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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Media-Whore F'Oeuvres



2014 Crystal Ball Outlook








"Democrats face several challenges in trying to maintain their majority in the U.S. Senate in the 2014 midterm election. In addition to the normal tendency of the president’s party to lose seats in midterm elections, Democrats are defending 21 of the 36 seats that are up this year including seven seats in states that were carried by Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. Moreover, six of those seats are in states that Romney carried by a double-digit margin. Given this math, Republicans are almost certain to make at least some gains in this year’s Senate elections, and the six seats they need to regain control of the upper chamber appear to be within reach. The Crystal Ball’s most recent Senate ratings predict a GOP pickup of between four and eight seats in November, and several statistical forecasting models, including my own, have given Republicans at least a 50-50 chance of gaining six or more seats this year. Despite the difficult task that they face in defending so many Senate seats in Red states this year, Democrats have some hope of offsetting expected losses by taking back two seats currently held by Republicans — the Kentucky seat held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Georgia seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Saxby Chambliss. Based on recent polls, the Senate contests in both of these states appear to be highly competitive. In the Bluegrass State, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) has been running even with or slightly ahead of McConnell, and in Georgia, non-profit executive Michelle Nunn (D) has been running even with or slightly ahead of businessman David Perdue (R) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R), the two finalists facing off for the Peach State’s GOP nomination. Picking up one or both of these seats would obviously make it much easier for Democrats to maintain control of the Senate. Republicans would then need to flip seven or eight seats currently held by Democrats instead of just six in order to get to 51 seats. But what are the chances of Democrats winning either one of these contests? Despite the results of recent polls, there are several reasons to be skeptical about Democrats’ chances of winning either the Kentucky or the Georgia seat in November. Kentucky hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1992, and Barack Obama lost the state by 16 points in 2008 and 23 points in 2012. Georgia hasn’t been quite as unfriendly to Democratic candidates in recent years. Still, no Democrat has won a Senate contest in the state since Zell Miller in 2000, and the last Democratic presidential candidate to carry the state was Bill Clinton in 1992. Obama lost Georgia by five points in 2008 and eight points in 2012." (CenterforPolitics)





"And as usual, a busy one on the calendar. For example, last night at the Edison Ballroom, Joyce Carol Oates was honored at the Author’s Guild black tie dinner. While over at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, Urban Stages held a benefit dinner and honored veteran agent Lionel Larner for 30 years devotion to the organization. His longtime friend and client Dame Diana Rigg presented the award. Because it was in Central Park, on a beautiful night, and at the Boathouse, the evening included dinner and cocktails of course, and entertainment and dancing, and boat rides! Meanwhile down at Capitale on the Bowery, the Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter hosted a benefit evening with singer Nellie McKay. And dinner of course.My day started like this. (Horrible traffic in the midtown cross streets, not because of too many cars but because of too much building construction which takes up lanes and often the entire street with construction equipment like plows and bulldozers and cranes). It took three quarters of an hour to cross from the FDR Drive at 63rd Street to Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and the Plaza where at  noontime in the Grand Ballroom, the National Audubon Society’s Women in Conservation were hosting their annual 2014 Rachel Carson Awards luncheon. They honored Ellen Futter, the brilliant President of the American Museum of Natural History; Actress and director Kaiulani Lee, and Nell Newman, daughter of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Over the past 21 years Ellen Futter has raised more than $1.3 billion for the AMNH. " (NYSD)







"On Oct. 8 of last year, Irving Azoff got a call from Kevin Huvane, managing partner at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), congratulating the megamanager on the latest addition to his client list. There was just one problem: Azoff didn’t know about it. 'Chelsea Handler one day decided I was her manager, and I was only too thrilled to accept the assignment,' says the chairman/CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, 66. 'She sent an email to her business manager, lawyer and agents saying, 'Please deal with Irving from now on.’ Shortly thereafter a press release showed up where she'd written my quotes.' Handler, who was without a manager at the time, says Azoff already had been 'acting as a manager by proxy” — “he had some good, sagacious advice for me time and time again" — so it was simply a matter of making it official. 'We bonded and joined forces and now we’re the dynamic duo.'
The initial fruit of the partnership came in January, when Handler, 39, announced her first tour in four years — more than 30 dates in theaters and arenas to coincide with her fourth book (and fourth New York Times No. 1 best seller), Uganda Be Kidding Me.Two months later came a potentially even bigger development: After seven years of Chelsea Lately, Handler will be leaving the E! Network when her contract expires at the end of the year. 'We have at least seven suitors and many ideas,' Azoff told The Hollywood Reporter at the time." (Billboard)


Blair Brandt, CEO of the Next Step Realty and COO Field Hucks.


