Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kanye West Sex Tape With Kim Kardashian Look-A-Like Leaks?

Rumors of Kanye West’s alleged longtime obsession with girlfriend Kim Kardashian continue to surface. Radaronline is reporting that a 20 minute sex tape starring Yeezy and an 18-year-old Kim K look-a-like has just leaked. The Web Site asserts that it has viewed the footage in full and that Kanye is undoubtedly the person in the video. Radaronline has also published screen grabs of the tape.
The unidentified woman reportedly states her age at the beginning of the video and later reveals to ‘Ye that she’s married. “My husband and I don’t have sex anymore… that’s why I’m here,” she tells West in the tape, according to Radaronline.
Word is the tape is currently being shopped. As previously reported, rumors spread that prior to his relationship with Kim, West used to watch Kim Kardashian Superstar to get himself in the mood for sex with other women. West also mentioned Kardashian’s sex tape on G.O.O.D Music’s latest single, “Clique.” “Eat breakfast at Gucci/My girl a superstar all from a home movie,”he rhymes. Rumor has it that Kim’s mother, Kris Jenner later confronted ‘Ye on mentioning her daughter’s sex tape.
Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend Kanye West have even more in common than you think - because Kanye has a sex tape too, is exclusively reporting - with a Kim look-a-like!

The tape is nearly 20 minutes long and appears to have been shot in a hotel room with an unidentified female who clearly states at the beginning of the video that she's 18 years old.

The woman also confesses to Kanye that she is married and claims, "My husband and I don't have sex anymore… that's why I'm here!"

With her bodacious curves, dusky skin and long black hair the woman is a definite dead ringer for Kim Kardashian. has seen the tape in full and can verify without a doubt that it is Kanye in the footage.
During the couple's steamy sex romp, they never kiss and don't interact any further than simply doing the deed, in various positions throughout and with Kanye wearing a condom.

Kanye is clearly aware the romp is being filmed because you can see that he's the one who set up the camera in the beginning and at the end he looks directly into it before switching it off.

According to a San Fernando sex industry insider, the video was shot sometime shortly before Kanye started dating Kim and he is terrified of the tape getting out.

"The sex tape is being shopped right now and there's a lot of interest, but Kanye is freaking out!" the insider revealed.

"He doesn't want this tape out and will do anything to make sure it stays private.

"If this were to hit the market it would be worth a fortune… there would definitely be a lot of people wanting to see this!
"In my expert opinion Kanye's performance far outweighs Kim's!"

Ironically, it's Kanye who brags about Kim's sex tape that she made in 2007 with Ray J in his new songClique.
"Eat breakfast at Gucci/My girl a superstar all from a home movie," Kanye raps about the XXX video that launched Kim's career.

The insider concludes by telling "Kanye was practically in tears when he heard the tape was being shopped."

Universal's Deal for EMI No Longer a Sure Thing, But Still Worthwhile

How much will Universal Music Group miss that pound of flesh the European Commission took when it forced considerable concessions from the world's largest record company in exchange from its approval of a merger with EMI Music? That's the question as Universal prepares to sell business throughout Europe to reduce its competitive footprint.

The merger was a win for Universal in many ways. The company will grow its share of the recorded music market in the U.S., U.K. and other major markets. It will add artists such as the Beatles and Katy Perry to its roster. It will get some -- but not all -- of the cost savings it originally set out to achieve. This is an auspicious beginning to the Lucian Grainge era.

But the deal no longer has the instant look of success it did when Universal's bid of $1.9 billion (£1.2 billion) won Citigroup's auction in November. The EC played harder hardball than people in the industry had expected. Now Universal must divest a laundry list of assets even though its purchase price remains at $1.9 billion.

The exact value of the assets to be sold is unknown, but it's clear many of the labels and artists being divested are most popular in Europe. Reports put their combined size at 30% of EMI's global operations and their annual European revenues at $450 million. It's a big loss in Europe but less of a loss in the U.S. (which is why the FTC did not seek concessions) and elsewhere.

The concessions introduce a new element of risk. Selling assets at a possible loss and losing cost synergies could effectively raises EMI's acquisition price. The exact value of the assets to be divested is unknown and Universal may be able to fetch very good prices. But if we assume the value of EMI declines by just 5%, due to divestitures, the acquisition price will have increased to $2 billion from $1.9 billion. Greater losses mean a higher acquisition price. On the other hand, Universal could come out ahead if the buyers of Parlaphone, Mute and other labels pay more than Universal paid Citigroup.

