Dire new figures show the cable industry is now losing 14,000 subscribers every day

Cord cutting

At this point, it’s pretty hard to argue that the traditional pay TV industry is not living on borrowed time, as it continues to bleed subscribers who are increasingly flocking to cheaper, streaming solutions.

2018 hit the industry particularly hard. Pay TV including cable and satellite providers lost 3.2 million subscribers, and as we mentioned earlier this week, the industry’s losses during the first three months of 2019 mean the industry is already a third of the way to hitting that same unfortunate number again.

Continue reading…

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Drug Industry Patents Go Under Senate Judiciary Committee’s Microscope

Congress isn’t making much headway in finding a solution to the problem of soaring prescription drug prices, but lawmakers from both parties are tinkering on the edges with legislation that aims to increase competition among drugmakers.

A comprehensive piece of drug-pricing legislation is a high priority for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). And it could be introduced by mid-June, according to congressional staff.

But while that is hashed out, a slate of options to reform drug patents is working its way through the Senate Judiciary Committee, which had a hearing Tuesday featuring academics, patient advocates and a representative from the pharmaceutical industry. Their mission: to increase competition without decreasing innovation in the industry.

“I think we’re dangerously close to building a bipartisanship consensus around change,” Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said during the hearing.

The four proposed bills share a common goal: avoiding some of the thorny issues around drug pricing, like whether the government will set drug prices or negotiate with manufacturers on what federal programs will pay. Instead, the patent reform proposals get at the ways branded drug manufacturers use patents, and the legal monopolies that are granted with patents, to keep lower-priced generic competitors from reaching patients.

“A package of patent reforms are important because they fix systemic problems that allow prices to go up and keep them high,” testified David Mitchell, the president of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group focused on lowering prescription drug prices.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) offered specific examples of drugs that have benefited from system issues, including Humira, an expensive drug for arthritis and psoriasis that is protected by 136 patents.

That’s called a “patent thicket,” because it prevents a generic alternative from entering the market for more years — in this case, until 2023 for a drug first approved for use in the United States in 2002. “Is there anyone on the panel who’d like to defend the status quo?” he asked.

“There is no way a biosimilar can deal with a hundred patents,” testified Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School. “This is an abuse of the system.”

Among the proposed bills, the Stop STALLING (“Stop Significant and Time-wasting Abuse Limiting Legitimate Innovation of New Generics”) Act — the bipartisan brainchild of Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Grassley — is supposed to put a stop to “sham” citizen petitions to the FDA. Critics say these petitions are often introduced by drugmakers under the guise of patient advocacy to slow FDA approval of new generic medicines. “Nearly every one of these citizen petitions is brought by a brand company. None are filed by individuals. I love the legislation. I would go even stronger,” Carrier said.

Grassley is also the lead sponsor on the bipartisan Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019. It directs the Federal Trade Commission to investigate mergers of pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen that negotiate between drugmakers and health plans.

Klobuchar and Grassley teamed up again on another measure, the Preserve Access to Affordable Generics and Biosimilars Act, which they  say would end “anti-competitive behavior” — specifically, deals struck between branded companies and generic companies to keep a generic, or a biosimilar, off the market. Klobuchar, a Democratic presidential candidate, has frequently discussed her opposition to this practice on the campaign trail.

James Stansel — the executive vice president and general counsel of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a drug industry trade group, and the lone voice of the pharmaceutical industry on the panel — cautioned against moving too aggressively on this point. “We want to make sure we don’t do something that’s anti-competitive in the hopes it would be pro-competitive,” he said.

There’s also the CREATES (“Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples”) Act, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) with 31 bipartisan co-sponsors and endorsed by nearly every witness on Tuesday’s panel. It’s supposed to crack down on branded companies that refuse to sell samples of their drugs to generic companies, a necessary step to increasing the number of generics on the market.

Versions of all four of those bills have also been introduced in the House and advanced out of the House Judiciary Committee.

“The American people are being played for chumps,” said Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.). “Just chumps. And it’s got to stop.”

Kaiser Health News


Québec Allocates 300 MW Power To Blockchain Industry

Canadian province of Quebec has allocated an additional 300 MW of electricity to the region’s blockchain industry.