"As a college student at the University of Richmond, Blair Brandt, the 26-year-old CEO of Next Step Realty, spent a summer working for an independent Florida realtor named Christian Angle. Mr. Brandt had been counting on an investment banking internship in New York City, a course toward which he had steered since his days at the Deerfield Academy. But when the financial crisis caused Lazard to cancel its internship program, he found himself at home in Palm Beach, Fla.At his mother’s behest, a dejected Mr. Brandt attended a cocktail party where he met Mr. Angle, a smooth talker who could transition seamlessly between idle chitchat and a cunning pitch. Impressed with the realtor’s savvy, Mr. Brandt was nonetheless initially interested primarily in Mr. Angle’s beautiful assistant, following her doggedly around the party. But when it turned out that she was moving to London, he settled for her job, from which he advanced swiftly to a junior agent position. Relatively new in town, Mr. Angle, whom Mr. Brandt describes as 'a hustler from Boston,' had been selling mostly homes that pass in that community for modest—priced around $1 million—and struggling to transition to the oceanfront palaces that house the upper class.'Palm Beach is a small town, and he couldn’t get to that next level of the market,' Mr. Brandt told us recently when the Observer visited Next Step’s East Village storefront. 'He was smart and he was a hard worker. But he didn’t really know anyone. People liked him, but they didn’t trust him. Then I started introducing him to the people that I know.'With Mr. Brandt vouching for him among the Palm Beach glitterati, Mr. Angle notched several multimillion-dollar contracts, earning a badge of legitimacy in the process. Mr. Brandt earned $50,000 in commissions that summer, but sales of his own proved elusive. 'I was too young,' he said. 'Ultimately, people weren’t going to trust me to handle deals like that.' How, he wondered, could he build relationships with the sorts of clients who were likely, one day, to shop for luxury real estate?
'When I was thinking of starting Next Step, I thought about all the things that an agency like Corcoran was doing, because they have luxury clients,' Mr. Brandt said. 'And I thought: We’re going to provide the same exact level of service to kids right out of college who aren’t there yet but might be in that category eventually.' Jason Briggs, a family friend of Mr. Brandt and an early Next Step investor, provided an illuminating case study. Brushed off by a dozen brokers during his search for his first place in Manhattan, in the 1990s, Mr. Briggs, who comes from a well-to-do family and has worked in finance and real estate development, has to date enlisted the agent who ultimately assisted him for $30 million worth of transactions." (Observer)





"On Wednesday, May 7th at Cipriani 42nd Street, they held the 13th Annual Women Who Care Luncheon benefitting United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (UCP of NYC). The sold-out event celebrated the extraordinary accomplishments of women as professionals, caregivers and philanthropists and raised nearly $550,000 to fund programs and services offered by UCP of NYC to over 14,000 children and adults with disabilities throughout New York City. The 2014 Women Who Care leadership included: (All in Attendance) Loreen Arbus – Producer, Disability Rights Activist and Founder/Chair of Women Who Care; Susan Lucci – Emmy® Award-winning star of the hit Lifetime series Devious Maids, New York Times Best-selling Author, Host of Women Who Care, and former Women Who Care Honoree; Jill Herzig, Editor-in-Chief of Redbook and Honorary Co-Chair of Women Who Care; Donna Hanover, Former First Lady of New York City, Author, and Honorary Co-Chair of Women Who Care; Robin Givens, Star of the ABC series Twisted, and Co-Chair of Women Who Care; Ali Stroker of Glee and Glee Project fame, and Co-Chair of Women Who Care; Paula Zahn, Six-time Emmy® Award-winning Host of On The Case With Paula Zahn, and Co-Chair of Women Who Care." (NYSD)


"Judging the success of a TV show used to be a relatively simple matter. Nielsen crunched the viewership numbers and shows survived and died based on the ratings. The rise of social media and especially its second-screen applications has complicated the picture by adding a rich stream of complementary data. Now television networks and producers can dig into public conversations about their programs to learn much more about how the audience is reacting to the content. But the blessing of extra data comes with a major chore. TV executives, marketers and advertisers still want simple answers: How did the show do? Did people like last night’s shocking episode of “Fargo”? And that’s not easy to quickly determine from the stream of social media commentary about Billy Bob Thornton and co. That’s the issue Mashwork founder and CEO Jared Feldman believes he has solved with Canvs, a social TV analytics tool his Manhattan-based startup launched last month. The solution lies with the natural language processing under the Canvs hood — engineered by Mashwork chief scientist and NYU marketing professor Sam Hui — that allows it to go beyond basic Twitter sentiment analysis of positive, negative or neutral. It’s the product of four years of Mashwork doing much of analysis manually for entertainment clients, Feldman said, building a database of emotionally charged keywords and phrases and their various misspellings. Such work typically has to be done by hand. Feldman said he knows of one PR firm that sends tweets out to Mechanical Turk for processing. Another network assigns 'sentiment interns' to the task. 'The reason that this is such a hard fricken problem is because no one spells things properly,' Feldman said. 'People say things like fricken. There’s no academic library or thesaurus on the planet you can use to capture how real people feel about Walter White.'" (Marketingland)

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