Taxi fares in Costa Rica to drop again

first_imgTaxi fares in Costa Rica are set to drop again, despite opposition from cab drivers. The Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) approved decreases in fares ranging from 3 to 20 percent.Fares for the first kilometer of a regular taxi ride will drop slightly to ₡625 ($1.16), while additional kilometers will cost ₡600 ($1.11).Fares for taxis adapted for people with disabilities also will start at ₡625 for the first kilometer but additional kilometers will drop 9 percent to ₡570 ($1.05).Taxis in rural areas will have the same initial fare but all kilometers beyond the first will drop 20 percent to ₡625 ($1.16).ARESEP explained in a news release that the new fares were set following an analysis of operation costs, including recents drops in fuel prices and spare parts, and changes in the dollar-colón exchange rate. The agency also took into consideration the age of taxis. On average, taxis on Costa Rican roads are over 10 years old.Taxi drivers are not happy about the change. The National Association of Taxi Drivers asked ARESEP earlier this week not to approve any more fare decreases for the rest of the year, claiming ARESEP used outdated costs to calculate the fares.ARESEP Transportation Intendent Enrique Muñoz said the fares were calculated based on all information related to operating costs, “just like taxi drivers asked us at a public demonstration in June.” Drivers at the time were hoping for for higher fares, not lower ones.New fares will come into force the day after ARESEP’s decree is published in the official newspaper La Gaceta.Despite the drop, fairs will still be higher than those charged by ride-hailing service Uber, which launched operations here in August. Current Uber rates are ₡500 ($0.93) for the first kilometer and ₡300 ($0.56) for additional ones. Facebook Comments Related posts:Regulatory Authority proposes reducing taxi fares Costa Rica taxi fares to drop Taxi fares to increase Regulatory Authority proposes reduction in taxi fareslast_img read more

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Summary Box Pakistan high court disqualifies PM

first_img More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories The vital role family plays in society How men can have a healthy 2019 ErrorOK ErrorOK (AP) – WHAT DID THE COURT DECIDE? Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is disqualified from office after failing to open a corruption case against the country’s president. Both are members of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE GOVERNMENT? It must decide whether to fight the court decision and try to keep Gilani in office or nominate another candidate for prime minister. With the PPP-led coalition’s majority in parliament, it may be able to replace Gilani and stay in office until elections that must be held by early next year. Resisting the court could trigger a constitutional crisis. Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Sponsored Stories REPERCUSSIONS FOR THE US AND THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN? The government’s attention has been focused for months on dealing with this developing political crisis, so it has not had the time or political will to tackle weighty issues such as Taliban reconciliation. As it fights for its political future, the PPP is also unlikely to want to take the unpopular position of re-opening supply lines to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)last_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Nanuku Auberge Resort

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterNanuku Auberge Resort, Fiji has announced the long-awaited opening of 13 luxury Auberge Beach Villas, increasing the resort’s overall accommodations to 37 suites, villas and residences.The new Villas are set along Nanuku’s famed three-kilometre stretch of sand at Fiji’s Pacific Harbour, providing unparalleled year-round access to activities such as snorkelling the resort’s own untouched coral reef. Accommodation options include Beachfront Pool Villas or Garden-View Pool Villas with partial ocean views in either one-bedroom (84 square-metre) or two-story, two-bedroom (172 square-metre) sizes.Nanuku Auberge Beachfront Villa | Two-Bedroom Pool courtyardEach Villa features a private courtyard, outdoor shower, three-by-five-metre private plunge pool (some with year-round heating) lined with natural Balinese sukabumi tiles, covered terrace, pool cabana, double swing seat, double day bed, sun lounges, spacious living and dining areas and fully equipped modern kitchens with quartz counters in two-bedrooms or kitchenettes in one-bedrooms.Nanuku Auberge Beachfront Villa | Two-Bedroom Dining/KitchenUpstairs, the master bedroom houses a four-poster bed, ensuite bathroom with rainfall shower head and custom freestanding oversized tub, walk-in closet and private balcony. Second bedrooms also house an ensuite and include twin beds that can be converted to a king-size.Nanuku Auberge Beachfront Villa | Two-Bedroom Master bedroomOne-bedroom Villas accommodate two adults (plus one child under 6 years). Two-bedroom Villas accommodate up to four adults (plus one child under 6 years), or a family of four, under the same roof with a king-size bed, two twin beds and two bathrooms. Villas can also interconnect to create three- and four-bedroom options.More images belowNanuku Auberge Beachfront Villa | One-Bedroom BathroomNanuku Auberge Beachfront Villa | One-bedroom Living Room  Nanuku Auberge Beachfront VillasMore at https://nanuku.aubergeresorts.com/accommodations/auberge-villas/Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

