Saturday, May 05, 2012

WWE Superstars and their Avengers equivalents; Hulk Hogan - Marvel Entertainment connection

WWE Superstars and their Avengers equivalents; Hulk Hogan - Marvel Entertainment connection; The Hulk Movies And TV Series Planned; The Wolverine May Be Rated 'R', Australia, Hollywood...

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Marvel superhero fans in Australia and around the world. We've got tons of news for you today. There's the WWE tie in, Hulk Hogan - Marvel Entertainment history, Avengers news, quotes, numbers and more...

WWE posted on their official website all time Avengers like teams from the history of the WWE and WCW.

Here's some WWE superstars and their Marvel superhero equivalents...

Mark Henry is Incredible Hulk: Both these guys are massive, have superhuman strength and short tempers. Sometimes Mark Henry wears a green onsie. Incredible Hulk may or may not have been a member of The Nation of Domination.

Dolph Ziggler is Thor: Technically one of the best Superhero’s in the business. Ziggler wears a pink T-Shirt as a cape so close enough.

CM Punk is Iron Man: Both are pretty much indestructible and cocky. They sometimes share the same facial hair.

Jack Swagger is Capitan America: Doesn’t really have any great powers but people seem to like them for some reason.

Vickie Guerrero is Bucky.

Kelly Kelly is Black Widow, but some will argue and say the role goes to super heel Eve.

R-Truth is Nick Fury: Seems to fit, and we know he's the right colour also. If the shoe fits...

Evan Bourne is Hawkeye: He’s not on the poster but both have pin point accuracy.





Hulk Hogan and Marvel Entertainment Background...

Who owns the rights to "Hulkamania" "Hulk Hogan" and "Hulkster"?

Marvel Comics. When Hulk Hogan first wrestled under the "Hulk" name he was known at "The Incredible Hulk Hogan". Marvel Comics had a television show and comic book at the time called "The Incredible Hulk". Marvel thought the WWF was copying their "Hulk" character and warned WWF to stop. Instead of stopping the "Hulkamania" character the WWF made a deal with Marvel to recognize Marvel as the owner of all the "Hulk" names and in return Marvel gave the WWF a license to merchandise the Hulk name. When Hulk Hogan went to WCW they signed a similar deal with Marvel.

It should be noted that when Hulk Hogan became Hollywood Hogan he tried to cancel the Marvel deal but it didn't work out well and the deal is still alive.


The Avengers Premieres Early and Strong at International Box Office; Second Highest Opening of All Time in Australia...

Marvel is experimenting with the typical release pattern for their giant tentpole movies.  Thor premiered in dozens of foreign markets before the American release on May 2.  The US got Captain America first for obvious reasons, but Marvel went international to unveil The Avengers before the U.S. gets a hold of it.

The Avengers debuted down under in Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan with an awesome $8 million start.  Per THR, most of that was grossed in Australia, where $6 million makes it the second highest opening day behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.  Marvel will release The Avengers in over 40 international territories this weekend.

Expect more stellar results, since the all-star cast—Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson—and the colorful action bust the language barrier.  By the time it makes its way back to the U.S on May 4, The Avengers is expected to surpass $150 million domestic in the opening weekend.


Official synopsis:

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”–the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012. In “Marvel’s The Avengers,” superheroes team up to pull the world back from the brink of disaster when an unexpected enemy threatens global security.


Marvel Planning More Hulk?; Mark Ruffalo's signed for six pictures...

One of the big successes of Marvel’s latest superhero outing, Avengers Assemble, is how well writer-director Joss Whedon and actor Mark Ruffalo pulled off bringing Bruce Banner and his rage-fuelled alter ego to life. It's no shocker that Marvel wants to do more Hulk flicks.

From what Ruffalo and Marvel’s president of consumer products have been saying, that could happen sooner rather than later.

Speaking with media firm Collider, Ruffalo says that he’s signed the seemingly standard six-movie contract with Marvel, and that he had such a good time, he definitely hopes they’ll keep him around for more.

But while Marvel film boss Kevin Feige has previously said there are no concrete plans to bring the Hulk back solo just yet, consumer products chief Paul Gitter sat down with Forbes magazine (via The Playlist) and talked up the company’s surprise at just how well The Hulk has been received and that things could be changing.

According to Gitter, the current thinking is to spin the Hulk off into the already-planned standalone TV series and then a likely next film in 2015.

We will need to hear more from Feige before we start marking in more Hulk time to our diaries. He’s the man who sets the agenda for the movies, and basing the decision to make more Hulk movies on how many toys could be sold doesn’t really seem the Marvel way.

We want to see more Banner and Hulk outings, assuming they’re organised and planned properly. We’ve got faith in Marvel’s ability to pump out more quality superhero TV shows and movies, so here's hoping the new team doesn't let us down, and continues to impress the heck out of media and fans, just as The Avengers smash hit movie has done.


Stealing The Avengers - 3rd May 2012...

As Loki, Tom Hiddleston is a villain who is equally happy destroying New York and stealing the show.
With the film set to break some box office records worldwide, everyone's buzzing about the all-star team of do-gooders in The Avengers, from Robert Downey Jr's Iron Man to Chris Evans' Captain America to Australian Chris Hemsworth's god of thunder, Thor.

Well how about this wily bad guy who's such a peril that humanity has to assemble half a dozen Marvel Comics superheroes to rein him in?

British actor Tom Hiddleston first played Loki, wicked younger son of Norse king of the gods Odin, in last year's Thor, scheming to banish brother Thor and take his place as heir to the throne.

Hiddleston's Loki proved so diabolical that he's back as the villain of The Avengers, which is currently playing in Australian cinemas.

As Hiddleston says, Loki is mean and hateful, which can be great fun - and greatly challenging - for an actor to play.

"Sometimes, it's really hard, especially when you get up in the morning feeling in a good mood, and that sort of innate contentment is of absolutely no use to you, because you're having to stoke the bonfires of anger and sadness and despair and all that stuff," Hiddleston said.

The 31-year-old classically trained actor, who studied at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, clearly managed to overcome his good moods to imbue Loki with venom. Not only was he cast in The Avengers, but Hiddleston's also returning for Thor 2, which begins shooting late this year for release in November 2013.

"He sort of steals the movie," Hemsworth said of Hiddleston's performance in The Avengers. "He's the catalyst for everything that's happening. What he's doing, that's where it either stands or falls, and he really pulled it off."

A rising star of British theatre and TV drama, Hiddleston followed Thor with a charming turn as F Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, then played a noble English cavalry officer in Steven Spielberg's War Horse.

Hiddleston co-stars with Rachel Weisz in Terence Davies' infidelity drama The Deep Blue Sea, now playing in US theatres. He also just finished production on British TV adaptations of Shakespeare's Henry IV parts one and two, playing Prince Hal, and Henry V, in which he has the title role.

Despite his comic-book roots, Loki himself has a Shakespearean dimension akin to such villains as Iago in Othello and Edmund in King Lear, Hiddleston said.

"He's motivated by the same things. He's motivated by jealousy and pride and ambition and vanity," Hiddleston said. "Shakespeare's very unforgiving of those things, and in a way, it's the same job. It's just, I'm wearing a crazier costume and blowing up Manhattan."

Hiddleston has older and younger sisters but no brothers. Yet he still recognises the Thor-Loki rivalry as a universal struggle.

"I've never had a brother, but I really understand it, because I had friends when I was a kid, whose brothers were very close in age, and they would beat the crap out of each other. And I could understand that that was sort of a natural thing."

Hiddleston can't say yet whether Loki and Thor are still beating on each other in Thor 2. He had not yet received the script, so he's as curious as any other fan about what Loki will be up to next.

"What's interesting for me is whether he's redeemable now at this point. ... Can he be forgiven by Thor, by Odin, and can he forgive himself?" Hiddleston said. "Is he even self-aware enough to know that's what he needs?"

Tune in late next year to find out. (AP)


Marvel sued over 'Iron Man' deal...

Just as it releases The Avengers in the U.S., Marvel Entertainment is being sued over a deal involving Iron Man.

Box-O-Mania, a Los Angeles toy company, sued the studio Thursday over a merchandising deal involving the character.

Maxim Tselevich, the owner of Box-O-Mania, claimed that he approached Marvel about a deal to use its superheroes on a kids’ playhouse he created in 2009.

Marvel was purchased by Disney that same year, although Disney was not cited in the suit.

The following year, Marvel and Box-O-Mania worked out a deal to create Iron Man Lair Play Boxes, which would be released to coincide with the DVD release of Iron Man 2 (2010) on Nov. 16.

However, Tselevich said that Marvel refused to provide the needed intellectual property and artwork to complete the playhouses. A few months later, he claimed to have learned that Marvel never had the licensing rights to the required IP, which led to a loss of $33,000.

The 23-page suit cites Marvel on nine counts, including fraud, concealment, misrepresentation and negligence.

“As a further result of the executor fraud,” it read. “Box-O-Mania has been damaged in lost business, business opportunities, and reputation and otherwise in an amount to be proved.”

Box-O-Mania has requested a 10-day jury trial.


Fox CEO Promises 'The Wolverine' Will Be 'True Berserker and Bad Ass'...

Tom Rotham additionally says that the Marvel superhero film will kick off filming in both Australia and Japan right after Hugh Jackman wraps 'Les Miserables' in London...

After being postponed for some time, "The Wolverine" will finally kick off its production in the near future. Giving some updates on the status of the long-gestating Marvel superhero movie project, 20th Century Fox CEO Tom Rothman stated that the anticipated film will be shot in both Australia and Japan, as well as promised that it will be "a true Wolverine movie."

Speaking to Collider, Rothman explained that "Wolverine" will start filming soon after lead actor Hugh Jackman wraps "Les Miserables", which is currently shooting in London. He said, "Hugh Jackman is finishing 'Les Miserables' in London, we're gearing up and prepping now."

"We'll shoot the stage work in Australia and the location work in Japan, and we'll start casting in the next month or so," Rothman went on saying. Since the plot will mainly be set in Japan, Rothman said that "there'll be a lot of local Japanese talent in it."

Asked about where the upcoming "Wolverine" movie will stand on, the CEO revealed, "This is a pretty original take." Hinting that the film will be grittier, he said, "It's based on a very successful run in the comics, but it's a true Wolverine movie, I mean this is the true berserker, bad ass Wolverine."

Rothman's statement somehow encourages Jackman's previous comments that he and director James Mangold might make "Wolverine" an R-rated movie. "James Mangold and I talked about [an R-rated version] and we're like 'Look, let's not put it off the table'," Jackman told MTV News.

Jackman said that he's been considering filming the superhero movie in both R and PG13 versions. "There's even talk about us doing two versions, as in finding a way to do both while you shoot it, which could be really cool. But you need to have a really good reason to exclude those fans," he explained.

"There is such great temptation to make an R-rated 'Wolverine'. I've always felt that, I know a lot of fans would like that, and if there's ever gonna be a superhero that's gonna be R-rated it's Wolverine," so Jackman dished.

"The Wolverine" will take its cue from the early 1980s Chris Claremont/Frank Miller miniseries, which is set in Japan. It features the mutant hero dealing with ninjas as he struggles whether to follow his animal killer instincts or live under a samurai's code of honor and respect.

20th Century Fox has scheduled to release the superhero film in the U.S. on July 26, 2013.

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High roller at the helm of troubled truck firm - 5th May 2012

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Stephen Brown used to give each of his staff a ham at Christmas. He was a knockabout bloke, a generous boss who insiders say was always willing to put a hand in his pocket to help a friend in need.

But in the wake of his company's collapse this week - leaving hundreds out of work and out of pocket - new details have emerged of a troubled man wrestling to keep his family together and struggling to keep a gambling addiction at bay.

Most alarming are questions as to how the 1st Fleet boss used money from the company to fund his gambling. One insider said his company credit card was regularly used to withdraw cash at The Star, where he poured thousands of dollars into the pokies. He was a regular feature of the high rollers area at the casino, known as the Sovereign Room.

This is not necessarily why 1st Fleet collapsed this week. It was seized by administrators ultimately because its backers, a large French finance company, had made a strategic decision to exit Australia, and an eleventh-hour attempt to sell the logistics firm to a private equity firm failed.

But neither do such large transport companies collapse overnight. Brown's loose salary arrangements and failed attempts by his confidants to stop him gambling suggest entrenched problems with the way the business was managed.

There were other warning signs, too. The biggest flashpoint in fact was not the gambling but a falling-out between Stephen and his son Regan, who had run the recruitment arm of the business called Labourforce Solutions Pty Ltd. Both men deny the dispute. Stephen says it is ''rubbish''.

''I love my son, he loves me. You should see some of the text messages I get from him.'' Regan says his father was an ''upstanding person who has provided many jobs for many people''.

Nevertheless, some say the rift was widened when Stephen's father-in-law stepped in. Bill Marinic had also made his fortune in transport. His firm Rapid Transport Industries eventually employed 700 people and turned over millions of dollars. He sold it to Mayne Nickless in 1988, but not before his daughter Corinne met her future husband when he was also working at the business.

Employees say Marinic used the sale to help Corinne and Stephen set up 1st Fleet. The business inherited Rapid Transport's clients, and for many years was a success. It has only been in the past few years that red has seeped into the company's books.

In an effort to get things back under control, 1st Fleet sold two divisions to logistics giant Toll. It stemmed the bleeding for a time. There were also efforts, including very recently, to sell the company's express division to Allied Express. But these came to nought.

At least by the time the economy began to spiral in 2008, a company insider says 1st Fleet stopped paying some of the bills Labourforce would submit for the supply of drivers and warehouse staff. By 2010, after being unable to strike a deal to defer their tax debts, Labourforce was placed into voluntary administration.

Marinic wanted to protect Regan, who was then 32 years old. He agreed to bail the company out of administration for about $1 million on the condition that the new entity be under Regan's control. By the time the new company surfaced, Stephen's shareholding would be reduced to a sliver with the rest of the company carved up between Marinic's daughter Corinne and Regan, who was also appointed sole director.

These frictions may have been exacerbated by Regan's new-found religiosity. The young company director, who describes himself on his LinkedIn profile as a ''third generation Logistician'', became involved with the Church of Scientology following a recent trip to the US.

Employees and associates of the company said his relationship with his father was made more difficult by his desire to send money to the Church. Regan has declined to comment further to the Herald.

One well-placed source among the company's staff said the relationship between father and son deteriorated to the extent that for the past 10 weeks, 1st Fleet would not hire drivers or workers recruited by Labourforce.

It was amid this kind of board-level turmoil that some very senior people became increasingly concerned about Stephen's gambling.

One Star source confirmed that Stephen came in most days except Sundays: ''He used to come in every morning with between $5 and $10K and virtually dump it in slot machine … he only liked to play certain machines and these were reserved and had higher limits.''

A 1st Fleet source says another company executive about three years ago approached Corinne to discuss it with her. ''At various stages senior executives in the company have [tried to intervene],'' this source says.

But he doesn't believe the amount of money Stephen was taking out of the company led directly to its financial woes. There were other ''deeper'' issues at the heart of the collapse, he said.

''He never took a direct income out of the business. He would run his life … and he would claim his expenses back and that would be his income per se.''

The Herald does not suggest Mr Brown has misappropriated any funds from 1st Fleet.

''Was his gambling problem $100,000 per year? Yes, potentially … It would be more than that … Did he get the money from 1st Fleet? Yes. But it was probably within his entitlements at 1st Fleet.''

Such ad-hoc governance might also have been part of the reason a last-minute deal to offload the company failed in the past few weeks. The Herald has been reliably informed a private equity firm was up until very recently performing due diligence on a buyout that would have left the shareholders with very little, but would have at least taken on the company's debts.

Justin Ward, of deVries Tayeh, 1st Fleet's appointed administrator, says the company was appointed on Wednesday night after a week's preliminary investigation of the books.

''The result was not a good result and hence we were called in. [French finance company] Coface needed their money … and they wanted us to check the recoverability of those debtors,'' he said.

''To do a forensic review takes months and it is almost impossible with the directors there watching you. That has not been done and won't be done until the company is in liquidation and that is what I am looking forward to, to be honest.''

It is an ignominious end for what many describe as a wonderful place to work. ''We had a fabulous company,'' says one former employee. ''It was terrific; he gave away driver of the month and driver of the year awards; he knew everyone by name.''

''The man was very generous,'' another says. ''At Christmas time all members of his staff, everyone, he would give a whole ham to.''

But at the gates of 1st Fleet's Smithfield depot on Thursday, hours after learning they would be out of a job, workers Alan Pollard and Gerry Fitzgerald lamented year-long gaps in their superannuation payments.

When Brown emerged from the depot gates on Thursday, harried and running his hands through his hair, he hugged some of these men and women. He waved questions away when asked about the missing super, and instead put the blame for his company's collapse on his financier.

Approached at home yesterday, he declined to comment further. (Fairfax Media)

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia: Day 5 - 4th May 2012

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia today officially enjoyed day 5 - its final day in Sydney, Australia.

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nANA JUDY

Australian based fashion label nANA JUDY was established in 2006 starting a new era in men’s fashion. Due to a unique vision & style the label was immediately stocked in leading boutiques nationwide in its first season. nANA jUDY is now also positioned in selected international stores and premiere department store David Jones.

nANA jUDY designs seasonal ready to wear collections, each range including classic styling emphasising fit, quality & design. What sets this label apart is its focus on trend forward pieces with detailed design elements. nANA jUDY prides itself with presenting these on trend collections across style categories including jackets, shirting, printed & conceptual pieces together with denim . Over the seasons each collection evolves taking on a new story inspired by pop culture, vintage reminiscence, art and the underground scene.

nANA jUDY’s continued runway presence at Australian Fashion Week and reputation for exclusive parties, has lead to a strong cult following of the label. This media presence alongside editorials in street & gloss magazines around the world make nANA jUDY a key brand in the men’s fashion market. (Credit: MBFWA)


New Generation 2 - Susan Rep

Susan Rep, Melbourne’s designer, is proud to announce the launch of her line. The collection is designed around women’s lifestyle that perfectly translates easily from day to night – from lounging around home to the beach to a night out.

Sourcing exquisite, quality and breathable fabrics from around the globe, Susan’s desire is to create pieces of elegance with simple silhouettes that compliment women’s shape and form.

Australian designed and manufactured with signature touches and embellishments that make the pieces exclusive to Susan Rep designs.

Susan Rep has worked in the fashion industry for over a decade. After completing her studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Susan began her career as a grade/marker maker/designer. During her time in the industry, she has worked with brands such as Mossimo, Osh Kosh, Scanlan & Theodore, Peter Alexander and Anthea Crawford.

The desire for nice pajamas was the start of her inspiration. Never quite finding what she wanted, with her experience in the demanding fashion industry, Rep set out to create something truly unique and original.

Susan Rep is a Lifestyle label of being ever modern, classic and beautiful with quality. (Credit: MBFWA)


Style Hong Kong...

DODO LEUNG

Born and raised in Hong Kong, DoDo Leung started her career as a fashion designer for ladies’ high fashion and evening wear, with specialization in unique cutting & embroidery over 15 years. In 2009 Mondovi® debuted as DoDo Leung’s designer label for high-end lingerie couture collection for today’s modern women. Leung’s design principle behind Mondovi is to show the ravishing feminine physique with luxurious lingerie features as finest gown.

The first collection of Mondovi®, “Secret Garden,” was showcased at the 2009 World Boutique Hong Kong, Australia’s “Fashion Exposed & Preview” in Sydney and Taiwan’s Taipei IN Style. The second and third collection “Fairies Whisper” and “M Wild” are now being introduced in Hong Kong and Taiwan, with online purchasing as a new option so to better promote the brand globally and to offer women around the world the Mondovi way of elegant inner beauty, and rediscovering sexy feeling in deeply. (Credit: MBFWA)


HEI LAU

Hei Lau is living and working out of her home country, Hong Kong. She was born in 1982 in Hong Kong, the small and bustling metropolitan city in Asia where she was raised and studied fashion.

After graduating and obtaining her degree from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2004, she started designing her own ladies wear collection under the label TRÈSHEI, owned and run by the prestigious Hong Kong retail group ‘TWIST’.

Five years after her career in TRÈSHEI, she left the group and introduced her own label HEI LAU in June of 2009, to further pursue her design philosophy and dream. Since then, she showcases her S/S and F/W collections in Paris, France every year, introducing HEI LAU to the international buyers. (Credit: MBFWA)


CHAILIE HO

Gifted with immense emotion and imagination, Chailie Ho dedicates herself to portraying the beauty of love and feminine tenderness in her designs.

Having graduated from the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in womenswear, Chailie further sharpened her potential by achieving a postgraduate certificate in innovative pattern cutting in 2007. Followed by working with Hussein Chalayan, Clements Ribeiro, and a number of acclaimed designers, she debuted her first collection at age 27 with the belief that clothing can accentuate a woman's delicate beauty.


HARRISON WONG

Harrison Wong was born in Hong Kong, and at the age of 20, joined Hong Kong fashion doyen Walter Ma as a designer, spending a total 6 years at the label, during which he burst into the public eye by winning the Hong Kong Young Designer’s Contest during Hong Kong Fashion Week in 1996. That year, he also won a special award for Asian Fashion at the Grand Prix Contest, held by the Association of Total Fashion in Japan.

He then studied in London, where he obtained his Masters degree with distinction from the London College of Fashion. Upon graduating, he launched his first label, a high-end boutique line dubbed the final collection. He was later tapped by a Hong Kong based retail fashion chain as their design director, a position which Wong left last year to focus on developing his own Harrison Wong enterprise, as well as a consultant for Chinese fashion chains. (Credit: MBFWA)


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Akira Isogawa's art puts heads in the clouds...

Akira Isogawa has returned to Fashion Week Australia's lineup with a show-stopper.

Launching his simple yet beautiful show at fashion week's Sydney headquarters today was a lone, svelte model in a stunning ivory gown.

Dripping onto the white runway, the gown captivated onlookers with beading that ran from the thighs, across the torso and over wide shoulder straps.

Another model, led by Isogawa to a twin runway, showcased the Kyoto-born designer's contemporary take on traditional Japanese prints in a silk kimono.

Photographers crowded around as one platform was dedicated to bright, bold ensembles in scarlet, royal blue, aquamarine, fuchsia, yellow and florals.

Loose kimonos and dresses featuring birds and flowers were adorned with beaded brooches, and paired with matching platform heels and headpieces.

In contrast, the ivory gowns on the neighbouring platform were enough to make any bride-to-be swoon.

As delicate as origami, the knee- and floor-length gowns featured embroidered flowers, some of which were traced in gold thread or with subtle silver beading in the centres.

Others were covered in fabric blossoms, while ruffles crawled across decolletages and faces were clouded by artistic headwear.

Isogawa said he had wanted to created heavenly pieces with paradise in mind.

The collection expressed his vision of purity, with soft, silky, comfortable designs.

The theatrical mood was made complete by a soundtrack of twittering birds and silk petals scattered across the black-carpeted floor. (AAP)

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WWE Pro Wrestling News: The Rock, Antonio Cesaro, WWE Shareholder’s Meeting, WWE Network

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G'day Australian pro wrestling - sports entertainment fans. Here's your long awaited news report. There's new wrestling talent, the annual shareholder's meeting, WWE Network news and much more.

- The Rock posted a shout out to WWE’s corporate and production employees on Twitter this weekend:

“To all @WWE corporate & production employees: THANK YOU. #ThatsAll”

- As seen on Friday’s SmackDown, Antonio Cesaro made his WWE TV debut in a “tryout match” against Tyson Kidd. Cesaro was introduced by his new lady friend Aksana before the match. The stipulation was that if John Laurinaitis liked what he saw, he would offer Cesaro a contract. Cesaro defeated Kidd in about three minutes and WWE’s website indicates that he is now part of the SmackDown roster.

- As noted before, WWE held the annual shareholder’s meeting on Friday morning at WWE Headquarters in Stamford, CT. Here are some more highlights:

* A shareholder asked if it was time to drop the price of pay-per-views due to a drop in buyrates and Vince said no. Another shareholder asked about WWE offering all pay-per-view events as a package like other sports. Vince said it was a possibility but they have to see whether or not the PPV’s will be includes as a part of the WWE Network and if so, how that changes their plans.

* A shareholder asked if pay-per-view events would be shown on the Network. Vince said they were formulating that and it all depended on pricing.

* Announcements will be coming “very shortly” about the future of NXT and Superstars distribution. WWE has used the shows in contract negotiations for the Network. They have strategically held back on bringing the shows back to TV.

* Vince was asked about concern over WrestleMania 29 and the chance that it will be held in 40 degree with a possibility of now. Vince mentioned fans going to MLB and NFL events outdoors, dressing appropriately and said the same will happen at WrestleMania. He added that if it snows, it will be a lot of fun.

* WWE Classics On Demand will most likely be dropped when the Network launches.

* Regarding the Network launching, Vince admitted he did not have an answer but said an announcement is forthcoming. He said they are taking their time so they can keep options open.

- Here are some more highlights from WWE’s shareholders meeting on Friday morning from WWE headquarters in Stamford, CT:

* Triple H addressed the WWE developmental rumors and said the future has always been about making the best developmental territory possible. They are making plans to expand developmental but it’s doing what it’s designed to do – create and cultivate new talents.

* Vince McMahon said WWE content on TV will remain PG but movies will allow for content with stronger ratings. Vince talked about being proud of the Be A Star anti-bullying campaign. Vince said fighting bullying is something he really believes in and something that will be a huge initiative for WWE in the years to come.

* Vince was asked about a physical WWE Hall of Fame and said it’s still located in his head. Vince said they are not in a physical brick & mortar business but the entertainment business and added that Hall of Fames don’t make money usually. One day WWE will probably build something for the Hall of Fame but Vince said it needs to be in the right environment. (Credit: Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Observer, WrestleZone, Wikipedia, WWE)


Vince McMahon comments on first quarter financial report...

WWE revealed its first quarter financial results on Thursday. The company reported revenues totaling 123.1 million compared to 119.9 million in the same quarter last year. Operating income is 16.0 million, up from 13.2 million in the prior year quarter.

“In the first quarter, EBITDA grew 19%, reflecting increased profits across all our businesses," Vince McMahon stated in a press release. "Our results were highlighted by the strong performance of our live events as we entered a new market in the Middle East. We are very pleased that our positive first quarter execution continued in April with the successful staging of WrestleMania, which is expected to deliver nearly 1.3 million pay-per-view buys globally.

"Through the first quarter, we made important progress on our key strategic initiatives, developing our foundation for creating and distributing new content, and building on our tremendous brand strength, especially in social media. Looking ahead, we are confident that we will leverage the broad appeal of our content to transform our business and drive long-term earnings growth."

WWE grabs solid gains in first quarter - 4th May 2012...

Thursday was a good day to be in the wrestling game, but ugly for local companies reporting earnings for their utilities, information technology research, food distribution and insurance operations.

Shares in Stamford-based WWE Inc. surged 13.52 percent to $8.90 after the entertainment company reported net income topped $15.3 million, or 20 cents a share for the first quarter. For the same period a year ago, WWE earned $8.6 million, or 11 cents a share.

The mean expectation from analysts was 5 cents a share, according to Bloomberg News.

During a conference call with analysts, executives of WWE cited improved revenues from live events and lower losses from its movie business as key drivers for this quarter's success.

In past years, WWE's profits have been hampered by losses from movies it made, but the company said WWE Studio's net profit loss was $1 million in this quarter, compared with $3.6 million a year ago. Live events contributed $7.4 million in profits to the company. The company also reported strong growth of its digital platform, which contributed $2.1 million to its bottom line in the quarter.

"Our results were highlighted by the strong performance of our live events as we entered a new market in the Middle East," WWE chairman and Chief Executive Officer Vince McMahon said in a news release. "We are very pleased that our positive first-quarter execution continued in April with the successful staging of WrestleMania, which is expected to deliver nearly 1.3 million pay-per-view buys globally. Looking ahead, we are confident that we will leverage the broad appeal of our content to transform our business and drive long-term earnings growth."


WWE in ring for French film - 1st May 2012...

Dramedy 'Queen of the Ring' could be remade...

WWE Studios has partnered with Kare Prods. on the French dramedy "Les Reines du ring" (Queen of the Ring), which Warner Bros. Entertainment France will distribute.

Nathalie Baye, Andre Dussollier and Marilou Berry star in the film currently lensing under the direction of Jean-Marc Rudnicki.

Project revolves around a mother looking to strengthen her bond with her estranged son who is a WWE fan and trains to become one of WWE's female wrestlers, known as divas.

Film incorporates WWE trademarks, footage, consumer products and cameos by some of WWE's biggest stars, including CM Punk, the Miz and Eve, who recently shot their appearances for the film while on tour in France.

As part of its involvement, WWE Studios will receive an in-association credit on the pic and first-look rights to distribute the film in the U.S. and Canada. It also gets the rights to remake the film in English.

Thomas Langmann ("The Artist") is producing the film through his Paris-based La Petite Reine banner, with Antoine Rein and Fabrice Goldstein.

Other upcoming films for WWE Studios include the IM Global co-production "Dead Man Down," with Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, Noomi Rapace and Dominic Cooper; the horror thriller "No One Lives," starring Luke Evans and WWE's Brodus Clay, which was co-produced with Pathe Films; cult hit "The Day," a pickup from the Toronto Intl. Film Festival that stars Dominic Monaghan, Shawn Ashmore and Ashley Bell; and "Barricade," with Eric McCormack. (Variety)


John Cena Talks Miz in Marine 3 - 5th May 2012...

IGN spoke with John Cena about never taking time off and The Miz taking over for Randy Orton in the third Marine installment.

Less than a week out from his brutal match with Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules, I had a chance to talk briefly with John Cena about WWE storylines that make it seem like he's going to take some time off and the casting of The Miz as the lead in the upcoming third installment of the Marine movie franchise.

After his match with Lesnar last Sunday, and even a few years back during the Nexus storyline, it seemed like Cena was headed home for a break. But those breaks never happened and he was seen on TV the very next night or week. Is "the road" Cena's permanent home? "Yes," Cena said, "and I'm okay with that. It's certainly not a life for most people, and so when people look at you they think 'Well, how can he do that?' But if you commit to it and say this is where I am, then you can do it. And I'm just one of those folks that belongs on the road. It's where I truly feel safe. It's where I want to be. When I'm home I can only be there so long before I want to head back out. So that's me right now. As I get older I'm sure I'll want to slow down, but right now I wouldn't want to be in any other place." Cena also said that, while he never gets to spend a lot of time in the cities he visits, he prefers it that way. He likes the "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style."

"A guy had asked me today if I was interested in doing things like Expendables 2 and movies like that," Cena continued. "More action moves. And I said that it really comes down to how many tour dates I'd have to sacrifice. It would be really cool to make a lot more movies, but when they say you have to take six months off and miss all those events? That doesn't work for me. I really like being in, say, Huntsville tomorrow night. And then Knoxville after that. And then Chattanooga. Then Raleigh. It's how I plan my life now. I guess Red from Shawshank would say I'm institutionalized."

With Randy Orton dropping out of the third Marine film due to controversy, the WWE turned to The Miz to take over the lead role. I asked Cena what he thought of the casting. "You know what? I think it's going to be great," he said. "The franchise stands alone. I actually thought Ted DiBiase did a really good job in Marine 2. I know it was a straight to DVD movie but I thought, with their budget, they did as good, if not better, than what we did in the first Marine. And their budget was maybe twenty percent of ours. So I'm actually looking forward to seeing what Miz brings. You know Teddy was really good and being that subtle, All-American dude who, when it was called for, could blow everything up. Miz is not very subtle. So I'm actually very interested to see how it all works out. (IGN)

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Friday, May 04, 2012

Prince Welcome To Australia: Prince confirms 3rd and final Sydney concert

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On Sale Monday 7 May...

In breaking news promoters’ Garry Van Egmond and Chugg Entertainment have today announced Sydney’s third and Australia’s eighth Prince concert.

Prince will play the Allphones Arena on Tuesday 22 May in addition to his concerts on 11 & 12 May.

Tickets will go on-sale next Monday 7 May at 9AM from www.ticketek.com.au

“The demand for a third Sydney concert was obvious and we’re delighted we’ve been able to juggle the touring schedule and slot in this extra show,” promoter Garry Van Egmond said.

Prince will perform on a symbol-shaped stage; a unique and spectacular production experience.

Its intimate 360-degree composition, in the middle of the arena floor, brings all four corners of the venue closer than a traditional stage-end set up.

Prince’s May 2012 visit will be his third tour of Australia and his first in nine years.

Hot on the heels of his 2010 and 2011 Welcome to America and Welcome to Canada tours, in addition to the 21 nights at The O2 Arena in London (capacity 20,000) Prince’s Welcome to Australia tour in May is his only confirmed tour of 2012.

Friday 11 May 1st Sydney Allphones Arena
Saturday 12 May 2nd Sydney Allphones Arena
Monday 14 May 1st Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
Tuesday 15 May 2nd Melbourne Rod Laver Arena
Friday 18 May 1st Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Tuesday 22 May 3rd Sydney Allphones Arena
Saturday 26 May 2nd Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Wednesday 30 May 3rd Melbourne Rod Laver Arena

All tickets – Ticketek
Tel 132 849 or www.ticketek.com.au
Tickets from $99 to $179.90

The tour is presented by Van Egmond Group and Chugg Entertainment.

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More porn site ads stir blue-chip brands - 4th May 2012

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EXCLUSIVE: Another group of blue-chip advertisers including Commonwealth Bank, Hyundai, Qantas and Vodafone have been caught in the murky waters of online ad placement on adult sites just as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is set to release guidelines around online brand safety.

Display ads targeting Australians for brands including Hyundai, World Vision, Qantas and ANZ have appeared alongside soft porn or adult content, while Commonwealth Bank advertising appeared on a site called Kick Ass Torrents, which could facilitate illegal downloading under copyright law in some countries.

However, one ad for Austar on a site called Plunder Girls has been deemed borderline appropriate by the pay TV operator despite appearing alongside several images of a naked woman. Because the ad was promoting Fox Sports to a male audience, Austar and its media agency, Foundation, determined the ‘inappropriate’ level had not been breached.

Austar group director for product, sales and marketing Nikki Warburton told AdNews: “There is a 10% buffer in what is appropriate and what is not, and this probably sits right on the border of okay.”

Meanwhile, a Vodafone ad placed on a site called Lovepanky alongside an article called ‘How to stare at a girl’s cleavage’ also raised the cloudy definition of ‘inappropriate’.

Vodafone said it was moving to ensure no further advertisements appeared on the site. However, a spokesperson for Adconion, the ad network behind the placement, said: “This site is neither inappropriate or immoral in any way.”

But Hyundai, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Qantas and World Vision have all blacklisted the sites in question after being informed by AdNews.

The moves follow an AdNews series last year which uncovered major brands appearing in potentially compromising online environments. The latest developments have again brought to light the role of media agencies, ad networks and demand-side platforms (DSPs) in ensuring ‘brand safety’ in the online sector, particularly when many companies are increasingly demanding cheap online inventory in high volumes through non-premium websites.

A Commonwealth Bank spokesperson said the display ad promoting same-day personal loans on the torrent site, which was placed through the Brandscreen DSP via media agency Ikon’s trading desk, came about because the site identity had been “spoofed”.

Ikon national chief executive Dan Johns told AdNews: “We have strict terms in place to protect against this and we do not tolerate any misrepresentation from any media partner.”

Hyundai’s media agency, Mediabrands-owned Initiative, also moved quickly when AdNews brought the placement of a Hyundai Elantra ad to its attention. Mediabrands commercial director Travis Johnson said: “Initiative was completely unaware that one of our online ads was on a site that could be regarded as inappropriate. The Hyundai ad which appeared [on The Chive website] was not placed with Hyundai’s knowledge and has since been removed.”

A credit card ad for ANZ promoting Qantas Frequent Flyer points also appeared on The Chive, alongside content about bouncing breasts. A Qantas spokesperson said neither the airline nor ANZ were aware of the placement and had removed the ads and blocked the site immediately.

A World Vision display ad promoting child sponsorship appeared above a link for ‘Hot girls with large chests’. A spokesperson said: “Despite our best efforts, we know that an ad can still appear on an unacceptable website and we will continue to monitor this situation closely.”

The issue becomes murky when defining ‘inappropriate’ content. Many of the ads were not placed on illegal or hardcore pornographic websites, but alongside ‘adult’ content.

Jonathan Despinidic, vice president of ad network industry body IASH, told AdNews the display ads in question may not be hardcore porn but are sexually suggestive, and would be classified by IASH as ‘adult’.

“For advertisers, this can be a big issue, but when you’re dealing with ad networks and DSPs, it’s hard to make it 100% safe,” Despinidic said. “When advertisers are buying hundreds of millions of impressions a month, often through third parties, it’s impossible to make it totally safe.”

IAB Australia chief executive Paul Fisher argued the issue is not a major one from a volume point of view, as a minority of ads slip through the cracks. But he also said, from a brand point of view, if an ad does appear on an inappropriate website, it can cause damage. IAB will roll out best-practice guidelines for ad safety in quarter three of 2012, partly in order to address this concern.

“But it comes down to how you define ‘inappropriate’, because it’s up to the advertiser to decide what is an acceptable environment,” Fisher said. (AdNews)

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Packer in talks to exit media sector - 4th May 2012

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Billionaire James Packer's media company says it has had early talks on a possible takeover for the group, which owns a 25 per cent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, worth about $1 billion.

Consolidated Media Holdings (CMH), which is 50.1 per cent owned by Mr Packer, made the comments in response to media reports that Mr Packer wanted to sell CMH, which holds the Foxtel stake as well as content-provider Fox Sports.

"CMH has had very preliminary discussions concerning a possible control proposal," the media group said, but added: "No control proposal or other form of offer has been made to CMH."

The company said it had hired UBS to act as adviser in case an offer emerges.

CMH shares were down as much as 8 cents, or 2.4 per cent, to $3.22 this morning. Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings fell 18 cents, or 1.8 per cent, to $9.89 while News Corp shares (A-class, or non-voting) gained 5 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $19.19.

Media reports this morning suggested Mr Packer wanted to sell out of his media interests to raise cash to bid for casino group Echo Entertainment and its prize asset, Sydney's Star casino.
That would add Star to Crown, the Packer-run owner of Melbourne's Crown casino, to create a $10 billion gaming giant.

If Packer sells his half-share in Consolidated Media, his only Australian interests will be in free-to-air Ten Network, and Seek Asia, capping a selldown that started in 2007 when he offloaded the bulk of the family's PBL Media just before the financial crisis.

The sale of Channel Nine's east coast stations, ACP Magazines, Ticketek and 50 per cent of NineMSN to private equity firm CVC in mid-2007 was lauded as a top-of-the-market sale for Mr Packer, and a demonstration of his determination to shift the family fortune from media to gaming.

According to a previous report in The Australian Financial Review, Packer's "dream scenario" for the sale of ConsMedia is bidding tension betwen Nine, Seven and Telstra.

But a report from Macquarie today said UBS's appointment to sell Packer's ConsMedia stake suggests that demand for the media assets "may not be as strong as the market had anticipated" due to capital constraints at prospective buyer Seven and the requirement that all of Foxtel's shareholders - ConsMedia, News Ltd and Telstra - agree to a new ownership structure.

"The prevailing logic has been that corporate activity from one of the joint venture parties in Foxtel (Telstra, News Limited) or Kerry Stokes (Seven) would underpin the stock, with the monopoly Foxtel/Austar pay TV asset the ultimate prize," analysts Alex Pollak and Derryn Chin write.

"However, in our view, the fact that Packer appears open to selling down to institutions (thus sacrificing a control premium from a full takeover bid) implies that 1) liquidity to finance his gaming interests is of more concern to him and 2) he does not feel that a takeover offer is in the works any time soon."

Macquarie has a 'hold' recommendation on the company. Macquarie priced CMH at $3.27 per share, noting that the stock has "had a decent run due to the Austar merger and speculation about M&A activity."

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns 25 per cent of Foxtel, would likely have first rights to buy the Packer interest, the AFR reports said.

A News Corp newspaper quoted corporate regulator Rod Sims saying a sale of Mr Packer's 50.1 per cent stake in CMH to News Corp would be "less problematic" than a sale to Seven West Media, controlled by billionaire Kerry Stokes, or Foxtel's 50 per cent shareholder Telstra.

The AFR is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website. (Reuters with Madeleine Heffernan)

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Packer eyes Foxtel stake sale; UBS to sell Packer's stake in Foxtel holding company

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Packer eyes Foxtel stake sale...

Billionaire James Packer has hired UBS to sell his 25 per cent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, worth about $1 billion, raising speculation he may bid for casino group Echo Entertainment and its prize asset, Sydney's Star casino.

Mr Packer, who has stakes in casinos in Australia, London, Macau and Las Vegas, has mandated UBS to sell his 50.1 per cent holding in Consolidated Media Holdings, which holds the Foxtel stake as well as content-provider Fox Sports, a source with direct knowledge of the situation said today.

The move has renewed talk that Mr Packer may look to add Echo, which has a market capitalisation of $3 billion, to Crown, the Packer-run owner of Melbourne's Crown casino and Perth's Burswood casino, to create a $10 billion gaming giant.

Selling the Foxtel stake would allow Mr Packer to hold 40-45 per cent of a merged Crown/Echo entity and would anchor his Asian and global gaming ambitions, maximising growth in the high-roller business from Asia, the Herald-Sun newspaper said today.

Crown has already applied to Australia's gaming authority to raise its stake in Echo above 10 per cent after hitting that limit in February.

"These are monopoly assets, there is only one casino (operator) in each state. They are much better assets (than Foxtel) from that perspective, and the returns are arguably better," said Karara Capital portfolio manager Akshay Chopra.

"If he were to take over Echo it would be a big price," he added, saying Mr Packer could choose to expand further in Asia instead.

Echo was voted Australia's No. 1 contender to be taken over in 2012 by JPMorgan, which said in January that Crown would need to act quickly before recent spending on Star flowed through to its bottom line.

Both CMH and a UBS spokeswoman in Sydney declined to comment.

UBS joint global head of investment banking, Matthew Grounds, sold Mr Packer's Nine Network TV asset in 2006 for $4.5 billion.

CMH shares were flat at $3.30 a share today. Packer wants $3.60 a share, the Herald Sun said.
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, which owns 25 per cent of Foxtel, would likely have first rights to buy the Packer interest, the paper said, while Seven West Media, controlled by billionaire Kerry Stokes, may also be interested.

Seven could not be reached for comment.

The Herald Sun, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said if granted foreign ownership approval "News Corp could move to control literally overnight".

"He has to sell to Murdoch. That's the only way to bring certainty and pretty quick finality," the paper said.

Telecommunications company Telstra, which holds the remaining 50 per cent of Foxtel, has said it wants to up its 50 pe rcent stake but may face competition hurdles.

Shares in Telstra rose 0.3 per cent, Crown fell 0.9 per cent, Echo added 2.2 per cent, News Corp firmed 0.1 per cent and Seven West lost 0.7 per cent. (Reuters)


UBS to sell Packer's stake in Foxtel holding company...

Australian billionaire James Packer has appointed investment bank UBS (UBSN.VX) to sell his 25 percent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, a source with direct knowledge of the deal said on Thursday.

UBS will negotiate the sale of his 50.1 percent stake in Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ.AX), which holds the Foxtel pay TV holding, the source confirmed.

The sale, worth about $1 billion, would fund a takeover of casino group Echo Entertainment, the Herald Sun newspaper said on Thursday.

Consolidated Media would not comment on the matter.


Australia's Packer to sell Foxtel stake, buy Echo: report...

Australian billionaire James Packer plans to sell his 25 percent stake in pay TV operator Foxtel, worth about $1 billion, to fund a takeover of casino group Echo Entertainment to form a $10 billion gaming giant, the Herald Sun newspaper said on Thursday.

Packer wants to add Echo (EGP.AX), which owns the Star casino in Sydney as well as the Jupiters and Treasury casinos in Queensland, to his Crown (CWN.AX) casino group, the newspaper said, without naming any sources.

Crown, which owns Crown casino in Melbourne and the Burswood casino in Perth, doubled its stake in smaller rival Echo in February to 10 percent.

Echo has a market capitalization of A$3.1 billion.

Packer has appointed UBS joint global head of investment banking, Matthew Grounds, to negotiate the sale of his 50.1 percent stake in Consolidated Media Holdings (CMJ.AX), which holds the Foxtel stake, and Packer wants A$3.60 a share, the paper said. The stock closed at A$3.30 Wednesday.

Selling the Foxtel stake would allow Packer to hold 40-45 percent of the merged entity and would anchor his Asian and global gaming ambitions, maximizing growth in the high-roller business from Asia, the newspaper said.

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp (NWS.AX), which owns 25 percent of Foxtel, would get first rights to buy the Packer interest. Seven West Media (SWM.AX) would also be interested, the paper said.

Telstra, which holds 50 per cent of Foxtel, may face regulatory hurdles.

Echo was voted Australia's No. 1 contender to be taken over in 2012 by JP Morgan's hedge fund sales desk. (Reuters)


Australia's Packer to sell Foxtel stake: reports...

SYDNEY — Australian tycoon James Packer is set to sell his 25 percent stake in pay-TV operator Foxtel for Aus$1 billion (US$1.03 billion) with News Corp. the likely buyer, reports said Thursday.

If the sale goes ahead, it will be the first time in a century that the Packer family will have no media interests in Australia, apart from a small stake in the Ten Network.

News Limited newspapers said Packer wants the cash to pursue a full merger of his Crown Casino in Melbourne and Sydney's Star Casino to create an Aus$10 billion gaming giant.

A sale of the Foxtel stake will add to the Aus$4.5 billion he received in 2006 from selling the family's long-held controlling stake in the Nine Network, an empire founded by his grandfather Frank Packer.

Communications giant Telstra Corp. owns 50 percent of Foxtel and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. the other quarter.

News Limited newspapers said News Corp., their parent company, would likely get first rights to buy the Packer interests, just days after a British parliamentary committee said Murdoch was not fit to run a major operation.

Australian billionaire Kerry Stokes's Seven Network could also be interested, the reports said.
Packer is the son of the late mogul Kerry Packer but since his death has moved away from the family's traditional media business and focused on creating a worldwide gaming empire.

As well as Australia, he has casino interests in Macau, the world's biggest gaming hub. (AFP)

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Thursday, May 03, 2012

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia: Day 4

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia today officially enjoyed day 4 in Sydney, Australia.

Profiles...

Carl Kapp

Born in South Africa, Carl Kapp graduated in Clothing Design from the Natal Technikon in Durban in 1990. His first job as a pattern maker created an invaluable understanding of the importance of excellence in cut, innovative garment construction and finish, all vital elements of the CARL KAPP brand 15 years later. Worldwide experience included projects for Kenzo (Paris), Donna Karan (New York) and Design room (Milan).

An obsession with luxurious fabrics is apparent in each new collection – every garment is soft and tactile, seducing the customer into trying it on only to notice the perfect cut and detailing. Carl loves natural fibres like wool, silk, cotton and cashmere. Each collection is a juxtaposition of colour, texture and clever detailing; soft draping vs. structured tailoring is a play on masculine vs. feminine.

Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Rose Byrne, Rachael Taylor, Miranda Otto all talented beautiful women with CARL KAPP in their wardrobes. The first Carl Kapp store opened in Paddington, Sydney at the end of 2009.

An absolute inspiring creative space is the perfect environment to enjoy the full Carl Kapp experience. The ever-changing window displays have already become a tourist attraction in itself with a vast number of passersby stopping to admire the spectacular displays of colour. Each piece designed by Carl is made at the studio behind the shop, which allow us to exclusively offer made to order/made to measure services that cater to each individual customer’s needs, making shopping an unique and personal experience. Shoppers unanimously declare “its breath of fresh air in Sydney”. (Credit: MBFWA)


Christopher Esber

Recently anointed as the L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival National Designer Award Winner, Christopher Esber continues to deliver the industry with his brand of ‘obsessive perfection’.

Esber’s creations embody a modernised take on feminine dressing through the marriage of textile and cut; continuously working alongside specialists with a concise vision to create unique fabrics and shapes, which have become Esber’s signature.

His presence at RAFW in both 2010 and 2011 was highly acclaimed with premium stockists including The Corner Shop, Diletton and Alice Euphemia snapping up the collection in minutes. The label’s first appearance, however, was via Sydney TAFE’s group show titled; 4boys, and where each designer was hand selected by industry stalwart, Nicholas Huxley. Also in 2012, Esber represented Australia at the G’Day USA ‘Australians in New York’ initiative as one of the 5 pre-eminent Australian brands. Esber has also been selected as a finalist of the 2012 Australian Wool Innovators, Woolmark Prize.

Esber enjoys strong media interest from leading Australian print titles including VOGUE, Harper’s BAZAAR (Credit: MBFWA)

*full details on the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia website.


Media Release


2012 AUSTRALIAN FASHION LAUREATE COLLETTE DINNIGAN

Sydney, Australia (May 3rd, 2012)

Initiated by the New South Wales Government and IMG Fashion, the 5th Annual Australian Fashion Laureate, presented by The Weekend Australian Magazine, was today awarded to Collette Dinnigan in recognition of her outstanding creative and intellectual achievement in the Australian fashion industry, and for her significant contribution to the growth, development and promotion of the Australian fashion industry.

“I’m delighted to acknowledge this year’s Australian Fashion Laureate, Collette Dinnigan, a true Australian fashion icon who has made an undeniable impact both here and around the world for over 20 years. On behalf of the NSW Government, congratulations Collette!” said Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner
South African born, New Zealand raised, Collette Dinnigan is an inspiration force in the Australian fashion industry and has been selected by a panel of industry peers as the deserved recipient of this prestigious award, in recognition of her ongoing commitment to the fashion industry.

Collette Dinnigan’s design journey began with her beautiful lingerie line in her flagship store in Paddington, Sydney, but in the blink of an eye she was presenting as the first Australian designer to be invited by the Chambre Syndicale du Pret-a-Porter des Couturiers et des Creatures de Mode to show on the prestigious Paris schedule. In 2008, Collette Dinnigan was also invited to join the Committee of the Chambre Syndicale.

In 2010 to mark 20years in business, collette by collette dinnigan was launched, a diffusion collection. Along with stores in Sydney, Melbourne and London and stockists in over 100 retailers globally Dinnigan is applauded as an inspiration being a prime contributor to Australian fashion, in both business and creative aspects on an International scale.

Previous recipients of the esteemed Laureate award have comprised Carla Zampatti, Akira Isogawa, Pamela Easton and Lydia Pearson of Easton Pearson, all acclaimed designers and Simon Lock, Australian Fashion Week founder and industry identity.

The official presentation of the Jan Logan created trophy to Collette Dinnigan takes place on-site at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia tonight, in an exclusive invitation only event.

All official images will be available from Getty Images, official photographer of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia: Day 2; News, gossip, celebs - 1st May 2012

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Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia today officially enjoyed day 2 in Sydney, Australia.

Yesterday it was Marvel Comics - Marvel Entertainment themed garments from Romance Was Born' that attracted a lot of talk, traffic, eyeballs, media attention and chequebooks we understand, but today the buzz was more evenly spread around.

First some goss and background...

Fashion luminaries, buyers, celebs and bloggers all descended upon the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay yesterday for the commencement of annual rag trade mega event, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

Unusual garments, a swag of celebs and strong buzz helped ensure it was the biggest day of the entire festival, with at least eight of our most prominent designers up against each other in the race for best guest list and media coverage.

For swimwear label Lisa Maree it meant putting on a parade in a venue that was only half-full, while Gail Sorronda can expect tough reviews from international blogging delegates Bryanboy and Tim Blanks who were both whisked away by security. OMG.

More News...

Lone Wolf Male model in Mantan at Fashion Week...

A kaftan for men aka mantan, did the trick for this young man to get the eye of the ladies, press and just about everyone else.

Strutting down the Sydney catwalk for Camilla Franks' "Gypset" parade...which was pitched as the biggest of the week, featuring 45 models - male model Simon Nicholas debuted the overdress that reminded me of native American Indian wear.

As far fetched as it may seem attempting to flog it to average Australian men, Franks swears they might justbecome the next big thing around BBQ's and the like.

"I've lived in India for half my life almost so it's not out of the ordinary for me to see men dress like this," said Franks, who has built an empire designing loud and intricately detailed kaftans.

"They could really take off here. Guys could wear them to the beach, a barbecue ... wherever they want. I sold a lot at Mardi Gras this year, that's for sure."

Gypset is all about “fusing the wild and inconventional ethos of a gypsy with the sophistication and speed of the jet setter,” states the press release. We're not going to argue about it - totally agree with the description Camilla.

The megaevent - running through to Friday and including a massive 52 fashion spectacles - was kicked off by cool, funky and futuristic pulp duo Romance Was Born, who exchanged their usual wears with a more consumer-friendly range, as we understand it.

Sponsored by Marvel comics, their show drew inspiration from 1960s superheroes.

Today we witnessed collections of Zimmerman, Matcevski, Jayson Brundson and Bowie, with Ellery, Oroton, Carl Kapp and Akira coming later in the week.

Aussie Finch Wins Award!...

Rachael Finch took out our most happening heels award yesterday, thanks to her seriously spiky Christian Louboutins.


Human Statue Models Catch Eye Of Nightclub Tsar Justin Hemmes...

Not to anyone's real surprise, Hemmes enjoys eyeing models as much as the next guy. We also hear that he has quite a fetish for human statue models and effects, so he must have been in heaven today with the statue like models and exhibits that designers whipped up. Hemmes is understood to be once again considering using some human statues for more of his outstanding nightclub promotions. Guess he will be scouting talent aka models who enjoy the statue thing as well as a good dash of bodypaint.

Well done MBFWA... more great days like this one please - substance, style, unique and world class all round.

Press Release...


NSW fashion ambassadors announced for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week 2012

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner today joined some of Australia’s most glamorous fashion industry identities to announce an exciting new Fashion Ambassador initiative for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2012, which runs from 30 April to 4 May.

“Today I’m very pleased to announce that we have hand-picked five local fashion icons to act as Fashion Ambassadors for Sydney and New South Wales during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia,” Mr Stoner said.

“Our Fashion Ambassadors are local fashion designers Camilla Franks, Camilla Freeman-Topper, Dion Lee and Rachel Gilbert, and shoe designer Terry Biviano.

“These designers are all well-known throughout Australia and the world for their signature designs – Camilla Franks for her colourful graphic prints, Camilla Freeman-Topper for modern silhouettes with her brother Marc, Dion Lee for his structured tailoring, Rachel Gilbert for her luxury embellishments, and Terry Biviano for her highly coveted shoe designs.

“I am also pleased to announce the NSW Government, through Destination NSW, has secured some of the world’s most influential fashion media to attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia.

“Our international media guests include Rumi Neely from Los Angeles, Natalie Joos from New York, Bryan Boy from Manila, and Candice Lake and Kirsty Hathaway from London.

“This week our Fashion Ambassadors will provide our guests with a personal tour of Sydney. They will help tell the Sydney fashion story and position this city as a global fashion and design hub.

“The Fashion Ambassadors will introduce them to their favourite places to shop, eat, drink and play, as well as give them a sneak peek inside their studios.

“With hot spots like Icebergs at Bondi Beach, The Winery on Crown Street and Australian designer precinct The Intersection in Paddington on the itinerary, Sydney is sure to shine as the place to be for world-class fashion, entertainment and lifestyle.”

The NSW Government, through Destination NSW, is a major supporter of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, which is a major highlight on the NSW Events Calendar.

“Fashion is an important industry for NSW, employing some 66,000 people across design, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing, and generating income of around $7.4 billion each year,” Mr Stoner said.

“Thirty-seven per cent of Australia’s creative industries are based in NSW with around 150,000 people in NSW directly employed in this sector, whether in film, music, design or fashion.”

Peter Levy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director of IMG Fashion Worldwide, said, "Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia is excited to partner with Destination NSW to bring such an incredible line up of international guests and to present to them a world-class program of designer shows and unique Sydney experiences to showcase true Sydney style, both on and off the catwalk."

Camilla Franks said, “There’s not many places in the world like Bondi, where you can step straight from the beach into small bars, world class restaurants and boutiques. Sydney is an amazing city full of colour and inspiration for all that I design. I’m really excited about becoming a NSW Fashion Ambassador to spread the word on how beautiful it is to live and work here.”

Camilla Freeman-Topper said, "The Sydney Fashion Ambassador initiative is an exciting opportunity to promote the wealth of labels that Australia has to offer. I'm looking forward to taking Rumi Neely around Sydney and sharing my favourite places and quintessential Sydney experiences with her."

Dion Lee said, "Sydney’s relaxed environment and outdoor lifestyle encourages a unique creative scene. I feel that this individual point of view is what makes Sydney based labels of such interest to international markets such as Europe."

Rachel Gilbert said, “These days many international celebrities head straight to The Intersection in Paddington after touching down in Sydney, snapping up the latest offering from Sydney-based designers. Sydney has an exciting fashion, dining and arts culture, making our city the perfect stop for the stylish traveller.”

Terry Biviano said, “It’s great to see the NSW Government put the spotlight on the fashion industry here in Sydney by bringing out some of the world’s most high profile fashion bloggers for Fashion Week.”

During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, NSW Trade & Investment will for the first time, in partnership with IMG, the Council of Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia (TFIA) and Austrade, actively match export-ready fashion designers with national and international fashion buyers and media representatives in a purpose-built business lounge on-site at the Overseas Passenger terminal.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2012

WORLD SERIES OF POKER ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH CROWN FOR MAJOR POKER SERIES DEBUTING IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA IN 2013

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WSOP ASIA-PACIFIC (WSOP APAC) TO FEATURE MULTIPLE BRACELET EVENTS APRIL 4-15, 2013

Melbourne, Australia. Tuesday 1 May 2012.  With poker’s popularity exploding across the AsiaPacific, the World Series of Poker (WSOP), in partnership with Australia’s Crown Melbourne, have today reached a multi-year agreement to bring the major poker tournament series to the region commencing in April 2013.

World Series of Poker Asia-Pacific  (WSOP APAC) will take place April 4-15, 2013, at Crown
Melbourne, and feature five WSOP gold bracelet events.

“Our goal is to establish the worldwide grand slam of poker and use our platform to elevate the game through a series of major championships,” said WSOP Executive Director Ty Stewart. “With WSOP Las Vegas growing annually and WSOP Europe poised for long-term success after five years, the time is right to turn our attention to the dynamic  poker scene in Asia and Australia. Given Crown’s success with the ‘Aussie Millions Poker Championship’, we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Crown to establish the Asia-Pacific’s definitive poker festival.”

Crown Melbourne is Australia’s leading integrated entertainment resort attracting approximately 18 million local, interstate and international visitors each year. It is one of the largest entertainment complexes in the world showcasing world-class gaming facilities and is the home of the renowned and most prestigious ‘Aussie Millions Poker Championship’ along with the largest poker room outside North America. The world-class complex also boasts Australia’s best restaurant precinct, international designer brand shopping and award winning hotels - Crown Towers, Crown Promenade and Crown Metropol.

“This exciting partnership brings together two industry leaders, and two strong brands, to create a premier poker event in this region,” said Crown Melbourne’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Hawkins.

“Our agreement firmly aligns with our objective of  attracting the very best local and international players, all vying for a coveted WSOP bracelet. We are incredibly proud of what we have achieved with the Aussie Millions and look forward to featuring WSOP Asia Pacific on our poker calendar in April 2013.”

The agreement marks the first time the WSOP is exporting its prestigious tournament series to
Australia, and marks just the second expansion of the 42-year-old brand, after the advent of WSOP Europe in 2007. To date, WSOP gold bracelets have only been awarded in Las Vegas (1970-2011), London (2007-2010) and France (2011).

Crown’s agreement with the WSOP includes provisions for international television production of the event and is expected to be shown globally on ESPN.

Legions of locals have been swept up in the Australian poker boom that was ignited when Melbournian and Crown ambassador Joe Hachem became  the 2005 World Series of Poker Champion, scooping up $7.5 million in prize money for his efforts.

“It’s thrilling to think the World Series of Poker is coming to Australian soil,” said Joe Hachem. “I know  first-hand what a life-changing moment winning the WSOP gold bracelet was and how it served as a catalyst for the growth of poker in Australia and Asia. It will be a dream come true to host a worldwide poker event such as this at Crown. I can’t wait.”

Crown’s CEO Greg Hawkins further added, “This initiative will provide Crown with significant exposure in Asia, Europe and America, and forms an integral  part of Crown’s global marketing strategy to attract further international visitors to Australia and Crown Melbourne.”

The complete schedule and dates are expected to be announced later this year.

ABOUT THE WSOP

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is the largest, richest and most prestigious gaming event in the world awarding millions of dollars in prize money and the prestigious gold bracelet, globally recognized as the sport’s top prize. Featuring a comprehensive slate of tournaments in every major poker variation, the WSOP is poker’s longest running tournament in the world, dating back to 1970.  In 2011, the event attracted 75,672 entrants from 105 different countries to the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and awarded over $192 million in prize money.  In addition, the WSOP has experienced groundbreaking alliances in broadcasting, digital media  and
corporate sponsorships, while successfully expanding the brand internationally with the advent in 2007 of the World Series of Poker Europe.

ABOUT CROWN MELBOURNE

Crown Melbourne is Australia’s leading integrated entertainment resort attracting approximately 18 million local, interstate and international visitors each year to its 560,000 square metre entertainment complex. The property features 1,600 guest rooms across the complex’s three hotels - Crown Towers, Crown Metropol and Crown Promenade Hotel – in addition to the Palladium, which is Australia’s largest ballroom, a world-class convention centre, more than 70 restaurants and bars reside in the complex, including many of Melbourne’s finest , international designer boutiques, 14 cinemas, two nightclubs and a live entertainment theatre. Crown Melbourne
was built at a cost of $2 billion in 1997 and in the period 1997 to 2014 a further $2 billion will have been spent to further enhance Crown Melbourne including building Promenade and Metropol hotels, expanding the Mahogany Room and further enhancing the restaurant precinct in Crown Melbourne. Crown Melbourne is one of Victoria’s leading tourism icons.

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Media Man News Update - 1st May 2012

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