Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Media

New York (CNN Business)In between all the music performances and prank videos that are staples of YouTube’s trending video section, there are a few that would have made no sense before mid-March.

A recent briefing by New York governor Andrew Cuomo and an “NBC Nightly News” broadcast also cracked YouTube’s list of especially popular videos among users in the United States.
The trending list reflects the evolving nature of the pandemic as stay-at-home orders stretch into a second month in many states.
    “We certainly have seen how our users have changed,” YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki said in an interview for CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”
    At first, she said, users were seeking out “really basic information” about coronavirus. YouTube, a unit of Google, worked with its community of professional video creators to generate stay at home messages, reflecting public health recommendations.
    “I never thought we’d have so many videos of hand-washing, for example,” Wojcicki quipped.
    The types of how-to content have changed over time.
    “Now really interestingly, we’re seeing a lot of users come to us and want to know about life under quarantine,” Wojcicki said in mid-April. “And so we see a lot of interest in things like exercise at home, how do I fix my dishwasher? How do I fix my freezer? How do I give myself a haircut when I’m in quarantine?”
    Sure enough, scores of videos about cutting hair at home have been uploaded in the past few weeks, and some already have millions of views.
    Overall usage of YouTube has skyrocketed in recent weeks, according to Nielsen. Overall streaming video viewing time has doubled in recent weeks compared with the same weeks in 2019. YouTube accounts for about 20 percent of all streaming minutes. So in the first full week of April this year, with most of the country hunkered down, Nielsen counted 32 billion minutes worth of YouTube streaming time, up from 15 billion minutes in the same week a year earlier.
    With great reach comes great responsibility, and YouTube has been widely scrutinized for its handling of bogus and downright dangerously misleading videos for several years. As Covid-19 spread around the world, the company has taken proactive steps to combat medical misinformation, relying in large part on guidelines from the World Health Organization.
    Wojcicki said YouTube is both “raising authoritative information” and removing videos filled with falsehoods.
    “We’ve had to update our policy numerous times associated with Covid-19,” she said.
    “Medically unsubstantiated” claims, like videos promoting miracle cures that are actually bogus, “would be a violation of our policy,” she said. “Anything that would go against World Health Organization recommendations would be a violation of our policy.”
    Since the start of the current health crisis, thousands of videos have been removed, Wojcicki said, without getting into the detailed metrics.
    She also said YouTube has “literally served over 10 billion impressions of information that comes from different public health organizations.”
    The YouTube homepage for users in the United States now includes dedicated areas for CDC videos about Covid-19 as well as learning videos for children.
    Wojcicki said she believes education is “one of the most compelling use cases of YouTube.”
    “We have science courses being livestreamed; history classes; how to play an instrument; how to learn a language,” she said.
    The site has pretty much everything, and that makes content moderation a never-ending challenge.
    But Wojcicki argued that YouTube’s efforts against disinformation and other harmful types of videos, dating back to “the last couple of years,” enabled the company to move quickly when the pandemic became the biggest story in the world.
    On March 20, YouTube announced a Covid-19 “news shelf” on its homepage, surfacing news videos from mainstream sources about the virus.
    During the interview for “Reliable Sources,” Wojcicki was quick to say that these types of efforts will continue. “We’re not saying we’re done,” she said. “We need to continue to work on our responsibility efforts and we will continue to do that over the next couple of years.”
    Everyone’s YouTube experience is different. But Wojcicki pointed out some uses of YouTube that have stood out during the coronavirus crisis. Some churches and other houses of worship have signed up for the first time to live-stream their services, she said. And actor John Krasinski has tapped into a huge audience looking for uplifting stories on his new channel called “Some Good News.”
    Krasinski, like most YouTube creators, is working from home right now. That’s one of the keys to the site’s endless fount of fresh content, Wojcicki pointed out: Many creators “were working from home even before Covid-19.”
    Setting up home studios has been an adjustment for many television broadcasters, but it comes naturally to a generation of vloggers and live-streamers.
      “So they’ve been able to update their content,” Wojcicki said, “and talk about what life has been like under quarantine and give tips and tricks to help people get through this really difficult time.”
      To hear more from Susan Wojcicki about the state of YouTube; the company’s actions against harassment on the platform; and the potential for a TikTok-like component to YouTube, listen to the full interview on the “Reliable Sources” podcast.

      Read more:

      One World: Together at Home, streamed live on 18 April, will support UN response fund

      Lady Gaga is to curate One World: Together at Home, a live-streamed and televised benefit concert in support of the World Health Organizations Covid-19 solidarity response fund and in celebration of health workers around the world.

      The lineup includes Lady Gaga, Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas, Lizzo, J Balvin, Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Alanis Morissette, Burna Boy, Andrea Bocelli, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Elton John, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban and Lang Lang.

      The US talk show hosts Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Stephen Colbert will host the event, which broadcasts live across the US television networks ABC, CBS and NBC, as well as being streamed online, at 8pm EST on 18 April.