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House Panel hears testimony on OBrien legislation to revise teacher evaluation process

first_img23Jan House Panel hears testimony on O’Brien legislation to revise teacher evaluation process Categories: News The House Education Committee today heard testimony from State Rep. Margaret O’Brien on her newly introduced legislation to implement a fair framework for evaluating Michigan’s teachers and administrators.House Bill 5223 is part of a bipartisan package that will provide clear guidelines to schools across the state to better evaluate educators. The bill includes flexibility for individual school districts to choose the evaluation tool that best serves local needs. Annual evaluations for teachers and administrators were mandated by the teacher tenure reforms in 2011 and require state assessments to measure student growth.“The evaluations will help teachers to grow professionally and when teachers are strong and confident, they serve our students well,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “We are all here to ensure that our greatest stakeholders, our students, are well served by their education.”HB 5223 outlines criteria for research-based teacher evaluation methods. The evaluation process must take into consideration that the teaching methods are effective, benchmarks are realistic for each grade level, and students are prepared for college entrance.“Teachers want to grow, they want to be high achieving and want to ensure that they are evaluated using current research methods,” O’Brien said. “We want to offer opportunities for growth for our teachers so, in turn, they can help our children grow.”last_img read more

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State Rep Peter J Lucido sworn into office at the Michigan Capitol

first_img Categories: Lucido News,Lucido Photos State Rep. Peter J. Lucido (right), a Republican from Shelby Township, is sworn in by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (left). Lucido was joined by (from left) legislative assistant Alessandra Caccamo and legislative director Robin Naeyaert.State Rep. Peter J. Lucido took a ceremonial oath of office today at the Michigan Capitol as the 98th Legislature convened for the first time.  Lucido was joined at the ceremony by his legislative staff, Alessandra Caccamo and Robin Naeyaert. The oath of office was administered by Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.“Today was a great start to what I hope is a very productive legislative session,” said Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues to continue to make Michigan a great place for families.”Lucido was elected last November to serve the 36th House District, which includes the townships of Shelby, Washington and Bruce as well as the Village of Romeo.To contact Rep. Lucido, constituents can call (517) 373-0843, at P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909-7514 or by email at peterlucido@house.mi.gov.### 14Jan State Rep. Peter J. Lucido sworn into office at the Michigan Capitollast_img read more

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Rep Maturen supports Fort Custer for new missile defense system

first_img26Feb Rep. Maturen supports Fort Custer for new missile defense system State Rep. David Maturen today urged the federal government to select the Fort Custer Training Center for its new ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense mission.House Resolution 24 and House Concurrent Resolution 3, sponsored by Rep. Maturen, call on the Department of Defense’s Missile Defense Agency to choose the Fort Custer location over three other options in the nation.“Fort Custer has been a vital asset to our community for decades, employing many of our friends and family members,” said Rep. Maturen, R-Brady Township. “By choosing the center for the location of the new missile defense system, it has been estimated that $700 million in new construction and 2,100 jobs could be seen in Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties.”The ground-based interceptor ballistic missile defense system is a key defense mechanism for protecting the state and nation by providing the capability to identify and destroy limited intermediate and long-range ballistic missile threats.“Selecting Fort Custer would take full advantage of the center’s tactical location and security,” Rep. Maturen said. “The state and local community is prepared to support the construction and operation of the system, as well as the additional military personnel who will maintain it.”The Fort Custer Training Center is a 7,500 acre training base for the U.S. Army Reserves and other branches of the armed forces.Rep. Maturen and his staff can be reached at (517) 373-1787 or via email at DavidMaturen@house.mi.gov.### Categories: Maturen Newslast_img read more

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Rep Calley joins effort to increase state government accountability

first_img Categories: Calley News,News State Rep. Julie Calley joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for changes to make Michigan’s state government more open and accountable.Calley, of Portland, stood with many of her colleagues for the announcement of a proposal to increase transparency for Michigan’s executive and legislative branches.The proposal includes the creation of the Legislative Open Records Act, which would allow exemptions for records such as ongoing investigations, lawsuits or direct constituent correspondence.The bills are very similar to a package approved by the Michigan House last session.“State lawmakers should strive to give Michiganders confidence through transparency and accessibility,” Calley said. “I welcome the opportunity to increase accountability to the people we serve.”The Michigan House already has moved to make information easily accessible to the public. Last month, the House posted employee salary information on its website.### 01Feb Rep. Calley joins effort to increase state government accountabilitylast_img read more

