Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Carrington Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2014-01-29 Tory Barringer in Origination “”Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC””:http://www.carringtonms.com/webapps/cms/index.do appointed Ed Ciemny to lead its office in Oak Brook, Illinois, the company announced.[IMAGE]As branch manager, Ciemny’s focus will be on directing the company’s growth in Northwest Illinois as well as [COLUMN_BREAK]providing expanded offerings and faster turn times to meet demand in the Chicagoland area.Before being named to take over the Oak Brook branch, Ciemny served as Midwest Sales Manager for Carrington. Past sales positions include sales manager for Security National and senior financial consultant/sales manager for Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc.””Carrington remains sharply focused on increasing our capacity, expanding our offerings and widening our reach into new markets–tasks that require strong leadership and commitment at the local level,”” said Ray Brousseau, EVP of Carrington Mortgage Services’ Mortgage Lending Division. “”With Ed Ciemny’s industry and local market knowledge, and his tenacity to meet the needs of borrowers in today’s housing market, he is well positioned to lead our Oak Brook branch in Northwest Illinois toward providing enhanced service to our customers in the Chicagoland area.”” January 29, 2014 432 Views Share New,Carrington Announces Branch Manager Appointment
London, United Kingdom – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazineRecently renovated to the tune of $80 million, St. Ermin’s Hotel has been infused not just with an aesthetic overhaul, but a “spiritual” one as well, as Jon Cummins, COO of Amerimar Enterprises, the hotel’s new owner, explains. Taking over the historic hotel (it resides in a listed heritage building) that had very much lost its luster, Amerimar has nurtured it to its former glory, elevating the service and styling the interior design in a subtly eclectic way that really speaks to the modern traveler.Purchasing the property in May 2010, Amerimar brought in Dayna Lee of Los Angeles to give the interiors a real lift, and the results are stunning. The new St. Ermin’s respects its heritage, but touts the touch of flair that does justice to the kind of city London is today: A world crossroads—with vast international influence—that’s officially taking center stage in 2012 (Olympics, Diamond Jubilee and so much more). The integrity of the grand Victorian architecture, both theatrical and graceful, has been maintained, while thoughtful and flawlessly integrated contemporary design elements make for a happy marriage of new and old, tradition and innovation.Despite having 330 rooms, the hotel somehow pulls off a boutique feel, a certain intimacy, partly because the building was originally conceived as mansion flats, but also because the service is that good; a touch less formal than traditional British service (you’ll find more smiles than stiff upper lips) and really on point. Everything in the rooms, from the beds to the draperies, is bespoke—custom-designed with the hotel’s new ethos in mind, and the overall vibe is one of a beautiful old city estate, adorned with finds from one’s travels—warm and inviting, yet very grand.It’s hard to keep track of all the new hotels and renovations that are popping up in London this year, but this makeover is certainly one to take note of, and St. Ermin’s a real contender on the city’s luxury hotel scene.www.sterminshotel.co.uk
PA 116 has been a popular and successful program since 1974, created for the preservation of farmland“I have recently heard from constituents that they are experiencing long delays in receiving their PA 116 tax credit,” said Rep. Glardon, R-Owosso. “These bills are intended to ensure a timelier processing of the Farmland and Open Space Preservation tax credit payments.”The bills allow PA 116 to get funding from the Agricultural Preservation Fund, along with the General Fund, which it is currently funded by.It is estimated that up to $1.2 million could be dedicated annually to the Agricultural Preservation Fund from unclaimed farmland tax credits. This revenue would be dedicated to administering the program to process renewals, transfers and new applications.HB 5189 and HB 5191 are sponsored by Rep. Dan Lauwers, and HB 5190 is sponsored by Rep. Brett Roberts.For more information, contact Rep. Glardon’s office by phone at (517) 373-0841 or by email to BenGlardon@house.mi.gov. 28Jan Farmland preservation bills reviewed in committee Photo cutline: Rep. Ben Glardon, right, stands with Rich Harlow, program manager of the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, left.On Jan. 27, the House Committee on Agriculture heard testimony on House Bills 5189, 5190 and 5191. Co-sponsored by Rep. Ben Glardon, these bills will make needed changes to the Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program, commonly known as Public Act 116. Tags: Farmland and Open Space, PA 116, Rep. Glardon ##### Categories: Featured news,Glardon Photos,News,Photos