Other factors erode the value of the deal, too, although in subtle ways that are all but impossible to quantify. For example, Universal cannot use a most-favored nation clause in licensing contracts with digital services. Such a clause allows Universal to receive any term granted to its competitors. A high royalty given to one competitor, for example, would mean a licensor with most-favored nation status would also receive that royalty. Without the ability to employ that clause, Universal loses some digital royalties. It could be a small amount, but the amount is significant enough for the EU to add most-favored nation to its list of concessions. This concession is worth taking to get the deal done.

If size equals power equals negotiating power, a smaller post-merger Universal will be less valuable. Universal executives were correct when they said the company -- and the record industry in general -- does not have much leverage in dealing with digital giants like iTunes and cannot simply raise prices on brick-and-mortar chains because it's the biggest music company in the world. But economic theory holds that businesses that have market power will use it to their advantage. When assessing mergers and acquisitions, regulators apply economic theory that's based on historical precedent. So you have to figure there's more than theory at work here. Understanding that Universal didn't buy EMI just for the fun, the EU had to scale down Universal's value a few notches.

Universal and the Sony-led consortium that acquired EMI's publishing business didn't buy music history, per se. They bought the future value of music history. They acquired catalogs based on the cash they will generate in the future, not the cash they have already generated in the past. They bought assets based on the cash the assets will generate on the formats of the future, not the formats of the past.

The obvious question is, did Universal overpay? That's difficult to answer without knowing the value of EMI assets it will sell. But we know Universal will sell quite a few valuable assets that make up a large portion of EMI's current business, especially in Europe. And we know Universal would rather keep those assets than take whatever money they will get for their sales. Universal will have a difficult time reinvesting that money in similar assets -- world-class catalogs and music companies don't come up for sale every day.

When compared to historical values of EMI, and when combined with the $1.4 billion purchase price of EMI's publishing business, one can see Universal paid far less than Terra Firma in 2007 (4.2 billion pounds, or roughly $8 billion at the time) and less than Terra Firma's valuation of EMI in 2009 (2.2 billion pounds). The 2.6 billion pounds ($4.1 billion) cumulatively paid by Universal and the Sony-led consortium for the sum of EMI's parts is 38.1% lower than the 4.2 billion pounds paid by private equity firm Terra Firma in 2007.

EMI fetched a good price relative to Warner Music Group's $3.3 billion price tag in May 2011. Warner has annual sales of about $2.87 billion.

With the concessions imposed by the EU and the new elements of risk, Universal's EMI deal no longer seems like the sure thing it was in November. But it's also safe to say Universal and Sony et al didn't make Terra Firma's blunder by overpaying. Valuations are -- correctly -- lower than in years past. Assuming Universal doesn't lose its shirt on the divestments, this deal, headaches and all, could work out just fine.

Besides, this was a deal that was going to get done. As businessmen often say, "If you're not growing, you're dying."

Exonerated player to sign with UFL’s Locomotives

LAS VEGAS — Brian Banks, a one-time high school football star who was recently exonerated in a California rape case in which he was falsely accused, is finally getting a chance to play professional football.
The 26-year-old Banks, a linebacker, is signing with the Las Vegas Locomotives of the United Football League, a move the team confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
Banks served more than five years in prison following a conviction a decade ago on rape and kidnapping charges. The woman later recanted her claim and offered to help Banks clear his name.
Banks and the Locomotives will announce the signing at a news conference Thursday.
“We’re very pleased to be able to welcome this young man to the UFL and give him an opportunity in football that was denied him years ago,” Locomotives coach Jim Fassel said in a statement.
Banks was trying to land a spot in the NFL and got his first tryout with the Seattle Seahawks. He also received tryouts with the San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs, and eventually took part in Seattle’s minicamp in June. Banks was grateful to Seattle coach Pete Carroll for the opportunity to see where he stacked up against NFL players. Banks had verbally committed to playing for Carroll at USC before Banks’ arrest and conviction.
— Associated Press

Law & Order actress sues co-op board

NEW YORK — Law & Order actress S. Epatha Merkerson has filed a lawsuit against her Manhattan co-op board.
Merkerson alleges the co-op managers turned off the ventilation to her gas stove without telling her in 2008. She claims that left her “in jeopardy of her life” because the gases could have built up.
The suit also alleges that the roof of the Riverside Drive co-op overlooking the Hudson River was in such bad repair she had to move out for a year.
She bought the apartment in 2002 for a reported $1.7 million.
The co-op board and manager, Midboro management, did not immediately return calls for comment.
Merkerson played Lt. Anita Van Buren on the TV series for 16 years.
— Associated Press