      BBC One will show an adapted version of the concert on 19 April, including exclusive performances from UK artists and interviews with frontline health workers. The details of the broadcast are yet to be announced.

      Other celebrities expected to appear include David Beckham, Idris and Sabrina Elba, Kerry Washington, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Shah Rukh Khan and Sesame Street cast members.

      The WHO and the social action platform Global Citizen have partnered to produce the event. The latters Together at Home series, launched last month, has featured performances from artists in isolation including Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello and Rufus Wainwright.

      In a WHO press conference, Lady Gaga said she had helped to raise $35m (28m) for Global Citizen in the past week. She clarified that One World was not a fundraising telethon and would focus on entertainment and messages of solidarity, with philanthropists and businesses urged to donate to the Covid-19 solidarity response fund ahead of the event.

      The WHOs general director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said:We may have to be apart physically for a little while, but we can still come together virtually to enjoy great music. The One World: Together at Home concert represents a powerful show of solidarity against a common threat.

      This article was amended on 6 April 2020. Lady Gaga stated that philanthropists and businesses were being urged to donate to the organisation, rather than fans as an earlier version said. This has been corrected.

      Read more:

      New York (CNN Business)A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.

      — A special episode of “Sesame Street” about social distancing, “Elmo’s Playdate,” will debut Tuesday at 7pm ET. It will air across HBO, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, PBS Kids, and other channels simultaneously…
        — From drive-in theaters to online services, churches celebrated Easter in safe and creative ways… CNN’s Holly Yan and Chuck Johnston have details here…
        — #MusicForHope: On Easter Sunday, “by invitation of the City and of the Duomo cathedral of Milan, Italian global music icon Andrea Bocelli gave a solo performance representing a message of love, healing and hope to Italy and the world.” The video is No. 1 on YouTube’s Trending chart right now, with 21+ million views in 8 hours…
        — A “homebound team of Oscar, Tony and Emmy winners” created a streaming Passover event called “Saturday Night Seder.” It has raised more than $2 million for the CDC Foundation…
        — Execs at most of DC’s biggest news brands came together to run ads for the Capital Area Food Bank. Participants included WaPo, Washingtonian, Axios, The Atlantic, Politico, NBC4, ABC7, and CQ Roll Call…
        — Earlier this month Bill Grueskin asked: “What’s the first sentence of the best novel that will be written about this epidemic?” Here are “some of the funniest, scariest, most eloquent, most heartbreaking responses…”
        — Many arts venues are providing taped performances online. The Metropolitan Opera says “hundreds of thousands of people have been tuning in daily to our free performance streams…”
        — The Broadway World website is full of at-home performances by Broadway legends and ensembles…
        — Sir Patrick Stewart is reading “a sonnet a day” on Twitter…
        — Texas Monthly is producing Bedtime Stories featuring some of the mag’s best longform writers. A rep for the mag says the series features “some of our best longform writers reading — out loud and from their homes — their acclaimed works, and then posting the videos to Instagram…”
        — “Can you play our tune?” Creative move by “CBS Sunday Morning:” The show is “challenging viewers to record a version of our theme song Abblasen on any instrument…”
        — ABC correspondent James Longman has changed his Twitter handle to “James GOOD NEWS Longman,” signifying his new beat…
        This THR gallery shows how movie theater marquees are being repurposed to “tell audiences to stay inside and ‘Home Alone’ while coronavirus continues to spread…”
        — A family in Ontario, Canada, recreated the iconic opening sequence of “The Simpsons” — complete “with Maggie being beeped through a supermarket checkout, and Homer at work at the power plant.” The BBC has the video here…
        — The first episode of Showtime’s “Tooning Out the News,” executive produced byStephen Colbert, Chris Licht, RJ Fried, and Tim Luecke, is streaming for free on YouTube…

        Microloans for journalists (and by journalists)

        “If you’re a professional journalist who has been laid off, furloughed, or had your pay cut by your news outlet and urgently need assistance, you can apply to receive an interest-free $500 loan, to be repaid in one year. The money will come solely from fellow journalists.” That’s the idea behind this Microloans for Journalists program.
        Robert Faturechi, Ryan Gabrielson and Topher Sanders of ProPublica and Sisi Wei of OpenNews are organizing the effort in their spare time. As of Friday, they had raised “raised over $60,000 in verified pledges,” resulting in “at least 120 loans totalling $500 each.” More to come. Details here…

        “Don’t Quit”

          Actor Idris Elba, on the mend after his bout with Covid-19, is the narrator of this “Don’t Quit” message from the BBC.
          Per Variety, Elba is seen “narrating John Greenleaf Whittier’s eponymous poem against a montage of news footage detailing the U.K.’s battle against Covid-19, including parked airplanes, empty grocery shelves and shuttered businesses, as well as more uplifting moments such as applauding National Health Service (NHS) workers, violinists playing out their windows in self-isolation and shows such as ‘Question Time’ continuing without an audience.” Watch the video here…

          Read more:

          New York (CNN Business)Netflix is learning lessons from cable TV, helping its newly minted reality stars become established product-selling brands.