In a much awaited decision, Régie de l’énergie, the French speaking region’s energy regulator, lifted the moratorium on electricity supplies to the blockchain sector.

This 300 MW will be in addition to the 158 MW already granted to existing customers approved by Hydro-Québec, and to
RTT – Top Story


China to announce rules soon to regulate commercial rocket industry

China’s national space agency said on Tuesday it will soon announce rules to regulate commercial rocket manufacturing, test flights and launches, state media reported, as the number of private startups in the nascent sector surged in the past year.

Reuters: Science News


Spire.io – Over 50 Million Minutes of Calm Discovered!

California soda tax bill shelved, in reprieve for beverage industry

A bill that would have taxed sugary drinks in California stalled Monday when the lawmaker who authored it shelved it until next year.
Top News & Analysis


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Meet Radio Industry Vet and Community Leader Patricia Robinson

When Patricia Robinson walked into the Emmis Communications office in New York for an informational interview in 2000, she had no idea the media conglomerate owned some of the most iconic radio stations in the New York market. “When I got to the 7th floor, I was greeted with three logos on the window and the logos were Hot 97, Kiss FM, and CD 101.9,” she told BLACK ENTERPRISE. “Because I didn’t do my homework, I did not understand that Emmis Communications was the parent company of all of these amazing music brands.” Robinson also had no idea that particular interview would be the start of her 17-year ascension in broadcast media.

Before joining Emmis, Robinson worked full-time as a business accountant payable manager at a meat warehouse, but she desperately wanted change. “It just got really frustrating that I had to literally walk past slabs of meat, like the Rocky movie,” she said. “At that point, I just decided that I needed to change jobs.” That prompted her to send out her resume, which ended up in the hands of a sales manager at Emmis, who called her in for an informational interview. Despite not knowing anything about the company and lacking a college degree, Robinson made a great impression during the interview and eventually landed a business office position about six months later. “One of the things that I was able to master in that interview…was knowing what my strengths were. I knew that I was really good at math and able to produce results,” she said, adding that she had come prepared with reference letters and a portfolio highlighting her career achievements. “That was my magic secret.”

Although things were going well at her new job, her first performance review took her by surprise. “99% of that review was absolutely incredible because my work ethic was really solid,” she said. However, “when I got down to the very last line, it said, ‘Patricia is a great asset to this organization, the only limitation is that she does not have a degree.’”

Those words haunted her for weeks. “I took it personally. I could not stop focusing on this one line,” she said. “I toiled with it a little while” before taking action. “Being a full-time mom of two kids, a full-time worker, and being married, I decided to enroll [in college] at night to get an Associate’s Degree.” Two years later, she proudly showcased her degree to her manager, knowing that a lack of education would never be held against her again. She later furthered her education, earning a Bachelor’s in Business & Finance and a Masters of Management & Human Resources, both from the University of Phoenix.

Now, almost two decades later, Robinson currently works as the Director of Operations for Hot 97 (WQHT 97.1FM), 107.5 WBLS, and 1190 AM WLIB, where she plays a critical role in supporting operations management with a focus on employee relations, personnel administration, recruiting, building and facility management, and FCC reporting. She also plays a significant role in the annual Hot 97 Summer Jam, one of the largest hip hop concerts in the world. In past years, she recruited volunteers from non-profit organizations like City Year, the Veterans Aid Society, and the New York Urban League to assist with organizing the festivities. “She helps keep us rooted in the community and constantly stays on the forefront of our efforts to impact our listeners’ lives positively both on and off air,” Skip Dillard, the operations manager at WBLS and WLIB, told BE in an email. “She’s also a Linkedin wizard and attends job fairs and constantly talks to people she believes should be working for us in the future.”

olin Kaepernick

Patricia Robinson and Colin Kaepernick

Outside of work, Robinson is dedicated to giving back and helping her community. She is involved with and supports several programs in the tristate area, including the New York Police Department’s “My School Has Rhythm Not Violence” and the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development. She also serves as the Executive Director for Colin Kaepernick’s “Know Your Rights Camp,” an organization that raises awareness on higher education, self-empowerment, and instruction to properly interact with law enforcement in various scenarios. “Having [youth] understand how to interact with police and law enforcement is absolutely critical,” she said. In her role, she works directly with Kaepernick and a team to coordinate camps to empower inner-city youth through social activism, education, financial literacy, law advocacy, health and wellness, and community leadership. According to her, empowering others is something she sees as a personal “responsibility” to keep them informed about “issues that will affect their existence, whether it’s discrimination, equity, [or] fair and equal treatment.”