LMFAO Taking a Break to 'Do What’s Natural'

LMFAO members Redfoo and Sky Blu are taking a break from party rocking together to focus on their own personal and professional interests, The Associated Press reports.
"I feel like we've been doing this for so long, five or six years," Redfoo said earlier this week. "And we're kind of like saying, well, let's just do what's natural and just kind of explore that, instead of like forcing it all the time."
So what comes natural for the uncle-nephew duo ? Well, Redfoo has been working on some solo material that he says "is always going to be LMFAO-ish . . . I was really passionate about bringing party music to the world, so I will always be making some kind of party music." 
He's also branched into the world of sports, writing a song for the New England Patriots at the request of the team's owners, and performing at some dates on the U.S. women's gymnastic team's gold-medal victory tour. He's even coaching tennis, working with Las Vegas-based junior player Ayaka Okuno. 
"I kind of use the Phil Jackson approach which I teach her some vague things – I teach her how to think for herself on the court," Redfoo said. "She's really good at self-analyzing."
While LMFAO certainly isn't finished, Redfoo said he's not sure when he'll reunite with Sky Blu, saying the two are going in "different directions." 
"I think that we naturally just started hanging with two different sets of people, two different crowds, but we're always family," he added. "He'll always be my nephew, I'll always be his uncle."
Earlier this year, before LMFAO embarked on their Sorry for Party Rocking tour, the duo dismissed rumors that there was a rift in the group: "It's completely false," Sky Blu said at the time. "We're family at the end of the day. Blood is stronger than anything."

Sale of Promoter AEG Would Radically Alter Concert Business

If billionaire Philip Anschutz sells his Anschutz Entertainment Group which controls portions of the Lakers and Kings sports teams as well as Los Angeles' Staples Center, London's O2 Arena, 98 other entertainment venues and the Coachella music festival – he could drastically change the modern concert business. For the past decade, the company's aggressive executives have been a thorn in the side of competitor Live Nation, the world's largest promoter, by signing not every major tour, but certain key winners – Prince in 2004, Bon Jovi the last several years, Justin Bieber in 2010 and Taylor Swift in 2011.
"I've been accused of being a cherry-picker, sometimes, for the tours we buy. I can live with that," Randy Phillips, chief executive for AEG Live, the company's entertainment division, told Rolling Stone in 2010, claiming robust sales while many of its competitors were plagued with empty seats and canceled tours all summer. "We'll buy everything we believe in, and we'll work our asses off to make it work."
Reps for AEGwhich sold 12.2 million tickets to its events last year, compared to Live Nation's 22 million, according to Pollstar – did not respond to requests for comment on a potential sale. The company's availability was made known on Tuesday.
AEG's approach, while providing a key Number Two for Live Nation in the concert business, may not be profitable forever, according to promoters and artist managers. These days, touring stars such as Jimmy Buffett have enough leverage to negotiate 110 percent of the overall ticket sales, leaving promoters to cover their own expenses through service fees, beer and parking – costs that have ballooned in recent years and irritated music fans. Plus, the biggest, most reliable stars, from the Rolling Stones to Madonna, are aging, and few have emerged to replace them in arenas and stadiums.
John Scher, a veteran New York City promoter who frequently bids for shows against AEG and Live Nation, estimates concert-business profit margins at three to five percent. The famously reclusive Anschutz has not explained his reasons for selling AEG, but such margins may be too low.
"There's not a big upside to being in the concert business," Scher says, adding that Anschutz may be thinking, "I'm not necessarily sure there's much growth here . . . Probably my millions of dollars that are invested in this can be put to better use to make more money. Let me sell it while it looks like a good business."
Possible buyers for the Anschutz Entertainment Group, according to reports and concert-business sources, include Live Nation itself and music companies such as the Universal and Warner record labels; private-equity firms such as Thomas H. Lee Partners, Bain Capital and Colony Capital; and wealthy businesspeople like Patrick Soon-Shiong, Liberty Media's John Malone and longtime concert-promotion investor Robert Sillerman.
When Anschutz offered AEG for sale Tuesday, the company stipulated that it not be broken up into pieces – which suggests, sources say, that top executives such as Phillips and AEG President Tim Leiweke could stay in their existing positions even after the sale. Reports have estimated the company could draw between $6 billion and $8 billion, which could put the company out of reach for entertainment-only entities such as Live Nation or Universal.
AEG's recent bad press regarding Michael Jackson's final days may be an additional reason for its sale. During preparation for Jackson's O2 shows in 2009, Phillips told reporters Jackson was in great health; however, a few weeks ago, the Los Angeles Times printed emails that indicated Phillips knew more than he was letting on. "MJ is locked in his room drunk and despondent," Phillips had written to his boss, Leiweke. "I [am] trying to sober him up." The emails came out after two insurers sued AEG, trying to nullify a $17.5 million policy the promoter reportedly took out on Jackson.
Some in the concert business speculate Anschutz, a deeply religious billionaire, may be embarrassed by what has come out – and may still come out – regarding the Michael Jackson tragedy. "He's a guy that doesn't like the limelight," says a source.
But Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of concert-business magazine Pollstar, disagrees, recalling AEG's bookings of morally questionable pop stars such as Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie.
"Anschutz is supposedly a highly religious man, a very conservative billionaire," he says. "However, he has not let his politics influence the operations of the company, as far as I can tell." In the end, Bongiovanni knows exactly who will buy the company: "It's going to have to be somebody who can write an enormous check."