          The winners of each show got $250,000 apiece, but they walked away with more than just cash. Their social media followings haveskyrocketed and their internet fame translated into product sales. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

          ‘Next in Fashion’

            “Next in Fashion” winner Minju Kim, 33, has designed menswear for K-pop megastars BTS and had a 2013 collection of women’s clothing for H&M before winning Netflix’s first original fashion competition.
            One of her prizes was selling her designs on luxury e-commerce platform Net-a-Porter, which partnered with Netflix for the show.
            Elizabeth von der Goltz, Net-a-Porter’s global buying director, said that Netflix approached her company looking for a retailer with “the global reach to match the Netflix audience” and that “this partnership was very exciting and something that we haven’t done before.” Von der Goltz also appeared as a judge in the season finale of “Next in Fashion.”
            The designer platform supported Kim by advising her on pricing and providing her with marketing and media opportunities. Von der Goltz said that the company was working with Kim on “potential new seasons.”
            Kim said her clothing line, with items priced from $180 for a stretch jersey turtleneck to $1,125 for a silk mini dress, was nearly sold out on Net-a-Porter’s platform as of early March.Many of her designs were shown on Netflix’s “Next in Fashion.”
            “On the last episode, we only had three days to create 10 looks [for a] collection. Everything was made in a rush,” Kim told CNN Business. “There were so many things we had to fix to make them products.”
            Winners like Kim, whose success goes beyond their reality TV stints, could help Netflix boost its presence in that popular category.
            “Any time you have people come from an unscripted show that becomes successful in their own right, it adds more legitimacy and credibility to the show itself,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of nonfiction series and comedy specials. “It helps us for subsequent seasons to attract the best talent.”

            ‘Rhythm + Flow’

            In an episode of Rhythm + Flow where she was overseeing auditions in New York City, Cardi B told fellow judges that “at the end of the day, we [are] considering if these people are gonna make money.”
            Her comments illustrated the Grammy-winning artist’s views on the music industry. Can the next generation of talent sell concert tickets and wooaudiences?
            “Let’s say if I was a label and I give you money. You ain’t want to get people mad because you didn’t make back their money,” said Cardi B to one contestant. “Can you sell? Can you get fans? Can you get people to love you?”
            “Rhythm + Flow” winner D Smoke, 34, whose legal name is Daniel Farris, impressed the judges with his ability to rap fluently in Spanish and in English, his take on social issues and his stage presence.Hesaid that he appreciated Cardi B’s business advice.
            “I’m not bubble gum, I’m not soda pop, but I’m a product as well,” D Smoke told CNN Business. His Instagram following has grown from 10,000 before the show started on October 9 to 1.7 million today.
            Unlike “American Idol” and “The Voice,” the winners of “Rhythm + Flow” don’t get a record deal. “They could win and keep their artistic freedom, and do what they want to do,” said the show’s executive producer Jesse Collins.
            D Smoke has released a new album since the show’s finale called “Black Habits.” One of his songs, “Fly,” has been listened to 1.4 million times on Spotify.
            “Based on what I’ve seen after the show, [D Smoke] is continuing to be really strategic about using that momentum,” said Li Lai, founder and editor-in-chief of Mediaversity Reviews, a website that scores television and films based on diversity metrics. “So hopefully it’s doing what Netflix wanted it to do, which is make money.”

            ‘The Circle’

            Another Netflix reality show, “The Circle,” isan adaptation of an unconventional British reality show, which is also called “The Circle.” Players message and sometimes flirt with each other from the isolation of their own apartments, then rate each other to determine who makes it to the next round. Most of themdon’t evenmeet in person until later episodes.
            “The Circle” winner, actor and bartender Joey Sasso, 26, won $250,000 and exposure that will help him promote his upcoming movie, “Young Lion of the West,” about an aspiring music club owner.
              “People always told me don’t do reality TV,” he said. But “The Circle” provided “a spotlight to showcase my personality,” he said. “As an actor, the hardest thing sometimes is for people to grasp who you are as a person.”
              Sasso became something of a sensation because of his complicated skincare routine, which was featured in several episodes. He’s now considering making a video about it, a possible revenue stream. “Guys, I promise you,” he said. “It will come soon.”

              Read more:–flow-the-circle-minjukim-d-smoke/index.html

              New York (CNN Business)South by Southwest, the annual tech, film and music conference in Austin, has officially been canceled because of the coronavirus.