Robinson, who has established herself as an influential leader in the broadcast media industry and is recognized for her community work and social activism engagement, credits her success, in part, to colleagues like Bob Slade, the longtime host of WBLS’ Open Line public affairs show who died last month from kidney disease at the age of 70. “I had the pleasure to work with Bob for my entire tenure,” she said. “Not only was he a respected journalist and on-air personality, he was a dear friend to me.” He also helped her learn, grow, and push herself into becoming “a viable force in the media industry as a black woman.”

Through it all, Robinson says the most rewarding part of her career has been “the ability to impact others through my work.” She also prides herself on “the ability to be the example of excellence in the eyes of a lot of young women and young men” along with “the ability to connect people to opportunities and open doors where I can.”

The post Meet Radio Industry Vet and Community Leader Patricia Robinson appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Arvin Jones Accepts 2019 NSBE Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award

At the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) 45th Annual Convention held in Detroit, General Motors’ Arvin Jones received the 2019 NSBE Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award. The manufacturing executive director for Propulsion Systems and Casting Operations was able to retire from GM after 42 years of dedicated service.

During his time at the company, Jones has held a diverse array of work experiences that include industrial engineering, assistant plant manager at several locations, manufacturing manager, executive director; an interestingly enough, sales marketing and strategic planning. His first international assignment started in England for three years as a director of vehicle assembly with approximately 9,000 people under his control.

“I want to be known as a person who knew when to lead and when to be led. I want to be known as one that continually tried to learn, and I want to be known as someone who listened and had a passion for the business,” Jones stated while reflecting upon his legacy.


Gerald Johnson, executive vice president, Global Manufacturing for General Motors presented Arvin Jones, manufacturing executive director, Propulsion Systems and Casting Operations with the 2019 NSBE Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award during the National Society of Black Engineers’ (NSBE) 45th Annual Convention held in Detroit. (Image: General Motors)


So what position was he drawn to the most? “The most interesting position I had was in sales marketing and strategic planning. It gave me a different view of the company. It allowed me to grow and to learn new things and to certainly become more competitive. It was hard work, but I appreciated doing it,” stated Jones.

Throughout his career, he was able to balance his many endeavors with his family life. “In my personal life, my happiest moments were my marriage and the birth of my two sons. Professionally, my proudest accomplishment was my transition from classified employee to an executive in 1990,” continued Jones.

Under Jones’ leadership, GM has extended more than 180 job opportunities to NSBE students, with a significant majority choosing to join GM.

His commitment to people remains strong long after they start at GM. Jones has personally mentored 32 young professionals at GM. “Arvin’s mentoring group is welcoming to newcomers and known to be a forum of real talk for seekers of truth. He challenges his group to read, share, listen and give back to others. His efforts enrich mentees and help retain them within the automotive industry,” stated mentee Talona Jackson.


The post Arvin Jones Accepts 2019 NSBE Lifetime Achievement in Industry Award appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


The Fur Industry Is Ready to Fight New York City’s Proposed Ban ‘Tooth and Nail’

Photo Illustration by Kelly Caminero/The Daily Beast/Getty/Shutterstock

The fur coat, a symbol of unabashed glamour and wealth, is at the center of a rather ugly battle in New York City.

In March, Council Speaker Corey Johnson proposed a ban on the sale of fur in New York. This follows the lead of San Francisco and Los Angeles, where similar laws have been passed.

In a statement sent to The Daily Beast, Speaker Johnson wrote, “There is a growing movement in the fashion industry that believes that the use of fur is no longer ethical, and I agree with that assertion.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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The Daily Beast — Fashion


Industry Rule No. 4080?: Lil Uzi Vert Wants New Record Deal

Lil Uzi Vert seen performing at Coachella weekend 2 Day 3

Source: WENN.com / WENN

Lil Uzi Vert wants out. The Philadelphia rapper and self-described rock stars isn’t happy with the current terms of his recording contract with Generation Now.

