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April 15, 2006

Vivendi Universal Games Mobile Announces Six New Titles

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Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 15 2006

MBN

www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news

 

BROADCAST NEWS COMING SOON VIA PODCAST

 

International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now

MONTEBUBBLISM: Sometimes you have to be very grown up and show everyone you can do it without your mommy there.

 

Editorial on out of control government agencies: Social service agencies in this country were created to help people in time of need, to help those that could not help themselves. Because people had a fear of government intervention into their lives guidelines were created to make certain that was all that they did and that they did not do more then what was needed to help those in need.

Unfortunately over the years they have became so big and powerful that people have came to fear the power that they have. In some states they put the fear of God into the states most powerful on the federal, state and local levels.

The press whom is there to protect those that need such is even afraid of these agencies. They have the most powerful way in the history of man to make the mightiest of all quake in fear.

They can just walk into your home and take your children away for the benefit of the children.

They can destroy and break up families, sell of all their positions, give whatever they wish away, even have the family pets destroyed and nothing is done to stop it because of their power.

At one time social services may have been a great idea but that time has long passed.

Like all good ideas, too much power and not enough limits in place to control the power.

Ultimate power ultimately corrupts

 

ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

The King is about to go Rambo.

Nearly 100 comedies and dramas are in contention next month

Telestream Introduces GraphicsFactory Workflow Automation Solution

Martha Stewart may be spreading herself too thin for Sears.

AOL needs to get in the game and be more competitive against Google and Yahoo

Study: Radio Holding Up Against New Media

ESPNRadio.com Sports Programming Attracts Over 72,000 Listeners Online Per Week According to comScore Arbitron Ratings

Current host Craig Ferguson is gaining

Nominated for Five Oscars(R) Including Best Picture Comes the Critically Hailed Suspense Thriller From Director Steven Spielberg Universal Studios Home Entertainment Announces: 'Nanny McPhee' 'Wolfmother' to Land in May ... Tour to Accompany Album Release

You Decide Ticket Price ... After the Movie!: Feature Film, REVOLOUTION, Redefines Hollywood and Gives All Profits to Charity Vivendi Universal Games Mobile Announces Six New Titles Royal Caribbean Charter Carries Christian Crusade to the Bahamas Exclusive Content Extends Brand's Music Ties Beyond Concerts

Blogger rankings. Ad Revenue From Web Operations Become More Important to Publishers

GE: Olympics Generate $40 Million Q1 Loss

Gefen solutions

Bait Man Films Launches The Investor's Screenplay Competition


Erectile Dysfunction Ads Come as Drug Maker Readies New Viagra EffortThirty-eight entries posted for Indianapolis 500 SPORTS & AUTOS

Oakland, Dodger baseball

Land Rover Goes Beyond Media, Direct-To-Consumer Subaru Unleashes Impreza(R) WRX(R) STI(R) Limited for 2007 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid Wins 'World Car of the Year Award' for Greenest Car

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is coming to Toys "R" Us!

 

DOD

DoD Identifies Casualties

Hospitals being rebuilt

Operation Hero miles

Coalition and Iraqi forces killed a wanted extremist

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

GSA anti-small business?

New Course Record to Be Established as 8,000 Cyclists Ride From Rosarito Beach to Ensenada

Nuevo Récord de Ruta se Establece mientras 8,000 Ciclistas Van en Bicicleta de Rosarito Beach a Ensenada En Temporada de Impuestos, No Debería Usted Pagar Impuestos Excesivos en Servicios Móviles Spring, the season of new beginnings, is an ideal time to take stock of your health. La primavera, estación de nuevos comienzos, es un momento ideal para tomar tu salud en serio.

CHINA NEWSBeijing orders computers to be sold with legitimate operating system

On the afternoon of April 13, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Benedict XVI's Homily at Chrism Mass "The Lord Makes Us Priests His Friends

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ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

The King is about to go Rambo.

Burger King and Microsoft are partnering for a first-of-its-kind deal that will build three video games around the restaurant chain's ubiquitous mascot, putting him into shoot'em-ups that will be a cross between "Halo" and "Destroy All Humans." The deal was first reported on gamer Web site Kotaku.com, though details were confirmed independently by Advertising Age.

For the first time, a major consumer marketer has built a video game from the ground up around its advertising icon.

The deal marks the first time any major consumer marketer has had a video game built from the ground up around its advertising icon. The U.S. Army has financed several mainstream video games, including "America's Army" that began as a free download and has been formatted for various consoles as training and recruiting tools, and the marketing community has embraced online advergames. But console games such as the ones Burger King and Microsoft plan to create are novelties.

"That's the sexiest category," said Mike Vorhaus, managing partner, Frank N. Magid & Associates. "This is a pretty unique situation."

Burger King declined to comment. Microsoft executives also declined comment on the program.

The games will be created by Microsoft for its popular Xbox systems and will be distributed through its restaurants during a five-week December promotion. They are designed to sell for $3.99 with the purchase of a value meal, a steal for gamers used to paying upward of $60 for a single title.

In addition to the action game, the King and other unspecified Burger King characters will find themselves in a fighting game that's a little "Street Fighter" and a bit of "Mortal Kombat," and a racing game that borrows elements from "Need for Speed" and "Forza Motorsport."

Burger King expects to sell nearly 7 million games, according to its consumer research. "If they make a triple-A first-class game, it could put them in a whole new class of coolness," Mr. Vorhaus said. "If it's cheesy, it could be disastrous."

For example, earlier this year, the chain dabbled with an in-game advertising gambit by casting its King character as a trainer in an Electronic Arts game called "Fight Night Round 3" for Xbox 360 that one gamer publication panned as a "15-hour advertisement."

The move is the latest to fulfill the No. 2 fast-food chain's yen for nontraditional media aimed at fueling buzz and loyalty among its core market of hungry 16- to 34-year-old men. It has already popularized viral videos, created wacky characters for its menu platforms -- such as its Busby Berkley-style showgirl squad called the Whopperettes -- and broke ground with media buys like the "Have it your way" confessional box in the Fox reality show "Unanimous." Now, Burger King is going for the jugular of its Gen X and Y consumers. The Home of the Whopper also will run a concurrent children's promotion with the musical-game series Dance Dance Revolution that would include dancing music and gaming premiums.

Kotaku.com said that it has refused to take down the information on the games following a letter from the general counsel for Burger King's research firm, Greenfield Online. The site posted the contents of the attorney's letter, which said details of the branded video games had been available only to research subjects, who improperly leaked them to the site.

The information was also leaked before Burger King was able to present the concept to franchisees for their buy-in. The chain has been planning an elaborate Xbox lounge for its upcoming franchisee convention later this month as part of the sell job, according to a knowledgeable executive.

The chain was going to tell franchisees that it needs to purchase 900 units of the game per restaurant for the five-week promotion in order to make its profit of 20% to 25%. They would break even when about 73% of the games were sold.
Nearly 100 comedies and dramas are in contention next month

If the 2006-07 primetime schedule is a puzzle, consider the pilots as the missing pieces.

Nearly 100 comedies and dramas are in contention next month for a dwindling number of time slots on five networks.

 

But as broadcast executives begin scrutinizing tapes of each project, here's something to keep in mind: Pilots don't get series orders on creative merit alone. A complex web of factors dictates their desirability, and none of them is more important than the scheduling needs of each network for the fall and beyond.

Perhaps the biggest question mark hovering over the 2006-07 schedule is whether ABC will break up its Sunday lineup to help patch potholes on other nights. The network is said to be weighing moving either "Desperate Housewives" or "Grey's Anatomy," which could very well leave the most desirable piece of primetime real estate for a pilot in the Sunday 10 p.m. slot.

"We have three big shows on Sunday, so there will be pressure to spread the wealth," ABC executive vp entertainment Jeff Bader said, noting "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" at 8 p.m.

Because ABC's Sunday series presently have broad appeal, a distinct female skew and touches of comedy and soap opera, the network will likely tap a series with those same qualities.

There are more than a few options, including "Men in Trees," with Anne Heche playing a psychologist looking for love in Alaska; "Brothers & Sisters," a family drama with Calista Flockhart and Rachel Griffiths, or "Women in Law," a workplace dramedy with Regina King and Kelli Williams.

The failure of comedy pair "Jake in Progress" and "Emily's Reasons Why Not" leaves a vacuum at 9 p.m. Monday. With the pressure on to measure up to the absent "Monday Night Football" and ABC's strong female skew on the night with "Wife Swap" at 8 p.m. and "The Bachelor" at 10 p.m., "Housewives" or "Anatomy" could end up there as well. That would leave room for another launch spot at 10 p.m. because "Bachelor" isn't likely to run more than one cycle per season.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday are other nights where ABC might seek to shore up crumbling comedy lineups with new product. Leading the list of likely candidates for an open slot is "In Case of Emergency," which already has a six-episode commitment.

FOX AT MERCY OF BASEBALL

Fox will come into the fall largely at the mercy of its postseason baseball coverage, which weighed down its fourth-quarter ratings. All the network can do is repeat the strategy it employed in 2005-06: establish its entertainment programs as early in the season as it can and use baseball as a promotional base for male-friendly fare.

That strategy helped first-year standouts "Prison Break" and "Bones," which gives the network more strength to build around. "We plan to stick with our fourth-quarter strategy again this year, but now we have a bigger stable of shows," said Preston Beckman, executive vp strategic program planning at Fox.

That likely will mean new dramas come in as companions for established hours Monday-Wednesday. The sexual tension between the protagonists in "Bones" complements the action in "Primary," which features romantically entangled hostage negotiators; the serialized suspense of "Vanished" seems in the mold of "Break."

"Because we have 'Break,' 'House' and 'Bones,' we have clear targets for our dramas," Beckman said. "Our development was informed by those shows."

A bigger challenge awaits on Thursday and Friday, when Fox will lose some of the few remaining programs it has in "That '70s Show" and "Malcolm in the Middle," which end their runs this season. With Fox struggling on an important night like Thursday, the network might have to make a big move, maybe with its most anticipated comedy pilot: "Raymond" co-star Brad Garrett in "'Til Death." If Fox doesn't get a foothold on Thursday in the fall, the long-rumored switch of "American Idol" just might be in the offing.

CBS SEEKS COMEDIES

"Idol" has been a midseason boon to Fox, but CBS also has made some fortuitous gains in 2006 that will help come fall. Early indications are that new additions "The Unit" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine" have the ratings power to stay on the schedule next season, which means CBS may need few pilots to bolster its stable schedule.

"It's been a nice shot in the arm," Kelly Kahl, senior executive vp programming operations, said of the network's midseason successes. "As we continue to build this wall, it's (potentially) two more pieces."

But the wall could require some work. On Monday, a slot could open up in CBS' healthy comedy lineup if the network doesn't run a ninth season of 8 p.m. entry "The King of Queens." That would likely mean "How I Met Your Mother" would move back 30 minutes to provide lead-in support for a new comedy.

CBS also might try again to reload the genre into the difficult Wednesday 8-9 p.m. berth, where "Out of Practice" and "Courting Alex" tanked late in the season. "We'd like to see comedy viable somewhere else on the schedule" besides Monday, Kahl noted.

The surest bet to join CBS next season on the comedy front is "The Class," which got a 13-episode order last year. CBS likely will also go in-house for another comedy or two, perhaps "Play Nice" from "Everybody Loves Raymond" executive producer Phil Rosenthal.

CBS is as solid as they come on the drama front, but there are gaps that could see new hours installed Tuesday at 10 p.m. or Friday at 9 p.m. The perennial speculation that CBS will scrap its two-hour Sunday movie persists as well, which could leave room to launch a pair of dramas on the back of "Cold Case." It's an audacious gambit, but with NBC out of the drama business in the fourth quarter because of football, there might be no better time to try.

The big question for CBS drama is whether it can resist piling yet another procedural onto a schedule teeming with successes in that genre. The network has a few to choose from including a project from "CSI" executive producer Carol Mendelsohn. There also are some hours with high-profile names attached, including James Woods in "Shark," Ray Liotta in "Smith" and John Leguizamo in "Edison."

PERRY BACK ON NBC

Trailing its competitors in the ratings, NBC may be the most in need of new blood but will likely make the fewest additions come fall. It already has committed to two new dramas for next season, "The Black Donnellys" and "Kidnapped," and a third, the Matthew Perry vehicle "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," is virtually assured a spot on the schedule.

"There's a very good chance all three can be used in the fall, but one could be reserved for midseason," said Mitch Metcalf, executive vp program planning and scheduling at NBC.

The midseason emergence of game show "Deal or No Deal" was a godsend for NBC, which was weak at 8 p.m. every night of the week. The game show likely will be pressed into anchor duty on at least two nights -- Monday and Friday are good bets -- but Metcalfe could see a pilot stepping in on Tuesday or Wednesday at 8 p.m.

"We're going to rely on new scripted development in combination with reality at 8," Metcalfe said.

That means a broad-appeal project like "Heroes," a new take on superheroes, could get the nod. That likely won't mean stacking comedies from 8-9 p.m.; don't be surprised to see NBC take all its viable comedies -- "The Office," "My Name Is Earl" and, to some extent, "Scrubs" -- and use their collective strength to block out Thursday from 8-10 p.m., leaving room for just one comedy to join them. Perhaps "Community Service," with Jay Mohr as a big-city jerk seeking redemption in a small town, may be in keeping with the tone of "Earl."

NBC will get some breathing room when the NFL kicks off a new Sunday night game on its air. It also will be a good promotional base for male-skewing programming to launch when the season ends, the most obvious candidate being the football-themed drama "Friday Night Lights."

"When we launch Sunday in January, we will launch midseason product not just for Sunday but for other nights of the week," Metcalfe said.

That leaves the CW, whose schedule will take shape in the combined form of the best assets drawn from the WB and UPN. That will likely leave just one or two projects to be drafted from a field of just seven pilot orders. Strong consideration has to go to the untitled Aquaman project that could be just the companion it needs to keep its momentum going on ThursdaysTelestream Introduces GraphicsFactory Workflow Automation Solution

Company automates new workflow to reduce the cost of branding and repurposing content for today’s evolving “media everywhere” distribution channels

Telestream, the industry leader in solving the challenges of media exchange in today’s multi-format, multi-vendor, IT-centric video environments, today announced its newest workflow automation solution. Built on the company’s core transcoding and workflow automation expertise, GraphicsFactory™ enables content owners, aggregators and distributors to cost-effectively brand and repurpose media for the growing number of new distribution channels.

With traditional television revenues softening, broadcasters realize the need to become more versatile content providers. Post production companies face similar challenges, adapting to the broadening format demands of HD, web and mobile, while providing more hosted services for their 24/7 clients. New media companies and service providers are also rising to meet the “media everywhere” challenges. Telestream's GraphicsFactory is designed to meet these customer needs, while reducing operating costs and increasing profitability.

GraphicsFactory™ is a revolutionary new software solution that automates graphics assembly in file-based workflows. A “build once, apply to many” model offers a faster, more efficient means to personalize media, add promos, brand, and localize media for a variety of high-volume distribution requirements. Layered graphics templates can include text, images and drop shadows, along with fade-ins/fade-outs and QuickTime movies that start and stop on a timeline. Since GraphicsFactory is built on top of Telestream’s world-class transcode engine, the output can be flipped into virtually any file format to meet a range of distribution needs.

The HorseTV Channel, a 24/7 network providing content focused on equestrian sports and lifestyles, was an early GraphicsFactory beta user. According to Patrick Osterman, SVP Broadcast Operations at The HorseTV Channel, “GraphicsFactory represents a tremendous increase in efficiency for us. We uplink content for distribution to cable operators and satellite providers and have strategic plans to expand to IPTV and mobile devices this year. This requires that we tailor and customize a lot of our content for each of these markets. We use GraphicsFactory to assemble our graphical elements, including bugs, banners, snipes and QuickTime overlays. These tasks, as well as pulling, processing, and delivering digital files to various distribution points are completely automated, providing incredible workflow efficiency.”

Another beta customer, Marty Ludwin, Sr. Director of Engineering at World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. adds, “We have invested heavily in Telestream’s FlipFactory, a proven technology for automating high-volume media processing and file transcoding between systems. The need to insert or overlay graphics during the automated process was a real need, and the team at Telestream listened. Now with GraphicsFactory, production for customized markets and insertion of time-specific promotions can be moved away from traditional editing tools to enable greater operational efficiency.”

With GraphicsFactory, an editor builds a graphics template once, and then hands it off to an assistant who applies simple metadata to tailor the template for each video asset. Graphics and source video files are then submitted to GraphicsFactory for automatic processing, transcoding to required formats, and delivery to distribution servers.

This model allows editors to focus on the creative, rather than repetitive graphics assembly tasks. It also eliminates the need to convert media from original “clean” archival formats to editing formats for graphics purposes. Since GraphicsFactory supports a vast array of professional file formats, it will automatically pull original source files from most video archives, perform the graphics overlays and transcode directly to the destination formats – all without having to move media between different formats and systems. Importantly, it provides a cost-effective means for media companies to capitalize on new distribution platforms for web, mobile, cable VOD, and broadcast.

"With the introduction of GraphicsFactory, Telestream continues its tradition of providing industry-leading solutions for file-based workflows," said Craig Thomas, President of Media Technology Consulting. "Extending the power of FlipFactory, GraphicsFactory automates the labor intensive process of overlaying time-based text, still and motion graphics on video files. GraphicsFactory turns FlipFactory into an automated metadata-driven production tool."

GraphicsFactory also offers an XML interface that enables fully automated integration of metadata into the graphics assembly workflow. In these instances, an editor creates a graphics template and then drives the graphics production process using metadata supplied from external systems.

“We’re excited to extend our current successes to this new workflow,” said David Heppe, Telestream President and COO. “Our flagship FlipFactory products are at the heart of broadcast facilities worldwide enabling seamless file exchange, repurposing and automating ingest-to-playout in news and commercial workflows. GraphicsFactory now enables the same productivity and operational efficiency gains for a greater number of users.”

GraphicsFactory is offered as a standalone product providing automated graphics assembly, transcoding and delivery, or as an upgrade to existing FlipFactory systems. GraphicsFactory is a scalable software application that runs on standard Windows 2003 or XP Pro servers. It is slated for release this June.

GraphicsFactory will be featured in Telestream’s “media everywhere” demonstration in Trademarked company and product names are the property of their respective owners.About Telestream (www.telestream.net)

Telestream products have set the standard with the world's leading media and entertainment companies, corporations, and government institutions for the encoding, organizing, and delivery of digital media. Customers rely on Telestream products for convenient, cost-effective, and robust digital media access and exchange over IP networks. The company's core workgroup and enterprise solutions and newer Flip4Mac tools for the Macintosh streamline digital media workflows for content owners, creators, and distributors in any industry segment. Telestream and its team of video experts are located in Nevada City, the “video valley” region of Northern California. The company is privately held. About The HorseTV Channel

The HorseTV Channel is the first and only 24/7 television destination taking viewers inside the fascinating world of horses. From silk hats to Stetsons, The HorseTV Channel features a diverse and fun-filled program lineup for the entire family. Viewers experience the full range of the horse world from world-class English and Western competitions, exotic horse travel destinations and classic movies to informational series, breed documentaries and real-life stories. For more information about The HorseTV Channel visit www.horsetv.com.

Martha Stewart may be spreading herself too thin for Sears.

Sears Holdings Chairman Edward Lampert said yesterday at the Sears is questioning its relationship with Martha Stewart after her company agreed to provide a line of products to Macy's.


company's annual meeting that the diva of style's new deal with Federated Department Stores raises major questions about her future in Kmart and Sears.

Ms. Stewart's Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia agreed to provide Macy's with a line of home accessories starting in fall 2007. The deal is allowed under the terms of the company's Kmart contract.

But Mr. Lambert, while stopping short of saying that Ms. Stewart's days at Kmart were numbered, called her Kmart contract, which lasts another four years, "not that great," mainly because of fees tied to high minimum sales targets. "We've tried to have a bigger relationship with [Martha Stewart Omnimedia] and we haven't been successful," the Chicago Tribune quoted Mr. Lambert as telling reporters. "Maybe they don't like us anymore."

Mr. Lambert also raised doubts about the future of Ms. Stewart's contract. "If we thought it was in our best interest to put Martha Stewart in Sears stores, which contractually we have the right to do, we would do it," the executive was quoted as saying. "If we put a product into Sears, we don't want to have to pull it out in a year, or two years, or three years. We don't want to do that only to have it yanked away."

Until now Kmart stuck with Ms. Stewart through thick and thin -- the thin being her court case and term in prison. According to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, $1 billion of its company products are sold in Kmart every year.

The company's statement responding to Mr. Lambert's comment said: "We have a contract with Kmart through the end of the decade. We remain committed to working with them to deliver the distinctive products that Kmart customers have come to expect from us."


AOL needs to get in the game and be more competitive against Google and Yahoo

to show that it's not dead, Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons told the National Cable & Telecommunications Association Convention meeting in Atlanta's Georgia World Congress Center.

Time Warner chief Richard Parsons said he did not see search-engine distribution of video as an 'imminent' threat to Time-Warner Cable.

Mr. Parsons was one of six top executives on the "View From the Top: Leadership Perspectives" panel who were asked if they viewed Google and Yahoo as significant threats to their content and distribution businesses.

The Time Warner chief said the two search-engine giants are overturning the old realities of advertising and media and are "very good for the content side of our business because they provide new ways to reach more people with more content."

"I think they present an interesting challenge to the distribution side of our business -- the cable side of our business," he said. "But that challenge is not imminent and I see ways that the two can actually work together to provide consumers with an enhanced set of offerings that can cross-promote each other."

Brian Roberts, CEO of Comcast, which competes with Time Warner Cable, said the search engines "are disrupting the advertising business in a way that may have some implications to people on this panel, probably more so than they do for us. We have about 6% of our revenue in advertising, so we're not primarily an advertising company. But I think they are also groundbreakers in showing where advertising wants to go. And where it wants to go is targeted advertising."

Mr. Roberts said search engines were causing "incredible change" to the business and went on to point out that cable companies such as his are the best positioned to deliver one-to-one TV advertising. Study: Radio Holding Up Against New Media


A new study from Arbitron and Edison Media Research finds that while the popularity of Internet and satellite radio, consumers aren't cutting back on time spent listening to terrestrial radio. Called The Infinite Dial: Radio's Digital Platforms, the study found that Daily TSL for AM and FM radio Daily is 2 hours 45 minutes, compared to about 2 hours 48 minutes for those who are regular listeners to digital audio services like Internet radio, satellite radio, or podcasts.

Drilling down among the newer media, the monthly audience for Internet radio among listeners age 12+ has grown from an estimated 37 million last year to 52 million today, with 12% saying they've listened to Internet audio in the past week. The medium reaches about 19% of persons aged 18-34, and 15% of the 25-54 age group. For satellite radio, awareness of the service has reached 61% among those age 12+, with about 20% saying they're "very" or "somewhat" likely to subscribe to one of the two providers within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, 11% of respondents reported ever listening to a podcast.

However, none of this seems to be having a tremendous negative impact on radio, and seventy-seven percent of Americans say they expect to listen to AM and FM radio as much as they do now despite the competition from new technologies.

Edison Media Research President Larry Rosin said, "Our research shows that regardless of the platform consumers see all these options as merely being new forms of 'radio.' This report provides crucial measurement on the development of radio as it is consumed in new and
different ways."

When it comes to HD Radio, over one third of respondents said they're "very" or "somewhat" interested in the burgeoning service. Also, over 40 percent of satellite radio subscribers say they're interested in HD Radio. More than one-third of respondents who were interested in HD Radio said they would be likely purchase a receiver at a $100 price point, while 58 percent were interested in the $50 range.

The study was compiled from the results of telephone surveys conducted between January 13 - February 12, 2006. 1,925 people were interviewed. The study can be downloaded for free at www.arbitron.com and www.edisonresearch.com.

In late March 1996, the average age of an artist on Airplay Monitor’s Mainstream Top 40 chart was 27.1-years-old.

By the same week in 2004, the average age was 25.9-years-old.

And for the same week in 2006, the average age was 26.9.

The difference of a year or so may seem minor, but the stats say a lot about the state of Top 40, the music business, and particularly whether there’s room for adults to make records for adults. And they’re all indices that are again shifting, at least a little.

The stats say a lot about the state of Top 40, the music business, and particularly whether there’s room for adults to make records for adults.

Consider this related stat: In 1996, there were 14 songs on the Mainstream Top 40 chart by artists 30 or over, six of whom were women. In 2004, there were only six over-30 artists and three females. This year, we’re back up to 11 songs by over 30 artists, but only one of them by a female artist known to be over 30.

In 1996 Top 40 as a format was slowly emerging from several years’ hibernation in many markets. The format was more driven by pop/rock bands and singer-songwriters, including acts that had been making records for the better part of a decade (or more).

There were indeed prodigies on the charts in 1996. There was 15-year-old Monica, 17-year-old Brandy, and 21-year-old Alanis Morissette. But there was also 35-year-old Sam Llanas of the BoDeans, 34-year-olds Melissa Etheridge and Jann Arden, and Tracey Thorn, the 33-year-old lead singer of Everything But The Girl.

By the time Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” became an American hit, that group had been having hits in the U.K. for nearly 12 years. The BoDeans had been around for more than a decade. Both acts’ presence on a major label, of course, spoke to a much different time in the music industry when a band was still allowed 10 years on a major label (or two) to finally write their hit song.

But some relatively new acts to the major label world were also led by singers in their late 20s or early 30s, just because that was how long it took many acts to make it. Darius Rucker of Hootie & the Blowfish, Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, and John Popper of Blues Traveler were all 29. Collective Soul’s Ed Roland was 32. Oasis’ Liam Gallagher was 33.

Even then, the landscape was changing, and not just because the teen pop boom was a year away. Morissette’s wise-beyond-her-years songwriting didn’t go unnoticed by the A&R world. And the following year, after the three members of Hanson, ages 11-to-16, showed the uncanny ability to make records that recalled an era when none of them had been born, a new A&R model started to take shape, in which a younger act with the ability to write or sound older became a particularly prized signing.

It was also around that time that one began to sense a change in A&R guys’ attitudes about age-particularly with female artists. Potential new signings were often dismissed with, “Yeah, but she’s almost 30,” That this would be a problem came as a surprise to somebody who’d gone through adolescence with Linda Ronstadt (28 at the time of “You’re No Good”), Suzi Quatro (28 by “Stumblin’ In”), Pat Benatar (26 when “Heartbreaker” became a hit), Quarterflash’s Rindy Ross (30 for “Harden My Heart”) or Heart. (Nancy Wilson was 22, but Ann was 26 when “Magic Man” broke.)

Then there was Toni Basil. Some biographies at the time put her at 32 when “Mickey” became an American hit in late 1982. Now, most currently available Web sources say she would have been 39. But it hardly mattered. Basil held her own in a cheerleaders’ outfit, even next to a squadron of high schoolers. Her success on MTV--the eventual scourge of less photogenic artists--proved it. And nobody would have said that “Mickey” didn’t appeal to teenagers.

(A word about ages becomes necessary here: they’re usually based on a combination of Internet searches and the Joel Whitburn/Record Research chart books. In a small number of cases, it was necessary to search newspaper databases or hunt down ages through other sources. Because the issue of age is so touchy, I almost always went with the younger age—except in a few cases where I felt there was definitive data for the older choice. And because age was so touchy, there were some cases where the competing info on birthdays differed by as much as 12 years. When the act was a band, I went by the age of the lead singer. If there was no obvious leader, the ages of the members were averaged.)

Fast forward now to the early ‘00s: the teen pop boom of the late ‘90s had already helped thin the hitmaking ranks of Lilith-era singer/songwriters. When teen pop faded and the call went out for acts with “more substance,” it was often met by younger acts who had the sound of older singer/songwriters, but whose lyrics were sometimes about who-liked-who-in-high-school.

And it was around this time two years ago that teen pop had its best year since 1999, with comebacks for Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson, and breakthroughs for 16-year-old Hilary Duff (and, a few months later, 13-year-old JoJo). And on the “don’t call it teen pop” front, Avril Lavigne was charting with her second project at 19.

The only 30-plus women on the charts were No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani, Sheryl Crow (then fighting a lengthy battle for acceptance at Top 40 with each new song) and Janet Jackson. And Jackson’s current single, “Just A Little While,” was in the process of mid-charting in the wake of her “wardrobe malfunction,” cynically dismissed by many as a desperate attempt to stay relevant by somebody who was all of 37 at the time.

If you missed a ‘90s artist, chances are there was a younger artist filling the niche, with veteran artists often exiled to the role of co-writer or producer. If you wanted to hear a Goo Goo Dolls record at Mainstream Top 40 that year, Johnny Rzenzik could produce it, but it had to be performed by Ryan Cabrera. Bowling For Soup was filling in for Barenaked Ladies. Even Harry Connick, Jr., and Diana Krall--remarkably young and photogenic at the time of their breakthroughs--were succeeded as neo-standards bearers by Michael Buble and Norah Jones. And the U.K.’s answer to Norah Jones, Katie Melua, was even younger.

You couldn’t blame an A&R person for signing prodigious talent. Who, faced with the vocal ability of a Joss Stone, for instance, would walk away? Anybody who had told a younger act to wait for a few years, as Barry Gordy once did with the Supremes, would have just lost them to another label. Who, for that matter, would have begrudged a Justin Timberlake, Pink, or Usher a chance to mature into the artists they became?

Well, for one thing, Timberlake, Pink, and Usher all had at least a few years of making less ambitious records and allowing their writing to mature. They weren’t expected to fill the slots for records-by-adults-for-adults until they stepped up and showed they could. And even though Hot AC audiences liked Avril Lavigne, Michelle Branch, and Vanessa Carlton, losing the older singer/songwriters took away a level of adult lyrical relatability. And it also left Hot AC, which had only recently learned to break its own records, dependent on Top 40 again. And while no artist holds on to their hitmaking power forever, it was still galling to think that new acts not only had to be under 30 now—they had to be under 20.

So it’s encouraging, if only for balance reasons, to see the median age rising on the Mainstream Top 40 chart with 34-year-old Mary J. Blige at No. 1. (A few weeks earlier, Gwen Stefani would have been on the chart with her. A few weeks later, she would have been joined by 36-year-old Mariah Carey.) At the other end, there was 16-year-old Chris Brown, 17-year-old Teddy Geiger, and 18-year-old Rihanna.

The most notable breakthrough though was 35-year-old Daniel Powter. His success, along with that of James Blunt (29 or 32, depending on the source), might not have been possible two years ago. Even if their ages hadn’t been an issue, there weren’t many records like “Bad Day” or “You’re Beautiful” doing well at Top 40 two years ago.

Meanwhile, the success of Carey and Blige is proof once again that it’s never impossible to reinvent yourself with the right song. But it would take 30-year-old KT Tunstall crossing from Hot AC to Top 40 to prove that a female newcomer could do what Blunt or Powter did. And as a longtime Tunstall fan, I’d be hesitant to give her age if it hadn’t already appeared in an R&R interview. But as with Pat Benatar in the early ‘80s, much of Tunstall’s appeal for me stems from being an adult -not a teenager.

As with so many other things at Top 40, it comes down to the ability to maintain a balance and take advantage of all the available hit. The success of Powter and Blunt is a positive. A Top 40 chart dominated by AC ballads would not be. Top 40, in particular, has always needed a mix of songs for the ages and reaction records for right now. We know that a 22-year-old can supply the former and a 32-year-old can come up with the latter. But only if those songs get a fair shot in front of programmers in the first placeESPNRadio.com Sports Programming Attracts Over 72,000 Listeners Online Per Week According to comScore Arbitron Ratings

– Arbitron Inc. and comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, Inc., released today the online radio ratings for January 2006.

ESPNRadio.com, the live online simulcast of the original sports programming produced for the syndicated ESPNRadio Network, debuted in the published comScore Arbitron Online Radio Ratings with an estimated 72,400 listeners during an average week in January. The number of people tuning in to ESPNRadio online during an average midday quarter hour Monday-Friday 10AM – 3PM for Persons 12+ was 6,800.

The January report of the comScore Arbitron Online Radio Ratings service rated America Online's AOL ® Radio Network; Yahoo! ® Music; Microsoft’s MSN Radio and WindowsMedia.com; Live365; Clear Channel Online Music and Radio; and ESPN Radio during an average broadcast week in the month of January.

The comScore Arbitron Online Radio Ratings service is based on a subset of approximately 200,000 U.S. participants within the comScore global consumer panel. Using proprietary and patent-pending technology, comScore passively and continuously captures the online behavior of these panelists, including online radio listening behavior. Subscribers receive Average Quarter-Hour and Cume audience estimates for 38 demographics and 15 standard broadcast dayparts. Each month, Arbitron publishes the average weekly audience for Persons 12+, Monday-Friday 6AM-7PM and Monday-Sunday 6AM-Midnight on its Web site www.arbitron.com.About Arbitron


Arbitron Inc. (NYSE: ARB) is an international media and marketing research firm serving radio broadcasters, cable companies, advertisers, advertising agencies and outdoor advertising companies in the United States, Mexico and Europe. Arbitron’s core businesses are measuring network and local market radio audiences across the United States; surveying the retail, media and product patterns of local market consumers; and providing application software used for analyzing media audience and marketing information data. The Company has also developed the Portable People Meter (PPM SM), a new technology for media and marketing research.

Arbitron’s marketing and business units are supported by its research and technology organization, located in Columbia, Maryland. Arbitron has approximately 1,700 employees; its executive offices are located in New York City.

Through its Scarborough Research joint venture with VNU, Inc., Arbitron also provides media and marketing research services to the broadcast television, magazine, newspaper and online industries.About comScore Media Metrix


comScore Media Metrix, a division of comScore Networks, provides industry-leading Internet audience measurement services that report-with unmatched accuracy-details of online media usage, visitor demographics and online buying power for the home, work and university audiences across local U.S. markets and across the globe. comScore Media Metrix continues the tradition of quality and innovation established by its Media Metrix syndicated Internet ratings-long recognized as the currency in online media measurement among financial analysts, advertising agencies, publishers and marketers-while drawing upon comScore's advanced technologies to address important new industry requirements. All comScore Media Metrix syndicated ratings are based on industry-sanctioned sampling methodologies. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com.Current host Craig Ferguson is gaining


For CBS, “Late Late Show” has long been a work in progress, as they say, as several hosts cycled through, each trying but failing to clock gains in viewers against NBC’s “Late Night with Conan O’Brien.”

CBS’s search could very well be over.

Almost exactly a year ago, Media Life reported on the promise of the “Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” which scored what was then the show’s most-watched first quarter ever. Ferguson had just taken over as host that January.

A year later, Ferguson has improved on that performance. Season to date, “Late Late Show" is up 7 percent with 1.94 million total viewers, from last year’s 1.82 million. In comparison, “Late Night” is flat with 2.5 million viewers.

That puts the Ferguson show closer to “Late Night” in households, viewers and adults 25-54 than it's been in more than a decade, according to CBS. And that's been through a slew of hosts before landing Ferguson: Tom Snyder, Craig Kilborn, and guest hosts D.L. Hughley and Michael Ian Black.

For certain, “Late Late Show,” which airs at 12:35 a.m., is not likely to overtake “Late Night” any time soon, but its performance thus far suggests Ferguson is finding his own audience, which is key, rather than serving as a button-jump for the dull interludes on “Late Night.”

In sharp contrast to O’Brien's acerbic style, Ferguson, a former “Drew Carey Show” cast member, is the warm and fuzzy sort, his humor kinder, gentler and often self-deprecating. He's also credited with being an astute interviewer of actors.

“The beauty of his show is that the interviews he conducts with other members of that profession are quite different, and mostly much better, than the other three hosts, because he's one of them,” writes Greg Stepanich of the Palm Beach Post. "The result is interviews that are much more interesting than the usual I'm-here-for-a-plug thing.”

Ferguson is also getting lots of off-camera exposure these days for “Between the Bridge and the River,” his first novel, which was released this Monday. New York Magazine calls it a “messy but highly entertaining hodgepodge of coming-of-age story, Hollywood send-up, and Jungian spirit quest.”

Meanwhile, in other daypart ratings in the week ended April 2:

Among Sunday morning shows, NBC’s “Meet the Press” and ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” were both down 8 percent from the week before, while CBS’s “Face the Nation” and “Fox News Sunday” were up 2 percent. “Press” led with 3.8 million viewers, followed by “Nation” with 3 million, “Week” with 2.4 million and “News” with 1.3 million.

NBC’s “Today” was the only morning show to dip, though by just 1 percent, to 6.1 million viewers. Both ABC’s “Good Morning America” and CBS’s “Early Show” were about flat with 5.1 and 2.9 million viewers, respectively.

In late night, NBC’s “Tonight Show” was up 4 percent with 5.5 million viewers, while CBS’s “Late Show” was down 5 percent, with 4.1 million. ABC’s “Nightline” and NBC’s “Late Night” were both up 4 percent from the previous week, with 3.5 and 2.4 million viewers, respectively.

After a bump the previous week that had NBC tying ABC among women 18-49 in daytime dramas and outperforming it in full day, NBC slid back to third place this week. It was down 21 percent to a 1.5 in daytime dramas and full day.

“Everybody Loves Raymond” was again the No.1 comedy in syndication, up 3 percent to a 6.3 household rating. The show conceded that spot to “Friends” the week before, which dropped back down to a 4.6 from a high of 6.6 fueled by a TBS marathon. Top game show “Wheel of Fortune” and top talk show “Oprah” were both down 6 percent, to a 9.0 and 6.2 rating, respectively.

For the week ended April 9, all evening newscasts again saw declines. “NBC Nightly News” averaged 8.4 million viewers, down 7 percent; “ABC World News Tonight” drew 7.8 million, down 3 percent; and “CBS Evening News” averaged 6.9 million, down 10 percent

Nominated for Five Oscars(R) Including Best Picture Comes the Critically Hailed Suspense Thriller From Director Steven Spielberg "MUNICH"

Available on DVD May 9, 2006 From Universal Studios Home Entertainment

'Tremendously exciting. The film moves like a thriller.' - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Munich," the explosive suspense thriller from director Steven Spielberg, comes to DVD May 9, 2006 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Inspired by the real-life events following the murder of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games, this action-packed film stars Eric Bana ("Black Hawk Down," "Troy"), Daniel Craig ("Casino Royale," "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider") and Academy Award(R) winner Geoffrey Rush ("Shine," "Pirates of the Caribbean") as players in an international campaign to track down and eliminate the 11 Palestinians believed to have planned the massacre. "Munich" combines edge-of-your-seat suspense with a thought-provoking story. Boasting powerhouse performances, plot twists and shadowy alliances, the "Munich" DVD is priced at $29.98 SRP. A Two-Disc Collector's Edition is also available.

"Munich" follows a secret team of five agents in the aftermath of the brutal massacre of 11 members of the Israeli team at the 1972 Olympics. Led by Avner (Eric Bana), the men have been dispatched on a mission to track down those responsible for the attack; a mission that takes a personal toll on the agents and the man who led it.

"MUNICH" GARNERS FIVE ACADEMY AWARD(R) NOMINATIONS AND CRITICAL KUDOS

Steven Spielberg's explosive suspense thriller earned five Academy Award(R) nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director (Spielberg), Best Film Editing (Michael Kahn), Best Original Score (John Williams) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Tony Kushner, Eric Roth). The film enthralled some of America's most prestigious critics with its outstanding acting ensemble, superbly crafted script and taut direction. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly calls "Munich" "spectacularly gripping," while Peter Travers of Rolling Stone describes it as "tremendously exciting," and CNN's Larry King calls it a "dynamic thriller." Gene Shalit of "The Today Show" says of "Munich," "a bold and passionate thriller."

"MUNICH" DVD FILLED WITH REVEALING BONUS FEATURES

The "Munich" DVD includes an introduction from Academy Award(R)-winning director Steven Spielberg.

The Two-Disc Collector's Edition includes additional in-depth bonus features that expose the viewer further to the film's subject.

* Munich: The Mission, The Team -- Find out how this project came about

and the challenges that were faced by the filmmakers to draw an

accurate portrayal of the controversial mission. The actors share

their experience getting involved portraying the five men who led the

mission.

* Munich: Memories of the Event -- Explore and discover the impact of the

real events in Munich through documentary footage, film clips,

behind-the-scenes moments and interviews with cast and crew, including

Steven Spielberg.

* Munich: Portrait of an Era -- Look at the re-creation of the '70s with

production designer Rick Carter and costume designer Joanna Johnston.

* Munich: The "On Set" Experience -- A moving and intricate exploration

into the art and politics involved with the making of "Munich."

* Munich: Editing, Sound and Music -- A discussion with Steven Spielberg

and his collaborators, composer John Williams and editor Michael Kahn,

on the final touches that were added to "Munich."

* Munich: The International Cast -- A captivating look at the remarkable

group of actors that appear in "Munich." With over 150 speaking parts,

Spielberg and his team discuss the casting of actors from all over the

world.

SYNOPSIS

Inspired by real events, "Munich" reveals the intense story of the secret Israeli squad assigned to track down and eliminate the 11 Palestinians believed to have planned the 1972 Munich massacre of 11 Israeli athletes -- and the personal toll this mission of revenge takes on the team and the man who led it.

For more information, please visit: www.munichmovie.com.

CAST & FILMMAKERS

Director: Steven Spielberg

Screenplay By: Tony Kushner and Eric Roth

Based on the Book "Vengeance" by: George Jonas

Produced By: Kathleen Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Barry Mendel,

Colin Wilson

Director of Photography: Janusz Kaminski, ASC

Production Designer: Rick Carter

Edited By: Michael Kahn, ACE

Costume Designer: Joanna Johnston

Music By: John Williams

Cast: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Ciaran Hinds, Mathieu Kassovitz,

Hanns Zischler, Ayelet Zurer and Geoffrey Rush

FEATURE TECHNICAL INFORMATION

DVD

Street Date: May 9, 2006

Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Price: $29.98 SRP

Selection Number: 21823 (Widescreen); 21824 (Full Frame)

Running Time: 2 Hours 44 Minutes

Layers: Dual

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen); 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

Rating: R (for strong graphic violence, some sexual content, nudity and

language)

Technical Info: English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround;

English DVS Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; English SDH; French and Spanish

Subtitles

COLLECTOR'S EDITION TWO-DISC DVD

Street Date: May 9, 2006

Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Price: NSRP

Selection Number: 29211

Running Time: 2 Hours 44 Minutes

Aspect Ratio: Disc 1: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen); Disc 2: 1.33:1

(Full Frame)

Rating: Disc 1: R (for strong graphic violence, some sexual content,

nudity and language); Disc 2: Unrated

Technical Info: English and French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround;

English DVS Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo; English SDH; French and Spanish

Source: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Web site: http://www.ushepublicity.com/
http://www.munichmovie.com/
http://www.universalstudios.com/

Universal Studios Home Entertainment Announces: The Magical New Family Classic Brimming With Fun, Laughter and Enchantment for Everyone 'Nanny McPhee'

Hailed as 'The New Mary Poppins!' Materializing on DVD on May 9, 2006

Filled with fun, humor and adventure, magic is surely afoot in "Nanny McPhee," hailed as "The new Mary Poppins! A magical adventure for all ages!" by Melanie Moon, WB-TV. Available on DVD on May 9, 2006 from Universal Home Studios Entertainment, "Nanny McPhee" is set in an enchanted world where anything is possible as a mysterious nanny employs her fantastical skills to tame a widower's seven outrageously unruly children. The DVD provides non-stop entertainment for the entire family, with hilarious pranks, mischief and magic, plus a wealth of wild and wonderful bonus features. "Nanny McPhee" stars Oscar(R) winner Emma Thompson ("Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban"), Colin Firth ("Bridget Jones's Diary") and Angela Lansbury ("Murder She Wrote"), and is directed by Kirk Jones ("Waking Ned Devine"). The DVD is priced at $29.98 SRP.

Cedric Brown (Colin Firth) has recently lost his wife and is left with seven incorrigible children. The half-pint troublemakers drive away 17 nannies with their outrageous antics, until "Nanny McPhee" (Emma Thompson), arrives at their door. Armed with a magical walking stick and a bushel of common sense, "Nanny McPhee" takes on the riotous Brown brood with startling results.

LOADS OF ENCHANTING EXTRAS

"Nanny McPhee" abounds with extras that will delight the entire family again and again, including:

* Casting the Children -- A look at the process of casting the children,

exploring their backgrounds and past experiences in acting. Includes

the trials and tribulations of working with children and animals.

* Village Life -- A behind the scenes look at how the Brown house and the

village were created.

* "Nanny McPhee" Makeover -- A look at how Emma Thompson was transformed

into Nanny McPhee and subsequent transition from ugly Nanny to

beautiful Nanny.

* How "Nanny McPhee" Came to Be -- A featurette looking at the life and

work of Christianna Brand and Edward Adrizzone.

* Feature Commentary with Director Kirk Jones and Children

* Feature Commentary with Actor Emma Thompson and Producer Lindsay Doran

* Plus a Hilarious Gag Reel, Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes and an

Alternate Opening!

SYNOPSIS

In this wickedly charming tale, Emma Thompson portrays a mysterious woman with special powers who enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Colin Firth) and attempts to tame his seven very naughty children. The children have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies, but as Nanny McPhee takes control, they begin to notice that their misbehaving has magical and startling consequences. "A magical, fantastic and wonderful fable that will capture the heart of the whole family!" (Maria Salas, NBC-TV)

For more information please visit: www.nannymcphee.com.

CAST & FILMMAKERS

Director: Kirk Jones

Screenplay By: Emma Thompson

Based upon the "Nurse Matilda" books by: Christianna Brand

Produced By: Lindsay Doran, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner

Executive Producers: Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin

Director of Photography: Henry Braham, BSC

Production Designer: Michael Howells

Edited By: Justin Krish, Nick Moore

Costume Designer: Nic Ede

Music By: Patrick Doyle

Cast: Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kelly MacDonald, Angela Lansbury

FEATURE TECHNICAL INFORMATION

DVD

Street Date: May 9, 2006

Copyright: 2006 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Price: $29.98 SRP

Selection Number: 26310 (Full Frame); 26309 (Widescreen)

Running Time: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Layers: Dual

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (Full Frame); 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

Rating: PG (Mild Thematic Elements, Some Rude Humor and Brief Language)

Technical Info: English, Spanish and French Dolby Digital 5.1; English

SDH; Spanish and French Subtitles

 

 

Source: Universal Home Studios Entertainment

Web site: http://www.universalstudios.com/
http://www.nannymcphee.com/ 'Wolfmother' to Land in May ... Tour to Accompany Album Release

The highly touted debut album by Aussie power trio Wolfmother is now confirmed to land Stateside on May 2 through Modular/Interscope

The fro'dup Sydneysiders will launch this CD with an appearance at the Coachella Festival in California a few days prior to the US release date. Their first truly national tour will follow; taking the band right across the US and Canada through mid-June. Please see below for all the new dates and venues.

Wolfmother's self-titled disc was produced by D. Sardy (Oasis, Dandy Warhols, Helmet, Jet). The heady collection of epic rock is already certified double platinum in Australia and was voted "Album Of The Year" by that country's alternative radio network, Triple J.

The group is currently generating similar bigtime buzz in North America with their song "Woman" ascending rapidly up the airplay charts and Rolling Stone featuring Wolfmother as one of their "Top 10 Artists To Watch in 2006." Entertainment Weekly picked them as THE standout from the 1400+ artists who appeared at this year's South By Southwest music conference in Austin and the Los Angeles Times recently ran a glowing full page feature on the band in their Sunday "Calendar" section.

Wolfmother has also been embraced on the other side of the Atlantic, with UK indie bible NME saying, "if you want to be rocked so hard that your teeth shatter then this is the band for you" and tastemaker Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe regularly featuring "Woman" as his "Best Record In The World." Not surprisingly the group has already been confirmed on major British Festivals like Reading and T in the Park over summer.

To hear Wolfmother for yourself we invite you to visit www.wolfmother.com

To see Wolfmother live then get your tickets now for the following shows

APRIL

Sat 29 Coachella Festival, Empire Polo Grounds, Indio CA

MAY

Sat 6 Gypsy Ballroom, Dallas TX

Sun 7 The Parish (formerly The Mercury), Austin TX

Tue 9 The Clubhouse, Tempe AZ

Tue 16 Opera House, Toronto, ON

Thu 18 Metro -- Smart Bar, Chicago IL

Fri 19 The Rave II, Milwaulkee WI

Sat 20 Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis MN

Mon 22 Bluebird Theatre, Denver CO

Tue 23 Club Sound (formerly Bricks), Salt Lake City UT

Thu 25 Berbati's Pan, Portland OR

Fri 26 Sasquatch Festival, Gorge Amphitheatre, George WA

Sat 27 Richards on Richards, Vancouver BC

Tue 30 Le National, Montreal QC

Wed 31 Paradise Rock Club, Boston MA

JUNE

Fri 2 Theatre of the Living Arts, Philadelphia PA

Sat 3 Webster Hall, New York NY

Tue 6 Black Cat, Washington DC

Wed 7 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro NC

Thu 8 The Loft At Earthlink Live (formerly Vinyl), Atlanta GA

Wed 14 Henry Fonda Theatre, Los Angeles CA

You Decide Ticket Price ... After the Movie!: Feature Film, REVOLOUTION, Redefines Hollywood and Gives All Profits to Charity Movie Tickets Tax Deductible for the First Time in History!

REVOLOUTION is creating a first in cinema history -- the filmmakers of REVOLOUTION are asking for donations only at the box office and then giving all profits to non-profit (501 c3) charity organizations, including The Boys & Girls Club, Child Help, and The Foundation for Conscious Humanity. The Foundation for Conscious Humanity is forming partnerships with local and national non-profits to make this film available and incorporate it in special outreach and after school programs for Youth at Risk, urban communities, and other under-served audiences (*1).

According to Aime and Steve McCrory, Carr's Publicists, the audience receives a ticket voucher that allows them to "donate what the film is worth" after the screening. Throughout April, in observance of Child Abuse Awareness month, the street team is distributing 80,000 free movie vouchers throughout greater Los Angeles and New York City. (*1A)

REVO LOU TION is loosely based on the true story of the director/ lead actor, Bret Carr (*2), and is about a violent, homophobic, street-fighting stutterer who transforms into a compassionate person and advocate for youth at risk. By following the near death psychological awakening of the film's protagonist, LOU, the audience identifies with their own life-defining moment, or whatever story runs their lives and prevents them from achieving their dreams.

Carr says, "I grew up extremely rich, but so devastated by abandonment and depression -- issues resulting from being raised in an alcoholic home -- that having found a way to methodically overcome it, I had to give back. And the question I kept asking myself was: How radically would it change my life if I could stop reliving my childhood dramas in my current relationships, trying to get the love that wasn't there? That is the power of REVOLOUTION. It lets you see that a limited, emotionally handicapped life is a story -- that can be changed. Imagine knowing that before all of our patterns started? Now, through REVOLOUTION, I have the power to share that breakthrough, that knowledge. How can we put a price on that? Admission is free. The audience decides what it is worth!"

Carr, who was the heir to his family fortune (his grandfather was RC Cola corporate raider Victor Posner), walked away from a $250 million inheritance in order to make a film which would unite people to be the REVOLOUTION they want to see in the world and give them the ability to see their calling.

Carr was inspired to start the FOUNDATION FOR CONSCIOUS HUMANITY after Dennis Johnson (*1), the warden of Cincinnati's Teen Felony facility, was so moved by REVOLOUTION that in order to share it with his inmates, he got it approved by State Judge Ripps and the superintendent of schools. FCH screens conscious cinema for non-profit organizations and provides access to filmmakers and facilitators who enable explorations of the movies after the screenings.

REVOLOUTION's Bret Carr recruited his favorite cinema icons with a concept so powerful, they agreed to donate their services. The script was co-written with Quinn K. Redeker, the creator and co-writer of five-time Oscar Winner, THE DEER HUNTER. It has a musical theme from Academy Award Winner, Bill Conti, and the Emmy nominated Ashley Irwin. Appearing are Kumar Pallana ("Gupta" from Steven Spielberg's THE TERMINAL) and Burt Young (Oscar Nominee for ROCKY). The staff of 20 volunteers, including the two former heads of production at Speilberg's SHOAH Foundation, are working on the film because of its "profoundly impactful" (*3) effect on audiences.

REVOLOUTION's co-writer/ director/ star, Bret Carr, funded the film by painting people's dreams on grains of rice on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade. Eventually, during the last of it's 10 year production and its award winning film festival run, the film was supported and endorsed by icons and thought leaders like Jane Fonda, Will Arntz (director of WHAT THE BLEEP), Oprah Winfrey lifestyle guru Colin Cowie, NY Times best seller Gay Hendricks, and Kitty Stewart (Oprah appearing relationship expert), who wrote Carr with letters of support and encouragement.

REVOLOUTION is being released by THE FOUNDATION FOR CONSCIOUS HUMANITY beginning April 28th in Los Angeles (Leammle Sunset 5 -- 8000 Sunset Blvd. West Los Angeles, CA 90046), May 12th in New York (Village East Cinema -- 181 2nd Ave. NYC, NY 10003) and then in the top 20 markets this summer. Bicoastal for nonprofit fundraiser premieres hosted by major celebrities will happen the first Sunday the film hits the theaters.

Web site: http://www.revoloutionmovie.com/

Vivendi Universal Games Mobile Announces Six New Titles Line-up Includes 'SWAT Force,' Recipient of IGN Editor's Choice Award and 'Mobie' Nomination

Vivendi Universal Games Mobile ("VUG Mobile") today announced its second and third quarter mobile game titles for 2006. Among the highly anticipated games will be SWAT(R) Force, Empire Earth(R), After Dark(R): Flying Toaster, Red Baron(R), Navy Challenge(TM) and Black Hawk Down(R): Team Sabre.

"VUG Mobile continues to expand its product line-up of premium titles ranging in appeal from core gamers to casual players and in gameplay from engaging strategy games to one-thumb gaming fun," said VUG Mobile President, Paul Maglione.

The announced titles:

SWAT Force

Based on the critically acclaimed PC tactical-action franchise, which to date has generated more than $50 Million in sales and was named GameSpy's Tactical Game of the Year in 2000, SWAT Force allows gamers to take control of a two-man SWAT squad and lead them through seven crisis situations. SWAT Force allows the player to assume the role of a SWAT squad leader, choose the equipment and tactics for the squad's sharp shooter and explosives experts. Players must use each one at the appropriate moment and defuse the traps that lie in the way.

IGN's Editor's Choice Award review of SWAT Force recognizes VUG Mobile's efforts to translate the best-selling PC franchise to the mobile screen: "SWAT Force is one of the better PC-to-mobile games I have played. The game delivers the tactical mechanics of the PC game, but scales back on the number of talents, tools, and objectives without sacrificing the general essence of the series ... the secret to success is to deliver the proper essence of the traditional video while accurately recreating the universe the game exists in. On these counts, SWAT Force succeeds."

Empire Earth

Based on the popular PC franchise, which to date has generated more than $100 Million in sales and was named GameSpy's PC Game of the Year in 2001, Empire Earth will turn mobile gamers into generals, allowing them to command forces from the past, present and future and build up their own empire ... To succeed, players must conquer all opposition through eight challenging campaigns. Empire Earth features a full combat system combined with strategic resource management, providing players with the means to capture and control an enemy's territory and move forward in time. Each age brings its own challenges, new units and additional strategic issues.

After Dark: Flying Toaster

Based on one of the most recognized electronic entertainment icons, After Dark: Flying Toaster is VUG Mobile's first 2006 entry into the casual gaming arena. Simple to play, fiendishly difficult to master, After Dark: Flying Toaster is an addictive, humorous one-thumb game featuring the Flying Toaster. Players navigate through numerous puzzle levels while catching enough toast to keep the famous Flying Toaster energized. Various level environments present interesting challenges, as the player must avoid running into obstacles, enemies and "slow down" items such as hamburgers.

Red Baron

Based on the renowned classic Sierra flight game, Red Baron offers mobile gamers a chance to go head-to-head with the best fighter pilots of World War I, including Manfred von Richtohoven, AKA the infamous "Red Baron." The game features epic dogfights as the player chase, and are chased by, various enemy pilots, each with a distinctive fighting and flying style. Mission-based levels will offer varied gameplay such as protecting bases and bombing the enemies' buildings. Red Baron will be offered in both 2D and 3D versions across a wide range of J2ME and BREW-enabled handsets.

Navy Challenge

Set in World War II, Navy Challenge is a state-of-the-art mobile take on the classic battleships game genre, enabling the player to assume the persona of a US, British, Japanese or Chinese admiral directing a fleet into battle. Enhanced gameplay options feature a wide array of weaponry and an "active defense" mode, where users can choose between an air strike, torpedo attack, rocket attack or radar sweep to detect and destroy enemy ships. The game is far from static, allowing players to move their ships mid-game to avoid enemy fire. Initially offered in single-player mode, Navy Challenge will also be available later in the year as a turn-based multiplayer game.

Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre

Based on the popular NovaLogic franchise, which to date has sold 4+ million units worldwide with the original game a #1 selling PC title in North America, Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre allows players to lead an elite Delta Force(R) unit on 10 missions through treacherous South American jungles and across remote deserts in the Persian Gulf. Black Hawk Down: Team Sabre is a 2D tactical-action game represented in top down view, featuring superb graphics. Levels alternate between helicopter combat and ground combat, presenting a total of 20 action sequences.

About VUG Mobile

VUG Mobile has current game offerings live across 70 operators in 40 countries. These titles, several of which have been developed in-house at VUG Mobile's Paris studio, include Crash Nitro Kart(R), Crash Twinsanity(TM), and Crash(R) Tag Team Racing (nearly two million Crash Bandicoot(R) mobile games have been sold to date); Spyro Ripto Quest, Spyro the Dragon(R), Leisure Suit Larry(R) Magna Cum Laude, Leisure Suit Larry Sexy Pinball, Empire Earth and SWAT Force. The company, with worldwide headquarters in Paris, North American offices in Los Angeles, and Asia-Pacific offices in Singapore, is a subsidiary of Vivendi Universal Games. For further information, visit www.vugames.com.

About Vivendi Universal Games

Vivendi Universal Games (www.vugames.com) is a global developer, publisher and distributor of multi-platform interactive entertainment. The company is a leader in the subscription-based massively multi-player online (MMO) games category, holds leading positions in the PC, console and handheld games markets, and is an emerging player in mobile and wireless games. Its development studios and publishing labels include Blizzard Entertainment(R), Radical Entertainment, Sierra(R) Entertainment, Massive Entertainment(R), Swordfish Studios and High Moon Studios. VU Games' library of over 700 titles features owned intellectual properties including Warcraft(R), StarCraft(R), Diablo(R) and World of Warcraft(R) from Blizzard Entertainment; Crash Bandicoot, Spyro The Dragon, Empire Earth, Leisure Suit Larry, and Ground Control(R) from Sierra Entertainment. VU Games also maintains strategic relationships with industry leading content partners, including Universal Music Group, NBC Universal, Twentieth Century Fox and Ludlum Entertainment.

Source: Vivendi Universal Games Mobile

 

Web site: http://www.vugames.com/ Royal Caribbean Charter Carries Christian Crusade to the Bahamas

PraiseFest Ministries, a volunteer-run evangelistic mission based in Northport, Alabama, has chartered Royal Caribbean's Sovereign of the Seas on May 29, 2006 for a 4-night cruise to the Bahamas. Cruise with a Cause has been designed to combine a family vacation experience with a faith-based opportunity allowing guests to participate in a mission effort on Grand Bahama Island.