Share19Tweet22ShareEmail41 SharesBy Jackie (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia CommonsMarch 24, 2018; Charleston Gazette-Mail and PolitiFactIn the run-up to the March for our Lives on Saturday, opponents of gun reform did their level best to paint the organizers as puppets of…who-knows-who. Apparently, in the minds of some, the periodic mass murder of young people is not enough reason for young Americans to protest; for some, the preferred frame is to see the youth as manipulated.Donors and supporters of the March have not, as far as we can see, refrained from openly expressing their support. Still, after a week of articles in the conservative press speculating about where support may be coming from for the march, the National Rifle Association piled on, tweeting that the marchers were being “backed by radicals with a history of violent threats, language and actions.” It claims that the co-chairs of the national Women’s March group played a major role. But PolitiFact says:Major organizational muscle behind the march, both in Washington and in cities nationwide, comes from two well-known gun control advocacy groups, neither of which has a history of violent behavior. A number of related organizations have lent their support, including the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, and celebrity donors have given millions of dollars.Instead, the effort’s supporters and donors have been a surprising mix of folks. Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, deployed one of the team’s two planes to transport the survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School to Washington, DC for the March for our Lives rally there, which drew an estimated 800,000. Kraft has a complicated relationship with President Trump; he donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration, only to later say he was “deeply disappointed” by Trump’s comments about football player protests.Meanwhile, another major GOP donor, real estate developer Al Hoffman Jr., has launched a new 501c4 group called Americans for Gun Safety Now. Hoffman has said that he will no longer give any money to politicians who do not back a ban on assault weapons, and he is predicting a big loss in the mid-terms unless comprehensive gun control legislation is passed. He has allied with Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in the attack.“What [this group] intends to do is show those who are not on the right side of the movement…there’s a movement elsewhere that can help. Those who stay on the wrong side of this movement, they’re [going to] lose their traditional donor money,” Guttenberg said in an interview with Time. He was introduced to Hoffman through a mutual friend a week after his daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, and the two are attending the March for Our Lives demonstration together in Washington, D.C.“[Hoffman] is a man who no one ever would have expected this from, which is what I think makes it so powerful,” said Guttenberg.All of this is to say that perhaps those children who have so capably developed into citizens (in the broadest sense of the word) may be managing well so far without a “man behind the curtain” pulling levers.—Ruth McCambridgeShare19Tweet22ShareEmail41 Shares
Share5TweetShareEmail5 Shares“Calgary Amazon HQ2 campaign,” SounderBruceAugust 5, 2018; New York TimesDangling the prospect of a $5 billion capital investment and 50,000 new, high-paying jobs, Amazon encouraged cities across North America to compete to become the site of their second corporate headquarters, known by the abbreviation “HQ2.” Visions of immense economic benefit got 238 communities to submit proposals. Amazon has reduced that number to the 20 finalists who are now awaiting word on who will be selected.What remains unclear is the cost of winning, and whether the benefits will outweigh the costs.As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and HQ2 will not come to the winning city cheaply. Cities aren’t competing solely on the best workforce, the most attractive social and cultural environment, or the best weather. To win, each had to offer a package of economic incentives. That Amazon expected tax and other benefits in return for their investment is not news—except, perhaps, in their eventual size. Across the nation, cities and states have gotten used to luring businesses with financial incentives. The cost of these incentives, financial and culturally, and who will end up paying for them is often unclear, and long-term assessment challenges their efficacy.Details about how cities are bidding for Amazon remains hard to track, as many finalists have kept their proposals secret. According to a recent New York Times article examining the HQ2 selection process, even “civic leaders can’t find out what sort of tax credits and other inducements have been promised to Amazon…taxpayers could get saddled with a huge bill and have little chance to stop it.”This secrecy comes with consequences. Those who will be most affected by the critical public policy issues a winning city will face won’t be part of the discussion. Nonprofit organizations dedicated to community betterment can’t join in the debate over whether the potential economic, employment, and community benefits of HQ2 outweigh the potential downsides of higher taxes and rents and less money for government support. They have a valuable perspective to offer but won’t be able to participate in an important civic decision.One major concern is that the higher wages coming to 50,000 of the winning city’s workers will cause housing costs to soar, pushing out long-term residents who can’t keep up. The Times cited leaders from HQ2 finalist Austin and from Seattle, where Amazon and other tech firms are headquartered, about the impact. In Seattle, according to Mayor Jenny Durkan, housing prices average $824,000, rents have soared 57 percent