Friday, April 22, 2016

ATLwood: A charitable actor and a digital Disney casting call

Posted By on Fri, Apr 22, 2016 at 11:42 AM

What's Happening?
>> News from the Galaxy: Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 is still filming here at Pinewood Atlanta Studios and actor Chris Pratt, who will star as half-alien, half-human Peter Quill, is giving us a hilariously unique tour of the set. 

Take a look below as he shows us everything from air conditioning units to a spaceship:

>>Admirably, the video was filmed all in the name of charity: With promises of things like "free eggs" on set, Pratt attempts to persuade viewers to enter a competition for a chance to win a private lunch with him and a free visit to the Guardians of Galaxy Vol.2 set. In order to win, hopefuls are being asked to donate to the Lake Stevens Boys and Girls Club in Pratt's hometown of Lake Stevens, Washington. 

>>In other Guardians Vol. 2 news: John C Reilly, who played Rhomann Dey in the first Marvel installment, and Benicio Del Toro, who played the Collector, will not be returning for the second installment of the film. Farewell, guys. 

Filming Updates
>> And that's a wrap:  Filming for All Eyez on Me, the biopic focused on the life of late rapper Tupac Shakur, has come to an end. The majority of the movie was filmed here in Atlanta, with some later scenes being filmed in Las Vegas.

The film, starring newcomer Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Pac, was directed by Benny Boom and is slated to hit theatres in September of this year. The journey of getting this film from start to finish was anything but smooth, but by look of things it was all worth it:

And that's a picture wrap. Still can't believe what my life has become and is becoming. Not too long ago it was just struggle, stress and trying to figure it all out. Now I just wrapped up a feature film and I'm the star,  and not just any movie, the life of Tupac, CRAZY. 2015 threw every curveball possible in the midst of preparation to get this role. Thank God for giving me what I needed to keep going and blessing me with the role. Thank you to all the crew and cast, man yall helped make this experience unforgettable  4real. I've made some life long friendships within this film and can't wait til we're all together again at the premiere. R.i.p to Tupac Shakur,  you're a Black Pioneer and a Hero to our people and culture. I hope my performance pays tribute and gives insight to your life and most of all "Spark the brain"

A photo posted by Demetrius Shipp Jr. (@dshippjraeome) on

Dreams do come true, everyone. 

Casting Calls

>> Be featured in this shows last season.
>> Hey, remember how much you loved school cafeteria food?
>> Audition through an app! 

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Thursday, December 17, 2015

'Ed Lover Show' joins Atlanta's classic rap radio fray in January

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 2:09 PM

C'MON SON! Ed Lover of "Yo! MTV Raps" fame begins broadcasting "The Ed Lover Show" from Atlanta on Jan. 11. - JOHNATHAN MANNION
  • Johnathan Mannion
  • C'MON SON! Ed Lover of "Yo! MTV Raps" fame begins broadcasting "The Ed Lover Show" from Atlanta on Jan. 11.

A year has passed since a radio war ignited in Atlanta when three classic hip-hop stations launched in the same week. For a moment in time, it seemed the whole nation was head-bobbing in unison over the new terrestrial format as stations popped up in markets all over the map. But Atlanta was the only city with three such stations vying for top billing.

To everyone’s surprise the three-way race lasted even longer than experts like Atlanta Journal-Constitution radio reporter Rodney Ho initially predicted. Then one station fell silent in July, when the FCC warned that the independently owned Old School 99.3’s translator signal was interfering with country station 99.3 (WCON-FM) out of Cornelia, Ga. Though Old School owner Steve Hegwood vowed at the time to return, the station hasn’t yet. Which has left corporate big dogs Cumulus’ OG 97.9 and Radio One’s Boom 102.9 in a head-to-head battle of the bandwiths.

The latest buzz in the two-way race came last week with news that one of hip-hop’s golden era greats is making the permanent move Down South to jumpstart the first official morning show between the two survivors.

