Costa Rica police rule out foul play in death of Ann Pattons

first_img Facebook Comments More difficult news happened last week for AnnMaxine Patton, who was convicted last May in Costa Rica of killing her husband, U.S. financier John Felix Bender in 2010 in a case that has drawn ongoing international scrutiny, the latest of which is from the CBS program “48 Hours.”Last Wednesday, Patton’s boyfriend, 40-year-old New York State native Greg Fischer, was found dead in his Escazú apartment southwest of San José, from an apparent heart attack or asthma attack, his brother Brian stated in a Facebook post.https://www.facebook.com/brian.m.fischer.92/posts/10153336848643858?pnref=storyA spokeswoman for the Judicial Investigation Police confirmed the death to The Tico Times and said no foul play is suspected.A memorial service is scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Claude R. Boyd/Spencer Funeral Home in West Islip, New York, Brian Fischer posted on Facebook.In recent months, Greg Fischer had joined Patton’s friends and family members in a campaign to draw attention to her case, which has been featured on CNN, CBS and several other international news outlets. A court previously had exonerated Patton of the charges of shooting to death her husband John in 2010 in the bedroom of their extravagant jungle estate in southern Costa Rica. Patton always has maintained the death was a suicide.Yet after an appeal by prosecutors, a second trial was ordered, and last May a different court found Patton guilty of murder and sentenced her to 22 years in prison. Friends, family members and supporters are fighting for her release, citing several inconsistencies in the evidence presented by prosecutors, and what they say is enough reasonable doubt to have the case tossed.Patton’s supporters have started a signature drive at change.org and a fundraising effort at gofundme.com.According to the Costa Rican Prosecutor’s Office, Patton currently is held at the Buen Pastor women’s prison in San José, where she awaits a hearing on an appeal of the conviction. Related posts:US State Department lists Costa Rica among major drug-transit countries Mexico horrified by suspected massacre, incineration of 43 students Top 6 crime stories of 2014 More than 170,000 call for pardon of Netflix ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Averylast_img read more

CFPB Official Discusses New Servicing Rules

first_img Compliance Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Five Star Institute Regulations 2014-09-23 Seth Welborn Share CFPB Official Discusses New Servicing Rules September 23, 2014 574 Views center_img in Featured, Government, Headlines, News, Servicing A recurring theme during many of the six labs at the Five Star Conference last week was compliance and how it has changed the mortgage and real estate industries in the last few years.The laws are constantly changing, however, making compliance an even further complicated issue.Laurie Maggiano, a program manager for servicing and secondary markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), was on hand to discuss the ever-changing world of mortgage servicing statutes for the “CFPB’s National Servicing Standards – Update Session” section of the FSC Compliance Lab on September 15.”Mortgage servicing in 2014 isn’t NASCAR where you direct your staff around a predicable track repeating the same steps over and over,” Maggiano said. “To a great extent it is the Wild West with state and federal regulators changing the rules of engagement on a regular basis, state banking regulators and attorneys general citing servicers for infractions that were industry practice, albeit poor ones, 10 years ago; bank and non-bank servicers competing for product in an uneven ring and investors so risk averse that it is surprising there are any new loans coming out of the chute. It is a demanding but also an exciting and creative time to be in this business.”Maggiano presented four new rules that have either recently passed or are pending and taking comments.The first was the Interpretive Rule on Successors in Interest and ATR (ability to repay) Rule, which was published on July 8. The ATR rule is intended to stop consumers from assuming debt they cannot repay and applies to new originations and mortgage assumptions. The Interpretive Rule was added to give an exemption from the ATR rule to successors in interest who inherit a property’s title but are not listed on the mortgage, such as divorced or surviving spouses.The second rule Maggiano discussed was the Publication of Consumer Complaint Narratives, which was proposed on July 17 and is taking comments until September 22. This rule involves publishing a database featuring consumers’ full complaints against financial institutions. While the CFPB says such a rule will benefit consumers by providing them with necessary information and will result in more transparency among financial institutions, some analysts have criticized this rule; since there is no way to verify the allegations made in the complaints, the CFPB may in some cases be publishing unfounded grumblings of disgruntled individuals.The third rule brought up was the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) Proposed Rule, which was issued on July 28 and is taking comments until October 22. This is a proposed amendment to the HMDA, which was amended as a result of the passage of the Dodd-Frank Reform Act in 2010. The new rule would standardize reporting between large and small banks, and while existing data fields would be used for reporting to simplify the process, CFPB would also be expanding the reporting by adding some data fields.The Servicing Transfer Bulletin, which was published on August 19, was the fourth rule Maggiano discussed. While it is not the purpose of CFPB to inhibit transfers, she said, the purpose of this rule is to ensure that borrowers, especially those in the process of loss mitigation, are not harmed in any way by a mortgage loan transfer over which they have no control.Indeed, the summer of 2014 was a busy one for updating CFPB laws and proposing new ones, which is bound to keep servicers on their toes as far as compliance goes.”As you can see by the pace of change in just the past two, quiet, lazy months of summer, when you rightfully should expect that Washington shuts down and goes home, servicing policy is dynamic and fast paced,” Maggiano said.last_img read more