              “I’ve gone ahead and declared a local disaster in the city, and, associated with that, have issued an order that effectively cancels South by Southwest this year,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler told reporters Friday afternoon.
              The event had been scheduled to take place from March 13 to March 22. This is the first time in 34 years that it has been canceled, according to the organizers.
                “We are devastated to share this news with you,” SXSW said in a statement. “We are now working through the ramifications of this unprecedented situation.”
                SXSW is now exploring the possibility of rescheduling the event and is working to provide an online alternative. The organizers will reach out to prospective attendees with more information in the coming days, they said.
                Several of the conference’s biggest names had already pulled out in the days leading up to the cancellation.
                Twitter (TWTR) was the first big company to pull out of the event, citing its new policy restricting all business travel because of the virus. Facebook (FB), Intel (INTC), Vevo and Mashable soon followed suit.
                Popular video app TikTok also backed out, saying it would explore “alternative ways” to bring its planned SXSW content to audiences. “While we think the risk is relatively low, we are erring on the side of caution,” a TikTok spokesperson told CNN Business on Tuesday.
                Despite the cancellations, SXSW organizers announced new keynote speakers this week, including Hillary Clinton and Andrew Yang. The conference organizers said on Monday they would be “proceeding as planned” and that they were working with local, state and federal agencies to ensure a safe event.
                SXSW draws thousands of people to Austin each year and generates millions of dollars for the city. The economic impact of last year’s event on the city was estimated to be $355.9 million, according to a report paid for by SXSW.
                As recently as Friday, some attendees had been finalizing their schedules and packing their bags for a trip to Texas.
                San Francisco-based marketing consultant Kate Talbot, who has attended SXSW every year since 2015 as a way to try to get new business, was expecting to be among those descending on the city next week. She typically attends parties run by venture capital firms or startups and other private events to meet potential clients.
                “SXSW is really beneficial to my business,” Talbot told CNN Business shortly before the event was cancelled. “I’m doing what the CDC is telling us to do and being smart about it. I don’t want to live in fear. I don’t understand the difference between being in San Francisco and Austin. There’s a risk anywhere you go.”
                A number of tech companies have already canceled the in-person portion of their annual spring events, including Facebook and Google’s developer conferences.
                Soon after, SXSW organizers came under pressure but had resisted to cancel the conference. A petition urging a cancellation has garnered more than 53,000 signatures.
                  Mark Escott, the interim medical director and health authority for Austin Public Health, said canceling the event was a necessary precaution to mitigate the further spread of the virus.
                  “This is not unlike a hurricane looming in the gulf,” he said. “Now is the time to think about what are we going to do as a community and as a government when that storm comes.”

                  Read more:

                  In the streaming era, data on a show’s viewership and popularity is harder to come by. It’s no longer as simple as setting up a Nielsen box to get data on a show being watched across TVs, phones, tablets and the web. One company solving this problem for content owners, broadcasters and streamers alike is Whip Media Group, parent company to the TV and movie tracking app TV Time. The company announced today it has raised $50 million in Series D funding to continue to grow its business.

                  The round was led by asset management firm Eminence Capital and includes participation from Raine Ventures. To date, Whip Media Group has raised $115 million from Raine Ventures, Eminence, IVP and others.

                  Whip Media Group has a varied history. TV Time began as WhipClip, a source for a legal collection of GIFs from favorite shows. But following the company’s acquisition of French startup TVShow Time in December 2016, it pivoted to become a social TV community. The TV Time app allows users to track their favorite shows by marking episodes as watched, as well as join in the show’s community on the app where users discuss the episode; share photos, screencaps, and memes; take polls; and more. Its recommendations feature also helps users find more things to watch.

                  The company rebranded as Whip Media Group to reflect that it’s now home to a handful of businesses, including the TV Time app, as well as TheTVDB, an entertainment database for TV and movies and, more recently, the content value management platform, Mediamorph.

                  Though consumers only interact with the TV Time app, those engagements help fuel Whip Media Group’s larger business.

                  Today, the TV Time app has anywhere between 800,000 and a million active users per day. And 50% of users contribute some sort of data — for example, following a show, creating content, liking another user’s post, reviewing an episode, commenting and so on. To date, TV Time has tracked more than 15 billion episodes.

                  Initially, TV Time was using this data to develop a new type of ratings system for the cord-cutting era. But TV Time learned that a show’s ratings don’t matter to video-on-demand services that don’t sell advertising. Instead, what TV Time could provide was emotional data on how users responded to shows.

                  “By collecting [this data] we can build these models to not only say what people are watching, but also start to predict what they’re going to watch next,” says Whip Media Group CEO Richard Rosenblatt.

                  In addition, the engagement data can help streamers find out things they never could before — like which moment in an episode had huge spikes of user interest, i.e. “the most memed moment.” This data can help them to better market the show as well as help them think about the show’s direction for future seasons.

                  Now, with the acquisition of Mediamorph, Whip Media Group can also help to value content. This allows buyers and sellers to make determinations about where to sell shows and for how much.

                  This data is highly valuable to Whip Media Group’s clients, which include more than 50 of the biggest names in entertainment — like Disney, Warner Bros., Hulu, NBCU, Paramount, Sony, Lionsgate, BBC, HBO, AT&T, T-Mobile, Liberty Global, Discovery and United Talent Agency. (There are other large, household names in streaming that also use the company’s data, but can’t be disclosed due to NDAs.)