in the last five years, and 4,000 homeless people sleep on the streets every night. Austin city councilwoman Leslie Pool said the “city lacked the infrastructure and housing to accommodate 50,000 high-paying jobs and that such fast growth would alter the city’s socioeconomic makeup and quality of life.”The very nature of a community is potentially altered in ways that may not be repairable. Pool told the Times that hers “is a city where you want to put down roots…the people here are the friendliest. The parks are beautiful. But if someone like Amazon comes in, a big con is the massive amount of dislocation it causes. You put out the small businesses and longtime property owners, the very businesses and people that give the city its flavor and, I would argue, its brand.”And the economic benefits do not reach those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. As reported in NPQ, a recent study of tax incentives conducted by Timothy J. Bartek, a nationally known senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute, and summarized by Sarah Holder of CityLab noted that “the net benefits of incentives on local incomes…amount to only 22.3 percent of incentive costs.…In the end, the net income for those in the lowest income quintiles (and the second-highest, surprisingly) actually drops as a result of incentive policies.”Speaking to the Times, Richard Florida, a professor at the School of Cities and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, summed up the dilemma facing civic leaders when faced with this so-called opportunity: “They are about ending inequality and creating more inclusive cities. Now they’re in a game competing with one another to throw money at one of the most powerful companies in the world run by one of the world’s richest men.”—Martin LevineShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shares
Blinkbox has inked a deal with HBO that gives it UK electronic sell-through rights to a raft of content including season two of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. Pay TV operator BSkyB has an output deal with HBO and exclusively airs all of the premium channel’s series on its Sky Atlantic channel. However, over-the-top service Blinkbox has inked a deal with HBO’s home entertainment division that gives its customers access to the premium channel’s content ahead of it launching in the DVD and Blu-ray window. Game of Thrones (pictured) will be available for £17.99 (€22.95) a season or £1.89 an episode, while Boardwalk Empire is available for £19.99 a season or £1.89 an episode.HBO series covered by the agreement include both seasons of Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire, four seasons each of True Blood and The Wire and all six season of The Sopranos. TV movies and miniseries including Mildred Pierce and John Adams will also be available. The content launched on Binkbox, which is majority owned by supermarket giant Tesco, today.Colin Smith, director, international digital distribution for HBO said: “We are delighted to partner with Blinkbox and to offer a wide variety of award-winning premium content to fans in the UK with a number of titles available on an EST basis for the very first time. Blinkbox CEO Michael Comish added: “This partnership with HBO is huge news for Blinkbox and our customers. Anyone wanting to watch the second seasons of Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire will have to wait to watch them on DVD – we’ve got them right now on Blinkbox.”
Public broadcaster France Télévisions will next week begin the process of negotiating its objectives and finances with the French government.The broadcaster has already been forced to produce a plan to make overall cuts of €100 million, having already economised to the tune of €40 million this year.Government direct funding for the broadcaster next year is to be cut by €86 million, which could be ameliorated to some extent by a possible increase in the French equivalent of licence fee contributions from households of €2. The broadcaster is expected to turn in a loss of €25 million this year after advertising revenues fell short of expectations.The government for its part wants France Télévisions to maintain its current level of support for content creation and for local and regional services.France Télévisions president Rémy Pflimlin is to meet prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on November 30 to discuss the broadcaster’s options.
Lagardère looks set to move forward with plans to float its 20% stake in Canal Plus France, either at the end of this year or the beginning of 2013, according to local reports.The media and industrial conglomerate, which notified Canal Plus of its plans in July, is expected to publish a prospectus based on the company’s results to the end of September rather than wait for the year-end.According to Reuters, BNP Paribas and JP Morgan are advising Lagardère, while Nomura and Société Générale are advising Canal Plus majority owner Vivendi.Lagardère initially tried to launch an IPO of the stake early last year, but was forced to abort the process as a result of unfavourable market conditions in the wake of the Fukushima earthquake.
Belarusian service provider Beltelecom is boosting the number of movies available on its Virtual Cinema movie service from six a day to nine a day.The price of the service will remain the same – BYR9,900 (€0.70).Virtual Cinema offers a choice of seven movies during daytime hours and two adult movies during night-time hours.