This unique cruise will feature onboard concerts from well-known contemporary Christian music artists, a variety of popular speakers like wrestler Steve Bordon (aka Sting) and Josh McDowell, workshops catering to various age groups to prepare them for their island adventure, Christian- oriented entertainment shows as well as Royal Caribbean's onboard activities.

The cruise is customized to provide families and churches an opportunity to participate in mission work if they choose while still enjoying all of the amenities a cruise has to offer. "Because this is a chartered cruise designed specifically for a Christian audience, there will be no onboard gambling and no alcoholic beverages served," said PraiseFest Ministries President, Matthew Dunaway.

"When the ship reaches Grand Bahama Island, PraiseFest will host a stadium crusade called Bahama Fest 2006 featuring top Christian musicians and speakers. Bahama Fest 2006 has been sanctioned by the Bahamian Ministry of Tourism and is expected to be the largest event the island has even seen. We will be able to hold organized assemblies in all 33 schools on the island sharing the Gospel with over 14,000 students," adds Dunaway.

The innovative concept of Cruise with a Cause has inspired Trinity Broadcasting Network's JCTV, to film the cruising crusade and to produce the first reality television series with a Christian focus. Trinity Broadcasting Network is the largest religious television network in the world and America's most watched faith channel (appealing to Protestant, Catholic, Messianic & Jewish faiths).

"We are thrilled to be able to offer this cruise to travel agents to sell on a commissionable basis," said Honnie Korngold, President of Christian Travel Finder, the travel agency responsible for marketing the cruise to faith-based travelers and travel agents. "There have been many Christian cruise charters in the past but very few have been available for travel agents to offer their clients. We are receiving such a positive response from agents that have wanted to offer faith-based niche products but haven't been able to previously. This cruise embodies the type of vacation experience that many Christians are hungry for," adds Korngold.

The cruise will depart from Port Canaveral, Florida, and will visit Freeport, Grand Bahama, and Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's private island).

PraiseFest Ministries is an ongoing evangelistic mission designed to direct people all over the world to Christ by working with local churches to insure large numbers of people worldwide are presented with the Gospel message.

Christian Travel Finder, a division of Travel Network Group LLC, is a travel agency located in Seal Beach, California that specializes in developing group cruise and tour programs for churches and ministry organizations.

For more information on the PraiseFest Ministries Cruise with a Cause, contact:

info@christiantravelfinder.com

http://www.christiantravelfinder.com/

Source: Royal Caribbean

Web site: http://www.christiantravelfinder.com/

Exclusive Content Extends Brand's Music Ties Beyond Concerts



Bacardi is launching an ad-free global radio station to be broadcast 24 hours a day via the Internet and cellphones. The spirits marketer claims the venture is the world's first brand-funded online and mobile radio music offering.

The B-Live music offering will roll out internationally throughout the year.

Called Bacardi B-Live, the initiative is expected to extend the brand's association with music beyond regular events. It will launch in the U.K. next month and roll out internationally throughout the year.

Access to the station is theoretically available only to consumers above the local legal drinking age -- to sign up, consumers must enter their date of birth and country of residence. Bacardi is aiming for 300,000 registered listeners within three months of the launch.

Bacardi B-Live will broadcast exclusive content through the Internet and directly onto third-generation compatible cellphone handsets. Adam Dewhurst, the project's global talent director, has commissioned exclusive mixes from DJs and producers around the world.

John Burke, Bacardi's global brand director, said, "Thanks to developments in mobile and 3G handset technology it is possible for brands to take their music properties beyond clubs and festival fields."

B-Live will be cross-promoted through Bacardi's existing music events, which will be streamed through the new online radio station. There will also be digital and viral advertising.

Bacardi has built up a strong reputation for hosting premium branded events around the world. Mr. Dewhurst said, "Bacardi has always worked with credible people and steered away from the corporate end of dance music."

For the new radio station, Mr. Dewhurst has identified three tiers of DJs and producers to contribute exclusive mixes. The first tier is made up of worldwide big-name DJs like Dmitri from Paris; the second tier is internationally known underground talents such as Sumo from Sweden and the Unabombers; the third is made up of popular local DJs.

The station will initially broadcast only one platform throughout the world. However, Mr. Dewhurst added, "Further down the line there may be other platforms. U.S. music is more focused on hip hop and rock -- some of this is accommodated within the existing platform, but there may be opportunities to create new platforms further down the line." Video content is another route that is being discussed for the future.

Blogger rankings.

Lists like Technorati's can help sort out who's who in the blogosphere.


Listings of the most popular blogs and bloggers on the Web, crafted and divined in a variety of ways from Technorati's Top 100, measured by unique links over six months, to Blogebrity's gag list of A-, B- and C-listers with no science, but plenty of cheek and wit.

True, the lists can tend to be a bit like insider baseball; if you don't play or watch, who cares? But blog listings generate traffic and more importantly can help novices (or time-crunched execs) sort out who's who in the blogging world. Some of the most popular popularity watchers include: the Technorati and Blogebrity lists mentioned above; CNET's News.com Blog 100, a user-inspired, unnumbered, and occasionally updated list; BlogPulse.com's daily ranking of the Top 40 (run by Intelliseek); the Feedster 500 monthly ranking of the "most interesting and important" blogs; Daypop Top 100 with a complex but impressively intelligent-sounding methodology; The Truth Laid Bear's pure traffic ranking up to 5,000 (yes, 5000);and the Top 43 Best Blogs Wiki with its odd number and totally democratic user-changeable list. And that doesn't begin to include smaller lists and more specialized ones ranking top RSS feeds or blogs added to favorites' lists.

WHO'S USING IT?: Bloggers, to be sure, seem the most interested in debating, discussing and linking to the lists. A recent New York Magazine article mused, "Much as in high school, C-listers quickly suspect the deck is stacked against them, and the bitterness flows like cheap wine." Yet get past the internal sniping, and you'll find marketers, and their media buyers also watching. A No. 1 blog may have little in common with a No. 1 "American Idol" TV program, but both can fit into the media plan for the same marketer. For instance, Engadget, a blog about tech gizmos and on most everyone's "top dog" list, is currently running an Ask.com banner (CPMs on Engadget range from $6 to $15), at the same time as polished :30 TV spots air on popular and expensive prime-time shows like ABC's "Lost." Marketers such as Audi, Microsoft, Dreamworks, General Motors and Verizon hit the blog rolls as regularly as the airwaves.

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The lists are good places to begin for ideas about which blogs to read -- although, like The New York Times bestseller list, take them with grain of salt. They can also provide solid leads in the search for hot online advertising spots. Best of all, they make for great, free WOM buzz. If you make the list, that is.

Ad Revenue From Web Operations Become More Important to Publishers

Newspapers made a bit of a grim display this week when they reported their first-quarter earnings, revealing profit declines at The New York Times Co., Tribune Co., McClatchy Co. and powerhouse Gannett Co., but displayed at every turn the rising importance of the

 

The New York Times Co. reported perhaps the brightest results yesterday, even though first-quarter profit fell 68.5% to $35 million from $111 million a year earlier. That apparent free fall, however, mostly reflected the extra income in last year's first quarter when the company sold its headquarters in Times Square.

The Web played a big role in the company's overall respectable results. Ad revenue rose 3.9% in the first quarter to $554.6 million, up from $533.8 million in the year previous quarter. The Times Co. ad increases were largely delivered by About.com; without that property, ad revenue would have increased just 0.7%.

Earnings per share were 4 cents, a penny higher than the analysts' consensus expectation compiled by Thomson Financial.

"Our results in the first quarter reflect higher advertising and circulation revenues at The New York Times Media Group and the Regional Media Group, in part due to the introduction of innovative new products," said Janet L. Robinson, president-CEO. But The Boston Globe's unit, The New England Media Group, was again hit hard by consolidation among advertisers and a tough competitive environment, she said.

Another heavy-hitter, The Tribune Co., reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings also fell to the tune of 28%, with flat ad revenue. The Tribune owns newspapers including The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. Tribune expects online ad revenues to contribute about $350 million in 2006; it counts a stake a CareerBuilder.com among its Web assets.

McClatchy Co., which agreed last month to buy Philadelphia Inquirer parent Knight Ridder, reported a 14.2% decline in first-quarter net income. Ad revenue at McClatchy, which houses newspapers including the Sacramento Bee, grew 1.4% to $237.1 million.

The powerhouse that is Gannett turned in perhaps the most surprising report on April 12, announcing that net income sank 11.5% in the first quarter. Its newspapers' ad revenue grew 5.7% to nearly $1.3 billion, but that factors in acquisitions without which first-quarter ad revenue would actually have fallen 1.8%. At its flagship USA Today, ad revenues declined 4.2%.

GE: Olympics Generate $40 Million Q1 Loss,

IN JANUARY, GE'S CEO JEFF Immelt said the Torino Olympics would "about break even" in the first quarter. They did far worse, losing some $70 million.

Despite the loss, GE executives said yesterday that the Olympics would be "slightly profitable" for the year on the backs of affiliate contributions.

Immelt had predicted the Games would generate $650 million to $750 million in the first quarter--and they came in on the lower end, accounting for $684 million.

"I still like the Olympics," he said. "I think Torino was a tough venue--a tough set of dynamics."

One advantage NBC will have when it carries the Beijing Summer Games in August 2008 is the lack of competition from Fox's "American Idol," which outdrew the Torino coverage.

The Torino results--a disappointment for NBC, which had offered bullish forecasts on ad revenue and profitability--were announced in GE's first-quarter earnings call with analysts.

Beyond the Olympics, NBC continues to struggle, as GE's NBC Universal unit saw first-quarter profits drop 8 percent to $654 million (still more than GE's health care and industrial units). Immelt said: "We continue to turn around NBC prime-time performance." Still, the network remains mired in fourth place with ratings in the key 18-to-49 demo down 8 percent this season.

GE's CFO Keith Sherin said the company is "confident" in NBC's position heading into the upfront. "We have spent a lot of time on development and we feel good about the process, the team, and the shows that we have got lined up," he said.


Erectile Dysfunction Ads Come as Drug Maker Readies New Viagra Effort

 

Even as it readies a branded campaign for Viagra, Pfizer today introduced a second unbranded ad campaign for erectile dysfunction aimed at boosting sagging sales by motivating men to discuss the condition with their doctor.

In the wake of sagging sales, Pfizer is launching new Viagra marketing campaigns.


Six months after asking men to "Make the Call" in an unbranded ad campaign, Pfizer's new tagline is "Just Ask Today." The campaign is designed to educate men about the causes and varying degrees of erectile dysfunction and is comprised of a Web site, justasktoday.com, a toll-free number and national TV spots featuring sexual health expert and TV and radio host Dr. Drew Pinsky.

A spending figure was not disclosed.

In the new TV ads, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Healthcare, New York, Dr. Pinsky, standing alone outside the 90,000-seat Los Angeles Coliseum, says, "Guys just seem to have a natural aversion to the doctor's office, especially when it comes to a sensitive health issue like erectile dysfunction."

He then goes inside the empty Coliseum and says, "And yet, nearly half of all guys over 40 -- and some even younger -- have ED, a number which could fill this stadium many times over."

Though the TV spot does not mention Viagra, the justasktoday.com Web site has a section in which it asks participants to answer a series of questions. After hitting "submit," the site then takes you to a page that features the phrase "Learn about the most-prescribed ED tablet" and a link that takes you to Viagra's dedicated Web site.


According to pharmaceutical information company IMS Health, Viagra had 62.7% of the ED drug category last year, down from 73.4% in 2004 and 90% in 2003. Cialis, from Eli Lilly and Icos, has a 23.3% share and Levitra, from GlaxoSmithKline and Schering-Plough, has 10.9%.

Research from GSK and Schering-Plough has shown that less than a third of men who have ED are currently being treated. A recent survey conducted by Pfizer showed that only 15% of men have asked their doctor about ED during a routine exam.

"ED is a legitimate medical condition that has a significant impact on both the men who experience it as well as their partners. Misconceptions and stigma associated with the condition prevent them from initiating that important conversation with their doctors," Dr. Pinsky said.

Gefen solutions

Integrating the different, incompatible interfaces found on most analog and digital audio/video sources and displays is a simple matter when using one of two helpful Gefen solutions for the system integrator: The DVI/Digital Audio to HDMI Conversion Box (EXT-DVIAUD-2-HDMI) supplies a plug-and-play method of connecting a HD digital video source, including computers, plus any digital audio device to an HDMI display. High definition resolutions up to 1080p are supported and multichannel digital audio is delivered with no degradation or delay.

The Component/Analog Audio to HDMI Conversion Box (EXT-COMPAUD-2-HDMI) enables component video sources and any accompanying audio devices to feed into an HDMI display. Both video and audio are delivered to the display using the single HDMI interface, allowing for flexibility in connecting disparate components when upgrading to a new HD digital video display. Both of Gefen's Conversion Boxes perform the valuable role of integrating different audio/video components then performing a high-quality conversion capable of developing the highest resolutions possible.

Each comes in a single box, accompanied by the appropriate connector cables and an external power supply that feeds the system conversion. Gefen's HDMI conversion solutions are available for purchase through Gefen's resellers, listed online at Gefen.com. About Gefen: A leader in the high definition digital domain, Gefen delivers advanced technologies with multi-platform extension, switching, distribution and conversion capabilities. Gefen equipment is utilized all over the world in professional AV/IT and consumer electronics/home theater environments. Their add-on hardware maximizes system functionality and enhances operability by enabling AV systems to go beyond their original capabilities. Solutions support an array of connectivity interfaces including HDMI, DVI, dual link DVI, HD-SDI, SDI, VGA, RCA, USB, Firewire and RS-232. A selection of high quality cabling is also available. Additional information may be found at www.gefen.com


Bait Man Films Launches The Investor's Screenplay Competition

Bait Man Films is on a quest to change the way movies are produced in America. The company's innovative campaign urges everyday moviegoers and stock market investors to become more active within an industry constantly turning profit, evolving, and reinventing itself, the entertainment industry. Their newest endeavor to hit the streets is The Investor's Screenplay Competition, a contest for all screenwriters to enter. Even screenwriters who have optioned their work previously may enter.

The goal is film production. Writers submit their feature-length screenplays to The Investor's Screenplay Competition. Monies generated from the contest are used in marketing and/or producing a movie for the winning script. Bait Man Films is not just an investment society fishing for mankind, and The Investor's Screenplay Competition is certainly more than a screenplay competition. It is a hopeful arena for eager screenwriters who normally participate in average screenplay competitions that choose a winner and bid farewell. Instead, Bait Man Films awards the winner with a cash prize, and then proceeds to market the winning script by shooting a preview. Investors, in turn, invest in a film of their choice. "We produce movie previews for the winners, and post the trailers to the company's website, http://www.investinafilm.com.

Investors peruse the site, create an account, and invest in a film. After the film is produced and distributed, investors receive their return before the company makes a dime - upon which, the profits are divided," says Melinda Bateman, CEO and Founder of Bait Man Films. In addition, Bait Man Films offers screenplay coverage, opportunities for talent to become more active in their careers, and community involvement from script to distribution. Studies show Bait Man Films is exactly what Americans want: an opportunity to invest in the products they love the most.

 

SPORTS & AUTOS

Oakland ,Dodger baseball

Texas 6, Oakland 3 at McAfee Coliseum
Oakland Record: (5-6)


Winning pitcher - Kevin Millwood (1-2)
Losing pitcher - Barry Zito (1-2)

at McAfee Coliseum (5-6) - Kevin Millwood (1-2) - Barry Zito (1-2)

TEX HR - None
OAK HR - M. Bradley (1) F. Thomas (2)

None M. Bradley (1) F. Thomas (2)

San Francisco 2, Los Angeles 1 at Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles Record: (5-6)

Winning pitcher - Jamey Wright (2-0)
Losing pitcher - Hong-Chih Kuo (0-2)
SV - Tim Worrell (4)

at Dodger Stadium (5-6) - Jamey Wright (2-0) - Hong-Chih Kuo (0-2) - Tim Worrell (4)

SF HR - R. Winn (1)
LAD HR - J. Kent (1)

R. Winn (1) J. Kent (1)


Land Rover Goes Beyond Media, Direct-To-Consumer

IN ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF A major marketer bypassing established media outlets and utilizing broadband Internet as a means of distributing a channel direct-to-consumers, auto marketer Land Rover has launched a new broadband channel featuring original programming on sports, lifestyles and popular culture aimed at the kind of adventurous consumers that are targets for its brand. The new channel, aptly named the Go Beyond Channel, leverages Land Rover's current brand theme, and features content ranging from extreme sports to extreme pop culture, much of which is supplied by conventional TV networks that Land Rover has relationships with. In an ironic role reversal, the deal, which was created by Land Rover media shop MindShare, transforms TV networks such as CBS, Discovery and the BBC from conduits into content suppliers.

"The media should embrace this. This is very exciting for the agency game. It's exciting for clients. And it's exciting for the consumer," says David Stubley, CEO of MindShare's Performance Worldwide unit in London, which is handling the project.

Stubley acknowledges that the role change represents a fundamental shift in the relationship between advertisers and the media, but he predicts it will grow dramatically over time as broadband becomes faster and more ubiquitous and gains critical mass as a distribution medium. Instead of using traditional media outlets like TV networks to distribute programming with TV commercials embedded in it, Stubley says increasingly broadband will become the source of content for channels that advertisers distribute directly to consumers.

"People will need to adapt for sure," he concedes, adding, "The answer is they should be supplying us with killer content and we should be wrapping ourselves around it."

At launch, the Go Beyond channel has about five hours of programming, and Stubley says it will be refreshed with an additional four to five hours each month of new programming. MindShare's research indicates the average viewer session is "between 20 and 30 minutes," he notes.

One of the key advantages of distributing the channel via broadband is that it is global and easily customizable to specific markets. The channel currently features programming in six languages, and the content changes based on where the user is accessing it. In the U.K., for example, there is a vertical "London TV" channel, whereas a user from Germany might get a channel devoted to Berlin. European users get a lot of programming about soccer, while U.S. users would get more American football.

Stubley says sports is the "low hanging fruit," and that the goal is to broaden the mix of programming to other lifestyle areas ranging from food to fashion. The channel, which is being distributed via Narrowstep's TV-over-the-Internet platform, features a fast-loading media player window with a TV programming grid next to it featuring specific content genres. Stubley estimated that no more than 5 percent of the programming explicitly features the Land Rover brand, but is designed to attract users interested in the brand's proposition and to get them to come back frequently.

Aside from their effectiveness, and ability to target and engage a brand's prospects, MindShare's Stubley says direct-to-consumer channels are "amazingly cost-effective." While he would not comment on the specific costs of the Go Beyond channel, he said it was considerably less than the cost of launching a conventional TV channel, and that it was "highly comparable" to the costs of conventional TV commercials.

Other marketers have been exploiting broadband as a means of distributing direct-to-consumer channels. Anheuser-Busch has used broadband TV provider Maven to create a Budweiser channel, while Audi has created Audi TV and BMW had its short-lived "BMW Films."

What makes Go Beyond different, says Stubley, is that it is much more dynamic and nonlinear than its predecessors. Among other things, the channel exists simultaneously offline in Land Rover dealerships worldwide. It also features occasional live telecasts, such as a program that was launched Wednesday live from the New York Auto Show.

But what really gets Stubley excited is the prospects for user involvement, including consumer-generated content.

"I think that's the next stage," he predicts, adding that the goal is to have consumers interact with Go Beyond's programming, mix their own, and forward it to others in a viral manner.

Stubley describes the Go Beyond channel as being in a "soft launch," but says it ultimately will be backed by an aggressive advertising and promotional campaign to drive traffic.

"I'd see us running online advertising, doing a deal with Google, running dedicated URLs in print and TV communications. I'd see us pushing it in dealerships around the world," he says.

This is not the first time MindShare Performance has been involved in direct-to-consumer broadband television. It recently began creating content for client Nike in a way Stubley says illustrates the advantages the format has over traditional advertising such as the 30-second TV commercial.

In one of the programs, MindShare went to Nou Camp, a soccer team in Barcelona, Spain, that has a sponsorship deal with Nike, and filmed a "guy putting a suitcase in front of them on the soccer pitch." He opened it and took out a pair of Nike soccer shoes, which a team member put on and began doing soccer tricks with.

"The cost was very little. It was shot on a Monday and it was on the Internet the following Monday. So far, it has had 18 million downloads," says Stubley, adding, "Now compare that to the cost and time involved in creating a commercial. Storyboarding, shoot time, polishing time. It would have taken three months."

 

Subaru Unleashes Impreza(R) WRX(R) STI(R) Limited for 2007

- Less Show, Same Go - Leather Interior, Power Moonroof - Only 800 Numbered Units Available

Subaru of America, Inc. unveiled the 2007 Impreza WRX STI Limited model at the New York International Auto Show. The new edition of the road-conquering Impreza WRX STI packages greater comfort and refinement with subtler exterior styling, but does not sacrifice the performance of this street legend.

The WRX STI Limited will be available in the fall in a limited run of 800 numbered units, 400 in Satin White Pearl and 400 in Urban Gray Metallic.

The 2007 WRX STI Limited delivers all the power and performance of the standard model. This new limited-edition version adds a layer of refinement and design detail enhancements targeted at a new group of driving enthusiasts looking for supercar performance but with an understated demeanor. Designed by Subaru Tecnica International (STI), the high-performance and motorsports subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the WRX STI Limited is descended from the Subaru WRC Rally car.

"The WRX STI redefined the performance car category when it was introduced in 2004. We know some enthusiasts have resisted the temptation to buy one simply because they want more everyday driving comfort and refinement, along with less aggressive styling," said Fred Adcock, executive vice president, Subaru of America. "Now, with the STI's reputation for pure performance unquestioned, we recognized an opportunity to broaden the car's appeal."

Less Show, Same Go

The 2007 WRX STI Limited stands apart from the standard model with an appearance that's more low-key, and even stealthy. A new trunk-mounted lip spoiler replaces the standard model's large dual-plane rear spoiler, and the black aluminum roof vane spoiler is deleted. A new, deep front lip spoiler further distinguishes the WRX STI Limited from the standard model.

New Enkei wheels with high-luster paint replace the BBS(R) wheels, keeping the same 17 x 8-in. size and 225/45 ZR17 Bridgestone Potenza RE070 directional performance tires. Behind the new wheels, black Brembo(R) brake calipers with white lettering have a more reserved appearance than the gold and red-painted calipers on the standard WRX STI.

All WRX STI Limited models feature distinctive black gloss B-pillar paint and high luster paint for the exterior mirrors, and this special edition model includes standard fog lights.

New Refined Interior Keeps the Focus on Performance

The interior of the 2007 Impreza WRX STI Limited balances the performance- directed design and attitude with a dose of refinement. Most notably, the WRX STI Limited replaces the perforated blue high-grip Alcantara(R) fabric seating surfaces with leather and new dark gray metallic bezels and interior trim.

For the first time in a WRX STI, the performance-design front seats are heated for all-season comfort. Also enhancing all-season driving pleasure, the 2007 WRX STI Limited features the first-ever power glass moonroof on this model. Beyond the changed interior appearance, additional features include new carpeting with improved sound insulation materials, an auto-dimming compass rear view mirror and an audio system input jack for an iPod or other digital music player. Finally, each car in this series gets a sequential number plate.

The standard automatic climate control system integrates cabin air filtration. SIRIUS(TM) Satellite radio availability enhances the versatility of the standard 120-watt AM/FM premium stereo, which includes a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and six speakers.

Rally Tested and Road Ready

All Impreza WRX STI models are powered by a turbocharged and intercooled 2.5-liter DOHC Boxer engine producing 293 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 290 lb.- ft. of peak torque at 4,400 rpm. The Subaru Active Valve Control System (AVCS) variable valve timing technology helps provide strong torque characteristics throughout the engine's operating range. A manually operated water spray feature helps to bolster intercooler efficiency during spirited driving.

All WRX STI models are exclusively equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission that features carbon-plated double-cone synchronizers on 4th, 5th and 6th gears to help ensure durability.

Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) All-Wheel Drive

From its launch, the WRX STI has been equipped with one of the most advanced and most performance-directed All-Wheel Drive systems on the market, regardless of vehicle segment. The Driver Control Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system uses a planetary-type center differential to provide a 41:59 torque split, with automatic and manual differential modes.

Center differential lock-up is controlled by both a mechanical limited-slip type differential and an electronically controlled limited-slip differential. The mechanical limited-slip differential activates and operates initially in response to changes in engine torque, improving overall vehicle stability when accelerating or decelerating. In automatic mode, the electronic limited-slip differential controls the differential lock-up by evaluating the amount of lock-up in the mechanical limited-slip. The total amount of lock-up is based on the combination of both differentials. A steering sensor input improves torque transfer response by more accurately relaying the car's cornering situation.

Set in automatic mode, the DCCD system can vary the torque distribution ratio as needed in response to vehicle acceleration, deceleration, steering angle, cornering force and wheel slippage.

In manual mode, DCCD allows the driver to select center differential lock- up to optimize All-Wheel Drive performance for varying driving conditions. The driver first selects manual mode with a console-mounted button and then turns a thumbwheel on the center console to select from among six levels of lock-up. Increasing the locking factor keeps more power at the front wheels (max. 50:50 torque split with 100 percent lock-up selected), which the driver might want in certain driving conditions or on particular road surfaces.

A helical-type limited-slip front differential and Torsen(R) limited-slip rear differential help to optimize power distribution side-to-side, helping to prevent the inside wheels from slipping during cornering.

Competition-Bred Chassis

A super-stiff Ring Frame Reinforced body structure with a hydroformed front subframe provides the foundation for the high-integrity Impreza platform. Compared to the standard WRX models, the WRX STI models are lowered by 0.4-inch to help lower the center of gravity.

The 4-wheel independent suspension inherits its inverted-strut technology from the Impreza WRC competition car. Aluminum front suspension lower control arms and aluminum rear suspension lateral links reduce unsprung vehicle weight. A quick-ratio steering system yields 2.6 turns lock-to-lock, and the steering rack uses a "cannon mount" for greater rigidity that improves on- center response.

The powerful Brembo Performance Brake System employs front discs measuring 12.7 inches in diameter and 1.2-inch thick and utilizing 4-piston, fixed- position calipers. The rear discs are 12.3 inches in diameter and 0.8-inch thick and use 2-piston, fixed-position calipers.

A combination of Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and the Super Sport Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) helps to reduce stopping distances and understeer compared to conventional ABS systems. EBD provides precise control of braking pressure between the front and rear wheels based on the vehicle load to improve stability and stopping distances. Super Sport ABS, using input from a lateral-g sensor, can control the braking forces at each rear wheel independently, optimizing the braking ability during hard cornering to help reduce understeer.

All Impreza, WRX and WRX STI models are equipped as standard with the Subaru Advanced Frontal Air bag system and front seat head/chest side impact air bags (SRS). The driver's side air bag deploys according to the driver's proximity to the steering wheel, as measured by a sensor on the seat track. In the passenger side front seat, a sensor module detects weight on the passenger seat - first determining if it's occupied, and if so by a child or adult - to control air bag deployment.

.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes All-Wheel Drive Subaru vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru is the only car company that offers Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive as standard equipment on every vehicle in its product line.

Source: Subaru of America, Inc.

 

Web site: http://www.subaru.com/

 

2006 Honda Civic Hybrid Wins 'World Car of the Year Award' for Greenest Car

The completely redesigned 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, the most economical and environmentally responsible gasoline-powered Civic ever, has won the World Car of the Year Award for greenest car, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced. A jury of 46 international automotive journalists selected the 2006 Civic Hybrid, which achieves an EPA estimated city/highway fuel economy of 49/51 miles per gallon, as the winner of the 2006 World Green Car.


"Honda continues to be a leader in producing environmentally responsible vehicles that set the standard for fuel economy and low emissions," said John Mendel, Senior Vice President, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The award-winning 2006 Civic Hybrid is the latest embodiment of Honda's long-term commitment to the development of environmentally friendly technologies that are also fun to drive."

Characterized by advanced new styling, Honda's all-new Civic Hybrid also offers the latest in safety technology, as well an array of standard features, such as multiple audio entertainment choices, that increase content and value.

Equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) as standard equipment for 2006, the Civic Hybrid can now deactivate all four of its cylinders and operate using only the electric motor in certain steady-state cruising situations. Compared to the 2006 Civic Sedan with an automatic transmission, the Civic Hybrid provides a city fuel economy increase of approximately 63 percent and a highway fuel economy increase of 27 percent.

Honda first introduced U.S. consumers to hybrid technology with the Insight in December 1999. It launched its second hybrid vehicle, the Civic Hybrid, in March 2002, followed by the first-ever V6-powered hybrid, the Accord Hybrid, in December 2004.

 

2007 Honda Element SC Prototype Emphasizes Style and Performance

An all-new urban-oriented counterpart to the Honda Element will debut this fall in the US with an exclusive sport suspension, larger wheels and tires, unique styling and special features like a carpeted interior and a center console, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced at the 2006 New York International Auto Show.

With performance more than skin deep, the Element SC prototype rides 3-inches lower than stock with a sport suspension that delivers sports car-like handling. A front-to-rear aerodynamic body kit further lowers the vehicle’s stance, supplementing the new vehicle’s performance direction with a ground-hugging presence. High on sophistication, the Element SC smoothly stands out with exclusive features such as fully-painted exterior panels and trim pieces, projector-beam headlights and an aero-enhanced black grille. The interior further complements the city performance demeanor with a driver-oriented center console, copper hue instrument panel lighting backlit with LEDs, piano black trim and a carpeted floor.

“The Element SC prototype is the city-dwelling, style-conscious brother of the original Element,” said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. “Instead of features that accommodate outdoor sports and similar activities, the Element SC injects a new dimension of sophistication into the lineup that can best be characterized as a ‘night performer.’ ”

The exterior styling expresses a sophisticated, performance-oriented attitude with SC-exclusive features that include projector beam headlights, custom front bumper, lowered suspension, large alloy wheels, custom grille and a slightly lowered roofline (trim effect).

To match the outside, the exclusive interior takes on an entirely new personality with a center console that has enclosed storage areas ideal for mobile phones and MP3 players. Additional exclusive features include trim accents that correspond to the copper-colored illumination.

The 2007 Element SC prototype has a 2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC engine that benefits from a 10 horsepower increase over the 2006 Element, bringing the total to 166 horsepower (SAE net revised 8/04). The increase is achieved primarily through the addition of high-flow intake and exhaust systems and high-lift camshafts. Additional enhancements include drive-by-wire throttle control. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, and the available automatic transmission has five forward gears instead of four.

Fulfilling the goals of Honda’s “Safety for Everyone” initiative introduced in 2003, all 2007 Elements will provide a core suite of standard safety equipment that goes beyond existing regulations and includes side curtain airbags, driver’s side impact airbag, front passenger’s side impact airbag, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and ABS.

The 2007 Honda Element also introduces an Integrated Seat Belt System on the front seats that allows rear seat occupants to exit the vehicle without the need for a front occupant to disconnect his or her seatbelt. In place of the existing B-pillar, door-mounted shoulder strap, the new Integrated Seat Belt System shoulder strap originates from the top of the seat and helps to enhance vehicle ingress/egress convenience for rear passengers.

The Element SC prototype features custom 21-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels, 245/35R21 high-performance custom tires, and 4-wheel disc brakes with large brake rotors and custom copper-appearance brake calipers. The combination of the sport-tuned suspension and aggressive wheel and tire package results in an urban utility vehicle that handles like a sports car. A production vehicle based on the Element SC prototype will go on sale this fall in the US

 

Thirty-eight entries posted for Indianapolis 500


Six winning drivers are among the highlights of the entry list for the 90th Indianapolis 500, scheduled for May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The six winners on this year’s list include defending champion Dan Wheldon, Buddy Rice (2004), Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Buddy Lazier (1996) and Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994). It’s the largest number of past winners on the entry list since 2002, when six previous visitors to Victory Lane also were named to entries for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”

A total of 26 drivers have been named to the 38 entries filed this year for the 33 starting spots in the world’s most prestigious auto race. Sixty-six cars are included on those 38 entries, including backup cars.

On-track activity starts May 7 with The Star and CareerBuilder.com Opening Day. Other schedule highlights include WorldPoints Visa Pole Day on May 13, Bump Day on May 21, American Family Insurance 500 Festival Community Day on May 24 and Miller Lite Carb Day on May 26.

The qualifying format that debuted in 2005, with bumping produced on all four days of qualifying, will continue this year. Besides WorldPoints Visa Pole Day and Bump Day, Second Day Qualifying is set for May 14 and Coca-Cola Throwback Day Qualifying set for May 20.

Miller Lite Carb Day also will have a full day of action and entertainment for fans. The final practice for the 90th Indianapolis 500, a driver autograph session, the Freedom 100 for the Indy Pro Series, the Checkers/Rally’s Pit Stop Competition and Miller Lite Carb Day Concert all are included with a ticket.

Wheldon will attempt to earn his second spot on the Borg-Warner Trophy as a race winner, but he will attempt to make his fourth career Indianapolis 500 start with 2000 “500” winner Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Wheldon, who won last year in an Andretti Green Racing entry, will drive the No. 10 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone.

Rice will attempt to make his first Indy start since winning in 2004, as he missed last year’s race because of an injury suffered in practice. He will drive the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Team Argent Panoz/Honda/Firestone.

Castroneves will attempt to join an elite club by earning his third Indianapolis 500 victory in the No. 3 Marlboro Team Penske Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Just eight drivers have won the race three times or more since the inaugural event in 1911.

Dreyer & Reinbold Racing is entering cars for two past Indy winners, Lazier and Unser. Lazier will drive the team’s No. 5 Dallara/Honda/Firestone entry, while Unser also will shoot for his third Indianapolis 500 victory in the No. 31 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Unser’s father, Al, and uncle Bobby have won the race four and three times, respectively, as the race’s most winning family. This will be Unser’s first attempt to qualify at Indianapolis since 2004. He has 17 previous Indianapolis 500 starts, the most of any driver named to an entry.

Another past winner making a comeback is Cheever. He is driving the No. 51 Cheever Racing Dallara/Honda/Firestone in his first attempt to make the field since 2002.

A high-profile comeback also is taking center stage at defending race champion Andretti Green Racing. Indy legend Michael Andretti will attempt to race in the “500” for the first time since 2003, driving the No. 1 Jim Beam/Vonage Dallara/Honda/Firestone. Andretti will attempt to earn his long-coveted first Indy 500 victory. He has led 426 laps during his 14 prior Indy starts, the most by any driver without a victory.

The comeback will be sweetened for Andretti by the presence of his 19-year-old son, Marco, in an AGR entry for the race. Marco Andretti will attempt to qualify for his first Indy 500 in the No. 26 NYSE Group Dallara/Honda/Firestone. It will be the third generation of father-and-son Andretti starts at Indianapolis. Mario and Michael Andretti started the race together 10 times from 1984-94, while Mario, Michael and Jeff Andretti were in the same field from 1991-93.

Al Unser and Al Unser Jr. were the first father-son combination to compete in the race, in 1983. Like Mario and Michael Andretti, they took the green flag together in 10 Indianapolis 500-Mile Races.

Marco Andretti is one of two high-profile, second-generation Indy rookies in the field. Arie Luyendyk Jr., son of 1990 and 1997 Indianapolis 500 winner Arie Luyendyk, was named to the No. 61 Panoz/Honda/Firestone entry fielded by his father’s Luyendyk Racing. Marco Andretti, Luyendyk and P.J. Chesson are the three rookies named to cars in this year’s field.

Summary

Race winners (6): Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Buddy Lazier (1996), Buddy Rice (2004), Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Dan Wheldon (2005).
Pole winners (5): Helio Castroneves (2003), Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Sharp (2001), Buddy Rice (2004), Al Unser Jr. (1994).
Rookies (3): Marco Andretti, P.J. Chesson, Arie Luyendyk Jr.
U.S. born (15): Marco Andretti, Michael Andretti, Jeff Bucknum, Ed Carpenter, Eddie Cheever Jr., P.J. Chesson, Larry Foyt, Bryan Herta, Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Lazier, Danica Patrick, Buddy Rice, Scott Sharp, Jeff Simmons, Al Unser Jr.
Foreign born (11): Helio Castroneves, Brazil; Scott Dixon, New Zealand; Dario Franchitti, Scotland; Felipe Giaffone, Brazil; Tony Kanaan, Brazil; Arie Luyendyk Jr., Netherlands; Vitor Meira, Brazil; Marty Roth, Canada; Kosuke Matsuura, Japan; Tomas Scheckter, South Africa; Dan Wheldon, England.
Youngest: Marco Andretti, 19.
Oldest: Eddie Cheever Jr., 48.
Most previous starts: Al Unser Jr., 17.

Helio Castroneves (2001, 2002), Eddie Cheever Jr. (1998), Buddy Lazier (1996), Buddy Rice (2004), Al Unser Jr. (1992, 1994), Dan Wheldon (2005). Helio Castroneves (2003), Tony Kanaan (2005), Scott Sharp (2001), Buddy Rice (2004), Al Unser Jr. (1994). Marco Andretti, P.J. Chesson, Arie Luyendyk Jr. Marco Andretti, Michael Andretti, Jeff Bucknum, Ed Carpenter, Eddie Cheever Jr., P.J. Chesson, Larry Foyt, Bryan Herta, Sam Hornish Jr., Buddy Lazier, Danica Patrick, Buddy Rice, Scott Sharp, Jeff Simmons, Al Unser Jr. Helio Castroneves, Brazil; Scott Dixon, New Zealand; Dario Franchitti, Scotland; Felipe Giaffone, Brazil; Tony Kanaan, Brazil; Arie Luyendyk Jr., Netherlands; Vitor Meira, Brazil; Marty Roth, Canada; Kosuke Matsuura, Japan; Tomas Scheckter, South Africa; Dan Wheldon, England. Marco Andretti, 19. Eddie Cheever Jr., 48. Al Unser Jr., 17.


©2006 Indy Racing League, LLC. all rights reserved. INDY RACING LEAGUE, INDYCAR® & INDY PRO SERIES™ are trademarks of Brickyard Trademarks, Inc. and/or licensed to IRL for use.

 

 

 

Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal is coming to Toys "R" Us!


Saturday, April 22
12 noon - 1:30 p.m.
Toys "R" Us Glendale
2905 Los Feliz Blvd.
Glendale, CA 90039

To attend this rare personal appearance, visit the Major League Baseball™ feature shop at


Toys "R" Us. Simply make a purchase of $30 or more and receive a ticket to meet this
Major League Baseball star!

ACT NOW! Tickets are available now through the event date or while supplies last. Only 225 tickets are available for each event and there is a limit of one ticket and one autograph per purchase, per customer. Players will autograph baseballs and MLB provided photos only. No other memorabilia will be signed.

Please call or visit the designated Toys "R" Us store for more details. For a complete listing of all the upcoming MLB player appearances at Toys "R" Us log on to www.Toysrusinc.com/MLB or call 1-800-TOYSRUS.

Please note: A $30 or more Major League Baseball merchandise purchase from the designated Toys "R" Us store is required to participate in this event. Events are subject to change or cancellation.

DOD

DoD Identifies Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of two soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died of injuries sustained in Misiab, Iraq on April 12, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their HMMWV during combat operations. The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed were: Spc. Scott M. Bandhold, 37, of North Merrick, N.Y. Pfc. Roland E. Calderonascenio, 21, of Miami, Fla

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Andrew K. Waits, 23, of Waterford, Mich., died April 13, in Baghdad, Iraq, where an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV during combat operations. Waits was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Comabt Team, 101st Airborne Divison (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Marcus S. Glimpse, 22, of Huntington Beach, Calif., died April 12 as the result of an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Philip J. Martini, 24, of Lansing, Ill., died April 8, of a gunshot wound while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Martini was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif

 

DoD Identifies Marine Casualties
            The Department of Defense announced today the death of two
Marines
who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.



Cpl. Salem Bachar, 20, of Chula Vista, Calif.

Lance Cpl. Stephen J. Perez, 22, of San Antonio, Texas

Both were killed due to enemy action in Al Anbar Province, Iraq on April 13.  Bachar was assigned to Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division,I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.  Perez was assigned to 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine
Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Maternity Hospitals being rebuilt

The command surgeon of Combined Forces Command Afghanistan presented the renovated Rabia Balkhi Maternity Hospital to Afghanistan 's minister of public health in a ceremony here April 9. The U.S. Defense and Health and Human Services departments invested a combined $10 million into renovations, Air Force Col. (Dr.) Donald Thompson said.

The renovations and related training programs already have improved the care provided by the Rabia Balkhi, which is Kabul's second-busiest maternity hospital, delivering more than 15,000 babies each year. "When we first started, there were three to four maternal deaths per week. Last year, (Rabia Balkhi) had 18 maternal deaths for the entire year," Thompson said. Those numbers, plus the 50 percent decline in the mortality rate for newborns weighing more than 5.5 pounds, show a positive trend. But there are still too many deaths, and that is what continuing programs will attempt to reduce, Thompson said. Finding ways to deliver adequate health care is important to establishing a stable society, said Mohammad Amin Fatimie, Afghanistan's public health minister.

Americans and Afghans should work together on all issues concerning the future of Afghanistan, Fatimie said. "We have common enemies - terrorists and disease," he said, describing Afghans and Americans as "brothers with the same goal." The Defense Department undertook the renovations of the hospital in 2004, investing about $2 million to upgrade the structure, plumbing and electric systems, said Thompson. DoD also built a well and installed an above-ground water storage tank so the hospital would have a steady supply of water despite the frequent power outages in Kabul. Although work on the facility is done, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue its work on management and training programs along with Cure International and the International Medical Corps, helping to improve salaries, staff coverage and patient care, Thompson said. HHS is also participating in developing obstetrics and gynecology training programs at the hospital, and is beginning to fund Cure International's help with hospital management.

Part of the plan for delivering care includes trips by medical professionals into the communities to identify women early in their pregnancies and encourage prenatal visits. This will allow doctors to set up intensive follow-up care for high-risk mothers, Thompson said. Participating organizations also are developing a regional plan to link community health centers to hospitals to improve referrals and continuity of care, Thompson said. With the officials from the Ministry of Public Health, coalition and other officials are identifying health care needs across Afghanistan, he said.

Operation Hero miles

Officials at the Fisher House Foundation, administrator of Operation Hero miles, have 123 million reasons to smile today. Illinois Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn announced at a news conference yesterday that Illinois-based United Airlines has donated 123 million frequent-flier miles to the operation. Hero Miles took off in 2004, thanks to Maryland U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland. He had approached and urged U.S. airlines to provide free round-trip tickets to servicemembers on rest-and-recuperation leave.

Then the law changed and the Defense Department took financial responsibility for those tickets. The miles just sat in their accounts, Jim Weiskopf, vice president of communications for the nonprofit Fisher House, told American Forces Press Service. The laws also prevented the miles from being given to another group that needed them: families of injured servicemembers. That changed in the fiscal 2005 Defense Authorization Act, Weiskopf said. Legislation in the act permits the Defense Department to accept frequent flyer miles and permits family members to use them. "It also says that the Department of Defense can partner with a nonprofit to administer the miles," he said. That nonprofit is Fisher House, which has agreements with six major airlines and is in negotiations with a seventh.

The United Airlines donation may seem like a never-ending supply of airline tickets, but Hero Miles can never have too many, Weiskopf said. "We go through between 1.5 (million) and 2.5 million miles a week," he said. Some of those tickets can cost Hero Miles 100,000 miles each. Quinn noted yesterday that 20 Illinois families have received free tickets through the Hero Miles program, and he encouraged Illinois residents to donate miles to the program. "During this Easter and Passover season ... let's thank our wounded heroes for their service by helping to reunite (them) with their families." One recipient is Jeff Ziegel, from Metamora, Ill., who joined the lieutenant governor at the ceremony. Ziegel's son, Marine Cpl. Tyler "Ty" Ziegel, was seriously wounded in Iraq in December 2004 when a suicide bomber detonated a car full of explosives.

Two days after the incident, the Fisher House Foundation flew Jeff, his wife, Becky, their son, Zachary, and Ty's fiancee, Renee Kline, to his bedside at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. The Fisher House provided housing for the family while they visited Ty. "Having family around is good for these guys when they are recovering," Jeff Ziegel told a local reporter. "They've made sure that the family is there. If people are looking for a way to support our troops, this one really does it." "United's a biggie," Weiskopf said of the newest partner. The fact that United has the only nonstop service from Dulles International Airport here to Frankfurt, Germany, made the airline a desirable partner, he added. Frankfurt's airport serves the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center area. Landstuhl usually is the first stop for wounded servicemembers evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan. "United is honored to participate in the Hero Miles program," said Ken Feldman, United's vice president for loyalty and E-commerce. "As a global company, United is in a unique position to support Fisher House's mission to provide comfort and hope to military families in need." Airline tickets are available for families of military or Defense Department civilian employees injured as a result of their military service anywhere in the world. These tickets cannot be used for any travel unrelated to a medical condition.

Through Hero Miles, Weiskopf said, Fisher House has provided about 5,200 tickets to the families of injured servicemembers. Those donated tickets represent an averages savings of about $1,300 per ticket to family members. "We've spent about $70,000 of our own money paying the airport security fees and some of the taxes, and we've saved servicemembers and their families about $6.5 million in 26 months," he said. "That's money well spent. Any time you can spend $10 and save someone $1,300, it is." Information on donating frequent flyer miles to Operation Hero Miles can be found on the Fisher House Foundation Web site. The foundation, a member of DoD's America Supports You program, builds homes on and near the grounds of large military and Veterans Affairs medical facilities. The houses are for servicemembers who must stay near a hospital for continuing treatment and families visiting their loved ones there. Guests staying at a Fisher House do so at no charge.

Coalition and Iraqi forces killed a wanted extremist

with high-level terrorism ties during an early morning raid March 27 near Baghdad's Abu Ghraib district, Multinational Force Iraq officials here announced today. Rafid Ibrahim Fattah, also known as Abu Umar al-Kurdi, had ties to Taliban members in Afghanistan, Pakistan-based extremists, and al Qaeda senior leaders including Osama bin Laden and Ayman al Zawahiri, officials said. He also had ties with Jaysh al Islami -- "The Islamic Army in Iraq" -- and the Iraqi resistance group Ansar al Sunnah.

Over the past six months, the Kurdi worked as a Jaysh al Islami cell leader in Baqubah, and he allegedly was involved in the kidnapping of an Iraqi woman. He traveled extensively throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq over the past 15 years, and formed a relationship with al Qaeda senior leaders in 1999 while in Afghanistan, officials said. In the 1980s, he formed ties with the Muslim Brotherhood while in Iran and Pakistan, and then he joined the "holy war" in Afghanistan in 1989. Within months, he was given the title of an al Qaeda ambassador and attended military training camps near Jalabad, where Osama bin Laden often visited.

He returned to the Muslim Brotherhood in Peshawar in 1991, and in 1992 moved to Iraq, joining the Islamic Movement of Kurdistan. Throughout the 1990s until his death, Kurdi moved between Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, holding various positions including as a liaison among terrorist networks, as an operations officer responsible for coordinating the activities of the various terrorist groups, and as a security chief for a terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. A detainee who admitted his own affiliation with Jaysh al Islami claimed that Kurdi recruited him into the terrorist organization. The detainee claims he joined in September 2004 when Kurdi introduced him to the JAI leader . The detainee also told officials that Kurdi kidnapped and murdered a woman several months ago. Officials confirmed the hostage-taking, and are investigating the alleged murder.

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

GSA anti-small business?


GSA Flooded With Comments From Angry Small Business Owners PETALUMA, Calif., April 14, 2006 -- The General Services Administration has been flooded with comments from angry small business owners across the country in response to its recent notice of proposed rulemaking. Small business owners were alerted that the GSA may be adopting policies, which could be characterized as "anti-small business," that would allow Federal agencies and prime contractors to report billions of dollars in contracts to Fortune 1000 firms as small business awards.

There have now been eleven Federal investigations that have documented fraud, abuse, loopholes, and a dramatic lack of oversight in a variety of small business contracting programs. Lloyd Chapman, President of the American Small Business League, stated today, "The fraud and abuse that we are seeing in Federal small business contracting programs would never have occurred without the knowledge and consent of the General Services Administration. This agency is one of the primary culprits in allowing contracting abuse. It's time for the GSA to address these issues and to adopt policies to clean up the problems that have been found in the eleven Federal investigations." Chapman added, "I am also concerned that the GSA will attempt to disallow any comments they receive that do not agree with their goal of diverting contracts to large businesses.

The ASBL has received hundreds of comments from small business owners nationwide and forwarded these to GSA. We will not accept any attempt by the GSA to dismiss these comments." Business people concerned about GSA policies can submit comments directly to GSA or through the ASBL Web site at http://www.asbl.com. Comments must be submitted on or before Monday, April 17, 2006 in order to be considered during GSA's regulatory review. GSA's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is at http://www.acqnet.gov/GSAM/GSAR_ANPR_2006_NO1_FR.pdf .

About the ASBL The American Small Business League was formed to promote and advocate policies that provide the greatest opportunity for small businesses - the 98% of U.S. companies with less than 100 employees. The ASBL is founded on the principle that small businesses, the backbone of a vital American economy, should receive the fair treatment promised by the Small Business Act of 1953. Representing small businesses in all fields and industries throughout the United States, the ASBL monitors existing policies and proposed policy changes by the Small Business Administration and other federal agencies that affect its members.

 

New Course Record to Be Established as 8,000 Cyclists Ride From Rosarito Beach to Ensenada

Thousands of competitive and recreational cyclists from the Southern California / Northern Baja region will be in Rosarito Beach on April 22 for the start of the Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride.

With the introduction of computer timing at this event, the official course record will be established. Although the event is a recreational ride and not a race, the stakes are high among members of the cycling community to have bragging rights to this icon of cycling events. "We're excited to have the record set for the fastest time at Rosarito Ensenada," said event promoter Gary Foster of Bicycling West. "There's been a lot of talk over the years about who's fastest -- now we'll know." The winning time is expected to be just less than two hours.

The event generates over $10 million of tourism revenue for Baja California each year and benefits impoverished youth through Mexico's family relief agency D.I.F. (El Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia) by facilitating the donation of bicycles from event participants.

The event recently won an award for "Best Cycling Event of 2005" and shared an award for "Best International Cycling Event of 2005" with Le Tour de France and Il Giro d'Italia.

The event begins at 10:00 a.m. in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel in Rosarito Beach and continues south along the old free road to the Finish Line Fiesta in Ensenada. The event features: computer chip timing; self-seeded elite start; aid stations; U.S. medical support; sag support; traffic control; and a Finish Line Fiesta with live rock-n-roll, food, beer, sodas, massage tables, and souvenirs.

Registration is available online through April 17 for $35 and at the event on April 22 for $40.

For more information visit www.RosaritoEnsenada.com, email Bike@RosaritoEnsenada.com, or call 858-483-8777.

About the Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride:

The Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride, celebrating its 27th anniversary, is the southwest's largest and longest running cycling event. The event is held semi-annually in April and September of each year. Bicycling West, Inc. is a San Diego sports marketing company contracted to promote the Rosarito Ensenada bike ride.

Source: Bicycling West, Inc.

 

Web site: http://www.rosaritoensenada.com/

 

Nuevo Récord de Ruta se Establece mientras 8,000 Ciclistas Van en Bicicleta de Rosarito Beach a Ensenada

Miles de ciclistas de competencia y de recreación del sur de California y de la región norte de Baja California se reunirán en Rosarito Beach el 22 de abril para la salida del Paseo Rosarito Ensenada, 50 Millas de Paseo en Bicicleta de Diversión (Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride).

Con el lanzamiento del sistema de medición de tiempo por computadora en este evento, se establecerá el récord de ruta oficial. A pesar de que el evento es un paseo de recreación y no una carrera, la competencia es grande entre los miembros de la comunidad ciclista para tener derecho a presumir de este icono de los eventos de ciclismo. "Estamos muy contentos de establecer el récord de tiempo más rápido en Rosarito Ensenada", dijo el promotor del evento Gary Foster de Bicycling West. "Durante todos estos años se ha hablado mucho sobre quién es el más rápido, ahora lo sabremos". Se espera que el tiempo ganador sea justo menos de dos horas.

El evento genera más de US$10 millones de ingresos de turismo para Baja California cada año y beneficia a los jóvenes desaventajados a través de la agencia de alivio familiar de México D.I.F. (El Sistema Nacional para el Desarrollo Integral de la Familia), facilitando la donación de bicicletas de los participantes en el evento.

El evento recientemente ganó un premio como el "Mejor Evento de Ciclismo de 2005" y compartió un premio como el "Mejor Evento de Ciclismo Internacional de 2005" con Le Tour de France y Il Giro d'Italia.

El evento comienza a las 10:00 a.m. frente al Rosarito Beach Hotel en Rosarito Beach y continúa hacia el sur junto a la antigua carretera libre hasta la Fiesta en la Meta en Ensenada. El evento presenta: medición de tiempo por chip de computadora; salida elite self-seeded; estaciones de apoyo; asistencia médica de EUA; soporte técnico y equipos; control de tráfico; y una Fiesta en la Meta con música rock-n-roll en vivo, comida, cerveza, sodas, mesas de masaje y souvenirs.

Las inscripciones están disponibles en línea hasta el 17 de abril por US$35 y en el evento el 22 de abril por US$40.

Para mayor información visite, http://www.rosaritoensenada.com/, envíe un email a, Bike@RosaritoEnsenada.com, o llame al 858-483-8777.

Acerca de Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride:

El Rosarito Ensenada 50 Mile Fun Bicycle Ride, celebrando su 27o aniversario, es el evento de ciclismo más grande y de ruta más larga de la región suroeste. El evento se realiza semestralmente en abril y septiembre de cada año. Bicycling West, Inc. es una compañía de marketing de deportes de San Diego contratada para promover el paseo en bicicleta de Rosarito Ensenada.

Source: Bicycling West, Inc.

 

En Temporada de Impuestos, No Debería Usted Pagar Impuestos Excesivos en Servicios Móviles

Este fin de semana, mientras millones de estadounidenses finalizan sus declaraciones de impuestos con la expectativa de recibir reembolsos estatales y federales, es hora de tomar en cuenta los otros impuestos que usted paga. Los estudios muestran que de 10 a 25 por ciento de la factura mensual de un consumidor móvil es para impuestos municipales, estatales y federales, recargos y disposiciones gubernamentales; y el servicio móvil está sujeto a una tasa mayor de impuestos que la de otros productos y servicios.

Verizon Wireless, propietario y operador de la prestigiosa red móvil de Estados Unidos, se moviliza a favor de los consumidores del país que buscan maneras de eliminar los impuestos discriminatorios al servicio móvil, y para dar a los consumidores la libertad de gastar su dinero en otros menesteres. Por ejemplo:

-- Florida: Los consumidores de la Florida tienen una de las tasas impositivas más altas del país en los servicios móviles. Verizon Wireless hace gestiones para apoyar una ley que reduce a 6 por ciento (en vez del actual 9.17 por ciento) el impuesto a los servicios estatales de comunicación.

-- Oregón: Varias ciudades de este estado están tratando de imponer de manera selectiva impuestos a los servicios móviles, una carga financiera adicional para los consumidores que dependen de su teléfono móvil como la única forma de mantenerse en contacto con su familia, su amigos y los contactos de trabajo. Verizon Wireless se opone a esos nuevos impuestos.

-- Pennsylvania: Durante más de dos años, los servicios móviles de este estado han estado sujetos a un sistema impositivo doble; los servicios móviles pagan 5 por ciento de impuesto sobre los ingresos, encima de 6 por ciento de impuesto sobre las ventas. La Cámara de Representantes estatal ya ha votado para revocar ese impuesto. Actualmente Verizon Wireless colabora con los consumidores para convencer al Senado Estatal y al gobernador a revocarlo.

-- Dakota del Sur: Verizon Wireless sigue trabajando a favor de los consumidores y está promoviendo una iniciativa electoral que permita a los ciudadanos votar para revocar un impuesto (Gross Receipts Tax) de 4 por ciento sobre los ingresos brutos. El Gross Receipts Tax es el impuesto que los servicios móviles pagan además de un impuesto estatal de 4 por ciento sobre las ventas.

-- Impuesto Federal Sobre el Consumo: Recientes fallos de tribunales federales han declarado que el Impuesto Federal Sobre el Consumo (Federal Excise Tax), por primera vez establecido para ayudar a sufragar la Guerra Hispano-Americana, ya carece de validez con respecto a ciertos servicios de telecomunicaciones de "todas la distancias". Pero, el Internal Revenue Service (Hacienda) le ha notificado a las telefónicas, incluso a los proveedores de servicios móviles, que deben seguir cobrando el impuesto de 3 por ciento a los consumidores. Verizon Wireless busca que el Departamento del Tesoro de EE.UU. permita no seguir cargando ese impuesto a nuestros consumidores.

Para más información sobre asuntos impositivos a los servicios móviles, visite http://www.mywireless.org/ .

Acerca de Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless tiene y opera la red móvil más confiable del país y cuenta con 51.3 millones de clientes de sus servicios de voz y datos. La compañía tiene su sede en Bedminster, Nueva Jersey, Verizon Wireless es una sociedad conjunta de Verizon Communications (y Vodafone (NYSE y LSE: VOD) Para más información, sírvase visitar http://www.verizonwireless.com/ . Si desea examinar y solicitar secuencias de video, con resolución apropiada para difusión, y fotos de alta resolución, sobre las operaciones de Verizon Wireless, visite al Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library http://www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia .

Source: Verizon Wireless

 

Spring, the season of new beginnings, is an ideal time to take stock of your health.

For women, particularly those age 45 and older, a health inventory will likely include menopause. Side effects that may occur during this natural stage of life can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. More important, the physical changes behind those symptoms may leave you at risk of long-term negative health effects.

As you tackle spring cleaning and begin the year's house projects, don't neglect your own "preventive maintenance." Explore the different menopause treatment options that are available today. The information you have and the choices you make can have important effects on current symptoms and future health outcomes.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MENOPAUSE HAS BEGUN?

More than 5,000 women a day enter menopause, according to Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, FAANP, president and CEO, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health. Menopause is a process resulting from the gradual decrease in your body's estrogen production. The entire process may take two or more years and has officially occurred when you haven't had a period for 12 consecutive months. Recognizing changes in your period and the way your body feels are the best indicators that menopause has begun - more accurate than a blood test, since hormone levels can go up and down very often during this process.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Many women have been regaled with tales of others' menopause misfortune. The truth is, every woman is different in the scope of symptoms felt. In many cases hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness and irritability can occur. However,

without taking action to alleviate and take care of your body properly during this time of change, more critical and potential long-term effects of menopause may begin to take hold, including bone loss and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE

To combat the symptoms of menopause and to improve general well being, there are several steps you can take. Together with a group of physicians, Wysocki has developed a medical algorithm, which is a step-by-step methodology to help doctors, nurse practitioners and women to consider treatment of menopause symptoms in a way that meets individual needs.

The algorithm represents the first time that scientists have agreed that, for many women, nutritional supplements like Promensil and changes in lifestyle should be among the first lines of defense in treating the symptoms of menopause. In addition, numerous clinical studies have demonstrated Promensil is safe and effective in not only alleviating the number and severity of menopause symptoms, but also in promoting bone, cardiovascular and even breast health, all critical areas of health at this stage of life.

NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES

-- Supplements: Calcium is essential for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. The recommended daily intake is 800 to 1000 mg for women. This equates to 2 to 3 servings of dairy food per day or supplementing with a calcium product. For women over 45, consider taking a supplement like Promensil or Promensil Post-Menopause, both of which contain isoflavones derived from the Red Clover plant.

-- Exercise: Aim for at least 20 minutes of moderate weight-bearing exercise each day. This not only is good for the body - strengthening muscles and improving bone health - but it can be a way to beat stress and uplift your mood. Take advantage of the warmer weather and exercise outdoors.

-- Relax: Make some time for yourself, whether that's enjoying a good book while lying in a hammock, engaging in a hobby or sharing a backyard barbecue with friends.

-- Limit hot flash triggers: Hot flashes are a feeling of intense heat, sweating and a rapid heart beat. Hot flashes may cause a visible blush to the skin, typically on the neck and face. Avoid common triggers such as overheated rooms, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. You can also dress in layers to quickly cool down if you feel a hot flash coming on. Also, rely on Promensil to reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes. In studies conducted, 73 percent of women experience a significant benefit within six weeks of use.

Amid the bustle of spring clean up and repair work, make time to also renew your health - now and for the long term. For more information on a menopause treatment program that's right for you, speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner and visit http://www.promensil.com

For women, particularly those age 45 and older, a health inventory will likely include menopause. Side effects that may occur during this natural stage of life can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. More important, the physical changes behind those symptoms may leave you at risk of long-term negative health effects. As you tackle spring cleaning and begin the year's house projects, don't neglect your own "preventive maintenance." Explore the different menopause treatment options that are available today. The information you have and the choices you make can have important effects on current symptoms and future health outcomes. HOW DO I KNOW IF MENOPAUSE HAS BEGUN? More than 5,000 women a day enter menopause, according to Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, FAANP, president and CEO, National Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women's Health. Menopause is a process resulting from the gradual decrease in your body's estrogen production. The entire process may take two or more years and has officially occurred when you haven't had a period for 12 consecutive months. Recognizing changes in your period and the way your body feels are the best indicators that menopause has begun - more accurate than a blood test, since hormone levels can go up and down very often during this process. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS? Many women have been regaled with tales of others' menopause misfortune. The truth is, every woman is different in the scope of symptoms felt. In many cases hot flashes, night sweats, sleeplessness and irritability can occur. However, without taking action to alleviate and take care of your body properly during this time of change, more critical and potential long-term effects of menopause may begin to take hold, including bone loss and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE To combat the symptoms of menopause and to improve general well being, there are several steps you can take. Together with a group of physicians, Wysocki has developed a medical algorithm, which is a step-by-step methodology to help doctors, nurse practitioners and women to consider treatment of menopause symptoms in a way that meets individual needs. The algorithm represents the first time that scientists have agreed that, for many women, nutritional supplements like Promensil and changes in lifestyle should be among the first lines of defense in treating the symptoms of menopause. In addition, numerous clinical studies have demonstrated Promensil is safe and effective in not only alleviating the number and severity of menopause symptoms, but also in promoting bone, cardiovascular and even breast health, all critical areas of health at this stage of life. NUTRITIONAL AND LIFESTYLE CHANGES -- Supplements: Calcium is essential for healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. The recommended daily intake is 800 to 1000 mg for women. This equates to 2 to 3 servings of dairy food per day or supplementing with a calcium product. For women over 45, consider taking a supplement like Promensil or Promensil Post-Menopause, both of which contain isoflavones derived from the Red Clover plant. -- Exercise: Aim for at least 20 minutes of moderate weight-bearing exercise each day. This not only is good for the body - strengthening muscles and improving bone health - but it can be a way to beat stress and uplift your mood. Take advantage of the warmer weather and exercise outdoors. -- Relax: Make some time for yourself, whether that's enjoying a good book while lying in a hammock, engaging in a hobby or sharing a backyard barbecue with friends. -- Limit hot flash triggers: Hot flashes are a feeling of intense heat, sweating and a rapid heart beat. Hot flashes may cause a visible blush to the skin, typically on the neck and face. Avoid common triggers such as overheated rooms, spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine. You can also dress in layers to quickly cool down if you feel a hot flash coming on. Also, rely on Promensil to reduce the number and intensity of hot flashes. In studies conducted, 73 percent of women experience a significant benefit within six weeks of use. Amid the bustle of spring clean up and repair work, make time to also renew your health - now and for the long term. For more information on a menopause treatment program that's right for you, speak with your doctor or nurse practitioner and visit http://www.promensil.com

 

La primavera, estación de nuevos comienzos, es un momento ideal para tomar tu salud en serio.

En el caso de las mujeres, particularmente las mayores de 45 años, un inventario a fondo del estado de su salud incluye la menopausia. Los efectos colaterales que pueden surgir en esta etapa natural de la vida pueden resultar incómodos y embarazosos. Y un factor más importante aún es que los cambios físicos que traen consigo dichos síntomas pueden hacerte correr riesgos de trastornos de salud a largo plazo.

Mientras realizas la limpieza primaveral, e inicias los proyectos del año para el hogar, no te olvides de tu propio "mantenimiento preventivo". Explora las diferentes opciones de tratamiento disponibles en la actualidad. La información que poseas, y las decisiones que tomes pueden traducirse en importantes efectos con respecto a la sintomatología actual y los resultados futuros en materia de salud.

¿COMO SABER CUANDO SE INICIA LA MENOPAUSIA?

Cada día, más de 5,000 mujeres entran en la fase menopáusica, según afirma Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, FAANP, Presidenta y Directora Ejecutiva de la Asociación Nacional de Practicantes de Enfermería en la Salud Femenina. La menopausia es un proceso provocado por la disminución gradual de la producción de estrógeno en tu organismo. El mismo puede demorarse dos o más años, y su surgimiento oficial se produce cuando se interrumpe la menstruación por un período de 12 meses consecutivos. El reconocimiento de los cambios en la fase menstrual, y la sintomatología del cuerpo son los mejores indicadores del inicio de la menopausia, los cuales son mucho más exactos que un análisis de sangre, pues los niveles de hormonas pueden aumentar o disminuir con bastante frecuencia durante el proceso.

¿CUALES SON LOS SINTOMAS?

Un gran número de mujeres ha escuchado la narración del infortunio menopáusico ajeno. Lo cierto es que cada mujer es diferente en lo tocante al perfil de su sintomatología. En la mayoría de los casos se sientes accesos de calor, sudoraciones nocturnas, somnolencia e irritabilidad. Sin embargo, si no se toman medidas para aliviar y cuidar el organismo adecuadamente durante ese tiempo de cambio, habrá una mayor posibilidad de efectos potenciales a largo plazo de la menopausia, incluyendo pérdida ósea, y elevados riesgos de enfermedades cardiovasculares.

CAMBIA TU ESTILO DE VIDA

Para combatir los síntomas de la menopausia, y mejorar tu bienestar general, debes tomar varias medidas. En unión de un grupo de médicos, Wysocki ha creado un algoritmo médico, consistente en una metodología paso a paso para ayudar a doctores, practicantes de Enfermería y a las mujeres a considerar el tratamiento de los síntomas de la menopausia de forma que satisfaga las necesidades individuales de las pacientes.

El algoritmo representa la primera vez que los científicos han coincidido en torno al hecho de que, para muchas mujeres, los suplementos de nutrición como el Promensil, y los cambios en el estilo de vida debes estar entre las primeras líneas de defensa en el tratamiento de los síntomas de la menopausia. Además, numerosos estudios clínicos han demostrado que el Promensil es seguro y efectivo, no sólo en el alivio de la cantidad y severidad de los síntomas, sino también en la promoción de la salud ósea, cardiovascular e incluso de los senos, zonas vitales que deben atenderse en esta etapa de la vida.

CAMBIOS DE NUTRICION Y ESTILO DE VIDA

-- Suplementos: El calcio es esencial para la salud de los huesos y la prevención de la osteoporosis. La ingestión diaria recomendada para las mujeres es de 800 a 1000 miligramos (mg). Esto equivale a 2 o 3 raciones de productos lácteos por día, o de un suplemento que contenga calcio. En el caso de las mujeres mayores de 45 años, debe considerarse el consumo de un suplemento como el Promensil o el Promensil Post-Menopause, los cuales contienen isoflavones derivados de la planta conocida como Trébol Rojo.

-- Ejercicios: Es preciso realizar al menos 20 minutos de ejercicios con pesos moderados diariamente. Esto no es solamente beneficioso para el cuerpo-fortalecimiento muscular y perfeccionamiento de la salud ósea-sino también puede ser una forma de eliminar el estrés y mejorar el estado de ánimo. Aprovecha el clima más cálido de esta temporada, y haz ejercicios al aire libre.

-- Relajación: Dedícate un poco de tiempo, ya sea en el disfrute de un buen libro acostada en una hamaca; entregándote a un pasatiempo, o compartiendo un buen asado en el patio con tus amigas.

-- Limitar los agentes desencadenantes de los accesos de calor: Este tipo de accesos consiste en una sensación de calor intenso, sudoración y aumento del ritmo cardiaco (taquicardia). Los accesos de calor pueden provocar un enrojecimiento visible de la piel, generalmente en el cuello y el rostro. Evita los agentes desencadenantes comunes como habitaciones con calefacción extrema, comidas picantes, alcohol y cafeína. También puedes usar varias capas de ropa de las que puedas deshacerte fácilmente si sientes la proximidad de un acceso de calor. También debes utilizar el Promensil para reducir la cantidad e intensidad de esos accesos. Varios estudios científicos han revelado que el 73 por ciento de las mujeres experimenta un beneficio significativo al cabo de seis semanas de utilizar el suplemento.

En medio del fragor de la limpieza primaveral y los trabajos de reparación, debes reservar un espacio para renovar tu salud actual y a largo plazo. Si deseas obtener más información acerca del programa de tratamiento de la menopausia más conveniente, habla con tu médico o enfermera, y visita el sitio Web http://www.promensil.com.

En el caso de las mujeres, particularmente las mayores de 45 años, un inventario a fondo del estado de su salud incluye la menopausia. Los efectos colaterales que pueden surgir en esta etapa natural de la vida pueden resultar incómodos y embarazosos. Y un factor más importante aún es que los cambios físicos que traen consigo dichos síntomas pueden hacerte correr riesgos de trastornos de salud a largo plazo. Mientras realizas la limpieza primaveral, e inicias los proyectos del año para el hogar, no te olvides de tu propio "mantenimiento preventivo". Explora las diferentes opciones de tratamiento disponibles en la actualidad. La información que poseas, y las decisiones que tomes pueden traducirse en importantes efectos con respecto a la sintomatología actual y los resultados futuros en materia de salud. ¿COMO SABER CUANDO SE INICIA LA MENOPAUSIA? Cada día, más de 5,000 mujeres entran en la fase menopáusica, según afirma Susan Wysocki, RNC, NP, FAANP, Presidenta y Directora Ejecutiva de la Asociación Nacional de Practicantes de Enfermería en la Salud Femenina. La menopausia es un proceso provocado por la disminución gradual de la producción de estrógeno en tu organismo. El mismo puede demorarse dos o más años, y su surgimiento oficial se produce cuando se interrumpe la menstruación por un período de 12 meses consecutivos. El reconocimiento de los cambios en la fase menstrual, y la sintomatología del cuerpo son los mejores indicadores del inicio de la menopausia, los cuales son mucho más exactos que un análisis de sangre, pues los niveles de hormonas pueden aumentar o disminuir con bastante frecuencia durante el proceso. ¿CUALES SON LOS SINTOMAS? Un gran número de mujeres ha escuchado la narración del infortunio menopáusico ajeno. Lo cierto es que cada mujer es diferente en lo tocante al perfil de su sintomatología. En la mayoría de los casos se sientes accesos de calor, sudoraciones nocturnas, somnolencia e irritabilidad. Sin embargo, si no se toman medidas para aliviar y cuidar el organismo adecuadamente durante ese tiempo de cambio, habrá una mayor posibilidad de efectos potenciales a largo plazo de la menopausia, incluyendo pérdida ósea, y elevados riesgos de enfermedades cardiovasculares. CAMBIA TU ESTILO DE VIDA Para combatir los síntomas de la menopausia, y mejorar tu bienestar general, debes tomar varias medidas. En unión de un grupo de médicos, Wysocki ha creado un algoritmo médico, consistente en una metodología paso a paso para ayudar a doctores, practicantes de Enfermería y a las mujeres a considerar el tratamiento de los síntomas de la menopausia de forma que satisfaga las necesidades individuales de las pacientes. El algoritmo representa la primera vez que los científicos han coincidido en torno al hecho de que, para muchas mujeres, los suplementos de nutrición como el Promensil, y los cambios en el estilo de vida debes estar entre las primeras líneas de defensa en el tratamiento de los síntomas de la menopausia. Además, numerosos estudios clínicos han demostrado que el Promensil es seguro y efectivo, no sólo en el alivio de la cantidad y severidad de los síntomas, sino también en la promoción de la salud ósea, cardiovascular e incluso de los senos, zonas vitales que deben atenderse en esta etapa de la vida. CAMBIOS DE NUTRICION Y ESTILO DE VIDA -- Suplementos: El calcio es esencial para la salud de los huesos y la prevención de la osteoporosis. La ingestión diaria recomendada para las mujeres es de 800 a 1000 miligramos (mg). Esto equivale a 2 o 3 raciones de productos lácteos por día, o de un suplemento que contenga calcio. En el caso de las mujeres mayores de 45 años, debe considerarse el consumo de un suplemento como el Promensil o el Promensil Post-Menopause, los cuales contienen isoflavones derivados de la planta conocida como Trébol Rojo. -- Ejercicios: Es preciso realizar al menos 20 minutos de ejercicios con pesos moderados diariamente. Esto no es solamente beneficioso para el cuerpo-fortalecimiento muscular y perfeccionamiento de la salud ósea-sino también puede ser una forma de eliminar el estrés y mejorar el estado de ánimo. Aprovecha el clima más cálido de esta temporada, y haz ejercicios al aire libre. -- Relajación: Dedícate un poco de tiempo, ya sea en el disfrute de un buen libro acostada en una hamaca; entregándote a un pasatiempo, o compartiendo un buen asado en el patio con tus amigas. -- Limitar los agentes desencadenantes de los accesos de calor: Este tipo de accesos consiste en una sensación de calor intenso, sudoración y aumento del ritmo cardiaco (taquicardia). Los accesos de calor pueden provocar un enrojecimiento visible de la piel, generalmente en el cuello y el rostro. Evita los agentes desencadenantes comunes como habitaciones con calefacción extrema, comidas picantes, alcohol y cafeína. También puedes usar varias capas de ropa de las que puedas deshacerte fácilmente si sientes la proximidad de un acceso de calor. También debes utilizar el Promensil para reducir la cantidad e intensidad de esos accesos. Varios estudios científicos han revelado que el 73 por ciento de las mujeres experimenta un beneficio significativo al cabo de seis semanas de utilizar el suplemento. En medio del fragor de la limpieza primaveral y los trabajos de reparación, debes reservar un espacio para renovar tu salud actual y a largo plazo. Si deseas obtener más información acerca del programa de tratamiento de la menopausia más conveniente, habla con tu médico o enfermera, y visita el sitio Web http://www.promensil.com.

CHINA NEWS

Beijing orders computers to be sold with legitimate operating system

Selling "naked" computers, or computers without operating system, would be banned in Beijing, a senior official with Beijing Copyright Bureau said on April 13.

The ban will take place by the end of this year and is aimed to further protect intellectual property of software, said Wang Yefei, deputy director of the bureau, at a press conference.

Government departments shall not purchase computers without legitimate software, and all domestically-made and imported computers are required to be sold with legitimate software pre-installed, said Wang.

He said all the departments of the Beijing municipal government have been using genuine software.

Beijing will target governments of townships on protection of legitimate software this year, and in late April it will carry out pilot programs to fight pirate software in large-sized state-owned, private and foreign companies.

Some manufacturers have been selling "naked" computers, which are hundreds of yuan (tens of U.S. dollars) cheaper than those equipped with legitimate software. Some customers would install pirate software and infringe legitimate rights and interests of software companies, according to the official.

China has made an effort to fight piracy. Since the year 2000, police have detained about 13,000 people suspected of breaking intellectual property rights (IPR) laws in cases involving 4.8 billion yuan (some 600 million dollars), and 3,370 people had been charged with violating IPR laws and regulations.

 

On the afternoon of April 13, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Liu Jianchao held a regular press conference.

Liu: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! I'll begin with an announcement:

At the invitation of the Egyptian Government, Turkish Vice Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin and Russian President's Assistant Victor Ivanov, State Councilor Hua Jianmin will pay visits to the three countries from April 18th to 25th.

Now, I'm ready to take up questions.

Q: Panchen Lama made a presence at the World Buddhist Forum. What's your comment?

A: The World Buddhist Forum is sponsored by Chinese State Administration for Religious Affairs. Please refer to them for details.

 

Q: By the end of April, a meeting of the defense ministers of SCO member states will be held in Beijing. Can you brief us on the agenda and the arrangement of the meeting?

A: The SCO member states are still discussing on this issue. Once exact details are available, I will keep you informed promptly.

Q: Today, the DPRK Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan met the press in Tokyo, alleging that the DPRK would possibly move ahead in its nuclear development if the next round of the Six-Party Talks remained elusive. What's China's comment? As the host country, what expectation does China have on the date of the next round of Talks?

A: I have not read the remarks of Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan. The position of China on the denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and the Six-Party Talks is as follows: all parties concerned should unswervingly pursue the goal of the denuclearization of the Peninsula and seek the solution of the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula via dialogue and the channel of the Six-Party Talks. We also wish to see more positive and constructive attitude of the parties concerned in this regard. The process of the Six-Party Talks serves the interest of all parties. China hopes that all parties will show their flexibility on the biggest stumbling block in the way to resumption of the Talks-the financial issue, so as to strive for an early resumption. China will continue its active effort to resume talks.

Q: Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said that he would follow Koizumi in his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine if he superseded Koizumi. If he does as true as his words, how do you think China-Japan relations will develop?

A: China has expressed on many occasions its position on the issue of Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, where class A war criminals in the Second World War are enshrined. We hold a firm and clear position on this issue. The history issue, as a major one of principle between China and Japan, bears on the political foundation of China-Japan relations. It is impossible to sideline this issue. We hope that Japan can show their sincerity and wisdom on the history issue and correctly handle the Yasukuni Shrine by proceeding from the overall interest of China-Japan relations.

Q: It is reported that on 18th of this month, Russia will hold a consultation on the Iranian nuclear issue that involves a number of countries. What's your comment?

A: Recently, there has been some new development on the Iranian nuclear issue. Iran made new talk. We express our concern about the statement of Iran and uneasiness over the possible development of the issue. We call on again the parties concerned to exercise restraint and avoid any move that may further escalate the situation. Only by so doing can the parties help properly resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through negotiation and diplomatic means.

In order to boost the communication between the parties concerned and push for a proper solution of the Iranian nuclear issue, Assistant Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai will visit Iran and Russia on April 14th to 18th, to exchange views with the two sides on the Iranian nuclear issue and other international and regional issues of common interest.

China is positively considering attending the multi-national consultation in Russia.

 

Q: Today, Head of US Delegation to the Six-Party Talks Hill said in Soul that he hoped to see an early return of the DPRK to the Six-Party Talks, which should be focused on the agreement in November, instead of being distracted by other issues. What's China's comment?

A: In fact, all parties to the Six-Party Talks expect the process of the Talks to move on and the Talks to be resumed soon. Now, the US and the DPRK have a financial issue between them, and a solution acceptable to both is yet to be found. China hopes that the parties concerned will show flexibility on the financial issue, so as to help resume the Talks at an early date. We believe that the denuclearization of the Peninsula is more important than the financial issue. Therefore, we expect the parties concerned to remove the obstacle and distractive factors, so as to be fully dedicated to the discussion on the denuclearization of the Peninsula, which bears on the peace and security in Northeast Asia

 

Benedict XVI's Homily at Chrism Mass "The Lord Makes Us Priests His Friends"

In the course of the Mass, after the renewal of priestly promises, the oil of the catechumens, and of the sick, and the chrism were blessed.


Dear Brothers in the episcopate and priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Maundy Thursday is the day in which the Lord gave the Twelve the priestly duty to celebrate, with bread and wine, the sacrament of his Body and Blood until his return. Replacing the paschal lamb and all sacrifices of the Old Covenant with the gift of his Body and Blood, the gift of himself.

Thus the new worship is based on the fact that, above all, God gives us a gift, and we, filled with this gift, become his: Creation turns to the Creator. So the priesthood also became something new: It is no longer a question of descent, but it is an encountering of oneself in the mystery of Jesus Christ. He is always the One who gives and who draws us to himself. Only he can say: "This is my Body -- this is my Blood."

The mystery of the Church's priesthood lies in the fact that we, miserable human beings, in virtue of the sacrament are able to speak with his I: "in persona Christi." He wishes to exercise his priesthood through us. We recall this moving mystery, which touches us again in every celebration of the sacrament, in a very particular way on Maundy Thursday. Because the everyday does not spoil what is great and mysterious, we are in need of a similar specific remembrance, we are in need of a return to that hour in which he placed his hands on us and made us participants of this mystery.

Therefore, let us again reflect on the signs in which the sacrament was given to us. At the center is the very ancient gesture of the imposition of hands, with which he took possession of me saying: "You belong to me." But along with this, he also said: "You are under the protection of my hands. You are under the protection of my heart. You are kept in the palm of my hand and because of this, you find yourself in the vastness of my love. Remain in the space of my hands and give me yours."

Let us remember, then that our hands were anointed with oil which is the sign of the Holy Spirit and of his strength. Why precisely the hands? Man's hand is the instrument of his action, it is the symbol of his capacity to face the world, to the point of "taking it in hand." The Lord has placed his hands on us and he now wants our hands so that they will become his hands in the world. He wants them to no longer be instruments to take things, men, the world for us, to reduce it to our possession, but that, instead, they transmit his divine touch, being at the service of his love.

He wishes them to be instruments of service and therefore expression of the mission of the whole person that makes himself his guarantor and takes him to men. If man's hands represent symbolically his faculties and, in general, technology as power to dispose of the world, now the anointed hands must be a sign of his capacity to give, of creativity in molding the world with love -- and for this we have need, without a doubt, of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament anointing is the sign of the assumption of service: The king, prophet, priest does and gives more than that which comes from himself. In a certain sense, he is expropriated from himself in the function of a service, in which he places himself at the disposition of someone greater than himself.

If Jesus appears today in the Gospel as the Anointed One of God, the Christ, this means precisely that he acts by the mission of the Father in unity with the Holy Spirit and that, in this way, he gives the world a new royalty, a new priesthood, a new way of being prophet, who does not seek himself, but lives for him, in view of which the world was created. Let us place our hands again today at his disposition and let us ask him to always take us by the hand and guide us again.

In the sacramental gesture of the imposition of hands by the bishop, the Lord himself was imposing his hands on us. This sacramental sign reassume a whole existential course. On one occasion, like the first disciples, we encountered the Lord and heard his word: "Follow me!" Perhaps initially we followed him in a rather uncertain way, drawing back and wondering if it was really our way.

And at some point of the journey perhaps we had Peter's experience after the miraculous catch, we were, that is, struck by his grandeur, the greatness of the task and the insufficiency of our poor person, to the point of wanting to go back: "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!" (Luke 5:8). But then he, with great kindness, took us by the hand, drew us to himself and said: "Fear not! I am with you. I do not leave you, do not you leave me!"

And, more than once, the same thing happened to each of us as happened to Peter when, walking on the water, he encountered the Lord, suddenly he remembered that the water did not support him and that he was about to drown. And, like Peter, we cried out: "Lord, save me!" (Matthew 14:30). Seeing all the raging of the elements, how could we go through the rumbling and foaming waters of the last century and millennium? But then we looked at him ... and he took us by the hand and gave us a new "specific weight": the lightness that comes from faith which attracts us to the on high.

And then he gives us the hand that supports and carries. He holds us up. Let us always fix our gaze on him and extend our hands to him. Let us allow him to take us by the hand, and we will not drown, but will serve life which is stronger than death, and love which is stronger than hatred. Faith in Jesus, Son of the living God, is the means thanks to which he takes us by the hand and guides us. One of my favorite prayers is the prayer that the liturgy places on our lips before Communion: "[N]ever let me be parted from you." Let us pray that we never fall away from communion with his Body, with Christ himself, that we never fall away from the Eucharistic mystery. Let us pray that he will never let go of our hand ...

The Lord has placed his hand on us. He expressed the meaning of such a gesture in the words: "I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father" (John 15:15). I no longer call you servants, but friends: In these words one might even see the institution of the priesthood. The Lord makes us his friends: he entrusts everything to us; he entrusts himself, so that we can speak with his I, "in persona Christi capitis." What trust! He truly delivered himself into our hands.

The essential signs of priestly ordination are all deep down manifestations of that word: the imposition of hands; the handing over of the book -- of his word that he entrusts to us; the handing over of the cup with which he transmits his most profound and personal mystery. Also part of all this is the power to absolve: He also makes us participate in his awareness of the misery of sin and all the darkness of the world and gives us the key in our hands to reopen the door to the Father's House. No longer do I call you servants but friends. This is the profound meaning of being a priest: to become a friend of Jesus Christ. We should commit ourselves again to this friendship every day.

Friendship means to share in thinking and willing. We must exercise ourselves in this communion of thought with Jesus, St. Paul tells us in the Letter to the Philippians (cf. 2:2-5). And this communion of thought is not just something intellectual, but is a sharing of sentiments and will and therefore also of action.

This means that we must know Jesus in an ever more personal way, listening to him, living together with him, spending time with him. To listen to him -- in "lectio divina," that is, in reading Holy Scripture not in an academic but in a spiritual way; thus we learn to encounter Jesus who is present and speaks to us. We should reason and reflect on his words and on his action before him and with him.

The reading of sacred Scripture is prayer, it must be prayer -- it must emerge from prayer and lead to prayer. The evangelists tell us that the Lord repeatedly -- for entire nights -- withdrew to the mountain to pray alone. We also have need of this "mountain": It is the interior height we must scale, the mountain of prayer. Only in this way is friendship developed. Only in this way can we carry out our priestly service, only in this way can we take Christ and his Gospel to men. Simple activism may even be heroic. But external action, in the end, remains without fruit and loses effectiveness, if it is not born from a profound intimate communion with Christ.

The time we dedicate to this is truly time of pastoral activity, of an authentically pastoral activity. A priest must be above all a man of prayer. In its frenetic activism the world often loses its direction. Its action and capacities become destructive, if the strength of prayer fails, from which spring the waters of life capable of making the arid earth fruitful.

No longer do I call you servants, but friends. The essence of the priesthood is to be friend of Jesus Christ. Only in this way can we really speak "in persona Christi," even if our interior withdrawal from Christ cannot compromise the validity of the sacrament. To be a friend of Jesus, to be a priest means to be a man of prayer. So we recognize it and come out of the ignorance of simple servants. So we learn to live, to suffer and to act with him and for him.

Friendship with Jesus is always par excellence friendship with his own. We can be friends of Christ only in communion with the whole Christ, with the head and the body, in the exuberant life of the Church animated by her Lord. Only in her, thanks to the Lord, is sacred Scripture living and timely Word. Without the living subject of the Church that embraces the ages, the Bible breaks up in writings that are often heterogeneous and thus becomes a book of the past. It is eloquent in the present only where the "Presence" is -- where Christ remains permanently contemporaneous to us: in the body of his Church.

To be a priest means to become a friend of Jesus Christ, and this ever more with the whole of our existence. The world has need of God -- not of any god, but of the God of Jesus Christ, of the God who became flesh and blood, who has loved us to the point of dying for us, who rose and has created in himself a space for man. This God must live in us and we in him. This is our priestly call: Only in this way can our action of priests bear fruits.

I would like to end this homily with a word of Andres Santoro, the priest of the Diocese of Rome who was killed in Trebisonda while he was praying; Cardinal Cé communicated it to us during the Spiritual Exercises. The word says: "I am here to dwell in the midst of these people and allow Jesus to do so presenting my flesh. ... One becomes capable of salvation only by offering one's own flesh. The evil of the world is borne and pain is shared, absorbing it in the end in one's own flesh as Jesus did." Jesus assumed our flesh. Let us give him ours, so that in this way he can come into the world and transform it. Amen

April 14, 2006

Kelly Clarkson Gives Fans What They Need

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Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 14 2006

MBN

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International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here nowGOOD FRIDAY 2006

MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS 

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ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

INTRODUCTION TO THE LATINO MARKET .

Kelly Clarkson Gives Fans What They Need: Launches 'Addicted' Tour for Summer 2006

Concert Ticket Auctions Aiding Gulf Coast Musical Community Universal Studios Hollywood Picks Up the Check Netflix and FourBoys Films Join Forces for the Exclusive DVD Release of 'The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania' Flavor Flav Says 'Yeah Boyeee!' BeKind's AMIGO to Appear on SHOWTIMEMusicians Hall of Fame and Museum to Open in Nashville IMAX Signs Two-Theatre Deal With Santikos Theatres First Black Jesus Movie Aims to Unite Blacks and Jews

Internationally Acclaimed Tenor, Mario Frangoulis, Performs Benefit Concert in Detroit Penthouse Scores With Its Spring Sports Issue Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum Partners With 821 Entertainment Group for Motion Picture Series Creative Network Design The Video Software Dealers Association

New Component Audio DA from GefenSPORTS & AUTOS

Oakland & Dodger baseball

LAND ROVER 'GOES BEYOND' WITH NEW BROADBAND TV CHANNEL POWERED BY NARROWSTEP

CBS Sports to Join Celebration of PGA of America's 90th Anniversary With '90 Years of Excellence' Special, April 16

Acura unveiled an unprecedented trio of new vehicles

A major temporary exhibition is opening today at the Olympic Museum

New Vehicles with XM NavTraffic Debut at The New York Auto Show Kia to Exclusively Offer SIRIUS Satellite Radio as Factory Standard Equipment SIRIUS-Kia Agreement Runs Through 2014

Travis Pastrana to Appear at Wentworth SubaruCity From Madness into Masters; CBS SportsLine Dominates March, Stays Hot in April CBS SportsLine Records Strongest Month of Traffic in Company History Ford Realigns South America Operation

DOD

DoD Identifies Casualties

Month of the Military Child

'America Supports You' Thanks PGA for Troop Support Efforts

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

McDonaldsUkrainian vodka giant Soyuz-Victan is planning a $10 million marketing push to bolster its entry into seven major U.S. markets this August.

Marketing for Altoids and Life Savers is curiously weak.

Triple-digit same-store sales increases in flat-screen televisions ExxonMobil Reaches $1 Million Contribution Milestone to Hispanic Heritage Youth AwardsExxonMobil alcanza a contribuir $1 millón de dólares para los premios a la juventud ‘patrimonio hispano’

Nissan Launches ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ Reality Show; Five-Part Original Programming Entitled ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ Will Premiere on Fox Sports en Español in April

Nissan Lanza El Programa ‘El Reto Final Nissan’; La programación original de cinco capítulos titulada ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ se estrenará en Fox Sports en Español en abril Wal-Mart Expande Selección de Productos Orgánicos para Bebés Sports Fans Brush Up on 'Team Colors' from The Home Depot Retailer Introduces Sports-Themed Paint Palette

Aficionados de Deportes Repasan 'Colores de Equipos' de The Home Depot Minorista Presenta Paleta de Pintura con Temas Deportivos

Are African-Americans Legally Citizens of the United States of America? Asks We're Against Racism INC. (WAR INC.)

Motorola Corp. is launching bold, downright racy ads

China Mobile World's 4th largest brand

________________________________

ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

 

INTRODUCTION TO THE LATINO MARKET .

Latinos are not a niche anymore. They are the largest minority of the general population representing a purchasing power of over $700 billion. Let us stop seeing Latinos as a niche (lesson # 1). It's irrelevant for this multibillion dollar market. Besides, Latinos are now part of the game in the entertainment industry. They buy more DVDs than the average general population.

First and foremost, Latino consumers must be divided into 3 distinct groups: First Generation Hispanics, Second Generation Hispanics, and Third Generation Hispanics. First Generation Hispanics are Spanish speaking immigrants. They listen to music in Spanish, watch TV in Spanish and purchase movies in Spanish. Their age ranges from 18-40 and a vast majority comes from Mexico and Central America. These Latinos enjoy films from the Mexican Golden Era, North Mexican Regional (equivalent to Western films), and they also watch other Latin American productions.

Second Generation Hispanics are children of immigrants born and raised in the United States. They are bilingual and tend to look for contemporary urban and action movies. There is a subcategory in this group made of bilingual middle and upper class Hispanic Americans. These have a higher education and higher income. They are interested in the preservation of their culture and traditions. They tend to watch films of the New Mexican Cinema, which offer more sophisticated Hollywood-type storylines and feature well known actors like Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, and others.

are children of immigrants born and raised in the United States. They are bilingual and tend to look for contemporary urban and action movies. There is a subcategory in this group made of bilingual middle and upper class Hispanic Americans. These have a higher education and higher income. They are interested in the preservation of their culture and traditions. They tend to watch films of the New Mexican Cinema, which offer more sophisticated Hollywood-type storylines and feature well known actors like Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, and others.

Another important category is the Third Generation Hispanics. These are born in the US from second generation Latinos. They are the ones identifying more with English than Spanish. Although they keep up with Latino traditions, they tend to be more Americanized in their purchasing habits. Third generation Latinos are the ones watching SiTV and laTV because of the networks bilingualism. How can a video store buyer new to the Latino market decide what to buy for his customers?

There are three important things to consider: (1) Let your Latino customers know "out loud" you want their business. Latinos are loud, honestly. If you want them to hear you, you must speak at the same level of their voice. Passive campaigns don't work in the Latino market. (2) Let your Latino customers know you actually have the product they want. Posters, signs and flyers visually accessible will guarantee your customers' awareness of such products. (3) You must provide an environment that makes Latinos feel they are at home. Remember Latinos are family oriented and if they feel like they're at home, you just made your way into their own house. By following these 3 steps you will see a successful Spanish section of DVDs in your store. Next time we'll tell you what products to buy and why. Reality check: Not everything you see in Spanish will sell .

There are three important things to consider: (1) Let your Latino customers know "out loud" you want their business. Latinos are loud, honestly. If you want them to hear you, you must speak at the same level of their voice. Passive campaigns don't work in the Latino market. (2) Let your Latino customers know you actually have the product they want. Posters, signs and flyers visually accessible will guarantee your customers' awareness of such products. (3) You must provide an environment that makes Latinos feel they are at home. Remember Latinos are family oriented and if they feel like they're at home, you just made your way into their own house. By following these 3 steps you will see a successful Spanish section of DVDs in your store. Next time we'll tell you what products to buy and why. Reality check: Not everything you see in Spanish will sell .

Kelly Clarkson Gives Fans What They Need: Launches 'Addicted' Tour for Summer 2006

Following Tour, Clarkson Goes Into Recording Studio to Complete Third Album, Follow-Up to Multi-Platinum 'Breakaway' Capping off a two-year run that has seen album sales exceed 10 million copies worldwide, four No. 1 singles and numerous awards including two Grammys, RCA Records artists Kelly Clarkson is bringing her galvanizing live show back to the United States this summer to celebrate with a 24-city concert tour beginning June 30th in West Palm Beach, FL. Aptly named the "Addicted" tour, in addition to performing the hits that her fans can't get enough of, Clarkson plans to preview new material as she prepares to return to the studio later this year.

Following the tour, Clarkson will go into the recording studio to complete her third album, which is scheduled for release in late 2006 or early 2007.

"Breakaway" is an international phenomenon, with sales outside of the U.S. now approaching 4 million units. Kelly took the U.K. by storm this year with her performance on the Brits, a sold-out U.K. tour and a six-times platinum album. The album is also six-times platinum in Australia and Ireland, and four-times platinum in Canada, and is dominating the charts around the world, including Germany, Holland, Sweden, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and others.

The "Breakaway" album has maintained its U.S. chart prominence ever since its debut. With domestic sales topping 5 million, the album has been on the Billboard chart for 71 weeks and has never left the top 30 portion of the 200-position survey. For 61 of its 71 chart weeks, the album has been in the top 20. The album, ranked No. 3 in sales for 2005 and still among the top 15 best-selling albums of 2006, is about to turn six-times platinum.

"Breakaway" has spawned four No. 1 singles so far, starting with the title track and continuing with the hits "Since U Been Gone," "Behind These Hazel Eyes," "Because of You" and Clarkson's current smash, "Walk Away," continues to climb the radio charts.

It's no surprise that Kelly and the "Breakaway" album have won numerous awards since the album's release, including two Grammys (Best Pop Female Vocal Performance and Best Vocal Pop Album), two American Music Awards (Favorite Adult Contemporary Female Artist and T-Mobile Text-In Fan Award), two MTV Video Music Awards (Best Pop Video and Best Female Video), one People's Choice Award (Best Female Recording Artist), and an amazing 11 Billboard Music Awards.

The "Addicted" tour, promoted by Live Nation, will find Kelly playing amphitheaters all over the United States. Tickets for all dates go on sale April 22. In an effort to enable fans to purchase quality tickets in the best locations without having to contend with ticket scalpers, a select number of premium tickets for each show on the "Addicted" tour will be reserved for auction through Ticketmaster.com, with $10 from every ticket sold through auction benefiting Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer initiatives.

A complete list of cities, dates and venues follows:

DATE: CITY/STATE VENUE

Friday, June 30th West Palm Beach, FL Sound Advice

Saturday, July 1st Tampa, FL Ford

Monday, July 3rd Raleigh, NC Alltel

Tuesday, July 4th Charlotte, NC Verizon

Thursday, July 6th Washington, DC Nissan

Friday, July 7th Virginia Beach, VA Verizon

Sunday, July 9th Holmdel, NJ P.N.C.

Monday, July 10th Buffalo, NY Darien

Wednesday, July 12th Wantagh, NY Jones Beach

Saturday, July 15th Hartford, CT New England Dodge

Sunday, July 16th Boston, MA Tweeter Center

Tuesday, July 18th Philadelphia, PA Tweeter Waterfront

Wednesday, July 19th Pittsburg, PA Post Gazette

Friday, July 21st Kansas City, KS Verizon

Saturday, July 22nd Chicago, IL First Midwest Bank

Monday, July 24th St. Louis, MO UMB Bank

Tuesday, July 25th Indianapolis, IN Verizon

Friday, July 28th Houston, TX CWM

Saturday, July 29th San Antonio, TX Verizon

Monday, July 31st Phoenix, AZ Cricket

Tuesday, August 1st Irvine, CA Verizon

Thursday, August 3rd San Francisco, CA Shoreline

Friday, August 4th Sacramento, CA Sleep Train

Sunday, August 6th Seattle, WA White River

Source: Live Nation

 

Madonna, Celine Dion, Elton John, INXS, Gretchen Wilson, Toby Keith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Among Hundred-Plus Musical Artists On Board With Music Rising Concert Ticket Auctions Aiding Gulf Coast Musical Community

Ticketmaster Online Auctions for Top Summer Concerts Each Weekend in April Raise Funds for Music Rising Through First-Ever Alliance Between Nation's Largest Promoters, Performing Artists and Gibson Guitar

More than one hundred musical artists including Madonna, Celine Dion, Elton John, INXS. Gretchen Wilson, Toby Keith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bonnie Raitt, Staind, Ozomatli and more, have joined on to participate in online ticket auctions to raise funds to replace musical instruments and equipment destroyed during the Gulf Coast hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The performing artists have donated tickets to their concerts for Music Rising online auctions through Ticketmaster at www.ticketmaster.com/musicrisingauctions, Music fans may bid for tickets to top summer concert events all across the country with net proceeds going to Music Rising. More than 65 auctions are currently underway and additional auctions are launching each weekend during the month of April through this first-ever alliance between four of the nation's largest concert promoters, Live Nation, House of Blues, AEG Live, and Nederlander Concerts, along with participating artists, Ticketmaster and Gibson Guitar.

The majority of Music Rising Auctions include four (4) premium location tickets for venues with reserved seating (general admission tickets for general admission events) and one Epiphone guitar, which for most auctions will be autographed by one or more of the show's performers. Gibson Guitar, a founding partner of Music Rising, is providing the Epiphone guitars included in the auctions.

Music Rising Auctions launched April 1, 2006 and the first series closes this week. Among some of the current and upcoming Music Rising Auctions (with new auctions to be announced each week in April) include:

Event Date: Market: Act: Venue

June 23 Birmingham Sammy Hagar VW Amp Birmingham

June 3 Boston Staind Bank of America Pavilion

July 19 Chicago Def Leppard / First Midwest

Journey

June 14 Chicago Madonna United Center

Aug. 29 Denver Bonnie Raitt / Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Keb' Mo'

July 15 Grand Prairie Melissa Etheridge Nokia Theatre

June 21 Hartford Lynyrd Skynyrd / Dodge Music Center

Doobie Bros.

July 16 Houston Melissa Etheridge Cynthia Woods-Mitchell Pav.

July 8 Houston Lynyrd Skynyrd / Cynthia Woods-Mitchell Pav.

3 Doors Down

May 20 Kansas City Gretchen Wilson Verizon Wireless Amp

June 27 Kansas City Lynyrd Skynyrd / Verizon Wireless Amp

3 Doors Down

May 26 Las Vegas Celine Dion Colosseum at Caesars Palace

July 14 Las Vegas Elton John Colosseum at Caesars Palace

Aug. 11 Las Vegas Boz Scaggs House of Blues Las Vegas

Sept. 2 Los Angeles Down Home Gibson Amphitheatre

Blues Festival

Sept. 17 Los Angeles Engelbert Gibson Amphitheatre

Humperdinck

Sept. 29-30 Los Angeles Pepe Aguilar Gibson Amphitheatre

Oct. 21 Los Angeles Ana Gabriel Gibson Amphitheatre

July 21 Los Angeles Gipsy Kings Greek Theatre

June 16 Los Angeles INXS Greek Theatre

May 21 Los Angeles Madonna Forum

May 28 Los Angeles Ozomatli House of Blues Anaheim

May 12 Los Angeles Wayne Newton House of Blues Anaheim

June 24 Nashville Sammy Hagar Starwood

June 29 New York Madonna Madison Square Garden

June 4 Phoenix Sammy Hagar Cricket Pavilion

Aug. 26 Pittsburgh Toby Keith Post Gazette Pavilion

Aug. 25 Pittsburgh Toby Keith Post Gazette Pavilion

Aug. 29 Portland Def Leppard / Clark County

Journey

July 28 San Antonio Def Leppard / VW Amp San Antonio

Journey

June 10 San Diego Chicago / Embarcadero

Huey Lewis

Aug. 27 San Francisco Def Leppard / Sleep Train

Journey

June 24 San Francisco Funk Festival Concord Pavilion

Aug. 4 San Francisco Sammy Hagar Shoreline Amp

Aug. 30 Seattle Def Leppard / White River

Journey

May 6 St Louis Pointfest UMB Bank Pavilion

July 14 St Louis Tim McGraw / Savvis Center

Faith Hill

June 27 St Louis Lynyrd Skynyrd / UMB Bank Pavilion

3 Doors Down

May 12 Virginia Beach Gretchen Wilson VW Amp Virginia Beach

July 6 Washington, DC Def Leppard / Nissan Pavilion

Journey

Music Rising is a national campaign created by U2's The Edge, producer Bob Ezrin, and Gibson Musical Instruments Chairman and CEO Henry Juszkiewicz. Music Rising's supporters, including Guitar Center Music Education Foundation, MusiCares, Musician's Friend, Ticketmaster, Live Nation, House of Blues Concerts, AEG Live, Nederlander Concerts, VH-1 Networks, MTV Networks, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Ken Erlich Productions, Edun Designs, Roots Canada, U2.com and De-Lux Merchandising, constitute the most dynamic and comprehensive organized group to launch a relief program since the Hurricanes hit the United States. The campaign's goal is to put musical instruments back into the hands of musicians who lost everything in the hurricane disasters, helping them to regain their livelihoods, and to replace the instruments lost by churches, schools and community groups, in order to rebuild the heart and culture of the Central Gulf Region. Music Rising is administered by MusiCares. For information on Music Rising, visit www.musicrising.org.

Ticketmaster auctions provide fan-friendly opportunities for artists, performers, sports teams, and more to connect with their fans in a secure purchasing environment, fully integrated with Ticketmaster's state-of-the-art ticketing system. Ticketmaster auctions enable consumers to determine the market value of tickets (a process referred to as "dynamic pricing"). By enabling consumers to select the price he or she is willing to pay for a ticket in a specified seat location for a specific event, Ticketmaster auctions help to keep premium tickets out of the hands of unauthorized resellers. Ticketmaster auctions also offer consumers the security of knowing they have purchased a valid ticket. For auction terms and conditions, please visit ticketmaster.com.

Source: Music Rising; Ticketmaster

 

Web site: http://www.musicrising.org/
http://www.ticketmaster.com/
http://www.ticketmaster.com/musicrisingauctions

Universal Studios Hollywood Picks Up the Check for $25,000 for Boyle Height's Homegirl Cafe, Local Community Leaders and Cast of Theme Park's Favorite Characters Join in the Festivities

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Universal Studios Hollywood, in conjunction with its nonprofit "Discover A Star" Foundation, "picked up the check" at the Homegirl Cafe as Larry Kurzweil, Universal Studios' President and COO, presented a $25,000 contribution to the organization. Los Angeles City Councilmember Jose Huizar and Homeboy Industries founder, Father Greg Boyle were present to accept the contribution, which will help Homeboy Industries and its Homegirl Cafe subsidiary provide development and training for at-risk youth.

With Lucy and fellow Universal characters serving up a scrumptious breakfast alongside Homegirl Cafe's employees, Universal Studios Hollywood helped celebrate the cafe's first year anniversary of operations and reaffirmed the company's commitment to supporting the local community organizations.

In making the donation to the Homegirl Cafe, Larry Kurzweil said: "Universal Studios Hollywood has a long-standing commitment to making a difference in our community. The 'Discover A Star Foundation,' funded by contributions from our employees and partners, is one way in which we accomplish that goal. As the generosity of our employees enable us to expand the scope of our efforts, we've identified organizations that share our passion for community service. Few organizations have made such dramatic accomplishments as Homeboy Industries and its legendary founder, Father Gregory Boyle. We are proud to play a small part of that effort."

As the generosity of our employees and partners has enabled our 'Discover a Star' Foundation to expand the scope of its philanthropy, we've identified a number of especially worthy organizations that play essential roles in providing services to our community. We have tremendous respect for the work performed by Homeboy Industries and its Homegirl Cafe subsidiary in helping at-risk young women gain valuable work experience and training. Our employees take great pride in making this donation."

Jose Huizar, Los Angeles City Councilmember for the 14th Council District, said, "Growing up in Boyle Heights, I understand the challenges facing our youth in this neighborhood. I also understand the importance of having such bold leadership as demonstrated by Homeboy Industries and Homegirl Cafe in helping the at-risk youth in our community find a path to brighter options."

Created and sponsored by Universal Studios Hollywood, "Discover A Star Foundation" funds initiatives targeted toward children's health issues and services for the homeless.

Father Greg Boyle formed Homeboy Industries in 1992 to create viable businesses that provide training, work experience and opportunities for rival gang members to work side by side. Homegirl Cafe is the newest business venture of Jobs for a Future/Homeboy Industries and is a training facility for young women seeking professional training opportunities in the restaurant business

Universal Studios Hollywood is the world's largest movie studio and theme park. Featuring such unique and ground-breaking attractions as "Revenge of the Mummy -- The Ride," "Shrek 4-D," "Terminator 2: 3D," "Jurassic Park -- The Ride" and the world-renowned behind-the-scenes "Studio Tour," Universal Studios Hollywood has matured into a full day, movie-based theme park.

NBC Universal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi Universal.

Source: Universal Studios Hollywood

 

Netflix and FourBoys Films Join Forces for the Exclusive DVD Release of 'The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania'

Netflix , the world's largest online DVD rental service, and FourBoys Films, the production company of actor-director David Hunt and his wife, Emmy Award-winning actress Patricia Heaton, today announced a promotional agreement through which Netflix has acquired all North American rights to promote the DVD release of their documentary film The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania (www.coalqueens.com).

The DVD will be available exclusively to the more than four million Netflix subscribers beginning June 6, 2006. Netflix is committed to providing consumers with access to the widest variety of films available and will merchandise Coal Queens to subscribers with an interest in such projects based on their rental history. For their part, Mr. Hunt and Ms. Heaton will actively promote the film, and its availability through Netflix, in a series of national media appearances.

"Coal Queens is a film that wonderfully relies on the documentary format to celebrate small town America and its values and in the process it makes a genuine connection with its subjects," said Ted Sarandos, chief content officer of Netflix. "Creating a national platform for a film of terrific merit that wouldn't otherwise be broadly seen is a key part of the Netflix creative vision."

The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania was produced by Mr. Hunt and Ms. Heaton, directed by Mr. Hunt and Jody Eldred, and stars actress Sara Rush. It documents Rush's return to her roots in southwestern Pennsylvania, where as a 16-year old in 1972 she won the Coal Queen Pageant. The 90-minute picture is filled with colorful local characters and provides a charming and often humorous look at small town America. The town of Carmichaels (population 556) and its vanishing way of life is a far cry from Hollywood. Coal mining has defined this area of the country, instilling a strength and pride in its citizens. The film captures the spirit of the community during the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Coal Queen Pageant and the King Coal Festival in August of 2003.

"Coal Queens is a project close to our hearts and sharing it with a wide audience is important to us," said Mr. Hunt and Ms. Heaton. "We are excited that Netflix is going to premiere Coal Queens in the U.S and that the film's story will reach people around the country in rural areas like Carmichaels, as well as big cities like New York and Los Angeles."

Utilizing proprietary technology, Netflix is able to target subscribers likely to be interested in little known films like Coal Queens while offering filmmakers a national distribution channel for films and entertainment programming that are otherwise not available to broad audiences.

About FourBoys Films

Other projects under the FourBoys Film (www.fourboysfilms.com) banner include the recently aired TNT movie Engagement Ring, and Amazing Grace, a feature film directed by Michael Apted that is currently in post-production.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world's largest online movie rental service, providing more than four million subscribers access to over 55,000 DVD titles. The company offers a variety of subscription plans, starting at $9.99 a month. There are no due dates, no late fees and no shipping fees. DVDs are delivered for free by the USPS from regional shipping centers located throughout the United States. Netflix can reach more than 90 percent of its subscribers with generally one business-day delivery. Netflix offers personalized movie recommendations to its members and has more than one billion movie ratings. Netflix also allows members to share and recommend movies to one another through its Friends(SM) feature. For more information, visit www.netflix.com.

Source: Netflix, Inc.

 

Web site: http://www.fourboysfilms.com/
http://www.coalqueens.com/
http://www.netflix.com/

Flavor Flav Says 'Yeah Boyeee!' as VH1 Picks Up a Second Season of His Highly Rated Series 'Flavor of Love' Season One of 'Flavor of Love' Made VH1 History as #1 Rated Series

VH1's smash hit "Flavor of Love" is coming back for a second season, it was announced today. The network has picked up ten one-hour episodes of the Mindless Entertainment/51 Pictures "celebreality" series. The second season will begin production in Los Angeles next month.

The show is currently searching for those special women who really want to be Flav's beloved in season two. After Flav and Hoopz (the finalist) realized that their relationship would not work out, Flavor Flav became more determined to find love, leading to a second season of the show that had everyone talking.

"After spending so much time with Flavor Flav on 'Surreal Life' and 'Flavor of Love,' we shared his frustration at not having found love," said executive producers Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego. "Thankfully, the success of the first season and Flav's popularity enables us to have a second chance at finding him the right woman."

During its first season, "Flavor of Love" was the highest rated series in VH1 history, with three of its ten episodes making VH1's top ten rated commercial telecasts of all time. For its 90-minute season finale, "Flavor of Love" again made VH1 history by becoming the network's top rated telecast of all times (adults 18-49 rating of 3.51).

VH1's "Flavor of Love" is executive produced by Mark Cronin, Cris Abrego and Ben Samek for Mindless Entertainment and 51 Pictures, who also produce "Surreal Life" and "My Fair Brady." Jeff Olde and Jill Holmes oversee the series for VH1.

* all times ET/PT

Source: VH1

 

Web site: http://www.vh1.com/

BeKind's AMIGO to Appear on SHOWTIME

at Hollywood Life Magazine's ... Breakthrough of the Year Awards April 13th, 2006, 7:00PM; Hollywood's Newest Star! Hollywood's hottest K-9, Amigo, fetches up the spotlight and pulls the red carpet out from under Hollywood's A-List by picking up his own Award at Hollywood Life Magazine's Breakthrough of the Year Awards airing on SHOWTIME on April 13th at 7:00pm, begging the attention of animal admirers everywhere.

Dog-struck stars like Felicity Huffman, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews and Jeremy Piven, Harrison Ford and Dakota Fanning seemed unable to resist the opportunity to show love and admiration, taking a rare picture with Amigo -- whose poise was offset only by his modesty -- for their scrap book.

Alicia Silverstone, fellow animal welfare promoter and professed animal lover, was thrilled to present the award on behalf of Amigo to Frances Hayward, who founded the BeKind Foundation in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in 2005. BeKind promotes animal welfare and proposes a new national awareness and kindness campaign toward homeless and displaced animals everywhere.

Eddie Griffin hosts Hollywood Life Magazine's ... Breakthrough of the Year Awards, featuring all the said stars and many others, as well as a choice performance by the "Rize" dancers. The Show airs again on Showtime on April 16th & 19th at 6:30 & 8:30pm, and on Showtime Too on April 17th at 12:00 & 8:00pm.

So there's no excuse to miss this amazing pup & amazing night!

Though a natural in front of the camera, Amigo is keeping his priorities straight and his focus promoting Being Kind!

Please check out http://www.bekind.org./

 

Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum to Open in Nashville

Exhibits to include personal history of players and actual instruments used on records from Hank Williams Sr., Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, Everly Brothers, Elvis Presley, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young and Many More

The Nashville stage where a young Jimi Hendrix honed his talent. Rescued and re-created by songwriter-entrepreneur Joe Chambers

"Come see what you've heard."

Today in Music City USA it was announced that the first ever, all genre, international Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum will open its doors in June of this year. Legendary musicians Duanne Eddy, Garry Tallent, Steve Wariner, Danny Seraphine, James Burton and Reggie Young attended the press event, and share the thought that such a museum is "so long overdue." The multi-purpose complex will not only feature exhibits from well known musicians, but will also spotlight the musical contributions made throughout the years by studio musicians, producers and engineers in all genres.

Supporters of this long awaited establishment include music icon, Neil Young who said, "You can see the hood ornament on the car if you go to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. But if you want to look at the engine and see what's making it go, then you go to the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum."

The multi-million dollar attraction is the brainchild of Joe Chambers, who moved to Nashville in 1978 knowing only two people -- producer-songwriter Billy Sherrill and country star Conway Twitty. Seeing his potential, Sherrill took it upon himself to educate Chambers about all aspects of the music business including signing him as a songwriter to his publishing company and hiring him to work at CBS Records. Sherrill allowed Chambers to look over his shoulder on sessions with Ray Charles, George Jones, Marty Robbins, Tammy Wynette, Elvis Costello and many others.

"That introduced me to the world of studio musicians," Chambers says. "I had always thought you played your own music or that your touring band was your studio band too."

Chambers watched in awe as session players heard a song once, then effortlessly added their own distinct licks to each arrangement. Before long and with the encouragement from Sherrill and Twitty, Chambers pretty much hung up his own ambitions as a guitarist and switched exclusively to producing and songwriting. As a songwriter, Chambers' credits include Ricky Van Shelton's first #1 single, "Somebody Lied" and the Randy Travis top ten hit "I Meant Every Word I Said."

In 1985, Chambers opened the first of what was soon to be a chain of successful guitar stores. Through Chambers Guitars, he expanded his relationship with musicians of all genres, from all over the world. However, the turning point to create the museum proved to be something unrelated to his music stores or songwriting.

When one of the Nashville clubs in famed Printers Alley, where Little Richard, Boots Randoph, a young Hendrix and numerous Nashville players performed throughout the years, was being renovated, Chambers tracked down the owner of the building and asked to salvage the basement stage and surrounding area. The owner agreed and now, the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum will honor the "Guitar Icon," Jimi Hendrix, with an exhibit featuring the rescued and restored stage.

The 30,000 sq. ft. complex also includes a state of the art recording studio, performance hall, small theatre and school of music.

A few of the current items in the hall's collection include:

* Eddie Willis' guitars, from countless Motown session such as "Signed,

Sealed, Delivered" (his story documented in the film "Standing in the

Shadows")

* Pete Drake's steel guitars, heard on Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and

George Harrison's album All Things Must Pass, as well as most of George

Jones & Tammy Wynette country classics

* Marshall Grant's basses, heard on Johnny Cash's "Walk the Line" and

"Ring of Fire," along with the amp from "Folsom Prison Blues" and "A

Boy Named Sue," as well as Bob Dylan's Nashville Skyline album

* Garry Tallent's Long Horn Bass, as well as many other items used on the

road and in the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

* Scotty Moore's Gibson L-5 along with personal items from his long

career in Elvis Presley's band.

* Chad Smith's (Red Hot Chili Peppers) snare drum, heard on their albums

Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magic.

* Billy Sherrill's cigarette-burned piano, on which he composed country

classics like "Almost Persuaded," "The Most Beautiful Girl" and even

"Stand By Your Man."

Source: Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum

Web site: http://www.musicianshalloffame.com/

IMAX Signs Two-Theatre Deal With Santikos Theatres

Commercial Exhibitors Continue To Recognize Broad Appeal of IMAX DMR(R) Releases

IMAX Corporation (NASDAQ: IMAX; TSX: IMX) and Santikos Theatres, an exhibitor based in San Antonio, Texas, today announced an agreement to open IMAX(R) theatres in two of the exhibitor's multiplexes. The first Santikos IMAX location will open in San Antonio, Texas, and the second theatre will open in Houston, Texas. Both theatres are expected to open by 2007.

The deal marks the Company's third commercial multi-theatre agreement in North America for 2006, exemplifying the growing interest in the IMAX theatre business from North American exhibitors looking to differentiate multiplexes by offering a unique experience that consumers cannot replicate at home.

"As we continue our long history of bringing innovation to movie audiences, we are excited to offer our customers the chance to experience movies in the most powerful and immersive way available," said John Santikos, Chairman of Santikos Theatres. "The IMAX theatre in San Antonio will be part of one of the grandest movies palaces we've ever built, and the IMAX addition in Houston will help drive even greater attendance at one of our most successful multiplexes."

"We are pleased to partner with a leading exhibitor like Santikos, pioneers of moviegoing in Texas," said IMAX co-Chairmen and co-CEOs Richard L. Gelfond and Bradley J. Wechsler. "This announcement demonstrates the traction we are gaining in North America, as more exhibitors understand that they can fill theatres, gain market share and differentiate themselves from competitors by offering audiences the opportunity a whole new way to experience Hollywood films."

"This deal builds upon the success of other regional theatre operators throughout the United States," said Larry O' Reilly, IMAX's Executive Vice President of Theatre Development. "Santikos has always been at the forefront of providing compelling out-of-home moviegoing experiences, and the new IMAX theatres will help them stay connected with their audiences and maintain their theatres as the first-choice venues to see movies."

