Can Millennials Make a Homeownership Comeback? Share Fannie Mae Homeownership Millennials 2016-08-10 Seth Welborn August 10, 2016 676 Views One of the most nagging issues in the housing industry since the recession has been the dearth of young homeowners. And the news is staying bad for now.According to Fannie Mae, the national homeownership rate of households headed by 25- to 34-year-olds has fallen by about 10 percentage points, to 37 percent, since the peak of the housing bubble in 2006. This drop-off in younger buyers leads a generally down homeownership rate overall. In fact, Fannie Mae reported Wednesday, national homeownership rates have hit multi-decade lows, with a decline of roughly 4 points over the same time period.The young-adult homeownership decline has also been linked with several housing market shifts, including low shares of first-time home buyers and suppressed starter home construction, that have contributed to housing’s glacial recovery. The trouble is, where housing has recovered, younger buyers face a major obstacle in how much homes cost.“Greater young-adult homeownership demand could signal growing needs for starter homes, affordable home purchase mortgage products, education and counseling efforts targeted at inexperienced homeowners, and other services and technologies suitable for youthful home buyers,” said Patrick Simmons, director of Fannie Mae’s Strategic Planning Economic & Strategic Research Group. “However, tight supply and rapid price gains in the lower tiers of the home sales market are increasingly hampering first-time home buyer affordability, and endangering the budding recovery in young-adult homebuying demand.”Simmons added that “mounting affordability challenges at a time when the young-adult homeownership rebound is just beginning highlight the importance of continued industry efforts to provide housing and mortgage products that meet the needs of the growing number of potential young home buyers.”Encouragingly, Fannie Mae reported, the homeownership attainment gaps millennials face “are not immutable.” millennials can catch up with prior generations as economic and housing market conditions improve, and indeed young adult homeownership attainment accelerated between 2012 and 2014. This is “particularly notable, given that several factors weighed against a homeownership rebound during the early housing recovery,” such as tight job markets and credit restrictions, the report stated.But while jobs are picking up and credit is loosening, millennials still face a daunting task in buying homes; and the housing economy needs millennials to be able to afford homes, the report stated. in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Secondary Market
13 Comments Share Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Quite simply, wrote Sando, much depends on how Wilks maps out a winning culture and winning gameplans around Rosen.That, and the internal development of the Cardinals’ recent draft picks, will go a long way in building depth and filling in roster holes. Top Stories Related LinksPFF: Arizona Cardinals’ projected O-line near bottom of NFLNBC’s Florio: ‘Expect nothing’ from Cardinals QB Sam BradfordCardinals rookie QB Josh Rosen blew Patrick Peterson’s mind in mini-campTo rank and score every team, the panelists take into account the Cardinals’ roster (30 percent), coaching staff (20 percent), quarterback situation (20 percent), draft (15 percent) and front office (15 percent). The final score represents the average results from ESPN’s Louis Riddick, Mike Sando and Field Yates.Because the roster accounts for the biggest chunk of the pie, the talent holes on the Cardinals stick out the most, according to Yates. The areas to watch on the roster include defensive line, wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald and offensive line. There’s a lot of new in Arizona, as the Cardinals are the only team with a new coach who is expected to roll out a new starting quarterback this season.Of course, Wilks’ lack of experience leading an NFL team dings Arizona again.So do the red flags surrounding the long-term health of Bradford, leaving the team’s dependence on Rosen’s development as a key for success in the near future, wrote Riddick, a former NFL safety who later worked in the front office for Washington and Philadelphia.It’s a two-part issue with the Cardinals that could derail everything going forward. First, their ability to draft and develop starters, including overall depth of the quality that will contend for division and conference titles. Second, and more specifically, did they select their QB of the future in Rosen, both in terms of the right profile for their program, and do they have the right coaches in place to develop him? I am very skeptical about part one, but I do believe in Rosen as a prospect. We will see.What’s to bump the Cardinals up in next year’s future power rankings? The unknowns for the Arizona Cardinals give experts pause.Before a minute of preseason action under first-year head coach Steve Wilks and with a newcomer at quarterback — whether it’s veteran Sam Bradford or rookie Josh Rosen — there’s nothing more to evaluate than what’s on paper.What’s on paper elicits even more questions.That’s why Arizona ranked 26th in the NFL in ESPN’s annual future power rankings, which uses a panel of three experts to determine which teams are best positioned for the next three seasons. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Arizona Cardinals introduce their first-round NFL football draft pick Josh Rosen, left, as he stands next to head coach Steve Wilks, right, Friday, April 27, 2018, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Fines over €36,000 for undeclared employment were given on Friday night during police raids on establishments in Larnaca.In total, 12 reports have been made for illegal employment following checks in two bar-restaurants, a tavern and a fast-food restaurant.The biggest fine, €28,000, was issued for one of the bar-restaurants where eight of the 13 people working there were found to be undeclared.The other bar-restaurant was also fined €7,000 for failing to inform authorities of the employment of two persons working there.Officials also issued a €1,200 fine for the fast food restaurant management as both its employees were undeclared.The raids will continue, police said, as part of a clampdown on illegal employment.According to the law, employers are subject to €500 fines for every undeclared employee, going back six months.You May LikeYahoo SearchThe Early Signs Of Type 2 Diabetes. Search Type 2 Diabetes TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndoInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesNew Rule in Rowland Heights, California Leaves Drivers FumingInsured Nation – Auto Insurance QuotesUndoPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndo Turkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoThe Deniz boat incident showed clearly the intentions of the Turkish sideUndoConcern over falling tourism numbersUndoby Taboolaby Taboola
The rainy season 2018-2019 is the fourth heaviest since 1901, with reservoirs expected to continue to fill until the end of April even without additional rainfall.According to met office statistics, a total of 481.5mm of rainfall was recorded in the period October-January, with the highest figure of 197.3mm of rainfall recorded in January.This figure greatly surpasses the rainfall levels recorded in 2017-18, which saw a total of 275.1mm of rain.Record rain seasons since 1901 were those of 1968-69 (614.4mm of rainfall), 1929-30 (492.4mm), and 1911-12 (483.7mm).By Monday, a total of 111.3mm of rainfall was recorded in the month of February, raising total rainfall since October 1 to 592.8mm, suggesting that this rainy season could rise to the second heaviest since 1901.The heaviest rainfall since the beginning of February was recorded in Xylotymbou, which saw 162.6mm, corresponding to 306 per cent of regular rainfall levels for the area.Xylotymbou is followed by Kornos, which saw 155.33 of rainfall (213 per cent of regular levels), and Platania, where a total of 140mm of rainfall was recorded (95 per cent of regular levels).The water development department announced that reservoir water inflow levels are steadily rising. By Monday, reservoirs island-wide held a total of over 45.2 million cubic metres, and were at an average capacity of 72.2 per cent.During the current rainy season, a total of 12 reservoirs overflowed, including the large Yermasoyeia dam which is able to hold 13.4 million cubic metres of water.The Kouris dam, the largest on the island, is at 62 per cent capacity, holding 42.2 million cubic metres of water, which the Asprokremmos dam is currently at 92.9 per cent capacity, holding 41.1 million cubic metres of water.You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoYahoo SearchYou’ve Never Seen Luxury Like This On A Cruise Ship. Search Luxury Mediterranean CruisesYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboola
05Mar Rep. Sheppard celebrates reading with local elementary students Categories: Sheppard News Lawmaker visits local schools in March to encourage readingState Rep. Jason Sheppard is visiting local elementary classrooms and reading to hundreds of area students during March is Reading Month to foster a love of reading in the 56th District.“One of my favorite books is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, a story about giving of yourself to make someone else’s life just a little bit better,” said Rep. Sheppard, R-Temperance. “It’s a great lesson for people of all ages, and I try to keep that selflessness in mind every day in Lansing as I represent our community.”The southeast Michigan representative has already read to students at New Bedford Academy, and will be reading to many more classrooms at Monroe Road, Jackman Road and Douglas Road elementary schools. Administrators and educators interested in scheduling a time for Rep. Sheppard to read are encouraged to contact his office.“Visiting Michigan students and encouraging them to engage with books will prepare them for successful futures,” Rep. Sheppard said. “As we all know, reading is fundamental to a child’s long-term success, so I also encourage adults to read daily to the children in their lives.”Rep. Sheppard’s office can be reached by phone at 517-373-2617 or via email at JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov.
