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Pioneer Electronics to Cut 10,000 Jobs

February 13th, 2009

The Japanese electronics maker is facing an annual loss of $1.4 billion. After cutting 5,900 jobs last year, they plan to cut an additional 10,000 jobs.

Once a leader in the making of flat screen TVs, they announced their decision to pull out of that market.

“Since the US financial crisis and ensuing global downturn, our sales of car electronics products and flat-screen TVs plunged worldwide,” said a Pioneer spokeswoman.

“We were severely hit by battered consumer sentiment.”

Blink 182 Is Back Together!

February 9th, 2009

There have been many rumors about Blink 182. After frontman, Tom DeLonge, left to
form Angels & Airwaves and drummer, Travis Barker, was in a serious plane crash, many thought the band would never play together again. However, they have announced on their website that they are back:

“Hi. We’re Blink 182. This past week there’ve been a lot of questions about the current status of the band, and we wanted you to hear it straight from us. To put it simply, We’re back. We mean, really back. Picking up where we left off and then some. In the studio writing and recording a new album. Preparing to tour the world yet again. Friendships reformed. 17 years deep in our legacy.

Summer 2009.

Thanks and get ready….”

Attorney General Investigating Ticket Sales for Springsteen Concert

February 9th, 2009

Division of Consumer Affairs

NEWARK – The Office of the Attorney General and the Division of Consumer Affairs are investigating Monday’s sale of Bruce Springsteen concerts tickets after consumers complained about problems they encountered during attempted online purchases.

“Consumers are questioning what transpired and if they had an equal opportunity to purchase these concert tickets. We share these concerns and are investigating this matter,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said.

More than 250 consumer complaints have been received as of midday today. The Division of Consumer Affairs has placed an icon labeled “Bruce Springsteen/Ticketmaster Complaints” on its main web page for consumers to link to an online complaint form. The Division’s web page is located at

Consumer Affairs investigators will review submitted complaints to determine how the online sales process was conducted and whether any violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act or ticket resale law occurred.

Bruce Springsteen Says No Bossing To Ticketmaster

February 9th, 2009

Though happy to have won a Grammy, Bruce Springsteen is not happy with the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation. He wrote on his website:

Last Monday, we were informed that Ticketmaster was redirecting your log-in requests for tickets at face value, to their secondary site TicketsNow, which specializes in up-selling tickets at above face value. They did this even when other seats remained available at face value. We condemn this practice.

We perceive this as a pure conflict of interest. Ticketmaster is there to ensure that we have a good, fair sale of our tickets at their face value plus normal ticketing charges. TicketsNow is supposed to be a secondary site where people who already have tickets may exchange, trade, and, unfortunately, speculate with them. We have asked this redirection from Ticketmaster to TicketsNow cease and desist immediately and Ticketmaster has agreed to do so in the future and has removed its unwanted material from their and our site.

A final point for now: the one thing that would make the current ticket situation even worse for the fan than it is now would be Ticketmaster and Live Nation coming up with a single system, thereby returning us to a near monopoly situation in music ticketing. Several newspapers are reporting on this story right now. If you, like us, oppose that idea, you should make it known to your representatives.

The abuse of our fans and our trust by Ticketmaster has made us as furious as it has made many of you. We will continue to do our utmost now and in the future to make sure that these practices are permanently curtailed on our tours.

Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and the entire Springsteen Tour Team

Dump AOL? Time Warner Struggles

February 5th, 2009


NEW YORK, February 4, 2009 – Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) today reported financial results for its full year and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2008.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said: “We’re making progress at Time Warner toward our goals of becoming a more content-focused company and delivering increasing returns to our stockholders. Last year, our priorities were to rationalize our structure and improve our operating performance. Despite the challenging economic environment, we achieved most of what we set out to do. Moving into 2009, we intend to build on these accomplishments.” Mr. Bewkes continued: “Operationally, we’ll continue to improve the efficiency of our businesses while creating even more of the compelling content that’s becoming increasingly valuable. Structurally, we’ll complete the Time Warner Cable separation soon. At the same time, we’ll strengthen our balance sheet, improve our strategic flexibility and return capital to our stockholders on a consistent
basis. Through these steps, we expect to emerge from this downturn in an even stronger competitive position.”