Santikos' IMAX theatres will feature IMAX MPX(R) systems. The IMAX MPX theatre system was designed specifically to enable multiplex operators to more cost effectively enter into the IMAX theatre business, either by retrofitting an existing stadium-seating auditorium or via an economical new build. The new IMAX theatres will be capable of playing Hollywood event films that have been digitally re-mastered into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience(R), as well as original IMAX productions in 2D and IMAX(R) 3D.

IMAX's 2006 film slate is stronger than any other in its 35-year history. Currently, there are six Hollywood event titles scheduled to be released simultaneously to IMAX and conventional theatres. Four of the titles will feature IMAX 3D. The slate includes: Poseidon: The IMAX Experience (May 12), Superman Returns: The IMAX Experience (June 30), The Ant Bully: An IMAX 3D Experience (August 4), Open Season: An IMAX 3D Experience (September 29), and Happy Feet: An IMAX 3D Experience (November 17). Currently playing in IMAX theatres is Warner Bros. Pictures' V for Vendetta: The IMAX Experience and the studio's second original IMAX 3D film Deep Sea 3D.

About Santikos Theatres

-----------------------

The Santikos theatres have a legacy of presenting high quality and innovation in motion picture theatre entertainment. In 1924, Greek entrepreneur, Louis Santikos, established the first opulent theatre, the Palace theatre across from the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas. This endeavor was only the beginning as the Santikos entertainment portfolio grew over the next several decades to include the introduction of the first drive-in movie experience in San Antonio, along with the first multi-screen indoor megaplex, and the first art cinema with full service in-theatre dining in San Antonio. With the addition of the Greek themed Palladium multi-plex, the construction of the Granada Theatres in San Antonio, and the construction of the new Silverado Theatres in Houston, Santikos remains a prominent name in the Texas entertainment industry.

About IMAX Corporation

----------------------

Founded in 1967, IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment technology companies and the newest distribution window for Hollywood films. IMAX delivers the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR(R) technology. IMAX DMR (Digital Re-mastering) makes it possible for virtually any 35mm film to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience. The IMAX brand is recognized throughout the world for extraordinary and immersive entertainment experiences. As of December 31, 2005, there were 266 IMAX theatres operating in 38 countries.

IMAX(R), IMAX(R) 3D, IMAX DMR(R), IMAX MPX(R), and The IMAX Experience(R) are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information on the Company can be found at www.imax.com.

First Black Jesus Movie Aims to Unite Blacks and Jews

"Color of the Cross," a Nu-Lite Entertainment production, is an independent, biblically charged religious biopic based on the last 48 hours of Christ's life and stands to be the most controversial depiction of Jesus to date. In this gripping, two-hour epic, Jesus is portrayed as a black Jew. This retelling of the biblical story from a black perspective seeks to repair the anti-Semitism that has been associated with the story of Christ.

The inclusion of Black Jews during Passover in the film makes a clear statement toward the shared history of African and the Middle Eastern cultures without being offensive. Unlike "Passion of the Christ," "Color of the Cross" chose not to focus on the bloody torture of Christ's crucifixion. Instead the film focuses on the human pain and suffering that Christ, the Disciples, and Christ's family endured. "Color of the Cross" reaches across a cultural divide to inspire and challenge its viewers intellectually.

According to the film's director, Jean Claude LaMarre, "To watch a black man on screen, being referred to as rabbi, or to see him partaking in a Seder meal and observing Passover really blurs the lines that divide blacks and Jews in this country. We are part of the same history." "Color of the Cross" seeks to stimulate and awaken peace and unity between all races of people.

Recent programs such as the History Channel's "Warriors of the Bible" clearly shows the diversity of cultures as they existed in the geographical region where the Bible stories occurred. And like many of the recent programs flooding the media such as the Book of Judas, Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code," etc, "Color of the Cross" also bases its story not just on scriptural interpretation but other historical data with many interpretations pointing to the fact that Christ very well may have been dark skinned.

The film will have a theatrical release in October 2006. Revealing clips and exclusive information can be found at: http://www.colorofthecross.com/

Note to the Editors -- The film is a Nu-Lite Entertainment production, and producers are Rev. Cecil "Chip" Murray, Jessie Levostre, Kenneth Halsband, Executive Producers Lila Aviv, Paul Noe, Edy Lahens, Marc Porterfield, Michele Gonda and Co-producer Marcello Thedford.

Source: Nu-Lite Entertainment

Web site: http://www.colorofthecross.com/

Internationally Acclaimed Tenor, Mario Frangoulis, Performs Benefit Concert in Detroit

Mario Frangoulis, a world-renowned tenor, will be making his first appearance in the Detroit area at the Detroit Opera House, Saturday, May 6, 8 p.m. The concert will be a benefit for the Fire Restoration Fund of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in St. Clair Shores and Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan and the Greek Orthodox Metropolis (Archdiocese) of Detroit cultural programs. Frangoulis will be introduced on- stage by Dr. David DiChiera, General Director of the Michigan Opera Theatre.

This will be a one-of-a-kind performance by the young tenor who has a versatile style rooted in his operatic training but inspired by the energy and sound of contemporary pop. His music ranges from classical to an Italian- version of "Nights in White Satin" by the Moody Blues.

Tickets are from $40 and $65 for balcony seating, $75 and $100 for main floor seating and $200 for orchestra pit and box seating. Student tickets are available for $20. Sponsorships include seating, a meet and greet, and a program ad. Program advertising opportunities are also available.

Tickets are available at the Opera House box office; 313-237-SING; through Ticketmaster; 248-645-6666, the Assumption Greek Orthodox Church and Cultural Center, 586-779-6111 or the Greek Orthodox Metropolis (Archdiocese) of Detroit, 248-823-2400.

Frangoulis has performed in some of the most prestigious concert halls in New York, London, Berlin, Helsinki, Paris, Cannes, Brussels, Moscow, Stockholm and throughout Greece. On April 6 and 7 he performed concerts to benefit the Horatio Alger Association in Washington, D.C., and April 9 he performed another important solo benefit concert for the Yellow Ribbon Soldiers Campaign in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mario's "Here's to the Heroes" is a moving ballad that touches everyone's mind and heart.

He was introduced to America with his CD, "Sometimes I Dream," which one writer describes as "bathed in the passionate atmosphere of the Mediterranean." Another wrote, "move over Andrea Bocelli."

His most recent CD, "Follow Your Heart," features gorgeous original ballads, dazzling arrangements of favorite classical melodies and a soaring duet with Latino superstar Alejandro Fernandez.

"Follow Your Heart" was released in Europe just before the tenor performed at the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens. Frangoulis even made a film debut with such music notables as Alanis Morissette, Natalie Cole, Elvis Costello and Sheryl Crow in the MGM film biography of Cole Porter, "De Lovely."

Mario was born in colonial Rhodesia, Africa. His mother found a home for him with her sister in Greece, at the age of four, at a time when the political situation in Africa was explosive and dangerous. Raised by his aunt in Greece and separated from his beloved older brother, Mario was surrounded with a large extended family. Today, he speaks fondly of both sets of parents and the feeling for music they instilled in him.

Source: Greek Orthodox Metropolis (Archdiocese) of Detroit

Penthouse Scores With Its Spring Sports Issue

MLS and Major League Previews & Predictions, NBA vs. NHL, Poker Studs and a Conversation With Bronson Arroyo and More ...

Ah ... it's spring and the smell of grosgrain leather and bleacher beer is in the air. To commemorate the euphoria of all that is stats and scores, Penthouse is kicking off the May issue Pele style, by featuring an interview with the one and only "Sports Guy" -- Bill Simmons.

Yes, Bill Simmons is an obsessed Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots fan and yet millions of readers each month look beyond his Bean Town roots and herald his comedic sports prose nonetheless. He is ESPN's premiere sports columnist and the author of "Now I Can Die in Peace," and in the May issue of Penthouse, he holds nothing back when discussing his personal holy trinity: sports, women and pop culture. He believes that Angelina Jolie should be our next president, or at the very least, the Commissioner of Baseball: "She's like a smoldering volcano and could convince the big market teams to have revenue sharing and salary caps and in general, she can convince any man to do anything." He confirms that friend Jimmy Kimmel really does grill pizzas and calzones for his pals on NFL Sundays and heralds him as "Martha Stewart with a penis and a sense of humor." And basically, he has something to say about anything and anybody and nothing is off-limits: gambling, steroid use, strippers, his ninth-grade English teacher -- oh yeah, and sports, including his belief that the Yankees are an Evil Empire, not an honorable opponent to ... you guessed it -- the Red Sox.

CHECK MATE: Alexandra Kosteniuk is the current women's Chess vice- champion of the world and in the May issue of Penthouse, interviewer Dave Hollander finds out that this "Anna Kournikova of chess" brings more to the table than just her ethereal beauty. A ruthless and competitive opponent, Alexandra has all the right moves and unlike Anna, she plays to win and not to just look good while she's doing it.

HOT MAMA DRAMA: This Mother's Day, Penthouse honors five celebrity Moms who can fire up any fantasy with an ode to each. Dear Heidi Klum -- "Thank you for your love. It means more than it seems. But, most of all we thank you, for our Victoria's Secret dreams!" Exit stage left and find out who the other fiery and fabulous four guardians are in this months issue.

Speaking of drama ... find out the TOP 10 WAYS TO BREAK UP WITH HER in this month's Dr. Zdrok's VICES & VANITIES column. Like # 2 -- spend all day downloading porn off the Internet and leave Sexaholics Anonymous literature where she's sure to find it, or #5 -- let her catch you trying on her panties and lastly, if all else fails, try #10 and tell her you're gay.

The May 2006 Penthouse issue is currently on sale at newsstands, or at: http://www.penthouse.com/digital . The new edition features sizzling centerfolds, including May Pet and Illinois native Nevaeh and Brittney Skye, the blonde bombshell who teased millions of viewers by streaking at the U.S. Open in 2003.

Web site: http://www.penthouse.com/digital

Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum Partners With 821 Entertainment Group for Motion Picture Series

Feature Documentaries Include Pics on the Carter Family and Border Radio

The Country Music Hall of Fame(R) and Museum and 821 Entertainment Group today announced a partnership to produce and distribute a three-film feature-documentary series for theatrical release, home DVD/video and digital distribution; along with ancillary products such as soundtracks, compilations and companion books. 821 Entertainment Group partners Anastasia Brown and Eric Geadelmann are executive producers for the series.

The first film in the series, "The Winding Stream," is a musical journey with the Original Carter Family. Currently in production, the documentary interweaves two important stories. One thread is the story of the Original Carter Family - their music, their struggles, their triumphs, their commitment to family and their often-misunderstood but undeniable effect on American popular culture. The other thread relates to the story of the current-day Carters and Cashes, who, with a strong sense of ancestral responsibility, are keeping the memory of this trio and their musical legacy alive. Directed by acclaimed documentary filmmaker and Grammy nominee Beth Harrington, "The Winding Stream" features interviews and performances from a variety of artists, and includes one of the last interviews with Johnny Cash.

The second film tells the story of border radio. Megawatt "border blaster" stations, set up just across the Mexican border to evade U.S. regulations, beamed programming across the United States and as far away as South America, Japan and western Europe. Based on the book "Border Radio (Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics and Other Amazing Broadcasters of the American Airwaves)" written by acclaimed authors and historians Gene Fowler and Bill Crawford, the film traces the eventful history of border radio from the 1930s heyday of "goat-gland doctor" J.R. Brinkley to the glory days of Wolfman Jack in the 1960s. The film shows how along the way border broadcasters spread the popularity of country music (including that of the Carter Family), rhythm & blues and rock & roll - all while pioneering direct sales advertising and laying the foundation for modern televangelists. Trey Fanjoy, an award-winning music video director and filmmaker, is directing the border radio project.

Commenting on the film series, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum Director Kyle Young expressed, "This partnership is a good one. We are always exploring new ways to tell the story of country music and this film series is another way to do just that. We think this collaboration with 821 Entertainment will yield tremendous results."

821 Entertainment Group founder and CEO Eric Geadelmann stated, "We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to partner with such a prestigious institution in an effort to use documentary filmmaking to further the Museum's mission to preserve the evolving history and traditions of country music." Anastasia Brown, president of 821 added, "Our goal is for these films to extend the reach of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to a greater national and international audience. Documentaries in general have such high

visibility at the moment and, combined with the subject matter upon which we will be focused, it all adds up to an extremely intriguing film series."

Accredited by the American Association of Museums, THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME and MUSEUM is operated by the Country Music Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization chartered by the state of Tennessee in 1964. The Museum's mission is the preservation of the history of country and related vernacular music rooted in southern culture. With the same educational mission, the Foundation also operates CMF Records, the Museum's Frist Library and Archive, CMF Press, Historic RCA Studio B, and Hatch Show Print. http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com/

821 ENTERTAINMENT GROUP is a Nashville-based entertainment, media and technology holding company with divisions in motion picture and television production, recorded music and supervisory services and digital media. http://www.821entertainment.com/

Source: 821 Entertainment Group

Web site: http://www.countrymusichalloffame.com/

Web site: http://www.821entertainment.com

Creative Network Design

www.creativenetworkdesign.com), a leading sound and audio software developer, will demonstrate a new version of its NetMix™ Pro MetaPlug™, an audio plug-in for Digidesigns award-winning Pro Tools® professional audio system, at NAB 2006 in the Avid Developer Community section, booth SL1513J.

NetMix Pro MetaPlug enables audio editors to instantly upload audio files securely to any professional media asset management system or FTP site. See below for further information on NetMix Pro MetaPlug.

Creative Network Design will also announce new customers at NAB.

NetMix Pro MetaPlug is a cross-platform RTAS plug-in for Pro Tools users, which enables broadcast users to create an audio file in their selected format and upload it with embedded metadata to an FTP hot folder or a network volume. Audio editors can upload their audio files directly from within the Pro Tools environment.

NETMIX PRO AND NETMIX PRO METAPLUG

NetMix Pro 3.5, which enables spot-to-timeline features for Pro Tools 6.9 XP users, was originally introduced at NAB 2005. Now, the introduction of NetMix Pro MetaPlug enables Pro Tools users to ingest and export audio files with rich metadata from their Pro Tools systems.

NetMix Pro will offer a Windows XP integration with Digidesign Pro Tools. The integrated solution enables Pro Tools and Avid editors to search for sound effects and production music quickly, and transfer sounds with the click of a button into Pro Tools, Avid and many other editing environments.

See below for further details on NetMix Pro.

NetMix Pro is the world’s first and only solution that provides real-time multitrack mixing and editing of digital audio streamed from local, network storage and Internet. With NetMix Pro 3.5, users can search, audition, track, and manage audio files with unprecedented ease. The NetMix Pro-Pro Tools integration is the only editing solution that enables the creation of company-wide metadata structures, for greater interoperability and security.

NETMIX PRO 3.3 from CREATIVE NETWORK DESIGN (IN AVID DEVELOPER COMMUNITY BOOTH SL1513J

With NetMix Pro 3.5, users can preview complex sounds or music edits before importing the audio directly into ProTools, providing increased production efficiency and creativity. A cross-platform tool, NetMix Pro offers bin-to-bin transfer capability with lightning-fast Boolean search and spot to Pro Tools timeline functions.

NetMix Metabase Server is a multi-SQL database which enables workstations to gain simultaneous access to large central libraries of sound effects and production music. A server-based sound library, for example, can be accessed over a LAN or the Internet. Using MediaLock, the NetMix Metabase Server can protect media assets against uncontrolled copying through central and secure logging of all transfers.

Users can add unlimited database fields, unlimited metadata fields, and NetMix automatically updates embedded metadata when new fields are added to the Metabase Server.

With playback up to 24 bit and 192 kHz, NetMix Pro can be scaled up to 100 users with a customizable server database.

NetMix Pro is bundled with the following features:

NetMix Pro Project Manager, which:

- transfers all sounds to into Pro Tools, including metadata

- spots all sounds and multitrack clips to picture, with notes

- import EDLs, rebalance scenes, cut-copy-paste scenes/spots

- enables DV movie sync spotting

The NetMix Pro Multitrack Editor can play, edit and mix multiple audio files with different file formats from different storage systems simultaneously. NetMix Pro also features loop, real time pitch-shift.

Searching the NetMix database is easy and powerful with the ability to assign sounds to separate tracks in the NetMix Pro Multitrack Editor.

Users can pre-stage a complex sound or music edit in sync to picture using volume, pan, mute, solo-in-place, multitrack-scrubbing, waveform editing and timecode display. NetMix Pro automatically converts and spots the audio to specific timecodes on to ProTools tracks, maintaining all previously made edits.

NetMix Pro 3.5 requires a minimum configuration of Mac OS 9.2.2, 10.2, or 10.3; Windows 2000 or Windows XP; 512 MB RAM; a sound card, and a network adapter.

NetMix Pro transfers and spots to FinalCut Pro, Nuendo, Logic, Toast, Pro Tools and many other leading sound and audio creation software tools.

 

The Video Software Dealers Association

(VSDA) is merging with the gaming trade group the Interactive Entertainment Merchants Association (IEMA).

The groups announced April 11 that they will form a single trade association to represent the retailers and distributors of video and video game products.

VSDA president Bo Anderson will remain as head of the merged trade group, according to a VSDA spokesperson. IEMA president Hal Halpin will serve as a consultant to the group.

Details of the merger and specific structural changes will be forthcoming. For the time being, both groups will retain independent boards of trustees.

“By coming together in one organization, the retailers and distributors of DVDs and video games will increase their collective power and benefit from the business acumen and product knowledge of one another,” said VSDA chairman Bob Geistman.

The merged group will create a “more efficient and influential organization,” IEMA chairman Rick Vergara said.

“The interests of the membership of the two associations are so closely aligned that we expect a seamless integration,” he said.

Executives of the VSDA and leaders of music retailer trade group the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) previously contemplated joining up. However, that merger never came to fruition.

New Component Audio DA from Gefen

Outputs Audio and Video for Multiple Display Applications WOODLAND HILLS, CA – For system testing, a/v production and presentation venues, the Gefen 1x3 Component Audio Distribution Amplifier offers an easy method of feeding the same source to multiple displays throughout the venue. The plug and play unit is equipped with one RGB component, one S/PDIF input and three RGB component and S/PDIF outputs that feed HD sound and visuals directly to three displays at the same time. HDTV-quality video is supported as each output is capable of achieving resolutions up to 1080p component. Intended to provide a robust solution for audio/video systems incorporating component video, the Gefen 1x3 Component Audio Distribution Amplifier (MSRP $199), comes with its own six-foot source connection cable and external power supply. To extend displays away from the source, Gefen provides Component Extension cables in lengths ranging from 6 to 25 feet. An optional Component Video Extender allows sources and displays to be placed up to 330 feet from each other while retaining a CAT-5 cable connection through small sender and receiver units. The 1x3 Component Audio Distribution Amplifier may be pre-ordered online at Gefen.com or through a Gefen reseller, listed online and located in most major countries throughout the world.

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=3565 About Gefen: A leader in the high definition digital domain, Gefen delivers advanced technologies with multi-platform extension, switching, distribution and conversion capabilities. Gefen equipment is utilized all over the world in professional AV/IT and consumer electronics/home theater environments. Their add-on hardware maximizes system functionality and enhances operability by enabling AV systems to go beyond their original capabilties. Solutions support an array of connectivity interfaces including HDMI, DVI, dual link DVI, HD-SDI, SDI, VGA, RCA, USB, Firewire and RS-232. A selection of high quality cabling is also available. Additional information may be found at www.gefen.com.

About Gefen: A leader in the high definition digital domain, Gefen delivers advanced technologies with multi-platform extension, switching, distribution and conversion capabilities. Gefen equipment is utilized all over the world in professional AV/IT and consumer electronics/home theater environments. Their add-on hardware maximizes system functionality and enhances operability by enabling AV systems to go beyond their original capabilties. Solutions support an array of connectivity interfaces including HDMI, DVI, dual link DVI, HD-SDI, SDI, VGA, RCA, USB, Firewire and RS-232. A selection of high quality cabling is also available. Additional information may be found at www.gefen.com.

SPORTS & AUTOS

Oakland and Dodger Baseball

Oakland 2, Minnesota 8 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Oakland Record: (5-5)


Winning pitcher - Kyle Lohse (1-1)
Losing pitcher - Joe Blanton (1-1)

at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (5-5) - Kyle Lohse (1-1) - Joe Blanton (1-1)

OAK HR - None
MIN HR - M. Cuddyer (1) T. Hunter (3)

None M. Cuddyer (1) T. Hunter (3)


Los Angeles 13, Pittsburgh 5 at PNC Park
Los Angeles Record: (5-5)


Winning pitcher - Derek Lowe (1-1)
Losing pitcher - Oliver Perez (0-2)

at PNC Park (5-5) - Derek Lowe (1-1) - Oliver Perez (0-2)

LAD HR - C. Ross (2) O. Saenz (2)
PIT HR - J. Burnitz (3)

C. Ross (2) O. Saenz (2) J. Burnitz (3)

LAND ROVER 'GOES BEYOND' WITH NEW BROADBAND TV CHANNEL POWERED BY NARROWSTEP

First Broadband TV Channel Launched by Major Automotive Brand

Narrowstep (TM) Inc (OTC BB:NRWS), the TV on the Internet Company, announced that Land Rover launched a new 24/7 broadband TV channel using the Company's unique Television Operating System (TM) (telvOS). The 'Land Rover Go Beyond' channel will be dedicated to the spirit of adventure and features Land Rover VIPs such as Maria Sharapova, sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, England Rugby International, Lawrence Dallaglio and celebrity photographer, Richard Young.

Content rich and fully interactive, Go Beyond launched today at the New York International Auto Show and focuses more on lifestyle than cars, and is the first broadband TV channel to be launched by a car company. The project has been developed by MindShare, a global media investment management company and its associative marketing group MindShare Performance.

Phil Popham, Managing Director of Land Rover, said, "Go Beyond is about going beyond personal boundaries and experiencing adventure in its many forms. It amplifies the core brand promise of Land Rover to 'Go Beyond.' It will also enhance our dealer environments, and work in tandem with our landrover.com website to drive sales and further improve customer loyalty."

Mr Popham continued, "The aim is to suit everybody's idea of going beyond. It is certainly not a motoring channel, although you can find out about our Land Rover range of vehicles - and many of the adventures will feature Land Rovers. For some, off-roading in Africa will be their idea of going beyond. For others, it may be experimenting with new and exotic cuisine or staying in an extraordinary luxury hotel."\

Narrowstep CEO Steve Beaumont commented, "We're delighted that such a prestigious brand as Land Rover has chosen Narrowstep's tried and tested telvOS to deliver its global message. This is a tremendous initiative for the motor industry and will undoubtedly prove enormously successful for Land Rover and its Go Beyond strategy."

Gera Sulinska, Managing Partner at MindShare said, "We are delighted that Land Rover embraced our vision to create a brand destination on what is a truly global scale. I can see a time in the next five years when this will be a standard communications platform for all major brands."

Go Beyond TV will consist of six unique channels ranging from travel, to amazing Land Rover off-road journeys, food and wine, people and places. The content will be premium, contemporary and adventurous - three of the cornerstones of the Land Rover brand. The channel will be launched initially in English, reflecting Land Rover's strength in markets such as the USA, UK, Australia and South Africa, but other languages will be rolled out in due course.

Go Beyond TV launches in New York offering a variety of original material from the Discovery Channel and sponsored partners including Born Free, Biosphere Expeditions and the Royal Geographical Society. Go Beyond TV reflects a distinctive, premium, glossy, 'magazine style' form of programming which reflects the community of people who live the Land Rover brand. New content will be added every month, and in addition there will be live broadcasts (from, for example, motor shows) and updates from special events. This will include the Land Rover G4 Challenge, which begins in Thailand on April 23.

The Go Beyond channel will be on show at Land Rover dealerships and major motor shows, though anyone can access it online via a Go Beyond link at www.landrover.com.

About Narrowstep (TM) Inc

Narrowstep (TM) Inc (OTC BB: NRWS) is a leading provider of Internet-based video-content delivery (TV on IP). Narrowstep's product and service offerings enable customers to distribute channels of video-based content and provide related services over the Internet. The Narrowstep system, telvOS (TM) [Television Operating System (TM)], enables comprehensive delivery of video content and television-like programming to mobile, wireless, Internet, broadband and broadcast services. The Narrowstep system enables owners and users of video content to reach audiences by 'narrowcasting' -- targeting delivery of specific content to interested groups. Narrowstep provides services to clients in the United Kingdom, the United States, and various other countries throughout the world, including Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. To learn more, visit www.narrowstep.com.

CBS Sports to Join Celebration of PGA of America's 90th Anniversary With '90 Years of Excellence' Special, April 16

CBS Sports will join in celebrating The PGA of America's 90th anniversary by presenting a one-hour special, "The PGA of America - 90 Years of Excellence," Sunday, April 16, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET.

From its humble beginnings in 1916 at a luncheon in New York City, to becoming the largest working sports organization of its day, The PGA of America has served the game of golf not only by staging premier Championships, but through its membership that has touched the lives of millions by being leaders in instruction and in mentoring.

The CBS special will feature the Association's major championship history, which includes the PGA Championship, the Senior PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup, golf's ultimate spectacle.

The impact of PGA Teaching Professionals and their students will be showcased in Curtis Strange and his father Tom; Arnold Palmer and his father, Deke; Ben Crenshaw and Tom Kite, and their instructor Harvey Penick; Jack Nicklaus and Jack Grout; and Tiger Woods and John Anselmo. Also, Lee Trevino pays homage to a man whom he credited in allowing him the opportunity to build a career -- 2005 PGA Golf Professional of the Year Bill Eschenbrenner of El Paso, Texas.

PGA Professionals also have achieved dreams away from the competitive arena, as PGA Life Member William Powell of East Canton, Ohio, realized in 1946 when he overcame prejudice and economic hardship to build Clearview Golf Club. Marking its 60th anniversary, Clearview Golf Club is the first golf course that was built, owned and operated by an African-American.

Other segments within the CBS Special include PGA Professional Suzy Whaley of Farmington, Conn., who in 2002 became the first woman since 1945 to qualify for a berth in a PGA Tour event; and the variety of charitable contributions that The PGA of America has made.

CBS Sports also will air a second hour-long special Sunday, Aug. 6, "The Road to the PGA Championship," that will include a feature on the top 20 finishers from the PGA Professional National Championship that have earned a berth in the season's final major.

Celebrating its 90th anniversary, The PGA of America was founded in 1916, and is a not-for-profit organization that promotes the game of golf while continuing to enhance the standards of the profession. The Association is comprised of more than 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals who are dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.

Source: The PGA of America

 

Acura unveiled an unprecedented trio of new vehicles

at the New York International Auto Show, including the show stopping world debut of the MD-X Concept SUV. In addition, a production version of the all-new RDX performance luxury SUV made its debut, providing an advance preview of Acura's all-new light truck lineup. Finally, an Acura powered-race car was unveiled along with the announcement that it would campaign in the 2007 American Le Mans Series (ALMS).

"All three vehicles represent Acura's passion for providing the best in automotive performance and technology," said John Mendel, senior vice president, Auto Operations. "From the sporty RDX, to the exciting MD-X Concept, to the world-class Acura ALMS race car, Acura is moving ahead of the competition and into the fast lane."

Acura's all-new light truck lineup took center stage with the unveiling of the MD-X Concept and RDX entry premium SUV. With bold styling, the MD-X Concept provides a glimpse of the all-new MDX luxury performance SUV, which will go on sale this fall. The Concept's aggressive design exudes performance and reflects the SUV's track-tuned development.

The all-new RDX, which features Acura's first turbocharged engine and the breakthrough Super Handling All-Wheel Drive(TM) (SH-AWD(TM)), also made its debut. Hitting dealerships this summer, the RDX boasts the exceptional handling of a sports sedan with the utility of a SUV.

Finally, Acura unveiled an Acura-powered race car the company plans to campaign in the 2007 American Le Mans Series. The ALMS draws on the heritage of long-distance "endurance" sports car racing in both Europe and the United States, as exemplified by the historic 24 Hours of Le Mans. The 10-race domestic series includes the 12 Hours of Sebring - a U.S. fixture since 1952 - plus events at the country's premier road circuits, including Road America, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Laguna Seca, Lime Rock Park and Road Atlanta.

ALMS competition features multi-class racing of high-tech sports car prototypes and production-based Grand Touring machinery, with both factory teams and relentless privateers battling for victory. State-of-the-art technology and engineering, ranging from electronics to aerodynamics to fuel efficiency, are key to success in the ALMS. Manufacturers currently fielding teams include Audi, Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Lexus, Aston Martin, and Chevrolet.

The all-new 2007 Acura RDX Entry Premium SUV, made its production debut at the New York Auto Show. RDX combines Acura’s first-ever turbocharged engine with the breakthrough Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), for sports sedan-like handling in a SUV package.

“The all-new RDX is an exciting entry to the Acura light truck lineup for 2007,” said John Mendel, senior vice president, auto operations. “The RDX’s innovative powertrain coupled with SH-AWD provides this SUV with excellent fuel economy and outstanding performance.”

The RDX is aimed at high-energy urbanites that spend the work week in the confines of the city, and then decompress on the weekends by getting away from it all. Regardless of where they go, these drivers expect the ultimate in responsiveness, control and adaptability.

Built on a new global light truck platform, the RDX concept was first designed in California and then developed in Japan. Besides its precedent-setting engineering features including Acura’s first turbocharged and intercooled engine and the first adaptation of a SH-AWD™ system to an SUV, the RDX also offers Acura’s first standard 18-inch wheels and tires.

True to form for Acura, the RDX incorporates a class-leading array of sophisticated electronic technologies that are seamlessly integrated to keep its passengers informed, entertained and in touch. The RDX also introduces new safety technologies based on the fundamentals of Acura’s “Safety Through Innovation” initiative.

As Acura’s first Entry Premium SUV, the RDX was the focal point of the development of a special powertrain that would blend 4-cylinder efficiency and 6-cylinder power. The ideal solution came in the form of an innovative new variable flow turbo (VFT) that delivers an unusually broad powerband with little or no lag in throttle response. The RDX is equipped with an all-new 2.3-liter DOHC 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine with i-VTEC valve control that combines Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control (VTC). With the variable flow turbo working in concert with i-VTEC, the RDX delivers strong power and torque, excellent fuel economy and very low emissions.

Rated output for the RDX engine is 240 horsepower SAE net* at 6000 rpm. In terms of torque, the RDX has the highest output of any engine in the Acura lineup, with 260 lbs.-ft. of torque SAE net* at 4500 rpm. The RDX is expected to return an EPA-estimated 19/24** City/Highway mileage, while meeting strict CARB LEV-2 ULEV and EPA Tier-2 Bin-5 emissions standards.

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift is standard. The electronically controlled drive-by-wire throttle and transmission work together to execute shifts, resulting in exceptionally quick and smooth gear changes. The transmission can function as a conventional automatic transmission or, at the driver's option, can be shifted manually via steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

SH-AWD™ is standard in the RDX to maximize available traction while improving handling balance and responsiveness. SH-AWD™ is Acura’s patented all-wheel drive system that distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear axles but also between the left and right rear wheels. The system’s direct yaw control helps reduce understeer to enhance steering accuracy and add to total cornering power.

Responsive handling is further aided by fully independent front and rear suspensions. The MacPherson strut front and trailing arm-type multilink rear systems are tuned for compliant control, and assisted with front and rear anti-roll bars for flatter cornering.

Standard Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control further enhances controllability and grip.

The RDX exterior styling further emphasizes the SUV’s sporty athleticism. It has a taut, muscular presence with standard 18-inch wheels and tires that work together with large wheel arches, aggressively raked body sides, a steeply raked windscreen and a short rear overhang. A unique rear hatch, finished with a replaceable panel to reduce the cost of accident repair, allows the rear of the body to smoothly transition to the rear bumper. This permits a more custom look and also eases the act of loading and unloading cargo.

Inside the RDX, the front-seats feature a high “eye point” that provides a confident field of view. The 3-passenger rear seat has a 60/40 split-folding capability and, when folded flat, significantly expands the load area and increases the cargo volume to 60.6 cubic feet of storage. There are multiple interior storage compartments positioned throughout the interior, including a large (and lockable) dual-level center console located conveniently between the front seats that can securely accommodate a briefcase.

The RDX features an array of electronic features that set it apart from the competition. These include a dual-zone automatic climate control system, a Multi-Information Display (MID), and LED backlit gauges with progressive illumination. Also standard is an impressive 360-watt 7-speaker Acura Premium Sound System with a multi-format 6-disc changer, AM/FM tuner, XM® Satellite Radio, and the convenience of an MP3/auxiliary input jack for easily connecting audio devices such as an iPod.

Just one optional package is offered on the RDX. The Technology Package heightens the RDX’s appeal to technology-savvy customers with a range of advanced features. The centerpiece is a 10-speaker Acura/ELS Surround™ Premium Sound System designed by legendary recording engineer Elliott Scheiner. When playing DVD-Audio discs (DVD-A), this advanced 410-watt system delivers eight discreet audio channels (instead of the usual two) to create an uncannily accurate listening experience. With its multi-format 6-disc DVD-A changer, AM/FM tuner and XM® Satellite Radio, the system is as versatile as it is powerful.

The Technology Package also includes several information and communications such as HandsFreeLink™ and the Acura Navigation system. HandFreeLink is a wireless telephone interface that is designed to work with many Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones (sold separately).

In addition, the AcuraLink™ Satellite Communication System with Real Time Traffic allows for 2-way communication between Acura and the vehicle, providing customers with the latest information specific to their vehicle.

The Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ can display up-to-the-minute traffic information including flow, accidents, construction and weather conditions on freeways in 31 major metro areas (where available). When the transmission is placed in reverse, the Navigation screen displays the image from a rearview camera to make parking easier. In addition, the AcuraLink™ Satellite Communication System with Real Time Traffic allows for 2-way communication between Acura and the vehicle, providing customers with the latest information specific to their vehicle.

Technological leadership also extends to safety engineering. The RDX’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure substantially contributes to passenger safety. ACE™ distributes collision loads through the body structure, leaving the passenger cabin more intact for improved occupant protection. Specially designed frame members make the RDX more compatible with smaller vehicles in the event of a vehicle-to-vehicle frontal collision. Likewise, a specially engineered hood and other components help reduce the chances of pedestrian injury in the event of a collision with the vehicle.

Inside the RDX is a full complement of passive safety features. Key technologies include the latest generation of dual-stage, dual-threshold airbags for the driver and front passenger, plus side airbags for the driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags with a rollover sensor for all outboard occupants. Child-seat mounting systems, LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children), allow the quick and secure installation of a child seats.

The RDX will be assembled in Marysville, Ohio, on the same line as the Acura TL sedan. It is the first Acura light truck to come from the facility.

Like all Acura models, the 2007 RDX is covered by a comprehensive 4-year/50,000 mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty and a 6-year/70,000 miles powertrain limited warranty. Additional ownership benefits include Acura Total Luxury Care (TLC), which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance, concierge service and trip routing.

The Acura “MD-X Concept” luxury SUV debuted at the 2006 New York International Auto Show featuring bold, sleek exterior styling indicative of the next generation MDX production model

“Every aspect of the MD-X Concept design conveys performance and attitude while still retaining SUV functionality,” said John Mendel, senior vice president, auto operations. “The styling signifies a bold direction for the next generation MDX, both in appearance and substance.”

The MD-X Concept is fashioned as a true driver’s SUV, with its low wide stance and aggressive design. Its sleek surface lines are modeled after a futuristic luxury yacht maneuvering through the ocean.

The MD-X Concept occupies the same footprint as the current MDX, but the wider track and longer wheelbase give the vehicle a more sporty, taut look. The side profile of the concept reveals a refined SUV with smooth chiseled lines and an elegant form. A dominant character line runs from the front quarter panel to the rear, evoking the feeling of forward movement. The sharply raked D-pillar creates a stealth, aerodynamic appearance while still retaining the third row seating functionality and cargo capacity of the current generation MDX.

The Concept sits low to the ground despite the large 20-inch five-spoke custom alloy wheels, while the large wheel arches and flares add to the Concept's muscular appearance. The sleek cabin features flush mounted windshield glass, which improves aerodynamics while adding to the MD-X Concept's smooth and flowing design.

“The smooth lines and sleek shape of the MD-X Concept challenge the conventions of SUV design,” said Ricky Hsu, chief designer for the MD-X Concept. “By providing all the driving excitement of a sports sedan while still retaining the core functionality of the current generation MDX, we have created a sport vehicle that just so happens to provide unexpected utility.”

The front hood is accented with pronounced character lines culminating in an aggressive five-sided grille, which gives the MD-X its bold presence. The commanding front grille features a dominant center bar running through a solid aluminum face. The narrow, Xenon High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights appear to grow out of the massive grille, giving the overall front-end a strong, distinct look.

“The front end of the MD-X Concept communicates power and prestige,” explains Hsu. “We want drivers to do a double-take and notice this SUV when it passes them on the road.”

In the rear, the MD-X Concept has an integrated rear hatch, which sits flush against the bumper to create a smooth, clean appearance. Elongated LED taillights wrap around the cargo hatch adding to the vehicles wide and low appearance. A rear spoiler improves aerodynamics while the integrated dual exhaust pipes add to the SUV’s sporty style.

The next generation MDX production model will be available this fall, bringing a whole new level of performance to the Acura light truck lineup. Track-tuned at the famed Nurburging in Germany, the all-new MDX will feature outstanding performance and handling. Equipped with a powerful, class leading V6 engine and coupled with Acura’s exclusive Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD™), the next generation MDX will re-invent the luxury SUV segment much just as did when it first debuted in 2001.

 

 

New Vehicles with XM NavTraffic Debut at The New York Auto Show

XM NavTraffic Delivers Real-Time Traffic Information for Drivers in 31 Markets Across the U.S.

XM Satellite Radio, the nation's leading satellite radio company with more than 6.5 million subscribers, today announced that XM NavTraffic, the first nationwide satellite traffic information service for GPS navigation systems, will be available in the Acura RDX, the Infiniti G35 sedan, and the Lexus LS sedans beginning with the 2007 model year vehicles. XM NavTraffic is already a factory-installed feature on all Acura RL vehicles and every Cadillac CTS model equipped with on-board navigation.

The latest vehicles with XM NavTraffic are on display at the 2006 New York International Automobile Show at the Jacob K. Javitz Convention Center in Manhattan.

In-car navigation systems are among the auto industry's most in-demand new vehicle features, but most navigation systems are blind to traffic jams around the next corner. XM NavTraffic empowers navigation systems by delivering real-time traffic information for drivers in 31 markets from New York to Los Angeles. The XM NavTraffic technology was recently selected as a 2005 "Best Consumer Vehicle Application" by the leading telematics industry organization Telematics Update.

Using XM's coast-to-coast satellite signal, the XM NavTraffic service continuously delivers traffic data directly to GPS navigation systems. XM NavTraffic data enables an overlay of color-coded traffic flow information on the navigation map, indicating how fast the traffic is currently moving on the driver's personal route. Accidents and road construction are identified on the map by icons.

XM NavTraffic can show at-a-glance traffic conditions between driver and destination, allowing the driver to avoid a jam before getting caught in traffic. The traffic data is aggregated for XM by NAVTEQ Traffic from multiple data sources, including police and emergency services, commercial traffic data providers, road sensors, traffic cameras, eyewitness reports, and real-time aircraft surveillance reports.

"XM's strategic automotive partners are rapidly embracing XM NavTraffic," said Roderick MacKenzie, XM's vice president of advanced applications and services. "XM expects to expand the availability of XM NavTraffic in more new vehicles in the months ahead."

In addition to vehicles with in-dash XM NavTraffic systems, XM NavTraffic is also available on a growing number of aftermarket navigation systems that are designed to fit virtually any vehicle on the road. Garmin International recently introduced the StreetPilot 2730, the first-ever portable navigation device to feature XM NavTraffic as well as XM Weather and XM Satellite Radio. Partners such as Pioneer Electronics and Alpine also offer XM NavTraffic-compatible systems.

Offered as a premium data service for $3.99 per month when packaged with XM Satellite Radio's subscription of $12.95 a month, XM NavTraffic is currently available for the following 31 markets: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver-Boulder, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, Milwaukee-Racine, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Providence-Warwick-Pawtucket, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco/Oakland, San Jose, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Washington DC and Wilmington, DE.

About XM Satellite Radio

XM is America's number one satellite radio company with more than 6.5 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2006 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: the most commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information.

XM, the leader in satellite-delivered entertainment and data services for the automobile market through partnerships with General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Porsche, Suzuki, Subaru, and Volkswagen/Audi, is available in more than 130 different vehicle models for 2006. XM's industry-leading products are available at consumer electronics retailers nationwide.

.

About NAVTEQ

NAVTEQ is a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices and Internet-based mapping applications. NAVTEQ creates the digital maps and map content that power navigation and location-based services solutions around the world. The Chicago-based company was founded in 1985 and has approximately 1,500 employees located in over 100 offices in 20 countries.

NAVTEQ is a trademark in the U.S. and other countries. (c) 2005 NAVTEQ. All rights reserved.

Source: XM Satellite Radio

Web site: http://www.xmradio.com/
http://www.xmnavtraffic.com/

Kia to Exclusively Offer SIRIUS Satellite Radio as Factory Standard Equipment

SIRIUS-Kia Agreement Runs Through 2014

SIRIUS Satellite Radio and Kia Motors America today announced that Kia will exclusively offer SIRIUS as factory standard equipment in all of its vehicles.

The long-term agreement runs through 2014, with an optional three-year extension to 2017, and calls for SIRIUS to become a standard feature in all 2009 model year Kia vehicles, beginning in 2008.

"We are very excited to add Kia to our list of exclusive automotive partners," said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS. "Kia is an exciting company that is producing appealing cars to a growing number of consumers in the U.S., and we look forward to closely working with them to make the Kia in-vehicle experience even more rewarding."

"SIRIUS offers a unique combination of on-air talent, creative programming and various sports and entertainment properties that fit perfectly with Kia's evolving brand characteristics," said Len Hunt, Executive Vice President and COO of Kia Motors America. "Our next generation products have delivered Kia to new segments and new consumers, and the addition of SIRIUS will strengthen the company's ability to offer high-quality vehicles with modern features and amenities at an incredible value for the consumer."

Kia customers will receive three months of complimentary service, and all radios will be factory activated for dealer and customer convenience.

About SIRIUS

SIRIUS delivers more than 125 channels of the best programming in all of radio. SIRIUS is the original and only home of 100% commercial free music channels in satellite radio, offering 67 music channels available nationwide. SIRIUS also delivers 61 channels of sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic, weather and data. SIRIUS is the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, NBA and NHL and broadcasts live play-by-play games of the NFL, NBA and NHL. All SIRIUS programming is available for a monthly subscription fee of only $12.95.

SIRIUS products for the car, truck, home, RV and boat are available in more than 25,000 retail locations, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, RadioShack and at http://shop.sirius.com/.

SIRIUS radios are offered in vehicles from Audi, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep(R), Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln-Mercury, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan, Scion, Toyota, Porsche, Volkswagen and Volvo. Hertz also offers SIRIUS in its rental cars at major locations around the country.

Click on http://www.sirius.com/ to listen to SIRIUS live, or to purchase a SIRIUS radio and subscription.

About Kia

Kia Motors America -- the sales, marketing and distribution arm of Kia Motors Corp. in Seoul, South Korea -- offers a complete line of vehicles through more than 630 dealers throughout the United States. For more information visit http://www.kiamedia.com/.

Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions, future events or performance with respect to SIRIUS Satellite Radio Inc. are not historical facts and may be forward-looking and, accordingly, such statements involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements. Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Among the key factors that have a direct bearing on our operational results are: our dependence upon third parties, including manufacturers of SIRIUS radios, retailers, automakers and programming partners, our competitive position and any events which affect the useful life of our satellites.

Source: SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Web site: http://www.sirius.com/
http://shop.sirius.com/
http://www.kiamedia.com/

Travis Pastrana to Appear at Wentworth SubaruCity

What: Downtown Portland will be abuzz on Thursday evening, April 20, when Wentworth SubaruCity hosts a meet and greet, and an autograph session, with Subaru Rally Team USA driver

Travis Pastrana. His "#199" Subaru Impreza WRX STI rally car will be on display. The event is free and open to the public.

Well-known for his achievements as Supercross Champion and X Games multi-gold medallist, Travis Pastrana will drive for the win at the Oregon Trail Rally from April 21-23 in

Hillsboro, OR. The Oregon Trail Rally is round three of the nine-event, 2006 Rally America National Championship

(http://www.rally-america.com/). For more information on theOregon Trail Rally visit http://www.oregontrailrally.com/.

Subaru Rally Team USA consists of a two-car team led by Travis Pastrana. Joining Mr. Pastrana is the co-founder of DC Shoes and 2005 Rally America Rookie of the Year, Ken Block. The pair will drive their 2006 Subaru Impreza WRX STI vehicles prepared by Subaru Motorsports partner Vermont

SportsCar. For more information visit

http://www.rally.subaru.com/.

WHO: Travis Pastrana, Driver, Subaru Rally Team USA Lou Harrison, General Manager, Wentworth SubaruCity Jim Pernas, Regional Vice President, Northwest Region,

Subaru of America, Inc.

When: Thursday, April 20, 2006

5 - 7 PM

Where: Wentworth SubaruCity - a six-acre, state-of-the-art, exclusive, Subaru Signature Facility

400 E Burnside

Portland, OR 97214

(503) 232-2000

http://www.wentworth.subaru.com/

About Subaru Northwest Region

The Subaru Northwest Region is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and is responsible for Subaru business in Alaska, Calif., Idaho, Mont., Nev., Ore., Wash., and Wyo. Also located in Portland is the Subaru Parts Warehouse and the Subaru Port Operations is located in Vancouver, Wash. The Subaru Northwest Region makes up approximately one quarter of total U.S. Subaru sales.

About Subaru of America, Inc.

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of nearly 600 dealers across the United States. Subaru makes the best-selling All-Wheel Drive car sold in America based on R.L. Polk & Co. new vehicle retail registration statistics calendar year-end 2004. For additional information visit http://www.subaru.com/.

Source: Subaru of America, Inc.

Web site: http://www.rally-america.com/
http://www.oregontrailrally.com/
http://www.rally.subaru.com/
http://www.wentworth.subaru.com/
http://www.subaru.com/

From Madness into Masters; CBS SportsLine Dominates March, Stays Hot in April

CBS SportsLine Records Strongest Month of Traffic in Company History

CBS SportsLine, a leading Internet sports media organization and part of CBS Digital Media, recorded its strongest month of traffic ever in March, 2006 according to Nielsen//NetRatings. The CBS SportsLine.com Network, a compilation of CBS owned and produced sites, including CBS SportsLine.com, CSTV.com (a network of approximately 250 official athletic sites), NCAAsports.com and PGATOUR.com registered 15.4 million unique visitors in March. Taking into account the addition of CSTV.com, the CBS SportsLine.com Network traffic figure is up 94% from 2005. (CSTV Networks was acquired by CBS in 1/06)

Among that network of sites, the CBS SportsLine.com domain led the way with nearly eight million unique visitors, its highest monthly total ever and 50% higher than in 2005. Additionally, Nielsen//NetRatings aggregates a "custom" CBS SportsLine Network figure that includes NFL.com, also produced by CBS SportsLine. That CBS SportsLine Network recorded 18.3 million unique visitors in March, garnering a larger audience than any property in the sports category for the month.

"Our strategy when we announced the transformation of CBS SportsLine to a multimedia digital sports network last September was that the internal investment, specifically in the area of online video, would pay long term dividends for not only CBS SportsLine but the entire CBS Digital Media family. These numbers are clear evidence of those dividends," said Larry Kramer, President of CBS Digital Media. "We're making tremendous progress in taking all of the world-class content that CBS produces and making it available across every available platform."

A major catalyst for traffic this past March was the success of CBS SportsLine's NCAA(R) March Madness(TM) on Demand (MMOD), produced in partnership with CBS Sports, CSTV and the NCAA(R). MMOD provided streaming live video of the first 56 games of the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship and for the first time ever was offered free of charge.

In total, MMOD served over 19 million streams of live and archived video from the 2006 NCAA(R) Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

FINAL NCAA(R) March Madness(TM) on Demand (MMOD) Traffic Numbers:

* MMOD served over 19 million streams of live and archived game action

* MMOD recorded over five million visits during the tournament

* A total of 1.3 million users registered for MMOD

Immediately following the success of MMOD, CBS Digital Media was involved in another highly successful online live video event. Masters.org partnered with CBS SportsLine, CBS Sports and Augusta National Golf Club to produce "Amen Corner Live," live streaming video from the 11th, 12th and 13th holes of the 2006 Masters(R) Tournament.

As was the case with MMOD, "Amen Corner Live" performed flawlessly, producing stunning live video from one of the most famous sporting events in the world. Over four days (April 6-9) and during approximately 22 hours of live video from Augusta National Golf Club, "Amen Corner Live" generated over 3.4 million video streams at Masters.org and CBS SportsLine.com combined.

FINAL "Amen Corner Live" Traffic Numbers:

* Over 3.4 million video streams of live golf action were served over

four days

* A peak usage figure of over 85,000 simultaneous streams

* The average time spent viewing "Amen Corner Live" was over two hours

per visit

Additional highlights from the month of March include a strong beginning to the fantasy baseball season. As was announced in February, this season CBS SportsLine is offering Free Fantasy Baseball Basic, its first free fantasy offering in several years, to go along with its award winning Fantasy Baseball Commissioner and Premium Single games. The result was a 46% increase in fantasy baseball teams hosted on CBS SportsLine as the season officially got underway in April.

"Investing in our content, our customer experience and the success of our advertisers are our top priorities and further evidence of our long term strategy," said Steve Snyder, General Manager of CBS SportsLine. "What's extremely encouraging is that despite our free offering, our subscription revenue for this fantasy baseball season continues to show healthy growth. That is certainly a strong testament to the strength of our fantasy brand in the marketplace."

About CBS Digital Media

CBS Digital Media is the in-house unit of CBS overseeing all online, interactive, wireless and digital video initiatives. The group currently operates CBS.com, CBSNews.com and CBS SportsLine.com.

About CBS SportsLine

CBS SportsLine is at the leading edge of media companies providing Internet sports content, Fantasy sports and e-commerce. In addition to its flagship service, the company publishes the official Web sites of the NFL, PGA TOUR and NCAA Sports. CBS SportsLine is a member of the CBS family and a part of CBS Digital Media. For more information about CBS SportsLine and for the latest sports news, scores and expert analysis, please visit http://www.cbs.sportsline.com/.

CBS Corporation is a mass media company with constituent parts that reach back to the beginnings of the broadcast industry, as well as newer businesses that operate on the leading edge of the media industry. The Company, through its many and varied operations, combines broad reach with well-positioned local businesses, all of which provide it with an extensive distribution network by which it serves audiences and advertisers in all 50 states and key international markets. It has operations in virtually every field of media and entertainment, including broadcast television (CBS and UPN), cable television (Showtime and CSTV Networks), local television (CBS Television Stations), television production and syndication (CBS Paramount Television and King World), radio (CBS Radio), advertising on out-of-home media (CBS Outdoor), publishing (Simon & Schuster), theme parks (Paramount Parks), digital media (CBS Digital Media Group and CSTV Networks) and consumer products (CBS Consumer Products). In Fall 2006, UPN will cease operations and The CW, a new fifth broadcast television network, will launch as a joint venture between Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS Corporation. For more information, log on to http://www.cbscorporation.com/.

Source: CBS SportsLine

Ford Realigns South America Operation

* Dominic DiMarco is appointed executive director, Canada and South America * Barry Engle is appointed president, Ford Mercosul and President Ford Brazil * Antonio Maciel Neto resigns as president, Ford South America, effective May 3, to join Suzano Papel e Celulose as CEO

Ford Motor Company announced today a realignment of the Canada and South America organizations, and has named Dominic DiMarco executive director, Canada and South America. Concurrent with this change, Barry Engle becomes president, Ford Mercosul and Ford Brazil. He will report to DiMarco. The changes are effective immediately.

Louise Goeser remains president, Ford of Mexico, and like DiMarco will continue to report to Mark Fields, executive vice president and president, The Americas. William Osborne remains president, Ford of Canada and will report to DiMarco.

Antonio Maciel Neto resigns his position as president of Ford South America to join Suzano Papel e Celulose as its new CEO. His resignation will be effective May 3. Maciel will remain to ensure a smooth transition during the realignment of the region.

"I came to Ford to be part of the most important automotive turnaround in Brazil history and we've accomplished that," Maciel said. "We have a great team in place at Ford to continue the success we started. I am now ready to take on a new challenge."

In his new role, DiMarco will oversee diverse business operations in South America including product development, more than 500 dealerships, multiple car and light truck manufacturing plants, and the only wholly owned commercial truck operation in Ford Motor Company. He assumes leadership of South America to focus on the strategic planning for the region, including developing plans to further increase market share and profitability. In addition, he will oversee operations in the Andina region.

From 1999 to 2005, Ford South America has accomplished one of the most successful business turnarounds in the region. For the past nine quarters, Ford has been the most profitable automotive company in South America.

Previously, DiMarco was executive director, Operations Support and Finance and Strategy for Canada, Mexico and South America. Prior to that assignment, DiMarco was finance director for the North America Labor Negotiations team. He has also served as chief finance director of International Operations, including New Markets and the Asia-Pacific region. DiMarco joined Ford in 1973 as a financial analyst and also has held significant positions in North American Sales and Service Operations and Manufacturing. In addition, DiMarco previously worked in South America as finance controller for Autolatina in Brazil.

"With Dom's overall broad experience in international markets, and more recently in Canada, Mexico and South America he will bring a business and leadership perspective that moves Canada and South America forward," said Fields.

In his new position, Engle will be responsible for all Mercosul operations, including Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, plus the markets of Chile, Bolivia and Peru. Engle returned to Ford Brazil in September 2005, having previously served as the director, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Brazil from 2001 to 2003.

Engle's career has included a variety of international management experiences; prior to his return to Brazil he was director and general manager, Worldwide Direct Market Operations with responsibility for export operations in 116 markets around the world. Previously, Engle was director, North America Product Strategy and Planning, a position to which he was appointed in December 2004. Prior to that, he had been General Marketing Manager, Ford Customer Service Division. Engle also has first-hand automotive retail experience, having been a dealer himself.

Engle joined Ford in 1992. He held a variety of marketing and sales positions representing Ford Division, Lincoln Mercury, and Mazda in the United States, Mexico and Japan.

"Barry is an innovative leader, which has been reinforced in his short tenure as president, Ford Brazil. I look forward to working with him even more closely to shape the direction of the commercial operations across the region," said DiMarco.

Maciel joined Ford Motor Company in July 1999 as president of Ford Brazil. In October 2003, he was named president of Ford South America Operations. Maciel was elected a corporate vice president in October 2004. During his tenure he led the successful regional business turnaround and prepared the business for sustained profitability.

"Maciel has made a significant contribution to the Ford Motor Company global business through innovations in product, business and marketing strategies. We wish Maciel well in his new role and thank him for his work at Ford Motor Company," said Fields.

Source: Ford Motor Company

Web site: http://www.ford.com/

DOD

DoD Identifies Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Shawn R. Creighton, 21, of Windsor, N.C., died in Rawah, Iraq on April 8, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his Stryker vehicle during patrol operations. Creighton was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Spc. Kenneth D. Hess, 26, of Asheville, N.C., died in Rawah, Iraq on April 11, as the result of a suicide bomber attack while Hess was conducting a dismounted patrol. Hess was assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. They died of injuries sustained in Taji, Iraq on April 11, when an improvised explosive device detonated near their Bradley Fighting Vehicle and they subsequently came under small arms fire during combat operations. All three soldiers were assigned to the 7th Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood, Texas. Killed were: Cpl. Joseph A. Blanco, 25, of Bloomington, Calif. Pfc. James F. Costello III, 27, of St. Louis, Mo. Pfc. George R. Roehl Jr., 21, of Manchester, N.H.

DoD Identifies Missing Marine and Sailor The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Lance Cpl. Eric A. Palmisano, 27, of Florence, Wis., died April 2, after the truck he was riding in rolled over in a flash flood near Al Asad, Iraq. The incident also resulted in the death of six other Marines and a Navy petty officer. Palmisano was listed as Duty Status - Whereabouts Unknown until his body was recovered April 11. He was assigned to 1st Transportation Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Petty Officer 3rd Class Marcques J. Nettles, 22, of Beaverton, Ore. is still listed as Duty Status - Whereabouts Unknown as a result of the incident and search efforts continue.

Military officials in Baghdad announced a U.S. soldier's death today and a Marine's death yesterday, and the Defense Department has identified two other recent casualties. A Multinational Division Baghdad soldier was killed today when a roadside bomb struck his vehicle southwest of Baghdad. A Marine assigned to Regimental Combat Team 5 died due to enemy action while operating near Baghdad. Officials provided no other details. The servicemembers' names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. In addition, the Defense Department has identified two soldiers - both assigned to the 4th Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, Fort Wainwright, Alaska -- who died recently in Iraq: - Army Spc. Kenneth D. Hess, 26, of Asheville, N.C., died April 11 in Rawah as the result of a suicide bomber attack while he was conducting a dismounted patrol. - Army Spc. Shawn R. Creighton, 21, of Windsor, N.C., died in Rawah April 8 when a roadside bomb detonated near his Stryker vehicle during a patrol.

Month of the Military Child

 

By many people's assessments, concerns about his ailing father probably lost the Masters Tournament earlier this week for Tiger Woods, one of the most celebrated children of U.S. servicemembers. Woods, the defending champion, ended up helping winner Phil Mickelson into his green jacket following the April 9 tournament at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Noticeably missing from the jacket ceremony was retired Army Lt. Col. Earl Woods, Tiger's father and once-constant companion, who is in Cyprus, Calif., suffering from pancreatic cancer. "I'm very proud of my dad. He's a tremendous fighter, got an unbelievable will," Woods said during an interview in the days leading up to the Augusta tournament. Two years ago, immediately following the 2004 Masters Tournament, Tiger got a glimpse into that fighting spirit when he and his father reported to Fort Bragg, N.C., the senior Woods' old duty station. There, Woods traded in his green jacket for an Army battle dress uniform and his golf spikes for combat boots to follow in his father's footsteps and train for four days with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. After the training, the junior Woods hosted the Tiger Woods Foundation's 30th Junior Golf Clinic at the post's Stryker Golf Course, offering one-on-one golf instruction to 84 military children.

Beyond the physical training, marksmanship and close-quarters combat training and the jumps with the Golden Knights parachute team, the senior Woods said he hoped his son took something even more important away from the experience. He wanted Tiger to get a sense of how men and women in uniform "look out for each other, support each other and love each other." The senior Woods first trained at Fort Bragg in 1963 following a tour in Vietnam, and was assigned to a Special Forces Unit there before leaving for another tour in 1970. During that second tour, he served as an adviser to a deputy province chief, Vietnamese Lt. Col. Vuong Phong. Woods nicknamed him "Tiger" for his skills in the field. Years later, Woods named his son Eldrick "Tiger" Woods after his old friend and began instilling in him his values and sense of commitment.

