New York, Sep 11 (AP/UNB) — The resignation of longtime CBS chief Les Moonves won't likely lead to drastic changes in network programs, but a related deal could make the company ripe for a takeover as traditional media companies compete with upstarts such as Netflix and Amazon.
Moonves was ousted Sunday, just hours after the New Yorker detailed more sexual misconduct allegations against him. A dozen women have alleged mistreatment, including forced oral sex, groping and retaliation if they resisted him. CBS is on the hook for $120 million in severance if its investigation, being conducted by two outside law firms, finds no evidence of wrongdoing. Moonves has denied wrongdoing.
Even before the latest New Yorker article came out, Moonves was already facing pressure to leave. His departure was brokered as part of broader talks with CBS' parent company, National Amusements, over the network's future. Under settlement terms with CBS, National Amusements chief Shari Redstone conceded not to push for combining CBS with sibling company Viacom for at least two years, a merger that Moonves had opposed. National Amusements also agreed to a board shake-up that increased the power of independent directors.
The network was struggling when Moonves took over as entertainment chief in 1995. He quickly turned things around and churned out shows appealing to the older, more tradition-bound CBS audience — broad-appeal sitcoms such as "Two and a Half Men" and "The Big Bang Theory" and procedural dramas such as "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "NCIS." ''Survivor" was an early reality show hit, and continues to this day. Moonves became CEO of CBS Television in 1998 and CEO of the newly created CBS Corp. in 2006 after it split from Viacom.
Moonves' temporary replacement, Chief Operating Officer Joseph Ianniello, has steered top projects such as stand-alone streaming services for CBS and the Showtime cable channel. But he doesn't have a creative or sales background, which might make him an awkward long-term leader for the company.
For now, Ianniello is unlikely to make drastic changes in programming, particularly since CBS' formula has been working. Programming changes could be more substantial if CBS chooses someone outside the company as a permanent replacement.
B. Riley FBR analyst Barton Crockett said CBS could remain successful without Moonves. He noted the continued success of other networks that have lost top executives to sexual misconduct claims, including Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly at Fox News and Matt Lauer at NBC News.
"Strong performance can continue even when a vaunted, tainted star departs," Crockett said. "These groups have deep talent pools."
A broader question is whether CBS will remain a standalone company at all.
To better compete with tech companies such as Netflix, companies that have traditionally distributed TV shows and movies have been buying the producers of such programs. The producers, themselves, have been consolidating as well. AT&T bought Time Warner for $85 billion in June, while Disney is in the process of acquiring the entertainment assets of Fox for $71.3 billion.
That makes CBS a hot commodity. With the shake-up of its board, there are 11 independent directors and two affiliated with National Amusements, down from three. One of the new directors, Candace Beinecke, is a lawyer with expertise in mergers and acquisitions. National Amusements agreed to give "good faith consideration" to any offer the new board deems good for shareholders.
Crockett said possible suitors include AT&T "doubling down" and attempting to buy CBS to complement its recent Time Warner acquisition. Or Verizon, which was rumored to be a suitor in the past, could make an offer as a way to "deepen its content presence and close a content gap with AT&T," he said.
Offers from Amazon, Apple or Google might be possible as well, if those companies wanted to expand their sports offerings and "vault into a leadership position in production of top tier TV content," Crockett said.
BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said CBS might even entertain a merger with Viacom now that chief opponent Moonves is out. Even though National Amusements agreed not to push for it, that doesn't preclude CBS itself from doing so. If other offers do not materialize, Greenfield said a combination with Viacom might be necessary as size and scale are "becoming increasingly critical in the media industry."
The settlement is the latest in a long-running saga between CBS, Viacom and National Amusements, media mogul Sumner Redstone's holding company. CBS split from Viacom in 2006, but both remained controlled by National Amusements. Redstone's daughter, Shari, now runs the holding company.
In 2016, Shari Redstone prevailed in a bitter battle against Viacom CEO Phillippe Dauman, whom she pushed out in favor of current CEO Bob Bakish.
Since then, she has pushed to reunite CBS and Viacom. Under Moonves, CBS was against the idea and tried to issue a dividend to dilute National Amusements' voting power. That led to the lawsuit settled Sunday.
Dhaka, Sep 9 (UNB) – Robi’s gaming platform, My Play, has recently organized the grand finale for the game hub campaign.
Eight out of 16 participants won exciting prizes based on their ranking at the end of the finale, said a press release on Sunday.
Participants, who scored the highest points in each of the four weeks long game competition, were selected to take part in the grand finale. Each of the 16 participants were given three minutes to play the subway surfers game, based on the participants’ score playing the game, the final ranking was prepared.
Md. Asif Mahmud won a Huawei Mate 10 Pro for securing the first position. Coming second in the competition, Rahimul Hasan Sakib, won a Huawei P10, and the third place winner, Zakiul Hasan Arefin, won a Huawei Nova 3e handset.
The participants securing the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and the eighth position, each received an Aarong gift voucher worth Tk 7,000. The grand finale took place at the Huawei customer experience centre in Gulshan.
Robi’s Vice President, Market Operations, Mahbubul Alam Bhuiyan, and Huawei’s Key Account Director, Stephen Wang, along with their team members welcomed the participants to the colourful event. They also encouraged the participants, as each of them took to play the subway surfers game.
