The News Corp. who owns the Dow Jones and Company which publishes the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s weekly business magazine among many others in the U.S. is considering a company breakup into two entities. It would separate the media giant’s underperforming newspaper business from its lucrative entertainment assets. Approximately 70 percent of the company profits come from television. The new newspaper business could include The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The New York Post, and as many as other 175 newspapers worldwide. These publishing enterprises contributed $8.8 billion in revenue in 2011. On the other hand, the much more lucrative entertainment enterprises contributed $23.5 billion in revenue in 2011 to the media empire.

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Rupert Murdoch who is the Chairman and CEO of the News Corp. built the company from a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia into a billion dollar multi-media giant. The Murdoch family owns 40 percent of the empire and will continue to handle both parts once separated.

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is valued at about $53 billion. A recent phone-hacking scandal at its News of the World British tabloid caused it to close the publication. It is faced with enormous financial strain and decline in print advertising revenue.

Robin Gibb and the Bee Gees

The 1970’s dominant music group, Bee Gees, singer Robin Gibb died on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at age 62 due to his long battle with colorectal cancer and intestinal surgery. The group included Robin and his two fraternal brothers Barry and Maurice. Robin Gibb was born on December 22, 1949 in Isle of Man and grew up in Australia and U.K.

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Robin was a solo artist prior to Bee Gees and he became the lead singer for the group. Trio owned 1960’s pop songs like “I’ve Gotta Get a Message to you”. Bee Gees carrier spans more than five decades and sold over 200 million records worldwide. Robin was a singer as well as a song writer. The trio wrote most of their number one hits. Bee Gees were the gold standard for pop and R & B.

Bee Gees also produced materials for such artist like Barbara Streisand, Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.

Robin Gibb received a CBE from the Prince of Wales for his contribution to music.

Robin’s twin brother Maurice died in 2003 and only surviving Bee Gees is Barry, age 65. Robin was married to Molly Hullis in 1968 and together they had two daughters. They got divorced in 1980.

Chipmunks

Ross Bagdasarian Sr. spent $190 of his last $200 in 1958 to buy a state-of-the-art tape recorder that can playback at various speeds. He recorded “Christmas Don’t Be Late” with a fictitious group known as Chipmunks who sang with a high pitched obscure voice. The song later became the No. 1 Billboard chart, sold over four million copies and created the now famous three Chipmunks: Alvin, Simon and Theodore. Today, Chipmunks is a family owned business based in Montecito, California. Ross Bagdasarian Jr. with his wife now owns the right to the Chipmunks empire.

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Over the years, Chipmunks popularity came in waves. However, Fox bought the three characters in 2007 and this resulted in creating three hit movies: Alvin and the Chipmunks, Squeakquel, and Chipwrecked. Besides the major movies, there are many other productions, a TV series, several movies on DVDs and other merchandize. The company is also exploring an idea to make a live show that can travel around the world.

The current owners are very involved with the business and tightly control the branding of Chipmunks. Once they refused a proposal to manufacture and market a sugary cereal using the brand name. The owners are also involved in several law suits to protect the brand from exploitation.

A Portrait of Glenn Miller

Written by Phin Upham

Glenn Miller was born on a farm in Iowa. From those humble beginnings, one of the world’s premier jazz and swing musicians would come.

Miller bought his first instrument, a trombone, when he was 11 years old. His original instruments were the cornet and the mandolin, but he changed to the trombone exclusively by 1916. His family relocated to Colorado during this time, which is where Miller went to high school.

Until 1921, music was little more than a hobby to Miller. A hobby he was good at, but still not worth pursuing legitimately. That all changed when Miller was introduced to “dance band music.”

Miller fell in with a good crowd when he relocated to Los Angeles. There he found a place in a set-piece band that backed Judy Garland and Bing Crosby. He studied under mentors like Victor Young and Bern Pollack. Miller was an accomplished soloist until his time with Jack Teargarden, where his solos were cut almost entirely from performances. It was then that Miller realized his talents were more geared toward writing music than performing it.

Glen Miller revitalized himself in 1938, when he found a new sound combination that used melodic tones matched against a tenor saxophone. This new style differentiated Miller’s band from others at the time, even landing them a spot three times a week on a broadcast on CBS promoting Chesterfield cigarettes.

Glenn Miller mysteriously disappeared on a flight bound for the United Kingdom in 1944. He flew a single engine plane, and disappeared somewhere over the English Channel. His body was never recovered, and his status is listed as “Missing in Action.”


Phin Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Twitter page.

The 27 Club

This article was written by Phineas Upham

The end of the 60s didn’t happen on New Years Eve 1969. Instead, it began in September of 1970. The death of Jimi Hendrix was the first blow, but in true “they die in threes” fashion, two more important figures would soon follow suit. These first few deaths formed something colloquially known as “The 27 Club,” a group of creative minds who met their demise all too young.