During an interview with Golf Magazine, the senior Woods said he tried to teach his son the lessons he learned in Vietnam and the value of human life and integrity. Those lessons carried over to the golf course, where the senior Woods used his military training to instill in Tiger the discipline and focus that turned him into a world-renowned golfer. He said his son "was always inquisitive about the training I put him through," particularly the "mental toughness training." Tiger apparently learned his lessons well, and those who watch his career most closely attribute his mental toughness to his victories, with 10 major championships, including four Masters titles. During the 2004 clinic at Fort Bragg, Woods compared the physical and mental demands of the military training he received - like that his father used to help hone his golf skills as he was growing up - to those he experiences as a professional golfer. "You have to be mentally ready," he said. "The only difference is that (the soldiers are) putting their lives on the line. I'm not. They're doing it for our country and to keep us safe, and they are to be commended."

 

'America Supports You' Thanks PGA for Troop Support Efforts

 

Professional Golf Association troop supporters had a memorable day touring the Pentagon today, as both a reward for their work raising money to support the troops and as a catalyst for more work in the coming year. The 17 guests, members of the PGA's Tournament Players Clubs, talked about future troop support plans and met with Pentagon officials, including Navy Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, welcomed the group in the Pentagon briefing room and thanked them for their hard work. "The department is so grateful," Barber said. "The philanthropy of the PGA Tour family is really impressive, so thank you." The PGA tour is a member of America Supports You, which was launched in November 2004.

ASY is a Defense Department program highlighting grassroots and corporate support for the nation's servicemembers and their families. As a corporate sponsor with a lot of visibility, the tour has the opportunity to help other charities, Barber said. "We make no apology for asking people to keep (the ASY) brand out there, because that brand is a reminder to our military community that America supports them, and it gives more credibility to our grassroots groups," she said. Barber discussed upcoming ASY programs, including a partnership with Weekly Reader to launch later this month, as well as plans for Memorial Day events and Freedom Walks on Sept. 11 to be held across the country. David Pillsbury, president and chief operating officer of the PGA Tour golf course properties, said he was proud to be at the Pentagon to celebrate the success of his group's fundraising over the past year.

Pillsbury told Barber he thinks it's helpful to hear what ASY has planned for the next year, because the PGA Tour hopes to be an integral part of the America Supports You mission, offering money and media outlets for troop charities, for a long time to come. "There's so much more we can do beyond just raising money," he said. "We have an incredible instrument in our communities to be a mouthpiece." During their tour, the group viewed the area of the building that was damaged by terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. They listened to Pentagon tour guides recount that day and explain how the building was rebuilt. "For us it's about not forgetting," Pillsbury said. "As it relates to our troops, it's a very tangible, real thing that we need to get people refocused on, because it's so easy -- out of sight, out of mind."

Synthetic Clothes Off Limits to Marines Outside Bases in Iraq

Marines conducting operations outside forward operating bases and camps in Iraq can no longer wear synthetic athletic clothing containing polyester and nylon, Marine Corps commanders have ordered. The ban on popular clothing from companies like Under Armour, CoolMax and Nike comes in the wake of concerns that a substantial burn risk is associated with wearing clothing made with these synthetic materials, officials said. When exposed to extreme heat and flames, clothing containing some synthetic materials like polyester will melt and can fuse to the skin.

This essentially creates a second skin and can lead to horrific, disfiguring burns, said Navy Capt. Lynn E. Welling, the 1st Marine Logistics Group head surgeon. Whether on foot patrol or conducting a supply convoy while riding in an armored truck, everyone is at risk to such injuries while outside the wire. "Burns can kill you and they're horribly disfiguring. If you're throwing (a melted synthetic material) on top of a burn, basically you have a bad burn with a bunch of plastic melting into your skin, and that's not how you want to go home to your family," said Welling. According to Tension Technology International, a company that specializes in synthetic fibers, most man-made fabrics such as nylon, acrylic or polyester will melt when ignited and produce a hot, sticky, melted substance. This can cause extremely severe burns.

For these reasons, Marines have been limited to wearing clothing made with these materials only while on the relatively safe forward operating bases and camps where encounters with fires and explosions are relatively low, officials said. These products have risen in popularity in the past few years and are now sold at military clothing stores. Some companies have come out with product lines specifically catering to military needs. This makes polyester clothing readily available to servicemembers, said Welling. The Under Armour company, a favorite among many servicemembers here, advertises that the fabric used to make their garments will pull perspiration from the skin to the outer layer of the clothing. This, the ads say, allows the person wearing it to remain cool and dry in any condition or climate.

While these qualities have been a main reason for Marines to stock up on these items, the melting side effect can be a fatal drawback, said Welling. This point was driven home recently at a military medical facility at Camp Ramadi, a U.S. military base on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi, arguably one of the most dangerous cities in Iraq. "We had a Marine with significant burn injuries covering around 70 percent of his body," said Navy Cmdr. Joseph F. Rappold, the officer in charge of the medical unit at the base. The Marine was injured when the armored vehicle he was riding in struck an improvised explosive device, causing his polyester shirt to melt to his skin. Even though he was wearing his protective vest, Navy doctors still had to cut the melted undergarment from his torso. His injuries would not have been as severe had he not been wearing a polyester shirt, said Rappold.

Burns have become a common injury in Iraq as the enemy continues to employ IEDs and roadside bombs. Currently, these hidden explosives are the No. 1 killer of servicemembers in Iraq, said Welling. For years, servicemembers with jobs that put then at a high risk of flame exposure, such as pilots and explosive ordnance disposal personnel, were kept from wearing polyester materials because of the extra burn threat. Now, with so many encounters with IED explosions, the Marines are extending this ban to everyone going outside the wire, officials said. With the approach of summer, temperatures during some days are expected to hover around 130 degrees Fahrenheit. These blistering temperatures spur many to wear the the moisture-wicking, quick-drying clothing in an attempt to beat the heat and stay cool. "I understand it gets to be 150 degrees in a turret during the summer time," said Welling. "My goal is not to make it more uncomfortable or harder on the servicemembers. My job is to make sure that when they hit an IED and are engulfed in flames, they have the best protection possible and the least risk of something (going wrong) that could have been prevented." The directive is straightforward and simple, Welling said. "The goal is not to bubble wrap the warrior going outside the gate.

The idea is to minimize the (hazards) we have control over," said Welling. Commanders have expressed concern that troops will downplay the problem of wearing wicking materials in combat settings because they think their body armor or uniforms will protect them. The camouflage utility uniforms are designed to turn to ash and blow away after the material is burned, but the burn hazard remains, said Welling. She recommends wearing 100 percent cotton clothing while on missions.

So far, Marines have been responding well to the new regulations. "The policy is good because it's designed for safety and is about keeping Marines in the fight," said Cpl. Jason Lichtefeld, a military policeman with the 1st Marine Logistics Group, who plans to ensure his Marines comply with the new rules. Even Marines who never venture off base should be aware of the risks associated with wearing the wicking fabrics, officials said. For example, a Marine's high-performance undershirt recently started smoking when an electrical current shocked him. Fortunately, it didn't catch on fire or melt, but the potential was there, said Welling. Officials acknowledged that high-performance apparel may be the best way to stay cool when working in a low-risk environment with a minimal chance of exposure to flames or intense heat. "We've got a great piece of gear, but when you put it in the wrong environment, it could cause more problems than it's worth," said Welling.

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

 

McDonald's Corporation

Global comparable sales rose 5.3% in March; 5.2% for the first quarter

-- marking McDonald's 35th consecutive month and 12th consecutive quarter

of positive global comparable results

-- U.S. comparable sales increased 6.6% for the month and quarter

-- Europe's comparable sales were up 1.6% for the month, 2.0% for the

quarter

-- First quarter 2006 earnings per share is expected to be about $0.49,

which includes $0.01 per share of negative foreign exchange impact

McDonald's

Corporation (announced today that global comparable sales rose

5.3% in March, on top of outstanding performance in March 2005.

McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner commented, "Our

customer-focused Plan to Win continues to generate strong sales results

thus far in 2006, with positive comparable sales across all geographic

segments for the month of March and the first quarter. These strong results

were fueled by increased customer visits as we enhanced McDonald's

relevance with new menu items featured in a more contemporary and inviting

restaurant atmosphere.

"For the month of March, comparable sales in the U.S. were up 6.6%

driven by breakfast and the convenience of our extended operating hours.

The launch of our new Premium Roast Coffee encouraged more customers to

enjoy the new coffee blend along with our popular breakfast menu.

"Europe's comparable sales grew 1.6% in March led by strong performance

in France and Russia. We are pleased with these results given harsh weather

in certain markets and the shift in the Easter and school-related holidays

from March in 2005 to April in 2006. We remain focused on driving momentum

across Europe by enhancing the customer experience and providing relevant

menu options.

"In Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, comparable sales for March

were up 5.0%, led by strong results in Australia and improved results in

China.

"Overall, I am pleased with our performance and am confident that we

can continue our success in 2006. Our goal remains to deliver long-term

profitable growth for all McDonald's shareholders through exceptional

customer experiences."

March Comparable Sales

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Month-to-Date Year-to-Date

Percent Increase 2006 2005 2006 2005

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

McDonald's Restaurants* 5.3 6.8 5.2 4.6

Major Segments:

U.S. 6.6 6.8 6.6 5.2

Europe 1.6 6.6 2.0 2.9

APMEA** 5.0 7.3 4.1 5.5

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

March Systemwide Sales

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Month-to-Date Year-to-Date

As Constant As Constant

Percent Increase/(Decrease) Reported Currency Reported Currency

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

McDonald's Restaurants* 3.3 6.3 3.5 6.3

Major Segments:

U.S. 7.4 7.4 7.4 7.4

Europe (6.0) 2.7 (5.0) 3.1

APMEA** 0.2 7.0 0.2 6.2

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

* Excludes non-McDonald's brands

** Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa

First quarter 2006 earnings are expected to be about $0.49 per share,

including a $0.01 negative impact from foreign currency exchange rates.

Also included is $0.045 per share of expense primarily related to

previously announced actions taken for a limited number of restaurant

closings in the U.K. in conjunction with an overall restaurant portfolio

review, costs to buyout certain franchisees in Brazil and a loss on the

anticipated sale of a small market in Europe to a developmental licensee.

In addition, 2006 results included a gain of $0.035 per share due to the

IPO of Chipotle Mexican Grill and the concurrent sale of Chipotle shares.

First quarter 2005 reported earnings were $0.56 per share, which

included a $0.13 per share tax benefit due to a favorable audit settlement.

Definitions

-- Comparable sales represent sales at all McDonald's restaurants,

including those operated by the Company, franchisees and affiliates,

in operation at least thirteen months including those temporarily

closed, excluding the impact of currency translation. Some of the

reasons restaurants may be temporarily closed include road

construction, reimaging or remodeling, and natural disasters such as

hurricanes. Management reviews the increase or decrease in comparable

sales compared with the same period in the prior year to assess

business trends.

-- Information in constant currency is calculated by translating current

year results at prior year average exchange rates.

-- Systemwide sales include sales at all McDonald's restaurants,

including those operated by the Company, franchisees and affiliates.

Management believes Systemwide sales information is useful in

analyzing the Company's revenues because franchisees and affiliates

pay rent, service fees and/or royalties that generally are based on a

percent of sales with specified minimum rent payments.

-- The number of weekdays, weekend days and timing of holidays can impact

our reported comparable sales. For the month of March 2006, this

calendar shift/trading day adjustment consisted of one more Friday and

one less Tuesday, compared with March 2005. The resulting adjustment

varied around the world, ranging from approximately positive 0.5% to

positive 1.0%.

Upcoming Communications

McDonald's plans to release first quarter earnings before the market

opens on April 21, and will host an investor webcast at 10:30 a.m. Central

Time. A link to the live and archived webcast will be available on

http://www.investor.mcdonalds.com .

.

McDonald's tentatively plans to release April sales on May 9, 2006.

McDonald's is the leading global foodservice retailer with more than

30,000 local restaurants in more than 100 countries. Approximately 70% of

McDonald's restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent,

local businessmen and women. Please visit our website at

http://www.mcdonalds.com to learn more about the Company. quarterly reports.

to learn more about the Company. quarterly reports.

 

SOURCE McDonald's Corporation
Web Site: http://www.mcdonalds.com

Ukrainian vodka giant Soyuz-Victan is planning a $10 million marketing push to bolster its entry into seven major U.S. markets this August.

Soyuz-Victan is positioning its SV Supreme grand against Grey Goose and Chopin in the U.S.


S-V, the world's No. 3 vodka producer, is positioning its SV Supreme brand to compete with the likes of Grey Goose and Chopin in the still-hot super-premium vodka sector. The marketer is also planning to expand into Asia and Western Europe, but the thriving market for high-end vodkas here makes the U.S. its top priority, according to U.S. Sales Manager Mark McKethan.

SV Supreme is a new brand, but Soyuz's existing brands SV and Medoff each grew by about 54% last year, to 6.5 million and 3.4 million cases, respectively, according to the spirits trade journal Impact. For comparison, Grey Goose shipped 2.3 million cases during 2005, and Smirnoff shipped about 21 million.

Soyuz has tapped McCaffery Gottlieb Lane, New York, for creative duties; Euro RSCG Magnet, New York, for public relations; Brand Action Team, Avon, Conn., for marketing and promotions; and Next Level, Westport, Conn., for on-premise work.

Those agencies will have a $10 million budget to gain share in seven U.S. markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Miami and Dallas. Mr. McKethan said he expects the media mix to vary by market, but that out-of-home and on-premise media figure to be the largest pieces.

In order to stand out in an increasingly crowded luxury vodka field, SV Supreme will try to differentiate itself in two ways. First, all creative work will pitch its allegedly smooth taste, using the slogan "You just know when it's silk."

Second, Soyuz hopes a rocket-shaped bottle will help it stand out on bar shelves.

Mr. McKethan says Soyuz hopes to sell 20,000 cases this year, and reach 1 million cases by 2010. "The company is very serious about establishing a foothold," he says

 

Marketing for Altoids and Life Savers is curiously weak.

That's the startling admission from Wrigley's CEO, who told investors that ad efforts for the two brands were under-marketed when they were owned by Kraft Foods and haven't been a lot better since Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. purchased them for $1.5 billion last year.

CEO Bill Wrigley Jr. said Altoids and Life Savers will require more of an investment in marketing than previously thought.


'Bill Wrigley Jr., the mastermind behind the deal, blindsided analysts at the company's annual meeting last week, when he said the brands, along with Creme Savers, had received "limited marketing and innovation support" and will require more significant investment than previously thought -- at the expense of earnings -- in order to grow.

"When [Wrigley] bought the business, they saw a certain level of distribution and thought they could maintain it without extra marketing spending, but that distribution continued to deteriorate," said Credit Suisse analyst Rob Moskow.

Although measured-media spending on the brands rose in 2005 to a total of $50 million, up from $33 million in 2004, those efforts were still dubbed "quite weak" by Lehman Bros. analyst Andrew Lazar. Mr. Lazar surmised that Wrigley "was hesitant to invest aggressively behind these brands until it had a better sense of the innovation pipeline and had its own merchandising programs." But he said the aftermath of Kraft's underinvestment, coupled with the disruption of the transition to Wrigley's ownership, resulted in disastrous sales declines.


Mr. Lazar's analysis of ACNielsen data shows Altoids sales fell 17% since Wrigley's ownership, while Life Savers dropped 8% and Creme Savers plunged 33%.

Mr. Moskow predicted Wrigley will have to add at least $10 million in spending to the trio, whose annual sales total roughly $400 million.

Since the June acquisition, ads for the three brands are all remnants of Kraft's efforts, but much is said to be "in progress" from Altoids agency Leo Burnett, Chicago, and Energy BBDO, Chicago, which works on Life Savers and Creme Savers.

According to spokeswoman Jessica Schiller, "We are adding brand support at more significant levels to regain awareness and presence of these brands." Building the innovation pipeline will also be crucial.

Analysts were clearly surprised by the near-term hit to earnings as a result of unexpected marketing costs. But the prognosis is good. Wrigley's "strategy of spending to grow the brands will work in the long run, but it's going to be a little painful in 2006," said Mr. Moskow.

 

Triple-digit same-store sales increases in flat-screen televisions

and portable music players helped Circuit City Stores post fourth-quarter 2006 (ended Feb. 28) net income of $141.1 million, up 65% from $85.4 million during the same period last year.

Quarterly revenue topped $3.9 billion, compared to $3.5 billion last year.

Richmond, Va.-based Circuit City, which has 626 stores in the U.S. and 954 locations in Canada, reported double-digit same-store sales declines in DVD players and single-digit sales declines in video software.

As a percentage of company sales, the video category (hardware) represented 45% of quarterly sales, compared to 43% last year. Entertainment sales tallied 13%, down 2% from last year.

During an investor call, Doug Moore, EVP and chief merchandising officer, said Circuit City expects continued robust sales of entertainment hardware led by flat-screen TVs and high definition DVD players in fiscal year 2007.

“Now that the federal government has set the deadline for the analog signal cutoff, we believe more people will transition to a digital television,” said Moore. “This year, additional HD content in the HD gaming, the launch of Blu-ray and HD DVD players and software will be available and all signs point to continued high consumer demand.”

Circuit City plans to initiate in-store home theater service teams in 13 markets this year. The company has been test-marketing an unnamed variation of its “IQ Crew” home theater installation service in Massachusetts and Florida.

ExxonMobil Reaches $1 Million Contribution Milestone to Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards; Supports Educational Grants for Outstanding Hispanic High School Students Excelling in Engineering and Mathematics

ExxonMobil announced today that it once again will sponsor the national and regional Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards (HHYA) for Engineering & Mathematics, a national search for young Hispanic leaders and role models. This year marks the company's $1 million contribution milestone to the HHYA. ExxonMobil's support of the organization provides educational grants and helps promote Hispanic heritage to high school youth.

"ExxonMobil knows the important role the Hispanic population will have on our country's economic growth -- not just as consumers but as our future workforce and leaders," said Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer, Exxon Mobil Corporation. "That is why, over the years, our company has been a supporter of Hispanic organizations that promote education and career opportunities.

"One of our strongest partnerships has been with the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards because together we are helping build a new generation of science-savvy citizens." Tillerson added, "These young people will not only become leaders in the field of engineering and mathematics but act as role models to influence future generations."

ExxonMobil began supporting the HHYA in 2001 with the creation of a mathematics awards category that has since evolved into the engineering and mathematics category. Since 2001, five national winners have gone on to study at universities including Harvard, Amherst and Stanford. ExxonMobil's support has enabled an estimated 120 regional Engineering and Mathematics winners pursue their dream of higher education.

ExxonMobil's sponsorship funds educational grants and empowers the HHYA to promote Hispanic pride, cultural values and the creation of future Hispanic role models and leaders.

The Engineering & Mathematics award and other Hispanic Heritage

Youth Awards are presented to graduating high school seniors of Hispanic descent during April and May. Award recipients are chosen by regional selection committees based on their academic achievement, community service, category focus and an essay about the important role their heritage played upon their success.

Students are recognized in the following areas of achievement: Academic Excellence, Community Service, Engineering and Mathematics, Healthcare, Journalism and Sports. This year, HHYA has included three additional award categories that students can enter: Education, Leadership and Arts & Culture.

Throughout the United States, a total of 216 Regional Youth Award recipients -- two students in each of nine categories throughout 12 regions -- will be honored and receive educational grants during special ceremonies. The regions include: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles, Northern California, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia/New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Subsequently, one National Youth Award Winner will be chosen from the pool of regional winners in each category and will receive an additional educational grant, a laptop computer, a free trip to the National Youth Award presentation in Miami and to the national Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. where they will be presented with their award on stage.

About the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards

In 1998, the Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards were created to identify and promote the next generation of role models by celebrating their accomplishments in the classroom and community. In its ninth year, this national leadership program annually provides more than 200 students with $650,000 in educational grants in 12 regions. These young leaders are promoted as role models for their peers and selected to serve in the new Speakers Bureau where they visit their neighborhoods, schools and community centers and inspire other youth to achieve. With the Youth Awards as a feeder program, the LOFT (Latinos on Fast Track) initiative was launched in 2004 to systematically develop sustainable relationships between top Hispanic young professionals who have been awarded and America's workforce.

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) celebrates and promotes Hispanic pride, culture, accomplishment and leadership through national and regional educational and inspirational programs focusing on putting Hispanics in a position from which to lead.

About Exxon Mobil Corporation

Exxon Mobil Corporation is a leading international energy company whose subsidiaries have operations in approximately 200 countries and territories. In the United States, ExxonMobil has significant exploration and production, refining and marketing and chemicals operations. ExxonMobil is one of the largest oil and gas producers and reserves holders in the United States, with a portfolio including Alaska, onshore Gulf Coast and deepwater Gulf of Mexico. In addition, there are approximately 13,000 Exxon and Mobil branded service stations in the U.S., as well as seven refineries, four of which are integrated petrochemical facilities.

For more information about ExxonMobil, please visit the company's website at http://www.exxonmobil.com.

ExxonMobil alcanza a contribuir $1 millón de dólares para los premios a la juventud ‘patrimonio hispano’

Patrocina un programa de subvenciones educativas para alumnos hispanos sobresalientes que se distinguen en ingeniería y matemáticas

 

--El día de hoy, ExxonMobil informa que de nuevo patrocinará a nivel regional y nacional los Premios a la Juventud "Patrimonio Hispano" (Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards), conocido por sus siglas como HHYA, en Ingeniería y Matemáticas. Este programa se enfoca en la búsqueda de jóvenes líderes ejemplares. Este año la compañía celebra el haber contribuído un millón de dólares a HHYA. Los fondos que ExxonMobil otorga a esta organización se emplean para cubrir becas y fomentar el patrimonio hispano en estudiantes de preparatoria.

"ExxonMobil reconoce la importancia que la población hispana tendrá en el desarrollo económico de nuestro país, no sólo como consumidores, sino también como nuestra futura fuerza laboral y como líderes", comentó Rex Tillerson, Jefe de la Mesa Directiva y Director General de la corporación ExxonMobil. "Es por eso, que a través de los años, nuestra compañía ha apoyado y patrocinado a las organizaciones hispanas que impulsan oportunidades académicas y profesionales".

"Una de nuestras colaboraciones de más éxito ha sido con el programa Premios a la Juventud Patrimonio Hispano, ya que juntos estamos tratando de crear una nueva generación de ciudadanos conocedores de las ciencias", agregó Tillerson. "Estos jóvenes no sólo se convertirán en líderes en el campo de la ingeniería y las matemáticas, sino también se transformarán en el ejemplo a seguir para las futuras generaciones".

En el año 2001, ExxonMobil inició su apoyo a HHYA, con la creación de un programa de becas en el área de las matemáticas, la cual se ha convertido en la categoría de Ingeniería y Matemáticas. A partir del año 2001, cinco galardonados a nivel nacional han asistido a universidades tales como Harvard, Amherst y Stanford. El apoyo económico de ExxonMobil ha permitido a cerca de 120 ganadores regionales en las mencionadas categorías, el continuar con su objetivo de obtener una educación universitaria.

ExxonMobil brinda fondos para subvencionar becas, y trata de inculcar y promover el orgullo de ser de origen hispano, de fomentar valores culturales y de participar en la creación de ciudadanos ejemplares y de futuros líderes.

El premio en Ingeniería y Matemáticas y otros premios de HHYA se otorgan durante los meses de abril y mayo, a jóvenes de descendencia hispana que estén a punto de finalizar sus estudios de preparatoria. Los ganadores son seleccionados por comités de selección regionales, basándose en los logros académicos, servicio comunitario, categoría de enfoque y en un escrito acerca de la importancia que haya tenido en su éxito como estudiante, el ser de origen hispano.

Los premios se otorgan en las siguientes áreas: Distinción Académica, Servicio Social, Ingeniería y Matemáticas, Cuidado de la Salud, Periodismo y Deportes. Este año, HHYA ha incluído 3 categorías adicionales en las cuales los jóvenes pueden participar. Estas son: Educación, Liderazgo y Arte y Cultura.

A través de los Estados Unidos, un total de 216 estudiantes, dos alumnos de 12 regiones en cada categoría que obtuvieron becas a nivel regional, (Regional Youth Award), serán honrados y recibirán subvenciones adicionales durante una ceremonia especial. Las regiones participantes incluyen, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, San Diego, Los Angeles, la zona norte de California, Phoenix, Chicago, Miami, Nueva York, Philadelphia/New Jersey y Washington, D.C.

Posteriormente, se seleccionarán del grupo de ganadores regionales de cada una de las categorías, a un ganador a nivel nacional, (National Youth Award Winner). Estos jóvenes recibirán unos fondos adicionales, una computadora portátil, un viaje a Miami a la premiación de NYA y a Washington, D.C., en donde se les premiará en la ceremonia nacional de Premios a la Juventud "Patrimonio Hispano".

Premios a la Juventud "Patrimonio Hispano", (Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards)

En el año 1998, el programa Premios a la Juventud "Patrimonio Hispano", fue creado para la búsqueda y el fomento de una nueva generación de jóvenes, con el fin de celebrar sus logros en el salón de clases y en la comunidad. En su noveno año, este programa nacional de liderazgo, otorga a más de 200 estudiantes, cerca de $650,000 dólares en becas en 12 regiones. Estos jóvenes líderes, son laudados como ejemplos a seguir y son seleccionados para colaborar en el nuevo Buró de Oradores ("Speakers Bureau"), visitando sus vecindarios, escuelas y centros comunitarios, exhortando a la vez a otros jóvenes a obtener sus metas. Con el fin de desarrollar de manera sistemática y sustentable lazos entre jóvenes hispanos profesionales y la fuerza laboral de los Estados Unidos, y trabajando con los jóvenes galardonados, en el año 2004 se creó "Latinos on Fast Track", (LOFT).

La Fundación del Patrimonio Hispano, (HHF) celebra y fomenta el orgullo de ser hispano, su cultura, logros y liderazgo a través de programas educativos nacionales y regionales, así como de programas de motivación enfocados en colocar a personas de origen hispano en posiciones de mando.

La corporación ExxonMobil

La corporación ExxonMobil es una de las empresas más importantes de energéticos con compañías filiales que operan en más de 200 países y territorios. En los Estados Unidos, ExxonMobil cuenta con un gran número de actividades en las áreas de exploración y producción, refinerías y mercadotecnia, y de empresas químicas. ExxonMobil es una de las compañías productoras más grandes de petróleo y gas, con grandes reservas en los Estados Unidos, incluyendo Alaska, el área territorial de la costa del Golfo y mar adentro del Golfo de México. Asimismo, existen cerca de 13, 000 gasolineras Exxon y Mobil en los Estados Unidos, contando también con 7 refinerías, 4 de las cuales son instalaciones petroquímicas integradas.

Para obtener más información referente a ExxonMobil, puede visitar el sitio en el Internet http://www.exxonmobil.com

Nissan Launches ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ Reality Show; Five-Part Original Programming Entitled ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ Will Premiere on Fox Sports en Español in April

 

For the first time ever, U.S. and Mexico soccer fans will get a chance to relive old memories with "El Reto Final Nissan," a five-part reality show and a one-of-a-kind soccer match that will crown North America's ultimate champion once and for all. The groundbreaking reality series will air exclusively in Spanish on Fox Sports en Español, starting on Sunday, April 16, at 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT. The historic rematch, which will take place at The Home Depot Center in Carson, California, on Sunday, May 21, will be telecasted live in Spanish by Fox Sports en Español and in English on Fox Soccer Channel.

"'El Reto Final Nissan' is a unique programming concept that celebrates the passion fans have for soccer, their team, and their rivals," said Jan Thompson, vice president of marketing for Nissan North America. "It's a natural fit for Nissan to own this type of innovative, branded entertainment because it's bold, exciting, and represents a 'shift' in soccer telecasts. Overall, it will be a fun program to follow for all soccer enthusiasts gearing up for the World Cup season."

In 1997, Mexico and the U.S. competed with each other twice to qualify for the 1998 World Cup. Both games resulted in a draw. This time, there will be no draw thanks to "El Reto Final Nissan." The reality series tells the story of the original matches and of the intense competition that characterizes them through archival footage of the games and interviews with the players and devoted fans. In five, unscripted episodes, players who qualified for the U.S. and Mexico teams nine years ago will be ambushed, persuaded to join their former colleagues, and put through intense training sessions and practices to prepare them for the rematch. The program's host, known only as George, will lead viewers through the excitement.

"We're proud to partner with Nissan to bring our viewers and Latino soccer enthusiasts what will undoubtedly be one of this year's must-watch television events," said David Sternberg, executive vice president and general manager of Fox Sports en Español. "'El Reto Final Nissan' is the perfect complement to our year-long, exclusive coverage of the best in Latin American soccer. This unprecedented reality series and historic encounter between Mexico and the United States is just one example of what our viewers can expect as Fox Sports en Español continues to expand beyond traditional advertising and break new ground in branded entertainment programming."

Fans and soccer enthusiasts interested in learning more about "El Reto Final Nissan" should visit http://www.nissanusa.com/Español where they can click on the "El Reto Final Nissan" logo for background information on their favorite teams, player profiles, programming details and news updates. Fans can also enter, via the website, a national sweepstakes where three grand-prize winners will receive a deluxe trip for four to the final match at The Home Depot Center in California. Winners will participate in a meet-and-greet with the players and coaches, a behind-the-scenes tour of The Home Depot Center, as well as exclusive access to a deluxe-viewing suite with catering and player appearances. Tickets for the May 21st rematch can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Nissan will incorporate product integration in the program by showcasing its Titan, Altima, and Xterra vehicles throughout the reality series.

"El Reto Final Nissan" is a joint production between Animus Group and Zeal Television.

About Nissan North America

In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. More information on Nissan North America and the complete line of Nissan and Infiniti vehicles can be found online at http://www.nissanusa.com and http://www.infiniti.com.

About Fox Sports en Español

Fox Sports en Español features more than 1,500 hours of live, exclusive sports programming in Spanish and, with few exceptions, English SAP each year, including the Copa Toyota Libertadores, Copa Nissan Sudamericana and InterLiga soccer tournaments; the Major League Baseball playoffs, All-Star Game and World Series; and Championship boxing from Mexico and the U.S. The channel reaches more than 7 million cable and satellite households in the U.S.

Fox Sports en Español is distributed by Fox Cable Networks Group and operated by Fox Pan American Sports LLC, an international sports programming and production entity jointly owned by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst and News Corporation's (NYSE:NWS) Fox Sports International.

Nissan Lanza El Programa ‘El Reto Final Nissan’; La programación original de cinco capítulos titulada ‘El Reto Final Nissan’ se estrenará en Fox Sports en Español en abril

Por primera vez, aficionados de fútbol en EE.UU. y México tendrán la oportunidad de revivir memorias con "El Reto Final Nissan", los cinco capítulos de la programación y el partido único coronarán el último campeón de una vez por todas. La serie real estará emitiéndose exclusivamente por Fox Sports en Español, empezando el domingo, 16 de abril a las 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m PT. La revancha histórica, que se realizará en el Home Depot Center en Carson, California el domingo, 21 de mayo, será televisada en vivo en español por Fox Sports en Español y en inglés por Fox Soccer Channel.

"'El Reto Final Nissan' es una programación única con un concepto que celebra la pasión de los aficionados, sus equipos, y la competencia," dijo Jan Thompson, vice presidente de mercadeo para Nissan Norteamérica. "Es una situación natural que seamos dueños de una programación innovadora, porque es un entretenimiento emocionante y atrevido que representa un 'Shift' (cambio) en la manera que el fútbol es televisado. Sobre todo, va a ser divertido seguir a los aficionados que se están preparando para la temporada de la Copa Mundial."

En 1997, México y EE.UU. compitieron en dos ocasiones para la calificación de la Copa del Mundo en 1998. Los dos partidos resultaron empatados. Con "El Reto Final Nissan" esta vez no habrá empate. La serie real relatará la historia de los partidos originales y de la intensa competencia que existe entre ambos lados que es caracterizada en los archivos y entrevistas de jugadores y aficionados. En cinco capítulos jugadores que calificaron para ambas selecciones de EE.UU. y México hace nueve años serán presionados a reunirse con sus compañeros de selección. Los jugadores serán sometidos a entrenamientos intensos y prácticas para prepararlos para el juego de revancha. El presentador del programa conocido solamente como "George" guiará a los espectadores por la emoción que será extrema.

"Estamos orgullosos de alinearnos con Nissan para traer a nuestros espectadores latinos y aficionados de fútbol, lo que seguramente será uno del los eventos que tienen que ver los aficionados este año," dijo David Sternberg, vice presidente ejecutivo y director general de Fox Sports en Español. "'El Reto Final Nissan' es un complemento perfecto a la cobertura exclusiva de todo el año de lo mejor del fútbol latinoamericano. Esta serie real sin precedente, y el encuentro histórico entre México y EE.UU. es solamente un ejemplo de lo que nuestros espectadores pueden esperar con la expansión de Fox Sports en Español afuera de la publicidad tradicional y junto a un entretenimiento marcado."

Aficionados que están interesados en aprender más sobre "El Reto Final Nissan" deben visitar el sitio www.nissanusa.com/español donde pueden hacer clic en el logo de "El Reto Final Nissan" para obtener información sobre su favorito equipo, jugadores, detalles de programación o las últimas noticias. Aficionados también pueden entrar a un concurso nacional, por la página web, para la oportunidad de ganar un viaje de lujo para cuatro personas a ver el partido final en el Home Depot Center en California. Los ganadores participarán en una ronda de encuentros con los jugadores y técnicos, harán un recorrido por el Home Depot Center y tendrán acceso exclusivo a una sala privada con servicios de banquete y visitas de los jugadores. Boletos para el partido de revancha que ocurrirá el 21 de mayo pueden ser comprados por Ticketmaster.

Nissan va incorporar este programa con integración de producto con los vehículos Titan, Altima y Xterra dentro de los cinco capítulos.

"El Reto Final Nissan" es una producción en conjunto con Animus Group y Zeal Television.

Sobre Nissan Norteamérica

En Norteamérica, las operaciones de Nissan incluyen diseño automovilístico, ingeniería, financiamiento al consumidor y corporativo, ventas y mercadeo, distribución y fabricación. Más información sobre Nissan Norteamérica y la línea completa de vehículos Nissan e Infiniti se puede ser encontrar en el sitio de web http://www.nissanusa.com y http://www.infiniti.com.

Sobre Fox Sports en Español

Fox Sports en Español transmite más de 1,500 horas de programación deportiva en español de manera exclusiva y en vivo, y con pocas excepciones en inglés, cada año, incluyendo la Copa Toyota Libertadores, la Copa Nissan Sudamericana y los torneos de fútbol InterLiga, así como los partidos de la Liga Mayor de Béisbol, los juegos All-Star y la Serie Mundial, además de los campeonatos de boxeo de México y Estados Unidos. El canal tiene un alcance de más de 7 millones de hogares por cable y satélite en EE.UU.

Fox Sports en Español es distribuido por Fox Cable Networks Group y operado por Fox Pan American Sports LLC, una compañía de producción y programación deportiva internacional que es propiedad conjunta de Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst y Fox Sports International de News Corporation

Wal-Mart Expande Selección de Productos Orgánicos para Bebés

Nueva ropa y fórmula para bebés a disposición de los padres que buscan ahorros y una gran selección 'naturalmente'

Al aumentar entre los consumidores la demanda de productos orgánicos, Wal-Mart está ampliando su línea de productos orgánicos para bebés. Las nuevas ofertas orgánicas para bebés en la cadena de ventas al detalle son la línea de ropa George Baby Organic Cotton y la fórmula para bebés Parent's Choice(R) ORGANIC Infant Formula, que se encuentran exclusivamente en Wal-Mart. Estos productos se unen a la comida orgánica para bebés Gerber Tender Harvest que ya está en los anaqueles.

"Esperamos que estos productos sean asequibles para los padres que en el pasado tal vez no hayan optado por los alimentos orgánicos debido al costo o a la disponibilidad", dice Beth Schommer, gerente de mercancía divisional de Wal-Mart para bebés y niños que empiezan a andar.

En efecto, en una encuesta reciente encargada por Wal-Mart se halló que el 60 por ciento de los padres están interesados en opciones orgánicas para sus bebés. Además, el 74 por ciento indicó que estarían más inclinados a comprar para sus niños productos orgánicos si los tuvieran más a mano o fueran más económicos.

"Las madres pasan un sinfín de horas examinando productos como fórmula y ropa para sus bebés", señala Stephanie Gallagher, directora de TheShoppingMom.com y autora de The Gallagher Guide to the Baby Years: The Real Moms' Survey of Top-Rated Products and Advice (La Guía Gallagher para la Época del Bebé: La Encuesta de Verdaderas Mamás sobre Productos de Primera y Consejos). "Mis investigaciones han demostrado que las mamás están cada vez más al tanto de las cuestiones ambientales y están muy interesadas en los productos orgánicos para bebés".

La oferta ampliada de productos orgánicos de Wal-Mart dará a los padres más opciones para sus hijos:

* Parent's Choice(R) ORGANIC Infant Formula es la primera fórmula

orgánica para bebés a la venta en una cadena de ventas masivas al

detalle. Parent's Choice, una alternativa integral para los padres

que eligen dar fórmula a sus bebés, es la primera fórmula orgánica

para bebés que contiene los lípidos DHA y ARA, nutrientes que se

hallan naturalmente en la leche materna y que se ha demostrado que

ayudan al desarrollo del cerebro y de los ojos del bebé.

* La ropa de algodón Wal-Mart George Baby Organic se lanzará en

mayo de 2006 y abarca mamelucos, vestidos, camisetas y shorts para

bebés de 0 a 9 meses. La ropa está hecha con algodón orgánico

100 por ciento certificado y trae un tema de jardín y flores para

las niñas y de un juguetón animal de la selva para los niños.

* La comida orgánica para bebés Gerber Tender Harvest está a la

venta actualmente en tiendas Wal-Mart y viene para bebés

en tres etapas:

-- Primeras Comidas: Frutas y verduras de un solo ingrediente, en

puré, con la consistencia correcta para enseñar a los bebés a

tragar alimentos sólidos

-- Segundas Comidas: Audaces combinaciones de varios ingredientes

para bebés mayores

-- Terceras Comidas: Variedades únicas con la textura adecuada

para los bebés que están aprendiendo a masticar y a triturar

Acerca de Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. opera Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets y SAM'S CLUBS en los Estados Unidos. Internacionalmente, la compañía opera en Alemania, Argentina, Brasil, Canadá, China, Corea del Sur, Japón, México, Puerto Rico y el Reino Unido. Los valores de la compañía se cotizan en las bolsas de Nueva York y del Pacífico bajo el símbolo WMT. Para más información sobre Wal-Mart, visite http://www.walmartfacts.com/ . Para venta de mercancías en línea, visite http://www.walmart.com/ .

 

Sports Fans Brush Up on 'Team Colors' from The Home Depot

Retailer Introduces Sports-Themed Paint Palette

The Home Depot(R), the world's largest home improvement retailer, today announced the launch of a new sports- themed paint line called Team Colors. Through the program, customers can purchase paint in the exact colors of their favorite professional and college sports teams. Created in partnership with ICI Paints and the Glidden(R) brand, the Team Colors program is available exclusively at The Home Depot stores nationwide.\

The Home Depot will offer more than 400 paint colors representing more than 125 different teams through agreements with Major League Baseball(R) (MLB(TM)), the National Football League (NFL), 44 colleges and universities, NASCAR and 14 drivers/teams, Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Soccer, the Federation of Mexican Fútbol and the U.S. Olympic Team.

"As the leading paint retailer for the do-it-yourself market, The Home Depot is dedicated to introducing innovative products that will offer and inspire new design ideas among our customers," said Tom Taylor, executive vice president of Merchandising and Marketing. "In addition to offering new colors that can change the look and feel of a room, Team Colors offers a creative outlet for millions of sports fans to showcase their passion for and support of their favorite teams."

According to a recent survey commissioned by The Home Depot and conducted by Harris Interactive(R) of U.S. adult sports fans (1) in the United States, 27 percent of sports fans, or an estimated 51 million adults (2), have purchased an item of clothing in the color of their favorite team. Thirteen percent of sports fans, or approximately 25 million adults, strongly or somewhat agree that they would paint a room in their home in the color of their favorite sports team if they could.

More than one in three sports fans (more than 68 million or 36 percent) have expressed support for their favorite team in a variety of color-related ways, such as by purchasing an item of clothing in that color (more than 51 million or 27 percent), actively seeking out items in that color (nearly 19 million or 10 percent), decorating for a party in that color (15 million or 8 percent), or even painting their face or body in that color (7.5 million or 4 percent).

"Sports fans have a special connection to the colors of their favorite teams," said sport psychologist Dr. Joel Fish, director, Center for Sport Psychology in Philadelphia and an expert in fan behavior. "This connection is on display by millions of sports fans each week in the form of apparel worn to games or accessories used to decorate their homes. In fact, research has shown that the color of the merchandise is one of the top reasons why consumers purchase licensed sports apparel, not just because the colors represent their favorite teams. Paint is another easy way for fans to bring their teams home with them."

The survey also showed that approximately 15 million sports fans (8 percent) have cheered for a team simply because they like the color of their uniforms and, among U.S. adults who have a favorite color, nearly 11 million (6 percent) say that their favorite color is the color of their favorite college, professional or high school sports team.

"Glidden and The Home Depot have created the perfect game plan for bringing the excitement of fans' team colors to a den, recreation room, child's bedroom or home office," said Carolyn Resar, director of Marketing for the Glidden brand. "With hundreds of color options, Team Colors will appeal to sports fans, as well as any consumers looking to incorporate fresh and vibrant colors into their homes."

A special Web site created for Team colors, http://www.mostcolorfulfan.com/, will feature a downloadable version of the 12-page color brochure, Team Colors Room Visualizer, where fans can create their fantasy Team Colors room, and access how-to painting tips and a variety of inspirational room photography.

To further support Team Colors, The Home Depot will launch print, radio and TV advertising; conduct on-site marketing efforts at select sporting events; and post Team Colors information on sports league Web sites and in print materials.

Founded in 1978, The Home Depot(R) is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer and the second largest retailer in the United States, with fiscal 2005 sales of $81.5 billion. The Company employs approximately 345,000 associates and has 2,058 stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, 10 Canadian provinces and Mexico. Through its Home Depot Supply(SM) Division, the Company operates one of the nation's largest diversified wholesale distributors, with operations in 41 states and Canada. The Home Depot has been recognized by FORTUNE magazine as the No. 1 Most Admired Specialty Retailer and the No. 13 Most Admired Corporation in America for 2006. Its stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard & Poor's 500 index.HDG

The Home Depot is an Official Sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team.

Harris Interactive(R) fielded the online survey on behalf of The Home Depot between March 17 and March 21, 2006, among a nationwide sample of 2,302 U.S. adults 18 years of age and older, of whom 2,026 were identified as sports fans. The data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population on the basis of region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity and propensity to be online. In theory, with a probability sample of this size, one can say with 95 percent certainty that the results for the overall sample of adults have a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Sampling error for the sub-samples of sports fans (2,026) and adults who have a favorite color (2,026) is higher and varies. This online sample is not a probability sample.

(1) "Sports fans" were defined as those who described themselves as fair- weather, avid, or die-hard fans of professional sports (e.g., baseball, basketball, football, NASCAR), college sports, Olympic sports (e.g., swimming, diving, skiing, luge), extreme sports (e.g., skateboarding, rock climbing, motocross), or high school sports. By this definition, 87 percent of U.S. adults are "sports fans."

(2) Throughout this release, population projections are calculated based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates. For example, according to the U.S. Census Bureau Web site (http://www.census.gov/), there are 217.8 million U.S. adults who are ages 18 and older, 87 percent of whom - or about 189.5 million - are sports fans.

Source: The Home Depot

Aficionados de Deportes Repasan 'Colores de Equipos' de The Home Depot

Minorista Presenta Paleta de Pintura con Temas Deportivos

ATLANTA, 13 de abril /PR Newswire/ -- The Home Depot(R), el minorista de mejoras para el hogar más grande del mundo, anunció hoy el lanzamiento de una nueva línea de pintura con temas deportivos llamada Team Colors. A través del programa, los clientes pueden comprar pintura de los colores exactos de sus equipos deportivos profesionales y universitarios favoritos. Team Colors, creado en asociación con ICI Paints y la marca Glidden(R), está disponible exclusivamente en tiendas The Home Depot de todo el país.

The Home Depot ofrecerá más de 400 colores de pintura que representan a más de 125 equipos, a través de acuerdos con la Major League Baseball(R) (MLB(TM)), la National Football League (NFL), 44 universidades y colegios universitarios, NASCAR y 14 conductores/equipos, la Major League Soccer (MLS), U.S. Soccer, la Federación de Fútbol Mexicano y el Equipo Olímpico de los EE.UU.

Tom Taylor, vicepresidente ejecutivo de Mercancías y Mercadeo, declaró: "Como líder minorista en pinturas para el mercado del hágalo-usted-mismo, en The Home Depot nos preocupamos por presentar productos innovadores que ofrezcan a nuestros clientes ideas de diseño nuevas e inspiradoras. Además de los nuevos colores, que pueden cambiar el aspecto y el estilo de una habitación, Team Colors ofrece a los millones de aficionados de deportes una forma creativa de mostrar su pasión y su apoyo a sus equipos favoritos".

Según una reciente encuesta encargada por The Home Depot y realizada por Harris Interactive(R) sobre los aficionados de deportes adultos estadounidenses (1), el 27% de los aficionados a los deportes en los Estados Unidos, un estimado de 51 millones de adultos (2), ha comprado alguna prenda de ropa del color de su equipo favorito. El 13% de los aficionados, unos 25 millones de adultos, está fuertemente de acuerdo o parcialmente de acuerdo con que, si pudiera, pintaría una habitación de su casa con los colores de su equipo favorito.

Más de uno de cada tres aficionados (más de 68 millones, o sea, el 36%) ha expresado apoyo a su equipo favorito en diversas formas relacionadas con los colores, por ejemplo, comprando una prenda de ropa de esos colores (más de 51 millones, es decir, el 27%), buscando activamente artículos de esos colores (alrededor de 19 millones, el 10%), haciendo decoraciones para una fiesta con esos colores (15 millones, el 8%), o incluso pintando su cara o su cuerpo con esos colores (7.5 millones, el 4%).

El Dr. Joel Fish, del Centro de Psicología Deportiva de Filadelfia, experto en conducta de los aficionados, afirmó: "Los aficionados de deportes tienen una conexión especial con los colores de sus equipos favoritos. Eso se hace evidente en millones de aficionados cada semana, en la ropa que usan para los partidos o los accesorios que utilizan para decorar sus hogares. De hecho, las investigaciones han demostrado que el color de la mercancía es una de las principales razones por las que los consumidores compran ropa deportiva con licencia, no sólo porque los colores representan a sus equipos favoritos. La pintura es para los aficionados otra forma sencilla de llevarse a casa a sus equipos".

La encuesta también mostró que aproximadamente 15 millones de aficionados de deportes (el 8%) han alentado a un equipo simplemente porque les gusta el color de su uniforme y, entre los adultos estadounidenses que tienen un color favorito, casi 11 millones (el 6%) sostienen que es el color de su colegio, su equipo profesional o universitario.

Carolyn Resar, directora de Mercadeo de Glidden, afirmó: "Glidden y The Home Depot han creado el plan perfecto para llevar la emoción de los colores de los equipos a los estudios, las salas de juegos, los cuartos infantiles y las oficinas. Los cientos de colores de Team Colors atraerán a los aficionados de deportes, así como también a cualquier consumidor que quiera incorporar colores frescos y vibrantes en su hogar".

Un sitio Web especial creado para Team Colors, http://www.mostcolorfulfan.com/, presentará una versión para descargar del folleto a todo color de 12 páginas Team Colors Room Visualizer, donde los aficionados pueden crear su habitación Team Colors de fantasía, y acceder a sugerencias para pintar y a una variedad de fotografías de habitaciones como inspiración.

Para respaldar la propuesta de Team Colors, The Home Depot lanzará publicidad en medios gráficos, radio y televisión; hará esfuerzos de mercadeo en eventos deportivos escogidos; y publicará información sobre Team Colors en los sitios web de las ligas deportivas y en materiales impresos.

Fundado en 1978, The Home Depot(R) es el minorista especializado en mejoras para el hogar más grande del mundo y la segunda empresa de ventas al detalle más grande de los Estados Unidos, con ventas por un total de US$81,500 millones en el año fiscal 2005. La empresa tiene aproximadamente 345,000 empleados y posee 2,058 tiendas en los 50 estados, el Distrito de Columbia, Puerto Rico, las Islas Vírgenes estadounidenses, 10 provincias canadienses y México. A través de su división Home Depot Supply(SM), la Compañía opera una de las más grandes distribuidoras mayoristas diversificadas del país, con operaciones en 41 estados y Canadá. The Home Depot ha sido reconocido por la revista FORTUNE como el No. 1 en la categoría Minorista Especializado Más Admirado del 2006 y el No. 13 en la categoría Corporación Más Admirada de los Estados Unidos. Sus acciones se cotizan en la Bolsa de Valores de Nueva York y la empresa figura en el promedio industrial Dow Jones y el índice Standard & Poor 500. HDG

The Home Depot es Patrocinador Oficial del Equipo Olímpico de los EE.UU.

Harris Interactive(R) realizó la encuesta en línea en nombre de The Home Depot entre el 17 y el 21 de marzo del 2006, con una muestra nacional de 2,302 adultos estadounidenses de 18 años de edad o mayores, 2,026 de los cuales fueron identificados como aficionados de deportes. Los datos fueron considerados representativos del total de la población adulta de los EE.UU. sobre la base de la región, la edad dentro del género, la educación, los ingresos del hogar, la raza/origen étnico, y la propensión a estar en línea. En teoría, con un muestreo de probabilidades de esta magnitud, puede afirmarse con un 95% de certeza que los resultados para la muestra general de adultos tienen un margen de error de más o menos 3 puntos porcentuales. El margen de error para las sub muestras de aficionados de deportes (2,026) y adultos que tienen un color favorito (2,026) es más alto y variable. Este muestreo en línea no es un muestreo de probabilidades.

(1) Los "aficionados de deportes" fueron definidos como aquellos que se

escribieron a sí mismos como aficionados de buen tiempo, ávidos o acérrimos de deportes profesionales (por ejemplo, béisbol, básquetbol, futbol y NASCAR), deportes universitarios, deportes olímpicos (por ejemplo, natación, saltos de plataforma, esquí y luge), deportes extremos (por ejemplo, skateboarding, escalada en roca y motocross) o deportes de escuela secundaria. Según esta definición, el 87% de los adultos estadounidenses son "aficionados de deportes".

(2) En todo este comunicado, las proyecciones de población se calculan sobre la base de las estimaciones de población de la Oficina de Censos de los EE.UU. Por ejemplo, según el sitio Web de la Oficina de Censos de los EE.UU. (http://www.census.gov/), hay 217.8 millones de adultos estadounidenses de 18 años de edad o más, el 87% de los cuales (alrededor de 189.5 millones) es fan de deportes.

Source: The Home Depot

Are African-Americans Legally Citizens of the United States of America? Asks We're Against Racism INC. (WAR INC.)

We're Against Racism INC. (WAR INC.) will announce its intent to move forth with a new movement called the Citizenship Movement. This movement shall prove itself as the most significant movement in the history of America. Alarming as it may be, or outrageous as it may sound, due to a gross oversight after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the United States of America today is left with over 70 million people who are descendents of ex-slaves and are in this country illegally. This gross oversight has affected the citizenship status of African-Americans who are the descendants of ex-slaves and living in America today. WAR INC. has planned this movement for some time now. However, in the wake of the different measures that are being implemented against the 12 million Mexicans of illegal immigration status, whether this occurrence is a unique timing or, some divine intervention at work, WAR INC. feels a sense of urgency to move forth with the movement now.

To give you the bases on which these claims of citizenship status are founded, you can simplify your research by inquiring into the laws that govern new citizenship. You will find that all new immigrants are required to proclaim the origins of their national descent and participate in a swearing-in ceremony. For example, during the early 1900s, when Europeans came to America through Ellis Island, they were required to proclaim a nationality and pledge their allegiance to America. If one were from Italy, he/she would proclaim his/her national origin, get sworn in, and become Italian-American. If one were from Poland, he/she would get sworn in and become Polish-American ... came in from Ireland, Irish-American; came in from Hungry, Hungarian-American, etc. Today, if one comes in from Mexico the same requirements are still in place; he/she would become Mexican-American ... should one come in from Nigeria, Nigerian-American; from Somalia, Somalian-American ... you get the point.

The question now stands, why have African-Americans not been held to the same requirements? WAR INC. cannot with absolute certainty answer the question why; however, WAR INC. has ascertained with a great deal of clarity what the African-American people need to do about this situation. The answer being, African-Americans needs to make speedy reparation to correct this gross oversight by proclaiming a nationality that meets up with the constitutional standard and participating in a swearing-in ceremony.

WAR INC. anticipates that there will be some people who will view this movement in the negative. There will be those who think that this movement is designed to agitate, incite, or rally people in some negative form. However, on the contrary, the truth of the matter is the members of WAR INC. love this country! Some of WAR INC.'s intentions with this movement include bridging the gap that exists among African-Americans and other ethnicities in America. Furthermore, WAR INC. believes this movement will serve as a statement to those who believe that many African-Americans do not have much regard for this country. Those beliefs are so far from the truth. As people come forth voluntarily to participate in this movement, WAR INC.'s belief is their actions will ring out loudly that African-America people love this country and yearn for that patriotic spirit that exists with other first-class citizens in America. WAR INC. envisions, on July 3, 2006, thousands, if not tens of thousands, of African-Americans coming forth and participating in a swearing-in ceremony on the Ohio Statehouse grounds and igniting the spirit of many other Africa-Americans throughout the United State.

History teaches that in 1492 Columbus discovered the New World. WAR INC.'s theme is, once again, in 2006, Columbus will lead the way to a New World. This is a national movement; even so, this movement is ignited in Columbus, Ohio, and Columbus will be the torchbearer for this movement.

WAR INC. will have a press conference on Thursday, April 13, 2006 at 10:00 AM EDT. The press conference will be held at the following location:

African American Spiritual Awareness Crusade (AASAC)
2490 Cleveland Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43211

In closing, WAR INC. prays that the media and press take on a respectful and responsible role in their coverage of this movement. WAR INC. would like to thank in advance all of you who have taken time to read this press release, and a special thanks to all of you who choose to follow up on this story!

CHINA NEWS

Motorola Corp. is launching bold, downright racy ads.

Determined to regain the lead it once enjoyed in China, Motorola Corp. is launching bold, downright racy, ads for some of its trendiest products like Slvr, Razr, Z and Ming in the world’s No. 1 mobile phone market.

“People use the word breakthrough a lot, but this work is really fresh and new. It’s ‘Blade Runner’ meets ‘Kill Bill,’” said Beijing-based Ian Chapman-Banks, Motorola’s general manager, marketing & business development, mobile devices for North Asia.

Some of the provocative images feature striking consumers, such as exotic-looking Africans and Eurasians, in ways that connect them to the various phones. The angular theme of Z ads, for example, illustrates the phone’s “slider” opening mechanism.

To dramatize the Z phone in a “surprising, memorable way,” said Nils Andersson, exec creative director of Ogilvy & Mather, Beijing and the agency’s regional creative director for Motorola, “we literally slid peoples’ bodies out of place.”

Ads running in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong for Ming, a phone with state-of-the-art Chinese handwriting recognition, suggest its high-tech attributes can help its owner see both sides of a person’s personality “with advertising that is rather shocking,” admitted Mr. Chapman-Banks. In one execution, a woman's outfit is divided vertically. She's wearing a stylish red dress and designer handbag on the left side and a red dominatrix outfit on the right side.

All four campaigns were designed to resonate with youthful trendsetters who spend the most on fancy new handsets as well as lucrative non-voice services. That demanding demographic expects phones to be stylish, well-designed and fun, as young Chinese regard phones more as fashion accessories, music players and miniature game consoles rather than mere tools for voice communication.

Once a slow-moving U.S. giant, Motorola either missed this observation, unlike Nokia and some fast-moving local brands, or wasn’t nimble enough to meet changing trends--both in its products and branding--just as China’s mobile phone market started to take off.

As a result, its share of China’s GSM market dropped from more than half the total market five years ago to a mere 12.8% by early 2005, according to Norson Telecom Consulting in Beijing, a discouraging situation since about one-third of Motorola’s global handset sales take place in the mainland.

Motorola spent the past year aggressively reinvigorating its product line with models like the Razr, China’s best-selling phone for the past few months. Its popularity has already helped Motorola regain lost ground; its GSM market share is almost 14% today.

Updating its brand image, meanwhile, fell to Mr. Chapman-Banks, a personable, stylish British exec who used to run Apple’s marketing in Asia/Pacific from Hong Kong. He brought some of Apple’s marketing savvy to the Motorola job after he was recruited last May by Michael Tatelman, who became VP-general manager of mobile devices in North Asia at the beginning of last year.

The new campaigns show “interesting people doing interesting things with phones” through imagery that is “beautiful, iconic, clear and concise,” and faintly reminiscent of iPod’s advertising, although Motorola’s approach is far edgier and more story-driven than Apple’s product-driven ads.

The ads are “funky,” said Mr. Chapman-Banks, with cheerful, cheeky confidence. “My personal mission is to make Motorola wearable. I want people to wear the logo. That’s a sign of what is hip and trendy.”

The avant-garde approach is working beyond China’s borders. Many of the new ads, all developed under the leadership of Mr. Andersson, will run globally.

“It’s pretty amazing that Ogilvy in Beijing is producing so much work with global appeal,” said Mr. Chapman-Banks, but it’s no surprise that Motorola is letting China take the lead.

The Asian giant is Motorola’s second-largest market after the U.S. and young consumers in Beijing and Shanghai have become as adroit about spotting and perpetuating trends as counterparts in Tokyo, London and New York.

Also, mobile phone manufacturers have good reason to be excited about China. Of the 1.5 billion mobile phone subscribers around the globe, more than 330 million are in China, making it the single largest user market on the planet.

Although 60 million new customers enter China’s mobile phone market every year, less than 30% of China’s total population is connected to a wireless service today and demand is growing rapidly in the country’s smaller cities and rural areas. By 2008, China Mobile, the country’s dominant service provider, estimates it will have 500 million mobile phone users, which still represents just one-third of all local consumers.

With a steady gaze on China’s potential, Motorola is eager to reposition its phones as the smartest and snazziest in the market.

“The feeling I get is that we’re starting to move the dial. Our market has increased dramatically over the past few months. I think we’re on a roll and gathering momentum. but there’s still a huge amount of work to do,” said Mr. Chapman-Banks.

“There’s still a billion people in China who don’t own a Razr.”


China Mobile World's 4th largest brand


The world’s top global brands are Microsoft, General Electric, Coca-Cola and China Mobile Communications.

China Mobile? Yes. According to the Brand Z Top 100 survey of global brands from WPP Group’s Millward Brown Optimor research unit, the state-owned Chinese company falls into fourth place, with $39 billion in brand value.

That’s despite the fact that the telecommunications giant does not sell services outside its home country and has not shown a strong aptitude for marketing.

“China Mobile is not nearly as aggressive in its branding activities as Microsoft or Coca-Cola, or even many of the other top global brands mentioned in Millward Brown's list. They don’t flood the market with bells-and-whistles promotional materials like, say, Coke. They don't need to,” said Edmund Hung, an analyst in Beijing at Norson Telecom Consulting.

Even within China, its name rarely crops up with Lenovo and Haier in debate over which mainland companies will be the first to create true global brands.

