Posts Tagged ‘ james ’

Oprah Dedicated To Turning OWN Around

January 31, 2012

LOS ANGELES — Oprah Winfrey earned the rare opportunity to convert her media charisma into a monogramed TV channel. Now she’s the one tasked with rescuing OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, after a disappointing first year. It’s a high-stakes, potentially ego-shattering challenge that could make the strongest woman or man flinch. But win or lose, Winfrey says she relishes the fight to turn OWN’s fortunes around. “Yes, some mistakes were made. Who hasn’t made mistakes? The real beauty is you can say, `I learned from that,’” Winfrey said. “I don’t worry about failure. I worry about, `Did I do all I could do?’” The cable channel, which marks its first year Jan. 1, is trying for a fresh start after executive turnover and missteps that proved OWN lacked a solid foundation on which to build, this despite a Discovery Communications investment of a reported $250 million and counting. Viewers snubbed the lineup that skimped on programming and, surprisingly, what should have been OWN’s unique weapon of choice: Winfrey herself, whose limited on-air presence will be boosted Sunday with a new weekly series, “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” OWN has failed to improve on, or in some instances even match, the modest ratings and small audience earned by the low-profile Discovery Health channel it replaced. “I would absolutely say it is and was not where I want it to be for year one,” Winfrey said. “My focus up until (last) May was doing what I do best, which is `The Oprah Winfrey Show,’ and giving that my full attention” until its conclusion. But Winfrey, who said management team errors in planning and execution could serve as a cautionary tale (“I was never interested in writing a book. … THIS could be a book”), rejects the idea that a single year’s performance will determine OWN’s ultimate fate. Or hers. “Somebody was talking to me in that kind of saddened, `How are you?’ tone, and I was thinking, `I’m fine,’” said Winfrey, 57, who ruled as the queen of daytime TV until she ended her talk show after 25 years and turned her attention to the channel. “I realized the reason people have this tone is they’re reading all the press (about OWN), so you see me and wonder if I can still walk. … I am a determined and committed woman. I don’t give up. I’m just getting started,” she said in a recent interview. One bonus of being Oprah: She has received pep talks from other media movers and shakers. “Everybody has told me – Ted Turner has told me, Barry Diller has told me, Lorne Michaels has told me, David Geffen has told me – anybody who’s ever worked with a channel, who’s ever done anything, has said it takes three to five years,” she said, adding, “You have to do the work. … You do not have to pay attention to the criticism.” Year two for OWN will reflect executive changes made last July, when Winfrey expanded her role at the channel by adding the roles of chief executive and chief creative officer to her position as chairman. Discovery Communications COO Peter Liguori had filled in as interim head after OWN CEO Christina Norman was dismissed in the wake of poor ratings. Although the channel’s ownership is split evenly between Discovery and Winfrey’s Chicago-based production company, Harpo Inc., it is Discovery’s money that’s on the line. With more scheduling consistency, movies, original series with and without Winfrey, and “a lot more Oprah in general,” Discovery is “a lot more confident that we’re heading in the right direction,” said company spokesman David Leavy. Sheri Salata and Erik Logan, two veteran Harpo executives, were brought on board to share the title of OWN president, with Logan moving from Chicago to OWN’s Los Angeles headquarters. Logan said he clearly understands the hard work in establishing any cable channel, and this one in particular. “One of the greatest gifts and challenges is to have her name on the door,” Logan said of his top boss. “Everything you do garners a high level of scrutiny and attention. … We don’t run from that.” The initially slight programming lineup is being beefed up, most notably with “Oprah’s Next Chapter.” The weekly series debuts 9 p.m.-11 p.m. EST Sunday with Winfrey’s visit to the New Hampshire home of Steven Tyler. “Next Chapter” turns the once studio-bound Winfrey into a globe-trotting interviewer who drops into the home of a Hasidic Jewish family in New York, George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in California and cook Paula Deen’s Georgia estate. There is also a trip with Sean Penn to Haiti, fire-walking with Tony Robbins and a planned India trip with Deepak Chopra. The injection of Winfrey on-screen, not just in the executive suite, is sorely needed, suggested one industry analyst. “The biggest mistake they made is, if it’s the Oprah Winfrey Network, where’s Oprah?” said Bill Carroll of media buying firm Katz Media. He compared OWN’s Winfrey vacuum to programming the Court TV channel without courtroom shows or the Major League Baseball channel without games: “After a while, viewers stop going,” Carroll said. OWN has averaged about 136,000 viewers a day, a drop of 8 percent from what Discovery Health drew in 2010, although it’s up slightly in total viewers in prime time and has seen an 8 percent increase among women ages 25 to 54, part of the channel’s hoped-for demographic. Popular shows include “The Judds,” which ran for six episodes in April and May; “Our America With Lisa Ling”; and the reality series “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” which attracted a strong African-American audience (prompting media reports that OWN intended to skew toward black viewers, an assertion that Discovery and Winfrey deny. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to turn into the `Roots’ channel,” Winfrey said, wryly.) Winfrey also is on-air with “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” which draws on her talk-show archives, and “Oprah’s Master Class,” a series of high-achiever biography specials. But, she said, she never “was supposed to carry the channel on my back, and it never was supposed to be about me being on the air as much as possible.” Instead, O magazine, with Winfrey as monthly cover girl and articles reflecting her better-life philosophy, is the intended model. She attributes the channel’s rough start to a more basic error: The lack of a “library” of programming for the many hours of airtime not filled by original shows, compounded by overconfidence about her market value in general. “I don’t understand what anybody was thinking. You’re going on the air, you’ve got four shows. What do you think you’re going to do by Tuesday? Did they think people were going to turn on the channel just because it had my name on it?” she said, sounding almost eager to cast doubt on her drawing power. “People didn’t turn on `The Oprah Winfrey Show’ because my name was on it. It was absolutely topic driven every day,” she said. Such modest expressions aside, Winfrey’s involvement clearly is key to the channel’s success. She’s glad to make the commitment, she said. As her longtime boyfriend Stedman Graham told her, she’d be bored silly today if she’d taken any lengthy break after ending her daytime show. Discovery is also in it for “the long term,” said spokesman Leavy, citing the three to five years that other cable channels have needed to develop audience-grabbing hits and firmly establish themselves. He declined to specify what Discovery has spent so far on the venture, calling media estimates high. But he pointed to long-term advertising contracts with major companies including Procter & Gamble, and hopes of new carriage fees from cable providers that have been airing the channel for free. Viewership that has been lower than expected, however, has meant “make goods” in ad time for sponsors. Winfrey, who describes herself as obsessed by ratings for the first time in her career, said she’s giving OWN “everything I’ve got. I’ve spent more energy doing this than anything I’ve ever done in my whole life.” With good reason. “I walked in today (to OWN’s offices) and felt uplifted to see my name on the door, Oprah Winfrey Network,” she said. “Just to … be able to sit in a room with a team of people presenting you with ideas – what a gift that is.” It has also made OWN her ultimate responsibility. “Every third week, someone new was in charge, and now she’s in charge. From where I sit, this is going to be her success or her failure,” said analyst Carroll. Winfrey claims to have an unlikely sounding Plan B if the channel falls short. “If this doesn’t work out, I’m going to go into organic farming in Maui. And I’m not kidding.” ___ Online: ___ EDITOR’S NOTE – Lynn Elber is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. She can be reached at lelber(at)ap.org. Follow this link: Oprah Dedicated To Turning OWN Around

