Thursday, June 5, 2008

Latest from LBN e-lert 5th June 2008

Summer performs signature hits and songs off new release

By Matthew B. Zeidman

NEW YORK (Hollywood Today) 6/4/08 –

“I felt like I was pregnant, pregnant and pregnant, but boy, when that baby came out…”

Donna Summer told a packed house at downtown New York’s Mansion, which gathered under the disco ball Tuesday night to celebrate last month’s release of “Crayons,” her first full-length studio album of new material in 17 years.

After taking a moment to wipe her tears in response to the enthusiastic clubgoers, Summer, 59, began her hour-long set with her 1978 hit MacArthur Park, followed by one of her newer works, “I’m a Fire,” which reached the top of the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart on April 19.

Summer then delighted the audience with an energized rendition of her 1979 single “Bad Girls,” which preceded a performance of “Hot Stuff,” in which the “Disco Queen” raised the microphone stand high above her head in a musical duel with her guitarist.

The sultry singer then treated the masses filling Mansion to two more numbers off of her new CD, “Science of Love” and “Stamp Your Feet,” before surprising the room with an a cappella performance of the popular and oft-covered Charlie Chaplin composition “Smile.”

Much to the chagrin of her fans young and old (some of whom who had been zealously dancing, jumping and toasting on tabletops just a few feet in front of Summer throughout the entire show), she then thanked the crowd, announcing she was preparing to perform her last number of the night, which was, of course, her signature hit “Last Dance.”

Summer may be best known for her work in the 1970s, but she proved Tuesday that she hasn’t lost a bit of her passion, power or panache in the decades since.

If that night’s audience response was any indication, this comeback will be a downhill battle for the musical icon.


***Ellen Barkin, in head-to-toe Chanel, giggling after a hunky bike messenger said, "You look hot, lady," while she was hailing a cab on Sixth Avenue in NYC.

***Sandy Weill, former head of Citibank, in full graduation gear at Carnegie Hall in NYC for the Weill Cornell Medical College commencement ceremony.

***Former Dallas Cowboy Emmitt Smith huddling at Espace in NYC with Starwood Hotel honchos at the launch of their new chain concept, Aloft.

***Cancer activist Joyce Bogart Trabulus having lunch yesterday at Porta Via in Beverly Hills.

***BE AN LBN CORRESPONDENT - send your celeb sightings to


***BermanBraun, the independent production studio run by Lloyd Braun and Gail Berman, has teamed with Microsoft to build a new online celebrity news Web site set for launch in 2009.

***Hilary Swank and producer Molly Smith have launched the shingle 2S Films and inked a two-year first-look pact with Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment.

Banner is putting together its debut slate, which includes two projects based on novels that are potential starring vehicles for Swank.


Ed McMahon, who for decades appeared as Johnny Carson's sidekick on "The Tonight Show," is fighting to avoid foreclosure on his multimillion-dollar Beverly Hills home, according to published reports.

The former "Star Search" host was $644,000 behind on payments on $4.8 million in mortgage loans when a unit of Countrywide Financial Corp. filed a default notice Feb. 28 with the Los Angeles County Recorder's Office, The Wall Street Journal first reported late Tuesday.


***Starbucks coffee shops across the United States are offering two hours of free Wi-Fi Internet service through AT&T.

Customers must buy a Starbucks Reward Card with a minimum of $5 credit on it.

Customers also must sign up for the free Wi-Fi online at

***News Corp.'s Fox is ordering a 20th season of "The Simpsons," giving characters Homer and Bart a tie with "Gunsmoke" as the longest-running series on prime-time television.

"The Simpsons," already the longest-running U.S. comedy, aired its 400th episode last year.

***, the 8-year-old women's e-mail newsletter, will be launching seven localized editions of its DailyCandy Kids lists, capitalizing on the hot online parenting niche.

DailyCandy is also planning more national and international editions and an expanded Web site.

***Vanity Fair is publishing a lengthy story on history of the Internet, called "How The Web Was Won," in its latest issue.

The article pays tribute to Internet pioneers such as Al Gore, Amazon, EBay, PayPal, MySpace and YouTube.

One glaring omission: no mention of Google.

***Al Rantel made a triumphant return to KABC radio last week with a revealing introduction about his fight against lymphoma cancer.

He recalled for his audience when he first came to Los Angeles ten years ago to make it in radio.

"Most people, who come to Los Angeles to do radio or anything else in entertainment for that matter, fail.

They just do.

That's just the way it is.

Washington Post gets six Pulitzers, yet Dylan the big surprise

By Jeffrey Mitchell

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 3/7/08 –
Times have finally changed at the staid Pulitzer Awards as Bob Dylan became the first real folk/rocker/poet to receive Pulitzer’s coveted nod.
An honor that musicians from Tom Petty to Julian Lennon told Hollywood Today was well-deserved and overdue.
There are few music artists in history that have been as influential to generations of musicians and fans.

John Lennon’s son Julian Lennon said “They walked and spoke together as musical giants and great friends.
My dad was probably Dylan’s greatest fan although he hated to admit it.”

Tom Petty told us “To even begin to name the songs in Bob Dylan’s amazing catalogue would take too long and would be like reading from the encyclopedia.”
Petty worked with Dylan in the Traveling Wilbury band.

Joan Baez is quoted as saying “Bobby just came along and blew everyone away, each day bringing forth material that was better than the day before and it just never stopped for years on end.”

Accordingly to Yoko Ono, Lennon’s song, “God,” was intended as a dialogue with Dylan.
Lennon spoke of Dylan as changing his writing at a time when the Beatles where bigger than anything the music world had ever seen.