New Bills Seek Internet Radio Royalty Parity

U.S. Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Jared Polis (D-CO) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced versions of Internet Radio Fairness Act on Friday to address the high royalties paid by some digital radio platforms.

The bills are an attempt to change how royalties are negotiated. Internet radio services pay a statutory royalty that is set by a three-person Copyright Royalty Board. The new bills aim to use what is called an 801(b) standard that is used for satellite radio and cable, both of which pay a far lower percent of revenue.

Different businesses with different business models do indeed pay different royalties as a percent of their revenues. Satellite radio company Sirius XM Radio will pay SoundExchange 8% of its revenue for performance royalties in 2012. In contrast, Pandora paid over 50% of revenue for content in 2011 and nearly 63.9% in the six-month period ending July 31, 2012.

The bills had been expected for a new of months. Internet radio company Pandora has been active in Washington, D.C., in recent months and has been especially outspoken about parity in royalties this year.

"It is a very important bill for Pandora," Pandora founder Tim Westergren wrote at the company's blog on Friday. "For the first time since 1998, it will finally bring fairness to the way performance royalties are determined for Internet radio."

Various trade groups immediately voiced their support for the bills. The Consumer Electronics Association called it "a common sense bill," while the National Association of Broadcasters said it "strongly supports legislative efforts to establish fair webcast streaming rates."

But the musicFIRST Coalition, a trade group representing artists and performers, argued the Internet Radio Fairness Act would repeal the current fair market rate being paid by services like Pandora.

"There's nothing fair about pampering Pandora, with its $1.8 billion market cap, at the expense of music creators," musicFIRST coalition executive director Ted Kalo said. "Going from a fair market, 'willing buyer, willing seller' rate to a government mandated subsidy will break the backs of artists, while Pandora executives pad their pockets.  We support rate parity that addresses the greatest inequity of all, the lack of a performance right for terrestrial radio, and is fair to music creators."

Friday, September 21, 2012

Lady Gaga lit up Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome

Lady Gaga lit up Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome quite literally on Monday, taking time to smoke some weed onstage at her Born This Way Ball tour stop. Sampling some funny cigarettes, Gaga sniffed a few before tossing them aside. Eventually, she encountered one that she hoped "was real."
After further inspection, the joint was in fact deemed "real," and Gaga promptly fired up the fatty before tossing most of its unsmoked remains to the crowd. Yes, the audience was cheering quite enthusiastically, but Gaga assured them that those few drags weren't nearly enough to get her "high," whatever that means.
Gaga then wrapped up her blaze session by sharing some marijuana-inspired clothing items, because weed apparently sparks creativity. Boldly enough, she even declared taking action in the fight for medical marijuana. "I will one day be meeting with the President, and talking to Oprah in the next day. I will be talking to you about the medical wonders of marijuana," she said, with a giggle. 
The joyous look on her face says it all.