Rep Potvin welcomes Big Rapids officials to Lansing for billsigning

first_img06Dec Rep. Potvin welcomes Big Rapids officials to Lansing for bill-signing New law increases opportunities for recreational partnershipsState Rep. Phil Potvin today welcomed a number of Big Rapids officials to Lansing for a ceremonial presentation in recognition of legislation Rep. Potvin and Sen. Darwin Booher sponsored to encourage new recreational opportunities in local communities.Big Rapids Mayor Mark Warba, Assistant City Manager Mark Gifford, Parks and Recreation Director Heather Bowman, Big Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Tim Haist, school board member Dave Murray and Michigan Municipal League State and Federal Affairs Director Chris Hackbarth joined Rep. Potvin and Sen. Booher for a bill-signing ceremony with Gov. Rick Snyder.Rep. Potvin’s bill, now Public Act 174 of 2016, adds school districts to the list of entities allowed to join recreational authorities, which may be created through a vote of the people. Previously, only cities, counties, villages or townships were allowed to come together to form such an authority.“This change gives local schools the opportunity to collaborate with surrounding municipalities on recreational opportunities that benefit the entire area,” said Rep. Potvin, R-Cadillac. “Projects such as park improvements, community centers, nature trails and gardens add character and charm to communities and enhance the lives of families and residents of all ages.”Last fall, Rep. Potvin welcomed Sobers and Haist to the House Committee on Local Government to testify in support of HB 4578. The City of Big Rapids and Big Rapids Public Schools have been working together on ways to collaborate and expand recreational offerings in the greater Big Rapids area.“The partnership that’s taking place between the city and the school district in Big Rapids should serve as an inspiration to other communities in our state,” Rep. Potvin said. “These two entities are committed to creating a stronger community by working together.”### Categories: Newslast_img read more

