Xbox Live to Get Original Web Video

xbox original videoIn 2006 talent agent and producer Peter Safran left Brillstein-Grey to start his own company.  Now he’s taking the mix of talents and assets to the web.  Like a growing list of Hollywood bigs doing similar, he’s signed a new deal to develop original online video content.   In Safran’s case, however, there’s a catch.  He is not setting out to create the next YouTube viral video sensation; he’s not looking to syndicate widely either.  Instead he’s taking his productions and going Xbox.

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Digg for the Press: Publish2 Gets Funding

fresh fundingNew Media tech writers (Metue included) usually reserve some airtime to cover the freshly funded.  Such newly flush startups are powerful fuel for talking about developing trends or as barometers for the next (or not likely to be next) new thing.  Every now and then though, when the funding size is extravagant or the recipient a peer, the financial press gets buzzing. 

This relatively quiet news Monday, the blog side of tech news buzzed about the Series A financing of press-centric startup Publish2.    Per the company’s own announcement, they closed a $2.75m first round with money from Velocity Group.

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Paramount Gets their Game On

paramount gamingIt’s game on for Paramount.  The movie studio has plans to jump into gaming and has formed a division within their interactive department to fund the development (and publication) of gaming titles, according to Variety.

The game studio, about which information remains slight, will be largely run by Matt Candler who previously worked at Grind Games and Activision.  His title will be VP of Interactive Development.

Sandi Isaacs, Paramount’s VP of interactive and mobile content told Variety that the studio will look to invest in all types of games from casual and mobile on up to possible console games.

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Stat Survey: Inside the Newspaper Industry

inside papersHow low can it go for traditional print news media?  Pretty low, according to a few recent reports.

The first, from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), pegged 2007 as the worst downturn in the newspaper print ad business in over 50 years.  Revenue for the industry was down just under 8% to $45.3b.   That’s not a surprise, it’s been long forecast, still a 50 year low is a significant milestone.

The silver lining is the online news machine continues to improve. Click to Read More

Further Funding for Facebook, Weplay, Glassdoor

fundingHow much investment in social networking companies is enough?  If you ask Facebook or new startup, the answer may be there’s no such thing.  Both have added to their coffers.  $4.5m for Weplay, $60m for Facebook.

In the case of Weplay, talent agency Creative Artists had hinted they were serious about venture investment when they moved to set up their own funding structure.  In contributing part of the $4.5m raised for the kid’s sports site, they officially stepped up to the plate.  Major League Baseball’s Investment arm and Pequot Capital also contributed. 

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EA vs. Take Two: Behind the Posturing, Inside the Deal

hostile EA TTWO“The offer is inadequate and not in the best interests of the shareholders.”

That was the tagline when Take Two initially responded to EA’s public tender offer to acquire the company.  Wednesday, the sentiment echoed anew from the boardroom and two brokerages when Take Two formerly rejected the offer.

Supporting the decision legally, the company filed a heavy load of documents with the SEC stating their case, along with supporting (albeit disclaimer laden) fairness opinion letters from Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers.

It took some time to digest all the paper and put together this detailed review Click to Read More

New EA CFO Official

staff changesWith an ongoing hostile takeover, when the news flashed that Electronic Arts was jettisoning existing CFO Warren Jenson, it was clear that even with no successor named, one was ready and a few dotted “I’s” and crossed “T’s” from being announced.  Now it’s official.

Thursday, EA officially filled the void with the appointment of Eric Brown.  Brown was currently employed as the CFO at McAfee but will leave the post to join EA on April 14th.

The position will reunite him with prior colleague and current CEO John Riccitiello.  (Prior to joining McAfee, Brown was president and CFO of Microstrategy.  Before that, between 1998 and 2000 he was COO and CFO of EA’s Redwood Shores Gaming Studio.)

Per securities law, a copy of Brown’s Offer Letter has been attached to an 8K filed with the SEC.  For his service, he will receive a base salary of Click to Read More

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