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Archive for July, 2004

‘Ringers’ at Comic-Con 2004 Images

Emma sends along these images from the Ringers: Lord of the Fans panel and table at Comic-Con 2004. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

VARIETY: TW’s Harry & hobbit show

Time Warner rode the small shoulders of a teen magician and a hobbit to double-digit revenue growth in a quarter marked by the strong performance of its film unit. The theatrical release of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and homevideo release of Oscar winner “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”helped Time Warner to a 10% increase in revenue and 17% increase in operating income in the second quarter. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

TW’s Harry & hobbit show

Time Warner rode the small shoulders of a teen magician and a hobbit to double-digit revenue growth in a quarter marked by the strong performance of its film unit.

The theatrical release of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and homevideo release of Oscar winner “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”helped Time Warner to a 10% increase in revenue and 17% increase in operating income in the second quarter.

Because of the convergence of “Azkaban,” “King” and “Troy” and the fact that “King” had its theatrical release in the third quarter of last year, comparisons will be difficult in the second half of the year. “Nevertheless, our growth will meaningfully exceed last year,” chairman Richard Parsons said.

“Azkaban” and “Troy” have returned $1.2 billion in box office receipts so far, with two-thirds coming from outside the U.S.

Time Warner recorded operating income of $2.6 billion in the quarter on revenue of $10.9 billion. Earnings dipped 27% to $777 million from a year ago, when profits were boosted by a $760 million settlement with Microsoft and a gain from the sale of its stake in Comedy CentralComedy Central.

Company expects full-year operating income to increase in the low-teen range from $8.7 billion in 2003.

The quarter marks the continuation of a turnaround for the world’s largest media conglom, which saw contributions from every business unit. AOL is still hemorrhaging subscribers but recorded its first quarter of year-over-year advertising growth since late 2001.

In addition to film, the cable networks were particularly strong as growing audiences drove advertising and affiliate fee increases.

In an example of intranetwork synergy, Parsons noted HBO creation “Sex and the City” (despite some recent ratings falloff) is driving audiences to sister net TBS.

Now that Time Warner’s businesses appear to be on track, Parsons said the company would focus on ways to expand, looking to acquire businesses in the “content arena.”

“We have an interest as a company in expanding our cable footprint,” Parsons said, calling cable a “superior” platform for delivering video, telephone and high-speed Internet that “extends the power and advantage of our content businesses.”

The two biggest targets in Time Warner’s sights have been bankrupt cabler Adelphia Communications and MGM, but Parsons signaled the asking price for both could be too high. “We’re not going to do just whatever comes along,” he said.

While overall results were good, analysts pointed out that the company suffers from comparisons with its biggest competitors in cable content, Viacom, and in distribution, Comcast.

Advertising at Time Warner’s cable networks was up 6%, a disappointing figure compared with an increase of more than 20% at Viacom’s MTV networks, noted Paul Kim, analyst at Tradition Asiel Securities.

Other analysts were concerned about continued subscriber losses at the cable unit, the company’s largest cash-flow generator. Unit lost 21,000 basic customers in the quarter as satellite operator DirecTV continued to target Time Warner markets.

“They were growing subscribers at 1%-2% until DirecTV targeted them last year,” said John Hill of Schwab SoundView Capital Markets.

Some questioned the wisdom of adding to cable when the business is under intense competition from both satellite and the Baby Bells. “The fear is that competition is going to get more intense over the next four quarters,” Kim said.

Time Warner media and communications group chairman Don Logan argued that telephone service, which should be available to all Time Warner cable customers at the end of the year, would be “a strong driver of growth over the next few years.”

Cable programming expenses jumped 15%, compared with 5% at Comcast, which renegotiated most of its agreements besides that with ESPN at the beginning of the year. Kim saw an upside in this comparison, as Time Warner also will renegotiate its programming deals in the coming year, making it a potential area of future savings.

The company said an investigation into accounting practices at AOL by the Securities and Exchange Commission is ongoing, with the company opening its own review of accounting recently at AOL Europe.