UK pay TV operator BSkyB has successfully priced a £3.25 billion (€4 billion) series of bonds to help finance its acquisition of Sky Italia and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland from 21st Century Fox. The bonds will be issued in four tranches, with a €1.5 billion bond with a 1.5% coupon due in 2021, a €1 billion bond with a coupon of 2.5% due in 2026, a US$750 million (€580 million) bond with a coupon of 2.625% due in 2019 and a US$1.25 billion bond with a coupon of 3.75% due in 2024.As a result of the transactions, BSkyB’s gross debt will increase by a further £3.25 billion from its June base of £2.589 billion.Proceeds of the US dollar bonds will be swapped into euros, resulting in a cost to Sky of approximately 1.3% for the bonds due in 2019 and 2.4% for the bonds due in 2024.
Google has suspended pre-sales of its new Android TV streaming player, the Nexus Player, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission.Google announced the player, the first device to run Google’s new Android TV operating system, last week and was due to begin pre-sales of the device on Friday.However, the purchase link is no longer available on the Nexus Player site, and Google has posted a statement on the page reading: “This device has not been approved by the Federal Communications Commission. It is not for sale until approval of the FCC has been obtained.”Google touted the Nexus Player as a “first-of-its-kind Android gaming device,” as well as a streaming media player for movies, music and videos.The device contains a 1.8GHz quad core Intel Atom chip, 802.11ac WiFi and HDMI out, also comes with a voice-activated remote control.The FCC regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in the US.
More than 600 apps are now available for Amazon’s Fire TV streaming box, triple the number available since its launch in April this year. Amazon said that the most popular apps and services on Fire TV are Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, Hulu Plus, YouTube.com, Plex, Pandora, WatchESPN, VEVO, iHeartRadio and Crackle.Among the most played games on the platform were Asphalt 8: Airborne, Minecraft: Pocket Edition, Despicable Me: Minion Rush, Hill Climb Racing and Hungry Shark.“We continue to hear from customers how much they love the selection available to them on their Amazon Fire TV. In just over six months we’ve tripled the catalogue and we’re adding new customer favourites on a weekly basis,” said Steve Rabuchin, vice president, Amazon Appstore.“We also hear from customers how much they love playing games on their TV – 9 of the top 10 grossing apps on Fire TV are games – so we continue to work with game developers and add the most popular game content.”Amazon last week started shipping its Fire TV box to customers in the UK, following Its European debut in Germany in September. Amazon first launched Fire TV in the US in April priced at US$99 (€72).
The international arm of Fox is launching the first episode of its buzzy new drama Outcast on Facebook in Europe and Africa.The show opener will go out on Facebook Live, the social network’s streaming channel, in 61 countries including the UK, Italy, Germany, Turkey and South Africa.It will debut at 10pm CET on Facebook on Friday May 20 marking, Fox said, the first time that the social network has been used to launch a show in Europe and Africa.To watch the series on Facebook, consumers need to head to their local Fox Facebook page. As well as the first episode, there will be wraparound and behind the scenes content for fans.The show is from the Fox Networks stable and based upon Kirkman’s Skybound/Image comic book. Created by The Walking Dead’s Robert Kirkman, Outcast follows a young man (Gone Girl’s Patrick Fugit) attempting to unravel the mystery of his possession, with the help of a mysterious preacher (Life on Mars’ Philip Glenister).There is huge anticipation ahead of the series launch on Cinemax in the US. It launches on the HBO sister net in a Friday night slot on June 3.Internationally, Fox has the rights for many of its international Fox channels and will play it close to the US TX as part of a coordinated global launch.“Thanks to The Walking Dead, Robert Kirkman has created an army of fans throughout the region,” said Diego Londono, COO, Fox Networks Group, Europe and Africa. “By partnering with Facebook, we are giving the fans the chance to watch the new show at the same time across Europe and Africa.”