Shakira Pregnant With Her First Child

Shakira announced on her website yesterday that she and Spanish soccer star boyfriend Gerard Piqué are expecting her first child. "As some of you may know, Gerard and I are very happy awaiting the arrival of our first baby!" she wrote. "At this time we have decided to give priority to this unique moment in our lives and postpone all the promotional activities planned over the next few days."
Shakira also canceled her slot at this weekend's iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas, but hasn't announced any further cancelations, or a due date for the baby. She'll still keep busy, joining The Voice as a judge for the show's fourth season next spring.

Panera Bread settles discrimination suit

PITTSBURGH (AP) — An Ohio franchisee who runs several western Pennsylvania Panera Bread stores has agreed to pay more than $76,000 to settle discrimination claims by current and former black employees.
Chief U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster on Monday told attorneys for Guy Vines, the black worker, and the company he sued in January, Warren, Ohio-based Covelli Enterprises, to advertise the settlement in newspapers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Kentucky and West Virginia, where Covelli operates Panera stores.
Vines sued claiming he was denied promotions and made to work in the kitchen because company owner Sam Covelli didn’t want black employees in areas where the public was served. About 200 to 300 black workers may be entitled to money, Vines’ attorney, Samuel Cordes told the judge.
According to online court records, Vines will receive $10,000 for being the lead plaintiff and Cordes will receive $66,000 in legal fees. In addition, Covelli must pay a yet-to-be determined amount based on how many current and former employees respond to the advertisements and file claims.
Those workers will get 70 cents an hour for each hour they worked in excess of one year at any of Covelli’s Panera’s stores. That’s based upon how much money Covelli’s workers stood to gain had they been promoted after their first year.
The settlement covers all current or former black employees who worked for Covelli for at least a year between Jan. 11, 2008 and Jan. 11, 2012 — the day Vines filed his lawsuit. Vines contends he was hired in November 2009 and quit in August 2011 over his alleged mistreatment.
Cordes and Covelli’s attorney, Brad Funari, declined to comment after the hearing.
Covelli continues to deny wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
“Covelli maintains that is it an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate, nor has it ever discriminated, in its employment decisions,” the settlement said, and Covelli has pledged not to discriminate in the future.
The litigation against Covelli didn’t begin with Vines’ lawsuit, but rather with one filed by a white man, Scott Donatelli, who was fired as manager of Covelli’s store in the upscale Pittsburgh suburb of Mount Lebanon in September 2011. The company claimed in court papers that Donatelli violated policies pertaining to medical leave, though Donatelli’s lawsuit alleged he was fired for refusing to stop giving cash register duties to Vines, who was not identified by name in Donatelli’s suit.
Donatelli claimed a district manager reprimanded him and said Covelli would “(expletive) if he got a look at ‘that’” — referring to Vines working anywhere customers could see him.
Vines was identified as the employee in question when he sued in January, prompting Covelli to release a statement which called both lawsuits “completely unfounded” and “a coordinated attempt by two disgruntled former employees to discredit the company for a profit motive.”
Cordes, who represented both men, said in Vines’ lawsuit that “African Americans were routinely assigned to jobs either in the back of the store washing dishes or doing food preparation so customers would not see them” and that top Covelli managers dictated that “people who are ‘Black, Fat, and/or ugly’ should never be permitted to work the cash registers.”
Donatelli’s lawsuit settled earlier this year. The terms weren’t disclosed.

Live Nation, TicketMaster, StubHub Apps Add Support For Apple's New Passbook

Apple began pushing out its new iOS 6 operating system Wednesday that includes support for Passbook, a new Apple application that acts like a wallet for concert tickets, boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards. Applications that support Passbook started showing up at iTunes Wednesday from such companies as Ticketmaster, Live Nation, StubHub, Major League Baseball, Fandango and American Airlines.
Business Matters: Apple Still King of Digital Music, Unveils New iTunes, iPhone, iPods Passbook should be a helpful tool for mobile ticketing. iOS device owners can use Passbook rather than a handful of mobile ticketing, customer loyalty and other apps individually. Adding a ticket to a Passbook is as easy as clicking a button in a confirmation email.
One early Passbook review was fairly positive. CNET took Passbook to a Major League Baseball game - the San Francisco Giants are one of four teams currently using Passbook.

Also on Wednesday, Apple issued iOS 6 updates on Wednesday for GargaeBand, AirPort Utility, iPhoto, iTunes Movie Trailers, Podcasts, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers and a number of other applications. An update was also issued for the upcoming iPhone 5.