COLUMN Its time for Michigan to let the sun shine in

first_img12Mar COLUMN: It’s time for Michigan to let the sun shine in This week, transparency advocates all across the country highlight the importance of open government by commemorating Sunshine Week.We all share the belief that government functions best when the sun shines in. In other words, a government must be open and accessible to the public in order to effectively serve its citizens.It’s embarrassing to note Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts the governor’s office and state legislature from public disclosure laws. Journalists and residents of our state can obtain public records from members of their local school board, township board, city council, county board of commissioners, and even state departments – but not the governor, lieutenant governor, state representatives, or state senators.Because I respect the public’s right to know, the first piece of legislation I introduced after taking the oath of office in January was part of a bipartisan plan to remove these exemptions and improve transparency in state government.I was subject to the Freedom of Information Act when I served as a member of the Independence Township Board of Trustees, and I have no reservations about disclosing similar records as a state representative. People trust us with their hard-earned tax dollars, and they’re entitled to information about how the state is spending their money.While the Legislative Open Records Act package mimics FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that when you contact your state legislator, your information is protected and kept private.My transparency plan is a top priority in the House, and I’m pleased to report it should soon come up for a vote.The second piece of legislation I introduced will help shed light on car insurance fraud in Michigan by establishing an authority to investigate unfair insurance claims and suspicious settlement practices.Michigan drivers pay among the highest car insurance rates in the nation. Fraud is one of many factors responsible for driving up costs. Exposing it will help provide relief to families, seniors, and workers all across the state.Under my plan, the fraud authority would develop an annual report for the Legislature detailing unfair claim practices of Michigan insurance companies. It would also assess the impact of fraud and unfair claims, summarize prevention programs, and outline allocations. Most importantly, all of this information would be made available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act.Finally, I was proud to sponsor a resolution in the Michigan House declaring this week as Sunshine Week in Michigan. While commemorative in nature, it’s critical to take time to reflect on the important role transparency plays in our system of government.As the Dalai Lama once said, “A lack of transparency results in distrust and a deep sense of insecurity.”We must move forward with plans to improve transparency to help restore the public’s trust in their government.(473 Words)State Rep. Andrea Schroder is serving her first term in the Michigan House representing the 43rd District, which encompasses Lake Angelus, Clarkston, Independence Township and part of Waterford Township. Categories: Schroeder Newslast_img read more

Rep Paquette welcomes Niles New Tech students to state Capitol

first_img Categories: Paquette News 05Jun Rep. Paquette welcomes Niles New Tech students to state Capitol State Rep. Brad Paquette, of Berrien Springs, was joined at the state Capitol today by his former students from the New Tech Academy at Niles High School.Thirty-seven of Rep. Paquette’s former students visited Lansing today to meet with legislators, tour the state Capitol, and attend House session. Led by teachers Nic Hawley and Kristin Adams-Bondy, the group was able to see first-hand how state government works. They were also formally introduced by Rep. Paquette on the House floor during session.“Having watched these young learners grow in a classroom setting to now watching them interact with legislators and advocate for issues has been really special,” Rep. Paquette said. “I’m excited to see them interested in our state government and I look forward to all of the great things they will accomplish in the future.”Other groups interested in visiting Rep. Paquette in Lansing are welcome to contact his office by calling 517-373-1796, emailing bradpaquette@house.mi.gov, or online at Reppaquette.com.###last_img read more

