Recommendations regarding the Royal Cremation for the late King Bhumibol AdulyadejThe Royal Cremation Ceremony for the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for 25-29 October, 2017. Thursday, 26 October, will be the Royal Cremation Day, and it has been declared a public holiday in Thailand by the Royal Thai Government to allow the people to take part in paying a final tribute to the late King.The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) would like to provide the following recommendations to visitors to Thailand during this historic period.The world is welcome to visit Thailand during this historic period. Visitors to the kingdom at this time will get to see the great love and reverence that the Thai people have for their beloved King in the way they mourn and pay their tribute.During this time, Thailand is thankful for our friends coming to share their sadness and pass on their condolences. This gesture of empathy and friendship will be remembered by the people of Thailand for decades to come.Tourist attractions and public places should all be open as usual. All transport, banks, shopping areas, hospitals and other public services will be operating as usual, with the exception of:Bangkok’s Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha will be closed from 1-29 October, 2017.The Arts of the Kingdom Museum has been closed from 1 October, 2017, for renovations to the Ananda Samakhom Throne Hall of Dusit Palace in Bangkok. The Arts of the Kingdom exhibition will be moved for temporary display from February 2018 to the SUPPORT Centre at Ko Kerd, Ayutthaya.The Sanam Chandra Palace in Nakhon Pathom is also closed for renovations from 1 October.All Tesco Lotus outlets nationwide will be closed for half a day, from 14.00 Hrs. on 26 October, and will reopen on 27 October.All Major Cineplex Group’s cinemas nationwide will be closed for one day on 26 October, and will reopen on 27 OctoberSiam Niramit in Bangkok and Phuket will be closed on 26 October.Both Dream World and Safari World theme parks in Bangkok will be closed on 26 October.In Chonburi, tourist attractions that will be closed for one day on 26 October, 2017, have included Burapha University’s Eastern Center of Art and Culture; Alcazar Carbaret, Tiffany’s and KAAN Shows; Tuxedo Illusion Hall; Space Inspirium; Flight of the Gibbon and Lazgam.Many Thai people will be wearing black clothes as a sign of mourning. This is not required of visitors, but if possible, they should wear respectful clothing when in public.We understand that this should not be a problem as long as visitors wear appropriate attire and behave respectfully. Once again, the world is welcome to Thailand during this historic period, and Thailand is thankful for our friends coming to share their sadness and pass on their condolences.Some of the traditional festivals may be taking place as usual although the celebrations may be omitted or subdued as a mark of respect, or the events may be dedicated to the memory of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Some festivals could be cancelled if it is felt they are not appropriate with the public mood.Entertainment venues may be closed and certain entertainment events and activities may be cancelled or omitted, or subdued as deemed appropriate, as a mark of respect. Visitors are advised to check local media regularly for announcements and updates.We would like to ask visitors for their understanding that this is a sensitive time for Thailand, and they should respect the feelings and sensitivities of the Thai people.We also would like to request that the solemnity of the Royal Cremation is observed, and visitors should refrain from conducting any inappropriate or disrespectful behaviour.During the historic period, in some areas, transportation could be affected. We ask tourists and visitors for their understanding and patience should they experience delays or some routes may be closed to traffic.In order to facilitate the travel of people who wish to attend the Royal Cremation, many public transport operators including city trains, buses and boats, provincial buses and trains, will be offering free or more services on 25 to 27 October as per the following:Airport Rail Link offers free services from 25- 27 October.The BTS SkyTrain offers free services on 26 October. On 25 and 27 October, the free services will apply only on the extensions from On Nut to Samrong Station and from Wongwian Yai to Bang Wa Stations.The MRT Subway offers free services on 26 October. On 25 and 27 October, free services will apply only on the Purple Line.The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) offers free services on 25-27 October on the Sathon-Ratchaphruek route.The Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has scheduled more public buses. It will also offer shuttle buses on 32 routes to Sanam Luang.Boat services in Khlong Padueng Krung Kasem from Hua Lamphong to Thewarat Market and in Khlong Phasi Charoen from Phetchkasem Soi 69 to Pratunam Phasi Charoen will be free of charge during 25-27 October.Ferries crossing the Chao Phraya River from Phran Nok Pier to Tha Chang Pier will be free of charge. As Phra Chan Nuea, Maharaj, and the Tha