Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello is a man at the center of the storm — several of them, in fact. First there was Hurricane Maria, which slammed into the island a year ago today. At the time, Rossello had been in office less than a year. He thought his most important job was going to be convincing his fellow Americans to accept the territory as the 51st state. Instead, Rossello found himself at the center of catastrophic destruction, as well as dealing with a catastrophically inept U.S. president. Despite the fact that President Trump waited 13 days to visit the storm-ravaged island, only stayed a few hours, and tossed rolls of paper towels at suffering Puerto Ricans, Rossello understood that trashing the president wouldn’t help the relief effort. In fact, Rossello actually praised Trump effusively after the hurricane — and Trump returned the favor, calling Rossello “a great guy and leader who is working really hard.” … [Read more...] about Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on the Recovery, Climate Change and Trump
Licenses needed to be a forensic scientist
Tencent Music Entertainment, the biggest music-streaming company in China, is in trouble. Ever since the company struck a sub-licensing deal with Warner Music Group (WMG) in November 2014 — the first of its kind — it has enjoyed a privileged relationship with the world’s biggest music-rights companies. That privileged relationship is now facing severe scrutiny. In January, China’s State Administration of Market Regulation launched an investigation into Tencent Music Entertainment, and its current contracts with all three major record companies: WMG, plus Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment. As part of these contracts, it’s understood, TME not only gains the ability to license the catalogs of these companies for its own platforms (QQ Music, Kugou, and Kuwo), but also to sub-license this material to its rival services, including NetEase Cloud Music and Alibaba’s Xiami. If TME is found to be unfairly advantaging itself commercially in … [Read more...] about Will Tencent’s Hunger to Own the Music Business Stop at Universal and Spotify?
It has been a year since Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico. If you drop onto the island for a visit, the recovery looks almost complete. The San Juan airport is crowded, the cruise ships are docking on schedule, and the piña coladas are flowing in Old San Juan. The lights work and your cellphone gets pretty good reception. If you ignore a few dead traffic signals and bent road signs, you might even be able to fool yourself into thinking nothing ever happened. But Puerto Rico has not recovered. In fact, it’s arguably as close to collapse as it has ever been. The power is on and the roads are open, but if you look closely, the entire island is held together with duct tape and baling wire. Tens of thousands of people are still living under the blue tarps that were installed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on houses that had their roofs blown off during the storm. Engineers are still discovering bridges that are in danger of collapsing, and every time it rains, … [Read more...] about The Perfect Storm: How Climate Change and Wall Street Almost Killed Puerto Rico
On a hot and cloudless afternoon in mid-October, the eight San Juan barrios known collectively as the G8 look a lot like other neighborhoods in the hurricane-battered capital. Uprooted trees lean against roofless homes. Piles of storm detritus and soggy furniture crowd the streets, an odd diesel generator providing a rumbling soundtrack and some power, still a rare commodity on the island three weeks after Hurricane Maria laid waste to the national grid. But these barrios are unique – a disaster zone within a disaster zone. For decades, G8 residents have lived in a near-permanent state of emergency on the perimeter of San Juan’s gleaming “golden mile” business district. The immediate cause of this emergency is a collapsed waterway: 25,000 people are clustered along the Caño Martín Peña, an inland channel that once drained rainfall into lush mangrove swamps, then carried it east into the San Juan Bay. But that was a long time ago. Unregulated … [Read more...] about Hurricane Maria: Inside a Puerto Rican Barrio’s Fight to Survive
The massive cost of putting the Martin Scorsese film on 3,000 screens is money the streamer can spend producing more movies for its growing audience, argues a Wall Street analyst. On Nov. 1, John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, called Netflix's decision to forgo a traditional theatrical release for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman a "disgrace" and a "missed strategic opportunity." Fithian is an effective advocate for his constituents, but as a Netflix shareholder, I disagree with his position. It would be a major strategic and financial mistake for the streamer to spend large sums to give The Irishman a wide U.S. release, accompanied by a 90-day theatrical exclusivity window. As film insiders know, the "P&A" cost to market and distribute a wide-release studio movie can equal or exceed the budget of the film itself. With so many high-quality home entertainment options available, theatrical distributors must spend huge sums to break … [Read more...] about ‘The Irishman’ and Why Netflix Shouldn’t Give In to Theaters’ Demands (Guest Column)