No update was issued for iTunes. A revamped version of the popular music player and store, revealed at last week's press event in San Francisco, will be released in October. The new iTunes will have a new interface and music player, a redesigned iTunes Store and App Store and iCloud integration.

Fiona Apple Arrested In Texas

Fiona Apple was reportedly arrested at a Texas border stop yesterday for hash possession, according to TMZ. Authorities arrested Apple in Sierra Blanca, Texas, after they allegedly found hash during a search of her tour bus. She's being held at the Hudspeth County Jail.
The Sierra Blanca border stop is no stranger to big time arrests – Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson have both been previously busted at the checkpoint.


With the release of one of the year'ss most anticipated album, G.O.O.D Music’s Cruel Summer, fans and critics alike have been serving up varied opinions of the compilation, some loving it, and others, not so much. Rapper and songwriter Roscoe Dash is siding with the latter, not because he isn’t a fan of the music, but because he was not featured in the credits for the album. Dash took to twitter, in a 7-tweet rant that left the music industry wondering, what the hell is going on?
“Everybody go get the G.O.O.D album and listen to #1 then watch @Kanyewest interview & tell me y I’m not in the credits”

“Can’t do favors for niggas bcuz no matter how humble and generous u r to ppl niggas will take everything u have … even niggas u look up to”

“The most talented ppl get the lease credit for everything and the crazy part is they put in the MOST work…”

“same shyt with @wale lotus flower bomb I wrote that for him b4 he even signed to ross & it went #1”

“…but nobody would kno that cuz I’m not in the credits”

“but EVERYTHING must eventually come to the light…..”

“& I’m only speaking on this publicly bcuz there are so many ppl who wanna be apart of the industry but dnt kno half the shit that goes on”

AEG CEO Tim Leiweke On Impending Sale: 'We Won't Miss a Beat'

According to Anschutz Entertainment Group President/CEO Tim Leiweke, if a press release had never been issued regarding the potential sale of AEG two days ago, "No one would have ever noticed the change." 

While the announcement of AEG being on the block
 has created a furor in the sports and entertainment industry, Leiweke considers that an over-reaction. "People act like this is going to be some seismic earthquake within our company and it won't be," Leiweke tells "We won't miss a beat."

Leiweke, 55, cited the stability in AEG's upper management as a testament to the company's preparedness to transition to new ownership. That includes commitment to bringing the National Football League back to Los Angeles and building a downtown stadium with a naming rights deal in place with Farmers Insurance.

Anschutz Company To Sell AEG
 "The reality is the management team here has been the same management team since we started this," he says. "I hired these people, I brought them together, we've had very little change here. I have the same people I've had all along in this process. Everyone's re-upped, everyone's committed long term, I'm going to be cutting the ribbon at Farmers Field. And, with all due respect to Mr. Anschutz, the people that run this thing day-to-day are not going anywhere, and we're still as committed."

It was that day-to-day management team that negotiated with the City to build the stadium, Leiweke points out, again stressing AEG's on-going commitment to the project. "The fact is, AEG is the corporation that entered into the agreement with the city and will enter into the agreement with the NFL on Farmer's Field, not Phil Anschutz or the Anschutz Corporation," Leiweke says. "This was always driven by AEG. We're not going away, we're not going to change. In fact, we're going to dramatically continue to grow as we go on in time. This is an investment change, this is not an organizational change. This is phase II of AEG, and I predict our best years are ahead of us, not behind us."

Leiweke declined to confirm the reported price tag of between $7 and $8 billion for AEG. "The price is what someone's willing to pay for it, so we'll see what that may be," he says. However, he did confirm that the company would not be broken up. "That's not gonna happen. These assets are inter-connected. Our ticketing company ties into our facility management company ties into our real estate development company ties into our content company ties into our sports company. We don't do things for the purpose of a simple investment, we do things for the purpose of a simple operational company. That's the uniqueness of AEG and we're not breaking the pieces apart."

As for speculation that a local consortium, including management, would be involved in the new ownership group, Leiweke says, "I would say that there is a philosophy of participation that has existed and will continue to exist in the company. We all have a vested interest in this company today and we'll have a vested interest in this company tomorrow."

The AEG model of building first-class venues and programming them with sports and entertainment is simple in theory but, "It is not easy to do," Leiweke says. "It has taken a lot of Phil's money and our time and energy over the last 15 years. I consider myself to be a young man, and I consider not only our best days ahead of us, we happen to be working on a few things in the company that are going to be as dynamic and big for us as the O2 [in London] and L.A. Live were."