Reports TMZ:

A source familiar with his current deal tells TMZ … the rapper’s being exploited because the contract allows little room for growth and doesn’t do enough for his bottom line.

We’re told Generation Now is supposed to cover Lil Uzi’s studio time and recordings, but the label’s refusing to pony up — so he’s being forced to seek financial assistance from people close to him. Sounds like an awkward conversation. 

Lil Uzi’s serious about getting out from under his contract … we’re told his side proposed an amended deal, one that’s more fair and balanced for the artist. As you might expect, the label is pushing back.

However, another source tells us Generation Now isn’t holding up the release of Uzi’s upcoming album, “Eternal Atake,” and they’re definitely NOT exploiting him — they claim he’s been in full control of the project from the jump. 

As the label sees it … Uzi has a production budget for the album and he’s been recording in Philadelphia for a while, but hasn’t shared any of his work — making it difficult for the label to set release dates, or figure out marketing and promotion plans. 

The drama (no pun, you’ll see why) is prickly for Hip-Hop heads because Generation Now was founded by Don Cannon and DJ Drama. The renowned DJ’s and producers did plenty for the culture as the Aphilliates.

Word is both sides are still willing to communicate, but it’s a slow roll at the moment.

Photo: WENN.com

The Latest Hip-Hop News, Music and Media | Hip-Hop Wired


Walmart Is Planning to Develop Tablets as the Retailer Makes Moves Into the Tech Industry

It looks like Walmart is planning to start making its own tablets. In a product application with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, the retailer included photos of the device, which will be made by a Chinese supplier and run on Google’s Android operating system, Bloomberg reports.

The tablets will be sold under Walmart’s ONN brand, the photos show. Walmart has not yet released information about the cost of the device or when it will hit stores, but a spokesperson for the retailer confirmed to both Bloomberg and CNBC that “a private brand tablet is in the works.”

Tablet shipments fell 6.2% last year, as the smartphone market continued to grow. The top-selling tablets were Apple’s iPad, followed by Samsung Electronics, and Amazon.com Inc.

Even so, Bloomberg reports that some retailers have successfully developed kid-friendly tablets, that are also more affordable than Apple’s line of iPads. And Walmart hopes to do the same.

The retailer has been making moves into the tech industry, as it focuses on home goods and electronics moving forward. Walmart has nonetheless struggled to develop its image as a more “modern” company, while its biggest competitor Amazon has been an innovative force with its own electronics.

Walmart was represented as a tech company at this year’s South by Southwest conference in Austin with Chief Technology Officer Jeremy King giving a presentation about some of the new technology in its stores, CNBC reports.

“For years now … I’ve wanted people to understand we are building a tech organization,” King told CNBC. “I’ve got a machine learning team. We have some of the best apps in the world.”



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CFPB spoke with industry execs before relaxing payday loan rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau held negotiations with a prominent payday-loan executive before the US agency rolled back stiff regulations of the controversial industry that had been slated to take effect this year, The Post has learned. Hilary Miller, president of the Short-Term Loan Bar Association, a trade group for lawyers representing payday lenders, confirmed…
Business | New York Post


PayPal CEO predicts digital payments industry will mature into a $100 trillion market

"We live in the space of digital commerce and digital commerce is exploding still around the world … and we're riding that wave," PayPal CEO Dan Schulman says.


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New Musical INTO THE WILD Will Receive A Private Industry Reading Today

La Vie Productions in association with Playwrights Horizons will present a private industry reading of Into the Wild, a new musical featuring a book and lyrics by Janet Allard and music and lyrics by Niko Tsakalakos, today, Friday, February 8, 2019 in NYC. Inspired by the book Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer and the photographic history of Chris McCandless’ journey as shown in The McCandless Foundation’s published work Back to the Wild, the industry presentation will be directed by Lila Neugebauer with musical supervision arrangements by Brian Usifer.
BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content


‘They Own the System’: Amazon Rewrites Book Industry by Marching Into Publishing

The online retail giant, the world’s largest public company, commands an unrivaled customer base for the books, ebooks and audiobooks it publishes. As a result, it’s jolting the publishing industry, creating instant best sellers out of self-published writers and pushing down earnings for others.