Results triple-checked
China Mobile’s ranking came as a surprise even to Zhang Yixin, Millward Brown Optimor’s Beijing-based Asia/Pacific director. “When we saw the results, we double- and triple-checked everything to make sure we hadn’t made a mistake,” she said. “China Mobile was probably surprised as well.”

In addition to assessing brand values, the survey took into account each brand’s effectiveness in driving business earnings and an index of expected near-term brand growth, said Ms. Zhang. China Mobile qualified even though its sales are in a single country--unusual for a global brand. Its size is partly due to lack of competition.

“China Mobile achieved its position [in our survey] by having the biggest subscriber base compared to any other mobile company in the world, but the potential of this market is five times what they have achieved to now,” said Ms. Zhang.

Hot industry with scale
Even if China’s telecom market is opened to foreign competition, China Mobile has a “significant advantage in terms of infrastructure, services and content that would be extremely difficult for foreign competitors who are not Chinese-speaking to manage.”

“They’re in a hot industry with a lot of scale,” said telecom consultant David Wolf, CEO of Wolf Group Asia in Beijing. “If we went strictly by an international standard of marketing here, we’d be hard on them, but they’re doing a good job for this category by local standards.”

China Mobile certainly has size on it side. With 255 million subscribers at the end of February 2006, the company is the No. 1 mobile phone service provider in the world’s largest mobile phone market, in terms of total subscriber numbers. Even so, less than one-third of Chinese are mobile phone users.

Spun off from China Telecom in 2000, the company caters to the country’s diverse demographics with a wide range of products such as M-zone, a youth-oriented service with a rebellious image and lots of games; Gotone, an upscale service for business people; and Shenzhouxing (“Easy Own” in English), a pre-paid service developed with China Merchants Bank.

Telco to lifestyle brand
Its strength comes from “a good background, solid infrastructure, and being part of a hot category,” said Viveca Chan, Hong Kong-based chairman of WE Worldwide Partners, an independent Chinese agency network.

China Mobile “has also done a good job leveraging sub-brands with value-added services to develop customer loyalty and create revenue, helping it develop from a phone company to a lifestyle brand.”

For example, business travelers using Gotone can gain access to lounges in domestic airports. M-zone, meanwhile, has teamed up with outside partners like the National Basketball Association and MTV for co- sponsored contest promotions.

China Mobile’s only real competitor, lackluster China Unicom, has 130 million subscribers who spend much less on lucrative value-added services like the SMS messages, games and ringtones that generate more than 20% of China Mobile’s revenue. The company’s customers send about 700 million short messages per day, according to Xinhua news agency, and sales from ringtone downloads topped $50 million last year.

“China Mobile isn’t an 800-pound gorilla, they’re an 8,000-pound gorilla here,” said Richard Robinson, Beijing-based VP-international business development at Linktone, a China Mobile partner providing wireless, interactive entertainment products and services to local consumers.

To its credit, he added, “China Mobile has become more sophisticated in branding over the past year,” but it pales in comparison to veteran marketers like Marlboro, IBM and Toyota, whose brands ranked below China Mobile in the BrandZ survey.

Six national pitches
Brand consistency has been a struggle. The company is carved into two dozen divisions by province, each of which appoints its own agencies, usually local shops that handle small projects for low rates. Like many Chinese companies, China Mobile works through layers of teams with no centralized marketing director to guide the brand’s development.

The company’s latest effort to shake up its image is the promotion of Li Dachuan, a veteran of the company’s marketing at the provincial level, to director of its marketing and sales division, part of China Mobile’s market operation department.

To cement control of China Mobile’s diverse brands at the national level, he held a review for six assignments that ended earlier this month and included dozens of local and international agencies.

The coveted national corporate branding assignment was won by Optimor’s WPP sibling Grey Worldwide in Beijing following a pitch against the incumbent, WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi and Raynetwork, a local agency in Beijing. (See related Player Profile)

Grey also won national creative account for China Mobile’s Gotone service and Ogilvy retained the M-zone business. Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Lowe Worldwide won creative for the Easy Own mass brand as well as a new data service that will be launched as part of China Mobile's upcoming transition from 2.5G to 3G, while Tian Xing, a local consulting firm, will help China Mobile implement its Olympic marketing.

High turnover
Because of their lack of experience, Chinese clients and agencies sometimes have a hard time working together long-term, so there’s a lot of turnover and short-term assignments in this market, admitted Dan Mintz, chief creative officer of DMG, an independent agency that has marketed M-zone in eastern China since it was launched in 2001.

“China Mobile is not nearly as bad as other state-run companies, but it depends on the weather and time of day whether they treat us a brand partner or as a supplier,” he said. “They also do a lot in-house and their range of services is all over the map. China is so big, it’s not easy for them to coordinate.”

In one sense, China Mobile’s surprising appearance in the BrandZ survey reflects most of all how quickly and powerfully China’s economy is growing and how fast the executives who run Chinese companies are starting to adapt western business techniques.

“What got them to this position wasn’t marketing, but marketing and the groundwork they’ve laid will keep them in the No. 1 position as China opens up and changes over time,” said Mr. Mintz.


Fast Facts: China Mobile


--255 million subscribers compose the largest base of any mobile phone company in the world
--the No. 1 mobile phone service provider in the world’s largest mobile phone market
--customers send about 700 million text messages per day
--ringtone download sales topped $50 million last year
--value-added services like SMS messages, games and ringtones generate more than 20% of its revenue

WAY OF THE CROSS
AT THE COLOSSEUM

LED BY THE HOLY FATHER

POPE BENEDICT XVI

 

GOOD FRIDAY 2006

MEDITATIONS AND PRAYERS

COMPOSED BY

Archbishop ANGELO COMASTRI

Vicar General of His Holiness for Vatican City
President of the Fabric of Saint Peter's

 

PRESENTATION

A Few Words Along the Way

In making the “Way of the Cross”, we are struck by the certainty of two things: the destructive power of sin and the healing power of God’s Love.

The destructive power of sin: the Bible never tires of repeating that evil is evil because it hurts us: sin is self-punishment; it carries its own retribution.  A few texts of Jeremiah clearly make this point: “They went after worthlessness, and became worthless themselves” (2:5); “your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you; know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you” (2:19); “your crimes have made all this go wrong, your sins have deprived you of all these favours” (5:25).

Isaiah is equally insistent: “Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: because you reject this word, and trust in oppression and deceit, and rely on them; therefore this iniquity shall become for you like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse; its crash comes suddenly, in an instant; its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel that is smashed so ruthlessly that among its fragments not a sherd is found for taking fire from the hearth, or dipping up water out of the cistern” (30:12-14).  And, voicing the deepest convictions of God’s People, the Prophet cries out: “We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth.  We fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (64:6).

The Prophets likewise denounce the hardness of heart that leads to appalling blindness and prevents us from perceiving the gravity of sin.  Let us listen again to Jeremiah: “For from the least to the greatest of them, every one is greedy for unjust gain; and from prophet to priest, every one deals falsely.  They have treated the wound of my people carelessly, saying ‘Peace, peace’, when there is no peace.  They acted shamelessly, they committed abomination, yet they were not ashamed, they did not know how to blush” (6:13-15).

Jesus entered into this history ravaged by sin, and took upon himself the burden and brutality of our sins.  When we look upon Jesus, we see clearly the destructive power of sin and the sickness of our human family.  Our own sickness!  Yours and mine!

Yet – and this is the second certainty – Jesus countered our pride with humility; he countered our violence with gentleness; he countered our hatred with the Love that forgives.  The Cross is the event which enables God’s Love to enter into our history, to draw close to each of us, to become a source of healing and salvation.

Let us never forget: from the beginning of his ministry Jesus had spoken of “his hour” (Jn 2:4), of the hour “for which he had come” (Jn 12:27).  It was an hour which he joyfully welcomed, when, at the beginning of his Passion, he cried out: “The hour has come!” (Jn 17:1).

The Church treasures this memory, and in the Creed, after professing that the Son of God “became incarnate from the Virgin Mary and was made man”, she goes on to say: “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried”.

For our sake he was crucified!  Jesus, at his death, embraced the tragic experience of death as it had been fashioned by our sins; yet, in his death, Jesus filled death itself with Love, he filled it with the presence of God.  By Christ’s death, death itself was vanquished, for he filled death with the one power capable of cancelling the sin that had spawned it: Jesus filled death with Love!

Through faith and Baptism, we have access to the death of Christ, to the mystery of the Love by which Christ himself tasted and conquered death ... and this in turn becomes the first step of our journey back to God, a journey which will end at the moment of our own death, a death experienced in Christ and with Christ: in Love!

As you begin this “Way of the Cross”, let Mary take you by the hand.  Ask her for just a bit of her humility and docility, so that the Love of Christ Crucified will be able to enter your heart and recreate it after God’s own Heart.

God bless you on your way!

+ ANGELO COMASTRI

 

* * *

OPENING PRAYER

The Holy Father:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

Lord Jesus,
your Passion
is the whole of human history:
a history where the good are humiliated,
the meek ... assaulted,
the honest ... crushed,
and the pure of heart roundly mocked.

Who will be the winner?
Who will have the last word?

Lord Jesus,
we believe that you are the last word:
in you the good have already won,
in you the meek have already triumphed,
in you the honest have received their crown,
and the pure of heart shine like stars in the night.

Lord Jesus,
tonight we walk once more the way of your cross,
knowing that it is also our way.
One certainty lights up our path:
the way does not end at the cross
but continues beyond,
to the Kingdom of Life,
to a torrent of joy,
the joy which no one can ever take from us![1]

 

Reader:

O Jesus, I stand in sorrow
at the foot of your cross:
I myself have helped erect it by my sins!
Your goodness which offers no resistance,
and allows itself to be crucified,
is a mystery beyond my grasp;
it leaves me profoundly troubled.

Lord, you came into the world for my sake,
to seek me out and to lead me
the Father’s loving embrace:[2]
the embrace for which I long!

You are the very Face
of beauty and of mercy:
that is why you want to save me!

Within me is so much selfishness:
come to me with your boundless love!

Within me is pride and malice:
come to me with your meekness and humility!

Lord, I am the sinner needing to be saved:
I am the prodigal son needing to return!
Lord, grant me the gift of tears,
that I may discover anew freedom and life,
peace with you, and in you, joy.


April 13, 2006

Rascal Flatts' highly anticipated new CD out

logo 

 

 

 

Written by Joyce L Chow & William Hoehne April 13 2006

MBN

www.montebubbles.com for more MBN news

 

BROADCAST NEWS COMING SOON VIA PODCAST

 

International news from Asia and Latin news in English and Spanish here now

 

MONTEBUBBLISM: Good is good no matter who does it or where it is done

 

ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

Rascal Flatts' highly anticipated new CD Me And My Gang debuted in the #1 position

The International Band And Orchestral Products Association Joins National SupportMusic Initiative To Keep Music in Schools 

Newport Beach Film Festival Announces 2006 Line-up; Lifestyle Festival To Showcase Over 350 fILMS

Charity Golf Tournament, Banquet and Auction

Calling All Air Guitarists: VH1.com Rocks Out With the Launch of Its 'Air to the Throne' Air Guitar Competition

Tiny KISS Takes Vegas by Storm

First Family of Reality Television Returns for Season Four of Showtime's Hit, Late Night Series 'FAMILY BUSINESS'

Podcasts: is anyone listening?

BMW Announces New Interface for iPod With Expanded Model Availability and Features

Lake Las Vegas Resort Presents 'Stars on the Lake' Concert Series Beginning May 12, 2006 Tickets on Sale Now

Latin Palooza.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Web Site Sees Triple Digit Year-Over-Year Growth

XM and Lexus

The 5 Browns Score Another #1 Billboard Chart Debut!

VH1's Music Radar Wed., April 12, 2006 - Tues., April 18, 2006

At NCTA: Make Hit TV Shows Available Soon After They Air

Feld Entertainment, Inc. and Cookie Jar Entertainment Partner to Bring Kids' Favorite Rockin' Band, the Doodlebops on Premiere U.S. Tour

LG Electronics aligns with efforts of NSCA Education Foundation

Centaur Streamlines Operations at Raycom Media’s KOLD-TV with Digital Delivery of Local/Regional Ad Content

ND SatCom Introduces smartSNG at NAB 2006

At NCTA: Media Buyers Hope It Could Be Tipping Point for iTV

SPORTS & AUTOS

Dodgers and Oakland Baseball

Special Performance by Camp Freddy at Hard Rock Cafe New York Benefits Charity and Attracts Celebrities Including Lindsay Lohan, Moby, Dave Navarro, Scott Weiland and More

Mitsubishi Motors North America

Automotive Hall of Fame

The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 crossover SUV

DHL expanded sponsorship platform in Baseball

NXT-Equipped Toyota FJ Cruiser Records Strong Early US Sales Figures

DOD

Roadside bombs killed three U.S. service members

Pentagon Channel Adds Video Podcasting

Tito Puente, Jr., and Howie and Pollyanna Dorough to Entertain Troops in Spain and Italy on USO/AFE Tour

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

Tribune Reports 2006 First Quarter Results

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc. (Also in Spanish)

El Alcalde Bloomberg, La Academia Latina de Artes y Ciencias de La Grabación, La Cadena Univision y NYC Big Events anuncian que la ciudad de Nueva York será anfitriona de los Latin Grammys por primera vez en su historia

The ‘got milk?’ Great American Weight Loss Challenge Visits Houston (Also in Spanish)

El gran reto norteamericano para perder peso del bigote de leche (‘got milk?’) visita a Houston

Tito Puente, Jr. Junto a Howie y Pollyanna Dorough Ofrecen Entretenimiento a las Tropas Militares en España e Italia en Su Gira USO/AFE

ASIAN NEWS

China, US wrap up trade talks, reach consensus

China Eastern Airlines buys 16 Boeings

 

___________________________________________

ENTERTAINMENT, ART, FASHION, TECHNOLOGY

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Latin DVD Conference Part 2

To be honest it seems that everyone is all over the map when it comes to the Latin Market.

There is more material available then there is ability to get it out into the market. You have people in place that know what to buy and how to market what they have purchased. This takes time and money.

You have to put out money to get the market but how and where do you put the money.

Ten million Latin’s own DVD machines and they watch what they purchase or rent many times.

 right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of all the markets in this nation dealing with media only the Latin market is showing growth.

 right

One reason being is that they have more disposable income currently available to spent then English speaking homes.

They tend to shop as a family when they go out hence the looking for DVD’s suitable for family viewing. Action,comedy and Sci-fi are more popular then Drama although the tele-novela is starting to come on strong. Problem here is how do you trim 180 hours of shows down to fit on a DVD and if you do chose to put out all of each show how do you sell it.

 right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 There are several basic problems for the business. First that given the choice between a cheap knock-off or boot-leg DVD or a studio turned out DVD the cheap sales better.

 left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The customer must be educated that you get what you pay for in a DVD. Cheap means low quality and if you want a good copy then you have to pay retail to get it.

 off

 

 

 

 

 

You have to have a campaign backed with ample amount of money to let everyone know that the product is available.

You have to have people in each store that are not only knowledgeable of the product on the shelves but must speak the language to be able to talk to those people that are interested in the DVDs.

There is much yet that has to be learned about this market but much valuable information was shared with all that were there by those in the business.

 left

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We thank Home Entertainment Retailing and Latin DVD Conference 3 for inviting us to come and to be educated.

William Hoehne

- Rascal Flatts' highly anticipated new CD Me And My Gang debuted in the #1 position

 

- Rascal Flatts' highly anticipated new CD Me And My Gang debuted in the #1 position on the Soundscan Top 200 albums chart, making it the highest selling CD across all genres, beating out new releases from Pink and the popular NOW compilation. As the highest selling title in the nation, Rascal Flatts' new CD also debuted at #1 on Soundscan's country album chart.

With 721,747 units sold in the first week of release, this places Rascal Flatts in an elite group of artists. Since the inception of Soundscan, only four other country artists (Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw) have scanned 700,000 units or more in their first week of release. In addition, across all genres only 24 acts have debuted at over 700,000 units in the first week of release. With the stellar debut of Rascal Flatts Me And My Gang, the group joins the ranks of Eminem, 50 Cent, U2 and Coldplay.

Included in the first week sales are 30,246 digital units of Me And My Gang, making it the #1 country digital album debut in Soundscan history. According to Nielsen, in one week the new Rascal Flatts album sold more units digitally than any other country album for the entire year of 2005. The highest selling digital album in 2005 was Rascal Flatts' Feels Like Today with 22,685 in sales.

In addition, Rascal Flatts holds the record for the most country digital tracks sold in a single week with 62,113 downloads of their hit "What Hurts The Most." The song is the first single from the new album and continues to sit atop the R&R and Billboard charts for four weeks and three weeks respectively.

The band's previous three albums, Feels Like Today, Melt and Rascal Flatts, have scanned nearly 9 million units combined. With nearly three quarters of a million units sold in the first week of release, this is the largest first week sales number in Lyric Street Records' history.

Lyric Street Records is a part of the Buena Vista Music Group. The Buena Vista Music Group is the recorded music and music publishing arm of the Walt Disney Company.

 

Source: Lyric Street Records

The International Band And Orchestral Products Association Joins

National SupportMusic Initiative To Keep Music in Schools

 

Long Island City, NY, April 11, 2006 – The International Band And Orchestral Products Association (NABIM) has joined with SupportMusic.com, the Music Education Coalition’s initiative and source of information for the largest online effort ever launched in support of school music programs. This affiliation brings NABIM into a valuable network that seeks to advance the coalition’s advocacy mission of keeping music strong in schools across the country.

SupportMusic and its anchor website, www.SupportMusic.com offers resources that empower parents, educators and civic organizations to act locally to keep music education strong. The weekly CounterPoint commentary by advocacy expert Dr. John Benham and other tools on the site lead community members through the process of building a credible defense of music education. The initiative was launched by the Music Education Coalition, an entity formed by the International Music Products Association (NAMM) and the National Association for Music Education (MENC). NABIM vigorously supports active participation in recreational music-making and music education, sharing the vision of the Music Education Coalition partners by co-sponsoring the New Horizon community music program with NAMM, and by working other industry organizations to support music education.

“Music education is an essential part of the learning and teaching process,” said Robert Sulkow, Director NABIM. “That is why we are thrilled to join this growing coalition and help strengthen the fight to keep music education in schools.”

SupportMusic coalition affiliates NABIM and over 90 other organizations are part of a national task force devoted to ensuring that every child has access to music as part of a quality education. Coalition members are resources for one another across the country as they strategize to defend and save failing and at-risk music and arts programs in the nation’s classrooms.

More…

Strategies include monthly conference calls with the entire coalition, a call for collective grassroots community efforts wherever the need arises and the sharing of experience and ideas that form the best strategies.

Parents and other interested community members know from experience that music is all too often the first to be sacrificed from the education curriculum, even though a recent Harris Poll revealed that 93 percent of Americans agree that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children.

NABIM members have emulated the like-minded grassroots efforts of the coalition for over 70 years. Since the early 90s, when the music products industry was threatened by drastic budget cuts, NABIM responded with the Super Fund Project to promote music participation and the expansion of school music programs. NABIM also granted the VH1 Save the Music program (another SupportMusic affiliate) to preserve school music programs.

About SupportMusic.com

SupportMusic.com is a public service initiative that represents close to seven million individuals who seek to critically impact the resolve and support for music education in local communities around the United States. SupportMusic.com is an advocacy effort that unites over 90 national and regional affiliates with parents and community leaders seeking to improve access and opportunity in music and arts learning. Primarily configured as a website, but also as an ad hoc consortium of concerned individuals and organizations, SupportMusic.com provides tools for grassroots advocacy, promotes messages about the importance of music and the arts as part of learning and disseminates research that substantiates their vital role. To find out how your organization can help keep music in schools log onto www.SupportMusic.com.

About The International Band And Orchestral Products Association

Since its inception in the 1930's, NABIM has sought to further music education by encouraging instrumental music participation and by providing support materials for music educators in recruitment, retention and excellence of education. For more information, please visit www.nabim.org.

Newport Beach Film Festival Announces 2006 Line-up; Lifestyle Festival To Showcase Over 350 Films, Host Nightly Events, Premiere Galas and Filmmaker Seminar Series from April 20-30

Newport Beach Film Festival 2006

Continuing its commitment to the support of independent filmmakers around the world, the 7th annual Newport Beach Film Festival ("NBFF") today announced its 2006 program and event schedule to take place from April 20-30 in Newport Beach, Calif. The NBFF will spotlight more than 350 films from around the world, including features, shorts, documentaries and animation, which will compete for a series of awards, including Jury and Audience Awards. In addition to film screenings, the Festival will host several premiere galas, yacht parties and informative seminars with filmmakers and industry professionals. Coming off the heels of its 2005 U.S. Premiere of the Academy Award(R)-winning film, "Crash," the NBFF expects to attract more than 35,000 film devotees to screenings and related events.

Spotlight films and Festival highlights include:

April 20

Opening Night -- "Neverwas" (West Coast Premiere), a modern-day fable

starring Aaron Eckhart, Jessica Lange, Ian McKellen, Brittany Murphy

and Nick Nolte, at Edwards Big Newport at 7:30 p.m. Gala following the

screening at the Bloomingdale's Courtyard in Fashion Island, tickets

$125.00.

 

April 21

Youth Film Showcase presented by Volcom -- Orange County native Will

Ferrell ("Anchorman," "Old School") serving as Honorary Chair of

NBFF's Youth Division, which showcases short films created by emerging

filmmakers 18 and under. Screening to be held at 6 p.m. at the Regency

Lido Theater.

"Separate Volume" (North American Premiere) -- the spotlight film for

the Action Sports Film Series presented by Oakley at the Lido Theater

at 8:30 p.m. Post-party following the screening at OC Museum of Art,

tickets $40.00.

April 22

Saturday Night Spotlight Films:

"The Amateurs," starring Ted Danson and Jeff Bridges at Edwards Island

Cinemas at 7:30 p.m. Screening tickets $15.

"One Last Thing" (West Coast Premiere), starring Michael Angarano and

Cynthia Nixon at the Lido Theater at 7:30 p.m. Screening tickets $15.

"Wassup Rockers" (West Coast Premiere), from famed director Larry

Clark, at Edwards Island Cinemas at 9 p.m. Screening tickets $15.

Saturday Spotlight Post Party -- NBFF celebrates the West Coast

Premieres of "The Amateurs," "One Last Thing" and "Wassup Rockers" at

the OC Museum of Art immediately following the screenings. Tickets for

screening and post party $40.

April 23

"Art School Confidential" (West Coast Premiere), starring John

Malkovich and Angelica Huston, at Edwards Island Cinemas at 6 p.m.

"Hidden Blade" is the Festival's Japanese Spotlight at the Edwards

Island Cinemas at 8:30 p.m. with a post party immediately following

the screening at the Variety Hospitality Lounge in Fashion Island.

Tickets for screening and post party $40.

April 24

"Americano" -- Spanish Spotlight Film screens at Edwards Island

Cinemas at 8:30 p.m. with a post reception at Design Within Reach.

Tickets $40.00.

April 25

"Not Here to Be Loved" -- French Spotlight Film screens at Edwards

Island Cinemas at 8:30 p.m. with reception at Rouge Bistro in Fashion

Island. Tickets $40.

"Typhoon" (North American premiere) -- Korean Spotlight Film screens

at Edwards Island Cinemas at 7:30 p.m. with a post party at

Anthropologie in Fashion Island. Tickets $40.

April 26

"On The Other Side" -- Mexican Spotlight Film screens at Edwards

Island Cinemas at 8:30 p.m. with post party at Talulah G in Fashion

Island. Tickets $40.

"Tara Road" (North American premiere) -- Irish Spotlight Film screens

at Edwards Island Cinemas at 7:30 p.m. with a post party at Muldoon's

Irish Pub in Newport Center. Tickets $40.

April 27

Closing Night -- "The Illusionist" (West Coast premiere) a romantic

mystery starring Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. The

screening plays at 7:30 p.m. at Lido Theater with reception following

at Via Lido Plaza. Tickets $45.

April 28

Awards Night Gala celebrates the best films of the 2006 Festival, with

awards for features, shorts and audience choice produced by the Media

Alliance of Orange County. Awards Gala at the Palm Garden at The

Island Hotel. Tickets $45.

April 29 & 30

Festival encore screenings will play throughout the weekend at the OC

Museum of Art. Check www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com for screening

details. Tickets $10.

The Festival is sponsored in part by Absolut Vodka, Cox Communications, Regal Entertainment Group, Jaguar & Land Rover and the City of Newport Beach.

Tickets for the Newport Beach Film Festival can be purchased beginning Tuesday, April 4th at 12 noon at www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com or by calling 866-NBFF-TIX.

Photos from the 2005 Newport Beach Film Festival are available on request.

About The Newport Beach Film Festival

Launched in 1999, the Newport Beach Film Festival is the leading lifestyle film festival in the United States. Presenting 350 films from 40 countries, the Newport Beach Film Festival has featured many acclaimed films, including the U.S. premiere of 2006 Academy Award(R) Best Picture "Crash," West Coast premieres of "Mad Hot Ballroom" and "Layer Cake," "Dust to Glory," "Riding Giants," "Sexy Beast," "Spellbound" and "Dogtown and Z Boys." With its pristine coastal location and warm weather, strong network of corporate sponsors, nightly events, music performances and industry seminars, the Newport Beach Film Festival has quickly gained recognition among filmmakers and audiences worldwide, hosting more than 35,000 attendees during the 11-day Festival at Newport Beach's beautiful Fashion Island and Lido Plaza.

Participating Locations:

-- Edwards Island Cinemas -- 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

-- Regency Lido Theater -- 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach

-- Orange County Museum of Art -- 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach

-- Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center -- 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach

-- Edwards Big Newport -- 300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

-- Fashion Island -- 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

-- The Island Hotel -- 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach

 

Charity Golf Tournament, Banquet and Auction

 

Sponsored by Organización Haz La Diferencia
INFO

 

 

 
Organización Haz La Diferencia (“Make a Difference”) invites you to be apart of improving the lives of the next generation children around the world by participating in all or part of our Summer Shoot-Out Tournament, Reception Banquet and Auction.

The purpose of the tournament is to raise funds for kids in orphanages, specifically those living at Orphanage Estado 29 and Miracle Ranch Children’s Home in Baja, Mexico. With limited government support and a growing number of children calling orphanages their home, your support is vital to their future in a country where most children do not graduate high school.

Organización Haz La Diferencia is incorporated as a 501(c)(3), and is funded by private donors. Contributions to Organización Haz La Diferencia are tax-deductible.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tustin Ranch Golf Club
(www.tustinranchgolf.com)

11:00am - 12:00pm
Registration and Putting Contest

12:30pm
Shotgun Start

6:30pm
Awards, Silent/Live Auction and Banquet

 

______________________________________________

 


GOLFER REGISTRATION

Early Bird Registration Individual Entry (due by May 29) $250.00

Late Registration Individual Entry (due by June 12) $300.00

Foursome Special (due by May 15th) $900.00

Auction & Banquet Dinner Ticket(s) $50.00ea
(for those not golfing)

 

 

Super Ticket $50.00
2 Mulligans (to use on Par 4 & Par 5 holes only)
4 Raffle Tickets
Entry into Hole in One Contest
Entry into Putting Contest
1 Scratcher Golf Game Ticket
Entry into Scratcher Game to Win a Vacation
4 Qualifier shots for $100,000.00 shoot-out

______________________________________________


SPONSORSHIP

Contact Mike Murphy at (310) 261-7949 or mikem@pyramidbuilders.com.


Gold Sponsorship ($5,000)
Golf Package for eight players
Lunch and Dinner for eight
Golf Clinic with PGA Golf Pro
Advertisement:
Company Name / Logo displayed on main Leader Board throughout the event
Tee signage and sponsorship package
Full page ad in program
Audio acknowledgement at banquet
Exclusive sponsor gift

Silver Sponsorship ($3,000)
Golf Package for four players
Lunch and Dinner for four
Golf Clinic with PGA Golf Pro
Advertisement:
Tee signage and sponsorship package
Full page ad in program
Audio acknowledgement at banquet
Exclusive sponsor gift

Bronze Sponsorship ($1,500)
Golf Package for two players
Lunch and Dinner for two
Golf Clinic with PGA Golf Pro
Advertisement:
Tee signage and sponsorship package
Audio acknowledgement at banquet
Exclusive sponsor gift

Tee Box Sponsor ($350)
Table w/ two chairs to sit at hole
Take home plaque featuring name and/or company logo
to be prominently displayed at the Tee

Tee Sponsor ($300)
Table w/ two chairs to sit at hole (sit at Tee)
Take home plaque featuring name and/or company logo
to be prominently displayed at the Tee

($3,000)Golf Package for four playersLunch and Dinner for fourGolf Clinic with PGA Golf ProAdvertisement:Tee signage and sponsorship packageFull page ad in programAudio acknowledgement at banquetExclusive sponsor gift ($1,500)Golf Package for two playersLunch and Dinner for twoGolf Clinic with PGA Golf ProAdvertisement:Tee signage and sponsorship packageAudio acknowledgement at banquetExclusive sponsor gift ($350)Table w/ two chairs to sit at holeTake home plaque featuring name and/or company logoto be prominently displayed at the Tee ($300)Table w/ two chairs to sit at hole (sit at Tee) Take home plaque featuring name and/or company logo to be prominently displayed at the Tee

 


Please let us know if you'd care to advertise by a donation or in-kind donation.
Donors will be mentioned in the program and have event signage

 

 

 

 

Calling All Air Guitarists: VH1.com Rocks Out With the Launch of Its 'Air to the Throne' Air Guitar Competition

Online Submission Period Begins April 12 - Online Voting Begins May 4

Winner to Perform on 'VH1 Rock Honors' Red Carpet in Las Vegas in May

Have you got what it takes to be rock royalty? Beginning today VH1.com launches its online search for the top air guitarists in the country, challenging all wanna-be rock icons to its "Air to the Throne" air guitar competition. The champion will win a trip to the "VH1 Rock Honors" event in Las Vegas where he or she will perform on the red carpet and be crowned VH1's "Air to the Throne". The champ will also win a coveted spot in the official U.S. Air Guitar Championship Finals in New York. Additional prizes include "Gibson New Century Flying V" guitars and "Guitar Hero" video games.

Submission Process:

From April 12 - May 1, air guitarists across the country can submit a video of their best air-guitar interpretation of one of the following four songs: Warrant's "Cherry Pie," Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever," Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water," and Queen's "Guitar Solo." In order to be eligible, participants must use 59 seconds of music from one of the four selected songs listed above. Interested air guitarists can submit their video via VH1.com by going to http://air.vh1.com/.

Viewer Voting:

Beginning May 4, select videos and VH1.com editorial content will be showcased on VSPOT, VH1's broadband channel (http://vspot.vh1.com/), where viewers can watch and vote for their favorite air guitarist finalists. The winner will be flown to the "VH1 Rock Honors" event for one final "red carpet" performance at the end of May.

"Air to the Throne" is a VH1.com production, in partnership with U.S. Air Guitar. For additional details on the submission process, competition rules, and voting guidelines visit http://air.vh1.com/.

VH1 Rock Honors

VH1 debuts the first ever show to pay homage to the legends who influenced the sound of hard rock with the first annual "VH1 Rock Honors." This year's celebration will honor the music and influence of KISS, Queen, Def Leppard and Judas Priest. Additional performers, presenters, and special guests will be announced as they are confirmed.

Premiering on Wednesday, May 31 at 9PM*, "VH1 Rock Honors," will be taped at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Thursday, May 25. The 2-hour tribute will salute the groundbreaking bands of rock, the once-in-a- lifetime events, and the influential people who made a lasting mark on the history of hard rock.

VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 87 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital services including VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul and VH Uno. Connect with VH1 at http://www.vh1.com/.

VSPOT at VH1.com (http://vspot.vh1/com) -- VH1's broadband channel -- brings viewers the richest music and pop-culture video content while it's happening: live events, series sneak peeks, exclusive celeb Q&A's, movie trailers, in-studio performances and original series, not to mention thousands of music videos, customizable playlists and artist interviews.

Source: VH1

Web site: http://www.vh1.com/
http://air.vh1.com/
http://vspot.vh1.com/

 

Tiny KISS Takes Vegas by Storm

The band Tiny KISS has taken Vegas by storm after a massive spat with rival KISS cover band, MiniKISS. According to the New York Post's Page Six, two of the performers who front these two bands are battling over the rights to the act.

Joey Fatale, who heads the all-dwarf band MiniKISS, tried to sneak past security at Peter Morton's Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to confront a rival band leader, "Little" Tim Loomis of Tiny KISS, for allegedly ripping off his idea for such an act. Loomis said the trouble started while he was drumming for MiniKISS, and Fatale got "jealous that I was getting all the chicks. So I left to start my own band called Tiny KISS. It's not even the same as his band, because mine is three little people and one fat chick, and he's just four little people." Loomis has been starring in "Beacher's Madhouse" show at Peter Morton's Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Vegas for the past several months.

"Beacher's Madhouse" has become the hottest ticket in town as it is always jam-packed with a bevy of celebrities in the audience such as regulars Paris & Nikki Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Jon Bon Jovi. Jeff Beacher has been featured on the cover of the Las Vegas Weekly as well as in the Los Angeles Times and has been referred to as "the new Mr. Vegas." In addition, he recently received a key to the city from the mayor of Las Vegas.

Tiny KISS consists of three little people and a 350-pound woman who are Tim Loomis (drummer), Shorty Rossi (guitar), Matt McCarthy (guitar) and Beth Mara (singer). The group has just signed a two year $1.5 million deal with "Beacher's Rockhouse" at the Imperial Palace. They will be performing every night at 9PM beginning July 1. Tickets will be $25 and they can be purchased at www.Vegas.com. To learn more about Tiny KISS and to download pictures, please visit www.beachersrockhouse.com.

"We are very excited to have the first live, little person show in Las Vegas at 'Beacher's Rockhouse.' We're anticipating this show to be sold out every night and I couldn't be happier for these guys, they totally deserve it," says Jeff Beacher.

Source: Tiny KISS

Web site: http://www.vegas.com/

Web site: http://www.beachersrockhouse.com/

First Family of Reality Television Returns for Season Four of Showtime's Hit, Late Night Series 'FAMILY BUSINESS'

Series Premiere Set For Friday, April 21, at 11:30 PM ET/PT

FAMILY BUSINESS, Showtime's hit late night reality series about an average American family trying to make a living in the adult entertainment industry, will premiere its fourth season on Friday, April 21 at 11:30 PM ET/PT. The half-hour series offers a hilarious blend of real-life absurdity and eccentric characters while focusing on the charismatic Adam Glasser and his alter ego, "Seymore Butts," his meddling, but well-meaning mother Lila, his cantankerous cousin Stevie and his fun-loving girlfriend, Mirna.

Coming up in season four, Adam and the family take their act on the road with raucous sojourns to a Las Vegas swingers' convention and an adult-film shoot on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Adam and Mirna continue their unique and rocky relationship, as Cousin Stevie carries on his quest to become an adult industry mover and shaker, all the while, Lila, the matriarch, tries to hold it all together.

FAMILY BUSINESS originally premiered in February 2003 at which time the San Francisco Chronicle remarked: "what makes FAMILY BUSINESS a fine example of single subject reality programming is that Glasser seems like a smart, good-looking guy who has a sense of humor about his place in the world. Juxtapose alter ego Seymour Butts with Lila...toss in Cousin Stevie...and you've got a winner."

The show is executive produced by Jay Blumenfield, Emmy Award(R)-winning producer Allison Grodner, who is also part of the team behind the CBS series "Big Brother" and Tony Marsh.

Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(TM), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(TM) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI is also an owner and manager of SUNDANCE CHANNEL, a venture of NBC Universal, Robert Redford and SNI. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV. Additionally, the advertiser- supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.

Source: Showtime Networks Inc.

 

Web site: http://www.sho.com/

Podcasts: is anyone listening?

Forrester Research says the odds are against it. In its new report, "Podcasting Hits the Charts," the firm claims only 1% of online households in North America regularly download and listen to podcasts. Not many.

Forrester projects just 700,000 households in the US in 2006 will use podcasting, and that this will grow to 12.3 million households by 2010.

Although other sources have put the figure as high as 80 million by 2010, eMarketer, in its recently-released report, Podcasting: Who's Tuning In?, projected a very similar audience of 15 million by 2010.

Nevertheless, the Forrester numbers sparked quite a response.

Regardless of the fact that podcast downloads are available at tens of thousands of sites all over the Internet, Charlene Li, principal author of the Forrester report, was quoted in MarketWatch as saying, "It's been months since I synced my iPod, because I'm not commuting anymore and I just don't have time to listen."

The response was immediate. WebProNews quoted PodTech.net founder John Furrier: "I don't know what planet Charlene is on these days but her report on podcast adoption is way off base. I don't know why she would come out with these low numbers. My only guess is that it's typical old school research method - - take a handful of people off the street and ask them if they know about podcasting...that might make her report justified."

On his own site, Mr. Furrier later modified his remarks, saying Ms. Li was "a very solid analyst." But reiterating that he didn't know "why or how she would come out with these low numbers." He estimates that around 15-20 million people are accessing podcasts on iTunes.

In Ms. Li and Forrester's defense, the report also went on to say, "We expect MP3 adoption to be almost 11 million households in the US this year, and grow to 34.5 million households by 2010. So that means in four years, about a third of those MP3 owners will be listening to podcasts on those devices. Podcasting will get easier and the content will get better, but it will all take time."

In both the pro and con podcasting rants, in blogs and publications, one point of agreement did emerge. While the future of original podcast programming may be in doubt, the ability to time-shift material from other channels - - radio, news, webcasts - - will create great a growing, perhaps vast, audience.

In fact most of the disagreement simply comes down a difference of definition. The low numbers, such as Forrester's, refer to 'active' or 'regular' listeners (usually defined as those who listen at least one a week). The higher numbers refer to those who download podcasts at all.

BMW Announces New Interface for iPod With Expanded Model Availability and Features

System will be Available for new 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons as well as 5, 6, and 7 Series

BMW today announced the debut of a new BMW Interface for iPod that will enable seamless integration of the iPod for the newest generation of BMW models. With the new BMW Interface for iPod this means that seamless iPod connectivity will be available for every current BMW model.

The new BMW Interface for iPod will be available for owners of the new BMW 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons as well as the 5, 6, and 7 Series. It will also be available for the new M5 Sedan and M6 Coupe. It will enable audiophiles to bring their entire music collections with them, plug directly and effortlessly into a superior sound system while maintaining uncompromised control over their driving experience. Since the new Interface is compatible with SIRIUS satellite radio as well as the recently introduced HD Radio, owners will be able to enjoy a broad selection of high fidelity broadcast music sources as well. The original BMW iPod Adapter will continue to be available for 2002 and later BMW models: X3, X5, Z4, and previous generation 3 Series.

The original BMW iPod Adapter was the world's first seamless integration between iPod and a vehicle audio system. The new Interface will also allow users to incorporate their iPods directly into their car's sound system, but with the newly available capability to sort their music according to their own playlists, as well as by artist, album, genre, podcast, and finally, a random selection of 500 songs from the user library. Artist, album, and song title will appear in the Display Monitor.

The seamless integration of iPod makes it effortless for drivers to control their music through their existing audio system and the multifunction steering wheel. The new BMW Interface for iPod enables drivers to easily access their entire music library, shuffle songs, skip between tracks and adjust volume -- all of this with no loss of sound quality or driving control.

The new Interface is compatible with all iPods with a dock connector, including the iPod nano and the fifth generation iPod. The BMW iPod Interfaces integrate the iPod through a direct connection in the BMW glovebox, providing outstanding sound quality and constant power to the iPod all while your iPod remains protected and out of view.

The new BMW iPod Interface will be available for customers to purchase at BMW centers beginning in July 2006. Pricing has not been determined.

Features and operation may vary depending on vehicle model and option content. Consumers should check with their BMW centers for specific application restrictions or log onto www.ipodyourbmw.com. Installation is performed by authorized BMW centers only. iPod players are sold separately. Please visit www.ipodyourbmw.com for additional information.

BMW Group In America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group's global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 Roadster and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car centers, 334 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 80 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group's sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.

Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:

www.bmwgroupna.com

www.bmwusa.com

www.bmwmotorradusa.com

www .miniusa.com

www.rolls-roycemotorcars.com

Source: BMW of North America, LLC

Lake Las Vegas Resort Presents 'Stars on the Lake' Concert Series Beginning May 12, 2006 Tickets on Sale Now

In what has become a community tradition, Lake Las Vegas Resort announces its "Grammy-studded" lineup for the 2006 "Stars on the Lake" concert series beginning May 12, 2006 and presented on the resort's signature floating stage by Lexus of Las Vegas. Other sponsors of the series include Wild Oats Natural Marketplace and Michelob Ultra Amber.

Musical duo Heart will kick off the 2006 "Stars on the Lake" concert series, which will close on September 30 with legendary vocalist Seal. Performances by Hall & Oates, Christopher Cross, America, singers Michael Feinstein and Linda Eder and instrumentalist Chris Botti complete the 2006 concert series and provide guests with an exceptional musical and sensory experience.

"The caliber of talent featured in this year's series, coupled with our unmatched performance venue, makes for an unforgettable and intimate affair," stated Cary Krukowski, director of marketing for the resort.

The 2006 "Stars on the Lake" series schedule is as follows:

Date Artist Location Price -- VIP/GA

May 12 Heart Reflection Bay $89.95 / $49.95

June 24 Hall & Oates Reflection Bay $89.95 / $49.95

July 3 Christopher Cross/ MonteLago Village $59.95 / $29.95

America

September 8 Michael Feinstein/ MonteLago Village $69.95 / $39.95

Linda Eder

September 16 Chris Botti MonteLago Village $69.95 / $39.95

September 30 Seal MonteLago Village $100 / $49.95

 

 

Tickets for all of the "Stars on the Lake" performances are on sale now through Ticketmaster and at the Village Golf Shop at Lake Las Vegas Resort. Season passes are available through the Village Golf Shop for $408 (VIP seats) or $220 (general admission seats) until the first concert on May 12, 2006. All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Ticket prices do not include tax or handling charges and tickets may be purchased through the below outlets.

* The Village Golf Shop: (702) 795-SHOW

* Ticketmaster: (702) 474-4000 or www.ticketmaster.com

Children ages two and under are free. A 20 percent discount on tickets will be available at the Village Golf Shop only for Resort hotel guests (room key required). No additional discount will be applied to season passes.

"Stars on the Lake" performances are presented on the resort's floating stage, providing the perfect venue for world-renowned artists to perform under the stars. Lake Las Vegas Resort constructed the 4,000-square-foot floating stage in 2004 during the inaugural "Stars on the Lake" concert featuring Le Ann Rimes. Guests surround the shorelines of MonteLago Village and Reflection Bay at this one-of-a-kind venue, which is one of the largest floating stages in the country and the only one in Nevada.

For more information regarding the 2006 "Stars on the Lake" concert series, call (702) 795-SHOW (795-7469), email starsonthelake@lakelasvegas.com or log onto www.starsonthelake.com.

LAKE LAS VEGAS RESORT

Lake Las Vegas Resort is a premier residential and resort destination situated on a privately owned 320-acre lake located 17 miles from the Las Vegas Strip. Within the 3,592-acre master planned resort are exquisite residential offerings including custom home sites, waterfront and golf villas, resort condominiums and luxury executive homes. The Mediterranean-inspired destination also features world-class resorts including the AAA Five Diamond- rated The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas, the AAA Four Diamond-rated Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Spa and Casino and MonteLago Village Resort, a collection of three challenging golf courses, pampering spas, elegant casinos, full-service marinas with watercraft rentals and yacht cruises and MonteLago Village, an enchanting enclave at the center of Lake Las Vegas Resort, offering water's edge restaurants and cafes, quaint boutiques and the 40,000- square-foot Casino MonteLago. For more information, call (800) 564-1603 or visit www.lakelasvegas.com.

Source: Lake Las Vegas Resort

Web site: http://www.ticketmaster.com/

Web site: http://www.starsonthelake.com/
http://www.lakelasvegas.com/

Latin Palooza.

Hi everybody. I want to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has supported me and the movie The Original Latin Kings of Comedy. In return, I give you...
Latin Palooza.

 palooza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


There are many great comics that I respect and love watching. Latin Palooza allows me to introduce to America four of the hottest stand-up comedians in the country. Hold on tight, this ride features Alex Reymundo (The Original Latin Kings of Comedy, HBO's Bad Boys of Comedy, El Matador),Willie Barcena (HBO's Loco Slam, The Tonight Show w/ Jay Leno,Latino Comedy Festival Pay Per View),Darren Carter (Tonight Show with Jay Leno, BET's Comic View, Be Cool) and Mike Robles (Host of Que Locos and Loco
Comedy Jam). These comedians magically fuse urban and mainstream comedy into raw, in-your-face laughter, that you will wantto watch again and again. This will be a live event shot at the historic Alex Theatre in Los Angeles.

Latin Palooza concludes for me a very successful year of writing, producing and directing movies and television, along with a non-stop national comedy tour. I want to thank all of my fans for your continued love and support. I want to give a sincere thanks to all of the talented, insane people that helped make this idea come to life, specifically - Randy Warner, Sean Davis and Ricardo Moreno. Most importantly, I want to thank God for giving me the balls to keep going and my family and loved ones for their support.

I hope you enjoy... Latin Palooza!


Joey Medina
www.joeymedina.com

Willie Barcena
www.williebarcena.com

Darren Carter
www.darrencarter.com

Alex Reymundo
www.alexreymundo.com

Mike Robles
www.mikerobles.com

SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Web Site Sees Triple Digit Year-Over-Year Growth

Outpacing XM Satellite Radio Since January, According to Nielsen//NetRatings

Outpacing XM Satellite Radio Since January, According to Nielsen//NetRatings

Audio Streaming Sites Benefit From 'Stickiness'

Nielsen//NetRatings, a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that Web traffic to SIRIUS Satellite Radio grew an impressive 188 percent year over year, increasing from 666,000 unique visitors in March 2005 to 1.9 million in March 2006

Concurrent with Howard Stern's January 2006 debut on SIRIUS, SIRIUS Satellite Radio's Web site traffic surpassed XM Satellite Radio's Web site traffic for the first time, drawing 2.3 million unique visitors compared to XM's 1.6 million. SIRIUS continued to outpace its primary competitor online in February and March. Nevertheless, XM Satellite Radio saw strong year-over-year growth as well, climbing 47 percent, from 1.2 million unique visitors last March to 1.7 million in March of this year.

"The satellite radio market is enjoying vibrant growth, due to increasing interest among first time subscribers," said Jon Gibs, senior director of media, Nielsen//NetRatings. "While SIRIUS has seen significant growth specifically due to Howard Stern's programming, both services benefit from individuals going to their site, not just to sign up for service, but also to listen to content while they are without their players," he continued.

Table 1: Unique Audience to Satellite Radio Providers (U.S., Home and Work)

_________________________________________________________________________

Brand Jan. 06 Feb. 06 Mar. 06 March Y-O-Y Growth

UA (000) UA (000) UA (000)

_________________________________________________________________________

SIRIUS Satellite Radio 2,313 1,594 1,921 188%

_________________________________________________________________________

XM Satellite Radio 1,585 1,585 1,699 47%

_________________________________________________________________________

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, April 2006

The "Stickiness" Factor

In addition to growing Web traffic, both SIRIUS and XM Satellite Radio are enjoying increased consumer loyalty, due to streaming online content. In March, SIRIUS and XM saw an average of 3.5 and 3.7 sessions per person, respectively (see Table 2). This return visitation rate places the Web sites of these satellite radio providers on par with other popular streaming audio sites, including Rhapsody, Clear Channel Music Radio Network, and MSN Radio. The average time spent per person at the SIRIUS site was nearly 15 minutes. At XM, it was just over 13 minutes.

At work, satellite radio subscribers are especially likely to access streaming content online, where broadband penetration is nearly 90 percent. For SIRIUS, 44 percent of users logged in to access a media player for streaming content; for XM, it was 27 percent.

"Satellite radio services have traditionally been thought of as linked to a specific satellite radio device. It is becoming clear that satellite radio subscribers are accessing the content they subscribe to online," said Gibs. "As these services continue to gain in popularity by adding new talent and programming, they could become a significant threat to online music subscription services such as Rhapsody and MSN Radio."

Table 2: Loyalty Metrics for Selected Audio Streaming Sites, March 2006 (U.S., Work Only)

_________________________________________________________________________

Site Sessions Per Person Time Per Person

(hh:mm:ss)

_________________________________________________________________________

Rhapsody 3.81 0:18:17

_________________________________________________________________________

XM Satellite Radio 3.73 0:13:05

_________________________________________________________________________

Clear Channel Music

Radio Network 3.72 0:25:18

_________________________________________________________________________

SIRIUS Satellite Radio 3.54 0:14:50

_________________________________________________________________________

MSN Radio 2.72 0:56:05

_________________________________________________________________________

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings, April 2006

*********************************************************

Nielsen//NetRatings reports March 2006 data for the Top Sites by Parent Company and Top Brands. In addition, Nielsen//NetRatings reveals the Top Advertisers by Company for March 2006.

Nielsen//NetRatings Top 10 Web Sites by Parent Company and Top 10 Web Sites By Brand, March 2006

Table 1. Top 10 Parent Companies, Table 2. Top 10 Brands,

Combined Home & Work Combined Home & Work

_______________________________________________________________________

Parent Unique Time Per Brand Unique Time Per

Audience Person Audience Person

(000) (hh:mm:ss) (000) (hh:mm:ss)

_______________________________________________________________________

Microsoft 115,161 2:16:10 Yahoo! 105,027 3:28:39

_______________________________________________________________________

Yahoo! 105,516 3:28:29 Microsoft 99,368 0:50:16

_______________________________________________________________________

Time Warner 101,021 5:05:52 MSN 95,124 1:52:10

_______________________________________________________________________

Google 94,829 1:02:32 Google 93,244 1:00:56

_______________________________________________________________________

eBay 61,684 1:58:14 AOL 75,348 6:13:54

_______________________________________________________________________

News Corp.

Online 57,013 1:34:21 eBay 55,573 1:59:18

_______________________________________________________________________

InterActive-

Corp 56,767 0:29:46 MapQuest 40,809 0:12:05

_______________________________________________________________________

Amazon 48,025 0:25:19 Amazon 40,721 0:23:21

_______________________________________________________________________

Walt Disney Internet

Group 41,794 0:34:46 Real 36,961 0:43:00

_______________________________________________________________________

New York Times

Company 39,012 0:16:03 MySpace 36,373 2:09:04

_______________________________________________________________________

Example: The data indicates that 39.0 million home and work Internet users visited at least one of the New York Times Company-owned sites or launched a New York Times Company-owned application during the month, and each person spent, on average, a total of 16 minutes and 3 seconds at one or more of their sites or applications.

A parent company is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs owned by a single entity. A brand is defined as a consolidation of multiple domains and URLs that has a consistent collection of branded content. Reach is a measure of the unduplicated audience that visits a property. The data is expressed as the percentage of the total universe of Internet users who logged onto the Internet at least once during the reporting period.

Nielsen//NetRatings AdRelevance Top 10 Advertisers, March 2006

Top advertisers, ranked by estimated spending, are based on data from AdRelevance, Nielsen//NetRatings' advertising research service. An impression is counted as the number of times an ad is rendered for viewing.

Top 10 Advertisers by Estimated Spending

_________________________________________________________________________

Advertiser Total Estimated Spending Impressions (000)

_________________________________________________________________________

Vonage Holdings Corp $37,256,300 16,601,261

_________________________________________________________________________

GUS Plc $23,223,500 14,087,830

_________________________________________________________________________

Verizon Communications, Inc. $20,994,200 6,352,000

_________________________________________________________________________

Netflix, Inc. $18,250,700 8,121,311

_________________________________________________________________________

United Online, Inc. $17,798,900 5,762,282

_________________________________________________________________________

LowerMyBills.com, Inc. $13,415,800 2,564,188

_________________________________________________________________________

InterActiveCorp $10,742,700 3,849,143

_________________________________________________________________________

The News Corporation Limited $10,054,600 2,977,715

_________________________________________________________________________

Monster Worldwide, Inc. $9,918,000 2,372,500

_________________________________________________________________________

E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp. $9,465,000 2,373,729

_________________________________________________________________________

Estimated spending reflects CPM-based advertising online, and excludes search-based advertising, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, partnership advertising, advertorials, promotions and email. Impressions reported exclude house ads, which are ads that run on an advertiser's own or related property and co-branding relationships.

Example: An estimated 2.4 billion E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp. ads were rendered for viewing at the cost of approximately $9.5 million during the surfing period.

About Nielsen//NetRatings

NetRatings, Inc. delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions, marketed globally under the Nielsen//NetRatings brand. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research and analysis. For more information, please visit www.nielsen-netratings.com.

Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Web site: http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/

 

XM and Lexus

XM Satellite Radio today announced that Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will offer XM as standard, factory-installed equipment on the 2007 LS 460 L and its new luxury hybrid sedan, the 2008 LS 600h L. XM will also be available as a factory-installed feature on the 2007 LS 460 model as part of the navigation option. The all-new fourth generation LS series will be the first Lexus models to offer factory-installed XM Satellite Radio. Lexus unveiled the LS 600h L hybrid today at a press conference at the New York International Auto Show.

In addition to offering XM Satellite Radio, both the LS 460 L and the LS 600h L hybrid will be the only vehicles in the prestige luxury segment to offer XM's real-time traffic service. XM NavTraffic is the nation's first satellite traffic information service that enables a driver to display real- time traffic conditions on the vehicle's navigation system. XM NavTraffic, powered by NAVTEQ Traffic, currently provides traffic data for 31 major metropolitan areas across the nation and is continuously expanding.

"The NavTraffic feature on the LS 460 is an excellent example of Toyota and XM collaborating to bring new technologies to the Lexus line of vehicles," said David Danzer, Group Vice President, Corporate Planning, Toyota Motor Sales, USA.

"The introduction of XM Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic as a factory-installed feature on the new generation of Lexus LS sedans represents an important milestone for our company," said Hugh Panero, President and CEO of XM Satellite Radio. "This launch is just the beginning for XM and Toyota as XM will be further integrated into Toyota Motor Sales vehicles."

In 2004, XM Satellite Radio became Toyota Motor Sales' exclusive partner for factory-installed satellite radio entertainment and information services. Today, XM Satellite Radio is available in 19 Toyota, Lexus and Scion models as an option through port or dealer accessory programs. XM's satellite radio receivers are the sole Genuine Toyota Satellite Radio Tuner Accessory authorized by Toyota Motor Sales to bring satellite radio entertainment to these models.

About XM Satellite Radio

XM is America's number one satellite radio company with more than 6.5 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2006 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: the most commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information.

XM, the leader in satellite-delivered entertainment and data services for the automobile market through partnerships with General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Nissan, Porsche, Suzuki, Subaru, and Volkswagen/Audi, is available in more than 130 different vehicle models for 2006. XM's industry-leading products are available at consumer electronics retailers nationwide. For more information about XM hardware, programming and partnerships, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/.

About NAVTEQ

NAVTEQ is a leading provider of comprehensive digital map information for automotive navigation systems, mobile navigation devices and Internet-based mapping applications. NAVTEQ creates the digital maps and map content that power navigation and location-based services solutions around the world. The Chicago-based company was founded in 1985 and has approximately 1,500 employees located in over 100 offices in 20 countries.

NAVTEQ is a trademark in the U.S. and other countries.

Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements in this press release include demand for XM Satellite Radio's service, the Company's dependence on technology and third party vendors, its potential need for additional financing, as well as other risks described in XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.'s Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on 3-3-06. .

Source: XM Satellite Radio

Web site: http://www.xmradio.com/

The 5 Browns Score Another #1 Billboard Chart Debut!

New RCA RED SEAL Album 'No Boundaries' Lands The Top Spot in Its Debut Week of Release!

Confirming once again their emergence as the new champions of classical music, The 5 Browns have repeated the success of their self-titled debut recording for RCA RED SEAL with the April 4 release of No Boundaries, their all-new second album that rules the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart at No. 1 in its first week of release. It also debuted on Billboard Heatseekers Chart at No. 16. Their debut album also skyrocketed back into the #2 position.

The 5 Browns are brothers and sisters -- Ryan, 20; Melody, 21; Gregory, 23; Deondra, 25; and Desirae, 27 -- who are all serious, ambitious Juilliard-trained concert pianists. Performing together, individually and in different combinations, they have created a unique phenomenon in classical music that is reflected in the title of their new album. Their debut album wowed critics and audiences alike, spent 8 weeks in the No. 1 spot and led Billboard to rank the talented quintet as one of the Top Classical Artists of 2005, with the No. 2 Top Classical Album of the year.

No Boundaries hit the stores on April 4, on CD and as a Dual Disc, which includes three music videos featuring all five pianists in new arrangements of the unforgettable melodies of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, Stravinsky's The Firebird, as well as the new work Simple Gifts/Going Home -- variations on Copland's Shaier Hymn "Simple Gifts" from Appalachian Spring and Dvorak's "Going Home" theme from his Ninth Symphony. These 3 works are also featured on the album. They celebrated the release day with a SRO crowd at Borders, Time WarnerCenter with Entertainment Tonight Television covering the event.

Currently on tour across the U.S., The 5 Browns recently performed on: Entertainment Tonight Television, ABC's The View, Martha Stewart's television show Martha, The Tony Danza Show and A&E's Breakfast with the Arts and will appear on NBC's Weekend Today next month. They are featured in the current issue of Elle Girl Magazine and Entertainment Weekly Magazine and Reader's Digest. Over the next weeks they will be featured in Cosmo Girl Magazine, Teen Magazine; Keyboard Magazine, Time Magazine for Kids and will hit the SIRIUS Satellite Radio's airwaves on the new "Martha Stewart Living Radio" and much more.

Source: SONY BMG MASTERWORKS

Web site: http://www.the5browns.com

VH1's Music Radar Wed., April 12, 2006 - Tues., April 18, 2006

Notable this week ...

New Video Adds:

Beginning Monday, April 17

Goo Goo Dolls "Stay With You"

Jack's Mannequin "The Mixed Tape"

The Raconteurs "Steady, As She Goes"

Snow Patrol "Hands Open"

"You Oughta Know" -- VH1 fills you in on artists on the rise. Get acquainted with these essential new artists.

Daniel Powter -- Daniel Powter is having anything but a bad day. In 2005, his single "Bad Day" was the biggest airplay song in Europe and its now becoming a big hit in America too. "American Idol" has even picked up the song as their theme for departing contestants. Fans of smart, insightful pop music will be happy to hear his self-titled album is scheduled to be released on April 11th.

The Fray -- With the release of their debut album, "How To Save A Life," The Fray are ready to show the world that Denver actually is a "rock city." The timeless songs on their debut are soaring ballads with a ragged edge. Led by choir-trained singer Isaac Slade, the band invokes the sound of Coldplay mixed with Bright Eyes.

KT Tunstall -- KT Tunstall has become a sensation in Great Britain with her soulful style of songwriting. Her debut, "Eye to the Telescope" is an intimate album with a rock crunch that comes from an appreciation for the beats of Bo Diddley.

James Blunt -- This ex-soldier has gone from riding in tanks to topping the UK charts with the ballad "You're Beautiful," that Elton John has compared to his own hit "Your Song." The candor and catchiness of "Back to Bedlam" is the reason for Blunt's success -- the CD showcases a disarmingly tender voice that speaks with the heart of a true romantic.

* all times ET/PT

Contacts: Lori Hornik/VH1

212-846-7131

What's on VH1.com?