Leiweke repeatedly expressed confidence in the future of AEG under new ownership, and hinted at the timing behind the announcement. "We have come to a point where it's important to find the next phase for AEG and the next owner for AEG, because [Anschutz] is 73 years old, and he does want to go through some planning and a different phase of his life, and I completely respect that," he says. "We've always operated under the understanding that this was an equity investment, and I'd have to cooperate with him to get an exit strategy. That's all this is."

BMI Releases Results, Revenue Down 3.5% Due to Radio Rate Settlement

In the year ended June 30, 2012, Broadcast Music, Inc. reported $898.8 million in revenue, a nearly 3.5% decline from the $931 million collected in the prior year. The organization attributed the decline to " settling a rate litigation" with terrestrial radio

The settlement, announced in June, provided that BMI receives 1.7% of radio revenue less certain standard deductions but also included a $70.5 million credit adjustment for payments made by radio to BMI back in 2010 and 2011. Excluding the impact of the settlement's deductions, BMI reported that revenue would have been up 4%, which translates to about $969 million. 

"BMI has weathered the economic storm remarkably well considering the negative conditions that have impacted many of our revenue sources," BMI President and CEO Del Bryant said in a statement. "Our performance in fiscal year 2012 under these difficult conditions is a testament to our prudent fiscal management and to our resolve to responsibly manage the copyrights and income entrusted to us by our publishers and songwriters." 

During the recently completed year, BMI distributed $749.8 million in royalties, down 5.8% from the $796 million paid out in the prior year. "Even with the retroactive radio settlement and a challenging financial landscape, we have still been able to return nearly 84 cents of every dollar we have generated back to our publishers and songwriters," Bryant pointed out in a statement. "Our distributions to music publishers and songwriters have remained predictable and reliable." 

For the first time, international revenues accounted for more than a third of BMI's total revenue, totaling $302 million, up 12% from the prior year, the organization pointed out. Other bright spots included an 8% increase to $108 million in general licensing revenue from physical establishments such as restaurants and nightclubs; and a 27% increase in digital revenue to $35 million. Digital revenue last year comprised 6% of domestic revenue primarily due to the rise in music use by BMI's 10,000 digital licensees. 

BMI songwriters include Lady Gaga, Foster the People's Mark Foster, Maroon 5, Benny Blanco and Pitbull, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and the Band Perry, while its composers include Mike Post and John Williams. In total, the organization claims 7.5 million copyrights. 

In addition, BMI represents songwriters from other countries including Elton John (PRS), Sting (PRS), Eric Clapton (PRS), The Who (PRS), Alexandre Desplat (SACEM), to current chart toppers Adele (PRS), One Direction (PRS) and Gotye (APRA). 

Going forward, BMI is predicting a return to revenue and royalty distribution growth, resuming its 20-year record of year-over-year increases, according to a statement from the organization.


A Colorado man was awarded $7.2 million by a federal judge after developing a chronic condition known as popcorn lung from a chemical used in flavoring microwave popcorn.
According to Yahoo! News, jurors sided with 59-year-old Watson who claimed that the popcorn manufacturer and the supermarket chain that sold it were negligent by failing to put the warning on labels that the butter flavoring, diacetyl, was dangerous. The condition, more specifically referred to as bronchiolitis obliterans, is a form of obstructive lung disease that makes it difficult for air to flow out of the lungs and is irreversible, according to WebMd. Watson was the first consumer of microwave popcorn diagnosed with the disease, his attorney Kenneth McClain said.
After years of inhaling the smell of artificial butter from the popcorn he said he ate daily, Watson was diagnosed with the disease in 2007. An attorney for the defendants had told jurors that Watson's health problems were from his years of using dangerous chemicals as a carpet cleaner. The verdict was the latest in a line of cases in the past 15 years, starting with workers in popcorn plants where diacetyl was an ingredient and was linked to health problems.
Jurors found Gilster-Mary Lee Corp, the private-labeling manufacturer of the popcorn, liable for 80 percent of the $7,217,961 damages and the King Soopers supermarket chain and its parent, Kroger Co, liable for 20 percent. A spokeswoman for King Soopers and Kroger said the companies intended to appeal the decision while an attorney for Gilster-Mary Lee was not immediately available for comment.
It took the jury a day to reach the verdict after a nine-day trial.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lady Gaga Debuts Yet Another ‘Meat Garment’

Ready to meet Lady Gaga's meat, yet again?