LANSING – Rep. Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac, was proud to host Jeff Jennette, the superintendent for the Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District, during tonight’s State of the State speech at the State Capitol.“I was pleased to have Superintendent Jennette as my guest as we listened to Gov. Snyder’s speech,” said Rep. Potvin. “We have worked together on a number of initiatives, including snow day flexibility and job training legislation. Currently, House Bills 4750 and 4751, which would expand to ISDs – such as Wexford-Missaukee – their ability to provide education and job training programs for local job providers. Education and jobs training are crucial to growing the local economy and building the future of the state of Michigan.” 19Jan Rep. Potvin hosts Wexford-Missaukee ISD official for Gov. Snyder’s speech Categories: News,Photos
Bill advanced Tuesday through House committee in bipartisan fashionState Rep. Michele Hoitenga, chair of the House Committee on Communications and Technology, today stressed the need for increased emergency phone service capabilities to improve safety – notably a program labeled “Next Generation 9-1-1”.Michigan’s current 9-1-1 system is nearly 40 years old and was not crafted for today’s advancements in technology. Around 70 percent of emergency calls are made from cellphones that cannot accurately be traced with the current system, according to the Federal Communications Commission.“Maintaining public safety is an essential, constitutional duty of government,” Hoitenga said. “Our Constitution gives us the obligation to provide for the common defense and promote general welfare. We are in a technological age where 9-1-1 falls into the category of general welfare responsibility, and our emergency services and first responders need to be hand in hand with advancements so they can do their jobs effectively.”Senate Bill 400, proposed by Sen. Rick Jones of Grand Ledge, will give counties the means to improve their systems and ensure ones that already have “NextGen911” do not lose it when available funding expires.The NextGen911 network accounts for wireless emergency service traffic and allows for accurate GPS coordinates, video, photographs and text to be sent directly to first responders during an emergency, which can significantly benefit response efforts. The ability to engage in text messaging with emergency personnel is advantageous for those with hearing disabilities or in instances where individuals or families have hidden from an intruder and need to contact police.SB 400 moves to the full House for further consideration. Categories: Hoitenga News,News 30Jan Rep. Hoitenga endorses needed upgrades to Michigan’s 9-1-1 system
Snyder said the $13.7 million investment will be offset by $18.8 million saved when the West Shoreline Correctional Facility in Muskegon is shut down because of a declining prisoner population.##### Categories: Calley News,News 07Feb Legislators applaud governor’s plans to end privatized prison food service, restore jobs to local residents State Reps. Julie Calley and Thomas Albert today praised Gov. Rick Snyder’s plans to end privatized food service at Michigan’s state prisons, returning the duties of preparing food to state workers.Ionia County corrections facilities will hire new workers to complete the transition.Today during his budget proposal for the coming fiscal year, Snyder announced he plans to invest $13.7 million in the Department of Corrections (DOC) to place prison food responsibilities under state employees. DOC officials announced that it will remove Trinity Services Group this summer and hire 350 state employees to do the work.“The move to privatize food services has proved to be a failure,” said Albert, of Lowell. “I am very supportive of the governor’s decision to place public safety and food quality ahead of cost savings.”Calley, of Portland, said people who worked in the prison kitchens prior to privatization did a remarkable job, and she is pleased to see the duties will revert to local residents.“Privatization caused a number of challenges,” Calley said. “Poor food service adversely affected inmates’ behavior and resulted in additional burdens for our officers to mitigate. It’s time to make a change.”