The official cause of death for Hendrix was asphyxiation. Monika Danneman, the last person to see Hendrix alive, spent his last day with him. She cooked him a meal, drove him to meet with friends, then stayed up with him well into the next morning. When she awoke close to noon, Hendrix was unconscious and non-responsive. He had choked on his own vomit thanks to an overdose of barbiturates, but the coroner left the verdict open.

Within a month, Janis Joplin would succumb to a heroin overdose. She didn’t show up for a recording session, and her producer found her dead in her hotel room. Her dealer had apparently given her a more potent dose than usual, as many of his customers were also found to have over dosed.

Tragedy struck again within a year. Jim Morrison, front man of the popular band The Doors, was found dead in the bathtub of his hotel. He was also 27 years old. The three deaths sparked something of a frenzy, with the media making note of various singers who had died at that age.

The next famous death to join the club would be Kurt Cobain, but he was not the last. The 27 Club holds names like soul singer Amy Winehouse (who repeatedly expressed terror at the idea of joining the club), and Mars Volta sound engineer Jeremy Michael Ward.


About the Author: Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phineas Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media & Technology group. You may contact Phineas on his LinedIn page.

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Although a wedding celebration should be mostly about all the bride and groom, it’s also a time of celebration for the guests at the wedding. This is why many couples invest their time and money into planning fun wedding receptions that everyone will enjoy.

But planning a successful wedding can be challenging. How to make sure everything has a good time? Fortunately, the professionals at L.A. Banquets have years of experience in planning fun weddings. Here are three tips designed to help you plan a night that everyone will remember.

Book an Extravagant Banquet Hall

Say no to the gymnasium down the street! Atmosphere is one of the most important elements in planning a fun wedding. If you want to make sure that everyone has a good time, book an impressive venue that will garner attention. Some of the best wedding banquet halls provide beautiful décor and luxury accommodations, making guests feels as though they’re at a celebrity party. Enhance the party experience with valet parking, coat check services, and a cocktail hour.

Don’t Skimp on Food

Food can make or break a good party. In an effort to save money, many couples opt for finger foods or appetizers instead of providing full course meals for their guests. But food is not the place to cut costs, especially if you plan to provide alcohol. A formal wedding reception should always have great food and plenty of it. It doesn’t mean you have to provide a seven-course meal, but it does mean you should incorporate dinner into the final budget.

To ensure that everyone is satisfied, consider having a buffet with different choices. You can also go for a family-style dining experience that creates a cozy atmosphere.

Provide Plenty of Entertainment

Food and drinks alone isn’t enough to get a party going. Every wedding reception should have plenty of entertainment for guests and the wedding party. We recommend live music, a DJ, or a little bit of both. They key is to play a variety of music styles as opposed to one. Playing a variety of styles such as pop, rock, and dance music, will ensure that everyone gets to hear their “favorite song,” that will make them jump out of their seats and dance. Other types of entertainment to consider include belly dancers, fire dancers, and choreographed dances performed by the wedding party.

With a great venue, delicious food, and plenty of entertainment, your guests are sure to have a wonderful time at your wedding.
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L.A. Banquets owns and operates a variety of Los Angeles banquet halls and wedding reception venues.

A Brief History of the Rolling Stones

Written by Phineas Upham

The Rolling Stones are one of the world’s most recognized bands. It all started at Dartford Maypole County Primary School, when Keith Richards first met Mick Jagger. Both men were avid followers of blues and American R&B music, and they also shared a mutual friend. Jagger and his friend Dick Taylor would jam together in a band they called “Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys,” and they soon invited Richards to come play with them.

Richards dropped out of college for the same reason that Brian Jones would eventually also be expelled. Truancy. For both men, the problem was the draw of music. Soon, they picked up their drummer Tony Chapman and cut a record. The demo was rejected by EMI. Chapman left the band and the boys changed their name to “Rolling Stones” after a song by Muddy Waters.

They played their first show at the Marquee in July of 1962. The band was then booked for eight months at a club called the Crawdaddy Club, where they had a highly successful run that attracted their future manager Andrew Oldham.

The Beatles ruled the airwaves at the time, but Oldham had a plan. He tried spinning the Stones as the wicked alternative to the Beatles. And it worked.

The Rolling Stones have had several record releases, and have toured for the past 37 years. They are one of America’s oldest bands, and still one of the biggest box office draws in music history.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phineas on his Phineas Upham website

This article was written by L.A. Banquets

North Hollywood is a great city in Los Angeles, offering the cultural NoHo arts district and plenty of fine restaurants, shops, and businesses. It’s also a great location to throw a party, whether it’s a wedding, corporate event, or anniversary. Why is it a great place for parties? Location, location, location. North Hollywood is just minutes away from Downtown L.A., Burbank, Glendale, and Hollywood, making it a convenient middle ground for people who live in surrounding cities.