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"Goin’ To California" Susan James

January 29, 2012
"Goin’ To California" Susan James

“Goin’ To California” is a 2012 single from the album Highways, Ghosts, Hearts and Home by folk-pop singer-songwriter Susan James from Orange County, California. A song which musically expresses the desire of an ex-Californian to return home and be with old friends, “Goin’ To California” is a sun-seeking anthem with a hippie folk flavor for those aching to escape a cold, grey existence for some California freedom. Susan James entered the ranks of California recording artists in the 1990s after being discovered by Apple Computer co-founder and Steve Jobs business partner Steve Wozniak while performing in a San Francisco Bay Area coffee house.

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USC Misread Web Series, Franco’s Company Said

January 28, 2012
USC Misread Web Series, Franco’s Company Said

The release of James Franco’s production company’s trailer for their new web-series on college life spurred an angry reaction from the USC community that the company says was a misunderstanding. See more here: USC Misread Web Series, Franco’s Company Said

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Etta James, Bluesy Soul Songstress, Dead at 73

January 20, 2012
Etta James, Bluesy Soul Songstress, Dead at 73

Etta James, the soulful American singer whose powerful voice famously crooned the classic “At Last,” has died, just five days ahead of her 74th birthday. Her death was confirmed by her longtime manager and friend, Lupe De Leon. more › Visit link: Etta James, Bluesy Soul Songstress, Dead at 73

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LeBron’s Late Blunders Open Door For Clippers