Full-Year Results
Revenues grew 1% over 2008 to $47.0 billion, reflecting increases at the Company’s Cable and Networks segments. Adjusted Operating Income before Depreciation and Amortization rose 1% to $13.0 billion. The growth
at the Cable, Networks and Filmed Entertainment segments more than offset declines at the Publishing and AOL segments. The Company’s Operating Loss of $16.0 billion reflected a decline of $24.9 billion compared to 2007’s Operating Income of $8.9 billion, due mainly to a $24.2 billion noncash impairment to reduce the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets. Cash Provided by Operations totaled $10.3 billion and Free Cash Flow amounted to $6.0 billion (reflecting a 46% conversion rate of Adjusted Operating Income before Depreciation and Amortization). As of December 31, 2008, Net Debt was $33.0 billion, down $2.6 billion from $35.6
billion at the end of 2007, due primarily to the generation of Free Cash Flow, offset in part by acquisitions. Diluted Loss per Common Share from Continuing Operations was $3.74 for the year ended December 31, 2008, compared to Diluted Income per Common Share from Continuing Operations of $1.08 in
2007. The current and prior year amounts included certain items affecting comparability that are described in Note 3 to the accompanying consolidated financial statements. The net impact of such items was to decrease the current year results by $4.73 per diluted common share and to increase the prior year results by $0.12 per diluted common share.

The Walt Disney Company Earnings Suffer

February 4th, 2009


Disney disappointed Wall Street with a 14% drop in profits. Though they did still turn a profit, it was not as large as had been predicted. The company was hit hard by the collapse of Lehman brothers and had to write-off $91 million in bad debt.

BURBANK, Calif. – The Walt Disney Company today reported earnings for its first fiscal quarter ended December 27, 2008. Diluted earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter were $0.45, compared to $0.63 in the prior-year quarter. EPS for the current quarter included a gain on the sale of our investment in two pay television
services in Latin America, which resulted in a benefit of $0.04 per share.

“We faced a challenging first quarter with many of our businesses impacted to various degrees by the economic downturn,” said Robert A. Iger, Disney’s president and CEO. “We are forcefully confronting current circumstance while investing in the great creativity, brands and assets that are Disney’s strengths and keys to its long-term success.”

Comedian Willie Asbury @ Caesars Paradise Stream Resort

February 2nd, 2009

by for the Rock n’ Roll Romper Room

Mt. Pocono, PA — Caesars Paradise Stream Resort is located in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. The resort is located in a picturesque position close to the major ski attractions. The modern facility is clean, attractive and well staffed. Not only does it have nice guest rooms, but the added amenities afforded a gambling facility make it an ideal entertainment destination.

The Lounge and Nightclub offers a theater-like atmosphere. The stage offers the feeling of a large venue while the seating offers a feeling of intimacy. On Saturday night, comedian Willie Asbury played to a crowded house. Willie is a veteran of the comedy circuit and has performed everywhere from Madison Square Garden to television.

The moment Willie took the stage an aura of glee swept the venue. A look across the audience revealed one ear-to-ear smile after another. Then, the jokes started flying followed by knee-slapping impressions. Laughter roared. Not only is Willie hilarious, he can also sing. Or, maybe it should be said he is a one-man boom box. It wasn’t long before he had the whole audience singing along to classic TV show theme songs. The people ate it up. By the time Willie left the stage, a call had to be placed to 911 for the sides that had split open and the funny bones that had been fractured.

The next time you are thinking of a get-away consider making the Poconos your destination. There is first class accommodations, as well as, first class entertainment. Best of all, it is at an affordable price.

Music: The Paul Green School of Rock Gets the Beat

January 31st, 2009

Written by for the Rock n’ Roll Romper Room

The Beatles
The White Album

Ft. Washington, PA — The students of Paul Green’s School of Rock put on a concert of the Beatles’ White Album. Think about that? What an endeavour! Most musicians would not even consider it possible. To start with, the album has such a diverse mix of styles, sounds, sound engineering and recording techniques that it is hard to imagine trying to recreate the music. Then, to consider not just recreating it, but to do the music justice, seems an impossible feat. Nevertheless, that is just what the kids did.