Chang Piers will be temporarily closed, tourists are advised to use the ferries at the Pinklao Pier on the Bangkok side instead, as well as, Rajinee Pier instead of the Tha Tian Pier.On 26 October, the Chao Phraya Express Boat offers free boat services from Sathon Pier to Phran Nok Pier, and from Phran Nok Pier to Nonthaburi Pier. From 25-27 October, the express boat will not stop at Tha Phra Athit, Tha Chang, and Tha Rajinee Piers.The State Railway of Thailand has scheduled more train services to Bangkok.The Transport Company International has scheduled more bus services to Bangkok.The economic sector should continue even during this time, so the service levels should not be affected.Please visit: http://www.kingrama9.net/EN for more details on the Royal CremationCeremony.Visitors are also advised to check any local media regularly for the official announcements and updates from the local authorities.Source = Tourism Authority of Thailand
Share The market share of adjustable-rate mortgages is at its lowest level in years. But the specter of rising mortgage interest rates this year could change that considerably, according to a recent analysis.According to the November 2016 Mortgage Monitor report by Black knight Financial Services, ARMs made up fewer than 4 percent of mortgage originations in October by count, and fewer than 9 percent by volume. This is the lowest share by count since 2009 and the lowest share by volume since late the end of 2012, when rates were below 3.5 percent.According to the report, there are currently 5.25 million active ARMs, with roughly one-fifth of those still in their initial fixed-rate term. The total number of ARMS is the lowest since 2002, representing roughly 10 percent of the active mortgage market‒‒which is the lowest share since 2000.This leaves the risk of initial ARM resets in the market historically low, Black Knight reported. But if rates rise above 4 percent, this could change.“A look at recent history shows that as rates rise, so does the ARM share of the market,” the report stated. In late 2013 and early 2014, rates were near 4.5 percent, and the share of ARMs “was twice what it is today, and last fall when rates were up near four percent it was over 60 percent higher than today. If this trend holds true and interest rates remain above 4 percent, it’s likely there will be a marked rise in ARM lending in 2017.”Historically ARM share by volume is typically higher than share by count, Black Knight reported. That’s because ARMs “tend to be more popular in more expensive market segments, specifically in jumbo lending,” the report stated.One other factor that could be holding the number of ARMs down is that they typically require high credit scores to get. The average ARM credit score is around 765; over the past three years, scores for ARM customers have averaged 18 points higher than their fixed rate counterparts. This, the report stated, is an inversion from 2004 through 2007, when the average credit score on ARM originations was 10 to 12 points lower than that of the average fixed rate loan.Also, roughly two-thirds of borrowers who are refinancing their ARMs are converting them to fixed-rate mortgages, which has also reduced the overall ARM mix in the market, Black Knight reported.Click here to view the complete Mortgage Monitor for November 2016. Adjustable-Rate Mortgages mortgage originations 2017-01-08 Scott_Morgan January 8, 2017 919 Views in Daily Dose, News, Origination ARM Market Share Could Be Ready to Rise
Samoa’s Seabreeze Resort has released a new deal valid for all bookings made by 20 March 2017, with travel from now to 31 March 2017, and again from 1 November 2017 to 20 December 2017.The resort is offering guests a Stay 5 and receive: 1 x romantic 3-course dinner for 2 with a bottle of wine, plus complimentary return airport transfers for 2, plus 1 x 30 min massage per room per stay.Travellers in high season (1 April 2017 – 31 October 2017) receive all of the above except the complimentary transfers.Seabreeze Resort Pool and LagoonGuests are also invited to enjoy Seabreeze Sundowners poolside at Paulini’s Bar every afternoon at 4pm (excluding Friday, Fia Fia Culture Night) where they can enjoy a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, beer or soft drink – and canapes.Both the high and low season offers include breakfast daily, a complimentary mini bar replenished daily (!) and other freebies! SamoaSeabreeze Resortspecial offers