State Rep. Mary Whiteford recently welcomed students from Plainwell High School to the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives. The students were in Lansing attending the Michigan Association of School Boards Conference. Rep. Whiteford discussed school safety, Title IX, and Gov. Snyder’s Marshall Plan for Talent with the students.“I was impressed with the knowledge these students had about important issues facing Michigan,” Whiteford said. “These future leaders in our community show us Michigan truly has a bright future.” Categories: Whiteford News,Whiteford Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: From left to right, Amy Blades, Jacob Timpe, Rep. Whiteford, Polina Riggin, Gavin Blades, Mason Mollitor, and Amanda Despins (from Rep. Whiteford’s office.)#### 04Jun Rep. Whiteford welcomes local students to House floor
Categories: Mueller News,News State Rep. Mike Mueller today called for continued support for Michigan farmers whose crops have been damaged or delayed by this spring’s relentless rain.Mueller noted the Michigan Legislature approved a plan that would help private lenders provide low-interest loans to qualified farmers at no financial risk to the state.“Farmers in Genesee and Oakland counties – like those in many parts of Michigan – have been absolutely hammered by unrelenting rain this spring,” said Mueller, of Linden. “It is causing havoc across the state, and our hard-working farm families are desperate for relief. These events of nature could not be planned for or anticipated. Steps must be taken to provide some peace of mind during this tough time.”Michigan has had very few days suitable for field work this spring. As a result, only about 63 percent of corn seeds and 43 percent of soybean seeds have been planted, which means yields will be low. Many farmers will be facing financial trouble as this crop season continues.House Bill 4234 – approved by the Legislature — provides $15 million to help private lenders run the loan program and keep interest rates low for farmers. The state does not provide the loans, so there is no financial risk or liability to the state with this program.Similar low-interest loan programs were approved for Michigan farmers in 2002 and 2012.##### 20Jun Rep. Mueller urges continued support for Michigan farmers hammered by relentless rain
Share468TweetShareEmail468 Shares“Flint River in Flint Michigan” by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, photographer not specified or unknown – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library. Digital Visual Library home page. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.January 20, 2016; Christian Science MonitorNPQ couldn’t be more tired of hearing how nonprofits should be run like businesses, a statement that is still brightly aped as revelatory even decades after it was first introduced. But yesterday, the Christian Science Monitor took on the limitations of such views when applied inappropriately to government—in particular, in the case of the poisoning of 8,500 children in Flint, Michigan via its low-cost water system. A Flint Journal Freedom of Information Act request recently surfaced information suggesting that an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease that killed 10 people was also connected to the befouled water.In 2014, as it prepared for a more permanent transition, Flint started to pump its water from the Flint River, which caused lead to leach out of older household pipes in this largely low-income community. What does this have to do with being businesslike? Michigan’s governor, Rick Snyder, openly prides himself on his pragmatic approach, promising to pull Michigan out from its financial tailspin through the use of business practices. But, according to Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California in San Diego, this particular crisis epitomizes the limitations of an entrepreneurial method of governance.“What this crisis points out is one of the limits in running a government as a business,” says Professor Kousser, commenting that the problem stemmed from what appears to have been a tradeoff between cost-cutting measures and public health.“The private marketplace works because of competition, but governments often have monopoly,” he notes. “When Volkswagen screws up, you can buy a Ford. But when lead starts coming out of your tap, you can’t just turn on another tap.Last week, President Obama issued a federal emergency declaration, pledging $5 million to help the city. This week, he said he is appointing a water czar. Snyder has requested $28.5 million, which will cover only the most immediate needs in Flint; these expenditures are only a peek at the actual long-term costs, and only in financial terms.Some fault the disconnected hierarchical approach – sans community engagement – to governance that the state imposes on municipalities in financial trouble, as Flint was when the fateful decisions about the water system were made by emergency manager Darnell Earley. Earley is now in charge of reforms to the Detroit School system, which teachers abandoned in a mass sick-out on Wednesday meant to highlight the state of some of the system’s buildings, which include more hazards to children in the form of buckling floors, mold, mildew, and— in some classrooms—a lack of heat. Matt Grossmann, director of the Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, says, “The decisions were made at times when Flint was being managed by [state-appointed] emergency managers. A review of that policy and its implementation here is warranted.”Of special concern in Flint and now in Detroit is the disregard for the engagement of local residents. That is the bottom line of this situation: the protection of the youngest of the state’s residents from state-sponsored or encouraged health hazards that could very well ruin the rest of their lives and run up long-term costs for us all.—Ruth McCambridgeShare468TweetShareEmail468 Shares
