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Matthew Blake

Stories by Matthew

SquadUp Shoots for High End

EVENTS: Ticketing firm touts nimbler tech, lower fee

New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival switched its ticket vendor last summer from Eventbrite Inc. to SquadUp Inc., a relatively new entrant to the ticket vending market.

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Alison Ressler’s penchant for complex M&A work propelled her to top of legal profession

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Leaf Reports Growth Buds

MEDIA: Internet publisher sees positive earnings trend

After years of declining revenue and being derided as a “content farm,” Leaf Group Ltd. returned to budding financial gains in 2018.

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Saban Terminates Panavision Purchase

One of the biggest entertainment acquisitions announced last year has been abandoned.

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UMG Rides Streaming Music Wave

ENTERTAINMENT: Label’s rise gives it $50B valuation

Music streaming spurs $50B valuation for Universal Music Group.

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Live Nation Announces Growth, Explores Real Estate, Bigger Ticket Fees

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. posted another year of double-digit revenue growth in 2018, according to the company’s annual report released Feb. 28, and laid out further growth strategies in an accompanying earnings call.

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Pluto TV Finds Profitable Path

MEDIA: Streaming service cashes out in $340M deal

The website and app for Pluto TV went live on April Fools’ Day 2014, showcasing streaming television channels most people had never heard of.

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Los Angeles Times Labor Dispute Escalates

The Los Angeles Times is facing an escalating labor quarrel that is a mounting obstacle to the 400-plus member Los Angeles Times Guild’s first collective bargaining agreement.

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Special Report: Entertainment


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Special Report: Entertainment

Not for Los Angeles venues, which go dark to avoid competing with awards show

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AEG Deal Creates Events Giant

ENTERTAINMENT: Entity will handle event logistics at more than 300 venues

AEG, SMG form vast venue venture.

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Super Bowl Perk for Rams?

SPORTS: Revenue share plan waters down profits

Will Rams’ Super Bowl run be a fiscal touchdown?

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Merger Involving AEG Creates a Venue Management Giant in LA

Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc. announced Feb. 7 that its subsidiary AEG Facilities has merged with facility operator SMG, creating a standalone, Los Angeles-headquartered ASM Global, which will manage hundreds of arena, amphitheaters, and other venues across the world.

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Otis Report Notes Economic Growth in Several of L.A.’s Creative Industries

The creative industry generated in 2017 $77.9 billion in labor income and $207.8 billion in economic output, according to a sweeping 254-page report released Feb. 1 by the Otis College of Art and Design.

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Activision Under Siege

MEDIA: Split with Bungie prompts stock drop, lawsuits

Stormy times for Activision Blizzard after breakup with Bungie.

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Soon-Shiong Forgoes Tribune Activist Role

SEC filing shows billionaire agrees not to meddle with board, shareholder votes

Patrick Soon-Shiong won’t take more active role at Tribune.

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Saban Trades Power Rangers for Panavision

Billionaire sells rights to cult TV hit, taking camera co. public

Haim Saban bet on Old Hollywood with Panavision deal.

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TheLAnd Rises in Weekly’s Wake

MEDIA: LA Weekly dwindles as new competition enters fray

Changes continue at LA Weekly.

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Viacom Buys Pluto TV, Entering Streaming Derby

Viacom Inc. threw its hat into the streaming ring Jan. 22, announcing that it had bought Los Angeles’s Pluto Inc. for $345 million.

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Live Nation Deal Probed

ENTERTAINMENT: Irish officials scrutinize purchase

Bump in road for Live Nation’s global expansion plans.

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Lions Gate Cuts Jobs, Production Co. Deal

Studio axes employees, ends partnership deal with Codeblack Films

Lions Gate layoffs spark speculation about movie studio’s future.

Endeavor Joins Streaming Fray

Beverly Hills-headquartered Endeavor has formed Endeavor Streaming as a platform for the company’s streaming products such as professional wrestling and ultimate fighting, the company announced in a press release Jan. 14.

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Long Road for Short Videos

MEDIA: Fiction Riot looks to make name in nascent market

Fiction Riot looks to jump into short-form video market.

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UTA EXEC Named to UC Regenys

Gov. Jerry Brown named Jonathan “Jay” Sures, co-president of United Talent Agency, to the University of California Board of Regents

UPDATED: Broker Faces Lifetime Ban

The recently departed chairman and majority owner of a Beverly Hills investment banking and brokerage firm has been banned for life by the brokerage industry, according to a Jan. 8 regulatory filing.

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Showtime Announces West Coast Headquarters in West Hollywood

Showtime Networks Inc. announced Jan. 9 a new West Coast headquarters at The Lot Studios in West Hollywood.