January 12, 2012

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers couldn’t hit a basket in the final four minutes of regulation. The Miami Heat could barely make free throws. Two tired teams coming off road losses the night before staggered into overtime. Then the Clippers took over. They outscored Miami 9-3 in the extra session and earned the biggest win of their young season, 95-89 Wednesday night. “It’s good to get a win and get it by grinding it out,” said Blake Griffin, who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. Their next test against one of the league’s power teams comes Saturday against the Lakers. Chris Paul had 27 points, 11 assists and one turnover in nearly 45 minutes, Caron Butler added 20 points, and Chauncey Billups had 12 for the Clippers, 9-2 against Miami at home since 2001-02. DeAndre Jordan had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots to set the tone defensively. “They didn’t surprise us,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who got ejected with 5 seconds left. “We have great respect for them. “That was great compelling playoff basketball in early January.” LeBron James had 23 points and 13 rebounds for the 200th double-double of his career, Mario Chalmers added 18 points, Dwyane Wade 17 and Chris Bosh had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who have lost their last four games against the Clippers at Staples Center. “They are a good team, they are a really good team,” Bosh said. “They are going to have some battles and adversity is going to come. We’ll see how they handle it and just keep playing.” The Heat were coming off an overtime loss to Golden State, while the Clippers had lost at Portland a night earlier. In overtime, James, Bosh and Wade missed on a combined seven shots. Miami’s Big Three struggled in the fourth quarter, as well, combining to go 3 for 8. James missed three consecutive baskets in overtime and he was 6 of 10 from the line in the final 5:49 of regulation. Chalmers hit a 3-pointer for Miami’s only points in the extra session. The Heat were 20 of 34 from the line, with James accounting for eight of their 14 misses. “I’ve been shooting the ball particularly well from the free throw line, but tonight I didn’t make enough. So I put our free throw shooting on me,” he said. “It’s kind of a rhythm when it trickles down to everybody else, so I’ve got to concentrate a little more and knock them down when I get fouled.” Wade added, “We haven’t missed this many free throws on this team, probably ever.” The Clippers’ shooting nearly let them down in the final 4 minutes of regulation when they missed on seven straight possessions, but were bailed out by Miami’s own problems. The Clippers led by two with 27 seconds left in regulation before James tied it 86 on a free throw. The Clippers called their final timeout and Paul dribbled around with James hounding him before putting up a shot that missed as time expired, forcing the Heat to the third overtime of their trip. “We defended and gave ourselves a chance to win, and that’s all you can ask for,” James said. “So we can be satisfied. I mean, you don’t like to lose, but we’re not going to hang our heads about this one.” With the Clippers trailing 84-83, Billups got fouled by James on a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in regulation and made all three free throws. The Clippers finished 17 of 23 from the line. The Heat won two video reviews in the final 16 seconds of regulation, but they failed to make a field goal in the final 7:32. “A lot of times we were able to get LeBron to the rim and that’s what we wanted,” Wade said. “It’s not always going to go in, but we can leave here with our heads up high, knowing that we stuck to our game plan. We just didn’t get the win.” Neither team led by more than three points in a physical fourth quarter that featured Wade knocking Paul to the court and Norris Cole and Mo Williams colliding. “There’s a lot of guys out there that, if you look at them, they like to lift a lot of weights, so it is going to be physical,” James said. “These are two teams that have high hopes, so when that kind of clash happens, it’s going to be physical.” Notes: The Clippers went 1-1 in their first back-to-back of the shortened season. … The Heat are 5-3 in four back-to-back sets. … Paul evened his career rivalry with good friend James at six wins apiece. “We hate to lose to each other,” Paul said. … The game drew a standing room only crowd of 19,341. The Clippers have sold out all five of their home games and 17 straight dating to last season. … Celebs attending included Rihanna, Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Sinbad, Gabrielle Union, and former Los Angeles Angels teammates Jered Weaver and John Lackey. Union is Wade’s girlfriend. Here is the original post: LeBron’s Late Blunders Open Door For Clippers

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Arson Suspect Arrested in Hollywood Fires

December 29, 2011
Arson Suspect Arrested in Hollywood Fires

Three fires were reported within 15 minutes in the Hollywood neighborhood. See the original post: Arson Suspect Arrested in Hollywood Fires

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Oregon’s LaMichael James Takes on Space Mountain

December 29, 2011
Oregon’s LaMichael James Takes on Space Mountain

Teammate Kenjon Barner tweeted a picture of a terrified LaMichael James during their rollercoaster ride at Disneyland. Read the rest here: Oregon’s LaMichael James Takes on Space Mountain

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Suspect Sought in Liquor Store Robbery

September 2, 2011
Suspect Sought in Liquor Store Robbery

http://www.youtube.com/v/2DtOyVClm9A?f=user_uploads&app=youtube_gdata Read more from the original source: Suspect Sought in Liquor Store Robbery

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RAW VIDEO: Police Chase Before Deadly Shooting

August 25, 2011
RAW VIDEO: Police Chase Before Deadly Shooting

Coleman Brackney pleaded guilty Thursday to negligent homicide in the death of James Ahern. Brackney chased Ahern in a high-speed chase that was recorded by his police cruiser’s dashcam just before he fatally shot Ahern.

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Raw Police Video