On January 11, “The Ed Lover Show” will begin broadcasting 6 a.m.-10 a.m. from Boom 102.9. While the show will be syndicated to additional markets, show host Ed Lover of late-’80s “Yo! MTV Raps” fame will be broadcasting live from Radio One’s Downtown Atlanta studios. He’ll be joined long-distance by another golden-era legend, Monie Love, whose “Monie in the Middle” morning show has been broadcasting from Philly’s Boom 107.9. Both Lover and Love are radio industry vets. Ed just ended a long streak with Sirius/XM, and Monie’s radio career in Philadelphia dates back to 2004.

“The Ed Lover Show” won’t be the first morning show to air among Atlanta’s classic hip-hop stations. Old School 99.3 was the first to fill the void with husband-and-wife duo Griff and Toni, featuring former V103 and Hot 107.9 personality and Atlanta-based comedian Griff. But with Old School still out for the count, Ed Lover's forthcoming morning show gives Boom another bump in talent. DJ Nabs has been holding down the afternoon drive slot since the top of 2015.

“The Ed Lover Show live from Atlanta in the mornings along with DJ Nabs in the afternoons is like a one-two punch of classic hip-hop," Radio One Atlanta Vice President and General Manager Tim Davis said in a statement provided by the station. "2016 is going to be a great year.”

Radio One is surely betting the new addition will give Boom the local ratings boost to finally take out OG, which has been the consistent ratings winner. Boom 102.9’s radio share has hovered around 0.6 to 0.8 in recent months while rival OG 97.9 peaked back in May when it scored a 1.5, Rodney Ho reports. More recently, OG has averaged around a 1.2 to 1.3 share.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

AJC cuts 16 newsroom positions, including breaking news, to put more focus on digital

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 4:14 PM

Paper plans to hire 13 new positions, including in just-cut Breaking News division - JOEFF DAVIS/CL FILE
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Paper plans to hire 13 new positions, including in just-cut Breaking News division
Around 4 p.m. yesterday, Atlanta Journal-Constitution  journalists gathered for a meeting about "staff changes." There, bigwigs in charge of the metro region's paper of record — hell, the largest news-gathering operation in Georgia — informed employees that the changes were cuts to the newsroom.

Sixteen cuts to be exact, including the paper's breaking news staffers. Also cut were positions on the Politifact team, staffers who focus on the Atlanta Forward section, and production, among others. The names of journalists that we and others have heard who were affected by the cuts include longtime employees.

The cuts to the breaking news department do not mean that the paper is abandoning breaking news. It plans to add 13 new positions, some of which would focus on late-breaking mayhem. The new jobs will also be focused mostly on digital operations — they include a senior editor of digital, social producer, and so on — to increase online readership. The men and women who were informed yesterday that they would lose their jobs come the end of 2015 could apply for those positions.

The paper will continue to run national Politifact write-ups, but will produce fewer local fact checks on public officials. Atlanta Forward will be scaled back, running on Sundays and during the week when appropriate.

Left untouched in the cuts are middle and upper managers. Editor Kevin Riley told CL last night that the paper reduced the number of managers last year, moving a number to the staff level.

Continue reading »

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Monday, August 17, 2015

'Today' censored Janelle Monáe's Black Lives Matter solidarity speech

Posted By on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 12:35 PM

HELL YOU TALMBOUT? Janelle Monáe silenced last Friday on NBC. - SCREENSHOT/NBC'S TODAY SHOW
  • screenshot/NBC's Today show
  • HELL YOU TALMBOUT? Janelle Monáe silenced last Friday on NBC.

We've seen Black Lives Matter protestors bumrush the show. But the tables got turned somewhat on Friday morning during the live airing of Janelle Monáe's "Today" show performance. While Monáe pronounced her solidarity with those who've lost their lives to police brutality, a "Today" show anchor cut her off mid-sentence.

“Yes, Lord,” the Atlanta-based artist said. “God bless America. God bless all who’ve lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know that we stand tall today. We will not be silenced—”

Then came the silencing as an anchor butted in to say, “We’ll have much more from Janelle Monáe … coming up.”