Buy.com (dba Rakuten.com Shopping)

German Designers Start Creative-led Industry Association

France has what local designers call “la Fédération” and the U.S. has the CFDA. As of this week, Germany has its own industry association “by fashion designers for fashion designers,” as the founders put it.
The German Fashion Designers Federation was initiated in spring 2018 after two years of preparation and launched officially today in Berlin, a few days before the city’s biannual fashion week begins. As yet, the Federation, or GFDF, only has a handful of members but they already have some impressive supporters: Financial backing is being provided by Mercedes-Benz and German skin-care stalwart Dr. Hauschka. German designer Bernhard Willhelm is a member and other big, local names, yet to be announced, are also expected to join. The GFDF’s board includes Renate Künast, a senior member of German parliament for the Green party and former federal minister for food, agriculture and consumer protection.
The GFDF was the brainchild of Eva Gronbach, a Berlin-based designer who previously worked for Hermès and Yohji Yamamoto, who will also serve as the body’s first president.
“We were very inspired by the CFDA in New York because it is a younger organization than the Federation in Paris,” says Gronbach, who started the project by simply e-mailing other

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Health Care Industry Spends $30B A Year Pushing Its Wares, From Drugs To Stem Cell Treatment

Hoping to earn its share of the $ 3.5 trillion health care market, the medical industry is pouring more money than ever into advertising its products — from high-priced prescriptions to do-it-yourself genetic tests and unapproved stem cell treatments.

Spending on health care marketing doubled from 1997 to 2016, soaring to at least $ 30 billion a year, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA.

“Marketing drives more testing. It drives more treatments. It’s a big part of why health care is so expensive, because it’s the fancy, high-tech stuff things that get marketed,” said Steven Woloshin, co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. His study captured only a portion of the many ways that drug companies, hospitals and labs promote themselves.

Advertising doesn’t just persuade people to pick one brand over another, said Woloshin. Sophisticated campaigns make people worry about diseases they don’t have and ask for drugs or exams they don’t need.

Consumer advocates say that taxpayers pay the real price, as seductive ads persuade doctors and patients alike to order pricey tests and brand-name pills.

“Whenever pharma or a hospital spends money on advertising, we the patients pay for it — through higher prices for drugs and hospital services,” said Shannon Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Brookline, Mass., nonprofit that advocates for affordable care. “Marketing is built into the cost of care.”

High costs ultimately affect everyone, because they prompt insurance plans to raise premiums, said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit that provides medical information to consumers. And taxpayers foot the bill for publicly funded insurance programs, such as Medicare.

“These ads can be amazingly persuasive, and they can exploit desperate patients and family members,” said Zuckerman, who was not involved in the new study.

Drug companies spend the bulk of their money trying to influence doctors, showering them with free food, drinks and speaking fees, as well as paying for them to travel to conferences, according to the study.

Dr. Lisa Schwartz and Dr. Steven Woloshin(Courtesy of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice)

Yet marketers also increasingly target consumers, said Woloshin, who wrote the study with his wife and longtime research partner, Dartmouth’s Dr. Lisa Schwartz, who died of cancer in November.

The biggest increase in medical marketing over the past 20 years was in “direct-to-consumer” advertising, including the TV commercials that exhort viewers to “ask your doctor” about a particular drug. Spending on such ads jumped from $ 2.1 billion in 1997 to nearly $ 10 billion in 2016, according to the study.

A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical industry group, PhRMA, said that its ads provide “scientifically accurate information to patients.” These ads “increase awareness of the benefits and risks of new medicines and encourage appropriate use of medicines,” said Holly Campbell, of PhRMA.

The makers of genetic tests — including those that allow people to learn their ancestry or disease risk —also bombard the public with advertising. The number of ads for genetic testing grew from 14,100 in 1997 to 255,300 in 2016, at a cost that year of $ 82.6 million, according to the study. AncestryDNA spends more than any other company of its kind, devoting $ 38 million to marketing in 2016 alone.

Some companies are touting stem cell treatments that haven’t been approved by federal regulators. The Food and Drug Administration has approved stem cell therapy for only a few specific uses — such as bone marrow transplants for people with leukemia. But hundreds of clinics claim to use these cells taken from umbilical cord blood to treat disease. Many patients have no idea that these stem cell therapies are unapproved, said Angie Botto-van Bemden, director of osteoarthritis programs at the Arthritis Foundation.