29Count Indictment of Rep Chaka Fattah Shows Extensive Misuse of Nonprofits

first_imgShare10TweetShare14Email24 SharesJuly 29, 2015; Roll CallAfter long investigations and plenty of charges filed against his top aides, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA) of Philadelphia and four aides and associates have been hit with a 29-count indictment, including charges of conspiracy, racketeering, bribery, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and much more.We take note not because Fattah is a member of Congress but because of the significant interplay of Fattah-associated nonprofits in the indictment. Among the defendants is Karen Nicholas, the CEO of a Fattah-founded nonprofit, the Educational Advancement Alliance, and apparently a financial manager for another Fattah nonprofit, College Opportunities Resources Education Philly (CORE Philly). Nicholas was also responsible for organizing the annual Fattah Conference on Higher Education. Another defendant is Gregory Naylor, a political consultant whose firm had contract work with the EAA and who, in 2008, took over as executive director of CORE Philly.Calling the array of nonprofit and for-profit entities involved as an “enterprise” directed and controlled by Fattah, the indictment contains several actions that clearly involve the nonprofits and the use or misuse of charitable and other grant funds:Page 20: getting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to give EAA a $50,000 grant for a Fattah Conference on Higher Education program that was never held (and was spent allegedly on the personal expenses of Nicholas and Naylor);Pages 24–25: taking $500,000 from a Sallie May Fund grant to EAA plus an additional $100,000 in EAA funds (apparently from CORE Philly) to help pay off a $1 million loan to the Fattah mayoral campaign;Pages 26–27: drawing on a $1.8 million grant to EAA from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, meant to support a math, science, and technology enrichment program for “underrepresented groups” in Philadelphia, to repay CORE Philly for the $100,000 used for the campaign;Pages 27–28: EAA’s failing to inform NASA of the diversion of money to CORE Philly and resisting and frustrating NASA efforts to audit EAA’s expenditures; andPage 29: helping a political consultant to the Fattah campaign seek a $15 million appropriation for a group called “Blue Guardians,” ostensibly an organization devoted to environmental education and coastal heritage preservation in poor communities along the Atlantic seaboard, even though Blue Guardians doesn’t exist.None of this is all that new. One of the people in the indictment, Gregory Naylor, pleaded guilty last year to some of the misuse of charitable and government money, though at the time Fattah himself was not indicted. But the bigger issue is that EAA, CORE Philly, and other nonprofits constitute a web of nonprofits linked to or established by a member of Congress that has paid millions to Fattah staffers, campaign aides, and family members, amounting to at least $5.8 million between 2001 and 2012. Moreover, it is all but blatant that some of the funding that went to these nonprofits, such as large grants from NOAA and NASA, were congressional earmarks. Other earmarks were attempted, such as a $750,000 Environmental Protection Agency one to a nonprofit called Environment and Sports Inc. associated with a Fattah political ally—though EPA concluded that the nonprofit’s plan to “highlight best environmental practices” in golf course management was beyond its capacity and contained nothing new or innovative. Substantial six-figure sums from these nonprofits went to consultants who had personal or family connections to various Fattah campaigns.It doesn’t require a finding of Fattah’s criminal guilt to conclude that, once again, the political nexus to operating nonprofits, in which nonprofits are run by, controlled by, and linked to politicians, their aides, their political supporters, and their family members, is a really bad thing for the nonprofit sector. For the nonprofits that avert their eyes knowing all along that these political nonprofits are abusing their 501(c) tax status, they suffer damage nonetheless in terms of the reputational harm to the entire sector.—Rick CohenShare10TweetShare14Email24 Shareslast_img read more

German TV manufacturer Loewe has denied reports th

first_imgGerman TV manufacturer Loewe has denied reports that it is set to be acquired by Apple.Blog site Apple Insider had claimed that Apple’s board of directors was due to decide on an alleged US$113 million (€88 million) deal by the end of the week. Loewe issued a statement via German IT news site Heise Online stating the report has “absolutely nothing to it”.last_img

YouTube has announced plans to stream live Olympic

first_imgYouTube has announced plans to stream live Olympic Games coverage to users in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.In total, 64 territories across the two continents will be able to watch the games live from London via the International Olympic Committee’s YouTube channel.The IOC Channel will have 10 HD live-feeds from the Games, running from 09:00 to 23:00 UK time, plus a 24-hour broadcast of the Olympic News Channel. There will also be highlight reels and full videos of events after they’ve finished.In total, over 2,200 hours of coverage, including all of the medal finals, will be made available.last_img

News network CNN has partnered with viral content

first_imgNews network CNN has partnered with viral content site Buzzfeed on a new YouTube channel, designed to draw on CNN’s archive of video content.The channel, now live, launched with a video called ‘amazing rescue moments on CNN’ – a compilation of “inspiring moments of human courage” taken from CNN news footage.In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Buzzfeed chief operating officer Jon Steinberg said it aims to create around three videos a week for the channel, with the content designed to be shared over social networks. He added that Buzzfeed plans to invest a low “eight-digit sum” over two years to launch and build the platform.The CNNBuzzFeed channel will also allow CNN to “engage new audiences,” added CNN Digital senior vice president Kenneth Estenson, with the firm able to target a younger demographic.last_img read more