The Cardinals need to identify a cornerback opposite of Peterson, which will be one of the biggest stories going into training camp and the preseason. It’s the biggest weakness of the team. It won’t come as a surprise if Steve Keim adds a veteran player to the position. In contrast to a year ago, Justin Bethel lined up as the starter in offseason workouts and could be the starter going into the season. Also in the mix at cornerback are Brandon Williams, Eli Bouka and Jumal Rolle, who is coming off an Achilles injury from last year. Harlan Miller and Rudy Ford are considered more combo defensive backs since they can play both corner and safety.Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley and MarottaThe biggest strength for this team could be the absence of expectation heading into this year. Going into last season, there was more preseason hype than ever before in the team’s Valley history. From the Week 1 loss to New England, it looked pretty obvious that the team had, to an extent, read their press clippings and didn’t deal well with adversity. Many around the league believe the Cardinals’ window has closed, and I think that’s just the situation Bruce Arians and his staff would prefer. Their biggest weakness, in my opinion, is still the cornerback spot across from Peterson. They have plenty of candidates to fill that position in Bethel, Williams and Ford, but at this point, there’s no reason to have confidence in any of them. The time is near.On July 21, the Arizona Cardinals will report to training camp with their first official practice coming the following day at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale.From there, the team will build the foundation for what it hopes will be a playoff-caliber campaign with a reshaped roster bouncing back from the disappointment that was 2016.In the days leading up to the opening of camp, we thought we would ask our Arizona Sports panelists a series of questions related to the Cardinals and their prospects for 2017. There are five in total. Craig Grialou, Arizona Sports reporterThe Cardinals may have the best outside linebacker tandem of any team in the NFL, at least in terms of putting pressure on the quarterback. Jones and Golden combined for 23.5 sacks, 45 QB hits and 33 QB pressures in 2016. On the flip side, the Cardinals have a huge question mark at cornerback. Can Bethel, Williams, Jumal Rolle or someone else (maybe not even on the roster yet) be that answer opposite Peterson?Dave Burns, co-host of Burns and GamboThe biggest strength is in the stars that you can count on to produce. The versatility of Johnson. The dependability of Larry Fitzgerald. And the pure ability of Peterson. The biggest weakness is the uncertainty at the other cornerback spot. It’s hard not to wonder if that position will be a revolving door all season long.Doug Franz, co-host of Doug and WolfThe biggest strength is understanding nothing is given since they embarrassed themselves last year.The greatest weakness is the defensive chemistry of the team.Adam Green, Arizona Sports reporter and co-host of Arizona Sports SaturdayIn terms of depth and talent, the team’s front seven appears to be about as good as it gets. Sure, Campbell and Minter are gone, but Golden and Jones are still around, as are Corey Peters, Frostee Rucker and Josh Mauro. First-round pick Haason Reddick also figures to play a significant role, and Dansby being back in the mix is a good thing, too. On the flip side, the team’s cornerbacks after Peterson are anything but proven, and unless one of Bethel, Williams, Sojourn Shelton, Bouka or another cornerback steps up, opponents should have no problem finding open receivers. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 6 Comments Share Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Before we get into today’s, here are the published editions:• Who must step up in training camp?• What kind of QB is Carson Palmer now?• Which departed free agent will they miss most?What do you see as the team’s biggest strength as camp begins? Greatest weakness?John Gambadoro, co-host of Burns & GamboStrength is the running game with David Johnson. No other team possesses that type of talent running and receiving outside of Pittsburgh when Le’Veon Bell is healthy. The biggest weakness has to be the cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson. It’s just a big unknown at this point, so we will call it a weakness until we see otherwise.Mike Jurecki, co-host of The Blitz with B-Train and Jurecki as well as Cardinals insiderThe linebacker core has a lot of depth across the board, making it the biggest strength for the team. First, Chandler Jones is under contract for the next five years and he displays good pass rushing skills and was second in sacks on the roster. Next, Markus Golden has shown the ability to be a three-down linebacker, he led the team in sacks a yearFirst-round pick Haason Reddick can play multiple positions and will have an opportunity to play in their sub-packages. Karlos Dansby also returns for his third stint in the desert and will provide great leadership to the locker room. Deone Bucannon is also in that group despite starting camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list. They also have some depth with Alani Fua, Gabe Martin, Jarvis Jones, Scooby Wright and Kareem Martin. Craig Morgan, Arizona Sports reporter and columnistThe greatest strength is the linebacker depth with Jones, Bucannon (if he’s healthy) Golden, Dansby, Reddick, Jarvis Jones and others providing depth and versatility throughout the unit. The greatest weakness remains at cornerback (tight end is a close second), where the Cardinals are still hoping Bethel can take the next step and become a starter opposite Peterson. If he can’t, Williams is the next best option with precious few reps under his belt at the position. It is still possible; even likely, that the Cardinals will add another body before training camp begins.