Are you planning a large party in the city? Chances are you will be in need of a great venue. If you’re searching for a large banquet hall in North Hollywood, there are plenty to choose from. Here’s a look at one of the largest and most popular North Hollywood banquet halls in the city called Le Foyer Ballroom, owned and operated by L.A. Banquets.

Le Foyer Ballroom

The Décor

Few ballrooms compare to Le Foyer in North Hollywood. Le Foyer Ballroom is a giant, beautiful, hall located right on Laurel Canyon Boulevard. From the moment guests walk into the hall they will be blown away by fancy décor and incredible architecture. Featuring a 5,500-square foot venue, this ballroom boasts giant chandeliers, sixteen arches and fancy European décor. It also boasts a spacious outdoor patio and a foyer with a waterfall and pond. We recommend this place for upscale parties and events.

The Amenities and Services

If you’re throwing a large party, this ballroom can accommodate your needs. It can host up to 550 guests, which means hundreds of people can arrive ready to eat, dance, and listen to music.

The ballroom provides classy tables and chairs, making it possible for you to choose family-style dining or restaurant-style dining. Of course, you can also choose to have food stations or a buffet. Event planning in Los Angeles is made easy at Le Foyer Ballroom. The ballroom provides on-site catering, video services, specialty lighting, live music, a DJ, and a sound system. This means that you don’t have to hire additional services outside of the venue, but can purchase low-cost package deals.

Customize the Venue

While Le Foyer Ballroom has a number of onsite amenities and services, it doesn’t mean you can’t customize the hall to match the style, tone, and theme of your special event. In fact, the venue offers custom décor options, which means you can bring in your own florist, catering company, photographer, and entertainment.
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L.A. Banquets owns and operates a variety of wedding venues in Los Angeles, including large banquet halls in North Hollywood.

Before the end of the year 2014, Apple is getting ready to release a new updated version of its set-top TV box. According to Bloomberg News it may even come as early as April 2014 since the new version is well into its testing. This version will have a faster processor, revamped operating system more closely aligned with iOS, new content and may contain software to house App Store and third party developers, and upgraded interface. Many expect updated gaming software from the new version to allow games to be directly downloaded onto the TV without having to go through an iOS device. The existing version of Apple set-top box sells for $99 and the pricing information for the new release is not yet available. The first Apple TV set-top box was released in 2007. Today it faces stiff competition from smaller and less expensive devices from Google Chromecast, Roku Streaming Stick and much rumored Amazon device.

According to some published reports, Apple is also negotiating with Time Warner and others to add video content. Yet the news is still a disappointment for those who are waiting for Apple TV for a long time.

By Artesian Tan

As much as we may not want to admit it, we all know that celebrities set certain tones for the rest of the world. We see this with trends all the time. An actress gets a haircut and thousands of women follow. An actor claims he does a certain workout and men are quick to adapt it. So now that celebrities have adapted sunless tanning equipment it’s nice to know a truly beneficial trend is on the way.

The problem with excessive tanning is that we now know it can cause skin cancer later on down the road. Unfortunately, by the time it strikes, most people already have decades of experience making the problem worse.

But up until recently, most people seemed happy simply shrugging off the threat of skin cancer. However, now that celebrities demand it and companies like Artesian Tan and others are able to supply it, you can expend that more and more, spray tan will become the standard.

And this is a really good thing. Because it means we’ll all have younger looking skin longer, healthier skin forever and less chance of death from cancer.

Artesian Tan sells all kinds of spray tanning products for those who wish to get darker skin the healthy way. However, they also help people start their own mobile spray tan business by selling HVLP spray tanning products and airbrush spray tan equipment so they can help their friends and family do the same.

Written by Soccer Garage

Now that we’re finally within a free kick of the World Cup, soccer fans around the world are brimming with anticipation for the beginning of action. Millions will be spellbound by the action as they cheer on their favorite players and teams or, in some cases, root against those they despise.

While all this excitement is fun, it’s important to keep your head when it comes to some of your purchases. Unfortunately, scam artists see this excitement as blood in the water and they’re getting ready to make a killing.

When the World Cup comes around people stock up on all kinds of soccer equipment, from balls to jerseys and more. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, so long as you know whom you’re purchasing from. One of the few drawbacks of the internet in this case is that you don’t always know whom you’re doing business with.

That’s why it’s important you stick with companies you’re familiar with and have had transactions with before. Companies like Soccer Garage and even Amazon are good examples. eBay can have plenty of good deals, too, but only buy from sellers with great feedback scores and who haven’t just started with the site recently.

So long as you use common sense, you should be able to don your new favorite jersey, sit back and enjoy the cup.

Soccer Garage is an online retailer that sells absolutely everything related to the sport. You can find you favorite brand of soccer supplies as well as soccer DVDs and more.