Stem cell clinics have boosted their marketing from $ 900,000 in 2012 to $ 11.3 million in 2016, according to the study.

In recent months, the FDA has issued warnings to clinics marketing unapproved stem cell therapies. Twelve patients have been hospitalized for serious infections after receiving stem cell injections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Medical advertising today goes beyond TV and radio commercials. Some online campaigns encourage patients to diagnose themselves, Woloshin said.

The website for Restasis, which treats dry eyes, prompts patients to take a quiz to learn if they need the prescription eye drops, said Woloshin, who co-wrote a February study with Schwartz on the drug’s marketing strategy. The Restasis website also allows patients to “find an eye doctor near you.”

Many of the doctors included in the Restasis directory have taken gifts from its manufacturer, Allergan, Woloshin said. The doctor directory includes seven of the top 10 physicians paid by the company, his study says.

In a statement, Allergan spokeswoman Amy Rose said the company uses direct-to-consumer advertising “to support responsible disease awareness efforts.” The ads “do not displace the patient-physician relationship, but enhance them, helping to create well-informed and empowered consumer and patient communities.”

Drug sites don’t just lead patients to doctors. They also provide scripts for suggested conversations. For example, the website for Viagra, which treats erectile dysfunction, provides specific questions for patients to ask.

The website for Addyi, often called the “female Viagra,” goes even further. Patients who answer a number of medical questions online are offered a 10- to 15-minute phone consultation about the drug for $ 49. Patients who don’t immediately book an appointment receive an email reminder a few minutes later.

“This is more evidence,” Brownlee said, “that drug companies are not run by dummies.”

Kaiser Health News


Manufacturing industry posts biggest annual job gain in 20 years

The net changes by industry for December jobs based on Friday's jobs report; the health-care and education sector saw the largest gain.


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What to Watch: Up Next for Fur Industry, Furriers

Last year was a momentous one for designer labels vowing to go fur-free. Michael Kors, Gucci, Burberry and Versace are among the ones that did so. Whether the trend continues into 2019 is a matter up for debate — as is the entire “fur” or “no fur” issue.
Last month, Chanel joined the antifur brigade — although the brand’s use of fur has always been minimal — and also pledged to stop using exotic skins. Before its pre-fall Métiers d’Art show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Chanel said it would “no longer use exotic skins in our future creations.”
The exotic skins in question include crocodile, lizard, snake and stingray. Bruno Pavlovsky, president of Chanel fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said, “The future of high-end products will come from the know-how of what our atelier is able to do.”
Michael Kors Inc. — now called Capri Holdings — was one of the leading brands that agreed to go fur-free in 2017 along with Jimmy Choo, which Kors also owns. Kors had been targeted by animal rights activists over the years (most noticeably during a Q&A with the designer in June at the Metropolitan Museum). Versace, Burberry, Maison Margiela, Diane von Furstenberg

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Industry Editor Exclusive: Women Playwrights Make Inroads, But Broadway Still Eludes

We have a lot of new plays on Broadway this season. Thirteen are currently set. There are also seven play revivals. Two of the new plays were written by women–both produced by non-profits and both already closed. Not one revival is of a play written by a woman.
BroadwayWorld.com Featured Content


Legal marijuana industry had banner year in 2018

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states have legalized some form of medical marijuana
ABC News: Health


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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!


Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

How 2018 Changed the Film Industry

2018 has been a transformative year for film, with social and political movements, technological leaps, and new approaches to marketing and distribution fundamentally changing the industry. With the following having far-reaching consequences for how movies are made and what movies are made, as well as how we watch them.

The Netflix Paradox

Super Bowl Sunday is now as much about advertising as it is sport. With movie studios spending millions (and MILLIONS) airing trailers during the game’s ad breaks. But this year was different. As a trailer for The Cloverfield Paradox — featuring the first footage we’d seen from the film — screened early on. And concluded with the words “Coming very soon.”

They weren’t lying. Because as soon as the Super Bowl was over, the third film in the Cloverfield franchise dropped on Netflix. In a move that was deemed “unprecedented,” “groundbreaking” and “a game-changer” by both filmmakers and commentators.