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Meet Rep LaFave at Saturday coffee hours in Upper Peninsula

first_img### Categories: LaFave News,News Upper Peninsula residents have a chance to meet state Rep. Beau LaFave on Saturday.LaFave is hosting local coffee hours at a pair of locations on Feb. 18:10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Central Time at Laurie’s Wildflower Café & Bagel Shoppe, located at 2210 10th Street in Menominee.2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central Time at The FarmHouse Restaurant, located at W107 South Drive in Stephenson.LaFave, who lives in Iron Mountain, represents an Upper Peninsula district including Delta, Dickinson and Menominee counties.“Let’s get together and talk about what state government can do for the Upper Peninsula,” LaFave said. “I want to hear about what’s most important to you, your families and your businesses.”Residents also may contact LaFave in his Lansing office at (517) 373-0156 or BeauLaFave@house.mi.gov. The mailing address is S-1487 House Office Building, P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI 48909.center_img 13Feb Meet Rep. LaFave at Saturday coffee hours in Upper Peninsulalast_img read more

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The California Endowment Divests from Private Prisons

first_imgShare2KTweetShare16Email2K SharesDecember 7, 2015; StreetInsider.comShould any foundation concerned about community well-being be investing in huge corporations whose job it is to ensure as many Americans as possible are kept incarcerated?The California Endowment evidently does not think so. Yesterday, it announced that that it is divesting from companies “that derive significant annual revenue from the operation of private prisons, jails, detention centers and correctional facilities.”Rick Cohen wrote about a campaign to divest from private prisons in 2014 and particularly about the campaign’s efforts to try to get the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to divest. At that time, he wrote:The Gates Foundation responded to a protest led by the Latino advocacy group Presente.org in support of prisoners engaged in a hunger strike at the GEO-operated Northwest Detention Center by saying that the positive value of its grantmaking far outweighs its investments in operators of private prisons. The foundation also contends that it somehow doesn’t actually control its own investments, which are directed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Asset Trust, which operates separately from the foundation.The campaign to divest from private prisons is asking both public and private entities to dump their holdings in Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, “America’s largest private prison corporations which have profited from billions in taxpayer money.” Both are publicly traded companies who spend millions on lobbying for policies that will keep our prisons full.“Public resistance to privatization of correctional, detention, mental health and residential facilities could result in our inability to obtain new contracts or the loss of existing contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.”—GEO Group, 2013 SEC Annual Report, “Risk Factors”In announcing its divestment, the Endowment released a short statement.“The California Endowment strongly supports community safety and stands with communities that experience serious disparities in incarceration rates for non-violent offenses that could be handled through drug treatment and other programs that help prevent non-violent crime,” said Robert K. Ross, MD, president and CEO of The California Endowment. “It is essential our investment strategies take into account the potential impacts they could have on the communities we serve.”In June, Columbia University became the first university to divest, followed by Hampshire College in Massachusetts.As Cohen wrote in 2014, “Divestment need not be an anti-corporate strategy at all. It is a pro-values strategy. But it demands that the institutions of our society that purport to be mission- and value-driven, such as private foundations, cannot stand on the sidelines with their billions in tax exempt assets and assume that their five percent devoted to philanthropic output automatically outweighs and camouflages the impacts of the investment of their 95 percent.”—Ruth McCambridgeShare2KTweetShare16Email2K Shareslast_img read more

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Portugal yesterday shut down analogue TV services

first_imgPortugal yesterday shut down analogue TV services in regions covering about 1.9 million people or 730,000 households.Households in the regions affected are in fact continuing to receive signals from the Monte da Virgem, Montejunto, Marão and Lousã transmitters as these feed repeaters located in areas of the country that have yet to complete the switchover process.last_img