The age of the students wasn’t listed in the program. However, a good guess would be the children ranged in age from 5-18. They took the stage and went right into Back In The USSR… then, played right through the entire 2-album set. Many of the students are multi-instrumentalists, as well as, vocalists. In between songs, the performers would change. Sometimes musicians would come on stage. Sometimes musicians would go off stage. Sometimes musicians would change positions — the bassist would change to guitar, or the guitarist might change to drums. On several songs, it felt like all 15 performers were on stage at the same time. The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill included a menagerie of performers on stage.

One of the hardest songs to imagine covering would have to be Revolution #9. You would have thought, “just leave it out of the set-list. After all, Paul McCartney and George Martin wanted to leave if off of the album. Why even attempt to perform it?” Much to the delight of the audience, the school pulled it off. A multitude of performers traversed the stage creating a visual and audio extravaganza.

The entire show was enjoyable. It would be hard to pick out a favorite song. So, a “first timer” in the audience was asked their thoughts on the show. What was their favorite song? A: Helter Skelter.

That kind-of makes you think a little deeper. Another person in the crowd was overheard saying to the man next to him, “Do you even know who Charles Manson is?” Wow! What do you call that when an album from so long ago felt so relevant today — a timeless work of art? When you think back to the album’s original release, a song like Helter Skelter was a revolution in the sound of what would become known as Heavy Metal. Quite a few things about the album were revolutionary. Listening to the album performed in its entirety, you realize this concept album was way ahead of its time. Going back in through Pink Floyd’s The Wall to Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, you find their seed in the White Album.

The audience’s revolution that they were feeling the revolution of a new generation brought the spirit of the Beatles to heart. You might say the students got the beat of the Beatles.

Set 1
1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
2. Dear Prudence
3. Glass Onion
4. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
5. Wild Honey Pie
6. Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill
7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
8. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
9. Martha My Dear
10. I’m So Tired
11. Blackbird
12. Piggies
13. Rocky Raccoon
14. Don’t Pass Me By
15. Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?
16. I Will
17. Julia

Set: 2
1. Birthday
2. Yer Blues
3. Mother Nature’s Son
4. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey
5. Sexy Sadie
6. Helter Skelter
7. Long, Long, Long
8. Revolution #1
9. Honey Pie
10. Savoy Truffle
11. Cry Baby Cry
12. Revolution #9
13. Good Night

Album Review: The Offspring Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace

January 31st, 2009

by for the Rock n’ Roll Romper Room

The Offspring
Rise And Fall, Rage And Grace

The Rise And Fall, Rage And Disgrace album was released in 2008 by the Offspring. In June, they announced it would debut on-line. The release of the CD came later in the year. It is the bands eighth album, and the first since 2004. Drummer, Atom Willard, left the band in 2007 and joined Angels & Airwaves. However, he hadn’t been drumming on the recordings. Because of a contract dispute with Geffen records, Willard was not allowed to record. Studio musician, Josh Freese, had been doing the drumming tracks as he had on the previous album.

In any event, the album eventually came out… and due to the onslaught of bad reviews, many people instantly dismissed it. In fact, this reviewer was not even going to give it a try.

Despite the critics, and in the true spirit of American Punk, the album developed an underground fan uprising. It was recently brought to my attention by several of these underground offspring. They said, “you’ve got to listen to this!”

The Offspring have often been pigeoned-holed as a Punk band. Perhaps the music is Punkish. But, on this album, the music has more depth than what comes to mind when you hear “Punk.” Yes. There are elements of Punk and Ska in many of the songs. On the other hand, the melodies, hooks and metal overtones tend to broaden the listening horizon. Some people might even go so far as to say, “the more you listen to it, the more you like it.” Does that mean it boarders on Pop? Shhh… don’t tell the underground fans.

