Monday, December 09, 2013
I took the Blogger Kid 2.0 to the Los Angeles Conservancy's 8th annual Holiday Matinee on Sunday, and he had a blast watching one of his favorite movies, "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas," on the big screen. The little guy also enjoyed being at the Orpheum Theatre -- he was impressed with the upstairs, and wanted to check out the opera seats after the showing.
He also brought along his Jack Skellington doll, and Jack also enjoyed the trip to the Orpheum, as you can see from these pics.
Here are some more shots from the event:
Looking for a holiday gift idea? Get your friends a membership to the LA Conservancy. Go here for more details.
There are hires that make sense, and then hires that totally make sense. The Los Angeles Dodgers have finally hired Jon Weisman in a key role as director of digital and print content. The move means Jon is putting his long-running blog Dodger Thoughts back into hibernation, but as he shares on his site, it's for a pretty good reason:
I will be writing plenty over there, as part of an overall series of duties that involves managing and producing content for the Dodgers’ publications and website.
As you can imagine, it’s an opportunity that was too intriguing and exciting for me to pass up, which is why I’m willing to give up the longest job I’ve ever held, a position at Variety that has brought me more great memories than I can begin to mention and placed me among a group of colleagues that have been such a pleasure to be with.
It’s also why I’m willing to put Dodger Thoughts in storage – though again, this isn’t exactly as newsworthy as it might have been, before I essentially took a vacation during the 2012-13 offseason, to focus on an extremely busy awards season for Variety. I did find a rebirth on Dodger Thoughts during the 2013 baseball season, but it was always in competition with the other directions I’ve been pulled in.
So while it would be premature to get into specifics about my new duties with the Dodgers, I can say that one of the greatest appeals for me is that for the first time, writing about the Dodgers will move from avocation to vocation, from hobby to primary activity.
I’ll feel safe using Vin Scully (my new colleague!) as my role model. I’ll consider it my job, as an employee of the Dodgers, to inform and to entertain, in service of the organization. You can be sure I’ll be taking that responsibility very seriously. But don’t worry – we’ll have plenty of fun along the way. There’ll be no shortage of insights or stories, great and small.
Congrats to Jon! I know Variety's going to miss him and all the hard work he's done over there through the years. But I'm truly excited for him.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Last year, thanks to the LA Conservancy, we had a great time at the Orpheum Theatre introducing the kids to "A Christmas Story." This year, I'll be taking the Blogger Kid 2.0 to see one of his favorite movies of all time, "Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas."
Yep, the 4-year-old has watched "Nightmare Before Christmas" at least 30 times. But he's never seen it on the big screen, until now. It's the Los Angeles Conservancy's eighth annual holiday film matinee, and we hope to see you there!
Beforehand, theatre organist Dean Mora will perform pre-show holiday music on the Orpheum’s Mighty Wurlitzer organ, and the Sound Stage Barbershop Quartet will sing carols around the theatre. "Bring family and friends, come early or stay late, do some holiday shopping, go ice-skating at Pershing Square, and dine at nearby eateries!" the Conservancy recommends. And we do too. Go here for ticket info. And we'll see you this Sunday!
LA Conservancy's 8th Annual Holiday Film Matinee
"Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas"
Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m. (doors at 1:15 p.m.)
$15 general public, $10 Conservancy members, and $5 children 12 and under
Wednesday, December 04, 2013
In honor of the launch of TNT's new L.A. noir drama MOB CITY, everyone's favorite historic tour operator, ESOTOURIC, conducted a look inside downtown's King Eddy Saloon and a rediscovered 1920s speakeasy below. "Mob City" author John Buntin was on hand as well. Watch above.
Check out a tour of the "Mob City" set (back when it was being produced under the working title "Lost Angels"), including a replica of 1940s City Hall, here.
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
Where's El Mandril? Ricardo 'El Mandril' Sanchez, the morning host on KLAX-FM ("97.9 La Raza"), hasn't been on the air since last month, and the Los Angeles Times investigates why:
Sanchez's manager, Fernando Schiantarelli, said Monday that Sanchez was pulled from the air during negotiations over his employment contract, which ends next month.
But Schiantarelli also confirmed, as did other industry sources, that Sanchez's show has been the subject of an investigation by research giant Nielsen, which acquired radio ratings firm Arbitron in late September, into allegations of ratings tampering.
"There was an investigation raised by some other competitors who were very concerned that Mandril was being so successful," Schiantarelli said, adding that such investigations — and complaints from rivals — are not uncommon in the industry. He said the investigation didn't turn up anything.
Allegations have been raised that members of Arbitron's audience panel had been contacted by people connected to Sanchez's show and encouraged to listen to his program, a violation of Arbitron's and Nielsen's practices.