17Jan Rep. Rob VerHeulen, R-Walker: State of the State 2017 Tags: #SB Categories: Featured news,News,VerHeulen News
03Oct Rep. Chatfield plan improving safety of pipelines in Straits passes House Categories: Chatfield News Representative: Great Lakes must be protected from threat of spillRep. Lee Chatfield speaks in support of his action plan to strengthen pipeline safety standards in the Straits.State Rep. Lee Chatfield’s plan to better protect the Great Lakes by strengthening pipeline safety standards in the Straits of Mackinac was approved today by the Michigan House with overwhelming bipartisan support.Chatfield, of Levering, said pipeline operators are not currently required to report spills or submit their spill response plans to the state. His comprehensive action plan holds vessels and utility companies operating in the Straits accountable to the people of Michigan.“Right now, the state of Michigan is a back-seat driver when it comes to pipelines, even though we have the most to lose in the event of a spill,” Chatfield said. “We must move forward with this solution to put Michigan in the driver’s seat.”The “Straits of Mackinac Safety, Protection and Accountability” action plan:Improves reporting from pipeline operators to the state of Michigan.Increases the safety and security of utility lines that provide communities in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula with access to phone, cable, natural gas, oil and electricity.Clearly establishes the Straits as a no-anchor zone.Requires additional signs and buoys alerting boats not to use anchors in the Straits.Establishes clear penalties for vessels that break maritime laws and jeopardize the safety of Michigan’s waterways.Provides added accountability and increased penalties for those responsible for negligence or criminal damage to public utilities.Protects people who report violations of maritime safety laws that threaten the Great Lakes.“The transportation of energy resources is necessary to our everyday lives. Northern Michigan families rely on these resources to heat our homes and keep our businesses running,” Chatfield said. “The Great Lakes and our inland waterways are just as crucial to our way of life in northern Michigan. Our families drink, fish and swim in this water, and we must protect it.“This plan strikes the right balance by protecting the well-being of our families, natural resources and economy while ensuring our communities can continue to benefit from the critical connections made by these infrastructure lines for many years to come.”House Bills 6187, 6199, 6200, 6201 and 6398 now move to the Senate for consideration.###
Share41TweetShareEmail41 Shares“Fannie-Mae-Freddie-Mac,” Scott LewisSeptember 28, 2018; GlobeSt.com and Mortgage News DailyFreddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprise that guarantees over $2 trillion worth of mortgages nationwide, has announced it will start purchasing community land trust mortgages as a standard part of its business, reports Erika Morphy for GlobeSt.com.Typically, if you buy a single-family home and get a mortgage from a bank or credit union, that entity can then resell the loan to one of the two government-sponsored enterprises, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Doing this gets the loan off the bank’s balance sheet, which in turn frees up capital for more loans. Up until now, banks that made loans to community land trusts have most often had to keep the loans in portfolio, making the loans far riskier for the banks involved. The result is that many banks have been less willing to make the loans in the first place.One group likely to benefit from Freddie Mac’s new policy is a startup community land trust in the heavily Black southeast quadrant of Washington, DC, east of the Anacostia River, an effort that NPQ covered last fall. To date, east of the Anacostia, the nation’s capital has not seen significant displacement, but residents, having seen gentrification occur elsewhere in DC, want to establish community ownership of land before significant resident displacement occurs.Ginger Rumph, the newly hired executive director of the Douglass Community Land Trust, says in a press release that, “Our collaboration with Freddie Mac to develop a product in support of a community land trust in the Historic Anacostia neighborhood, and Wards 7 and 8 in Washington, DC, will pave the way for a model that can be replicated in similar geographic areas across the country.” The Douglass Community Land Trust is being incubated by City First Homes, which is affiliated with City First Enterprises, a community development financial institution (CDFI) with over $250 million in assets.As NPQ has explained, with a community land trust, a nonprofit holds title to the land and the family buys the house on top of the land. The family has many of the rights of fee-simple homeowners, but