Share48TweetShare82Email130 SharesBy Billy Hathorn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia CommonsJanuary 5, 2016; Washington Post and Rolling StoneAs the 115th Congress gets underway, many of the causes and rights that organizations in our sector fight for are at severe risk of being compromised or completely eradicated. Perhaps no other organization is feeling the brunt of an impending Trump administration in so brutal a fashion as Planned Parenthood.As NPQ reported last week, Conservative Congressional leaders, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have vowed to defund the organization, which provides more than 2.5 million men and women with family planning support and other crucial health care services, as part of their dismantling of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Through an effort known as budget reconciliation, a method of expediting consideration of limiting certain legislative measures, GOP members have promised to deliver to President-elect Trump on the very day he is sworn in proposed repeals of specific parts of the ACA, including a sudden stop to the approximately $500 million in federal grants and Medicaid reimbursements Planned Parenthood receives each year.In a statement last week, Speaker Ryan heartily endorsed the GOP’s anticipated move and confirmed Planned Parenthood legislation would be included in the reconciliation bill. Vice President-elect and staunch women’s rights adversary Mike Pence unsurprisingly announced that Trump would make repealing the ACA and signing the GOP’s bill a top priority. Meanwhile, Trump has wavered on the issue, most recently cautioning through Twitter that moving so hastily to repeal the ACA might actually not be such a good idea after all.As the GOP tries to figure things out, Planned Parenthood and activists in the women’s and reproductive rights movement have their game plan fully in motion. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards put very frankly that her organization and its supporters are not going down without a fight. After all, the 100-year-old nonprofit’s mission is deeply rooted in the fight for the fundamental right of choice.[Come January,] we will be launching the largest “Stand with Planned Parenthood” campaign in our history to agitate and engage our millions of supporters around the country to make sure we’re telling the story of what people are poised to lose. […] We will make sure that every single senator who votes on the issue of whether patients can come to Planned Parenthood is fully aware of the millions of people who are going to lose health care, including thousands in the states they represent.With a continuous flow of call-to-action emails, social media posts, and a Facebook Live video giving followers the opportunity to engage in a discussion about the GOP’s attacks on health rights, Planned Parenthood’s campaign is alive and well. The national organization, its local chapters, and other human rights organizations like the ACLU are coming out of the gate strong with messages ranging from the pointed “These Doors Stay Open” to the educational breakdown of exactly what Planned Parenthood federal dollars support. (Hint: It’s not abortions.)Let’s call this attack on health care what it really is: An attempt to shut down a health care provider for political reasons. #IStandWithPP— ACLU National (@ACLU) January 6, 2017“Defunding” Planned Parenthood is a misnomer. Their true intent is to block millions of people who rely on Medicaid from PP health centers.— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) January 5, 2017There’s no line item in a budget that goes to Planned Parenthood — simply reimbursement for care rendered, like other health providers. pic.twitter.com/SaTIpE9PUh— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) January 5, 2017And Planned Parenthood supporters are answering the call. On Friday, volunteers gathered in Washington, D.C. to personally deliver 87,000 signed “#StandWithPP” petitions to Speaker Ryan’s office. The petitions request that Planned Parenthood funding be protected through Medicaid and Title X. The male and female volunteers, sporting their bright pink “I Stand with Planned Parenthood” t-shirts, were ultimately blocked from delivering the petitions by armed security guards reportedly sent by Ryan himself.But Planned Parenthood and its army of activists, donors, and volunteers remain undeterred. In addition to its relentless communication efforts, Planned Parenthood is organizing nationwide rallies, community forums, and volunteer trainings to arm its supporters with the resources and local allies