Hear Music First

Hoot Soundtrack -- (Mailboat)

Need to save an endangered owl colony? Jimmy Buffett has the right sounds for the job. Along with his Maroon 5 buddies he contributes new songs to the film soundtrack.

The modern soul man can cook up some truly silky grooves. Watch him and the band play their "Indecent Proposal" and more! http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/javier_r_b_/artist.jhtml

What's on VH1 Classic?

VH1 Classic is celebrating Passover Vegas-style with "Matzo and Metal II: Back To The Desert." The second annual Seder set to premiere on the network for classic rock lovers will bring together rock artists -- that all happen to be Jewish -- for a meal never to be forgotten at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.

The half-hour special, premiering on Thursday, April 13 at 10:00 PM/ET and 7:00 PM/PT will feature Scott Ian (Anthrax), Evan Seinfeld (Biohazard), Josh Silver (Type O Negative) and VH1 Classic host Lynn Hoffman as they gather for Kosher food and to discuss what rock music and their Jewish heritage have meant to them.

Launched in May 2000, VH1 Classic is a 24-hour network that presents videos, concerts and music specials all day long, featuring the best of rock, soul and pop artists from the 60's, 70's and 80's, including The Beatles, The Stones, Tina Turner, Led Zeppelin, Marvin Gaye, The Who, Stevie Wonder, The Police and many more. Learn more at

http://www.vh1classic.com/.

.

Source: VH1

Web site: http://www.vh1.com/
http://www.vh1.com/artists/az/javier_r_b_/artist.jhtml
http://www.vh1classic.com/

 

At NCTA: Make Hit TV Shows Available Soon After They Air

Time Warner President Jeff Bewkes, whose company is in early negotiations with TV networks and studios to offer current hit programming on video on demand, yesterday implored cable networks to get on board with video on demand.

Jeff Bewkes said 'I have a dream' about free VOD from the major networks.


"Maybe I have a dream," he said, "but I think the cable industry should put free VOD for all networks into place in the next year. … Take the most successful model in ad supported entertainment -- the ad-supported TV networks -- and make them not just linear but on demand and find a way to keep the commercials so you can't fast forward. It would preserve vitality of production community and create natural extensions on Web and mobile of exactly the sort you're hearing here. I would like us all to think about that."

Time Warner has been talking to studios about a venture that could make hit TV shows available on demand shortly after they air on the linear broadcast networks. The service would likely be offered for some sort of subscription fee though it could also include an ad model. Currently, Time Warner's StartOver program, a restricted form of VOD, allows viewers to tune into the beginning of hit programs on 61 networks within the hour it airs. Ads remain in the programs and viewers can't fast forward.

Mr. Bewkes was speaking on an all-star panel of media execs at the closing session of The National Cable & Telecommunications Association's National Show, the annual cable industry gathering. This year, in Atlanta, the event drew 15,500 attendees, slightly down from the previous year. The other panelists, which included Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke, MTV Networks CEO Judy McGrath and Martha Stewart Omnimedia CEO Susan Lyne, all laid out how they see emerging media affecting their businesses.

Mr. Burke touted VOD as a great business model for launching new channels, including the first to come out of Comcast's investment in Sony -- a 24/7 VOD channel dedicated to horror films. He called it a product that both consumers and cable operators will want.

"Our horror channel will have lots of horror movies for VOD and streaming, but no linear channel," he said. "We'll charge [operators] a reasonable fee so it'll get lots of distribution. … If you look at growth of advertising on streaming and the growth of VOD it becomes a viable business model."

Ms. McGrath was frank about how emerging technologies are changing her business. "We're deeply paranoid every day," she said. However, she did note that she believes MTV is pretty well positioned to take advantage of the changing media landscape. "We're pretty much a pure-content-play company and it's really a creative problem and creative opportunity," she said. "It's a matter of thinking about the platform and how people are going to use it. Might be Comedy Central's joke of the day on mobile or Jon Stewart every night or the game of the week on nick.com. It's a brand-building environment that's good for all the broadband stuff Steve [Burke, of Comcast] is looking for and a compelling environment for advertisers. It's taking time to figure it out and it's not going home early."

As an example of upending business models, Ms. McGrath recalled the success around NBC's "Saturday Night Live" online spoof "Chronicles of Narnia," which was produced by and starred one of the show's newest cast members.

"The next day he had a movie deal," she said. "He leapfrogged over -- 'oh we have to make a pilot, do a TV deal.'" She said user-generated content and feedback will influence the next generation of programming -- it will be "programs meet bottom-up so you're both leading and following a little bit."

Ms. Lyne was also optimistic about her company's ability to adapt to new technologies: "We have particularly adaptable content, mostly how-to content in lots of areas from cooking to entertaining, home decorating, holidays, crafts. It's very sliceable and diceable." She was not at all worried about it cannibalizing on her company's core magazine products because, she said, "people read the magazine because it's literally a visceral experience. You're never going to get the same quality on a cellphone. But you're going to get something else from the cellphone experience."

 

At NCTA: Make Hit TV Shows Available Soon After They Air

Academy Award(R)-Winning Screenwriter Steven Zaillian Directs and Produces an All-Star Cast Led by Academy Award(R) Winner Sean Penn, Jude Law, Kate Winslet, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Clarkson and Academy Award(R) Winner Anthony Hopkins

Columbia Pictures' "All the King's Men" will be released nationally on September 22, 2006, it was announced today by Jeff Blake, Vice Chairman Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman, Worldwide Marketing and Distribution for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group.

Based on Robert Penn Warren's 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, All the King's Men is a classic of American literature that tells the story of an idealistic man of the people who soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power.

With a screenplay written and directed by Zaillian, who received an Academy Award(R) for his adaptation of "Schindler's List," "All The King's Men" features an all-star cast including Oscar(R) winner Sean Penn ("Mystic River"), Jude Law ("Closer"), Kate Winslet ("Finding Neverland"), James Gandolfini ("The Sopranos"), Mark Ruffalo ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), Patricia Clarkson ("Pieces of April") and Academy Award(R) winner Anthony Hopkins ("Silence of the Lambs").

A Columbia Pictures and Phoenix Pictures/VIP3A/VIP 4A Production in Association with Rising Star, "All The King's Men" was produced by Mike Medavoy, Arnold W. Messer, Ken Lemberger and Steve Zaillian. The executive producers are Michael Hausman, David Thwaites, James Carville, Todd Phillips, Andreas Schmid, Andreas Grosch and Ryan Kavanaugh.

"Steve Zaillian has delivered a wonderful and provocative motion picture with a timeless story and fantastic performances. We couldn't be more proud of the way All the King's Men turned out. Early fall will be a great time to release this film."

While a uniquely American story, the message of "All the King's Men" is universal and very relevant today. It uses politics as a framework to delve into the more profound conflicts of human nature -- sin, guilt and redemption. Warren's novel was inspired by the career of Louisiana governor Huey P. Long and had a profound effect on contemporary literature, serving as a model for some of the best-selling political novels of the past half-century.

Zaillian received an Oscar(R) for his screenplay "Schindler's List," directed by Steven Spielberg. He was also nominated for "Awakenings" and "Gangs of New York." He has directed the films Searching for "Bobby Fischer" and "A Civil Action." Medavoy and Zaillian were teamed together for the writer's first produced screenplay, "The Falcon and the Snowman," which starred Penn.

Academy Award(R) winner Penn ("Mystic River") recently starred opposite Nicole Kidman in Sydney Pollack's "The Interpreter." Other Oscar(R) nominations include "I Am Sam," "Sweet and Lowdown" and "Dead Man Walking." Penn starred in Zaillian's first produced screenplay "The Falcon and the Snowman."

Two-time Academy Award(R) nominee Law ("The Talented Mr. Ripley," "Cold Mountain") recently starred in Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "I Heart Huckabees," "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow," "Alfie" and Mike Nichols' "Closer." Other recent films include "Road to Perdition" and "AI:Artificial Intelligence." He will soon be seen in Columbia Pictures' "The Holiday" opposite Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet and Jack Black.

Winslet's recent screen appearances include starring roles in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "Finding Neverland." Winslet has been nominated for four Academy Awards(R) for her performances in "Sense and Sensibility," "Titanic," "Iris" and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Her other films include "Enigma," "Quills" and "The Life of David Gale." She will soon be seen in Nancy Meyer's romantic comedy "The Holiday" also starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black, a Columbia Pictures release.

Clarkson was nominated for an Academy Award(R) and a Golden Globe for her performance in "Pieces of April." She was named Best Supporting Actress by the New York Film Critics for her role in "Far From Heaven." Ms. Clarkson recently starred in "The Station Agent" and "Dogville." Her other film credits include "The Green Mile" and "The Pledge."

Gandolfini is a three-time Emmy Award winner and a Golden Globe recipient for his role as Tony Soprano in the prize-winning HBO series "The Sopranos." Gandolfini had a major role in Zaillian's "A Civil Action."

Ruffalo recently opposite Jennifer Aniston in Rob Reiner's "Rumor Has It" and opposite Reese Witherspoon in "Just Like Heaven," as well as such films as "Collateral," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and "We Don't Live Here Anymore." Ruffalo was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for his role in Kenneth Lonergan's "You Can Count on Me."

Academy Award(R) winner Hopkins ("The Silence of the Lambs") was also nominated for Oscars(R) for "Amistad," "Nixon" and "The Remains of the Day." He was recently featured in "Proof," "The World's Fastest Indian," Oliver Stone's "Alexander" and a reprise of his award-winning role of Hannibal Lector in two films, "Red Dragon" and "Hannibal."

ACADEMY AWARD(R) and OSCAR(R) are the registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

About Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures, part of the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, is a Sony Pictures Entertainment company. Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America (SCA), a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE's global operations encompass motion picture production and distribution; television production and distribution; digital content creation and distribution; worldwide channel investments; home entertainment acquisition and distribution; operation of studio facilities; development of new entertainment products, services and technologies; and distribution of filmed entertainment in 67 countries. Sony Pictures Entertainment can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.sonypictures.com/.

 

Source: Columbia Pictures

Feld Entertainment, Inc. and Cookie Jar Entertainment Partner to Bring Kids' Favorite Rockin' Band, the Doodlebops on Premiere U.S. Tour

FELD ENTERTAINMENT, INC. and leading children's company, COOKIE JAR ENTERTAINMENT, announced a partnership to bring the new rockin' music sensation for kids, The Doodlebops, to 40 cities across the country for their first live U.S. tour. The Doodlebops have attracted a legion of pint-sized fans to their popular television show on the Disney Channel which introduces children to kid-themed music inspired by legendary artists such as The Beatles, The Black Eyed Peas, Aretha Franklin, and Beyonce.

Today, The Doodlebops previewed their U.S. tour with a special performance in front of thousands of children at Madison Square Garden following the 136th Edition of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(R) 10:30 a.m. matinee. The official U.S. tour will kick-off fall 2006 and continue through spring 2007. Tour schedules for this sensational kids' favorite will be available online at http://www.feldinc.com/ and http://www.doodlebops.com/ and tickets will be on sale at http://www.doodlebops.com/ and through Ticketmaster later this summer.

The exploding popularity of the band makes it a perfect live touring property. The Doodlebops live-action series focuses on three candy-colored, fun loving characters -- band mates Deedee, Rooney, and Moe Doodle who happen to be in a world famous rock band! Through their energetic music, enviable dance moves, upbeat attitudes, and rockin' storylines, The Doodlebops share positive messages with their young viewing audience, and introduce them to a variety of musical and dance styles. Whether rehearsing their latest dance in their club house, touring the world in their groovy tour bus, or debuting a brand new song in concert, The Doodlebops are always encouraging youngsters to share, cooperate, learn from each other, and to get up and dance!

The Doodlebops is a top performer for Disney Channel in the U.S., and is also one of Kids' Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) most popular programs. The talented trio is the most dynamic new children's act on the scene, using its top-rated, Toronto-produced TV show to entertain and educate preschoolers with a combination of original music inspired by artistic icons, dynamic dancing, humor and fun to convey positive pro-social messages about teamwork, overcoming fears, and trying new things.

The group has a proven track record of success not only on television, but on live tour with their recent sell out of major venues for the spring 2006 Canadian ticketed tour.

Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment, Kenneth Feld says, "This talented trio has become the new popular band for young children and is creating sensational buzz; we look forward to partnering with Cookie Jar Entertainment to spread their magic to families and children across the United States."

According to Toper Taylor, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cookie Jar Entertainment, "We're thrilled to be working with the world's premier live entertainment company, Feld Entertainment, to take The Doodlebops on tour across the United States, and we expect a tremendous response from the show's enthusiastic and loyal young fans, as well as their parents."

About Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Feld Entertainment, Inc. is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with millions of people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment's productions have appeared in 50 countries and on six continents to date and include Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(R).

About Cookie Jar

Cookie Jar Group develops and markets quality products to children, their caregivers, parents and teachers. Cookie Jar Group's products reflect its commitment to providing the best in children's published content, animated and live action programming and innovative educational and entertainment-driven products worldwide. The group of companies consists of Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. and Cookie Jar Education Inc., as well as a 20% interest in Teletoon Canada Inc., Canada's only all-animation broadcaster.

Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc., Cookie Jar Group's entertainment operation, is a leading, global, independent producer, marketing and brand manager of such renowned children's properties as "Arthur," "The Doodlebops," "Caillou" and "Gerald McBoing Boing." Combining globally-renowned intellectual properties with an industry-recognized management team, Cookie Jar Entertainment Inc. is a market-driven, brand building company that is committed to children first and foremost and is dedicated to the development and production of quality programming that embraces the whole child, with animated and live-action series that entertain, inspire and enlighten children and family audiences worldwide.

 

Source: Feld Entertainment, Inc.

Web site: http://www.doodlebops.com/
http://www.feldinc.com/

 

LG Electronics aligns with efforts of NSCA Education Foundation

The NSCA Education Foundation announces a new President’s Club supporter LG Electronics. LG has committed to supporting the Education Foundation’s continuing education efforts for commercial electronic systems professionals. The efforts of the Foundation are most well known for their support of the EST initiative and funding participation of industry participants in education programs.

“The dealer channel is invaluable to the distribution and installation of products in the commercial systems electronic industry,” said Ron Snaidauf, Vice President, LG Electronics. “LG supports the dealers and the NSCA Education Foundation’s efforts to advance and support the channel through education.”

“LG’s contribution reinforces the importance of the Foundation’s commitment to systems integration and continuing education to our industry’s future,” said Tony Price, President, NSCA Education Foundation. “ We are excited for the new initiatives the Foundation is planning and are honored that LG will join other industry leaders in taking our industry to the next level.”

LG Electronics will be joining President Club supporters such as AutoPatch, Atlas Sound, Bose Corporation, Middle Atlantic, Rauland-Borg, Shure Incorporated and Telex Communications in the quest for advancing industry education.


The funds raised from by the Foundation will be used toward tuition assistance in training programs such as EST and Project Management, educational funding of students entering the industry and development of future educational programs.

About LG Electronics, Inc.


LG Electronics (KSE: 06657.KS) is a global company, providing cutting-edge, convergent electronics, information and communications products designed to meet the diverse needs of fast-changing consumers. With consolidated sales of US$37.7 billion and overseas sales of US$ 32.6 billion (86% of total sales), LG Electronics employs more than 70,000 employees in 76 subsidiaries located in 39 countries and operates four business units including Mobile Communications, Digital Appliance, Digital Display and Digital Media.

About the NSCA Education Foundation


The NSCA Education Foundation is a charitable organization that supports educational initiatives which make the current and incoming workforce more efficient, reduce costs of doing business, promote a standard level of technical knowledge and bring trained professionals into the workforce. For more information about the NSCA Education Foundation visit www.nscafoundation.org or contact Melissa Henderson at 1.800.446.6722 or mhenderson@nsca.org.

Centaur Streamlines Operations at Raycom Media’s KOLD-TV with Digital Delivery of Local/Regional Ad Content

KOLD-TV deploys Centaur for digital delivery of local and regional spots, reaping benefits formerly reserved for national spot delivery\

Raycom Media’s KOLD-TV has deployed Centaur Spot Exchange™ to enable streamlined digital delivery of local and regional advertising content, gaining advantages that were previously only available for national spot delivery. The CBS affiliate, serving Southern Arizona, selected Centaur’s cost-effective internet delivery service to eliminate traditional tape shipments to the station and account executive downtime for tape pickups.

“Centaur’s service greatly improves station efficiency and is positively impacting our performance,” said Jim Arnold, Vice President and General Manager, KOLD-TV. “The solution enables our AEs and support personnel to focus on selling, rather than driving to pick up tapes. Operationally, internet-speed transfers are a real benefit, especially when it comes to time-sensitive deliveries for our key advertising accounts.”

Centaur Spot Exchange™ transfers advertising content and metadata, enabling stations to receive spots from local production houses, and/or for regional Hubs (centralized master control) to receive content for stations within their TV group. No new hardware is needed – users simply install Centaur’s desktop software and drag-n-drop to exchange spots by internet via Centaur’s state-of-the-art server network.

“Centaur’s drag-n-drop interface is easy to use, and a spot typically downloads to our station in about 60 seconds,” said Holly Romero, Commercial Producer, KOLD-TV. “It’s far more efficient than shipping around tapes, and avoids crisis situations that arose in the past when the wrong tape was sometimes delivered. We also use the service to send out KOLD spots, and there’s a great feature for uploading a spot one time and then instantaneously copying it to multiple stations. That’s a big time-saver, and sure beats making multiple dubs to tape. “

The Centaur service automatically alerts station personnel when new advertising content is available. To ensure efficient delivery, content download may begin while the upload is still in progress. Transfer automatically resumes following any internet outages, and proof-of-delivery is provided.

“We are very pleased with Centaur’s Spot Exchange service, which fits with Raycom’s move toward increasingly digital workflows” said Mr. Arnold. Centaur will demonstrate all of its digital media delivery services at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB) in Las Vegas, April 24-27, 2006; Centaur Booth C11635.

 

About Centaur (www.centaurstorage.com)

()


Centaur’s easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions have made it the leading provider of digital content delivery for local and regional broadcast markets. Customers select Centaur’s internet delivery services to enable efficient exchange of digital media with colleagues anywhere, in any format. Users simply install Centaur’s desktop software and drag-n-drop to exchange advertising content, news stories, programming episodes, clips, teasers, prepro, or any other digital media via Centaur’s state-of-the-art server network. Tailored for the broadcast industry, Centaur features auto-alerts for new content, proof-of-delivery, accelerated transfers via simultaneous upload/download, and metadata for automated ingest to air. Centaur is privately held, with headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

Centaur’s easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions have made it the leading provider of digital content delivery for local and regional broadcast markets. Customers select Centaur’s internet delivery services to enable efficient exchange of digital media with colleagues anywhere, in any format. Users simply install Centaur’s desktop software and drag-n-drop to exchange advertising content, news stories, programming episodes, clips, teasers, prepro, or any other digital media via Centaur’s state-of-the-art server network. Tailored for the broadcast industry, Centaur features auto-alerts for new content, proof-of-delivery, accelerated transfers via simultaneous upload/download, and metadata for automated ingest to air. Centaur is privately held, with headquarters in Alexandria, VA.

About KOLD-TV


KOLD-TV is owned by Raycom Media, Inc. Further information about Raycom can be found at the corporate website, www.raycommedia.com. Further information about KOLD-TV can be found at www.kold.com.

 

 

ND SatCom Introduces smartSNG at NAB 2006

ND SatCom, a leading global supplier of satellite-based broadband VSAT, broadcast and defence communication network solutions, will introduce its new broadcast workflow automation system smartSNG at the NAB trade show in Las Vegas, NV, from 24 to 27 April 2006 on booth no. C6544. ND SatCom’s smartSNG is the first integrated Satellite News Gathering workflow solution in the broadcast industry. smartSNG is a distributed client-server system that enables news room editors at central, mobile or remote contribution sites to book, schedule and control all resources and equipment required for a news production. ND SatCom’s new solution targets broadcasters and media companies as well as SNG coach builders serving the broadcast community.

The smartSNG system fully automates the SNG vehicle and enables operation by a single non-technical person. Providing complete and easy workflow integration, the system eliminates the traditional booking and tape handling process empowering journalists to save time and to focus on their jobs. In brief, smartSNG streamlines workflow management and turns SNG vehicles into mobile offices with always-on, broadband communications capabilities.

Users already operating the resource planning system, ScheduALL, are presented with an integrated extension for the management of DVB uplinks. In the same way, broadcasters who had so-far considered the management of their uplinks only can now extend this capability with a widely-recognized resource planning tool.

Dr Gerhard Bommas, CTO of ND SatCom, comments: ”The development of smartSNG is based on a unique technology partnership between ND SatCom and ScheduALL. This team combines the strengths of its member companies both in the satellite and in the workflow integration worlds. ScheduALL’s workflow integration and booking automation and ND SatCom’s SNG automation and communications solution package create innovative time and cost saving benefits for broadcasters.”

About ND SatCom:

ND SatCom is a leading global supplier of satellite-based broadband VSAT, broadcast and defence communication network and ground station solutions. ND SatCom's innovative technologies are deployed in broadcast & media, enterprise, telecom, government and defence environments worldwide. As a global company with more than 25 years of experience in the satellite networks and systems businesses, ND SatCom is a reliable source of comprehensive and secure turnkey and tailored system engineered solutions. ND SatCom is represented by regional sales and service offices worldwide. It is a 74,9%-subsidiary of AUGUSTA Technologie AG and a 25,1% subsidiary of SES Global.

About ScheduALL

ScheduALL is the broadcast industry’s most widely used production and operations management software. ScheduALL is used in more than 1,100 broadcast, satellite, and production facilities worldwide. The software offers complete workflow and resource management that enables clients to optimize personnel, resource, and bandwidth scheduling, leading to increased productivity. ScheduALL scalable products provide a collaborative platform for users in the broadcast, production, postproduction, satellite/network transmission, and newsroom environments. ScheduALL global and regional users include organizations such as BBC, Fox News Network, The Associated Press, IntelSat, Turner Studios, Mediaset, CBC, ABC Australia, RTL, and NewSkies Satellites. For more information, visit www.scheduall.com.

 

Blogs, Pods and Really Simple Stuff Deliver Advertising At An Increasing Rate

The first installment in PQ Media's Alternative Media Research Series, the Blog, Podcast and RSS Advertising Outlook, reports that advertising spending on user-generated online media - blogs, podcasts and RSS - did not begin until 2002, but this combined spending has grown to $20.4 million by the end or 2005, a 198.4% increase over the 2004 level. Spending on blog, podcast and RSS advertising is projected to climb another 144.9% in 2006 to $49.8 million.

Some of the key growth drivers are continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach the elusive 18- to 34 year-old demographic.

Other key findings included in the Executive Summary:

User-generated media remains primarily national in scope with 98.1%, or $20.0 million, of all advertising spending coming from the broader market in 2005

Advertising networks and click-throughs are the largest ad insertion methods, generating $8.0 million and $7.8 million, respectively

Blog advertising accounted for 81.4%, or $16.6 million, of total spending on user-generated online media in 2005, but blog ads will comprise only 39.7%, or $300.4 million, of overall spending in 2010

Podcast advertising totaled only $3.1 million in 2005, but is projected to reach $327.0 million in 2010, when it will account for 43.2% of all user-generated media advertising

Spending on RSS (Really Simple Syndication) advertising totaled $650,000 in 2005 and will grow to $129.6 million in 2010

Total spending on user-generated online media is forecast to grow at a compound annual rate of 106.1% from 2005 to 2010, reaching $757.0 million in 2010

Technology was the largest single category at $4.0 million in 2005, due primarily to the technology-savvy early adopters of user-generated media

Auto was the second largest marketing category, generating $3.9 million in 2005, as car manufacturers utilized user-generated media to market their higher-end models to the "influential" demographic

The media industry spent $3.2 million to advertise in user-generated media in 2005, as the industry tried to capitalize on its advanced knowledge of the consumer shift away from traditional media

From a broader alternative media perspective, concludes the report, continued audience fragmentation, the perceived ineffectiveness of traditional advertising, and the desire to reach elusive younger markets are leading more marketers to take a serious look at new media opportunities. In the user-generated media markets, more advertisers are seeing the potential to reach younger demographics, as well as the lucrative influential markets, with media that tend to be highly engaging. On the downside, user-generated media have a host of technology and measurement issues that need to be resolved before these media can reach their full potential.

.

Mystery Writers Celebrate 60th Edgar Awards

Janet Evanovich and Reed Farrel Coleman, President and Vp of the Mystery Writers of America, say writers of crime fiction and mysteries aren't really as macabre as their fans would think. "We look more like crime victims than detectives, we think Jack The Ripper is unfairly treated in the press and Murder, She Wrote is high Art," they tease.

To mark the 60th Edgar Awards, authors will celebrate in Manhattan with a public book-signing at Borders Books Park Avenue at Noon April 26, a symposium and a black-tie banquet where Mayor Bloomberg's office is scheduled to present a proclamation to the organization.

Linda Fairstein, Manhattan sex-crimes-prosecutor-turned-novelist notes the women writers hope George Clooney will attend with Stephen Gaghan who is nominated for his best screenplay Syriana along with Woody Allen's Match Point and Richard Russo & Robert Benton for The Ice Harvest.

The burning question: will BBC America trounce CSI and Law & Order in the TV category?

Novel Nominees:

The Lincoln -- Lawyer Michael Connelly

Red Leaves -- Thomas H. Cook

Vanish -- Tess Gerritsen

Drama City -- George Pelecanos

Citizen Vince -- Jess Walter

First Novel -- American Author

Die A Little -- Megan Abbott

Immoral -- Brian Freeman

Run the Risk -- Scott Frost

Hide Your Eyes -- Alison Gaylin

Officer Down -- Theresa Schwegel

Paperback Original

Homicide My Own -- Anne Argula

The James Deans -- Reed Farrel Coleman

Girl in The Glass -- Jeffrey Ford

Kiss Her Goodbye -- Allan Guthrie

Six Bad Things -- Charlie Huston

Television Episode Teleplay

CSI -- "A Bullet Runs Through It" -- Richard Catalani & Carol Mendelsohn

CSI -- "Grave Danger" -- Anthony Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Naren Shankar,

Quentin Tarantino

Law & Order: S V U -- "911" -- Patrick Harbinson

Sea of Souls -- "Amulet" -- Ed Whitmore

Wire in the Blood -- "Redemption" -- Guy Burt

Motion Picture Screen Play

Crash -- Paul Haggis, Bob Moresco

A History of Violence -- Josh Olson

The Ice Harvest -- Richard Russo & Robert Benton

Match Point -- Woody Allen

Syriana -- Stephen Gaghan

Grand Master

Stuart Kaminsky

Ellery Queen

Brian Skupin & Kate Stine -- Mystery Scene Magazine

Raven

Black Orchid Bookshop -- Bonnie Claeson & Joe Guglielmelli

Men of Mystery Conference -- Joan Hansen

Named awards and categories to be honored are: Best Fact Crime, Short Story, Juvenile, Young Adult, Critical/Biographical, Simon & Schuster -- Mary Higgins Clark Award, Robert L. Fish Memorial Award.

Source: Mystery Writers of America

Web site: http://www.mysterywriters.org/

 

 

At NCTA: Media Buyers Hope It Could Be Tipping Point for iTV

In what could be a game changing move, Time Warner Cable is poised to bring interactive TV to New York by the end of the year, Time Warner Cable ad sales chief Larry Fischer announced on a panel here yesterday at The National Cable & Telecommunications Association National Show.

Time Warner Cable ad sales chief Larry Fischer made the announcement at a NTCA session.

It was a rare, if important, piece of advertising-related news to come out of The National Show, where much of the talk focused on new video competition from the telecom industry, government regulations and consumer marketing.

When Time Warner Cable introduced video on demand to Manhattan, it piqued advertising and agency interest in the medium. Cable operators hope for the same result for interactive TV.


Marketers have already indicated strong interest in interactive TV advertising, which cable and satellite distributors are poised to provide. At the recent ANA TV Ad Forum, a majority of marketers indicated they thought interactive TV to be one of the most promising video applications. But interactive TV has been embattled by fits and starts since the mid-1990s.

David Zaslov, president of NBC Universal Cable, recalled at a panel yesterday morning that when NBC was launching MSNBC with Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder was excited about the ability to ad interactivity to TV and drill down with granularity specific to a user's address.

"It didn't happen as fast as he thought it was going to happen," Mr. Zaslov said. "But we see it now. These interactive ads are starting to be sticky and the advertisers are excited about it."

But at the same time that interactive TV appears realistically inevitable, cable distributors came under fire for not doing enough to appeal to the ad industry. In an advertising-focused panel yesterday, MediaCom's CEO, Jon Mandel, called out cable operators for not supporting industry events.

"I was just at the 4A's Management Conference," he said, "and I saw guys from MSN, Yahoo, Google, and one guy from Clear Channel Radio and that was it. Maybe you guys ought to get your ass out to events like that."

On what are arguably cable's biggest video innovations, interactive TV and video on demand, he went on to suggest they reach out to creatives as well as media buyers. "You've got to get out to the clients and creative people and show them what you can do," he said. "If you don't, you're going to have Betty Buyer sitting there buying rating points and she just needs to get 300 points and you'll never unlock your potential. I don't have a single client that's using it because they can't figure out how."


Of course, advertising represents a relatively small part of cable operators' revenues -- but the growth potential is great. At Comcast, for example, advertising accounts for 6% of total revenue but 22% of free cash flow. And the Spotlight division, which sells Comcast's advertising, has promised to grow that side of the business aggressively.

Yet Scott Ferris, senior VP-general manager at Atlas on Demand, a company that is creating an interface for ad agencies to more easily buy advertising in video on demand, lamented the lack of conversation surrounding advertising. He used a stopwatch during the show's opening keynote and timed how long it took anyone on the dais to say the word advertising.

"It took one hour, eight minutes and 16 seconds before I heard the word advertising," he said. "And that was disheartening, because much of the business is built on advertising."

Much of the current VOD advertising involves long-form advertising accessible on dedicated VOD channels. In the interactive space, it's not a cable operator but Dish Network that's the most advanced. Its interactive advertising is sold by Turner Media Group (no relation to Turner Broadcasting) and clients have included Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz, BMW, U.S. Navy and Hewlett Packard.

While Dish's interactive TV footprint is only 11 million homes, it's a way for advertisers to test the capabilities on a national level, said Jodie McAfee, senior VP-corporate development and marketing for Turner Media Group. "A lot of our clients look at it as a Petri dish."

Sports &Autos

Dodgers and Oakland Baseball

Los Angeles 5, Pittsburgh 9 at PNC Park
Los Angeles Record: (4-5)


Winning pitcher - Salomon Torres (2-1)
Losing pitcher - Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1)

at PNC Park (4-5) - Salomon Torres (2-1) - Hong-Chih Kuo (0-1)

LAD HR - J. CruzJr. (1)
PIT HR - F. Sanchez (1) C. Wilson (4) J. Wilson (3)

J. CruzJr. (1) F. Sanchez (1) C. Wilson (4) J. Wilson (3)

Oakland 5, Minnesota 6 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Oakland Record: (5-4)


Winning pitcher - Carlos Silva (1-1)
Losing pitcher - Esteban Loaiza (0-2)
SV - Joe Nathan (2)

OAK HR - N. Swisher (3)
MIN HR - T. Hunter (2) J. Morneau (4)

at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (5-4) - Carlos Silva (1-1) - Esteban Loaiza (0-2) - Joe Nathan (2) N. Swisher (3) T. Hunter (2) J. Morneau (4)

Special Performance by Camp Freddy at Hard Rock Cafe New York Benefits Charity and Attracts Celebrities Including Lindsay Lohan, Moby, Dave Navarro, Scott Weiland and More

General Motors' Saturn division unveiled three new vehicles - the Aura midsize sedan, Sky Red Line performance roadster and Outlook crossover vehicle - at an exclusive event last night at Hard Rock Cafe New York in Times Square. Hosted by Run DMC's Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, the event not only celebrated the inspiring revitalization of the brand, but also benefited DKMS organization, the largest private bone marrow donor foundation in the world, for which McDaniels is a spokesperson.

An estimated crowd of 20,000 gathered outside the Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square shortly after 10 PM for the dramatic unveiling and surprise performance by Camp Freddy. Perched on a platform 60 feet above Times Square, Camp Freddy rocked the crowd and then moved inside for a two-hour private concert. Guests were also entertained by DJ Frankie Inglese, who was spinning the turntables throughout the night. One of the many highlights of the evening was a generous $40,000 donation made to the DKMS organization by Saturn.

Guests including Lindsay Lohan, Drea de Matteo, Estella Warren, Michelle Trachtenberg, Eriq La Salle, the New York Giants' Tiki Barber and more had the opportunity to see the dynamic new vehicle designs up close, while enjoying the first New York performance in two years by Camp Freddy, a collaboration of Dave Navarro, Matt Sorum, Billy Morrison, Chris Chaney and Scott Weiland. Moby, Gina Gershon, Shooter Jennings, Jerry Cantrell, Fuel's Brett Scallions, and Duff McKagan surprised guests by joining the band on stage throughout the night, and the crowd erupted as the band brought down the house with a cover version of Run DMC and Aerosmith's "Walk This Way."

"These new vehicles show the evolution of Saturn and our commitment to creative design, inspiring concepts and most importantly, our customers' growing needs," said Saturn General Manager Jill Lajdziak. "The Times Square unveil was exciting for Saturn and we look forward to rolling out these cars, so our friends and families across the country can experience this new chapter for the brand firsthand."

The Aura, Sky Red Line and Outlook are among five vehicles joining the Saturn family for the 2007 model year. Vehicles already introduced include the Sky roadster and the Saturn Vue Green Line hybrid SUV.

More about Saturn's three new production vehicles:

* The 2007 Saturn Aura brings the new design of Saturn into a fun-to-drive

sports sedan, with bold exterior styling and high levels of interior

refinement. A hybrid version of Aura is on tap for later in the 2007

model year.

* The Sky Red Line performance roadster adds a boost of extra power and

performance to Saturn's new signature roadster with a 260-horsepower,

2.0L turbocharged engine and a performance-tuned suspension package.

* The Saturn Outlook crossover blends utility with optimal proportions, a

stable stance and distinctive design. It comfortably seats eight people

and provides nimble and agile handling beyond what is normally found in

a vehicle in this class.

About GM:

General Motors Corp. , the world's largest automaker, has been the global industry sales leader for 75 years. Founded in 1908, GM today employs about 327,000 people around the world. With global headquarters in Detroit, GM manufactures its cars and trucks in 33 countries. In 2005, 9.17 million GM cars and trucks were sold globally under the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, GM Daewoo, Holden, HUMMER, Opel, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn and Vauxhall. GM operates one of the world's leading finance companies, GMAC Financial Services, which offers automotive, residential and commercial financing and insurance. GM's OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. More information on GM can be found at www.gm.com.

About DKMS:

DKMS is the largest private bone marrow donor foundation in the world. The organization has facilitated more than 8,000 transplants. That's more than five per day since its founding in 1991. DKMS now has more than 1.3 million registered donors and makes up 13% of worldwide registered unrelated stem cell donors and accounts for 22% of NMDP registered donors. The organization is currently expanding into North America to make it simpler for U.S. patients to gain access to DKMS registered donors.

About Camp Freddy:

CAMP FREDDY, headed up by Dave Navarro (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane's Addiction), Matt Sorum (Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver), Billy Morrison (Doheny, The Cult), Donovan Leitch (son of legendary folk singer Donovan), Chris Chaney (Jane's Addiction, Alanis Morrisette) and its newest member Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver) was created for the sole purpose of having a great time. Joined onstage by an amazing list of artists to perform some of the greatest rock songs ever written, when Camp Freddy performs, it's more than just a performance, it's an experience.

About Hard Rock International

With 121 high-energy Hard Rock Cafes, 11 Hotel & Casinos and two stand- alone Casinos in more than 41 countries, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally-recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. Hard Rock International, Inc. is owned by The Rank Group Plc (RNK.L). For more information on Hard Rock, visit www.hardrock.com.

Source: Saturn

Web site: http://www.gm.com/
http://www.hardrock.com/

 

Mitsubishi Motors North America

unveils the U.S. version of its next-generation Outlander compact sport-utility vehicle at the 2006 New York International Auto Show. The all-new, larger Outlander, which will reach Mitsubishi dealerships in November, offers a compelling blend of driven-to-thrill dynamics, bold styling, five- or seven-passenger versatility, plus numerous user-technology firsts for the compact SUV segment.

The 2007 Outlander is based on a new performance-engineered global platform that will also form the foundation of the next-generation Mitsubishi Lancer and Lancer Evolution models. All Outlander models for 2007 will be powered exclusively by a new 220 hp aluminum MIVEC V-6 engine teamed to a six-speed Sportronic(R) automatic transmission with available magnesium Sportronic steering wheel paddle shifters - a segment first. In another segment first, the California-emissions V-6 will be the first in the compact SUV segment to be P-ZEV certified.

Two trim lines available for 2007, the well equipped Outlander LS and sport/luxury XLS, each will be available with standard front-wheel drive or an optional electronically controlled 4WD system -- All-Wheel Control (AWC). Mitsubishi's All-Wheel Control philosophy for Outlander combines electronically controlled 4-wheel drive with Active Skid and Traction Control and a tuned suspension, plus an aluminum roof that lowers the center of gravity for better handling response. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on XLS models. The result is an SUV that delivers handling dynamics, stability and a level of driver engagement uncommon in the class.

The 2007 Outlander's safety package is one of the most comprehensive in the segment and includes an advanced dual front air bag supplemental restraint system (SRS) with occupant sensors, standard front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and side curtain air bags (front and second row), plus energy-absorbing head protection interior pillars. All models include as standard an anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), as well as a tire pressure monitor system.

"The 2007 Outlander brings Mitsubishi's 'Driven to Thrill' performance and design to the compact SUV segment, where we believe its combination of style, performance, versatility and value will make it a standout choice," said Hiroshi Harunari, president and CEO, Mitsubishi Motors North America. "The Outlander also previews new design language for Mitsubishi and strongly hints at the performance potential of this new platform."

A Driver's SUV

The 2007 Outlander debuts an all-new aluminum 3.0-liter SOHC V-6 engine that produces 220 hp at 6,250 rpm and 204 lb-ft. of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The Mitsubishi Innovative Valve Timing Electronic Control system (MIVEC) helps optimize power and engine efficiency across a broad engine speed range.

The new V-6 is teamed exclusively with a 6-speed Sportronic automatic transmission that allows manual shifting. Outlander XLS models present a sporty element seen in high-performance cars -- magnesium Sportronic steering wheel paddle shifters.

Outlander's highly rigid unibody body structure, which makes extensive use of high-strength steel, allows for sport-oriented suspension tuning while also providing a smooth, compliant ride. Its front suspension employs strut tower bars to enhance lateral rigidity for precise steering response. The rear multilink suspension system provides an excellent balance of handling performance and ride comfort.

Outlander LS models feature standard 16-in. steel wheels with 215/70 R16 tires, with alloy wheels available as an option. On Outlander XLS models, standard 18-in. aluminum-alloy wheels with 225/55 R18 all-season tires enhance handling and style.

The Bold New Look of Mitsubishi

The 2007 Outlander debuts a new Mitsubishi design language that captures the performance-oriented essence of the brand. Clean, sharp lines, featuring a "diamond cut" front end and boldly sculpted fender flares, evoke the athleticism of a sport sedan and the sophistication of a premium SUV. The LED tail lamp clusters give the rear of the vehicle a distinctive appearance.

On XLS models, privacy tinted rear glass, roof rails, dual tailpipe outlets and silver-painted door handles and bumper extensions emphasize the upscale appearance. Available xenon HID head lamps enhance road illumination and accentuate the high-tech styling.

Mitsubishi likewise designed the 2007 Outlander interior to look and feel more like a sport sedan's than a typical compact SUV's. Smooth forms and sculpted door panels are set off by silver-accent trim, and the deeply contoured front bucket seats and motorcycle-style instrument panel gauges suggest sports car more than sport-utility. Underscoring the 2007 Outlander's attention to utility and usability, all models feature as standard a unique odor-defeating head liner.

Interior Flexibility

Outlander offers ample room for five -- or seven with an underfloor-stowable compact third row seat that folds flat into the floor when not needed (XLS models). The second-row seat features 60/40 split fold-and-tumble seats. The second-row seat backs fold forward and then the seats can be tumbled forward to expand cargo capacity. Five-seat models feature an under-floor compartment that's out-of-sight.

The load floor is eight inches lower than on the original Outlander, and loading bikes (with wheels on) or large packages is made easier by the segment's first flap-fold tailgate. When lowered, the tailgate can also serve as a seat for outdoor activities, with a capacity of 440 lbs. Ample storage spaces include useful bins and compartments, a movable front center console and door-panel bottle carriers. The 2007 Outlander can tow a trailer up to 2,000 lbs. as standard or up to 3,500 lbs. with the optional towing package.

In-Car Electronics

The 2007 Outlander offers many user technologies typically available on premium SUVs, some of which are firsts for the segment: an available satellite navigation system that features hard drive map data storage and music file capability; an available hands-free Bluetooth(R) cellular phone interface system with voice recognition; an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system that includes wireless headphones and remote control, and the available FAST-Key entry system allows vehicle unlocking and starting simply by carrying the key.

The available Rockford-Fosgate(R) audio system with PUNCH(R) control plays through nine speakers with up to total 650 watts (max.) output, and the package also includes SIRIUS(TM) Satellite Radio with six months' free subscription, plus a power glass sunroof.

Standout Value

Standard equipment in Outlander LS includes air conditioning; ambient lighting; cruise control; engine immobilizer and anti-theft alarm system; keyless entry; power windows, locks and mirrors, and a powerful audio system with AM/FM/CD/MP3 playback capability and six speakers.

Outlander XLS models add the underfloor-stowable compact third row seat; automatic climate control system; steering wheel audio remote control switches, and hands-free Bluetooth cellular phone interface system with voice recognition.

The available XLS Luxury Package augments interior comfort with leather seating surfaces (front and second rows), heated front seats and a power-adjustable driver's seat.

Premium Warranty

Mitsubishi cars and light trucks are backed by a comprehensive new-vehicle limited warranty that covers the vehicle from bumper to bumper for five years/60,000 miles. In addition, the powertrain is covered by a 10-year/100,000 mile limited warranty, while body panels have a seven-year/100,000 mile anti-corrosion/perforation limited warranty.

The program also includes 24-hour emergency roadside assistance with free towing to the nearest authorized Mitsubishi retailer for warranty-related repairs for five years/unlimited miles.

Technical data, features, options and other equipment listed in this release are based on the latest information available at the time of printing and are subject to change without notice.

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing and research and development operations of the Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in the United States. Mitsubishi Motors sells coupes, convertibles, sedans, a mid-size pickup truck and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 540 dealers.

 

Source: Mitsubishi Motors North America

Automotive Hall of Fame

 

Seven individuals representing automotive racing, design, manufacturing, management and bold innovation have been selected for induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame. The Inductee class of 2006 includes Nuccio Bertone, Dale Earnhardt, Bill France, Jr., Wayne Huizenga, Shojiro Ishibashi, Arjay Miller and Bruno Sacco. The Inductees were announced today at the International Motor Press Association meeting at the New York International Auto Show. Formal induction ceremonies will take place in Dearborn, Mich., on October 3, 2006.

Giuseppe "Nuccio" Bertone (1912 - 1997) - Bertone presided over one of the most fabled and influential design, engineering, and prototype houses that the automotive industry has known. An exacting administrator of the family business, Bertone was also known for his ability to nurture top design talent, including the legendary Giorgetto Giugiaro.

Dale Earnhardt (1951 - 2001) - Known as "The Intimidator," Earnhardt was a legendary figure on the NASCAR circuit even before his untimely and tragic death. Among the winningest drivers, Earnhardt was a team owner and one of the most respected motorsports personalities on and off the track.

Bill France, Jr. (1933 - ) - When Bill France, Jr. succeeded his father, NASCAR founder Bill France, Sr., the event was seen as one of the most significant in the organization's history. The younger France took NASCAR to new heights in popularity and success, and is widely recognized for making NASCAR one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the world today.

H. Wayne Huizenga (1937 - ) - A multi-faceted entrepreneur, Huizenga is best known in the auto industry as the founder in 1996 of AutoNation, Inc., the world's largest automotive retailer. AutoNation has over 270 dealership locations nationwide representing 345 new car franchises. Founded only a decade ago, AutoNation is ranked 112 on the Fortune 500 list.

Shojiro Ishibashi (1889 - 1976) - Ishibashi dreamed of supplying his nation's new automobile industry with tires developed and manufactured with Japanese capital and Japanese expertise. Ishibashi created Japan's first locally developed tires in 1930. He established Bridgestone Tire Co., Ltd., in 1931 to manufacture and market the new product. Today Bridgestone/Firestone is one of the largest tire manufacturers in the world.

Arjay Miller (1916 - ) - Miller was one of the ten "whiz kids" who as a group left the Air Force after World War II and who played a major role in improving the fortunes of Ford Motor Company. He was president of Ford from 1963 to 1968 and vice chairman until 1969, and served with distinction as Dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Bruno Sacco (1933 - ) - Sacco's path into the field of design began with a brief glimpse of an electric blue 150 Studebaker. That beginning led to a design career spanning 39 years at Mercedes-Benz, where for decades Sacco designs were synonymous with classic beauty, luxury and performance.

The Automotive Hall of Fame, located in Dearborn, Mich., is the only industry-wide means to honor the men and women of the global motor vehicle and related industries. It is dedicated to preserving the history of mobility by celebrating the creativity, toil and genius of the individual. The Automotive Hall of Fame is both a visitor attraction and an educational resource for inspiring others to higher levels of achievement in their own work and lives. For more information about the Automotive Hall of Fame, visit http://www.automotivehalloffame.org/ .

Source: Automotive Hall of Fame

 

The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 crossover SUV

Following record sales in 2005 and a record first quarter to kick off 2006, American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC) arrives at the 2006 New York International Auto Show (NYIAS) with two new vehicle introductions to further expand its product line and support continued growth in the U.S. market.

The all-new 2007 Suzuki XL7 crossover SUV makes its global debut at the 2006 NYIAS. With sleek styling and expressive adaptability, the XL7 redefines the rapidly growing midsize SUV crossover segment. Suzuki also introduces the all-new 2007 Suzuki SX4 to the North American market, an all-wheel-drive compact sport X-over that delivers bold attitude and performance for those who live an adventurous life.

In addition to the all-new XL7 and SX4 and its full line of vehicles on display at the show, ASMC showcases the Suzuki SX4 WRC and the Suzuki Stratosphere motorcycle, two eye-catching concepts that embody Suzuki's "Way of Life" brand philosophy.

"American Suzuki celebrates record first quarter sales with the introduction of two new vehicles at this year's New York International Auto Show," said Koichi Suzuki, president of ASMC Automotive Operations. "With the introduction of the all-new XL7 and SX4, and ongoing sales success of the Grand Vitara, ASMC looks to continue to build momentum and increase market share in 2006."

Suzuki's Rising Sales

ASMC aggressively continues to pursue its sales goal of 100,000 units by the end of 2006 and 250,000 units/year by the end of 2010. Suzuki recorded a 33 percent monthly sales increase over January of 2005 -- the best January in the company's 21-year history -- and record sales for the month of February with 8,542 units sold. Suzuki completed its outstanding first quarter with 10,887 vehicles sold in March, marking the first time in nearly two decades the company exceeded 10,000 units per month, and set a new first quarter sales record with 26,639 units sold. March sales also set an all-time March record.

2007 Suzuki XL7 Midsize Crossover SUV

In the creation of the 2007 Suzuki XL7, Suzuki leveraged its SUV heritage and expertise to design an all-new vehicle for the midsize SUV crossover segment that provides style, room and adaptability for mobile lifestyles. The all-new midsize XL7, equipped with a Suzuki-built 3.6-liter, V6 DOHC engine, defines the new direction of the midsize SUV crossover market and is one of the first entries to combine room for family and cargo with performance, style and comfort not previously associated with midsize SUVs.

The 2007 XL7 has cargo and seating flexibility for all aspects of active lifestyles, on-road and off-road capabilities, sleek and distinctive style and advanced safety features that provide a confident feeling of being in control under any conditions. Suzuki's new generation midsize SUV crossover is slated to go on sale in the United States in the fourth quarter of 2006.

2007 Suzuki SX4 Compact Sport X-over

Globally introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2006, the 2007 Suzuki SX4 compact sport X-over makes its North American debut at the NYIAS. The all-new SX4 features a versatile, rigid five-door design, a standard all- wheel-drive system and, for the U.S. market, a sophisticated fuel-sipping 2.0- liter DOHC engine.

The Suzuki SX4's advanced intelligent all-wheel drive (i-AWD) sends power to the rear wheels as needed with no additional input necessary from the driver. Called the Three-Mode Switchable AWD system, it features a selector switch on the center console that allows the driver to select from three modes: 2WD, AUTO (AWD High) and LOCK (AWD Lock). Customers in the United States will have a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or an available four-speed automatic transmission. The SX4 is slated to go on sale in the United States in the third quarter of 2006.

Suzuki SX4 World Rally Championship (WRC) Concept

The Suzuki SX4 WRC Challenge Concept, recently introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show, is another all-new and revolutionary concept from Suzuki. The WRC racing version of the SX4 is currently being developed and is scheduled to be entered in WRC competition beginning in August 2007.

The Suzuki SX4 WRC Concept, which was developed from the production model of the Suzuki SX4, is an important marketing and sales tool for Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC). As a major and growing manufacturer of vehicles that are versatile and fun to drive, the Suzuki SX4 WRC project will increase Suzuki's brand identity and provide technical feedback to assist in refining future models as a part of Suzuki's global product development program.

Technical details of the new Suzuki SX4 WRC will be announced prior to its first competitive appearance. Currently, development of its power unit and powertrain are well advanced, and the prototype car is equipped with a new 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder, J20 engine. The engine currently delivers 320 bhp at 4,500 rpm. The new all-wheel-drive system developed for the SX4 WRC Concept includes front and rear mechanical differentials and an electronic differential located in the center. Power is transmitted via a five-speed sequential gearbox. The Suzuki SX4 WRC Concept features independent front and rear MacPherson strut suspension with coil springs and Reiger shock absorbers. The steering system is power-assisted rack and pinion.

Suzuki's participation in the WRC, which, along with Formula 1, is one of the world's most recognizable motorsport championships, follows a successful run in the Junior World Rally Championship (JWRC) for the past four years. In 2004, the Suzuki Ignis 1600 took first place in the JWRC Driver's Championship. The Suzuki Swift Super 1600 JWRC entry started the 2006 JWRC season with a first place finish in the Swedish Rally.

Suzuki Stratosphere Concept

Unveiled at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show, the Suzuki Stratosphere Concept is a compilation of Suzuki's next-generation motorcycle advancements that enrich the joy of riding and operating a bike. Each technological feature on the Stratosphere was refined through actual ride feel and is not merely expressed as theory and numerical data.

The Stratosphere's styling is aimed to strongly appeal to the rider's senses. The use of hammered aluminum from the front cowling to the fuel tank and distinct Damascus steel for the radiator side covers provide the bike with a unique look and feel.

The Stratosphere is powered by an 1100cc in-line, six-cylinder engine that incorporates space-saving design to achieve compactness on par with four- cylinder engines of the same displacement class. With extraordinary smoothness, brisk revving and seemingly boundless acceleration feel, the Stratosphere offers a truly unique experience.

The motorcycle concept features both manual control and automatic operation to suit a rider's situation and personal taste. In automatic operation, the system shifts to manual control whenever the clutch lever is operated, allowing detailed, manual clutch control. The Stratosphere is further defined by such features as speakers in the helmet shield to deliver a natural, hi-fi sound and a wheel-lock system that works in conjunction with a keyless engine-start.

As one of the most innovative motorcycle concepts in recent history, the Suzuki Stratosphere embodies Suzuki's suggestion for the motorcycling lifestyle of the near future, where bikes are even more enjoyable and more comfortable to ride.

Suzuki Works Techno (SWT)

To complement Suzuki's expanding product line, the company launched Suzuki Works Techno (SWT) in 2004 -- a line of style-enhancing trim packages and accessories designed to personalize Suzuki sedans, wagons, crossover vehicles and SUVs sold in the United States. SWT accessories currently are available for the Grand Vitara, Aerio SX, Reno, Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon. Consumers can purchase SWT accessories on an individual basis or in a comprehensive package at their local Suzuki dealership.

At this year's NYIAS, Suzuki showcases the Grand Vitara X-Sport and Aerio SX, both of which feature numerous SWT accessories. The Grand Vitara X-Sport offers a stylish SWT-engineered rear spoiler, SWT exhaust tip, durable rear bumper protector and 16-inch chrome wheels. The Aerio SX offers carbon fiber B-pillar trim, carbon fiber rear bumper protector, rear roof and center hatch spoiler, chrome wheels and smoke chrome lug set.

Focusing on the company's "Way of Life" brand philosophy, and in conjunction with the launch of the 2007 Suzuki XL7 and 2007 Suzuki SX4, ASMC plans to introduce more than 30 SWT accessories for each vehicle. Some XL7 and SX4 accessories include custom roof racks, protection items, wheel packages and audio system upgrades.

Expanded Dealer Network

As part of its 357 Plan, Suzuki continues to strengthen its U.S. dealer network through new programs and initiatives designed to make Suzuki franchises more competitive, profitable and successful than ever before. Fueled by the success of the Suzuki Square retail brand image program, Suzuki's dealer network stands at 540 and is on track to reach of 600 by 2007.

Intended to ensure brand consistency and customer satisfaction across all Suzuki automotive retail dealerships in the United States, Suzuki Square offers buyers a unique shopper-friendly environment, featuring an open-air marketplace design, bold visual styling and themed interior and exterior displays that show how Suzuki vehicles fit various customer lifestyles. To date, the number of completed Suzuki Square dealerships in the United States stands at nearly 100, and 300 dealerships are expected to have registered with the program by the end of 2006.

Expanded Product Line

Suzuki offers an impressive and versatile product line in 2006, which includes the Grand Vitara, the popular Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon, the five-door Reno, the Aerio and Aerio SX and the Suzuki XL-7. All 2006 Suzuki vehicles come in one highly equipped trim level, offering buyers the option of selecting from various option packages to fit their needs. All Suzuki vehicles come with America's #1 Warranty, the industry-leading 100,000-mile, seven-year, fully transferable, zero-deductible powertrain limited warranty.

Grand Vitara Redefines Expectations for Compact SUVs

The unique frame design of the 2006 Grand Vitara combines the refined road manners of a car-based unibody SUV with the off-road strength of a body-on- frame design. The available shift-on-the-fly four-mode four-wheel-drive system and tough unibody construction, enhanced with a built-in ladder frame, deliver off-road capability while the fully independent suspension provides quiet comfort and control on roads and trails. The standard 185-horsepower, 2.7-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC engine offers plenty of power for driving excitement. The four-mode system even offers a neutral setting to allow flat towing behind a motor home or RV.

The five-passenger Grand Vitara comes in one trim level with three available equipment packages (Premium, X-Sport and Luxury), ultimately topping out at $24,599 for a Grand Vitara with Luxury Package and full-time four-mode four-wheel drive. The standard five-speed manual transmission and two-wheel drive starts at an MSRP of $19,199. The extensive list of standard equipment includes vehicle stability control, anti-lock brake system with electronic brake-force distribution, six airbags (including front and rear side-curtain airbags), power amenities and remote keyless entry.

The Forenza Sedan and Forenza Wagon Have Features Buyers Want

The Forenza sedan and Forenza Wagon feature Pininfarina styling, high standard feature content, powerful engines and backing by America's #1 Warranty. For 2006, both Forenza models have a fresh front fascia design that incorporates a new Suzuki "family" grille.

Feature content and value are at the core of the Forenza sedan and Wagon, which now come in one well-equipped model with one available upgrade package. Prices begin at $13,799 for the Forenza sedan and $14,499 for the Forenza Wagon.

Reno Five-door Gains Value and Upgrades

With its sculpted European styling and lively 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine, the Reno is an attractive alternative to compact competitors. New in the 2005 model year, the five-door Reno returns in 2006 with a simplified model strategy, new features and a lower price. The 2006 Reno's MSRP starts at $13,299; Convenience and Premium Packages also are available, versus the previous S, LX and EX model designations used in 2005. Prices start at $14,249 for the Convenience Package and $15,399 for the Premium Package.

Aerio SX and Sedan Provide Expressive Alternatives to the Status Quo

The fun-to-drive Aerio comes standard with a sporty 2.3-liter, four-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC engine with 155 horsepower and 152 lb-ft of torque -- and adds more value in 2006 with the addition of a new AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system and greater standard feature content, making the Aerio an even smarter buy.

Aerio buyers can choose between a sedan and a five-door sport-crossover (SX). Both body styles now come in just one trim level with either front- wheel drive, from a starting MSRP of $14,099 (sedan), or America's most affordable full-time all-wheel-drive system, for an MSRP of $16,099 (sedan with automatic transmission).

XL-7 Offers Available Room for Seven Passengers in One Easy-to-Drive Size

For 2006, the Suzuki XL-7, one of America's most affordable seven- passenger SUVs, adds standard ABS and a new radio unit with MP3/WMA capabilities that is XM Satellite Radio-ready.

Pricing begins at an MSRP of $21,999, which includes a powerful 2.7-liter, six-cylinder, 24-valve DOHC engine and a five-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. Alloy wheels, tire pressure monitoring system and power amenities also are included.

About American Suzuki

The Automotive Operations of American Suzuki Motor Corporation (ASMC), Brea, Calif., were founded in 1985 by Suzuki Motor Corporation. ASMC markets its vehicles in the United States through a network of more than 540 automotive dealerships in 49 states. ASMC's parent company, Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide automobile, motorcycle and outboard motors manufacturer with sales of more than 2 million new vehicles annually. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, it has operations in 125 countries. For more information, go to www.suzukiauto.com or www.media.suzuki.com.

Source: American Suzuki

Web site: http://www.suzukiauto.com/

DHL expanded sponsorship platform in Baseball

DHL, the world's leading express delivery and logistics company, today announced an expanded sponsorship platform with Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Advanced Media for the 2006 season. DHL is beginning its second season of a three-year, multi-faceted marketing partnership with MLB and MLB Advanced Media which named DHL the "Official Express Delivery and Logistics Provider" of the two organizations, created an exclusive shipping arrangement, and provided DHL with online and off-line marketing rights.

The DHL sponsorship program has expanded in 2006 to include a new relationship with Hall of Fame relief pitcher Bruce Sutter, who will serve as spokesperson for the officially sanctioned "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award;" three additional team sponsorships, including the 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox; and a series of new marketing initiatives. Later in the season, DHL will unveil a new, comprehensive program in conjunction with Major League Baseball focusing on the history and legacy of the great game of baseball.

"As part of our ongoing promise to deliver America's pastime on time, DHL is growing its partnership with MLB through initiatives that extend our reach to baseball fans in more markets than ever before," said John Pearson, Executive Vice President of Commercial at DHL. "Coming off the success of the first year of our relationship with MLB, we are exploring new initiatives that will bring the history of the game closer to fans, our customers and our employees. We are committed to delivering a season that is memorable and full of surprises for baseball fans across the country," added Pearson.