A Nielsen representative said the company had no comment on its investigation, adding, "Nielsen Audio is committed to the highest standards of integrity in our data and our panels."
A KLAX programming executive also confirmed that Sanchez's program was taken off the air because of an investigation. The executive referred The Times to top company executives who did not return repeated calls for comment Monday.
Schiantarelli said a top SBS executive told the janitor-turned-radio star to show up to work every day but sit around "doing nothing."
Carlos Amezcua is out at KTTV/Fox 11 after five years as the station's 10 p.m. co-anchor (with Christine Devine). TV Spy has the details:
Kevin Hale, vice president and general manager of KTTV told staffers this evening about Amezcua’s departure. “After more than five years on KTTV’s Fox 11 10 p.m. News, Carlos Amezcua has decided to step down from the news desk to expand his own media and technology company, “Carlos Media Corp.” here in Los Angeles, said Hale. “Having won over 10 Emmy’s throughout his career, Amezcua has made many contributions to this community, as well our newsroom. We wish him continued success in building his own media and technology firm.”
PREVIOUSLY ON FRANKLIN AVENUE:
BREAKING NEWS: Carlos Amezcua In, John Beard Out at Fox 11 (September 4, 2007)
Monday, December 02, 2013
In 2006, a documentary asked, "Who Killed the Electric Car?" In 2013, electric was a hot topic at this year's Los Angeles Car Show. Many manufacturers showcased their hybrids, electrics and alternative fuel vehicles front and center. Among the cars on display: Volkswagen's eGolf electric car, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive, the new Chevy Spark-EV and more.
According to the LA Times, "The VW is among four significant plug-in vehicle debuts at this year’s L.A. Auto Show. Elsewhere around the Los Angeles Convention Center, General Motors was scheduled to roll out the Cadillac ELR, based on the Chevrolet Volt; BMW showed off its i3 battery electric; and VW’s luxury division Audi rolled out a corporate cousin of the eGolf, the Audi A3 e-tron."
The Auto Show also continues to become even more family friendly, as most companies boasted games or other attractions on their floor. At Toyota, the Blogger Kids got to dress like 1980s-era b-boys and take a photo. At Kia, a live DJ performed on top of a tricked-out Soul. A few more pics:
Several booths also featured race car simulators.
The $1.1 million Youabian Puma, the one described as a "blue monstrosity" by the L.A. Times.
Also: Hyundai's sponsorship of "The Walking Dead" has spawned a limited edition vehicle. The SUV includes a zombie survival kit:
Here are a few pics from Hyundai's faux zombie apocalypse (sorry, these tricked-out mobiles aren't for sale):
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Stop me if you've heard this one before: KBIG-FM ended November as the No. 1 radio station in Los Angeles, while KLAX's "El Mandril" was the No. 1 morning drive time host. (This will all change as the holidays put KOST once again in the pole position.)
In November, among listeners 12+, KBIG was tops with 5.3 percent share of the audience, followed by KIIS (5.1), KRTH "K-Earth" (4.3), KPWR "Power 106" (4.2) and KAMP "Amp Radio" (4.1).
Among persons 18-34, KIIS and KPWR were tied for first, with a 7.9 share, followed by KBIG (6.5). In the persons 25-54 demo, KBIG (6.0) led, then KIIS (5.0) and KROQ (4.5).
In morning drive, El Mandril led with listeners 12+ (5.4), 18-34 (8.8) and 25-54 (6.9), continuing his streak that began this summer (although his ratings are starting to cool off). KROQ's Kevin and Bean were a solid No. 2 in listeners 12+ (5.1), 18-34 (7.3) and 25-54 (6.8). KFI was no. 3 in listeners 12+ (5.0), while KIIS' Ryan Seacrest was No. 3 with 18-34 (6.8) and KBIG was No. 3 in 25-54 (4.6).
Monday, November 25, 2013
Thanks to Will Campbell for shooting all 18 miles of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk via his GoPro camera, strapped to his chest. Will's camera snapped a frame every two seconds -- totaling 12,790! He turned it into this 14 minute recap of our 7.5 hours of hiking. You can see me and the Blogger Kid several times. Watch and see if you can spot yourself or some of your favorite Sunset Boulevard highlights!
Saturday, November 23, 2013
The starting point: Echo Park Lake
I'm not sure there's ever been a better day for a walk.
And I think about 300 people could back me up on this. The 8th Annual GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK attracted a large crowd of first timers and veteran participants, all joining in to take Los Angeles on by foot. We hiked 18 miles from one statue to another: The "Lady of the Lake" in Echo Park to "Saint Monica" at the edge of Wilshire in Santa Monica.
In between, we walked up Sunset and down the Sunset Strip, before cutting through Beverly Hills (via Whittier Drive) to take Wilshire to the ocean.
