The MySpace Journal? Dow Jones and Wall Street Journal Officially Sold to News Corp?

journalIt was long held that to buy Dow Jones (and its Wall Street Journal property) a buyer would have to hit a mythical number above $60 a share called the Hammer Price (named after a longtime Bancroft family lawyer who years ago turned away offers from the Washington Post and New York Times for being too low)

In May, when Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. launched a friendly takeover attempt, they hit that number (and offering it represented a 65 percent premium over the April 30th closing price for the stock).  By legend, it should have been enough to close a deal.   Legend wasn’t reality.   In an up and down roller coaster of on-again, off-again reports, as recently as yesterday, it was looking like even the Hammer Price wouldn’t be enough to take control of the historic media property. Now it’s looking like the tides have changed again.

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“My Damn Channel” – The Latest Site to Crash the Internet Video Party

mydamnchannelIt’s a lot easier to follow what’s been proven, what’s known, than to start from the ground up. This summer at the movies, as much as any summer, has been living proof. We’ve been given  Die Hard (Part 4), Harry Potter (Part 5), Ocean’s 13, Spiderman 3, this week we’ll get Bourne Ultimatum (part 3) …and there’s a long list of others.  Hollywood loves a good sequel

That same tendency to follow what’s been proven is fueling Hollywood’s new love for Internet video.  Audience’s appetites are growing larger and larger and like a well tested sequel ready to capitalize,  professional entertainers are  embracing Internet video now that the marketplace is burgeoning. 

Today, a site called My Damn Channel will become the latest addition to the list of Hollywood backed video outlets online. Apparently, the bandwagon is moving and, as it passes Sunset Blvd, it’s time to jump on.

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Syndicating User Generated News? NowPublic raises $10.6m

nowpublicOne of the tenets of the Web 2.0 world is user-generated content, the idea that anyone can use a few easy internet tools to publish their works – a blog, an article, a video, a picture, whatever you want. 

With Web 2.0 there are fewer editors, fewer barriers.  That obviously brings with it pros and cons.  On the one hand it gives voices to hundreds of thousands of people who might otherwise not have been able to get past the gatekeepers.  There’s an opportunity for anyone to find an audience.  On the other hand, well, it gives voices to hundreds of thousands of people who might otherwise have not been able to get past the gatekeepers.    Everyone is able to judge for themselves what is worth paying attention to and what isn’t, but sometimes the gatekeepers (the editors, the A&R people, the talent scouts) functioned as as a useful filter.  Web 2.0 often lacks that – for better and for worse.   The challenge in the new media world is finding what you want; separating the metaphorical wheat from the chafe, finding the diamonds and throwing back the coal.

In journalism, outside of blogs and those equipped to build and host their own websites, one of the Web 2.0 companies embracing user generated content for news has been NowPublic. Now, thanks to a new financing, they’ll soon become more widely known.

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Hollywood 2.0: Film Preservation and Print on Demand

If I posed the question: what might get Martin Scorsese,, and Hewlett Packard seeing in black and white and talking in excited hyperbole? How would people answer?  Would they think I was kidding if I told them the answer involved a refrigerator, a vault and a computer?  Would it help if they knew Scorsese was a noted film preservationist, that he filmed Raging Bull in black in white partly because he questioned the durability of color film stock at the time?

dvdFrom Los Angeles to Sacramento to Seattle, the answer to my question lies in old celluloid, lost masters, and digital future.  The answer is hope vested in the pairing of film preservation with Print-on-Demand DVD.  It’s a quiet renaissance, something of a Hollywood 2.0; an ambitious plan being pursued by a number of industry giants.

The Preservation Paradox:
Watching a classic movie is like seeing a moment frozen in time; slivers of history.  Like a photograph, old movies have a richness, a romanticism in their black and white footage.  Absent the kind of special effects wizardry that can fill the screen today, they also had to tell a good story, and a good story is timeless.  Unfortunately, film is not so enduring.  Old film requires costly temperature controlled storage, and to be re-aired, requires meticulous, and equally expensive, cleaning and restoration. 

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Sony Q1 Earnings

For years, Sony’s gaming division helped offset research expenses and struggles elsewhere in the company.  Now, with the Playstation 3 platform aimed toward the future  (at the expense of today), the other divisions are having to carry gaming financially.   So far, it looks like they’re up to the task.

Amidst an earnings season filled with ups and downs, Sony announced earnings yesterday that were, in many ways, better than expected.  Click to Read More

Ubisoft to bring NBCs Heroes to Video Games

heroes A plethora of ordinary people with extraordinary powers? A shadowy organization tracking them down?  A mentally disturbed villain? A world in need of saving?  That’s the world of Heroes, NBC’s runaway TV hit and it sure sounds like the stuff of comic books, and of video games.  For gaming – superheroes, villains, saving the world – it’s a perfect fit, but until yesterday, there was no game, at least for console based video gaming.

Thursday, French video game publisher Ubisoft announced it had secured a licensing deal with Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group to bring Heroes to video gamers.  The game will aim for a holiday 2008 release and the TV series writers will supervise and consult on the game designs and storyline.  

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This Just In… Out?: HBO AOL Video Site Shutting Down?

Last February, thisjustin.comAOL and HBO joined forces to create a website for comedy video called  The effort was HBO’s first effort to bring its content development skills online outside of

The Hollywood Reporter reported today, citing unnamed sources, that This Just In will shut down in August.

Predating comedy portal (launched in April with a number of Hollywood stars), “This Just In” was designed to be a home for original content, and something of a focus group for developing new material with the niche of comedy video.

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