget deficits projected to be between $3.5 billion and $3.7 billion in the next two years alone.The so-called “debt diet” would restrict bonded debt borrowed for capital projects, which funds the annual $25 million nonprofit capital grant. Connecticut carries more bonded debt per capita than most states, and as pension costs have ballooned, the state has resorted to more bonded debt to cover other costs. All told, retirement debt and bonded debt costs eat up 30 percent of Connecticut’s General Fund, up from 10 percent two decades ago.The debt diet would reduce bonded debt for capital projects to less than a billion dollars annually, down from the previous administration’s average of $1.6 billion. Governor Lamont proposed the debt diet in a speech on February 12, 2019. But is this the best way to address the state’s budget shortfall, or does it continue a history of balancing the budgets on the backs of service providers—particularly given the inefficiencies some cite in the state’s dual provider system?Connecticut’s nonprofit sector provides services paid for by the state and has faced austerity for years. As Mirror reporter Keith Phaneuf writes, “Despite the state’s increasing reliance on the nonprofits, however, state funding has not kept up with either inflation or demand. In the 15 years prior to 2017, budgeted state payments to nonprofits grew just nine percent in total—increases that fall far short of inflation.”Gian-Carl Casa, president and CEO of the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance, says, “Nonprofits have been operating on bare-bones funding for more than a decade.” Moreover, Connecticut’s practice of providing certain social services in state-run facilities in addition to contracting with nonprofits doesn’t help: “The quality of services at the state level is no better or worse. It simply costs more. And because it is the way the state has always done business, it’s been difficult to change.”A study conducted by the Connecticut Institute for the 21st Century called the dual public-private system of delivering social services “a confusing, non-integrated, inconsistent and out-of-balance system that is neither efficient nor effective” and said “the splintered approach makes it more difficult for individuals and families to obtain the services they need or measure results effectively.”Casa maintains, “About five percent of the people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are in residential programs are in homes run by the state — but that five percent gets 30 percent of the funding. Seven of the state’s 13 Local Mental Health Authorities (LMHAs) are already run by nonprofits, those that are state-run cost about $7,000 more per-person-helped.”Unfortunately, Governor Lamont’s debt diet is another in a long series of losses for the sector in a challenging time for the state’s government.—Eric FulliloveShare2Tweet5ShareEmail7 Shares
ShareTweet27ShareEmail27 SharesBy Xicotencatl – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, LinkApril 19, 2019; HyperallergicAll monetary figures below are in Canadian dollars.On Tuesday, April 16, 2019, the Canadian Museum Association (CMA) announced that its Canadian Museum Reconciliation project will receive $1 million for two initiatives designed for advancing reconciliation in collaboration with the country’s Indigenous communities.“In our interconnected world, museums have become ever more essential to the preservation of cultural diversity and appreciation,” Vonda Vitale, executive director of the CMA, emphasizes in a statement, describing the new program as “ambitious, comprehensive, and inclusive.”A CMA Reconciliation working group has already been formed.The first award of $680,948 will look at national policies and best practices among the network’s 2,600 museums and cultural institutions to make sure they are compliant with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and to make recommendations.The second initiative is uniquely significant in that $351,508, a sizable portion of the million, will be used for the professional development of its workers, the people who are charged with implementing key museum functions with respect to those policies and procedures. Those workers will receive professional education related to projects like a national museum-worker bursary program, museology reports, workshops, online learning modules, and more.The CMA project is the offspring of the work of The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC), founded by the members of the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement to bring reconciliation and mend the ruptured relationship between Canadians and the Indigenous peoples. The commission studied and documented the lasting impacts of the Canadian Indian residential school system on Indigenous students. Its 2015 report concludes that establishing and operating Indian residential schools was equivalent to cultural genocide of aboriginal peoples. Canadian Encyclopedia lists some of these human rights violations.Students were isolated, their culture disparaged—removed from their homes and parents, separated from some of their siblings (the schools were segregated according to gender) and in some cases forbidden to speak their first language, even in letters home to their parents.The executive summary of the TRC report says that museums and archives “have interpreted the past in ways that have excluded or marginalized Aboriginal peoples’ cultural perspectives and historical experience….as history that had formerly been silenced was revealed, it became evident that Canada’s museums had told only part of the story.”