Posted in Old Special Reports

Disney Channel Kids Awards

Nikki writes: The nominations for the Disney Channel Kids Awards have been announced and ROTK is nominated for best picture. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Project Monaghan At Tree Care Event

Garfeimao writes: Project Monaghan just participated in their first Tree Care event with Tree People of Los Angeles. 9 Project Monaghan participants and 3 Tree People employees met up at Salvin Special Education Center in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 28. The small size was actually more than adequate for getting the job done. It was a rather smallish school, with only about 20-25 young trees needing our help. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Project Monaghan At Tree Care Event

Project Monaghan At Tree Care Event

Garfeimao writes: Project Monaghan just participated in their first Tree Care event with Tree People of Los Angeles. 9 Project Monaghan participants and 3 Tree People employees met up at Salvin Special Education Center in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, July 28. The small size was actually more than adequate for getting the job done. It was a rather smallish school, with only about 20-25 young trees needing our help.

We learned how to properly oxygenate the soil, remove competitive grasses, weeds and other interfering plants, and how to lay mulch so that it wouldn’t harm the tree (mulch too close to the trunk can cause fungus and tree rot). We spent about 2 hours working on the trees and giving many of them water, and even got one or two classes to agree to continue the care. I know I definitely learned a lot about how people have to help trees along when they are isolated in an urban setting. These trees do not have access to the Forest Eco-system and many can not survive the first 5-7 years without human assistance.

As you may know, Project Monaghan’s main theme is to follow Dominic Monaghan’s example in helping to plant and care for more trees. You can read about it on their website at http://www.project-monaghan.gratified.net/ and learn how to get involved. They are closely tied with BBloonsCharities, who also participated in this event. BBloonscharities is in support of charitable contributions in Billy Boyd’s name, with recent donations made to The Surfrider’s Foundation, Help the Aged, The John Muir Trust and most recently Operation Iraqi Children. More info can be found at http://www.bbloonscharities.net/index.php.

Tree People is a Los Angeles based organization that plants trees in urban areas, and continues to care for those trees until they reach a reasonable maturity level. They also work to teach the residents and students in the areas they plant how to take personal responsibility for these trees. You can learn more about this Los Angeles organization at http://www.treepeople.org/. For those interested in getting involved in programs like this outside of the LA area, here is a National group http://www.nationaltreetrust.org. For International groups, I haven’t done the research yet so just look around on these websites for any hints, or google it.

Many of us locals will probably end up working with Tree People again the rest of this summer, while I know there is going to be another big project planned for December, to coincide with Dom’s birthday. Feel free to visit either Project Monaghan or BBloonscharities for more information on upcoming events and fundraising efforts. And if you simply want to get involved in bringing the forest to the urban setting, visit Tree People or the National Tree Trust sites.

Posted in Old Special Reports

PSO, singers join composer in ‘LOTR’ symphony

A good chorus needs to be versed in French, German and Italian diction. Occasionally Spanish, Russian and Czech come into play. But Elvish and Dwarvish? This weekend, local singers will have to master those languages and more as the Pittsburgh Symphony performs “The Lord of the Rings Symphony” under the direction of composer Howard Shore. It’s a six-movement work for orchestra, soloists and choruses comprising music he wrote for Peter Jackson’s acclaimed film version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Rings’ trilogy. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Boston Museum of Science Newsletter

Ringer Spy HannaBoffin sends along scans from the latest Boston Museum of Science newsletter, it features all sorts of details on the LOTR Exhibit about to open!. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Nylon Magazine Talks Monaghan

djdeathskiss writes: The latest issue of ‘Nylon’ magazine features this interview with Dominic Monaghan. He talks about his new show ‘Lost’, his being in business with Elijah, and a trip to the movies with Viggo to see ‘Troy’. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Flaunt Magazine Snaps Boyd

djdeathskiss writes: The latest issue of ‘Flaunt’ features a series of portraits taken by children for the magazine. Billy Boyd is featured in 3 of them. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

LOTR Exhibit in Oz Dates Confirmed

powerhousemuseum.com has confirmed the dates for the LOTR Exhibit currently opening up this weekend in Boston. December 2004 until the end of March. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Oxonmoot Press Release

Ian Collier, Publicity Officer for The Tolkien Society sends this in: Oxonmoot is the Tolkien Society’s major social event, providing both our members and the public with the opportunity to gather together and celebrate Tolkien’s life. Originating as an informal gathering of friends to pay their respects at the grave of the late Professor Tolkien, it is now one of the country’s longest established events of its kind. [More]

Posted in Old Main News