John McVayAn industry report for the UK government looking at Brexit challenges and opportunities says there is a major opportunity for UK media companies to expand the business they do globally if the right policies are put into place.Soon after the UK referendum vote in favour of leaving the European Union, the government and industry-backed Creative Industries Council was tasked with speaking to stakeholders and reporting to government on the likely impact on the media sector. The working group was chaired by Pact chief John McVay and covered all sectors of UK media.The report – Creating a New World View: Priorities for the UK’s Creative Industries Following the Decision to Leave the EU – has now been delivered to government.It noted that post-Brexit European Union member states will continue to be key trading partners for UK creative industry businesses, but there is a major opportunity to expand beyond the EU.“In the future, the EU will continue to be a key market for the creative industries, but with some 57.5% of our service exports already going to non-EU countries,” it noted. “We also see major opportunities to expand our trade across the globe.”It added: “We have the opportunity over the next few years to consolidate and grow the UK’s position as a truly global centre for the creative industries, at the heart of the world’s digital economy. We aim to go from strength to strength, extending our reach into new markets with world-class creative content, services and talent.”To deliver upon that promise the CIC report said the right policies need to be enacted. Failing that, revenue and jobs will be lost and the UK’s global standing diminished.Specifically, the right policies include continued access on favourable terms to EU markets. This will be key point for the UK negotiating team, and is considered a potential problem as access to the EU markets has traditionally been contingent upon free movement of goods, services and people, which many observers say UK voters rejected in part with their pro-Brexit decision.The CIC also said a secure supply of skills needs to be ensured through domestic investment in the creative industries “and a reformed migration system which enables the UK to attract and retain key talent from around the world”.With concerns among the TV and wider creative industries about the loss of EU pots of funding, the CIC also called on government to “ensure that the current benefits of EU funding to the creative and cultural sectors are at least maintained”.Crucially, it also called for the creative industries to be part of the UK government’s industrial strategy. When this was last formulated the creative sector was not one of those included in the government’s plans.The CIC said that without the above measures, the creative sector will be challenged. “Without concerted action, the UK’s position as an international centre for the creative industries could be seriously undermined, with businesses seeking to locate elsewhere, and key skills shortages and gaps becoming harder to fill, leading to significant losses of revenue and jobs,” it said.
The French media regulator, the CSA, has relaxed advertising restrictions placed on leading commercial broadcaster TF1 during its main one-hour news broadcasts, but has declined a request to reduce the amount of news content the broadcast is required to carry.Renewing the broadcast licences of both TF1 and M6, the country’s other main commercial player, the CSA has allowed TF1 to introduce ad breaks during news broadcasts longer than 30 minutes, covering the Journal de 20h primetime news show.Advert breaks will be restricted to 12 minutes for the hour, as is the case for other parts of the schedule.In addition to rejecting a request to reduce its news broadcasts, the CSA refused to allow TF1 to reduce its output for kids and denied it permission to introduce cross-promotion between its main channel and dedicated news channel LCI.TF1 has until now been banned from providing ad breaks during its main news shows because of its dominant position in the TV ad market.The broadcaster has not so far indicated that it plans to introduce new ad breaks during the shows. The CSA has estimated that green-lighting ad breaks during the broadcasts could deliver an additional €10-40 million in ad revenue a year to TF1. However, the broadcaster’s rivals fear that any such move could have a detrimental impact on the finances of digital-terrestrial channels.Public broadcaster France Télévisions’ director-general, Delphine Ernotte, told French parliamentarians yesterday that she was not opposed to the introduction of new ad breaks on TF1.Ernotte, who has raised the possibility of teaming up with commercial players at some point in the future to launch a common platform for French content aimed at the international market, said a healthy commercial broadcast sector was desirable.
Dish claims to be the first US pay TV provider to offer a “whole-home 4K Netflix experience”, after adding the SVOD service to its 4K Joey boxes.When connected to a Hopper 3 box, Dish’s 4K Joey provides similar TV functionality to other rooms in the home, and the Netflix integration means that users can stream Ultra HD content from the service around the house.“Netflix is leading the industry with one of the largest 4K libraries available,” said Niraj Desai, Dish vice president of product management. “Our customers love watching their favourite Netflix TV shows and movies in Ultra HD on Hopper 3, so we’re extending the app to our 4K Joey clients to deliver the added flexibility of a whole-home 4K Netflix experience.”Hopper 3 supports up to six 4K Joeys simultaneously, powering a total of seven 4K TVs at one time. Netflix Ultra HD content has been available on the Hopper 3 DVR since April 2016.Dish customers must subscribe to Netflix’s US$11.99 per-month subscription plan and have a 4K-compatible television to access this Ultra HD content on Hopper 3 and 4K Joey.Netflix recommends an internet connection speed of at least 25 megabits per second to stream Ultra HD titles.