1. Half-Truism 3:27
2. Trust In You 3:09
3. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid [Explicit] 2:57
4. Hammerhead 4:38
5. A Lot Like Me 4:28
6. Takes Me Nowhere 2:59
7. Kristy, Are You Doing Okay? 3:41
8. Nothingtown [Explicit] 3:30
9. Stuff Is Messed Up [Explicit] 3:31
10. Fix You 4:20
11. Let’s Hear It For Rock Bottom 4:04
12. Rise And Fall 2:59

CKX: Owner of Elvis and American Idol Director Resigns

January 29th, 2009

CKX, Inc. Announces Director Change
Company to fill vacancy within regulatory timeframe

NEW YORK, Jan 23, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — On January 15, 2009, CKX, Inc. (NASDAQ: CKXE) disclosed that John D. Miller, one of the Company’s independent directors, had resigned from the Company’s Board of Directors, effective January 12, 2009. Mr. Miller had served as a Director of the Company since February 2005 and was a member of the Audit Committee and the Compensation Committee. In disclosing the resignation, the Company noted that Mr. Miller had proposed that the Company consider making an investment in an unaffiliated company in which he holds an equity interest and for which he serves as a paid advisor and was therefore resigning to minimize any perceived or potential conflict of interest arising from such consideration and potential investment. Notwithstanding his resignation, the investment transaction proposed by Mr. Miller as referenced above will be subject to the Company’s review process for related party transactions and, if consummated, will be disclosed in accordance with the SEC rules and regulations regarding disclosure of related party transactions.

About CKX, Inc.

CKX, Inc. is engaged in the ownership, development and commercial utilization of entertainment content. To date, the Company has focused on acquiring globally recognized entertainment content and related assets, including the rights to the name, image and likeness of Elvis Presley, the operations of Graceland, the rights to the name, image and likeness of Muhammad Ali and proprietary rights to the IDOLS television brand, including the American Idol series in the United States and local adaptations of the IDOLS television show format which, collectively, air in over 100 countries around the world.

On March 17, 2005, we acquired 19 Entertainment Limited and entered into a long-term employment agreement with Simon Fuller, its founder and the creative force behind its most successful projects. In addition to continuing to oversee the operations of 19 Entertainment and its subsidiaries, Mr. Fuller will play a key role in planning and implementing our overall creative direction. 19 Entertainment, based in the United Kingdom, is a leading creator, producer and promoter of entertainment properties. Since forming 19 Entertainment in 1985, Mr. Fuller has been instrumental in creating, developing and marketing multiple globally successful and profitable entertainment properties, including the Spice Girls, S Club 7 and, most recently, the IDOLS television show format. Each of these was conceived as a multi-platform entertainment property and has experienced substantial success on a worldwide basis, generating multiple revenue streams, including recorded music, music publishing, television, film, merchandising, sponsorship, artist management and promotion. Recently, 19 Entertainment entered into a partnership with David Beckham and Victoria Beckham. We believe the partnership with the Beckhams creates an ideal opportunity to develop and share in new and valuable content and relationships, each offering multiple revenue opportunities across various entertainment platforms and distribution channels. The company has recording contracts with and/or manages or has managed former American Idol and Pop Idol participants, such as Kelly Clarkson, Chris Daughtry, Carrie Underwood, Ruben Studdard ad Clay Aiken.

On August 9, 2005, we acquired Morra, Brezner, Steinberg & Tenenbaum Entertainment, Inc. (”MBST”) a leading manager of comedic talent and producer of motion pictures and television programming, and entered into long-term employment relationships with the principals of MBST, Larry Brezner, David Steinberg and Steve Tenenbaum, who continue to oversee the day-to-day operations of MBST. MBST is a full service management company with a roster of more than 35 clients, representing an array of Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy winning artists including Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Woody Allen, jazz legend John Pizzarelli, comedian/writer Jeff Ross, comedian Jim Norton and director Bob Weide. MBST has had an advisory relationship with Apple Corps, the holding corporation for the Beatles, for more than 15 years. In addition to its management activities, MBST has been responsible for the production of numerous motion pictures and television productions over the years, including Arthur, Good Morning Vietnam, Throw Momma From the Train, The Vanishing, The Greatest Game Ever Played and Match Point.