Just in case there was any question regarding the show's intention — like, maybe they were squeezed for time with it being live TV and all — the "Today" show website pretty much confirms censorship was the intent. Neither Monáe's short speech nor the new protest song "Hell You Talmbout," which she performed prior to her speech in collaboration with her Wondaland labelmates, made it to the site. Her other two live performances of the songs "Tightrope" and "Yoga," however, are both posted on Today's website.

Monáe and Wondaland debuted "Hell You Talmbout" live after leading a Black Lives Matter solidarity march last week in Philadelphia. An impassioned call-and-response tribute to the lives lost to police brutality, the song calls out the names of such victims as Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, John Crawford, MIchael Brown, and many more over the course of nearly seven minutes, while alternately pleading "Say his name!" and "Say her name!" The song is available on Soundcloud:

The compilation EP Wondaland Presents: The Eephus, featuring new music from Janelle Monáe, and Wondaland artists Jidenna, Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, and Roman GianArthur, also debuted Friday.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

John Lewis' Comic-Con MARCH the talk of 'CBS This Morning'

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 5:49 PM

A trenchcoat and a backpack. It wasn't as flashy as Superman's cape but apparently it was effective. Civil Rights icon John Lewis appeared on "CBS This Morning" to recap the recreation of his Selma March at Comic-Con in San Diego two weeks ago. ICYMI: He stole the show.

He and congressional staffer Andrew Aydin, who co-authored books one and two of the eventual MARCH trilogy, both talked about their hope that documenting the motive behind the movement in comic book fashion will help inspire the next generation of nonviolent activists.

"It is important to educate, to inform, and to inspire another generation of young people to say when I see something that is not right, not fair, i too can do something. I can speak up. I can speak out. I can find a way to get in the way," Lewis said.
MARCH: Book Three could hit shelves as early as next summer, Aydin recently said during a recent Creative Loafing interview about the changing tide of civil rights leadership in Atlanta.

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Historic Friendship Baptist gave Brenda Wood cause to lose her cool

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 5:05 PM

She said that. - SCREEN SHOT/11 ALIVE
  • screen shot/11 Alive
  • She said that.
Well-known 11 Alive news anchor Brenda Wood has been exuding her cool, classy demeanor on the station's evening broadcasts for years. But she went from poised to pissed in a sharply worded commentary this week. And what could make the queen of local broadcast news lose her cool? Friendship Baptist Church's failure to repair the air conditioning unit in its senior hi-rise Friendship Towers after months of complaints and an emergency hearing. 

This is the same Friendship, she points out during her regularly recurring "Brenda's Last Word" segment, that used media pressure and Atlanta's sympathy to garner $19.5 million in its deal with the city before forking over its former historic church grounds for the future Atlanta Falcons stadium. Not only does she point out the church's hypocrisy, she demands they do the right thing and "fix it already!"

Hard to argue with that. Especially coming from Brenda Wood.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Steve Goss, WABE's 'Morning Edition' host and velvet-voiced alarm clock, can soon press snooze

Posted By on Thu, Jul 16, 2015 at 10:25 AM

Steve Goss with Lisa Hagen and Candace Wheeler - BILLY HOWARD/COURTESY OF WABE
  • Billy Howard/Courtesy of WABE
  • Steve Goss with Lisa Hagen and Candace Wheeler
The WABE-FM (90.1) host who's kept countless commuters company while they languished in gridlock is pushing away the microphone after more than 35 years in radio, nine of which he's spent at Atlanta's National Public Radio affiliate.

Steve Goss, the host of the WABE's "Morning Edition," announced yesterday that he's beginning his retirement on Sept. 4.

“I’ve had the privilege of hosting 'Morning Edition' for more than eight years now … working alongside many bright and talented colleagues," Goss said on the show, according to a statement on WABE's website. "I will miss them very much. What I won’t miss is getting up every day at 4 a.m... I’m looking forward to making up for time I’ve missed with my wife and family … and sleeping in until at least 7 a.m.!”