Mark Harrison Sky is likely to adopt ultra high de

first_imgMark HarrisonSky is likely to adopt ultra high definition 4K technology quicker than the BBC, with the UK public service broadcaster currently more focused on improving existing HD technologies, according to BBC executive Mark Harrison.Speaking at the Digital TV World Summit, Harrison, who is controller of production for BBC North, said that while both Sky and the BBC were looking “really closely” at 4K, BBC deployment is still “a way off.”“I’m sure that Sky will get there first in some – I don’t mean this in a pejorative way, but – attention grabbing 4K moment. That’s kind of their business model and good luck to them,” said Harrison.“The BBC, to some degree, is constrained by our universality. We have to keep thinking about serving everybody rather than serving a niche or specialist audience that might have access to that kind of product. It doesn’t necessarily upset us to see them go first.”Harrison said that his R&D colleagues at the BBC were more fixated on better quality high-definition content, claiming that viewers were more likely to notice an increase in picture quality when watching HD at a higher frame rate than watching 4K.“Their obsession [BBC R&D staff] is around frame rates, is around dynamic range, it’s around colour, it’s around codecs and it’s around trying to make sure that the pictures that we give to all our license fee payers, whatever they are watching just look better,” said Harrison.“I think it’s important that the manufacturing industry and researchers from broadcasting can start to get together around this, and that’s because television is a discipline, it’s not a device.”Harrison said “if there’s one group of people who really, really love 4K, it’s programme makers,” and claimed that more high quality TV shows produced in this format could help to drive uptake of 4K TVs and devices.Sky made its first 4K broadcast in September, trialling the technology by filming a Premier League football match between West Ham and Stoke City in the ultra high definition format.last_img read more

The Russian Satellite Communication Company RSCC

first_imgThe Russian Satellite Communication Company (RSCC) has successfully launched two new communications and broadcasting satellites – Express-AT1 and Express-AT2.АТ1 and АТ2 will be deployed in geostationary orbits at 56˚E and 140˚E, respectively, and will provide direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) TV services to users across Russia.“The launch of the Express-AT1 and Express-AT2 DBS satellites is critical for the development of the domestic DBS market,” said RSCC director-general Yuri Prokhorov.“Users in Siberia and the Far East will gain access to new Russian and international TV channels. The networks currently operated by Bonum-1 will be switched by RSCC specialists over to the new satellites after their commissioning, paving the way for many fascinating projects in Russia.”AT1 is due to be commissioned following the completion of in-orbit tests in April 2014. Commercial operation of AT2 is slated to start in May 2014.RSCC ordered the satellites as part of Russia’s federal space program for 2006-2015. They were built by JSC Information Satellite Systems.last_img read more

Digital TV penetration in the Asia Pacific region

first_imgDigital TV penetration in the Asia Pacific region is set to increase by 501 million homes between 2013 and 2020, according to a new report by Digital TV Research.The study predicts that digital TV will reach 97.5% of TV households in the region by 2020 – up from 28.9% of TV households in 2010, 51.7% in 2013 and 61.2% by end-2014.Of the 501 million additions, China will account for 225 million of the extra digital TV homes, with India adding a further 118 million, according to the report.However, 159.6 million homes in the region are still not expected own a TV set by 2020.“Despite the rapid conversion, digital TV will still have plenty of room for growth for some time to come. Only 12 of the 22 countries forecast in this report will have fully converted to digital by 2020,” said report author Simon Murray.last_img read more

BBC Worldwide said it remains committed to its dig

first_imgBBC Worldwide said it remains committed to its digital strategy in the wake of the departure of Dan Heaf.Digital boss Heaf (pictured) has left the commercial arm of the UK pubcaster, sparking a rejig of the division he was running. His role will not be replaced.BBC Worldwide said it remains committed to its digital strategy in the wake of the departure of Heaf. His role will not be replaced and his seven-strong team will all report into different departmental managers at Worldwide.The changes will see BBC.com content boss Matthew Littleford will report to chief content officer Helen Jackson, digital commercial director Simon Danker to Marcus Arthur, president, BBC Worldwide UK and ANZ.Heaf is exiting Worldwide after four years to become senior VP, digital commerce, at fashion brand Burberry.A Worldwide spokesman said the organisation remains committed to digital following the internal changes. “Digital is as important, if not more so, than it has been in the past,” she said. “BBC Worldwide is not moving away from its digital strategy.”last_img read more