                  When a content owner sells a show to a modern-day streaming service, they often have no way of knowing how it performs.

                  Whip Media Group, starting at the end of Q1, will be able to start making predictions about where a particular piece of content available for sale should go, says Rosenblatt.

                  “We will be able to roll out, starting in the first quarter, an ‘engagement score,’ where [content owners will] actually be able to look at how one piece of content engages a certain demographic or a certain geography differently than another piece of content,” Rosenblatt explains. “If you think about how ad networks got started 20 years ago — and you were trying to match the right consumer with the right ad, and all that mattered was if they clicked. Nothing else mattered. Google won because they had the best data, the best models…that’s what we want to do,” he continues.

                  “We want to put the right piece of content on the right platform, in the right country, to the right demographic. And we don’t think that there’s anyone else in this position like we are — that has all of that between Mediamorph and TV Time,” he says.

                  This data is more important than ever in an era where core classics are selling for as much as half a billion (like the “Seinfeld” sale to Netflix or “Friends” to HBO Max) or even more (like the billion-plus-dollar deal for “Big Bang Theory,” which also went to HBO Max.)

                  More broadly, global online television episode and movie revenues will reach $159 billion in 2024; more than double the $68 billion recorded in 2018, according to Research and Markets.

                  Whip Media Group’s new round of funding is being used, in part, to help pay for the Mediamorph acquisition, which was a combination of cash and stock. But the majority is being used to grow the business, including by expanding the company’s sales and data teams and accelerating product development.

                  The company has already hired 20 people so far and expects to hire 50 by year-end, mostly on the data and engineering sides.

                  “Whip Media Group is building software and data solutions that will transform the way content is being bought and sold throughout the global entertainment ecosystem,” said Ricky Sandler, chief executive officer of Eminence Capital, in a statement. “We believe in their vision and their exceptional leadership and technology teams and are excited to partner with them as they rapidly expand their business.”

                  Read more:

                  The actor and activist has backed up Harrys desire to protect his family, while Stormzy has said there is no credible reason to dislike Meghan

                  Hugh Grant has defended Prince Harrys decision to step back from formal royal duties and seek a self-financed life based partly in Canada.

                  Speaking on Andy Cohens Radio Andy show on Sirius XM, Grant said: Im rather on Harrys side. The tabloid press effectively murdered his mother, now theyre tearing his wife to pieces.

                  Grant was reminding listeners of the circumstances surrounding the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, who was in a vehicle being pursued by paparazzi, which then crashed, killing three of the four passengers, in Paris in August 1997.

                  Grant added: I think as a man, its his job to protect his family, so Im with him.

                  Grant was promoting his new film, The Gentleman, alongside co-stars Charlie Hunnam and Matthew McConaughey. In the film, Grant plays a seedy and unscrupulous tabloid reporter.

                  Grant has been a vociferous campaigner against press intrusion for nearly 10 years. His activism stepped up after the revelation that the voicemail of murdered teenager Milly Dowler had been hacked by the News of the World.

                  In 2018, Grant donated a payout from Mirror Group Newspapers to the Hacked Off anti-hacking campaign. MGN apologised to Grant and others for its morally wrong actions in hacking their phones.

                  Speaking to Cohen, Grant described his relationship with the tabloids as very poor.

                  Grants defence of Harry again pits him against longtime antagonist Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror with whom Grant frequently clashes on Twitter. Morgan has called the Duke and Duchess of Sussex the two most spoiled brats in history.

                  Grant won considerable acclaim for his portrayal of the disgraced Liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe in the Stephen Frears miniseries A Very English Scandal, which was broadcast in 2018. The Gentleman has earned more mixed reviews so far.

                  Speaking on Tuesday, the musician Stormzy also came to the couples defence, saying there was no credible reason for people not to like Meghan.

                  In the firing line Stormzy. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

                  In an interview with New York radio station Hot 97, he said: Meghan is a sweet woman, she does her thing and they just hate her.

                  The rapper referred to a clip of Eamonn Holmes on TalkSport, where the presenter says: I look at her and I think: I dont think Id like you.

                  Stormzy said that if those expressing such sentiments were made to write down the reasons for their negativity, they would find there was nothing credible to it.

                  He also discussed the backlash to an interview he recently gave in which he was asked whether he believed Britain was racist, to which he replied Yes, 100%.

                  The quote was taken out of context by numerous outlets to imply he believed the UK was entirely racist. Its the classic media spin, he said.

                  They know what theyre doing. Theyre weaponising what I said. A lot of people thought I was trying to incite division but thats what [the media] did, really.

                  Read more:

                  New York (CNN Business)20th Century Fox is an icon of Hollywood history. Its epic fanfare title card has appeared in front of “The Sound of Music,” “Star Wars” and other major films over the past 85 years. But in 2020, that name is no more.