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Senegalese service provider Excaf Télécom has upgr

first_imgSenegalese service provider Excaf Télécom has upgraded the content security solution provided by Conax to its Contego Broadcast system.Excaf Télécom deployed its first Conax solution in 2005. The new solution, complemented by Conax’s advisory role, provides Excaf Télécom with security for one-way operations and support for subscription, pairing, fingerprinting and messaging, with optional support for DRM control and pay-per-view, according to Conax. The solution can also support future requirements for video-on-demand and advanced multiscreen services.In addition to radio services, Excaf Télécom provides TV services via MMDS and recently launched a loal encrypted 24-hour music channel on the country’s digital-terrestrial platform.“We are very pleased with the ease of working with a professional company like Conax, the excellent support and personal service provided by the Conax team and commitment to ensuring smooth operations,” said Sidy Diagne, director-general, Excaf Télécom. “We are confident that Contego Broadcast security solution will play a strong role in positioning Excaf Télécom into the future.”last_img read more

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ESPN is making a string of mobile updates this wee

first_imgESPN is making a string of mobile updates this week, including launching a tablet-optimised version of its UK smartphone app and an updated version of its cricket app ESPNcricinfo.The ESPN UK app for iOS and Android tablets launches today on the Apple App Store and in the coming days on Google Play.The smartphone version of the UK-focused multi-sports app was first released in August and an updated version of this goes live at the same time.ESPN is also launching a new and updated HTML5 mobile website for its cricket brand ESPNcricinfo and is updating the cricket brand’s smartphone app – which will be available on iOS, Android as well as Windows Phone and Nokia Asha platforms.“Mobile plays a crucial role in the way fans connect to sports every day, and we have made it central to how we will serve them in the UK. More and more UK fans are turning to ESPN when they reach for their phone or tablet and our aim is to ensure our products and innovation matches their sporting passion,” said Charly Classen, senior director commercial, digital and marketing, ESPN.last_img read more

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Deutsche Telekomowned Croatian telco THrvatski T

first_imgDeutsche Telekom-owned Croatian telco T-Hrvatski Telekom has unified its voice, video and broadband offerings under a single brand with a single ‘T’ logo and has launched a bundle aimed at families ahead of the holiday season.The MAXobitelj (Max Family) bundle, including fixed and mobile telephony and TV as well as mobile broadband.The package includes access to 90 TV channels, while two members of any one family can use unlimited texts and calls to other T-Hrvatski Telekom subscribers as well as 5,000 minutes to other networks and unlimited mobile broadband.The package costs HRK499 (€65), with discounts available before Christmas.last_img read more

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Josh Sapan AMC Networks is launching its flagship

first_imgJosh SapanAMC Networks is launching its flagship AMC channel internationally.The US-listed channel operator is rebranding the MGM channel, which it took ownership of as part of its US$1 billion (€745 million) deal for Chellomedia, meaning AMC will roll out in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa.The MGM channel is programmed with movies from the Hollywood Studio and third-parties and the rebrand to AMC will see these supplemented with core series from the US AMC cable net. AMC moved for Chellomedia in late 2013. That gave it a group of channels including MGM, which Chello had acquired in 2012.It was already running the MGM channel in a joint venture in some regions and took full control as part of that agreement.The US AMC channel has had several of the biggest cable series ever on its grid in recent years, but shows such as The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are distributed by third parties, meaning AMC must acquire them outside of the US. However, it is now pushing more heavily into original content, which is coming out of AMC Studios and gives it greater flexibility in terms of international rights.Two of its original series, Halt & Catch Fire and The Divide, will be on the new international AMC. There will also be accompanying AMC video-on-demand and TV Everywhere services that will launch in tandem with the channel.Bruce Tuchman engineered the rollout of the MGM channel around the world before joining AMC, where he is currently  president of AMC/Sundance Channel Global.“There is a huge appetite for AMC original programming abroad,” Tuchman said. “That interest, coupled with our successful history of curating films from all the major studios to complement our original programming, gives us a great opportunity to make AMC Global a top-tier entertainment destination worldwide.”Speaking about the international launch for AMC, AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll, said:  “In recent years, AMC has redefined dramatic storytelling on pay TV via its cinematic approach to original series, including The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. It is our intention to replicate our successful US strategy, extending the AMC brand worldwide and creating a broad pipeline for our original content.”Earlier this year AMC rebranded Chellomedia to AMC Networks International and it is pushing heavily into international markets following the Chellomedia deal. The US generated over 90% of AMC Networks’ revenues in 2013 – US$404 million versus S$34 million from international – but the acquisition of channel operator Chellomedia means the contribution of international to the overall bottom line jumps from 7% to 20%.Part of the international expansion is getting first-run rights to series from the US AMC Networks channels: “We are looking forward to moving closer to a point in time where we can deploy our shows on our own platform simultaneously and widely throughout the globe,” CEO Josh Sapan told analysts earlier this year.last_img read more