“The Canadian Museums Association has an important role to play in the reconciliation process with Indigenous Peoples in Canada,” Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Pablo Rodriguez said. “Cultural spaces, like our museums and other heritage institutions play a fundamental role in bringing our communities together by enriching our understanding of our shared history.”Meanwhile, in December 2018, the provincial government of Ontario diverged from Canada’s reconciliation movement when it announced that it had decided to cut millions from major art collections in order to balance its $1.7 million deficit. The Indigenous Culture Fund created to facilitate easier access to grant funding for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis community-based cultural projects is included in the cuts, with its budget cut in half.In an interview with Canadian Art, Jesse Wente, director of the Indigenous Screen Office, said, “There is an incredible need for trained Indigenous arts administrators right across the sector in Canada,” he said, “So the loss of any positions of this type, and of the talent in those positions, is deeply concerning.”“The Indigenous Culture Fund could have been essential for allowing Indigenous communities to take an active role in repairing the losses incurred due to the legacy of residential schools,” Anishinabek Nation Lake Huron Region Chair Scott McLeod said to Sault Online. He added that the fund, which just started in 2017, “has been cut off at the knees before it was given a chance to flourish.”The fact that Ontario’s cuts undermine the positive reform happening in Canada is discouraging. It is encouraging, though, that Canada, through its Reconciliation projects, is systematically addressing barriers to access for all Canadians and Indigenous peoples to a far-too-long ignored culture.Smithsonian reports that when speaking to the CBC’s Jessica Wong, Sarah Pash, a CMA board member, executive director of the Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, and chair of the Cree School Board, expresses this vision:I would like to be able to walk into museums and to see the Indigenous language of the territory prominently displayed in all labels and signage. I would like to be able to have experiences in an Indigenous language within a museum. I would like to see Indigenous people working in the museum [and] on the boards of major museums. That’s where the real change happens.For further insight into Canada’s Budget 2019, read Keenan Wellar’s article and Steve Dubb’s piece on Winnipeg Art Gallery’s international Indigenous art festival.—Meredith BetzShareTweet27ShareEmail27 Shares
Bulgarian cable operator Blizoo has named Yavor Adel is its new CEO.Adel replaces acting CEO Bernt Andersson, who will remain on the management board as senior vice-president. Anderrson took the helm when Istvan Polony left Blizoo in February.Adel founded and developed Pixbox, a photo sharing website for Sweden. He has also worked as a consultant to the private equity sector where he advised clients on investments and operations improvement strategies.
Over-the-top TV technology specialist Roku has announced TV supplier partners to support its Streaming Stick, which can enable non-connected TVs, primarily in the US, to be turned into smart devices.Element Electronics, GlobalVue International, Haier, Hitachi America, Best-Buy brand Insignia, Mitsubishi Electric, Onkyo and Integra, OPPO and TMAX Digital will support the device, which is about the size of a USB Flash Drive. The Streaming Stick can enable devices that feature Mobile High-Definition Link (MHL) to receive Roku’s OTT service.The streaming stick will feature built-in WiFi, a processor, memory and Roku’s smart TV software. It can be controlled by the TV remote and will provide access to Roku streaming channels.
Telecom Italia has said it is in exclusive negotiations with Italian media firm Cairo Communications over the sale of its free-to-air station La7.The telco has rejected an approach from luxury goods tycoon Diego Della Valle and a bid from Clessidra, the finance house that, with Mediaset, made a move for Endemol last year.Cairo is run by Urbano Cairo, a former associate of Italian media magnate and politician Silvio Berlusconi. It as advertising and publishing interests in Italy.Telecom Italia is seeking to pay down debt and said in a statement: “The Telecom Italia Board of Directors, chaired by Franco Bernabè, having examined the bids received in relation to the disposal of the Media businesses, today agreed to initiate exclusive negotiations with Cairo Communication for the sale of the entire stake in La7.”The Cairo deal if finalised would exclude the 51% stake La7 owns in the free-to-air Italian MTV channel.