                  Disney closed a $71 billion deal to acquire the studio and other Fox assets last year. The iconic logo, title card and its fanfare will stay the same, minus the name Fox.
                  The new branding will first be seen on Searchlight Pictures’ “Downhill,” a drama/comedy starring Will Ferrell and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, which hits theaters on February 14. “The Call of the Wild,” an adventure film starring Harrison Ford, will be the first film with the 20th Century Studios name, when it hits theaters on February 21.
                    The name change does make sense considering that the remaining assets from Fox such as the Fox Entertainment, Fox Sports and Fox News are a part of Fox Corporation, which has nothing to do with Disney.
                    However, the name change brings an end of an era in Hollywood.
                    “The name 20th Century Fox has deep roots in film, so it’s chipping away a little chunk of Hollywood history,” Leonard Maltin, a film critic and historian, told CNN business. “It’s one of the pillars of the moviegoing experience. Even a non-film buff recognizes that logo, that name and that music, which is one of the most famous fanfares in the world.”
                    20th Century Fox was born in 1935 as a merger between Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Films.
                    20th Century Fox has produced some of the most popular and beloved films in Hollywood history including “Die Hard,” “Alien,” “Miracle on 34th Street,” “All About Eve” and “Home Alone.”
                      Disney dominated 2019 with a record-setting year at the box office, but it was a bumpy year for its newly acquired studio.
                      Fox films such as “Dark Phoenix,” “Stuber” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” disappointed at the box office. However, “Jojo Rabbit” and “Ford v Ferrari,” two films from Searchlight and 20th Century, were nominated for multiple Oscars including best picture.

                      Read more:

                      Freelance writers and photographers sue over gig-economy protections that limit the number of stories they can produce

                      When California legislators passed a landmark workers rights bill in September, many hailed the legislation as a historic victory for workers in the gig economy. But with the law poised to take effect, some journalists are sounding the alarm bells.

                      On Tuesday, two groups representing freelance writers and photographers filed a legal challenge to the law ahead of its enactment on 1 January, saying it would unconstitutionally affect free speech by limiting how many stories they can produce.

                      California assembly bill 5, or AB5, changes the way contract workers are classified. It will implement a three-part standard for determining whether workers are properly classified as independent contractors, requiring that 1 they are free from the companys control, 2 they are doing work that isnt central to the companys business and 3 they have an independent business in that industry.

                      When it comes to writers and photographers, AB5 restricts contractors from producing more than 35 written content submissions a year for a single publication before they would be considered employees. In the lawsuit, the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the National Press Photographers Association allege the livelihood of many freelance journalists would be threatened by the bill.

                      Though the sweeping law affects all industries in California, journalists will be disproportionately affected, said Alisha Grauso, a journalist and member of the California Freelance Writers United. As the journalism industry has crumbled in the past decade, more publications have shifted to a model relying heavily on contract work while more writers have started freelancing.

                      The nature of our industry is so volatile that even if you are on staff in the media industry, there is no security, Grauso said. We have to be prepared to freelance at any time.

                      It is common for freelancers to secure what is called an anchor job, a steady gig that provides a regular paycheck, such as a weekly column or work shift, she said. Limiting writers to 35 submissions a year would undermine that model.

                      On the surface, this bill keeps us from doing our job and takes money out of our pockets, Grauso said. No industry has been impacted as much as freelance writers because of the nature of our work.

                      Advocates for AB5 argue news outlets exploit freelancers by hiring them to do full-time work without paying benefits. Many news outlets, particularly small ones, say they do not have the resources to employ writers full-time.

                      The effects are already playing out: the digital sports media company SB Nation, owned by Vox Media, announced on Tuesday it would end its use of more than 200 California freelancers, switching instead to using a much smaller number of new employees. Other publications are laying off longtime freelance contributors who are based in California.

                      The law gives newspaper companies a one-year delay to figure out how to apply the law to newspaper carriers, who work as independent contractors. The California Newspaper Publishers Association, which sought the extension, did not immediately comment on the new lawsuit.

                      The bills author, the Democratic assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, did not immediately comment on the lawsuit, nor did the state attorney general, Xavier Becerra, who is named in the lawsuit. She has said on Twitter that she was open to tweaking AB5 after journalists criticized it.

                      I will continue to work with freelancers, the industry & unions that represent writers to see if there are further changes that should be made, especially for digital quick jobs, she wrote. But this wont get resolved just on Twitter. And it cant happen before January.

                      The backlash against AB5 shows the bill needs more thought, said Andrew Ambrosino, CEO of the gig economy benefits startup Catch.

                      The California legislation passed this bill without understanding what they were doing, he said. I dont think its tenable at all and I dont think it is going to solve the problem they were trying to solve.

                      Other industries have also spoken out against the bill: the California Trucking Association last month filed the first challenge to the law, arguing it would harm independent truckers. Members of the music industry aired their grievances in an open letter by representatives of the Music Artists Coalition, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the American Association of Independent Music.