SPI International which this week rebranded its p

first_imgSPI International, which this week rebranded its premium FilmBox movie channel for central and eastern Europe to reflect the addition of new content from major US TV and film distributors, is moving forwards with a dual strategy of extending its premium base in central and eastern Europe while expanding the number of territories it distributes to, including Africa and the Middle East.FilmBox Extra will become FilmBox Premium in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Romania.The broadcaster said the move would enable it distinguish its flagship premium channel from other FilmBox-branded channels offered in basic, extended basic and premium tiers across the region.“We have two strategies,” Berk Uziyel, executive director of Filmbox International told DTVE at MIPCOM in Cannes last week. “One is to extend our premium base in central and eastern Europe with a premium product. The second is to extend the territories we are in. We are adding new platforms every month. We are interested in Africa and another area we are looking at is the Middle East.”In the Middle East, SPI International’s channels are carried on Arabsat and are available on the My-HD pay TV bouquet and on the Etisalat IPTV platform.Uziyel said premium currently accounts for about 5% of the portfolio’s overall base of 28.5 million.Uziyel said that SPI International was also looking for increased digital distribution, which he said was accounting for an increasing proportion of revenue. The company currently operates 64 apps om 16 platforms, including Samsung and LG smart TVs, the web, game consoles and iOS and Android devices.As part of its digital drive, SPI International is also streaming 4K content at 4-6Mbps. Uziyel said the broadcaster is currently airing about 20 4K titles. He said the 4K content would be made available “globally” as part of its subscription video-on-demand service.last_img read more

German free videoondemand service provider Netzk

first_imgGerman free video-on-demand service provider Netzkino has revamped its website with a number of new features, including enabling consumers to watch a number of movies without commercials. According to Netzkino, the changes include a clearer structure and a new, more intuitive menu, with features including New at Netzkino, Most-watched movies, Award- winning movies and Recommendations of the week.Netzkino is financed through commercials shown before and during the films. The operator is making a number of films available without commercials to users who submit a voucher.Netzkino is also providing offline viewing, enabling users to watch films while not connected to the web.“In the overhaul and redesign of the site, we have focused very much on intuitive user navigation with expressive images”, said Markus Hauk, managing director of Netzkino Services.“The new design played an important role in Netzkino’s constantly growing market surrounding. Netzkino’s users are now able to quicker, better and more comfortably navigate through our movie offering and find their desired film.”last_img read more

Pay TV operator Skys Sky Sports arm has confirmed

first_imgPay TV operator Sky’s Sky Sports arm has confirmed that it has secured exclusive live coverage rights to the The Open golf tournament, taking the competition from the BBC, which has held the rights for the last 59 years. Sky said it would extend and enhance coverage of The Open, including live coverage of all four days’ play in their entirety across TV, online, mobile and tablet devices.The tournament will be available to Sky Sports subscribers and to also to non-subscribers through Now TV, which offers access to seven sport channels for £6.99 (€9.25) a day or through a week pass at £10.99.The new rights agreement also offers Sky Sports viewers exclusively live coverage of The Walker Cup in 2019 at Royal Liverpool.“The Open is the world’s preeminent golf championship and we are committed to taking coverage of the event to new levels. We offer something for every sports fan and this exciting agreement for The Open means our customers can now enjoy all four Majors live,” said Barney Francis, Sky Sports managing director.“Sky Sports has a passion for golf that has spanned two decades, offering unrivalled commitment, airtime and promotion as well as year-round innovative coverage.  We look forward to working with The R&A to entertain and engage new and existing golf fans through our multi-platform coverage and also at the grassroots level via Sky Academy.”last_img read more

Sports channel ESPN has filed a law suit against U

first_imgSports channel ESPN has filed a law suit against US service provider Verizon Communications alleging breach of contract related to Verizon’s new slimmed-down pay TV packages of genre-specific channels.The sports broadcaster is the latest US programmer to allege a breach of existing agreements with Verizon, following complaints made by Fox and NBCUniversal.ESPN has alleged that Verizon has broken obligations under its licensing agreements with the broadcaster.ESPN said that any new services must be in compliance with agreements it has struck with distributors.Verizon has said that the company is reflecting consumer choice by offering slimmed-down packages and that it has fulfilled its obligations to content partners.last_img