The superstar singer is continuing on a seemingly endless quest to offend vegetarians with yet another version of her infamous "meat dress"--this time, in a showy corset version much more form-fitting than the original. (Er, as form-fitting as a garment made of meat can be, that is.)
Gaga's "meat corset" debuted at a concert in Budapest last month and made a repeat appearance at her show in Amsterdam this week. The corset featured a strapless neckline and, reportedly, a thong-style comfortable that could be, we're not quite certain. Of course, Gaga chose matching "meat booties" to complete the look.
Although certainly revealing, this outfit isn't the most risque in Gaga's meat locker. She wore abikini made of the stuff for the September 2010 cover of Vogue Japan. The original "meat dress" was worn for the 2010 Video Music Awards, and is now part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's exhibit "Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power," currently touring in Washington D.C.

Tests identify only Zimmerman DNA on gun

ORLANDO, Fla. — Forensic tests made public Wednesday show that George Zimmerman’s was the only DNA that could be identified on the grip of the gun used to fatally shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
The results rule out Martin’s DNA from being on the gun’s grip. Zimmerman’s DNA also was identified on the gun’s holster, but no determination could be made as to whether Martin’s DNA was on the gun’s holster, according to the report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Zimmerman is charged with second-degree murder for fatally shooting Martin during a confrontation in a gated community in Sanford in February. Zimmerman is pleading not guilty, claiming self-defense.
A delay in Zimmerman’s arrest led to nationwide protests.
The question of whose DNA is on the gun and holster could play a role in Zimmerman’s defense.
Zimmerman says Martin had been on top of him, slamming his head against the ground and smothering his mouth and nose with his hand and arm when he grabbed his gun from a holster on his waist before Martin could get it. He shot the teenager once in the chest.
Other documents released by prosecutors Wednesday include an interview with the clerk of a convenience store where Martin purchased Skittles and a can of iced tea moments before his confrontation with Zimmerman. The clerk said in the interview, more than a month after Martin was shot, that he didn’t remember Martin.
“To be honest, I don’t even remember that day,” said the clerk, whose name was redacted from the audio interview.
— Associated Press


After selling tickets to his New Year's Eve show with Elle Varner last week and headlining Rock The Bells this past summer, Nasir is all about the performance life.
He recently announced that he will be hitting the road with "If I Ruled The World" collaborator Lauryn Hill for the Life Is Good/Black Rage,/em> tour this fall.
The tour name comes from a mashup of Nas’s groundbreaking #1 album, Life Is Good and “Black Rage,” a new song by Ms. Lauryn Hill about the derivative effects of racial inequity and abuse that will be released this fall.
“I use the performance platform as an opportunity to express the energy of that moment, and the intention behind it,” said Ms. Hill. “I've been a long standing rebel against the stale, over commoditization. As artists we have opportunity to help the public evolve, raise consciousness and awareness, teach, heal, enlighten and inspire in ways the democratic process may not be able to touch. So we keep it moving.”
God's son expressed his hype over the show collaboration. “This is history,” Nas said. “Better late than never. Life is good!”
While tickets don't go on sale till this Friday (Sept. 21) and pre-sale tickets in select markets Thursday (Sept. 20), you can check the dates below and plan accordingly.
October 6th - Columbia, MD - Merriweather Post Pavilion (NAS ONLY)
October 20th - Phoenix, AZ - Arizona State Fairgrounds (NAS ONLY)
October 26th - Asheville, NC - MOOG Festival (NAS ONLY)
October 27th - Nashville, TN - Riverfront Park (NAS ONLY)
October 28th - New Orleans, LA - Voodoo Festival (NAS ONLY)
October 29th - Dallas, TX - Palladium Ballroom
October 31st - Houston, TX - Bayou Music Center
November 2nd - Atlanta, GA - Tabernacle
November 3rd - Norfolk, VA - NorVa Theatre (NAS ONLY)
November 4th - Washington, DC - DAR Constitution Hall
November 7th - Philadelphia, PA - Electric Factory
November 9th - Rochester, NY - Main Street Armory (NAS ONLY)
November 11th - Boston, MA - House of Blues
November 14th - Chicago, IL - Congress Theatre
November 16th - Denver, CO - Fillmore Auditorium
November 17th - Magna, UT - Salt Air
November 19th - Oakland, CA - Fox Oakland Theater
December 31st - New York, NY - Radio City Music Hall (NAS ONLY)