necessary to mobilize and take action. Those willing to call their U.S. Senator or Speaker Ryan directly are provided with a script to follow verbatim. The organization is inviting supporters to share stories of their personal experiences with the organization, humanizing the importance of the campaign in a way that perhaps a tweet or Facebook post may not so effectively achieve. Online retailers have joined the fight too, with one selling a tote bag listing the various services Planned Parenthood provides under the facetious “All I Got at Planned Parenthood” headline. The site states funds collected from tote purchases will benefit the organization and as of Thursday evening reported $20,000 has been raised.The challenges to Planned Parenthood, the women who make use of its vital services, and those who support it will likely only grow once the new administration is in full force. There is a real and serious attack on the rights of men and women everywhere—many of whom are from vulnerable populations and are already underserved—to have a say in their most personal health care choices. As ultraconservative Kentucky governor Matt Bevin tweeted this week, the freedom to choose is the most American value we have…now, if only his interpretation of that value also applied to women and their bodies.—Lindsay WalkerShare48TweetShare82Email130 Shares
Share30Tweet13ShareEmail43 Shares“Library of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts,” Citizen 59March 8, 2019; The CrimsonFor the seventh year in a row, Harvard University paid less than what the City of Boston requested in its payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement. That agreement is for large educational and medical nonprofits to pay 25 percent of the property taxes they would have to pay, only half of which need take the form of cash payments to the city, were they not tax-exempt. As a rule, the medical institutions adhere to the agreement, but the educational institutions do not. Harvard, with its distinction of having the highest endowment in the world ($39.2 billion and growing) and its expansionist ways, would apparently rather risk its relationship with other taxpayers than pay what it originally agreed to.Harvard is not the only educational institution to shortchange the city; it is joined by Boston College in a seven-year run.Why is this such an issue in Boston, which is known for its out-of-sight real estate values, attributable in part to the presence of those educational institutions? “Something like half of the real estate in Boston is in the hands of either a governmental entity which is tax exempt, or a nonprofit entity which is tax exempt, and it does really impact the ability of the city to pay for the services that the nonprofits and everyone else depend on,” Northeastern Law Professor Peter D. Enrich said.In 2018, Harvard contributed $9.8 million to Boston—79 percent of the 25 percent they were expected to contribute—but even then, only $3.6 million was in cash; $6.2 million was in “community benefits,” a category over which the nonprofit, not the city, has definitional control. In contrast, in 2017, Harvard paid its seven investment managers a total of $58 million.Enid Eckstein, a coordinator for the PILOT Action Group, which aims to ensure that the city receives the contributions it requests under PILOT, said she feels nonprofits have a “moral obligation to the city,” even in a voluntary program.“There’s no requirement that they do it,” she said. “But when the mayor negotiated this program, the idea was that the universities were entering into a social contract.” In other words, while paying the full load requested would probably mean nothing substantively to Harvard, it would mean something its neighbors. At Princeton, by the way, a settlement reached on an assessment of the property taxes the university owed as a result of real scrutiny of their profit-making ended with many millions being directed to support affordable housing. —Ruth McCambridgeShare30Tweet13ShareEmail43 Shares
The general manager and a swathe of senior staff at the Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC) have been dismissed, leaving international production partners in the dark about the future of their projects. DigitalTVEurope.net’s sister site TBIvision understands that general manager Mahmoud Bouneb (pictured) and up to 30 of the senior JCC management, including director of programming Malika Alouane, have been laid off. The sacked staff say that no official reason was given for their dismissal, but it is understood that the country’s public prosecutor will pursue a case alleging some form of mismanagement against Bouneb and seven other staff. The pending case means that the former JCC boss, a Tunisian with a Canadian passport, cannot secure an exit visa and cannot leave Qatar. JCC is funded by the Qatar Foundation, a not-for-profit government-funded organisation that promotes the Arab state.International partners first became aware of the changes at the channel when they received an email cancelling MIPCOM meetings, days ahead of the market. Bouneb and his senior staff were informed that they were being dismissed and left the JCC headquarters on the same day that they were preparing to leave for London, ahead of travelling to Cannes for MIPJunior.Sources