Googles second generation Chromecast Googles Chr

first_imgGoogle’s second generation ChromecastGoogle’s Chromecast led the global digital media streamer market for the fifth consecutive quarter in Q3, accounting for 35% market share, according to Strategy Analytics.The research firm’s ‘Global Connected TV Device Vendor Market Share: Q3 2015’ report said that global shipments of digital media steamer devices reached 9.2 million in the third quarter.Chromecast accounted for most of these sales, while Apple TV took second place with 20% market share, followed by Amazon Fire TV and Roku which were tied at 16% of the market.Other players in this space cumulatively accounted for 13% of the market.“Despite the growing penetration of integrated smart TVs, digital media streamers such as Chromecast and Fire TV continue to prove popular with consumers thanks to their low cost and effectiveness at bridging the gap between the Internet and the TV screen,” said David Watkins, service director, Connected Home Devices at Strategy Analytics.“While the long-term viability of such devices will be threatened by advancements in smart TV technology, they are currently acting as significant components in Apple, Google and Amazon’s fast evolving TV and video ecosystems.”Strategy Analytics said that worldwide shipments of all connected TV Devices – including smart TVs, Blu-ray players, games consoles and digital media streamers – reached 53 million units in Q3 and are on target to hit 221 million units for the full year, representing 17% growth.Samsung continued to lead the global smart TV market, accounting for one in four smart TVs in use worldwide.Smart TVs running Google’s Android TV platform – manufactured by companies including Sony, Sharp and Philips – accounted for an estimated 8-10% share of the overall smart TV market during Q3, according to the research.In the games console market, Sony shipped more than twice as many devices as Microsoft in the quarter although the Xbox One is expected to close the gap on the PlayStation 4 during Q4 due to attractive bundle options, said Strategy Analytics.“The growing adoption of connected TV devices in the home proves that the living room TV screen is still the dominant medium for consuming TV and video content. The collective viewing experience cannot be replicated on a smartphone or tablet and so we expect the ‘connected TV screen’ to remain a focal point of homes in the future,” said Chirag Upadhyay, Strategy Analytics’ senior research analyst, Connected Home Devices.last_img read more

Jeff Gaspin Former NBCUniversal Television chairma

first_imgJeff GaspinFormer NBCUniversal Television chairman Jeff Gaspin has signed on as president of US indie producer Primary Wave Entertainment.As part of the deal, Primary Wave has acquired Gaspin Media, which is behind series such as A&E’s Fit to Fat to Fit and ABC’s To Tell the Truth.Gaspin had overseen the NBCU Television Entertainment business, including broadcast networks NBC and Telemundo, before General Electric sold up to Comcast in 2010. Current incumbent Bob Greenblatt succeeded him.He was known during that period for acquiring format rights to The Voice, shepherding Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and was among those executives who helped form the broadcaster-backed VOD service Hulu.His new company, Primary Wave is based in LA, and produces series such as behind The CW sci-fi drama The 100 and CeeLo Green reality series The Good Life for TBS.Gaspin will sit on the board, alongside co-CEOs and founders Lawrence Mestel and David Guillod. He joins the firm effective immediately, and will oversee the slate, plus lead expansion of original content across linear and digital platforms.Besides launching Gaspin Media after leaving NBCU, the veteran programming exec has also launched SVOD service TAPP connecting niche personalities with super fans, and he remains chairman of that business.New Primary Wave projects include HBO’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and AT&T Audience Network’s Loudermilk, which has Peter Farrelly and Bobby Mort attached.The company is also involved in talent management, live entertainment, music publishing, and brand marketing. It has rights to more than 15,000 songs, and offices in LA and New York.“Primary Wave is a talent-centered entertainment company where actors, artists, directors, writers and creative minds can do their best work,” said Guillod and Mestel in a statement. “Jeff is a skilled, innovative leader who will make a powerful impact on our business.“As we continue to build momentum across our television and digital portfolios, it has become more important than ever to establish an effective operating structure for Primary Wave. We will continue to grow our executive ranks with key new hires as we pursue an ambitious expansion of our original content slate.”last_img read more