Goss began his career at WPCH on April Fools Day in 1979 and transitioned to full time by February of the following year. He hosted morning, midday, and afternoon shifts over the next 28 years. Goss was named program director in 1990 but remained on the air with “Peach” and “Lite FM” until December 2006. In March 2007, Goss began hosting "Morning Edition" at WABE.

His exit follows other longtime WABE talents retiring or taking different roles at the station, which has added reporters and new shows to its schedule to focus more on news.

Late last year, WABE bigwigs announced that classical programming would move to the station's digital subchannel to allow more talk, news, and arts programming. One of those shows included "City Lights," a new arts and entertainment program hosted by Lois Reitzes, the longtime host of "Second Cup Concert." On July 1, friends, civic leaders, and staffers bid farewell to Milton Clipper, who served as the station's CEO for 20 years.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Killer Mike Quotables: Religion responsible for more violence than rap

Posted By on Tue, May 19, 2015 at 3:41 PM

  • YouTube screenshot

The benevolent Internet gave Killer Mike a collective pat on the back for his recent Bill O'Reilly critique. It happened last Friday night during the Atlanta emcee's visit to a different Bill's talk show. Mike told Maher on HBO's "Real Time" that O'Reilly is "full of shit." It was in response to O'Reilly's claim that rap is the cause for the decline of religion in America. The YouTube clip with Mike has since been removed — <i>hmmm</i> — so here's Mike's original quote in context: 

"I like Bill O'Reilly the character but I hate [how] old white people take him so seriously," Killer Mike said. "He's more full of shit than an outhouse. I'm gonna go in a black club and see Bill O'Reilly with a stripper on his lap, I guarantee you that. He's as fictional as those books he writes."
But the real meat of the conversation got slept on. It continued during "Overtime." After giving Maher a quick history lesson, starting at the 9:30-minute mark, on how the founding fathers of hip-hop conceived as a peaceful response to violence, he breaks down the real source of violence — religion and power.

"To people that say hip-hop is violence, I would say let's start with the real violence starters. Let's start with the three major Abrahamic religions, and let's do away with their books. Let's start with government and geo-war and politics; let's do away with our leaders. So after we get down the violence scale of all the things that create real violence to get to music, it'll be easy to get hip-hop. ’Cause people in hip-hop wanna do the same thing you do," he says, referring to Maher. "Talk shit about politics, smoke weed, and date dope black women."  

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Even the media is tired of CNN's media bias

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 2:00 PM


Did you catch Don Lemon's one-sided interview with the governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore on CNN the other night? Or how about Wolf Blitzer decrying the lack of police as a CVS pharmacy in Baltimore got looted?
It seems the vicious cycle of unexplained police killings and resulting protests — whether silent or riotous — is incomplete without mainstream media's total ineptitude at reporting and deconstructing these events. Instead cable news continuously reveals the depth of its alignment with the very institutions it should be critically examining in the aftermath. 

Much of the media coverage over the last two days — since protests turned violent over the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police — has ironically focused on cable's clueless inability to produce thoughtful journalism in response to such crises. Two articles in particular that ran on Slate and Salon yesterday echoed that critique so well they could've been published in collaboration.

The alternate title practically says it all in Justin Peters' Slate column, "CNN's coverage of the Baltimore riots Was shallow, sensationalistic, reductive, and statist. Surprise." In it, he takes down the theme of CNN's Monday night coverage, which boiled down to one question: "Where are the police?" he writes, continuing, "implicit in that question is the assumption that the police are the solution to social unrest, rather than agents of it."

He highlights how broadcast news tends to overlook the big-picture context of the forest for the trees — especially when they're burning. "But good journalism also tries to understand why a city is bleeding instead of just frowning at the wound," he writes.