The launch certainly shook things up, with Twitter practically melting down at the prospect of a new JJ Abrams-produced film being available in a matter of hours. The buzz making the launch a marketing masterstroke.

Unfortunately, the actual movie was pretty bad. And with Netflix keeping their cards close to their chest regarding numbers, we have no idea how many times the film was actually viewed. But in terms of disrupting the release schedule, and changing the way in which films are both distributed and promoted, the launch of The Cloverfield Paradox was huge.

Crazy Rich Representation

2018 was an important year for representation, in terms of both race, and sexuality. Disney kicked off the year with Black Panther, the first MCU movie to be fronted by an African-American. And the film became a bona fide phenomenon, grossing more than any other superhero movie ever at the U.S. box office, and grossing $ 1.3bn globally. Making Black Panther the ninth most successful film of all time.

Romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians hit screens in August, and became the sleeper hit of the summer. Based on the novel of the same name by Kevin Kwan — and revolving around an American professor discovering that his girlfriend’s Singapore family are “crazy rich” — the film grossed a whopping $ 238m worldwide, from a budget of just $ 30m.

Being the first release by a major studio to focus on a gay teen romance, Love, Simon was a more modest, but no less important success. Based on a bestselling book by Becky Albertalli, and directed by Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti, the movie followed closeted Simon Spier’s efforts to figure out the identity of the classmate with whom he’s fallen in love online, while also trying to avoid being outed by a blackmailer. The film cost $ 17m, and made $ 66m.

Those numbers don’t lie, proving that audiences want to see more diversity and better representation onscreen, and hopefully paving the way for true change.

Cinemas Become a Quiet Place

Movie theatres can be grim venues, filled with the noise of chatter, phones and rustling wrappers and popcorn. But this year, for 90 minutes, audiences were forced into silence. Thanks to A Quiet Place.

The hugely successful horror film — directed by John Krasinski — takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where a family is forced to live in silence to avoid being eaten by noise-sensitive monsters.

Meaning that — to fully appreciate the conceit — audiences also had to sit in silence. With that collective effort to stay quiet heightening the reality, increasing the tension, and helping to make A Quiet Place maybe the most effective horror movie of 2018. And the best thing to happen in movie theatres for years.

The Inclusion Rider Shakes Things Up

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, for which she won the Oscar.

When Frances McDormand said the words “Inclusion Rider” during her Three Billboards Oscar acceptance speech in March, it sent something of a shock-wave through the film industry. Speaking to press backstage, she explained, “It means that you can ask for and/or demand at least 50% diversity, not only in casting, but also [in] the crew.”

Media researcher Stacy Smith came up with the concept — alongside civil rights attorney Kalpana Kotagal and producer and actor Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni — to ensure proper representation for women, people of colour, the LGBTQ community, and those with disabilities. It was outlined in a Hollywood Reporter op-ed in 2014, while Dr. Smith described it during a 2016 TED Talk thusly…

“The typical feature film has about 40 or 50 speaking characters in it. I would argue that only eight to 10 of those characters are actually relevant to the story. The remaining 30 or so roles, there’s no reason why those minor roles can’t match or reflect the demography of where the story is taking place. An equity rider by an A-lister in their contract can stipulate that those roles reflect the world in which we actually live.”

And while change like this — behind the camera as well as in front of it — takes time, there’s already been movement within the industry. Industry bigwig Ari Emanuel introduced the idea at WME, asking his agents to support the concept by explaining its benefits to the firm’s clients when negotiating deals. And Warner Bros. became the first major Hollywood studio to adopt the policy. Kicking off with Michael B. Jordan movie Just Mercy.

“Inclusivity has always been a no-brainer for me, especially as a black man in this business,” Jordan explained in a statement. “It wasn’t until Frances McDormand spoke the two words that set the industry on fire — inclusion rider — that I realised we could standardise the practice.”

He added, “This is a legacy-bearing moment.”

Peter Jackson Revolutionises the Documentary

They Shall Not Grow Old was a labour of love for director Peter Jackson. A WWI documentary about British soldiers fighting on the Western Front, Jackson took 100-year-old footage and modernised it by colourising, constructing missing frames, and employing lip-readers to figure out what the soldiers were saying, and voice actors to bring their words to life.