because the nonprofit owns the land, the price for which the home can be sold is restricted; most of the equity stays with the nonprofit. This form of housing effectively avoids land speculation and preserves affordability for multiple generations of homeowners.The new Freddie Mac policy effectively reduces risk to financial institutions, since loan servicers—be they banks, credit unions, or other mortgage providers—now have a clear set of procedures that, if followed, will enable them to sell their loans to Freddie Mac. This action is part of a broader effort by Freddie Mac to support housing in low-income communities and communities of color, as outlined in its 230-page, three-year Duty to Serve Underserved Markets Plan. Additional areas of focus in the plan include support for resident ownership of manufactured housing communities and rural housing.To help increase the number of community land trust loans issued under this program, “Freddie Mac has built alliances with national, state and local community organizations such as the Grounded Solutions Network,” Morphy notes. Grounded Solutions Network is a national trade association supporting the expansion of community land trusts. State and local partners including City First in DC and Florida Housing Coalition, whose efforts NPQ profiled this past August. The new program is scheduled to launch, Morphy writes, on November 5th.—Steve DubbShare41TweetShareEmail41 Shares
International news broadcaster CNN is the most-watched English language international channel in the Middle East, according to the latest EMS Middle East survey.The Turner Broadcasting System channel has a monthly reach of 33.4% in the region, more than double that of Al Jazeera English, its nearest English language competitor with a 15.5% reach. Discovery has a monthly reach of 13.1%, while BBC World News has a reach of 13%.CNN is also the number one cross platform international commercial network, reaching 41.5% per month of the EMS Middle East population when combining TV and online.Tony Maddox, executive vice-president at CNN International, said: “To achieve double the reach of the nearest competitor in the Middle East puts CNN in a league of its own, and we thank our viewers for their loyalty. Certain players in this region may feel they have a head start on CNN, but audiences across the Middle East are making it crystal clear that first-rate journalism is what matters. Audiences here not only trust us to follow the extraordinary stories unfolding on their doorsteps, but also to deliver them a true account of the news from every corner of the world. We’ve made a great commitment to our newsgathering, both in the Middle East and internationally, and these results show – in no uncertain terms – the value of that investment.”
The BBC is to use Adobe’s Primetime Simulcast platform to deliver coverage of the Olympics and other major sports events simultaneously to desktops, smartphones, tablets, and internet-connected TVs to viewers across the UK. The BBC will also use Adobe’s Primetime Highlights service to deliver video-on-demand coverage.Adobe’s Project Primetime is an initiative designed to enable the delivery of video via apps and browsers across all major platforms including the iOS and Android ecosystems.
Cable marketing organization CTAM Europe has announced that James Murdoch and Mike Fries will take part in a joint interview session at its forthcoming EuroSummit in Barcelona.Murdoch, now deputy chief operating officer, chairman and CEO, International at 21st Century Fox, and Liberty Global president and CEO Fries will take part in the session at the event at the Hotel Rey Juan Carlos I on September 20.Other highlights at the event include a keynote by former Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen.
Humax has launched an open platform HTML5-based smart set-top box, which it will supply to Korean cable TV operator T-broad.The set-top supplier says the new box would support Smart Plus, the next generation pay-tv service T-broad that launched last month.The web-connected set-top box will let users browse the internet, download applications, and access video on demand.Humax said that this first commercial smart TV service in the world that is based on the open platform HTML5, though “many other pay-tv operators are preparing the TV service”.
Chinese manufacturer Huawei has teamed up with chipset manufacturer ALi to begin mass production of a DVB-T2 set-top box for Belarus’s transition to digital broadcasting. Beltelecom is rolling out a pay DTT service based on DVB-T2, following Belarus’s launch of DTT broadcasting based on the DVB-T standard in 2009. Digital switchover is scheduled for next year.ALi plans to showcase a range of DVB-T2 products, as well as its broadcast-to-broadband bridge-based headless gateway platform, at the forthcoming CSTB 2014 trade expo in Moscow.