Nielsen has launched a new service measuring Twitter TV demographics across 250 US channels.The service gives Nielsen customers age and demographic info for Twitter users writing about TV and Nielsen said that it has already cast new light on the Twitter and TV audience.Key findings include that the Twitter/TV audience spans both genders and broad age range although there are significant differences when different categories and genres of programming are measured with Twitter TV authors tweeting on sport 79% male and on reality TV 65% female.Nielsen found that the Twitter users reading TV tweets was a more balanced demographic than those writing the tweets. Nielsen used the example of a programme where Twitter TV authors are 80% male, but has a Twitter TV Audience that is 60%.David Shiffman, executive VP of Research, MediaVest. “Metrics like these advance our ability to evaluate and measure the impact of those opportunities and complement our clients’ TV investments with social activation that can improve overall marketing performance.”
Discovery Communications plans to expand its Nordic over-the-top service Dplay to more European markets this year and grow its online Eurosport Player by taking more sports rights.Announcing the plans of Discovery’s fourth quarter earnings call, company president and CEO David Zaslav also said that Discovery plans to acquire “specialty rights at a low cost” to strengthen its OTT Eurosport Player offering, and aims to deploy Dplay to additional markets outside Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.Zaslav also said that though Discovery is committed to partnering with pay TV operators in the US to support the ‘TV Everywhere’ ecosystem, if this doesn’t develop “the way it should” in years to come then channel providers may be forced to go direct to consumers.“In Europe, we’ve gained subscriptions, valuable insights and a new marketing and sales platform with our own direct-to-consumer products. One is Dplay in the Nordics and the other is the Eurosport Player, which we distribute across the continent,” said Zaslav.“Those services have almost 0.25 million subscribers, bringing in an average of US$8 per month. Our European OTT offerings is giving us a growing revenue stream, a growing direct-to-consumer offering and valuable learnings that we can apply in the US and other markets.”The Discovery boss said that the firm has seen spikes in sign-ups for its subscription Eurosport OTT ahead of major events like the Tour De France and the Australian Open, but this is “not affecting our viewership on Eurosport at all” He said the extra coverage provided by the online service appealing to ‘superfans.’He highlighted sports and kids content as “probably the two areas that most lend themselves to a superfan and the direct-to-consumer [model]” and said there could be an opportunity to monetise this in Latin America.In terms of TV Everywhere, Zaslav said that the distribution deals Discovery signed last year with US partners including Suddenlink, Cablevision, NTTC and Mediacom, which was announced this week, all offer subscribers authenticated access to Discovery content inside and outside the home.“Here in the US we are hoping that TV Everywhere continues to grow,” said Zaslav. “I think that the ecosystem here in the US is going to stay basically as it is for the next three years.“The question is four, five, six years from now, will there be a peel off of this direct-to-consumer business? I think mostly in the US, if TV Everywhere doesn’t develop the way that it should, which would be a positive for all of us, it will require all of us to go directly to [the] consumer, because the cable guys aren’t getting it done.”
Rick SchiavinatoSearch and recommendation specialist ThinkAnalytics has named Rick Schiavinato as Vice President of Sales and Business Development for Latin America, where he will be responsible for leading sales and marketing.Schiavinato, who holds both US and Brazilian citizenship, previously worked in business development for Genesis Networks following four years based in São Paulo as the Brazil country manager for Wesco distribution, a multinational electronics distribution and services company. He has also served as vice-president of sales and marketing for Hitachi Communication Technologies America; and vice-president of operations, customer service and inside sales at Arris.“We already have customers live in the region and a significant opportunity to capitalise on, just as we have done with leading market share in North America and Europe with broadcasters and service providers. Schiavinato brings unrivalled experience in business development for the LatAm market with a particular focus on the service provider sector, as well as being a Spanish speaker and fluent in Portuguese. Rick will lead our plans for the Lat-Am market bringing local support and expertise to the region. ThinkAnalytics firmly believes in not just providing leading Search and Recommendations technology but also locally based experience and expertise to ensure that our customers gain maximum benefit from our solutions,” said Eddie Young, chairman of ThinkAnalytics.