It was the quickest walk ever -- to the surprise of everyone, including me. This was the second-longest GREAT LOS ANGELES WALK ever, and yet this is the earliest the bulk of the group made it to the ocean. (My theory: Perfect weather meant Walkers didn't have a reason to slow down. And with so many food options, including the relatively quick service at Carney's, our lunch break was shorter than usual.) We started in Echo Park at 9 a.m. but got to the ocean around 4:15, giving us time to enjoy the sunset (poetic to see the sunset after walking Sunset?) before walking back to Tinga Santa Monica for the after party.
The mild temperature was perfect. There was a nice mix of sun and cloud cover -- giving us some stunning views. And by the time we hit the ocean in Santa Monica, the skies were so clear that you could see Catalina Island in the distance.
"#glaw you were awesome!" tweeted @JessicaVeggie. Wrote @yourfriendszn on Twitter: "I loved meeting strangers on 17mi trek through LA." A few more comments from the Great Los Angeles Walk event page on Facebook:
Sarah Emery Bunn: "THANK YOU for leading the walk and getting us all organized. Not just an example of pedestrian power and truly getting down to see the city you live in, but also a great community building event. I had so much fun talking and walking with the other participants, and explaining to confused passers by about what we were doing! Can't wait for next year."Thank YOU, Manuel, and thank all of you for joining in!
Todd Pelkey: "Loved this year's route. Lots of variety. And why were we all able to do the 18 miles so quickly?!"
Manuel Montano: "It was my first walk. I heard about it the Friday before on Facebook. I was still undecided until Saturday morning about 8 am. "I'm doing it" and I headed to Echo Park. Awesome walk. I'm doing it again next year and bringing my family. Thank you Michael."
Along the way, this year's Walk centered on Sunset, where Walk-ers walked by Tiki-Ti, the KTLA/Sunset-Bronson and Sunset Gower Studios; the Hollywood Palladium, Cinerama Dome and Hollywood Athletic Club; and Hollywood High School. A bunch of us also walked around the Crossroads of the World, considered the world's first shopping plaza. Then came the Sunset Strip, home to the Chateau Marmont, the Comedy Store, the Viper Room, Whisky A Go Go, Roxy Theatre, Rainbow Bar & Grill and and so much more.
Thanks to Big Parade LA founder Dan Koeppel (above) for helping us kick off the Walk with a talk about the power of the pedestrian. Then at 9:15, we were off! Later, many of us enjoyed lunch at Carney's in West Hollywood, which offered Walkers 20% off their meals. Here are some pics from the day:
And we're off!
Looks like the Imagine Dragons singer is serenading our Walkers. Hey, that's "Radioactive"!
Walking up Sunset in Echo Park
Chickens, cats and ninjas, oh my!
As usual, we confused several people throughout the day. particularly when we hiked past sidewalk diners
Hey Great LA Walkers, TEN HUT!
The Elliott Smith tribute mural
Oh, Madea, you so crazy!
Talking to KCBS/KCAL on the Walk. 'Cause that's how I do!
Sidewalk closed? Boo, future Target. Boo.
Emerson College's new Hollywood campus is shaping up to be quite the unusual, fascinating building
Old American Express sign
Columbia Square, gutted
Crossroads of the World
"I Want YOU to Have a Dream!"
A Great LA Walk mantra? Stop! Car!
Carney's on the Sunset Strip
Inside Carney's for lunch
Skeletor? Is that you?
Still miss you, Tower Records!
Bonnie and Clyde are not fans of the Great Los Angeles Walk.
Star Maps Here
Oh, crap, what did we do now, TMZ?
They're growing Santa Claus-es in Beverly Hills!
"In lieu of us providing health care to employees, we just ask you not to hit then with your car."
Does that include blisters?
Save the Wadsworth Chapel! (read about its problems here).
Sunset begins, at the end of our day on Sunset!
Some of the Walkers, at the end
And more Walkers at the end!
Read most of the Tweets from the day -- at least the ones with the #glaw hashtag -- here!
Post your Great Los Angeles Walk photos to our Flickr stream here.
Still want a t-shirt as a souvenir? They're available here: http://greatlawalk.spreadshirt.com/.
Save the date for next year -- Saturday, November 22, 2014. If you're looking to do more urban hikes before then, make sure you check out the regular epic walks that Big Parade LA puts together.
Here are some links to other recaps of this year's Great Los Angeles Walk. Send us your links!
The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013 Flickr Pool
Pedestrian Photographer: Walking (Half Of) The Great Los Angeles Walk
Ron's Log: Great LA Walk 2013
Dan Gutierez: The Great Los Angeles Walk 2013
Stairwalking in L.A.