As Jackson explained at the film’s London premiere: “I wanted to reach through the fog of time and pull these men into the modern world so they can regain their humanity once more.”

Peter Jackson’s film was a towering technical achievement.

The results are jaw-dropping, the combination of ancient filmmaking techniques with modern technology reaching through that fog, and giving voice to a generation that’s long gone.

Jackson believes that this is just the beginning. They Shall Not Grow Old features footage supplied by the Imperial War Museum, and there are archives all over the world filled with film that could benefit from the same process. Bringing the past to life so audiences can witness history as never before.

Fandom Champions #BallsForBoobs

OK, this one might not have changed the film industry. Yet. But it’s a campaign that we’ve kicked off here at Fandom, and an issue that’s close to Editor Kim Taylor-Foster’s heart…

“For too long, female nudity has outweighed male nudity on screen – not just in the volume of women we see fully naked or partially nude but also in the way female versus male bodies are shot,” Taylor-Foster explains. “#BallsForBoobs seeks to balance that inequality. I’m all for nudity – we should all be far less prudish – but that means that alongside freeing the nipple, we need to free the ‘nad too. Tit for tat and all that.

“#BallsForBoobs proposes that for every bare breast seen on screen, we get a naked nut-sack too. Matching sack for every rack shown is a step closer to eliminating objectification, and a win for equality.”

You can see our first steps towards making #BallsForBoobs happen in the Outlaw King video above and Blockers interview below…

Stuff We Liked That Everyone Else Seemed to Hate in 2018

The post How 2018 Changed the Film Industry appeared first on FANDOM.



Medicine or vice? Socially screened funds struggle to define cannabis industry

The $ 8 trillion U.S. socially responsible investment industry is grappling with that question as more states approve the recreational use of cannabis, pushing consumption closer to “sin” stocks like…

Reuters: Wealth


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U.K. Parliament Pressures Fashion Industry to Embrace Sustainability

LONDON — As the discussion around the fashion industry’s environmental impact heats up, the U.K. parliament is putting more pressure on retailers and brands to rethink their ways of doing business.
On Tuesday at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the environmental and audit committee gathered designers, sustainability experts and members of parliament to discuss how the British fashion industry has been keeping up with sustainability standards and how the government can intervene and guide companies to reevaluate their business models, with the necessary legislation.
Mary Creagh, the committee’s chair who called the hearing, noted that it was the largest public select committee hearing ever held and plans to hold one more, where the committee will question online and off-line retailers.
Her aim is to gather evidence about where the industry stands in order for the committee to bring forward a set of recommendations to the government.
Among the speakers were Claire Bergkamp, sustainability and innovation director at Stella McCartney; Dilys Williams, London College of Fashion’s professor of fashion design for sustainability; designers Phoebe English and Graeme Raeburn and Clare Hieatt, who runs the denim label Hiut Denim.
They talked about issues such as waste and finding new ways of utilizing off-cut fabrics, unhealthy consumer attitudes

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Attract and Retain Rockstar Talent Within the Solar Industry

Good talent is hard to find, but with the worker shortage within the home improvement industry it can feel downright impossible to attract the rockstar talent that you need in a Solar sales rep. Modernize has partnered with Zoi Solar, a Solar technology company located in downtown Austin, Texas, to deliver a free webinar to teach you how to attract and retain Solar employees that will give you the competitive edge.

Watch our webinar recording here to learn a few simple steps to find and retain the Solar Sales Rep diamond in the rough such as:

  • Tactics to discover the best Solar Sales Representatives for your company,
  • Hiring and training best practices to be sure your new hires are educated and informed,
  • Tips and tricks to maintain employee satisfaction,
  • Industry secrets to keep your team ahead of the competition.

Don’t forget to feed your new sales reps with a steady stream of quality Solar leads! Click here to get started on a new campaign.

The post Attract and Retain Rockstar Talent Within the Solar Industry appeared first on Modernize.



Toy industry not thrilled with idea of Toys ‘R’ Us comeback

The toy industry thinks Geoffrey’s nerve is as long as his neck. Just months after toy makers were burned by the Toys ‘R’ Us bankruptcy, the soon to be born-again chain’s mascot pranced around a Dallas toy show this week promoting a new business plan that may singe those very same companies. The plan for…
Business | New York Post