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UPDATED: MedMen Sued by Shareholders

Shareholders that own a stake in MedMen Enterprises Inc. filed a lawsuit against the company in Los Angeles County Superior Court Jan. 8, alleging a breach of fiduciary duty.

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Century City PR Firm Lieberman Research Worldwide Purchases Killer Infographics

Lieberman Research Worldwide Inc., a Century City public relations firm, has acquired Killer Infographics, a Seattle marketing company focused on graphic and visual art, according to a Jan. 8 press release.

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Santa Monica E-sports Company Files $25 Million IPO

Super League Gaming Inc., a Santa Monica company that organizes amateur e-sports competitions, filed a $25 million initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission Jan. 4.

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Brown Appoints UTA Co-President Jay Sures to UC Regents

Gov. Jerry Brown named Jonathan “Jay” Sures, United Talent Agency’s current co-president, to the UC Board of Regents Jan. 4, a move that comes 48 hours before Brown ends his gubernatorial term.

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Print Pubs Can Pot Ads

MEDIA: Most papers shy away from cannabis dollars

Stigma, legal concerns keep many publications away from pot ad sales.

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AEG Convention Center Development Greenlit

Firm could also recoup up to $167 million from city as part of deal

AEG convention center expansion gets ok.

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Activision Appoints New CFO After Previous Executive Joins Netflix

Activision Blizzard Inc. announced a new chief financial officer on Jan. 2 two days after it fired the old chief financial officer.

Celerity Chief Executive Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Charge

The former chief executive of Celerity Educational Group pleaded guilty Dec. 21 to a federal conspiracy charge nine months after federal agents raided the charter school network’s Koreatown office, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for California’s Central District.

Tax Credit Buzz

Local studios cash in on film incentive program

Traditional studios reeling in film tax credits.

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Maverick Carter Named to Live Nation Board of Directors

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. named Maverick Carter, business manager of National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James, to the company’s board of directors, according to a Dec. 20 press release.

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Public Relations Firm Acceleration Announces Leadership Team

Michael Nyman, the former chief executive of public relations firm PMK-BNC Inc., announced Dec. 19 part of the leadership team for his new media relations outfit, Acceleration Community of Companies.

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Oak View’s Seattle Hockey Project Greenlit by NHL

$600 million Key Arena revamp ahead for Westwood facilities developer/operator

Oak View scores win with approval for Seattle NHL arena project.

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L.A.’s print media scene saw upheaval, rejuvenation in 2018

Year of upheaval for L.A. media

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Station Owners Face Biz Woes

Media: iHeart, Entercom struggle; local stations ok

Owners of L.A.’s most-listened-to radio stations on shaky financial ground.

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Dodgers Exec Joins LA Sports Council

The Los Angeles Sports Council has named longtime Los Angeles Dodgers executive David Siegel president of the organization

LA Sports Council Taps Dodgers Exec as New President

The Los Angeles Sports Council has named longtime Los Angeles Dodgers executive David Siegel president of the organization, according to an announcement Nov. 30.

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Disney’s Deal for Fox Barrels Toward Close

DOJ signs off despite antitrust groups’ concerns over competition in market

Fairy tale ending may come sooner than expected for Disney’s Fox deal.

New Insights on Streaming

Media: TV Time to provide data on Netflix, others

TV Time helps users binge more efficiently.

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Boring Company Drops West Side Tunnel Plan, Settles Lawsuit

Elon Musk’s Boring Co. will no longer seek to build a 2.8-mile Sepulveda test tunnel, the company announced in a Nov. 27 statement.

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Training Wheels: Talespin Uses VR to Help Companies Train Employees

Innovation Special Report

Talespin is bringing virtual reality to the workplace.

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Many Happy Returns: Company Makes Sending Back an E-commerce Purchase Simple

Innovation Special Report

Happy Returns Inc.’s name describes exactly what it set out to do: make e-commerce returns more pleasant for customers and retailers alike.

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Digital Domain: GoDigital Media Tracks Where Web Content Used

Innovation Special Report

GoDigital Media Group’s software allows artists, from YouTube content creators to prominent musicians and film studios, to track whenever their work is used and get paid for those uses.

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Second Sight: Second Spectrum Gives Live Insights to NBA Fans

Innovation Special Report

Downtown-based Second Spectrum Inc. is tracking all the National Basketball Association action down to the microsecond.

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Rams/Chiefs a Biz Boon?

SPORTS: Economists say L.A. move no game-changer

Monday night’s National Football League matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Kansas City Chiefs was expected to generate tens of millions of dollars for Mexico City’s economy.