Liberty Global-owned UPC Czech Republic has launched UPC’s full Horizon interactive TV service to customers in the country. The new Horizon offering includes a new MediaBox HD DVR, which delivers television, internet and telephony services from one device.Viewers will be able to watch TV while recording up to three programmes and also access TV content on mobile devices.The new offering also includes the My Prime VOD library, which includes more than 1,000 movie and series titles.The launch comes after UPC Czech Republic rolled out the cloud-based multiscreen version of the Horizon advanced TV service, Horizon Go, last November, allowing UPC Czech subscribers to view content from up to 63 channels on multiple devices both inside and outside the home.
BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) is partnering with multiscreen specialist Monterosa on an official companion app for the former’s global franchise Dancing with the Stars.The BBC’s commercial arm, BBCWW, will offer the app internationally to broadcast partners as a companion to the Dancing with the Stars format, which has sold to more than 50 countries.The Monterosa-developed app marks the first official companion app for the Dancing with the Stars franchise and offers broadcasters a dual-screen offering that can “enhance the value of their advertising opportunity”.“Companion apps can play a pivotal role in connecting popular entertainment brands with their global fan base, deepening engagement both during broadcast and between shows,” said Monterosa co-founder, Tom McDonnell.Harriet Frost, brand manager for Dancing with the Stars, added that the app will allow fans of Dancing with the Stars to take part in the show as it happens.“With the online and television worlds getting closer it’s a powerful combination, fans scores will appear on-air and through the app they can gain access to exclusive backstage content to take their Dancing with the Stars viewing to the next level,” she said.
The UK government will invest up to £550 million (€780 million) over the course of the current parliament to make the 700MHz spectrum band available for mobile broadband use, it has said.The figure, announced in the HM Treasury’s Spending Review and Autumn Statement yesterday, marks a cut on the previously announced clearance limit. In March this year the government said it will allocate up to £600 million to support the change of use of the 700MHz spectrum from broadcast to mobile broadband.Elsewhere in the Autumn Statement, the government reiterated its commitment to make superfast broadband available to 95% of UK premises by 2017, pledging £1.7 billion to do so.Last September, Pascal Lamy, the European Commission’s chairman of the high level group on the future of the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) spectrum, issued a report that said the 700MHz band (694-790MHz) should be dedicated to wireless broadband across Europe by 2020 – give or take two years.The UK is expected to clear the UHF band at some point towards the end of this timescale, in around 2022.
Singapore-based pay TV operator, Starhub, has partnered with Nagra to launch Netflix on its Fibre TV platform.The launch was enabled by Nagra’s MediaLive Suite set-top box reference platform and anyCAST CONNECT security solution, and was announced on the same day that executives from Starhub and Nagra both spoke at TV Connect in London.“We are excited to expand our on-demand content catalogue with one of the world’s most popular SVOD services. Nagra’s platform allows us to seamlessly integrate our existing Fibre TV content offering with internet TV services such as Netflix to create a compelling new proposition for our customers,” said Ms Wang Li-Na, Head of Product and Marketing, StarHub.Jean-Luc Jezouin, senior vice-president of Nagra Asia added: “The StarHub Netflix launch is an excellent example of how service providers can offer the best of two worlds by elegantly blending internet TV services into a pay-TV offering. Consumers ultimately care about how conveniently they find the content they like and this is all about keeping the experience simple and smooth with intuitive use cases like Netflix as a channel, Netflix as an app and Netflix as a search result.”
Several National Geographic Partners executives will change roles after an international restructure.This follows 21st Century Fox taking control of its joint venture with the National Geographic Society and the establishment of National Geographic Partners.Lorenzo OrozcoTwo changes see Fox Networks Group’s general manager for Mexico, Lorenzo Orozco named NGP’s GM and senior VP for Latin America; and Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific’s VP, partnerships, Con Apostolopoulos becoming GM and VP, Asia Pacific and Middle East.Con ApostolopoulosCurrent FNG executive VP Deborah Armstrong has added responsibilities for NGP in Europe and Africa, while Whit Higgins, previously VP of business development and global programming at NGP predecessor National Geographic Channels International, has been upped to SVP, strategic planning and business development.Carlyn Staudt, formerly SVP at NGCI, has been named SVP, content partnerships,Deborah Armstrong“As we reviewed our current footprint, we felt it was important to build a strong foundation in our regional markets, so that we could approach the marketplace in a more integrated, consolidated way. These appointments will provide us talent on the ground to help us accomplish that goal,” said NGP COO Wade Platt.Carylyn Staudt.Orozco, who doubled Fox’s revenues in Mexico in four years and launched digital business Fox+ Broadband, will be based in Mexico City and report to FNG Latin America COO Edgar Spielmann and Platt at NGP.Astolopoulos will report to Rohit D’Silva, FNG Asia Pacific and Middle East’s EVP, commercial in Asia, Platt, and work out of Hong Kong.Higgins, who has worked as GM of Fox International Channels Finland and other roles at the now-discontinued FIC group, will be based in Washington, DC, while Armstrong, who has been with Nat Geo since 1998, will remain in London.The appointments come after significant restructuring at NGP, which followed Fox becoming its main shareholder last year in a US$725 million deal. This cost around 9% of the 2,000-strong staff their jobs.