Discovery Communications’ focus on ‘super fans’ continues with the launch of a motorcar-themed SVOD service via Amazon Channels.Motor Trend OnDemand is billed as a “supercharged automotive product for motoring fans”, and is now available in the UK.The move comes soon after James Gibbons became Discovery’s general manager for the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand after Susanna Dinnage was promoted to global president of Animal Planet.The service will offer “hundreds of hours of content”, including digital series Roadkill, Dirt Every Day and Head 2 Head, and established linear series such as Fast N Loud and Wheeler Dealers.The Motor Trend brand already exists in the US, where it is popular on YouTube, on which it has more than five million subscribers.The brand comes out of Discovery’s joint venture with TEN: The Enthusiast Network, known as TEN: A Discovery Communications Company.This is a portfolio of TEN’s petrolhead-focused brands, including Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Roadkill and Automotive.Motor Trend OnDemand is being shopped via the Amazon Channels platform for £3.99 a month.“As we know from the popularity of our motor programmes on Discovery Channel, Turbo and Quest, the UK has some of the most passionate automotive fans on the planet,” said Gibbons, who is also Discovery’s commercial development head for EMEA.“Discovery was one of Amazon Channels’ key partners in the UK when it launched earlier this year, and we saw another great opportunity to partner with them and tap into Amazon’s services and channel their marketing prowess and consumer insights for an international launch of Motor Trend OnDemand.”Discovery, which is currently in the throes of buying US rival Scripps Networks Interactive for US$14.6 billion, identifies super fans as niche groups of audiences who are willing to pay more for content targeted directly to them.
Telekom Srbija has agreed a new deal with SES to distribute a new TV bouquet to cable and IPTV networks across Europe – with a focus on Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Macedonia and Montenegro.The new multi-year agreement will see Telekom Srbija lease satellite capacity on Astra 3B and make its new TV package available across Europe via the orbital position 23.5 degrees East.The new channel bouquet initially comprises seven TV channels including Agro TV, Film Klub, Kitchen TV, Star TV and Zenska TV. Three additional channels will be added by this summer.“This is a significant step for us as we are now delivering our local and regional content to Europe via our partners’ networks,” said Marijana Vukasinovic, head of content management at Telekom Srbija.“This TV package will offer a variety of Serbian and regional TV programmes to viewers across Europe. We have worked with SES on many different projects over the years, and we could not think of a better partner to rely on.”
Love Nature 4K has agreed two new channel distribution deals in Europe, launching in the Netherlands on Dutch-speaking service KPN and in Switzerland via IPTV platform Swisscom.Love Nature’s Arctic SecretsThe move follows the recent debut of Love Nature’s wildlife and nature channel on Virgin Media in the UK and is part of the company’s broader expansion in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.“From Africa to South America to the Arctic, our original productions will give audiences an experience that is second only to being there in person,” said Ward Platt, CEO, kids and global networks, Blue Ant Media.“These latest distribution deals, on major platforms in Switzerland and The Netherlands further highlights our growing strength in EMEA where we are working with partners to give more people access to the best content in stunning 4K.”Love Nature is a joint venture between Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks and is now available on linear TV and via streaming video services in 60-plus countries worldwide – including on Amazon Channels in the UK, Germany and Austria.In the past six months Love Nature 4K has had additional channel launches in Canada, Indonesia, Myanmar, Papa New Guinea and Fiji, Qatar, Thailand and The Maldives. HD versions of the channel have also now available in Nigeria and Singapore.
Synamedia has appointed former TiVo executive, Sue Couto, as senior vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific.Sue CoutoCouto will have overall responsibility for sales, marketing, partners, and delivery in the region and takes up her new role effective immediately.She brings more than 20 years’ experience to the job and was most recently senior vice president of APAC sales for TiVo. Prior to that, Couto was senior vice president, video software solutions, APJC at Cisco, and at NDS before its acquisition by Cisco.“Sue’s pay TV industry prowess combined with her deep market knowledge and proven track record of driving transformation and growth in Asia Pacific, means she is well qualified to lead our team and support Synamedia’s business expansion plans in the region,” said Yves Padrines, CEO of Synamedia.Couto said: “With the industry’s broadest portfolio of offerings, solutions and expertise, Synamedia is the ideal partner to help operators in Asia Pacific both innovate and capitalise on new opportunities in today’s dynamic media landscape.”Synamedia opened for business in late October after Investment firm Permira has completed its acquisition of Cisco’s Service Provider Video Software Solutions (SPVSS) group.Synamedia was unveiled as the name for the ex-Cisco video business in September and the company set out its vision and investment focus as a newly independent company at IBC later the same month.With its official launch, the company announced it had appointed former Rovi and TiVo chief revenue officer, Dave Longaker, as senior vice president and general manager, Americas. Last week the company also named former Worldpay finance chief, Rick Medlock, as its CFO.