                      Uber, Lyft and DoorDash have said they will spend $90m on a 2020 ballot measure opposing the law if they cant negotiate other rules for their drivers. Uber also said it would keep treating its drivers as independent contractors and defend that decision in court if needed.

                      This ballot proposition will likely open the door to more ballot propositions, the California-based employment law attorney Eve Wagner said of the efforts from Uber, Lyft, and Doordash. This story is going to be going for quite some time.

                      Read more:

                      From Black Lives Matter to #OscarsSoWhite, the decade would not have been the same without black voices on social media

                      There is power in numbers. No internet subsection displayed this fact better than Black Twitter, which touched nearly every sphere of American culture and politics this decade.

                      In the 2010s Black Twitter become a cultural force to be reckoned with.It promoted Black Lives Matter and raised awareness around the tragic deaths of Sandra Bland and Eric Garner through hashtags such as #SayHerName and #ICantBreathe. Its anger over Kevin Harts homophobic tweets pressured him to drop out as a host for the 2018 Oscars ceremony. It pressured Pepsi to retract and apologize for a Kendall Jenner-fronted commercial accused of co-opting the Black Lives Matter movement. It created hundreds of delightfully viral moments such as eyebrows on fleek.And it helped a wild 180-tweet thread in which a stripper recounts an adventure-filled road trip to Florida become an A24-produced, feature-length film.

                      I would absolutely say this decade wouldnt be the same without Black Twitter, says the UVA professor Meredith D Clark, who is currently writing a book on the internet subsection. But I also think it was a continuation of our larger relationship with black American communities. Black culture has been actively mined for hundreds of years for influences on mainstream American culture.

                      Bizzle Osikoya (@bizzleosikoya)

                      Caption This

                      July 21, 2017

                      The thrill and intrigue of scrolling through Black Twitter often crossed cultural and racial lines. At the risk of getting randomly harshed on by the Internet, I cannot keep quiet about my obsession with Late Night Black People Twitter, an obsession I know some of you other white people share, because it is awesome, Choire Sicha wrote for The Awl in 2010, before Black Twitter had become the accepted moniker.

                      Defining Black Twitter continues to be difficult. The meaning is slightly amorphous, but it refers to a particular collective of black identities and voices on Twitter taking part in collective, culturally specific jokes and dialogues that affect the community from discussing colorism to dishing out jokes about common black mom phrases.

                      The Georgia Tech professor Andr Brock says Black Twitter allowed mainstream, white culture an unprecedented glimpse at how black people talk and joke among each other.It was one of the first spaces that white people could see how creative black people are with our discourse, and how we used a technology that wasnt originally designed for us.

                      Free Atlas (@Hampton)

                      When Popeyes made that Chicken Sandwich

                      August 20, 2019

                      One of the first viral Black Twitter moments of the decade came in response to the documentary Kony 2012, a 30-minute YouTube film that looked at the kidnappings of Ugandan children by a guerrilla group and efforts to find them. The video received over 120m views in only five days and redefined what virality meant, with donations towards the cause quickly surging.

                      However, members of Black Twitter were some of the first to criticize Invisible Children, the charity behind the film, for its sources of funding and misleading reporting. The critiques were surprisingly nuanced for a social media space, some citing the call for donations as another incident of slacktivism, a term used for low scale, feel-good displays of charity. Invisible Childrens campaign quickly faded in popularity, and the charity later struggled to survive after its viral moment.

                      This would be the power of Black Twitter over the course of the decade a diligent, occasionally merciless watchdog for problematic behavior.

                      Calling out cultural appropriation was a chief focus of the space in the early 2010s. Celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Kendall Jenner and Miley Cyrus were critiqued (and roasted) for adopting traditionally black hairstyles and/or dances. Its ability to prevent major business deals would also be flexed. In 2013, Black Twitters outrage was largely responsible for corporations ending their affiliations with chef Paula Deen after she admitted to using the n-word. Later, a juror from the 2013 George Zimmerman trial lost out on a major book deal when Black Twitter voiced disapproval. Users were able to directly put pressure on the jurors literary agent, Sharlene Martin. You know that the stains from blood money dont wash off, right? one user wrote at the time.

                      timanni (@positiviTeee)

                      How the world portrays Jesus vs how the Bible describes him. #MetGala

                      May 8, 2018

                      Here are just some of the celebrities and companies Black Twitter cancelled this decade: Roseanne, Pepsi, Meghan McCain, Gucci, Don Lemon, Iggy Azalea, Karamo Brown, Jeffree Star, Jussie Smollett, Kevin Hart, Kanye West, TI, Jay-Z, the NFL, Gina Rodriguez, Emma Stone, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Brown, Matt Damon.

                      Brock says the litany of cancellations that occurred on Black Twitter this decade were not simply rooted in anger and outrage, as media outlets frequently depicted them. They were moments of catharsis. People who have been affronted or hurt or wounded finally had a voice to make gatekeepers take notice, he says.