Meanwhile, Jack Mirkinson's Salon column, "The media's stunning Baltimore betrayal," dissects Don Lemon's exclusive interview with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, in which Lemon continuously harped on one question: Why were protestors given "too much leeway," as Lemon put it. Yet another example of how cable media only tends to interrogates politicians on their failure to uphold law and order after such powder kegs erupt rather than when the bodies of police victims start piling up. It's surface-level journalism focused on questioning the effects rather than rooting out the cause.

As Mirkinson writes,
Instead, Lemon assumed the role of a tough-on-crime politician: The only question that mattered was why these people couldn’t be brought to heel. Anything else—anything that might truly have illuminated the situation we are witnessing in Baltimore—was left off the table.
While such criticism is easy to find on social media — depending on who you follow on your timeline — it's refreshing to see online outlets taking the established players to school.
That our elite media so consistently fails to probe this basic question is a measure of its blinkered priorities. When police commit violence against ordinary citizens, so many in the corridors of power caution against instant condemnation. We’re reminded that we need to wait until all the facts are in. We unpack each second of the interaction in the minute detail, searching for a logical reason why the cop pulled the trigger. Yet when the same media looks at people who have erupted in fury against this kind of state-sanctioned violence, those same calls for understanding tend to evaporate, and we are left with a kind of unthinking condemnation. There is no reason why protesters and even looters do not deserve to be heard and understood with the same solicitousness as the police who all too frequently kill their family and friends.

Of course, there are plenty examples of more nuanced forms of journalism in response to the situation in Baltimore. Oddly enough, one of them came from what it typically the most short-sighted forms of broadcast media: local TV news. In this interview with Baltimore gang members, a WBAL-TV reporter scored coverage that contradicted the popular media portrayal. Here's hoping someone from CNN was watching.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

Student DJs file Board of Regents appeal over GSU's role in WRAS deal

Posted By on Mon, Mar 16, 2015 at 3:20 PM

The fight for Album 88's future doesn't appear to be ending anytime soon. After months of protests, heated meetings, and unsuccessful negotiations, Georgia State University student DJs have filed an appeal with state officials to contest the deal that handed over most of the radio station's airtime to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Nine months ago, GPB took over daytime programming on WRAS-FM (88.5), GSU's longtime student-managed radio station, and replaced the station's eclectic shows with local news reports and talk shows. The $150,000 multi-year agreement has since allowed the state media network to enter Atlanta's radio market for the first time ever. In the process, WRAS DJs had their airtime reduced by more than half in exchange for educational opportunities including internships.

According to incoming WRAS General Manager Hannah Frank, university officials required GSU students to pay fees that ultimately went to fund a new $676,000 radio transmitter. The appeal says the university has shown "blatant disregard" for the Board of Regents' policies because money earmarked for WRAS students' needs has largely benefitted a third-party organization.

WRAS DJs also claim the GPB-GSU agreement took place behind closed doors and circumvented the Board of Regents' governing policies. During the station's budget approval process, the appeal says GSU officials did not disclose to students that it had been involved in negotiations with GPB dating back to 2012 — information that could have altered the transmitter's funding. According to Frank, the university "hoodwinked" WRAS DJs into thinking the student-funded transmitter would benefit their organization, knowing full well GPB would benefit from the equipment.

In addition, the appeal says the university's actions could result in potential Federal Communications Commission fines due to multiple instances where GPB has fallen out of compliance with the federal agency's rules during the past year. Since GSU holds the station's license, the university would be on the hook for potential fines.

"This has exposed the University, as the FCC license holder, to significant fiscal liabilities which, based on the student fee structure, it is reasonable to expect would be met through payment of student fees," the appeal says.

The Board of Regents does not have the power to revoke the GPB-GSU contract. But if board members found the university to be in violation of its rules, the WRAS deal could be revisited with student involvement during a mediation process.

"We want all of the air time back," Frank says. "If they work with us and have a dialogue, we may compromise some way."

Spokespeople for GSU and GPB, respectively, declined to comment on the matter. The Board of Regents has 30 days to respond to the appeal. We've embedded a full copy after the jump.

Continue reading »

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