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Sergey Dolgopolsky Russian technology firm and set

first_imgSergey DolgopolskyRussian technology firm and set-top maker GS Group is due to launch national DTH satellite TV services in Bangladesh for the first time in the opening half of next year as part of a joint venture.Discussing the firm’s plans at the GS Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, GS Group’s head of foreign broadcasting projects, Sergey Dolgopolskiy, said it had struck a deal with Bangladesh-based conglomerate Beximco to offer DTH in the country and said that test broadcasts will commence shortly.“We hope to have more than 1. 5 million subscribers after five years. But this is a pessimistic figure in my opinion – I think that the market potential is much bigger than this,” said Dolgopolskiy, claiming the launch will mark the first national Bangladesh DTH project to go live in the country.GS Group holds 45% in the DTH joint venture with Beximco, which has interests in a wide range of industries including textiles, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, real estate and financial services.GS Group is a technology provider for Russian satellite provider Tricolor and is also increasing its focus on foreign TV opportunities.In 2012 GS Group launched a digital TV service in Cambodia, called One TV, with local partner Royal Group. The firm also has plans to launch TV services in Pakistan and Myanmar, with more markets under consideration across regions including Africa, Europe and Latin America.last_img read more

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Freetime by Freesat Freesat claims it has increase

first_imgFreetime by FreesatFreesat claims it has increased the customer base of its connected service, Freetime, by 200% year-on-year in the first half of 2015.The UK free-to-air satellite operator reported an overall increase of 19,000 Freesat customers in the first half of the year and said it ended the second quarter with more than 1.9 million users – though it wouldn’t break down the proportion of Freetime customers.“Increased awareness and understanding of the Freetime service has resulted in Freetime sales growing by 48% year-on-year for the first six months of 2015,” said the company, announcing a “solid half year” performance.The Freetime service is available on TVs and set-top boxes and includes features such as pause, rewind and record, a seven-day roll-back TV guide and a range of catch up players including BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, Channel 4’s All4 and Channel 5’s Demand 5.In July Freesat partnered with Humax to launch the HDR-1100S set-top box, and said the expansion of Freetime will continue with several new manufacturer partnerships.last_img read more

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Liberty Globalowned cable operator UPC Poland is

first_imgLiberty Global-owned cable operator UPC Poland is rolling out the company’s new Connect Box routers to coincide with the launch of a new package that includes ultra-fast 120Mbps broadband.The Connect Box is Liberty Global’s latest initiative in bringing uniform hardware across its footprint to enable next-generation services. The dual-band box enables 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi connectivity, enabling access to the internet throughout the house with speeds of up to 250Mbps.UPC Central Europe – the recently-created Liberty Global unit that encompasses its operations in Switzerland and Austria – last week announced that it was distributing 300,000 of the boxes to existing customers free of charge, with 160,000 to be rolled out in Switzerland by the end of this year.In Poland, UPC is using the launch of the new box to promote two a service offering that combines the Horizon Select digital TV pack with 120Mbps internet, with the digital TV package available for PLN99 a month for the first three months, and the internet service available for PLN99 for the entire contract period.last_img read more

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Jeff Zucker CNN boss Jeff Zucker claims the media