Pete ThompsonRovi has appointed former Ericsson executive, Pete Thompson, as its new chief operating officer to oversee the integration of TiVo.Thompson, who was senior vice president of Ericsson’s Mediaroom Business Group before he leaving the company in 2015, will report to Rovi’s president and CEO, Tom Carson.Based in TiVo’s office in San Jose, Thomson will oversee the product integration of the combined Rovi-TiVo, after Rovi agreed to buy TiVo for roughly US$1.1 billion (€961 million) in April.Thompson will replace John Burke, who was appointed as Rovi’s executive vice president and chief operating officer 2014.Rovi said that Burke is not able to relocate from East coast for personal reasons and has made the decision to leave the company. He will move to a strategic advisor role through to the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition.“As Rovi and TiVo prepare to join forces as one company, Silicon Valley will become an even greater focal point for our product businesses and organisation, and the board of directors and I are extremely pleased that we’ll have a strong presence with Pete in the Bay Area,” said Carson, commenting on Thompson’s appointment.“Upon closing of the TiVo acquisition, Pete’s initial focus will be on integrating the companies’ best-of-breed technological and product capabilities to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities and synergies formed by the new organisation.”Thompson has more than 20 years experience working in businesses across a range of technologies and was most recently at Sonos. At Ericsson he was responsible for defining the future of home entertainment through the development of products for consumers, producers and carriers.He has also previously held a number of senior leadership positions at Microsoft, including corporate vice president, Microsoft Mediaroom and senior general manager, Xbox Live.The Rovi-TiVo deal received clearance from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DoJ) in July and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter.
Netflix has announced plans to raise €1 billion by selling senior notes, with the proceeds possibly going towards content acquisitions.In a financial statement, Netflix said that it intends to use the net proceeds from the offering for “general corporate purposes” – which it said may include content acquisitions, capital expenditures, investments, working capital and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.Netflix said that, subject to market and other considerations, it would offer the €1 billion aggregate amount of senior notes through an offering outside of the United States to “non-US persons”, and to “qualified institutional buyers”.“The interest rate, redemption provisions, maturity date and other terms of the notes will be determined by negotiations between Netflix and the initial purchasers,” said Netflix in the statement.“The notes have not been registered under the Securities Act or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from such registration requirements.”The news comes a week after Netflix announced its first quarter 2017 results, in which it reported that net income more than sixfold year-on-year to US$178.2 million, while revenues climbed to US$2.64 billion compared to US$1.96 billion a year earlier.Netflix also revealed it will spend more than US$1 billion in marketing its content this year as its slate of originals continues to expand, and will up its investment in programmatic advertising.
The UK Royal Television Society (RTS) has named the recipients of is 2017 undergraduate bursary scheme, designed to widen participation in media and related industries and support talented students from lower income backgrounds seeking to pursue a career in television.The 2017 bursary scheme offers 22 bursaries for Television Production and Broadcast Journalism students and seven bursaries for Computing and Engineering undergraduates, bringing the total amount invested in the two schemes this year to £87,000 (€98,200). The schemes are funded by the RTS with support from All3Media, who have sponsored two places.During their studies, each recipient will be given £1,000 per year to assist with their expenses and living costs. In addition, each beneficiary will receive free membership of the RTS and The Hospital Club while studying, and one year’s free membership of the RTS after they graduate.