Satellite still has the edge over other distribution technologies in CEE, according to a panel of operators speaking at the Digital TV CEE conference in Budapest.Satellite operators has the advantage of delivering content to a large-scale audience at a fixed cost and because there is no economic case for investing in high-capacity fixed networks across much of the region, according to panelists.Stanislav Georgiev, head of media broadcasting, Telekom Austria Group said satellite penetration in the region was up to 45% in some markets. “It is going to grow because pay TV is still growing in the region. It has an important role to play in delivering pay TV revenues,” he said, noting that there has been a lot of discussion around “new things” such as multiscreen TV and OTT that “deliver about 1% of revenues”.Georgiev said that satellite operators would be unable to do much about the trend towards OTT and non-linear viewing and may need to consolidate in a few years’ time. “There is a trend and an increase in non-linear consumption, but is it at the expense of linear consumption. We are not that scared that linear is going to disappear. We see growth of subscribers and growth in our revenue in the coming years,” he said.Georgiev said that the CEE region is more conservative about changing viewing habits and less able and willing to spend a lot of money on additional services. Telekom Austria typically bundles satellite TV with broadband and mobile services, including mobile broadband, and TV is seen as a way to provide a full service rather than a huge revenue generator in its own right.Apolotolos Triantafyllou, SVP of sales for DACH, CEE, Israel, Caucuasus and Central Asia, Eutelsat said that satellite still had a role to play “because there isn’t enough money to build terrestrial networks – it’s as simple as that”.Operators nevertheless admitted that growth is declining.Tryantafyllou said that markets are maturing and growth is slowing. However, he said there is also “nothing to prevent us distributing OTT. Eutelsat is trying hard to come up with an OTT over satellite solution. We think the industry should do the same. If broadband can be delivered via satellite, OTT is an opportunity rather than a problem.”Eyal Altshuler, VP sales CEE, Spacecom said that growth was mostly coming from within existing customers rather than from new launches, with HD and now 4K providing additonal demand for capacity.Lev Petukhov, head of web projects department at Russian satellite pay TV operator NTV+, said that satellite would remain at the core of NTV+’s business. He said that distributing content to a country like Russia had its challenges. He said that the operators could provide satellite services for summer homes and complement that with IP-delivered services in cities to apartment complexes.
Mark HarrisonThe BBC’s director of transformation for design and engineering, Mark Harrison, is stepping down to lead the Digital Production Partnership (DPP).Harrison is due to leave the BBC on March 31 to devote more time to the DPP, where he has been seconded part time from the BBC since April 2015 to work as its managing director.Harrison will continue to act as MD of the DPP, while upping his work around strategic leadership, authorship and presentation of the DPP’s insights, membership growth and international relationships.The DPP is a membership-based, not-for-profit company, founded by its shareholders – UK terrestrial broadcasters ITV, the BBC and Channel 4.The DPP defines itself not as a standards body, but as an organisation that aims, through its membership, to bring the understanding of business needs and requirements to make common standards and specifications effective.Its three areas of work revolve around generating insights, enabling change and creating market opportunities.“We are thrilled with the success of the DPP to date and want to build on this in a way that will keep pace with ever-accelerating industry demands,” said DPP chair and ITV’s director of broadcast operations, Helen Stevens.“Having more of Mark helps us do just that – he is a great leader for the DPP and has been instrumental in our achievements so far. We are delighted to have more of his time and look forward to delivering in 2017”.
Scripps Networks Interactive is launching Food Network as a free-to-air channel in Italy. The channel will launch on May 8 as the first dedicated multi-platform food entertainment channel in the country, according to Scripps.o accompany the on-air offering, Food Network will launch a localized website featuring tested recipe collections, tips and food hacks. In addition to a social media presence on Facebook and Instagram to showcase exclusive clips and behind the scenes content.Scripps Networks has appointed Viacom International Media Networks Pubblicita’ & Brand Solutions to represent Food Network’s advertising sales efforts for both linear and digital properties.Scripps already operates its Fine Living lifestyle channel as a free-to-air network on the Italian digital-terrestrial platform. According ot the company, Fine Living grew its ratings in the country by 33% last year and achieved a 36% in total TV share.Phillip LuffFood Network will offer a mix of local original productions and flagship international shows across genres including culinary entertainment, competitions series and in the kitchen cooking techniques. In addition to original local commissions, which will be produced in Italian, all programming will be dubbed in Italian.“The launch of Food Network in Italy, a key growth market for Scripps Networks Interactive, represents a significant milestone in the global expansion of this brand,” said Phillip Luff, managing director, UK & EMEA, Scripps Networks Interactive.“Italy offers a rich and dynamic culture, where food is in people’s DNA, and Food Network’s unique and entertaining programming will engage the many millions of Italians who celebrate food.”
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