first_imgJeff ZuckerCNN boss Jeff Zucker claims the media is under assault and politicians are failing to address US president Donald Trump’s attacks on journalists, but that his news network is thriving with political events driving record ratings and revenue.Zucker was speaking at INTV in Israel in a session labelled ‘The War on Truth’, and told delegates here in Jerusalem that while he wasn’t planning to send Trump “a thank you note”, the resulting CNN journalism “has also been good for the bottom line”.Recent events and CNN and others reaction to them have sparked a “renaissance of journalism in America”, Zucker said. “I actually think many of the news organisations in the United States have never done better work andmore important journalism,” he added. “We’ve done an excellent job that I’m incredibly proud of – our audiences are at an all-time high on television and our digital properties, and obviously that also accrues to the bottom line and is good financially.”In the INTV keynote, which was moderated by Israeli news anchor Yonit Levi, Zucker said that moves to restrict access to press conferences and officials, as well as the Trump regime’s ongoing labeling of much coverage as fake news, was “dangerous and unprecedented”.CNN has been the subject of much of Trump’s ire with its correspondents refused the opportunity to field questions and frozen out of events. Much of its output, along with that of many other news outlets, has been labeled ‘fake news’ and more recently ‘very fake news’.In an uncompromising response to the president’s criticism, Zucker also said that politicians have failed to stand up to Trump and defend the First Amendment amid attempts to “delegitimise many aspects of the American system”. “Many of them are afraid in general and afraid of Trump,” he said. “Many of them have abdicated their responsibility in standing up for free media and freedom of the press – the two notable exceptions have been John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two Republican senators.”The CNN chief acknowledged his network had covered Trump’s early rallies in depth and said he regretted giving the then presidential candidate so much unfettered air time. “It wasn’t the best editoral call,” he said. “If I could go back I would do it a different way.”Zucker, who refused to answer whether he or his journalists has received threats in the wake of Trump’s attacks, also spoke about his role in bringing the president to TV when, as head of entertainment at NBC, he greenlit The Apprentice, the reality show fronted the by the president.“Mark [Burnett] brought [The Apprentice] to us,” Zucker said. “As a New Yorker, I understood the appeal of Donald Trump in terms of his ability to creating publicity and a big commotion. I understood that with Donald Trump in the middle of it, even if it didn’t work, it would get a tremendous amount of attention.”He went on to relate how after the success of the show Trump has asked to be paid the same as the entire cast of NBC’s ultra-successful sitcom Friends per episode – about US$6 million dollars – but then accepted a slight raise putting him on under US$1 million per episode.The CNN exec also spoke about Trump alluding to getting him his job at the helm of CNN after recommending him to then-Turner CEO Phil Kent. He added that the last time he spoke to Trump was on December 2, when the president called to complain about a guest on CNN.Aside from talking about the tempestuous CNN-Trump relationship, Zucker talked about the future of his news net as it looks to exploit digital platforms and build upon last year’s acquisition of Beme, a social media app created by YouTuber Casey Neistat.CNN’s millennial audience far eclipses that of Vice and Buzzfeed and other services that skew younger than CNN, whose average US viewer is 58 years old, Zucker claimed. “Vice etc all do a really good job but our millennial audience dwarfs them,” Zucker said. “They wish they had the millennial audience we have.”last_img read more

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Swisscom has vowed to continue to battle for the r

first_imgSwisscom has vowed to continue to battle for the right to air Swiss ice-hockey, one the country’s favourite sports, after the country’s competition watchdog rejected its bid to implement ‘precautionary measures’ against Liberty Global, which holds exclusive rights to league games.Swisscom and its content sister unit Cinetrade/Teleclub appealed to the regulator after Liberty Global’s local operating unit, UPC Switzerland, made ice-hockey exclusive to cable as part of its new MySports offering, details of which were released this week.“That ice hockey fans are the only group among our customers to be excluded is clear discrimination. We regret this decision,” said Dirk Wierzbitzki, head of products and marketing and member of the group executive board at Swisscom.“Ten years ago we built up an extensive ice hockey editorial board out of nothing, also establishing ice hockey as a type of TV sport in Switzerland. So it is particularly important for us that we can carry on with our comprehensive reporting in the future and we will fight on. As sport fans, we naturally will not give up so quickly.”UPC welcomed the competition regulator’s decision and said MySports could now go on air as planned on September 8. It reiterated that it would not share ice-hockey rights with Swisscom. UPC said that its collaboration with 15 different cable partners meant that the competition would be available to over three million homes.“This decision from COMCO does not surprise us and confirms that our path up to here has been the right one. MySports is an important step towards effective competition and will break up the former unfair monopoly regarding sports rights in Switzerland,” said Eric Tveter, CEO of UPC.“It would have been paradoxical if COMCO had decided in favour of precisely the company that has abused its dominant position on the market for so many years. We are very confident that the outcome of the further investigation will be positive for us,”UPC’s entry into premium sports poses a major competitive threat to Swisscom, which has previously dominated the sector. In addition to ice-hockey, MySports TV will air German Bundesliga football and other sports in a package for CHF25 a month, with a non-premium service also available.Swisscom/Cinetrade and the Swiss cable industry have been engaged in a long dispute over the terms by which Teleclub, the Cinetrade offering, is made available to third-party distributors. Last year, the competition watchdog imposed a fine on the operator for failing to offer national football and ice hockey on non-discriminatory terms, which Swisscom appealed.Swisscom maintains that what it describes as a “sophisticated, close-knit distribution system” benefits smaller cable operators and that the fragmentation of the Swiss cable industry – UPC aside – makes the distribution of pay TV services difficult.last_img read more

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