Dylan’s multi-generational career, recently covered in the award-winning film “I’m Not There,” where his 60s era was portrayed to such acclaim by Cate Blanchett (pictured with Dylan above) .
It has lasted more than five decades.
Dylan got his start in the late 50s but didn’t break as a major artist until the 60’s when he completely revolutionized what was then folk music by his sardonic and captivating lyrics filled with social commentary.

His move to electric guitar from the folk world was as controversial as it was simple.
He changed with the eras like no other artist.
The point of the film “I’m Not There,” is whenever you thought you had him pegged, he was somewhere else.

He would span the pop world with classics

This is not an easy place.

You in Southern California have been very good to me and I appreciate that more than you can ever know."

He said he received boxes of mail and get well cards from his listeners, even from London where he does a Friday simulcast with a local talk show host.

"It was absolutely what I needed to stay hopeful."


LCO Account Executive, Andrea Nicastro, is reading How Come That Idiot's Rich and I'm Not? by Robert Shemin.


***A car traveling 100 mph would take more than 29 million years to reach the nearest star.

***In Sweden there is a ski-thru Mcdonald's.

***Pinocchio is Italian for "pine head."

***The first coast-to-coast telephone line was established in 1914.


"The hardest ones are the old ladies.

"ALBERT FERNANDEZ, a police officer who carries out evictions in Dade County, Fla.


On June 4, 1989, Chinese army troops stormed Tiananmen Square in Beijing to crush the pro-democracy movement; hundreds - possibly thousands - of people died.

Will cable giants Time Warner and Comcast fleece America even more?

By Brian Frederick

BEAUMONT, TX (Hollywood Today)

6/3/08 —

Time Warner Cable ISP will now be taxing for downloads, even beyond their pricey monthly bills.

Taking advantage of their regional monopoly, the cable company is taxing their customers in Beaumont, Texas with what the company calls, “excessive downloads.”

“We think it’s the fairest way to finance the needed investment in the infrastructure.” VP of Advanced Technology, Kevin Leedy told AP.

Most corporate cable companies are awarded communities to provide cable service, this limited choice forces customers to pay whatever fees are presented.

Metering of download usage will begin this Thursday in Beaumont, TX.

Customers will be offered several flat rate choices between 5 and 40 gigabytes per month and an additional charge of $1 per gigabyte over the flat rate amount.

Comcast, the largest cable company in America and a major cable competitor to Time Warner is considering a similar plan.

With a presumed decrease in downloads because of the extra charges, Time Warner will be able to free up cable bandwidth and increase the number of subscribers using their service – more subscribers means more revenue, not necessarily better service.

5% of Time Warner’s customers use half of the bandwidth available.

The program could become the next windfall for cable companies now that DVD downloads have become the future for movie rentals and quickly taking over mail-in DVDs.

One DVD download could be between 8 to 14 gigabytes and High Definition (HD) could mean more downloadable gigabytes.

Downloading three or four movies a month, not including emails, attachments, ITunes or any other downloadable media and you could owe the cable company more than your budget allows.

However, customers will be able to monitor a meter that tells them how much download usage they have consumed each month.

It’s not clear if Time Warner will waive the increase for customers who use Netflix’s unlimited DVD downloads of $8.99 per month through a set-top-box or subscribe to other unlimited download movie providers.

Can Netflix survive localized monopolies like Time Warner and Comcast?

This question is probably being asked by Netflix executives now.

One of the fastest growing DVD renters who pioneered the mail-in DVD service has faced severe competition from Blockbuster in recent years.

Blockbuster saw the same potential in what Netflix was doing and immediately jumped on the bandwagon.

With the timing of Netflix starting a new service of unlimited video downloads and eliminating millions in postal fees.

If Time Warner strong arms Netflix, this could catapult the lawsuit needed to deregulate the regional monopolies cable companies have over their consumers.

Although a lawsuit could take years and if Time Warner does not immune Netflix customers from the over usage fee, Netflix’s only option would be to file an injunction until the matter can be resolved in federal court.

Such a lawsuit could jeopardize Netflix, who has lost considerable market share from Blockbuster.

AOL, the innovator in mass internet usage opened the internet door to millions of consumers in the early 1990s and could be credited for starting the internet revolution.

AOL used to meter the time a person signed on to the internet.

If the consumer went over the allotted time they paid for each month, they were charged a fee that was calculated per minute.

In 2000 Time Warner and AOL merged to become AOL Time Warner.

AOL controlled 55% of the new company.

Two years later the company reported a $99 billion loss on the AOL side.

AOL’s market share has been reduced significantly since the merger and the company no longer uses the AOL name with Timer Warner.

What’s left of AOL as a company, no longer charges a meter fee.

The meter fee billing AOL was using, unlawfully took advantage of their customers.

Consumers were charged an additional 15 seconds for sign in and sign off and rounded up to the next minute.

If a consumer used over their allotment and went over by 10:46 of time, AOL was billing up to 12 minutes.

Consumers complained, States Attorneys’ filed lawsuits and AOL had to refund millions to consumers.

If the meter fee usage did not work with AOL, will it work for Time Warner?

Can consumers expect to be charged a full gigabyte when they download less then a full gigabyte or will the company round up and bill consumers for downloads they never purchased?

An alternative to customers who have no choice but to use the only cable provider in their neighborhood might be dish technology, such as Direct TV.

Direct TV beams a signal from a satellite to the home owner’s dish (receiver) installed at the customer’s home.

This does not mean that Direct TV won’t follow Time Warner with metering fees.

However, the satellite alternative is available for cable customers.

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