said that the decision was a complete surprise to Bouneb and his team, who had just had their latest five-year plan and budget agreed and signed off. It is understood that the Qatar Foundation has appointed Haya Khalifa Al Nassr as Bouneb’s acting replacement and Salim Al Mansoori as director of programmes. Haya Khalifa Al Nassr is also communication director at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and on the JCC board while Salim Al Mansoori was head of sponsorship at the Qatar Marine Festival Organising Committee.JCC, which launched in September 2005 with a remit to educate through entertainment, has built a profile in the kids TV industry and has worked with a raft of international partners.Decisions have yet to be communicated to all of these partners on the future of their projects although some have received an email stating that, following a review by JCC’s team, their previously agreed coproduction “does not meet or comply with JCC’s artistic vision and strategic production plans for the future.” The communiqué added: “Therefore unfortunately there will be no further discussions regarding pursuing these projects to contract.”JCC coproductions included SeeFood, with animation studio Silver Ant, Malaysia’s MDeC and Malaysia’s ministry of science, technology and innovation.Saladin was another copro with MDec and the 3D animated series has been nominated for an International Emmy in the Children’s and Young People Category. JCC’s international office in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, managed JCC’s input into Saladin and is thought to have closed.The kids channels also coproduced the first 26-part series of science series Discover Science with NHK and inked a five-year copro deal with the Japanese public broadcaster in February, which has been cancelled in the wake of the management changes.Commissions by former JCC management include 115x30mins live-action gameshow The Buzzer from Zodiak-owned producer The Foundation, which was tipped to get a second series order. UK indie Rival Media was also commissioned to make 46-part reality gameshow Power Struggle and a second season was ordered earlier this year.Acquisitions include CGI preschool series Driver Dan’s Story Train, which is produced for CBeebies in the UK and a reversioned Arabic version, Captain Karim Qitar Al Hekayat, is put together by Blink Studios in Abu Dhabi and distributed by twofour54. The second series has been delivered to the BBC, but the future of the second season of the Arabic version on JCC’s preschool channel Baraem is not known. Al Jazeera, JCC and The Qatar Foundation did not respond to TBIvision’s email and phone requests for comment.
US-based mobile TV technology company MobiTV has hired a general manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa and says it is committed to expanding its services in the region.Paul Burmester becomes general manager and senior vice-president, EMEA for MobiTV, which said he will use his experience at various US cellcos to work up an EMEA-focused expansion plan.“Paul brings experience in, and understanding of, the European technology industry, as well as relationships with top-tier mobile operators,” said MobiTV CEO Charlie Nooney. “We’re confident that he will continue to build the strong commercial relationships necessary for MobiTV to pursue expansion in the international market.”
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Russian service provider VimpelCom, which operates under the Beeline brand, have struck a deal whereby titles from Fox’s catalogue of new and library films will be made available as part of the Beeline TV video-on-demand service.The deal means that Beeline TV subsribers will be able to view movies including Alien, Die Hard, Ice Age and X-Men on VOD. New titles including The Descendants and Chronicle will made available in the course of this year.Timur Alyautdinov, head of marketing, wired internet and TV services at VimpelCom, said that he was pleased that Beeline customers would now have access to the best of Twentieth Century Fox’s content and that he was confident the movies would prove to be very popular.
Multiscreen technology specialist Elemental Technologies has launched a platform for hosting premium live and on-demand video content.Elemental Cloud will deliver video processing in the cloud for third-party content providers who can then scale their operations according to demand.According to Elemental, the platform as a service offers unified management of on-premises and cloud-based resources, the ability to use resources entirely in the cloud or in combination with on-premises infrastructure, identical video, audio and metadata output whether from the content provider premises or the cloud, automated administration and content security.“Elemental Cloud has been developed in conjunction with several of the world’s premier media brands to allow video professionals to cost-effectively balance processing resources, while optimizing existing capital investments,” said Keith Wymbs, vice-president marketing at Elemental.“As a trusted supplier of multiscreen deployments in more than 40 countries, we are excited to deliver the increased flexibility, agility and value content programmers, pay TV operators, and studios will require over the next decade.”
Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman said that its £450 million (€550 million) acquisition of UK terrestrial network Channel 5 will help it to launch new brands around the world.Speaking on Viacom’s earnings call for the three months ending March 31, 2014, Dauman (pictured) said that with the UK investment, Viacom will look to “shift the mix towards more original programming” – which will contribute to the overall content it owns and exploits globally.“We are planning to launch more brands internationally. The programming that we develop in the UK, when added to the programming we develop in the US and the local programming we produce in other geographies, will accelerate our ability to launch new brands targeted at new demographics around the world,” said Dauman.Claiming that Viacom will take Channel 5’s family of networks “to the next level,” Dauman said that it will use programming capabilities from its UK pay channels, “take advantage of the UK production marketplace” and step up its production activities.“Our real focus in making this acquisition was the combined programming opportunities – distribution opportunities, the cross-marketing opportunities that we see here,” said the Viacom CEO.“For example, there is a very successful children’s block on Channel 5 called Milkshake. It has some Nickelodeon programming on it now. We think by marrying Milkshake with some of the Nickelodeon capabilities and programming, there is an opportunity to grow both sides of the house.”The comments came as Viacom reported revenue and earnings growth for its fiscal second quarter. Revenues were up 1% year-on-year to US$3.17 billion (€2.29 billion). Operating income rose 3% to US$872 million, while net earnings from continuing operations were up 4% to US$502 million.Speaking on the earnings call, Viacom’s chief financial officer Wade Davis said that in the company’s media networks segment, revenues in the quarter were up 6% compared with the prior year, principally driven by increases in affiliate and advertising revenues.In terms of advertising, domestic revenues were up 2% in the quarter and international revenues increased 14%. “The growth in international advertising reflects the impact of new channels, as well as continued improvement in the European marketplace,” said Davis.Recent channel launches by Viacom include MTV European in Hungary and the Czech republic in January and the Paramount Channel in Russia in February.
BBC director general Tony HallThe BBC’s director general Tony Hall has spoken out against the corporation switching to a subscription-based model, arguing that the licence fee offers “something for everyone.”In an opinion piece written for the Daily Mirror, Hall argues that, even in a digital age, the existing licence fee model has “plenty of life left” and that moving to a subscription model like Sky would create numerous problems.“Firstly, it would cost a fortune to set up – about £500 million [€640 million] to install new set-top boxes to every TV to control who is watching,” said Hall.“Secondly, subscription would mean we would lose one of the things that people most value about the BBC – the way it creates great programmes that we can all enjoy. Even at their best, subscription channels can’t do this.”The director general said that for 40 pence per day viewers are able to access a whole range of BBC services, and that moving to a commercial model, with advertising, would take money away from rivals like Channel 4 and ITV.He added that despite advances in technology, close to 90% of all TV viewing is still live and that fewer than 2% of UK households only watch on-demand programmes.“I think the Licence Fee has plenty of life left. But it has always moved with the times, whether it be scrapping the old radio licence or introducing a new colour licence. So it could be modernised again – so it applies to watching BBC programmes both live and on iPlayer. This is for the Government to decide, but worth considering,” said Hall.“The BBC’s job is to deliver to you. Not to politicians or the powerful. Some 96% of the population watch, listen or use the BBC every week. They choose the BBC 140 million times a day. Those 140 million decisions wouldn’t happen without our commitment to serve everyone.”
BSkyB is investing £3 million (€3.8 million) in new arts and culture TV projects over three years and has invited arts organisations and production companies to bid collaboratively for up to £1 million annually to develop new TV ideas. Sky said that the new initiative, Sky Arts Amplify, is designed to foster integrated partnerships between creative institutions and TV production companies. The broadcaster said the funding would offer ways for arts organizations to reach new, wider audiences and create high-quality arts programming for Sky customers.The Amplify scheme builds on the earlier Sky Arts Ignition initiative that launched in 2011 and established partnerships with the V&A Museum and Tate Liverpool.“Amplify continues our long-standing commitment to support the arts on and off screen. We hope that this initiative will generate exciting results for both the arts industry and our customers,” said Jeremy Darroch, CEO of BSkyB.“The arts landscape of the UK is more exciting than it’s ever been, and we want to reflect that on Sky Arts. But we don’t just want to make TV about the arts – we want to make artistic TV. Sky Arts Amplify is about bringing the best people in their fields together to do this in bold, fearless ways,” said Phil Edgar-Jones, director, Sky Arts.