"As we embark on the second year of this partnership, we are excited to watch it expand with new marketing initiatives, additional Club sponsorships, and enhanced opportunities for contributions to communities in which both Major League Baseball and DHL live and work," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "We are proud of this growing relationship, which is one based on a shared vision and a mutual dedication to teamwork and excellence

"DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month/Year Awards"

For the second consecutive year, DHL will present two officially sanctioned MLB awards, the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" and the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award," which respectively recognize the most outstanding relief pitcher each month of the regular season and the most outstanding relief pitcher for the 2006 season as a whole.

This season, Bruce Sutter, a dominant and pioneering closer and a newly elected member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, will serve as spokesperson for the program, providing insights on the winning "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" performances throughout the course of the season.

In addition, Sutter will join the official MLB judging panel for the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month Award" award. Each month, the panel will select the relief pitcher who was the most dominant relief pitcher for the prior month. The panel also includes Jerome Holtzman, the official MLB Historian and a member of the writer's wing of the Hall of Fame; Bob Watson, Vice President, On-Field Operations, Major League Baseball; and Mike Bauman, national columnist for MLB.com.

At the end of the season, the panel will also select the 10 finalists for the winner of the "DHL Presents the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award." Fans will be able to vote online from among 10 relievers to determine the winner of this prestigious award at MLB.com.

Individual Club Relationships

Beginning with the 2006 season, DHL will extend its role of "Official Express Delivery and Logistics Provider" to the Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, and 2005 World Series Champion Chicago White Sox. These three teams are being added to continuing DHL relationships with the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. DHL will provide each of the Clubs with an array of air express, ground and logistics services. The agreements also provide for in-stadium signage, a variety of advertising opportunities, DHL promotional nights in the team's respective ball parks, and a number of hospitality benefits for DHL customers and employees.

DHL will also be extending the reach of its Major League Baseball platform through agreements with five additional clubs which will enhance fan awareness of DHL's partnership with MLB and participation in DHL's MLB-themed fan initiatives. DHL promotional nights at the Minnesota Twins, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners, and Cincinnati Reds will include fan giveaways, first pitch opportunities, and hospitality benefits.

DHL Marketing Initiatives

In keeping with DHL's commitment to support major sports marketing sponsorships with targeted marketing and advertising support, the company will build on the success of its inaugural 2005 MLB-themed advertising campaign, using multiple mediums this season to promote its relationship with Major League Baseball and related programs, including television ads on FOX and ESPN, and print and online advertising.

Also this year, DHL will provide MLB-themed in-store signage, co-branded apparel and point-of-purchase collateral materials throughout a network of over 3,200 DHL Authorized Shipping Centers.

Later this season, DHL will deliver a new, comprehensive program in conjunction with MLB and MLBAM, designed to engage baseball fans across the country. The league-wide program will focus on the history and legacy of the game and will be supported by an integrated marketing and communications campaign. Further details on this program will be shared during the 2006 All- Star Game.

Express Delivery and Logistics Services

As the "Official Express Delivery and Logistics Provider" of Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Advanced Media, DHL is the exclusive provider of air express and ground parcel delivery services for MLB and MLB.com, with co-branded envelopes for their domestic and international shipping. DHL also provides logistics services to MLB, including the distribution of millions of ballots and nearly one thousand ballot boxes for the 2006 Ameriquest/Major League Baseball In-Stadium All-Star Balloting Program.

This season, DHL will also continue to lend its expertise to the delivery of some of the most treasured tokens in Major League Baseball to fans across America. DHL completed its first assignment just last week by making two "special deliveries" to the Chicago White Sox. On Monday, April 3, DHL delivered the team's 2005 World Series rings, and on Wednesday, April 5, DHL delivered the World Series trophy in a special on-field celebration. Throughout the season, DHL will deliver the 2006 World Series trophy to celebrations at the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh and again to the 2006 World Series.

DHL Employee Involvement

DHL has expanded its local baseball field refurbishment program to include New York, South Florida and Chicago, after leading refurbishments last season in Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix. DHL's field refurbishment initiatives, part of the MLB Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program, are an extension of the company's U.S. Corporate Citizenship program, which allows DHL employees to participate in programs that support the local communities where DHL operates. In addition, DHL employees will conduct new and gently used baseball equipment drives at ball parks across the country to benefit local Boys & Girls Club organizations.

DHL's relationship with MLB also provides an opportunity for DHL employees in the US to actively participate in MLB-programs honoring their commitment to providing a superior customer experience. DHL internal rewards and recognition programs include employee softball games at MLB ball parks and tickets to regular season and postseason games.

About DHL

At DHL, Customer Service is back in shipping. Our mission is to provide the most flexible, personable and enjoyable experience in the shipping industry for our customers.

DHL is the global market leader of the international express and logistics industry, specializing in providing innovative and customized solutions from a single source. DHL offers expertise in express, air and ocean freight, overland transport and logistics solutions, combined with worldwide coverage and an in-depth understanding of local markets. Over 285,000 employees are dedicated to providing fast and reliable services that exceed customers' expectations. Founded in San Francisco in 1969, DHL's international network links more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. For more information on DHL, please visit http://www.dhl.com/.

 

Source: DHL

 

Web Site: http://www.dhl.com/

NXT-Equipped Toyota FJ Cruiser Records Strong Early US Sales Figures

Roof-liner speaker is first application of flat-speaker technology on production auto vehicles in the US

Official Toyota sales figures for the month of March highlight a positive start for the NXT-equipped FJ Cruiser, despite only being available for a few days following its launch late in the month. Announced in December 2005, the Toyota FJ Cruiser went on sale in the US beginning March 23 and registered sales of nearly 2,800 vehicles by the end of March, with additional deposits taken from customers anxious to own the distinctive off-roader. The FJ Cruiser is the second Toyota launched in 2006 to be fitted with NXT technology, following the Toyota Estima people carrier introduced in Japan in January, which itself exceeded first month sales targets by almost four times.

The North American SUV market is extremely competitive with multiple vehicles offered by domestic, European and Asian manufacturers. Aside from its retro styling, the striking FJ Cruiser Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) differs from its rivals by its NXT-equipped roof liner speaker system, fitted as standard equipment to a high-specification cabin that belies that vehicle’s ‘go anywhere’ exterior. The highly unusual application of NXT’s innovative flat-speaker technology marks its first use in a production motor vehicle widely available to U.S. consumers. Having originally made its debut as a concept car in 2003, the production model FJ Cruiser is based closely on the public prototype, taking its style inspiration and characteristic grille design from the iconic Toyota

FJ40 4x4 vehicles launched over 40 years ago.

The new model is driven by a 4.0L V6 24-valve engine, which can be ordered with either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Cabin equipment specifications are determined at the dealer when ordering, but standard equipment includes wipe-clean water-resistant seats and rubber flooring, underlining the FJ’s design for active outdoor lifestyles. The NXT-based roof liner loudspeaker system works in tandem with the FJ Cruiser’s conventional speakers to create a truly impressive audio performance that fills the cabin with rich, clear sound.

The FJ Cruiser is available in five colors: Voodoo Blue, Sun Fusion, Black Cherry Pearl, Titanium Metallic and Black Diamond and can be ordered from Toyota dealers across the United States and North America now, priced from $21,710 (U.S.).

About NXT

NXT’s commitment to inventiveness in sound and touch has enabled it to deliver new technologies to its partners that can today be found in audio systems, TVs, PCs and laptops, mobile phones, PA systems, cars, aircraft and in public buildings and facilities around the world. With its unique portfolio of patented technologies and unparalleled expertise in the field of bending wave physics, NXT can help its partners invent, create and market innovative sound solutions that offer sustainable differentiation.

NXT is fully listed on the London Stock Exchange (symbol NTX) and has operations in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and the USA as well as a Technology Center in Huntingdon, UK. Further information is available from www.nxtsound.com

About Toyota Motor Corporation

Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the world's leading auto manufacturers, offering a full range of models, from minivehicles to large trucks. Global sales of its Toyota and Lexus brands, combined with those of Daihatsu and Hino, 4.01 million units from January 1, 2005 to June 30, 2005*. Besides its own 12 plants and a number of manufacturing subsidiaries and affiliates in Japan, Toyota has 51 manufacturing companies in 26 countries and regions, which produce Lexus- and Toyota-brand vehicles and components. As of March 2005, Toyota employs approximately 265,800 people worldwide (on a consolidated basis), and markets vehicles in more than 170 countries. Toyota's automotive business, including sales finance, accounts for more than 90% of the company's total sales, which came to a consolidated ¥18.55 trillion in the fiscal year to March 2005. Its diversified operations include telecommunications and prefabricated housing.


DOD

Roadside bombs killed three U.S. service members

in Iraq today, and the Defense Department has identified five other recent casualties. Military officials reported that two Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers were killed when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb south of Baghdad this morning. Another Multinational Division Baghdad soldier died this morning in a roadside bomb attack east of Baghdad. The soldiers' names are being withheld pending notification of the families, and the incidents are under investigation. Meanwhile, the Defense Department has identified three soldiers and two Marines who died recently in Iraq: - Army Spc. James W. Gardner, 22, of Glasgow, Ky., died in Tal Afar on April 10 from a noncombat related cause. Gardner was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 101st Aviation Regiment, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. - Two soldiers died of injuries suffered April 9 in Ramadi when a roadside bomb detonated near their Humvee during combat operations. Sgt. 1st Class Randall L. Lamberson, 36, of Springfield, Mo., died in Balad on April 10, and Spc. David S. Collins, 24, of Jasper Ga., died in Ramadi on April 9. The soldiers were assigned to the Army's 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky. - Marine Cpl. Richard P. Waller, 22, of Fort Worth, Texas, died April 7 from wounds suffered while conducting combat operations in Iraq's Anbar province. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. - Marine Lance Cpl. Bryan N. Taylor, 20, of Milford, Ohio, died April 6 after being shot by an Iraqi army soldier on a coalition base near Qaim. He was assigned to the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C. The incident is under investigation.

Pentagon Channel Adds Video Podcasting

to Production Line The Pentagon Channel, the Department of Defense's video news service, recently added video podcasting to its line of products that distribute the channel's military news and information to the military and audiences around the world. "We work hard to communicate with the men and women of the department around the world," said Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld. "I am pleased that we are using video casting and other increasingly important technologies to reach our global audience with all the news and information available on the Pentagon Channel." The Pentagon Channel's video podcasting line-up is comprised of its daily military news and information show, "Around the Services in Brief - RECON," an in-depth look at real-world military operations, missions, and events; and "Around the Services Reloaded," a weekly round-up of news and information important to service members stationed around the world. In addition to its new video podcasts, the Pentagon Channel will continue to offer an audio podcast and to stream a live Webcast of the channel at http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/ [http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/] .

Leveraging technologies like video and audio podcasting allows us to communicate relevant and timely military news and information to our men and women in the U.S. military, anywhere, anytime it's a great capability," said Brian Natwick, general manager of the Pentagon Channel. Video podcasting is a method of publishing video broadcasts via the Internet, allowing users to subscribe to a feed of new files. There is no cost to subscribe and broadcasts are delivered straight to the subscriber's computer desktop. Files can be viewed either on a personal computer or on a mobile video device, such as a video-enabled iPod. The Pentagon Channel, the Department of Defense's video news service, broadcasts military news and information for and about the 2.6 million members of the U.S. Armed Forces -- Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve. Broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the Pentagon Channel helps ensure that U.S. forces remain the best informed in the world. Today, the Pentagon Channel is available on-base to the more than one million service members who live and work on the 312 military bases, camps and installations in the United States that currently receive the Pentagon Channel. Additionally, the channel is available to the 700,000 service members and their families serving overseas in 177 countries via the American Forces Radio and Television Service.

The Pentagon Channel also reaches more than 12 million households through commercial distribution on satellite and cable systems nationwide. DISH Network, Verizon FiOS and divisions of Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Mediacom, RCN, Armstrong, Midcontinent, Knology, GCI, and a number of smaller cable companies and local access channels in communities around the country carry the Pentagon Channel. For more information on video podcasting, as well as to view the Pentagon Channel streamed live, visit http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/ [http://www.pentagonchannel.mil/]

Tito Puente, Jr., and Howie and Pollyanna Dorough to Entertain Troops in Spain and Italy on USO/AFE Tour

Latin musician, songwriter and producer Tito Puente, Jr., member of the Backstreet Boys Howie Dorough and singer Pollyanna Dorough are heading to military bases in Spain and Italy to entertain service members April 18-27, 2006, on a USO/Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) tour. This is Puente's third USO/AFE tour and the first for the Doroughs.

)

Tito Puente, Jr., was born into a musical dynasty. His father was known throughout the world for his unique musical sound and showmanship. The younger Puente studied under his father's guidance, playing numerous clubs and concerts around the world. His debut album, "Guarachando," featured the hit single "Oye Como Va," a cover of his father's signature standard, which reached #7 on Billboard's Dance Chart and earned the Latin Music Award for "Best Salsa Video of the Year." His second album contained a tribute to his father, "Caliente." Puente's "En Los Zapatos De Mi Padre" (In My Father's Shoes) was released in 2004 to critical acclaim.

A member of the Backstreet Boys, Howie Dorough started out in local theater in Orlando, later landing roles in "Parenthood" and "Cop and a Half," as well as a number of Nickelodeon productions. After selling more than 17 million albums worldwide, he released his fourth studio album with the Backstreet Boys last year and currently is working on a solo project. Along with his sister Pollyanna, he is involved in the Dorough Lupus Foundation -- a charity his family started in memory of their oldest sister Caroline. Pollyanna Dorough writes, sings and dances to her own original songs. She has toured as an opening act for the Backstreet Boys, and she and Howie perform together in concerts, representing the Dorough Lupus Foundation. She started her own record label, Polygrooves Records, and has her own entertainment company.

About the USO

For more than 65 years, the USO (United Service Organizations) has been providing morale, welfare and recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families. The USO is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the generosity of the American people to support its programs and services. The USO is supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T, BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Military Channel, S&K Sales Co. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Other corporate donors, including the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-0600), have joined thousands of individual donors to support the USO. For more information on the USO, please visit http://www.uso.org/.

 

Source: USO

Web site: http://www.uso.org/

NEWS and NEWS now in Spanish

Tribune Reports 2006 First Quarter Results

CHICAGO, April 13, 2006 -- Tribune Company (NYSE:TRB) today reported
first quarter 2006 diluted earnings per share of $.33 compared with
$.44 in the first quarter of 2005.

First quarter 2006 results included the following:

- Stock-based compensation expense of $.04 per diluted share as a
   result of the adoption of the new accounting standard for
stock-based
   compensation.

- A charge of $.04 per diluted share for severance and other payments
   associated with the new union contracts at Newsday.

- A gain of $.01 per diluted share related to property sales in
   publishing.

- A net non-operating loss of $.02 per diluted share.

First quarter 2005 results included the following:

- A net non-operating gain of $.03 per diluted share.

Tribune presents earnings per share amounts on a generally accepted
accounting principles (“GAAP”) basis only.  This differs from the pro
forma earnings per share amounts supplied by broker analysts to
databases such as First Call.

“Newspaper ad revenues were flat for the quarter.  Strength in
classified, with interactive revenues up nearly 30 percent, was offset
by declines in national and retail advertising. Television group
revenues trended better, and while down 2 percent, our New York,
Washington, D. C., and six Fox stations delivered good growth,” said
Dennis FitzSimons, Tribune chairman, president and chief executive
officer.  “Tight cost controls remain in effect,” he added, “and our
actions in 2005 resulted in a 5 percent year-over-year staff
reduction, or approximately 1,200 positions across the company, and
lower compensation expense.  Looking ahead, our new labor agreements
at Newsday will result in significant expense savings, while in TV we
expect our affiliation with the CW Network to have a positive impact
on revenues later this year.”


FIRST QUARTER 2006 RESULTS
(Compared to First Quarter 2005)

CONSOLIDATED

Tribune’s 2006 first quarter operating revenues decreased 1 percent,
or $17 million, to $1.30 billion.  Consolidated cash operating expenses
were
up 1 percent, or $15 million.  In the first quarter of 2006, cash
operating
expenses included $18 million of stock-based compensation expense and
a charge of $19 million associated with the new union contracts at
Newsday, partially offset by a $7 million gain on property sales.  All
other cash  operating expenses were down 2 percent, or $16 million,
for the quarter.  Operating cash flow was down 10 percent to $279
million from $310 million, while operating profit declined 12 percent
to $223 million from $252 million.

PUBLISHING

Publishing’s first quarter operating revenues were $997 million, down
1 percent, or $9 million.  Publishing cash operating expenses were up 2
percent,
or $17 million, as 2006 included a charge of $19 million associated
with
the new union contracts at Newsday and $7 million of stock-based
compensation expense, partially offset by a $7 million gain on
property sales.  Publishing operating cash flow was $217 million, an
11 percent decrease from $243 million in 2005.  Publishing operating
profit was down 12 percent to $174 million, from $199 million in 2005.

Management Discussion

- Advertising revenues were flat for the quarter.  Excluding Newsday,
   advertising revenues increased 1 percent.  Revenues were favorably
   impacted by the timing of the Easter holiday.

- Retail advertising revenues were down 2 percent for the quarter.
   Decreases in the food & drug stores, department stores, and
   electronics categories were partially offset by an increase in the
   hardware/home improvement stores category.  Preprint revenues
declined
   2 percent; excluding Newsday, preprint revenues were up 3 percent.

- National advertising was down 8 percent for the quarter, primarily
   due to a decline in the movie category at Los Angeles.  Autos and
   technology were also down, partially offset by an increase in the
   telecom/wireless category.

- Classified advertising was up 8 percent for the quarter:  help
   wanted revenues were up 7 percent; real estate revenues rose 35
   percent; and auto revenues were down 10 percent.

- Interactive advertising revenues, which are included in the above
   categories, were up 30 percent to $51 million, mainly due to
strength
   in classified help wanted revenues.

- Circulation revenues were down 4 percent for the quarter.

   + Individually paid circulation (home delivery plus single copy)
     for Tribune’s 11 metro newspapers averaged 2.8 million copies
daily
     (Mon-Fri) in the first quarter, up 1 percent from the prior year,
and
     4.2 million copies Sunday, down approximately 1 percent from the
same
     reporting period in 2005.

   + Total net paid circulation averaged 3.0 million copies daily
     (Mon-Fri) and 4.3 million copies Sunday in the first quarter,
     representing a decline of 3 percent, for both daily and Sunday,
from the
     prior year’s quarter as the company continued to manage down
“other paid”
     circulation.

- Cash operating expenses increased 2 percent, or $17 million, due to
   the previously discussed $19 million charge related to the Newsday
   union contracts and $7 million of stock-based compensation expense,
   partially offset by $7 million of gains on property sales.  All
other
   cash expenses were down slightly as higher newsprint and total
market
   coverage postage expenses were offset by lower compensation and
   benefits, primarily due to a 5 percent (1,000 positions) reduction
in
   staffing.

BROADCASTING AND ENTERTAINMENT

Broadcasting and entertainment’s first quarter operating revenues
decreased 2 percent to $303 million, down from $310 million in 2005.
Group cash operating expenses were down 4 percent, or $10 million,
compared with the 2005 first quarter. The first quarter of 2005
included $13.5 million of additional compensation expense recorded by
the Chicago Cubs related to a player trade.  Operating cash flow was
$82 million, up 3 percent from $80 million, and operating profit
increased 3 percent to $69 million from $67 million.

Television’s first quarter revenues decreased 2 percent to $284
million, down from $290 million in 2005.  Television cash operating
expenses were up 4 percent, or $8 million, from last year.  Television
operating cash flow was $86 million, a 13 percent decrease from
$99 million in 2005.  Television operating profit declined 15 percent
to $74 million, down from $87 million.

Management Discussion

- Television revenue showed less of a decline than in any quarter
   last year.  Station revenues in New York were up for the quarter,
   while Los Angeles and Chicago lagged.  Softness continued in the
auto
   and retail categories, while movies showed growth for the second
   consecutive quarter.  The restaurants, education, and telecom
   advertising categories were also up.

- Television cash operating expenses were up 4 percent due to an $8
   million increase in broadcasting rights and $2 million of
stock-based
   compensation expense, partially offset by staff reductions and other
   savings.

EQUITY RESULTS

Net equity income was $6.5 million in the first quarter of 2006,
compared with $0.5 million in the first quarter of 2005.  The increase
reflects improvements at TV Food Network and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. 
In addition, the Company is no longer recording losses for The WB
Network
as the Company’s recorded investment has been reduced to zero.

NON-OPERATING ITEMS

In the 2006 first quarter, Tribune recorded a pretax non-operating
loss of $14 million ($8 million after-tax), primarily from
marking-to-market the derivative component of the Company’s PHONES and
the related Time Warner investment.

In the 2005 first quarter, Tribune recorded a pretax non-operating
loss of $4 million.  In addition, the Company recorded favorable
income tax settlement adjustments of $12 million as a reduction in
income tax expense.  In the aggregate, non-operating items in the
first quarter of 2005 resulted in an after-tax gain of $9 million, or
$.03 per diluted share.

ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL DETAILS

Corporate expenses for the 2006 first quarter increased to $20 million
from $13 million in the first quarter of 2005.  The increase was due
to $8 million of stock-based compensation expense recorded in the
first quarter of 2006, partially offset by $1 million of savings
primarily from staff reductions in 2005.

As of the beginning of 2006, Tribune adopted Statement of Financial
Accounting Standards No. 123R, Share-Based Payment.   The statement
requires the Company to expense stock-based compensation in the income
statement.  Previously, the expense was disclosed in the footnotes to
the Company’s consolidated financial statements.  The Company recorded
$18 million, or $.04 per diluted share, of stock-based compensation
expense in the first quarter of 2006.  The Company plans to record $32
million, or $.07 per diluted share, of stock-based compensation
expense for the full year of 2006.  The Company issues substantially
all of its stock-based awards in February of each year.  Stock-based
awards granted to retirement eligible employees are required to be
expensed immediately.  As a result, the 2006 first quarter stock-based
expense includes over half of the expected full year expense.

Interest expense for the 2006 first quarter increased to $49 million,
up 39 percent from $35 million in the first quarter of 2005, primarily
due to higher interest rates and debt levels.  Debt, excluding the
PHONES, was $2.8 billion at the end of the 2006 first quarter and $1.8
billion at the end of the 2005 first quarter.

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding declined by 5 percent
primarily due to stock repurchases.  The Company repurchased 4.6
million shares in the first quarter of 2006.

RECENT ACTIONS

On January 8, 2006, Newsday’s six collective bargaining units voted to
accept four-year contracts that include work-rule flexibility and more
efficient staffing, as well as modified retirement and health care
plans.  Expected savings are approximately $7 million in 2006 and
more than $10 million annually thereafter.  The Company recorded a
charge of $19 million in the first quarter of 2006 for severance and
other payments associated with the contracts.

On January 24, 2006, the Company announced that it had reached a
10-year agreement to affiliate 16 of its television stations
(including those in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) with The CW, a
new broadcast network, being launched in fall 2006 by Warner Bros.
Entertainment and CBS Corporation.

DETAILS OF CONFERENCE CALL

Today at 8 a.m. CT, management will host a conference call to discuss
first quarter 2006 results.  To access the call, dial 800/901-5218
(domestic) or 617/786-4511 (international) at least 10 minutes prior
to the scheduled 8 a.m. start.  The participant access code is
11607847.  Replays of the conference call will be available April 13
through April 20.  To hear the replay, dial 888/286-8010 (domestic) or
617/801-6888 (international) and use access code 89538262.  A live
webcast will be accessible through www.tribune.com and
www.earnings.com.  An archive of the webcast will be available April
13 through April 27.

More information about Tribune is available at www.tribune.com or by
calling 800/757-1694.

---------------------------

1 “Operating profit” for each segment excludes interest and dividend income,interest expense, equity income and losses, non-operating items and income taxes. “Operating cash flow” is defined as operating profit before depreciation and amortization. “Cash operating expenses” are defined as operating expenses before depreciation and amortization. Tables accompanying this release
include a reconciliation of operating profit to operating cash flow and operating expenses to cash operating expenses. References to individual daily newspapers include their related businesses.

 

 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, The Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc.

The Latin Recording Academy(R)) President Gabriel Abaroa, Univision news anchor Barbara Bermudo and NYC Big Events President Maureen J. Reidy today announced the 7th Annual Latin GRAMMY(R) Awards will be broadcast live on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2006, from Madison Square Garden, marking the first time New York will host the international showcase of Latin music. The Latin GRAMMY Awards ceremony has been previously held in Miami and Los Angeles. This important event, which honors excellence in Latin music, was eagerly pursued by NYC Big Events. The City's Economic Development Corporation (EDC) projects that the 7th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will have an estimated economic impact in excess of $30 million, and will stimulate future tourism dollars through its global telecast in more than 100 countries. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat, Congressman Jose Serrano, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez, Mayor's Liaison to the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission Willie Colon, musician Johnny Pacheco, Recording Artist India and Vice Chairman of Madison Square Garden Hank Ratner attended the announcement held at City Hall.

"Hoy me siento muy orgulloso al anunciar que la 7a. entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY se realizará por primera vez en la Gran Manzana," said Mayor Bloomberg. "New York City is the proud home to the most diverse Hispanic population in the world. Hosting this premier Latin event will bring worldwide media attention and tourism to our City creating a significant economic impact and helping us continue creating more jobs. As a venue for world-class events, there is only one New York, and we are thrilled that The Latin Recording Academy and Univision (NYSE: UVN), have selected New York City to help propel the Latin GRAMMY Awards to the next level."

"Producing the 7th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards and other events that surround the telecast in New York City is a great milestone in the young history of our organization," said Gabriel Abaroa, President of The Latin Recording Academy. "New York constitutes a worldwide mecca of arts and at the same time represents the center of musical movements such as Salsa, Mambo, Tango, Mariachi, Merengue and Latin Jazz. New York is also the place many of the big stars have called home: Tito Puente, Los Panchos, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, Johnny Pacheco, India, Eddie Palmieri, Hector Lavoe, Thalia, Placido Domingo and Marc Anthony, to name just a few. In fact, by going to New York City we are going home because one out of every four City residents is a Latino.

Today, The Latin Recording Academy with the support and leadership of The Recording Academy, our broadcast partner Univision and our amazing hosts, the City of New York together, sing loud and clear: start spreadin’ the news, the Latin GRAMMYs are on the way!"

"Univision is widely known as the network of the biggest and most spectacular events of special interest to Hispanics," said Univision Executive Vice President and Operating Manager Alina Falcon. "After its record-breaking debut on our network, we are confident that this year's Latin GRAMMYs will result in even higher ratings. And we are particularly excited to broadcast one of the foremost Latin music events live from New York, a City with one of this country's most vibrant Hispanic population that includes home to some of our most loyal viewers."

"This great city is truly the crossroads of the world and because of this distinction, we are blessed with a strong Latin influence and heritage," said New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "The Latin GRAMMY Awards further enhances our legacy as a global center for arts and entertainment. So, it is fitting that the finest Latin singers and musicians should be feted here for their remarkable talents and for the extraordinary gifts they share with us and the rest of the world. My thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, to my colleague, Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, who chairs the New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, to James Dolan, chairman of Madison Square Garden, and to everyone who worked so hard to bring the Latin GRAMMY Awards to New York."

In 2005, the Latin GRAMMY Awards aired for the first time on Univision — and for the first time entirely in Spanish — to explosive ratings. Delivering nine million total viewers, the program was the most-watched Latin GRAMMY telecast ever among young adults, nearly two million more than the previous telecast in English.

In December 2005, NYC Big Events and NYC & Company, the City's Convention and Visitors' Bureau, presented a multi-faceted pitch highlighting New York's unique ability as the #1 media market to increase the awareness, exposure and media ratings for the Latin GRAMMY Awards to Univision, the exclusive broadcaster in the U.S. City officials presented a plan that would benefit The Latin Recording Academy and Univision by providing a platform for capitalizing on the media and marketing capital of the world, and demonstrated that hosting the Latin GRAMMY Awards in New York City would expand media awareness and access as well as broaden the consumer and sponsor base.

"Bringing an event like the 7th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards to New York City offers residents and guests alike the opportunity to experience the City's diversity, creativity, energy and friendly environment," said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. "At the same time, this event — one of the highest rated and most successful shows honoring Latin culture — will generate tremendous media exposure and positive short-term and long-term economic impact."

"We have a proven track record of hosting the biggest and most-watched events around the globe including the 2005 Country Music Association Awards, the worldwide premiere of King Kong, the 2004 Republican National Convention, the 45th Annual GRAMMY Awards in 2003, and the 2002 NFL Kick-off in Times Square," said NYC Big Events President Maureen J. Reidy. "New York City is the number one media market, and we are prepared to host the most exciting celebration of Latin music ever by using the City's unparalleled resources to create an unforgettable night of music."

Led by NYC Big Events and working closely with The Latin Recording Academy and Univision, NYC Marketing will develop partnerships with companies in a variety of categories to help promote the event, which is the same model used for other mega-events like the Country Music Association Awards.

"Our model has proven to be an effective way to recruit events without relying on taxpayer revenue," said Joe Perello, the City's CMO and President of NYC Marketing. "In addition to helping pay the incremental event costs, our corporate and promotional partners help build awareness around the event and create terrific exposure for New York."

The 7th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards will air live on the Univision Television Network on Thursday, November 2, at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central. Nominations for this year's Latin GRAMMYs will be announced in New York on Tuesday, September 26.

The Latin Recording Academy is an international membership-based organization comprised of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking recording artists, musicians, songwriters, producers and other creative and technical recording professionals. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural condition for Latin music and its makers. For more information about The Academy, visit http://www.grammy.com.

Univision Communications Inc. is the premier Spanish-language media company in the United States. Its operations include Univision Network, the most-watched Spanish-language broadcast television network in the U.S. reaching 98% of U.S. Hispanic Households; TeleFutura Network, a general-interest Spanish-language broadcast television network, which was launched in 2002 and now reaches 86% of U.S. Hispanic Households; Galavisión, the country's leading Spanish-language cable network; Univision Television Group, which owns and operates 62 television stations in major U.S. Hispanic markets and Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, the leading Spanish-language radio group which owns and/or operates 69 radio stations in 16 of the top 25 U.S. Hispanic markets and 4 stations in Puerto Rico; Univision Music Group, which includes Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, La Calle Records and a 50% interest in Mexico-based Disa Records labels as well as Fonomusic and America Musical Publishing companies; and Univision Online, the premier Spanish-language Internet destination in the U.S. located at http://www.univision.com. Univision Communications also has a 50% interest in TuTv, a joint venture formed to broadcast Televisa's pay television channels in the U.S., and a non-voting 14.9% interest in Entravision Communications Corporation, a public Spanish-language media company. Univision Communications is headquartered in Los Angeles with television network operations in Miami and television and radio stations and sales offices in major cities throughout the United States.

NYC Big Events, Inc. is the City's official organization dedicated to attracting high-profile events, creating new ones and working with existing major New York City events. Just recently, NYC Big Events announced the return of the MTV Video Music Awards to New York City in August 2006 and the first-ever VH1 Hip Hop Honors Week in October 2006. NYC Big Events' recent successes include the 2005 Country Music Association Awards, the Worldwide Premiere of Peter Jackson's King Kong in Times Square, the 2005 "VH1 Save the Music Benefit Concert," and the 2004 Republican National Convention.

 

El Alcalde Bloomberg, La Academia Latina de Artes y Ciencias de La Grabación, La Cadena Univision y NYC Big Events anuncian que la ciudad de Nueva York será anfitriona de los Latin Grammys por primera vez en su historia

El Alcalde Michael R. Bloomberg, el presidente de La Academia Latina de Artes y Ciencias de la Grabación (La Academia Latina de la Grabación(R)), Gabriel Abaroa, la presentadora de noticias de Univision, Bárbara Bermudo, y la presidenta de NYC Big Events, Maureen J. Reidy anunciaron hoy que la 7a. Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY(R) será transmitida en vivo el jueves, 2 de noviembre del 2006 desde Madison Square Garden, siendo Nueva York por primera vez la sede de este homenaje internacional a la música latina. La ceremonia de Los Latin GRAMMYs tuvo lugar anteriormente en Miami y Los Ángeles. NYC Big Events se esforzó por conseguir este importante evento que honra la excelencia en la música latina. La Corporación de Desarrollo Económico de la Ciudad (Economic Development Corporation) pronostica que la 7ª Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY tendrá un impacto económico que sobrepasará los $30 millones, y estimulará el ingreso de futuros dólares provenientes del turismo a través de su transmisión global a más de 100 países. El presidente de la Asamblea Sheldon Silver, el miembro de la Asamblea Adriano Espaillat, el congresista José Serrano, el congresista Jerry Nadler, la congresista Nydia Velásquez, el oficial de enlace del Alcalde con la Comisión de Medios y Entretenimiento Latinos (Latin Media & Entertainment Commission) Willie Colón, el músico Johnny Pacheco, la cantante India, y el vice-director de Madison Square Garden, Hank Ratner, asistieron al anuncio hecho en el Ayuntamiento de la Ciudad.
“Hoy me siento muy orgulloso al anunciar que la 7a. Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY se realizará por primera vez en la Gran Manzana”, dijo el Alcalde Bloomberg. “La Ciudad de Nueva York se enorgullece de ser el hogar de la población hispana más diversa del mundo. Al convertirse el la sede del principal evento latino, nuestra ciudad atraerá la atención de los medios de comunicación de todo el mundo y también de turistas, logrando un importante impacto económico y ayudándonos a seguir creando nuevos empleos. Como sede de eventos de categoría mundial, sólo hay una Nueva York, y estamos encantados de que La Academia Latina de la Grabación y Univision hayan elegido a la Ciudad de Nueva York para llevar al Latin GRAMMY al próximo escalón de éxito”.

“Producir la 7a. Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY y otros eventos relacionados con la transmisión en Nueva York es un gran hito en la corta historia de nuestra organización”, expresó Gabriel Abaroa, Presidente de La Academia Latina de la Grabación. “Nueva York es una meca mundial de las artes, y a la misma vez representa el centro de los movimientos musicales como la salsa, el mambo, el tango, el mariachi, el merengue y el jazz latino. Nueva York es también el lugar que muchos de los grandes artistas han escogido para vivir: Tito Puente, Los Panchos, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Rubén Blades, Johnny Pacheco, India, Eddie Palmieri, Héctor Lavoe, Thalía, Plácido Domingo y Marc Anthony, entre muchos otros. De hecho, al irnos a la Ciudad de Nueva York estamos yendo a nuestra casa, pues uno de cada cuatro residentes de la ciudad es latino. Hoy, La Academia Latina de la Grabación, con el apoyo y liderazgo de The Recording Academy, nuestro socio televisivo, Univision, y nuestros fabulosos anfitriones de la Ciudad de Nueva York, decimos juntos en voz alta y clara: ¡empiecen a correr la voz, que los Latin GRAMMYs ya están en camino!”

““Univision es reconocida ampliamente como la cadena de los eventos más grandes y espectaculares, y de mayor interés para los hispanos”, dijo la Vicepresidenta Ejecutiva y Gerente de Operaciones de la Cadena Univision, Alina Falcón. “Después de su estreno en nuestra cadena, el cual batió récords de audiencia, estamos seguros de que El Latin GRAMMY de este año producirá ratings más altos todavía. Y nos emociona muy especialmente transmitir uno de los eventos más importantes de la música latina en vivo desde Nueva York, una ciudad donde reside una de las comunidades hispanas más vibrantes de este país, la cual incluye a un gran número de nuestros televidentes más leales”.

“Esta gran ciudad es realmente la encrucijada del mundo, y debido a esta distinción, estamos bendecidos con una fuerte influencia y herencia latinas”, dijo el presidente de la Asamblea del Estado de Nueva York, Sheldon Silver. “Los Latin GRAMMYs fortalecen aun más nuestro legado como centro global para las artes y el entretenimiento. Es muy apropiado que los mejores cantantes y músicos latinos sean festejados aquí por sus talentos maravillosos y por los extraordinarios dones que comparten con nosotros y con el resto del mundo. Les doy las gracias al Alcalde Bloomberg, a mi colega el asambleísta Adriano Espaillat, quien preside el Comité Legislativo Negro, Puertorriqueño, Hispano y Asiático del Estado de Nueva York (New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus), a James Dolan, director de Madison Square Garden, y a todos lo que trabajaron arduamente para traer Los Latin GRAMMYs a Nueva York”.

En el 2005, El Latin GRAMMY salió al aire por primera vez en Univision — y por primera vez también completamente en español — obteniendo ratings sin precedente. Con una audiencia de nueve millones de televidentes en total, ésta fue la transmisión del Latin GRAMMY más vista por adultos jóvenes en su historia, casi dos millones más que la transmisión anterior en inglés.
En diciembre del 2005, NYC Big Events y NYC & Company, la Oficina de Convenciones y Visitantes de la Ciudad (Convention and Visitors’ Bureau) presentaron a Univision, la empresa transmisora exclusiva de los Latin GRAMMYs en EE.UU., una proposición multifacética que destacaba la singular habilidad de Nueva York, como el mercado #1 en medios de comunicación, para aumentar la conciencia, la exposición y los ratings mediáticos del Latin GRAMMY. Los funcionarios de la Ciudad presentaron un plan que beneficiaría a La Academia Latina de la Grabación y a Univision al proporcionar una plataforma para aprovechar los recursos de la capital mundial de los medios de comunicación y el mercadeo, y demostraron que realizar la ceremonia del Latin GRAMMY en la Ciudad de Nueva York aumentaría no sólo la conciencia de los medios con respecto al evento, sino también el acceso, y además ampliaría la base de consumidores y patrocinantes.

“Traer un evento como la 7a. Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY a Nueva York ofrece tanto a los residentes como a los visitantes la oportunidad de experimentar la diversidad, la creatividad, la energía y el ambiente amistoso de la Ciudad”, dijo el Vicealcalde para Desarrollo Económico y Reconstrucción, Daniel L. Doctoroff. “A la misma vez, este evento — uno de los espectáculos de mayor audiencia y éxito en honor a la cultura latina — generará una enorme exposición mediática y tendrá un impacto económico positivo a corto y largo plazo”.

“Tenemos un historial de éxito comprobado como sede de los eventos más grandes y vistos del mundo, entre ellos los 2005 Country Music Association Awards, el estreno mundial de la película King Kong, la Convención Nacional Republicana del 2004, la 45 Entrega Anual del GRAMMY en el 2003, y el inicio de la temporada NFL del 2002 en Times Square”, expresó la presidenta de NYC Big Events, Maureen J. Reidy. “La Ciudad de Nueva York es el mercado número uno en medios de comunicación, y estamos preparados para presentar la celebración más emocionante de la música latina jamás realizada, usando los recursos inigualables de la Ciudad para crear una noche musical inolvidable”.


Liderado por NYC Big Events y trabajando estrechamente con La Academia Latina de la Grabación y Univision, NYC Marketing desarrollará asociaciones con empresas en una variedad de categorías para ayudar a promocionar el evento, siguiendo el mismo modelo utilizado para otros mega-eventos como los premios Country Music Association Awards.

“Nuestro modelo ha resultado muy efectivo para conseguir eventos sin contar con ingresos generados por impuestos a contribuyentes”, dijo Joe Perello, CMO y Presidente de NYC Marketing. “Además de ayudar a pagar los costos del evento, nuestros socios corporativos y promocionales ayudan a crear conciencia del evento y le dan una exposición tremenda a Nueva York”.

7a. Entrega Anual del Latin GRAMMY saldrá en vivo por la cadena de televisión Univision el jueves, 2 de noviembre, 2006, a las 8 p.m. hora Este/7 p.m. Centro. Los artistas nominados para Los Latin GRAMMYs de este año serán anunciados en Nueva York el martes, 26 de septiembre.

La Academia Latina de la Grabación es una organización internacional, a base de membresía, compuesta por artistas, músicos, compositores, productores y otros profesionales creativos y técnicos de la industria disquera, de habla hispana o portuguesa. La organización está dedicada a mejorar la calidad de vida y la condición cultural para la música latina y sus creadores. Además de producir la ceremonia de entrega del Latin Grammy en homenaje a la excelencia en las artes y ciencias discográficas, La Academia Latina de la Grabación proporciona programas educativos y de asistencia social a la comunidad musical latina. Para más información sobre La Academia Latina de la Grabación, http://www.grammy.com.


Univision Communications Inc. es la empresa líder de medios de comunicación de habla hispana en Estados Unidos. Sus operaciones incluyen Univision, la cadena de televisión en español más vista en EE.UU., con cobertura del 98% de los hogares hispanos del país; TeleFutura, la cadena de televisión en español lanzada en 2002, con cobertura del 86% de los hogares hispanos de EE.U.U.; Galavisión, la cadena de televisión por cable en español líder en el país; el Grupo de Televisión Univision, propietario y operador de 62 estaciones de televisión en los principales mercados hispanos de EE.UU. y Puerto Rico; Univision Radio, el principal grupo radial en español, propietario y/u operador de 69 emisoras de radio en 16 de los 25 principales mercados hispanos y de 4 emisoras de radio en Puerto Rico; Univision Music Group, que incluye los sellos discográficos Univision Records, Fonovisa Records, La Calle Records y 50% del capital accionario de la empresa mexicana Disa Records, y las empresas editoriales Fonomusic y American Musical Publishing; y Univision Online, el destino de Internet en español más importante de EE.UU. con portal http://www.univision.com. Univision Communications tiene un 50% de participación en TuTv, empresa formada para distribuir en EE.UU los canales de televisión por cable de Televisa, y una participación sin derecho a voto del 14.9% en Entravision Communications Corporation, compañía pública de medios de comunicación en español. Univision Communications tiene su sede principal en Los Ángeles, su centro de operaciones de sus cadenas de televisión en Miami y estaciones y oficinas de ventas de televisión y radio en las principales ciudades de Estados Unidos.

NYC Big Events, Inc. es la organización oficial de la Ciudad de Nueva York dedicada a atraer eventos de alto perfil, crear eventos nuevos y trabajar con importantes eventos que ya se realizan en la Ciudad. Hace poco, NYC Big Events anunció el regreso a Nueva York de los premios “MTV Video Music Awards” en agosto del 2006 y la primera realización del evento “VH1 Hip Hop Honors Week” en octubre del 2006. Entre los éxitos recientes de NYC Big Events están los premios “2005 Country Music Association Awards”; el estreno mundial de la película “King Kong” de Peter Jackson, en Times Square; el concierto “VH1 Save the Music Benefit Concert” del 2005; y la Convención Nacional Republicana del 2004

 

The ‘got milk?’ Great American Weight Loss Challenge Visits Houston

--Obesity rates in the US have reached epidemic proportions. It is estimated that 1/3 of Hispanics are considered obese. This national problem particularly affects Houston, because Houston is the 5th most obese city in the US(1). To help people lose weight in a healthy manner, the milk industry invites Houston’s Hispanic residents to sign-up for the Great American Weight Loss Challenge: a 12-week program that provides the necessary tools to start losing weight in a healthy manner. The plan recommends drinking 24 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk every 24 hours, as part of a reduced calorie diet and an exercise plan.

Recent studies show that the type of protein present in dairy products can contribute to losing weight. As a result, drinking at least three glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk is not only good for your bones, but also in helping you to lose weight(2). The Great American Weight Loss Challenge offers a “call-to-action” plan to assist possible weight “losers”. The key component is milk which combines the essential calcium and protein nutrients, that improves the body’s capacity to burn fat. Drinking milk can help build muscle mass to help lose those extra pounds.

Claudia González, renowned certified nutritionist and author of the book “Gordito Doesn’t Mean Healthy”, comments: “Given the high obesity rates among Hispanics and the reality that they are predisposed to certain diseases, it becomes more relevant to educate them about good eating habits. In general, when people want to lose weight, they think that they need to skip breakfast, and that’s a big mistake. A study done by Patricia Locklear shows that the longer Hispanics stay in the US, the more the quality of their diet is reduced. In fact, 64% of those who participated in the study acknowledged that they eliminated breakfast after moving to the US. So eating breakfast can be one of the strategies to help Hispanics lose weight”, concluded González.

THE CHALLENGE VISITS YOUR CITY

To help Houston residents start a successful weight loss program, the Challenge will stop in Houston as part of their 75 cities’ national tour, including the 8 most important Hispanic cities. Partnered with Curves International and Shape magazine, this grassroots effort will provide activities in which people can:

-- Receive a general health assessment that provides a benchmark for weight loss
-- Speak with a bilingual registered dietitian about healthy, long-term weight loss strategies
-- Get exercise tips from representatives of Curves, the leader in women’s fitness
-- Sample low-fat or fat-free milk from local dairies
-- Take their very own Milk Mustache photo
-- Get an autographed copy of Claudia González book, “Gordito Doesn’t Mean Healthy.”

In addition, one resident from each city who registers for the Great American Weight Loss Challenge will be randomly selected to win a makeover package that includes a $100 gift certificate to help jumpstart a new wardrobe, a one-year subscription to Shape Magazine and a three-month membership to Curves.

The Challenge will be present at these Houston locations:

Thursday, April 13
11am-2pm
Kick-Off Event: Hermann Square, 900 Smith

Friday, April 14
3:00-5:00pm
Fiesta Mart, 8320 FM 1960

Saturday, April 15
12-2:00pm
HEB Grocery, 6818 S. Zarzamora

Monday, April 17
11am-1pm
Food Town, 8800 West Sam Houston Parkway South

To sign-up for the Great American Weight Loss Challenge and meet more people who have successfully lost weight, log on to http://www.2424milk.com. For information in Spanish, visit http://www.2424leche.com, where you’ll find healthy eating tips, recipes and more.

Sources:
1. “Baltimore surprised by new title: America’s fittest city.” USA Today, January 6, 2006.

2. Teegarden, Dorothy, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Food and Nutrition, Purdue University. “Do I have to give up dairy foods to lose weight?” Milk Facts / Dispelling Milk Myths, Dairy Council of California. http://www.diarycouncilofca.org.

About Milk

The Milk Processors Education Program (“MilkPEP”), Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk processors, who are committed to increasing fluid milk consumption. Together with dairy farmers, the MilkPEP Board runs the National "got milk?" Milk Mustache campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers on the benefits of milk. For more information, go to http://www.whymilk.com.The tagline "got milk?"(R) was created for the California Milk Processor Board by Goodby Silverstein & Partners and is licensed by the national milk processor and dairy producer groups. SiboneyUSA is the integrated communications agency for the US Hispanic market.

About Curves

Curves offer a 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Curves also offer weight management counseling featuring a breakthrough, scientifically-proven method to raise metabolic rate and end the need for perpetual dieting. Gary Heavin, Curves founder and CEO, is the author of several books including, The New York Times best-sellers, “Curves: Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting,” and “Curves on the Go.” With more than 7,500 locations and three million members worldwide, Curves is the world’s largest fitness center franchise. For more information, please visit http://www.curvesinternational.com.

 

El gran reto norteamericano para perder peso del bigote de leche (‘got milk?’) visita a Houston

Claudia González, autora del libro ‘Gordito No Es Saludable’, se une a la campaña nacional de educación que provee un plan de 12 semanas para adelgazar de una manera sana

El índice de obesidad en Estados Unidos ha alcanzado proporciones epidémicas. Se estima que más de 1/3 de los hispanos son considerados obesos. Este problema nacional afecta particularmente a Houston, ya que Houston es la ciudad número 5 en la lista de ciudades con más sobrepeso en Estados Unidos1. Para ayudar a las personas a adelgazar de una manera sana, la industria lechera invita a los residentes hispanos de Houston a unirse al Gran Reto Norteamericano Para Perder Peso: un plan de 12 semanas que proporciona los recursos necesarios para empezar a adelgazar de una manera sana. El plan recomienda tomar 24 onzas de leche descremada o baja en grasa cada 24 horas, como parte de una dieta de calorías reducidas y un plan de ejercicios.

Estudios recientes muestran que el tipo de proteína abundante en productos lácteos puede contribuir a perder peso. Por consiguiente, el tomar por lo menos tres vasos de leche descremada o baja en grasa al día, no sólo es bueno para los huesos, sino también ayuda con la pérdida de peso2. El Gran Reto Norteamericano Para Perder Peso ofrece un plan que ayuda a los posibles “perdedores” de peso a poner este hallazgo en marcha. El componente clave es la leche, que combina los nutrientes esenciales del calcio y la proteína, los cuales mejoran la capacidad del cuerpo para quemar grasa. El tomar leche puede ayudar a construir masa muscular y perder esas libras de más.

Claudia González, reconocida nutricionista certificada, y autora del libro “Gordito No Es Saludable”, expresó: “Dado los altos índices de obesidad en los hispanos y la realidad de que ya están predispuestos a ciertas enfermedades, se vuelve más fundamental educarlos sobre la buena alimentación. Las personas, por lo general, cuando quieren perder peso, piensan que necesitan eliminar el desayuno, y eso es un grave error. Un estudio por Patricia Lockyear indica que a medida que los hispanos pasan más tiempo en Estados Unidos, se reduce la calidad de su dieta. De hecho, un 64% de los participantes en este estudio expresaron que eliminaron el desayuno después de mudarse a Estados Unidos. Así que el desayuno puede ser una de las estrategias para ayudar a los hispanos a perder peso,” concluyó González.

El RETO VISITA SU CIUDAD

Para ayudar a los residentes a empezar exitosamente un programa para perder peso, la gira del Reto hace parada en Houston como parte de una visita educacional a 75 ciudades, que incluye las 8 ciudades hispanas más importantes. En conjunto con Curves International y la revista Shape, este esfuerzo a nivel local ofrecerá actividades gratuitas en las cuales el público podrá:

-- Probar leche descremada o baja en grasa de procesadores de leche locales.
-- Recibir una evaluación de salud general que provea una base para los planes de dieta individuales.
-- Hablar con un dietista registrado en español sobre estrategias saludables y de largo plazo para perder peso.
-- Obtener consejos para ejercicios de representantes de Curves, el líder en la salud física de mujeres.
-- Tomarse una foto con el bigote de leche.
-- Obtener una copia autografiada del libro de Claudia González, “Gordito No Es Saludable.”

Además, un residente de cada ciudad que se registre en el Gran Reto Nacional Norteamericano Para Perder Peso, será seleccionado al azar para ganarse un makeover que incluye un certificado de compra de $100 que le ayudará en la compra de un nuevo vestuario de ropa, una suscripción por un año a la revista Shape y una membresía por tres meses a Curves.

La gira nacional por Houston estará presente en las siguientes localidades:

Jueves, 13 de abril
11am-2pm
Primera Parada: Hermann Square, 900 Smith

Viernes, 14 de abril
3:00-5:00pm
Fiesta Mart, 8320 FM 1960

Sábado, 15 de abril
12-2:00pm
HEB Grocery, 6818 S. Zarzamora

Lunes, 17 de abril
11am-1pm
Food Town, 8800 West Sam Houston Parkway South

Para inscribirse en el Gran Reto Norteamericano Para Perder Peso y conocer a otras personas que han logrado una pérdida de peso exitosa, visite http://www.2424milk.com. El sitio web http://www.2424leche.com, le ofrece consejos alimenticios saludables, recetas y mucho más en español.

Fuentes:


1. “Baltimore surprised by new title: America’s fittest city.” USA Today, January 6, 2006.

2. Teegarden, Dorothy, Ph.D., Profesor Asociado, Departamento de Alimentos y Nutrición, Purdue University. “Do I have to give up dairy foods to lose weight?” Milk Facts / Dispelling Milk Myths, Dairy Council of California. http://www.diarycouncilofca.org.

Sobre la leche

El Programa Educacional de los Procesadores de Leche (The Milk Processors Education Program / “MilkPEP”), Washington, DC, recibe fondos de los procesadores de leche nacionales, quienes están comprometidos en aumentar el consumo de leche líquida. En conjunto con los agricultores de leche, la Junta de MilkPep dirige la campaña nacional del bigote de Leche (“got milk?”), una campaña de múltiples facetas diseñada para educar a los consumidores sobre los beneficios de la leche. Para más información visite http://www.whymilk.com.

El lema “got milk?”(R) fue creado por la Junta de Procesadores de Leche de California (California Milk Processors Board), por Silverstein & Partners, y tiene el permiso del procesador de leche nacional y los grupos de productores lecheros. SiboneyUSA es la agencia de comunicaciones integrada para el mercado hispano de Estados Unidos.

Sobre Curves

Curves ofrece un programa de ejercicios de 30 minutos que combina entrenamiento de fortalecimiento y actividad cardiovascular sostenida por medio de una resistencia hidráulica efectiva y segura. Curves también ofrece consejería para el manejo de peso presentando un método innovador y científicamente comprobado que sube el índice metabólico y termina la necesidad de una dieta perpetua. Gary Heavin, fundador y principal oficial ejecutivo de Curves, es el autor de varios libros incluyendo, “Curves: Permanent Results without Permanent Dieting,” y “Curves On the Go,” ambos en la lista de los más vendidos del periódico The New York Times. Con más de 7,500 locales y tres millones de socios mundialmente, Curves es el centro de salud física por franquicia más grande en el mundo. Para más información, visite http://www.curvesinternational.com.

Tito Puente, Jr. Junto a Howie y Pollyanna Dorough Ofrecen Entretenimiento a las Tropas Militares en España e Italia en Su Gira USO/AFE

El músico, compositor y productor latino, Tito Puente, Jr., Howie Dorough, junto a Howie Dorough, miembro de los Backstreet Boys y a la cantante Pollyanna Dorough se dirigen a las bases militares en España e Italia para ofrecer entretenimiento a los miembros del servicio militar del 18 al 27 de abril de 2006, en una gira de USO (Organizaciones Unidas del Servicio Militar)/Entretenimiento de las Fuerzas Armadas (AFE). Esta es la tercera gira USO/AFE de Puente y la primera para los Doroughs.

Tito Puente, Jr., nació en una dinastía musical, su padre fue conocido en el mundo entero por su sonido musical único y su gran talento en grandes espectáculos. El joven Puente estudió bajo la guía de su padre, tocando en numerosos clubes y conciertos alrededor del mundo. Su álbum debut, "Guarachando", trae el éxito sencillo, "Oye Como Va", con portada del estándar de exclusividad de su padre, que alcanzó el #7 en las Listas de Éxitos de Baile de Billboard y ganó el Premio a la Música Latina al "Mejor Vídeo de Salsa del Año". Su segundo álbum contiene un tributo a su padre, el éxito "Caliente". El álbum de Puente, "En Los Zapatos De Mi Padre" fue lanzado en 2004 ante los elogios de la crítica.

Un miembro de los Backstreet Boys, Howie Dorough se inició en un teatro local en Orlando, más tarde consiguió papeles en "Parenthood" y "Cop and a Half", así como en numerosas producciones de Nickelodeon. Después de vender más de 17 millones de álbumes en todo el mundo, lanzó su cuarto álbum de estudio con Backstreet Boys el año pasado y actualmente está trabajando en un proyecto de solo. Conjuntamente con su hermana Pollyanna, participa en la Dorough Lupus Foundation, una entidad benéfica que su familia empezó en memoria de su hermana mayor Caroline. Pollyanna Dorough compone, canta y baila sus propias canciones originales. Pollyanna ha realizado giras abriendo conciertos para los Backstreet Boys, y ella y Howie actúan juntos en conciertos, en representación de la Dorough Lupus Foundation. Pollyanna comenzó su propia casa discográfica, Polygrooves Records, y su propia compañía de entretenimiento.

Acerca de USO

USO (Organizaciones Unidas del Servicio Militar), desde hace más de 65 años, se dedica a ofrecer servicios para levantar la moral, asistencia social y actividades recreativas para el personal de servicio militar de EUA y sus familias. La USO es una organización benéfica sin fines de lucro que depende de la generosidad del pueblo norteamericano para apoyar sus programas y servicios. La USO está auspiciada por Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T, BAE Systems North America, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Military Channel, S&K Sales Co. y TriWest Healthcare Alliance. Otras corporaciones donantes, incluyendo la Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-0600), se unieron a los miles de donantes que brindan su apoyo a la USO. Para mayor información sobre la USO, por favor visite, http://www.uso.org/ .

Source: USO

China, US wrap up trade talks, reach consensus

 

China and the United States wrapped up their annual trade negotiations in Washington DC on April 11 with consensus reached on a series of issues.

At the day-long meeting, the two sides agreed that the China-U.S. High Technology and Strategic Item Trading Working Group will be established under the China-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) framework, the officials said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The two sides also agreed to continue the Informal Steel Dialogue, start and strengthen the intellectual property protection mechanism, and further enhance cooperation in the sector of tourism.

In addition, China agreed to conditionally resume imports of U.S. beef, while the United States said it would push ahead with the lifting of the ban on importing processed poultry meat from China.

The 17th JCCT meeting was jointly chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Portman.

Stressing that economic and trade cooperation is an important component of Sino-U.S. relations, Wu Yi said that the 17th JCCT meeting reflected the spirits of "Mutual benefit, development and win-win" and demonstrated the will of both sides to properly solve problems through equal consultations.

 

China Eastern Airlines buys 16 Boeings

China Eastern Airlines, the nation's third largest carrier, has placed a $924 million order for 16 Boeing 737 aircraft to expand its domestic fleet, the company said in a notice to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on April 11.

The deal is part of a US$5 billion order for as many as 80 Boeing planes that is due to be signed today in Washington during Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi's visit to the United States, a source close to the deal told China Daily on April 11. Boeing's contract may be announced at a summit sponsored by the US Commerce Department.

The mega deal, plus a previous one signed last November for 70 B737s, may help Chicago-based Boeing keep its sales lead over Europe's Airbus in China.

The 80 aircraft will all be single-aisle B737-700 and B737-800 models, said the source, who declined to be named.

Besides China Eastern, seven other Chinese carriers China Southern Airlines, Air China, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Shandong Airlines will receive the aircraft, earlier media reports said.

"The large purchase for mid-range airplanes such as B737s reflects the rising market demand for domestic air travel in China," said Liu Weimin, director of the Aviation Laws Research Centre at the Civil Aviation Management Institute of China.

"With their disposable incomes increasing, a growing number of Chinese will choose airplanes as the ideal choice for domestic travel."

"Sticking to a few fleet types also helps airlines lower operating costs in terms of maintenance, repairs and personnel training," Liu added.

China Eastern said in the notice that the order for the new airplanes would "satisfy the fast growing market demand for mid and short-range domestic air travel in the coming years" and would help the carrier strengthen its mid and short-range air route network in China.

The General Administration of Civil Aviation of China said China would have 1,580 aircraft by 2010, nearly double the current number. Chinese carriers may buy about 2,600 new aircraft by 2024, according to a Boeing forecast released last year.

The US aircraft manufacturer sold its first plane to China in 1972, 13 years ahead of Airbus. Boeing controlled 61 per cent of China's commercial airplane market by the end of last year.

Airbus signed its largest single deal when it sold 150 A320s to six Chinese airlines at the end of last year when Premier Wen Jiabao visited France. The deal is worth nearly US$10 billion.

According to a memorandum of understanding signed during the premier's trip to France, China will become the first country outside Europe to build Airbus aircraft. Tianjin, Shanghai, Xi'an of Shaanxi Province and Zhuhai of Guangdong Province are four candidate cities for the final assembling line for the A320 family single-aisle aircraft.

Also yesterday, China Eastern reported a net loss of 438.7 million yuan (US$54.5 million) for 2005 under international accounting standard, compared with a 2004 profit of 456.4 million yuan (US$56.7 million).

The Shanghai-based carrier said it suffered from a 64 per cent jump in fuel costs and a 61 per cent increase in maintenance costs after it expanded its fleet last year.

 


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