The game hub campaign involved participants playing: Teen Patti Golden, AE 3d Motor, Battle Ludo, and Real Cricket 14, in each of the four weeks that the campaign ran for.
The participating gamers were required to post their score on Huawei’s Facebook page and/or send the score into the same page’s inbox. Based on the set benchmark scores, the winning gamers received Tk 1000, 500, and 100 worth rewards in each of the four weeks.
Dhaka, Sept 9 (UNB) - Samsung Electronics Bangladesh on Sunday launched its latest 'N series' television of five different categories.
The latest lineup of QLED (Quantum Dot LED) TVs from Samsung was launched at a press conference in presence of journalists, top officials of distributors, dealers and other stakeholders at Pan Pacific Hotel Sonargaon in the city.
Managing Director of Samsung Bangladesh Seungwon Youn in his opening remarks said these new series of products are packed with the latest innovation.
"With cutting-edge technology and customer-centric innovations, we are confident that the N series will take the viewing experience to the next level", he added.
The series consists of Joy Concert TV, Smart Concert TV, Premium UHD TV along with the latest innovation of Samsung, QLED TV.
Samsung brought 100 percent color volume for the first time through this series using Nano Crystal Technology, said Shahriar Bin Lutfor, head of business, Consumer Electronics.
The QLED TV features include ambient which turns black TV screen on standby to a transparent glass, information center or a wallpaper, smart hub and mobile app to connect and control TV and other smart home appliances with the phone and the price starts from Tk 5,90,900.
Concert Series TVs include four channel 40 watt concert sound system, Bluetooth 2 way mirroring which allows the tv to work as a Bluetooth speaker. The concert series come in both smart and non-smart versions, said Salman A Khan, TV Product Manager of Samsung Electronics Bangladesh.
Joy Concert TV starts from Tk 29,900 while Smart Concert TV starts from Tk 36,900.
All of the NU series of TVs for 2018 use ‘standard’ LED technologies rather than the Samsung’s metal-clad Quantum Dots found in the QLED models. This means they can’t deliver such extreme levels of brightness and color. It’s worth noting, too, that unlike the Q9FN and (US) Q8FN models, none of the NU models use contrast-friendly direct LED lighting, where the LEDs sit behind the screen. They’re all edge-lit. The pay-off with the NU models, of course, is that they’re significantly cheaper than Samsung’s QLED models.
Easily control all connected devices and content with just One Remote Control. It also has an auto detection feature, which automatically connects and labels all connected devices. “Easy to find, easy to use. Just one remote control.”
Apart from the latest TV series, the company also showcased refrigerators, microwave ovens, air conditioners, washing machines and vacuum cleaners of which many are to be launched soon.
Among others, Saad Bin Hasan, Head of Sales and Partner Management, Khandaker Ashik Iqbal, Head of Marketing Communications, the product managers, high officials of the channel partners and dealers of Samsung Electronics Bangladesh were also present at the unveiling ceremony.
The new 'N Series' TVs will be available in all authorized showroom of Samsung Bangladesh and its national distributors across the country.
Dhaka, Sept 9 (UNB) – Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar on Sunday said the government has taken an initiative to adjust the internet price at data package of mobile phone.
The minister was talking to reporters after a meeting with an eight-member delegation of Estonia led by its Foreign Minister Sven Mikser, at the Secretariat.
Terming internet is the lifeline of digital Bangladesh, Mustafa Jabbar said the government has taken a special initiative to make it easy for customer to use internet.
“The government has taken an initiative to bring discipline in the price of internet in data package for the mobile users. At present a disorganised and indiscipline situation has been prevailing in the price of internet at mobile phone but we will ensure that the situation no longer prevail like this.”
The mobile phone users have faced problem while using internet after purchasing data package from mobile phone operators as the mobile phone operators provides data for specific time but these specific package does not transfer in the data during renewal, which is a loss for customers, he said adding that “The government has taken initiative to adjust it.”
“We can only reduce the price of mobile phone but for reducing the internet tariff, an analysis report is needed from International Telecommunication Union (ITU), though a cost analysis report has already been reached at the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC),” said the minister.
The mobile operators are transforming bandwidth to package date for internet users in mobile phone and the price of bandwidth and internet package by the mobile phone operators does not maintain balance between those.
Referring to the allegations of customers in using package during off-rate and on-rate, the minister said “The government is going to launch the much awaited mobile number portability (MNP) service within the first week of October and once the service is launched the standard of mobile service will be enhanced.”
The fiber optical cable will be distributed in all unions except 772 unions of the country by December and the rest will be distributed in phases, he said.
Besides, the government has taken initiative to make wi-fi zone in government schools, colleges and madrasahs across the country, he added.
Talking about the Bangabandhu Sateillite-1, the minister said the satellite is expected to start commercial operation in the end of September on completion of the handing over process by the company Thales Alenia Space.
San Francisco, Sept 8 (AP/UNB) — The New York Times is reporting that Jack Ma, the co-founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba Group, is retiring.
The Times said that in an interview, Ma said he planned to step down as executive chairman on Monday to pursue philanthropy in education. He will remain on Alibaba's board of directors.
Ma started Alibaba in 1999 in his apartment in the Chinese city of Hangzhou and is now among the richest people in the world.
The company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and has a market value of about $421 billion. It's the world's biggest e-commerce company by total value of the merchandise sold across its platforms, which include Taobao and TMall.
Alibaba did not immediately respond to a request for comment.