                      Clark says the subsection is not a monolith, but actually composed of numerous, small personal communities and networks, which then band together when an incendiary event or something that triggers discussion occurs.

                      Clark argues the term Black Twitter often led to racial biases (ie, depictions of the group as an angry mob) during media coverage. Whenever you put black in front of anything, people think its deviant from whats mainstream. I think that led to a lot of confusion for folks who were outside of Black Twitter. The term doesnt necessarily signal the cultural richness we found within the space.

                      Black Twitter has its roots in the low-tech forums and blogs of the early aughts.

                      Black Twitter has raised awareness around the tragic deaths of Sandra Bland and Eric Garner through hashtags such as #SayHerName and #ICantBreathe. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

                      Brock says, prior to 2010, black-centric blogs would try to pressure mainstream media into covering underreported topics, like 2006s Jena Six case (which saw activists protesting the excessive charges six black boys faced for beating a white classmate). Lipstick Alley, BlackPlanet, OkayPlayer, Crunk and Disorderly these sites were digital watering holes for early black internet users. However, their presence was nowhere near the scale or visibility of Black Twitter.

                      Blogs couldnt talk back to media in real time the same way Twitter can, Brock says. That ability to talk back to corporations and media, and for the talk back to be visible is what distinguishes Black Twitter from previous incidents of black communities online.

                      During the 2010s, Black Twitter would prevent the tragic deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland and too many others from being glossed over by news outlets. It proved the power of a hashtag through well-crafted digital campaigns. One study found that the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter was used over 1.7m times in the three weeks following a grand jurys decision not to indict the cop who killed Michael Brown.

                      However, there were downsides to the immense attention.

                      April Reign, who started the popular #OscarsSoWhite campaign, says media companies often surveilled the space, looking for ways to report on the black community without actually engaging with it. Its hard when you see someone who is having a profound discussion about a particular issue, and a media outlet will extract all these tweets and put a sentence at the end and call it an article, she says. That person got paid for writing the story and the media outlet got paid through advertising dollars for someone elses tweets. The person who wrote the tweets never sees a dime.

                      This would be a frequent problem throughout the decade, brands adopting popular phrases and jokes born in the space for advertisements. At 16, Kayla Newman had her eyebrows on fleek saying popularized through a re-circulated Vine video and became slang for flawless and perfection. Kaylas unique saying was used by brands like Dominos, Ihop and Dennys in advertising without her ever seeing a dime.

                      Denny’s (@DennysDiner)

                      hashbrowns on fleek

                      September 30, 2014

                      I gave the world a word, Kayla Newman told the writer Doreen St Felix in 2015. I cant explain the feeling. At the moment I havent gotten any endorsements or received any payment. I feel that I should be compensated. But I also feel that good things happen to those who wait.

                      There would be numerous occasions where Black Twitters lexicon provided new terms for popular culture: thot, bae, cuffing season, throwing shade, lit, turnt up. The exchanges were fun (even if they were often misused by white people), until companies began using the slang to sell T-shirts and other miscellaneous products online.

                      Of course, there were also major winners from the space. For the lucky, success on Black Twitter could be monetized. Lil Nas X who broke boundaries as an out gay, black man in rap and country mastered the arts of memes, retweets and follows to make his song Old Town Road an unexpected viral hit. Lil Nas X was allegedly able to go from running a Nicki Minaj stan account, under the handle @NasMaraj, to Grammy-nominated artist. (Lil Nas X has not confirmed running @NasMaraj, despite reporting, urls and time stamps strongly suggesting he did.)

                      Lil Nas X at the 47th annual American Music Awards, in Los Angeles, 24 November 2019. Photograph: Stewart Cook/REX/Shutterstock

                      Meanwhile, the social media accounts of fast-food chains like Popeyes and Wendys connected with audiences and sold product through lifting phrases and slang from black and gay communities on Twitter.

                      Elsewhere, the comedian Shiggy became an internet star when he danced to Drakes In My Feelings record, creating the dance challenge of 2018 and later appearing in the rappers video for the track.

                      As 2019 comes to an end, the power of Black Twitter is being demonstrated through the 2020 presidential campaigns. Joe Bidens story about CornPop, a racially charged pool confrontation in the 60s, provided the basis for numerous memes. Kamala Harris virality on Black Twitter was so strong that Maya Rudolph, while impersonating Harris on SNL, joked Mama needs a GIF! to boost her poll numbers. And conversations about reparations once thought of as a far-fetched, in-group topic were held by major candidates.

                      Ira Madison III (@ira)

                      Kamala Harris seems like shed suggest splitting up in a haunted house

                      July 29, 2019

                      Brock believes the outsized influence and visibility of Black Twitter will continue through the 2020s. As much as people complain about Twitter, it has a mindshare wildly out of proportion with its user base, he explains. I dont see a service that offers that same level of access, distribution, and open conversation on the horizon.

                      Read more: