Friday, May 30, 2014

Preliminary National TV Ratings

Show (Network)
Rating(18-49) / Share
The Big Bang Theory-r (CBS)
Hell's Kitchen (FOX)
Last Comic Standing (NBC)
Mom-r (CBS)
Two And A Half Men-r (CBS)
Lo Que LA Vida Me Robo (Uni)
Undateable (p) (NBC)
Undateable (NBC)
The Millers, -r (CBS)
Hollywood Game Night (NBC)
Data provided by Nielsen

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Book Review: Envy McKee's "The Stellar Trilogy", And The Birth of Soul-fi

Author and Media Personality, Envy McKee

By M. Quintero Moore

Envy McKee is that visionary for whom there is no gray area. You either love her or not. Either way, it’s of little consequence. She will always continue to follow her path, with or without you. She’s not your average bear, and life (she will gladly tell you) is her picnic basket. Whether she is on radio, television, or just hanging out with family and friends, McKee is consistent in her core values and beliefs, spreading the gospel of universal consciousness as if she was John the Baptist reincarnate. So, it’s no surprise that her first installment, The Stellar Trilogy – Book 1: Among Us, is far removed from the predictable modern day African American literary genre. McKee says she is dismayed at the kinds of conversations we (Black People) keep having with each other. Therefore, she set out to have a different conversation about spirit, spirituality, and our truest nature. “Instead of writing a "self-help" book for which there are thousands, I wrote an adventure story,” she said in our two-hour long interview. She added, “The caveat is that the lead character Kai-- is all of us…male and female. Kai means love, and love is what we are in a fundamental sense”. Dubbed a “Soul-fi”, Book 1 of the Trilogy seems to be a cross between ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Matrix’. Each chapter challenges us to reconsider the zeitgeist of human thought and emotion; and invites us to question the intergenerational archetypes of our collective beliefs.The interaction and self-actualization of the characters are so central to today’s growing movement of modern enlightenment, it has the potential to shape future imagination and thought.

In Book 1, which McKee calls the “set-up”, the protagonist, Kai, is a young woman who has experienced every heartbreak and misfortune one could imagine. She has always felt like she didn’t belong– that she was ‘other’. This was confirmed when she was sent to live with her evil “Aunt Myra”. There, Kai experienced a level of abuse no one ever should. Years later, when she finally feels “normal”, she meets an angel. His only purpose at that moment is to reveal everything she has ever known about herself was a lie. Kai finds out she isn’t from Earth. Unbeknownst to her, she is a part of an intricately planned recognizance mission to retrieve her father and return him to their people. However, due to internal and external forces i.e. “Aunt Myra”, the “anger plague” that ravages the Earth, and herself, Kai doesn’t remember anything about this mission. If life was challenging enough, she and her young daughter are abducted by an “Angelic” (that angel), held hostage in “The Eden” (yes, that Eden), and find themselves in the middle of ‘The Great War’. All of this is happening while the Earth is crumbling. So, Kai must remember, now that she knows there is too much at stake for her not to. However, further complications arise after she falls in love with an Elder, finds out about her heritage, and the real reason why The Stellar came to be among us.

Everything in this book is worth reading, if nothing more than for the refreshing idealisms and the fierce, descriptive elegance of McKee’s prose. It is a story of self-discovery, beauty, triumph and wonder-despite all odds. It's deep…it’s funny…it’s weird and refreshing, scary and unusual. It's definitely a journey you won't soon forget.

If you want to learn more, visit McKee's website:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Music Review: King of the Sugar Coated Tongues: The Sun Pilots

Album: King of the Sugar Coated Tongues
Band: The Sun Pilots

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Current GPS Location: Somewhere in Western Europe

Recorded: Sydney, Australia
Mixed: Berlin, Germany
Mastered: New York, New York
Singer: Raj Siva-Rajah
Guitarist: Bob Spencer
Bass player: Adel Banter
Drummer: Kay Kitting

By: Michael Quintero Moore

The Sun Pilots are musical disciples — and they have the talent, drive, and an ever-growing international fan-base to prove it. King of the Sugar Coated Tongues (HoneyTrap Records 2012) is the Pilots’ latest attempt to spread the gospel of truth and enlightenment against the zeitgeist of post-9/11 thinking.

Recorded in their homeland of Australia; mixed in Germany; and mastered in the U.S. this epic 8-chapter musical journey had already taken on a global flavor well before it was released. It has been downloaded extensively around the globe at no cost. The only requirement (rather a strong request) is for the listener to share it with others. Damn good marketing. 
The Plot: While a bit surreal, we thought it was a refreshing approach to a played-out subject... Humanity’s willingness to relinquish their liberties and freedoms  so they can feel safe and secure. Who do we relinquish them to? In this case, the King of the Sugar Coated Tongues. Score: 1
Production: Our team thought the album was well-recorded, mixed, and mastered. You can also tell it had a some top-notch and detail-oriented post-production "chefs" in the proverbial pot. Score: 1

Listening: The entire album is great, but after a spirited debate, it almost lost 1/tenth of a point. The reason, according to those on our team who claim to suffer from ADHD (real or perceived), was the album’s Prologue (3 minutes to Midnight). The first few bars (the most critical part of any song) did not induce every one's collective desire to endure the entire track; and we had to resist the urge to move on to the next. Our advice, however, is to stay the course. The pay-off is worth it. Just when you are ready to push the button, "3 minutes" will grab your attention, and keep it. Bear in mind, this album is meant for the more than just the ears. Each song tells a tale that is interdependent on the other. You can and will get through it without the aid of Adderall. Trust me. Score: 1

The Sun Pilots 

Composition: The album is bi-polar as they come, and that's right up our alley. It's a refreshing break from the humdrum verse-verse-hook-bridge-verse...blah blah blah. Throughout the entire album, there are emotionally charged and strategically placed peaks and valleys…instrumental upsurges and declines… lyrics that make sense one minute then have you scratching your head the next...just enough to keep you listening and reaching for the lithium. Good times. Score: 1

Musicianship: Bassist, Adel Banter and drummer, Kay Kitting do excellent and tasteful jobs of keeping it “in the pocket”, and giving each song its foundation. Guitarist, Bob Spencer transitions effortlessly from melodious rhythms and relentless power chords to well thought-out arpeggios and brilliantly charted leads. Front man, Raj Siva-Rajah, is an excellent storyteller with a nice vocal range. He does more than sing the songs...he acts, and projects a lyrical narrative. This superbly written and performed studio project showcases each musician's individual talent and their combined genius.
Score: 1
Back Story
Since 2010, The Sun pilots have toured the UK, Germany, France, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Poland, Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania. North America is next on the cards, followed by a 5th Australian tour. If their live performance is half as brilliant as their studio performance, you should attend...wherever you are. By the way, did I mention the download is free?
To learn more about The Sun Pilots and to download the album, click here

‘Rap Genius’ Co-Founder Resigns After Insensitive Annotations Regarding University of Santa Barbara Killer



By M Quintero-Moore
‘Rap Genius’ co-founder, Mahbod Moghadam, resigned today from the company and board of directors, according to a letter posted on the ‘Rap Genius’ site by its CEO/co-founder Tom Lehman.

Moghadam’s resignation follows an annotation he made regarding the Elliot Rodger’s manifesto. Rodger, 22, is the man who shot and killed six women near the University of Santa Barbara last Friday night before taking his own life.

According to Lehman, the controversial annotation posted on Rap Genius' News Genius site was done “in the hopes of helping people understand the psychology of people who do horrible things can help us to better understand our society and ourselves”. Lehman thinks, however, Moghadam fell short of that goal by making fun of a horrible situation. “All of which is contrary to everything we’re trying to accomplish at Rap Genius”. Lehman wrote.

The most offensive part of Moghadam's annotations, posted on, made reference to how some of Rodger’s statements were, “beautifully and artfully written”; and the assumption that Rodger’s sister must of have been “smokin' hot”, after he [Rodgers]wrote how angry he was when he’d hear her having sex with her boyfriend.

Moghadam attempted to defend himself by writing:

“I was fascinated by the fact that a text was associated with such a heartbreaking crime, especially since Elliot is talking about my neighborhood growing up I got carried away with making the annotations and making any comment about his sister was in horrible taste, thankfully the rap genius community edits out my poor judgement, I am very sorry for writing it”.

Rap Genius was founded in 2009 by Moghadam, Lehman and Ilan Zechory, all Yale graduates; and has raised some $16.8 million in financing. The company has been widely criticized for not having licenses for its content.

BACKLINE did request a comment from Rap Genius, but has not received one at post time.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

NMPA Takes Legal Action Against Two Infringing Lyrics Websites

By M. Quintero Moore

Simply put, the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) has had enough. They are now taking legal action against two lyric of the 50 "illegal” lyric websites they have contacted. The suit claims the sites in question, are infringing copyright laws by posting lyrics without obtaining proper licenses from , or paying those who legally hold the rights to the lyrics.

The suits, filed today in U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of New York, list the plaintiffs as and

NMPA, based in Washington, D.C., says it filed the lawsuit only after repeated efforts to "educate and negotiate with the two websites failed".

Since November of 2013, the NMPA has sent notices to 50 lyric websites it claimed were unlicensed, but makes money from advertising.

So far, only 11 of the 50 have complied and obtained the required licenses. Eleven others have removed their infringing content from the sites, and the remaining 26 sites are still are still in discussions.

"Litigation is a last step," NMPA president David Israelite said in a statement. "Our goal is to insure that lyric sites and songwriters become partners through licensing... This is not a campaign against personal blogs, fan sites, or the many websites that provide lyrics legally. We are targeting sites that engage in blatant illegal behavior, which impacts a songwriter’s ability to make a living.”

Electronic Dance Music Business Worth $6.2 billion



Yesterday, (May 21), the International Music Summit (IMS) in Ibiza, Spain, reported that Electronic dance music aka EDM is a lucrative $6.2 billion global industry

The trade group, Association for Electronic Music (AFEM), as reported by Andrew Hampp, for Billboard Magazine, compiled the figures. This includes "revenue from festivals ($1.03 billion); Las Vegas club dates ($800 million) and miscellaneous global club gigs ($2.4 billion); traditional recorded music sales ($800 million) and streaming/video services ($600 million); sales of DJ software and hardware ($360 million); DJ earnings from other ventures ($60 million) and value from other platforms like Soundcloud ($140 million)".
In addition, IMS reported that electronic/dance music sales in the U.S. is the only genre to post year-over-year sales gains in 2013, as well as DJs’ earnings, with the top 10 DJs on Forbes’ 2013 Electronic Cash Kings list, earning a combined $225 million, almost twice the $114 million earned by the top 10 in 2012.

 source: billboard

Philly welcomes Charlie Murphy this weekend. Performing at Helium 5/22-5/25

Murphy Performs at Helium 5/22 - 5/25
In the need for a laugh? Looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend? Then, head down to Helium and catch funny man, Charlie Murphy.
Philadelphia's top promoter of Black films and live entertainment, Reelblack, calls Charlie Murphy "one of the best natural storytellers out there". We agree.
Since breaking free of his famous brother's shadow with his classic appearances on CHAPPLELLE'S SHOW, the Long Island native has gone on to appear in numerous films and is one of the hardest working club comics in the business. 
To put it simply, when you go see Charlie Murphy live, you're going to see a show.
BACKLINE MAGAZINE and Reelblack strongly recommends you catch him this weekend at Helium Comedy Club, 20th and Sansom Streets.
He'll be performing Thursday - Sunday. For a list of showtimes and to purchase tickets, click....

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

News Brief: Is Twitter Considering Buying SoundCloud?



According to Re/code, the independent tech news, reviews and analysis site, Twitter may be considering the acquisition of SoundCloud, the online audio distribution platform based in Berlin, Germany.
Founded in 2007 by Eric Wahlforss, and Alexander Ljung, SoundCloud enables its users to upload, record, promote and share their musical creations. In July 2013, it had 40 million registered users and 200 million listeners, and has reportedly raised $123.3 million since its launch.
Twitter has been courting the music community for since 2013 when it launch its #Music app in April 2013 then shutting it down it exactly one year later after it didn’t take off as expected.
Billboard Magazine reported Twitter’s last acquisition was the social media aggregation API company Gnip, acquired in April of this year.
Both Twitter and SoundCloud have declined comment at this time.

Two Philadelphia Law School Alums Make THR's '2014 Top 100 Power Attorneys List

Patricia L. Glaser, Rutgers Law
David Lande, University of Penn Law



Earlier this month, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) announced their '2014 Top 100 Power Attorney’s' in the entertainment industry. It was no surprise that two Los Angeles based law schools took the number 1 and 2 spots again. UCLA boasted 19 top alums and USC had 16.

While two Philadelphia area law schools did not make the top ten, they still had respectable rankings.

Patricia Glaser, a Rutgers University Law School alum, ranked #32; and David Lande of The University of Pennsylvania Law School came in at #53.

Glaser is a Partner with Los Angeles firm, Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro. She is also Chairperson for the firm’s litigation department. Glaser has handled clients such as Paula Deen, and currently represents former Disney President, David Neuman, in the Bryan Singer case. Ms. Glaser is also ranked as one of California's top business trial attorneys.

David Lande works with Ziffren Brittenham LLP, a transactional entertainment law firm that represents A-list entertainers and major corporations in the areas of motion pictures, television, music and multimedia. He represents artists such as Linkin Park, Alicia Keys and Shakira. This year, Lande helped auction the film rights to Jersey Boys, to producer, Graham King.
For a complete listing of THR’s Top 100 Power Attorneys for 2014, visit

Monday, May 19, 2014

Opening 5/21 in select Theaters... BB King, The Life of Riley. Narrated by Morgan Freeman

One of the Most Inspirational Stories in the History of Music

Narrated By Morgan Freeman

In Select US Theaters Beginning May 21st

On VOD June 1st, and on DVD, Blu-ray, and Digital Platforms June 17th

Original Soundtrack available digitally on May 20th

"The invaluable and definitive autobiography on film of the last great bluesman, BB King."
- The Observer

Cardinal Releasing Ltd., MVD Entertainment Group, and Syndctd Entertainment are pleased to announce the US release of The Life of Riley, the much-lauded feature documentary film on the extraordinary life of Blues legend B.B. King. The film will be in theaters nationwide starting on May 21st, on VOD June 1st, and on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital platforms on June 17th. Tickets for the theatrical screenings will go on sale beginning May 1st only at

King worked closely with Director Jon Brewer for 2 years to create this powerful film. The heartfelt contributions from a plethora of music's superstars were a vast indication that this was the time for his story to be told. At 88 years old, King, his family, friends and contemporaries unveil the true-life drama that was the springboard for the future 'King of the Blues'.

Battling unrelenting racism and the humiliation of segregation whilst working in the cotton fields as an orphaned child, King lived to overcome the toughest critics in the entertainment industry and ultimately be hailed as one of the kingpins of an entire genre of music. This candid biopic of the life story of one of our living legends is highlighted by rare archive footage and beautifully shot scenes of the deep American south. Informative and visually stunning, The Life of Riley is the definitive document of a true American treasure.

"We all have idols," said King. "Play like anyone you care about, but try to be yourself while you're doing so."

The Life of Riley includes appearances and contributions from: Aaron Neville, Bill Cosby, Bill Szymczyk, Bill Wyman, Bono, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Willis, Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Carver Randle, Derek Trucks, Dr. John, Eric Clapton, George Benson, Joe Bonamassa, Joe Walsh, John Mayer, John Mayall, Johnny Winter, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Mick Taylor, Morgan Freeman, Paul Rodgers, Rev. David Matthews, Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood, Slash,, Susan Tedeschi, Tina France, Walter Trout, and Wayne Cartledge.

The Life of Riley Original Soundtrack, available digitally on May 20, 2014, carefully follows the specifically chosen music sequence used in the film. The soundtrack contains career spanning songs as featured in the movie from his 1951 hit "3 O'Clock Blues" to his 2000 GRAMMY© winning duet, "Riding With the King," plus two live songs never available on digital or CD "Walking Dr. Bill" and "Sweet Sixteen."

Official Website and Screening Tickets:
Tickets for Philly Screening

Nas to Record On Mass Appeal Records; Will Release 'Lost Tapes

By Reggie Ugwu, New York

Nas, who turned hip-hop on its ear 20 years ago with his groundbreaking debut album "Illmatic," is going independent. The venerated rapper, 40, is launching Mass Appeal Records, an independent record label, which, in addition to shepherding a new generation of hip-hop hopefuls, will also provide an outlet for new Nas music when his contract with Def Jam expires later this year.

Mass Appeal Records is co-founded by Peter Bittenbender, 36, and will succeed Decon Records, a boutique hip-hop label-turned-creative studio started by Bittenbender and video director Jason Goldwatch in 2002. The creative studio, which has grown to service blue chip clients including Nike, Rockstar Games and CNN, will continue as Decon while music operations are shifted under the Mass Appeal umbrella.

Last spring, Nas and Bittenbender raised $1.2 million to relaunch the street art and culture publication Mass Appeal magazine, which will serve as a sister company to Mass Appeal Records akin to the relationship between Vice Records and Vice magazine, or The Fader magazine and Fader Label.

"I'm excited to be a part of creating and supporting future careers and legacy artists, promoting love and finding new genius to help the world," Nas said in an email. "I'm going to be as involved as I need to be, but I also want to be respectful of the art and give artists the space they need to grow and become themselves."

First among Mass Appeal Records releases, arriving late this summer, will be an annual compilation album featuring friends of the brand like Future, Pusha T, Mac Miller, A$AP Mob and Nas himself performing a cover of the 1994 Gang Starr single that gave the company its name. Also on deck is "Lost Tapes 2," a collection of unreleased Nas music, and a posthumous album from Pimp C that will pair the Houston icon and UGK member with modern production titans like Juicy J, Mike Will Made It and DJ Mustard.

Sony's RED is Mass Appeal's distributor, reuniting Nas with the parent company that released "Illmatic" in 1994.

RED won the rights to the label in a bidding war with Caroline and the Alternative Distribution Alliance, putting up an advance in the low seven figures for a multi-year agreement.

"Nas is a tremendous artist and one of hip-hop's all-time greats," said Doug Morris, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment. "We are delighted to welcome him back to the Sony Music family."

Among Mass Appeal's first signings are the Detroit street rapper Boldy James, 17-year-old New York rapper Bishop Nehru and former XXL Freshman Fashawn. While hip-hop is an obvious area of expertise, Nas and Bittenbender plan to expand the label to include singer/songwriters, EDM artists and DJ/producers. "We want to become the next XL," says Bittenbender. "This is an opportunity to take everything we've learned and build a global, diversified label from the ground up."


Michael Jackson's " Xscape", Black Keys' "Turn Blue" Vie for Billboard's No. 1


By Keith Caulfield, Los Angeles

There's a race for No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, as both Michael Jackson's "Xscape" and the 'Black Keys' "Turn Blue" have their sights set on the top slot.

Industry sources suggest both albums -- which were released on Tuesday, May 13 -- could sell between 150,000 and 155,000 copies in the week ending Sunday, May 18.

The Billboard 200's new top 10 will be revealed on Wednesday, May 21.

Two days ago, on May 14, forecasters had pegged "Xscape" to bow with around 140,000, while "Turn Blue" was aiming for 150,000. Jackson's album has seen its projected sales grow a bit in the past few days, while the Black Keys' number has also grown -- but by slightly less.

If the Black Keys start at No. 1, it will mark the rock duo's first chart-topper. Their last studio release, 2011's "El Camino", debuted and peaked at No. 2 off a 206,000 start (according to Nielsen SoundScan) and is their best seller, with 1.4 million sold.

As for Jackson, "Xscape" would mark the seventh No. 1 for the King of Pop, who died in 2009. The new set is his second posthumous album of previously unreleased material, following "Michael" in 2011. "Michael" debuted and peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard 200, selling 228,000 in the week ending Dec. 19. It has sold 541,000 to date.

"Xscape's" first-week sales might be amplified by a special event celebrating Jackson during the Billboard Music Awards (May 18) -- which occurs on the final day of the sales tracking week. There are no details on what the experience will include, but it has been described by Larry Klein, the show's executive producer, as "one of the most amazing things I've ever seen."

Aside from Jackson and the Black Keys, there are a number of other albums aiming for high debuts on next week's chart.
Country band Rascal Flatts may nab its ninth top 10 with "Rewind", Dolly Parton could score her highest charting solo album ever with "Blue Smoke," and Tori Amos is primed to collect her eighth top 10 with "Unrepentant Geraldines".

"Rewind" may sell around 55,000 to 60,000, while "Blue Smoke" could sell something near 40,000. Amos' album might do 18,000.

All of Rascal Flatts' studio albums since 2002's "Melt" have gone top 10, in addition to a greatest hits release in 2008. As for Amos, she hasn't been in the top 10 since 2009's "Abnormally Attracted to Sin," which debuted and peaked at No. 9.

Superstar country entertainer Parton, amazingly, has only visited the top 10 of the Billboard 200 once: with the collaborative set "Trio," with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. It peaked at No. 6 on May 2, 1987, after earlier debuting at No. 38 on March 28, 1987.

In terms of Parton's solo efforts, she's gone as high as No. 11 on the Billboard 200 with "9 to 5 and Odd Jobs," on March 21, 1981. That album of course featured her No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single "9 to 5", as well as the No. 41 hit "But You Know I Love You" and the No. 77-peaking "The House of the Rising Sun."

Parton's chart history on the Top Country Albums chart is more befitting of her living-legend status: She's notched 40 top 10 albums, with six of them going to No. 1. On the Hot Country Songs chart, she holds the record for the most No. 1s among women, with 25.

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), "Xscape" is No. 1, followed by "Turn Blue" at No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of Parton's chart history on the Top Country Albums chart is more befitting of her living-legend status: She's notched 40 top 10 albums, with six of them going to No. 1. On the Hot Country Songs chart, she holds the record for the most No. 1s among women, with 25.

On SoundScan's Building chart (below), "Xscape" is No. 1, followed by "Turn Blue" at No. 2. The Building tally is a precursor to the final Billboard 200 ranking -- reflecting the first four days (Monday through Thursday) of SoundScan's tracking week as reported by six major merchants.

As for the rest of the top 10 on the Building Chart: "Now 50" is No. 3, followed by Rascal Flatts, the "Frozen" soundtrack and Chromeo's new "White Women" at No. 6. (The latter may not finish the week in the top 10 of the final Billboard 200 chart.) Parton's "Blue Smoke" is No. 7, with Hunter Hayes' "Storyline" at No. 8 and Keith Urban's "Fuse" at No. 9. ("Fuse" was reissued in a deluxe edition on May 13.)

Demi Lovato's "Demi" rounds out the Building Chart's top 10, at No. 10, thanks to sale pricing for the set. It has been temporarily discounted to $4.99 at all leading digital retailers (including iTunes, Amazon MP3 and Google Play) in celebration of the album's first anniversary since its release on May 14, 2013.


MOG Founder Sues Beats For More Than $20 Million (Report)




By Paul Bonanos, San Francisco

David Hyman, the founder of streaming music service MOG, has sued Beats Electronics for more than $20 million, claiming that Beats fired him to avoid giving him an equity payout, according to a report from Courthouse News Service.

News of the suit arrives as Apple is reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire Beats for $3.2 billion. Best known for its headphone and portable speaker business, Beats also operates streaming music service Beats Music, which stems from its acquisition of MOG in 2012.

MOG creator David Hyman, a serial entrepreneur who was also once CEO of Gracenote, claims in the suit that Beats dismissed him in bad faith, knowing that he would receive 2.5% of the company under an incentive plan based on the duration of his employment, according to the report. The suit names Daisy LLC as a co-defendant, the report said; Beats Music was code-named Project Daisy before its launch in January.
The first 1% was to arrive on his first anniversary as CEO, according to the report. Hyman's LinkedIn profile says he was employed by Beats for seven months, from May to November 2012. He has since revealed that he was interim CEO of Pono, the high-quality audio project of Neil Young, for four months before becoming chief executive at stealth start-up last September.

Instead of retaining him until he received his equity stake, Beats reportedly fired Hyman for attempting to terminate a problematic employee. But Hyman claims Beats was intentionally depriving him of his fair equity compensation in the process, according to the report.

Hyman's departure from Beats was considered a surprise at the time. Beats hired former Topspin CEO Ian Rogers to replace Hyman in January 2013.

It's not yet clear how Hyman arrived at the $20 million-plus figure he􀁠s reportedly seeking as compensatory damages. The suit says he would be due 25% of the company's shares if it reached a fair market value of $500 million, the report said.

Hyman and Beats could not be reached for comment at press time.

AT&T Plans to Acquire DirecTV For $48.5 Billion

By Associated Press
AT&T says it is buying DirecTV for $95 per share, or $48.5 billion, a move that gives the telecommunications company a larger base of video subscribers and increases its ability to compete against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, which agreed to a merger in February.

The agreement has been approved unanimously by the Boards of Directors of both companies.
AT&T's proposed combination, which is subject to government review, could improve its Internet service by pushing its existing U-verse TV subscribers into video-over-satellite service, and thereby free up bandwidth on its telecommunications network.

AT&T currently offers a high-speed Internet plan in a bundle with DirecTV television service. The acquisition would help it further reap the benefits of that alliance. DirecTV would continue to be based in El Segundo, California, following the merger.

With 5.7 million U-verse TV customers and 20.3 million DirecTV customers in the U.S., the combined entity would serve 26 million. That would make it the second-largest pay TV operator behind a combined Comcast-Time Warner Cable, which would serve 30 million.

The companies expect the deal to close within 12 months. Under the terms agreed to Sunday, DirecTV shareholders will receive $28.50 per share in cash and $66.50 per share in AT&T stock. The total transaction value is $67.1 billion, including DirecTV's net debt.

The deal could face tough scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission and antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice. “DirecTV is the best option for us because they have the premier brand in pay TV, the best content relationships, and a fast-growing Latin American business," said Randall Stephenson, AT&T Chairman and CEO in a statement.

"Together we'll be able to enhance innovation and provide customers new competitive choices for what they want in mobile, video and broadband services. We look forward to welcoming DirectTV's talented people to the AT&T family".


Friday, May 16, 2014

THE HARVEST, Philly's Largest Open Mic Experience, 5/22 at WORLD CAFE LIVE

THE HARVEST is The Tri-States' largest Open Mic and Live Arts Experience. Join Spoken Soul 215 as we get free at one of Philly's premier venues.

World Cafe Live , 3025 Walnut Street downstairs
Doors Open at 7
Show Starts at 8
$10 Online
$12 @ the Door