The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on November 6, 2018 · C3
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · C3

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LATIMES.COM/BUSINESS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 2018 C3 COMPANY TOWN AMC Networks, the maker of one of TV’s biggest hits, “The Walking Dead,” announced Monday that it will centralize the manage- ment of its cable channels andprogramproduction. Sarah Barnett, who has headed AMC’s BBC Ameri- ca channel since 2014, is be- ingelevatedtopresident,en- tertainment networks. She will maintain oversight of BBCAmericaandaddchan- nelsAMC, SundanceTVand IFC toherportfolio. DavidMadden,president of programming for AMC, SundanceTV and AMC’s production studio, will also oversee show development at BBC America and IFC. Hewill report toBarnett. AMC Networks is also putting themarketing func- tions for AMC, BBC Ameri- ca, SundanceTV and IFC under Linda Schupack, who has been promoted to presi- dent of marketing, enter- tainmentnetworks. MarcJuris remainspresi- dentandgeneralmanagerof WE tv, AMC’s female-ori- ented lifestyle channel, which mostly airs un- scriptedprogramming. The New York-based company will streamline its overall workforce, eliminat- ing fewer than 40 positions across AMC Networks, which has about 2,000 em- ployees, according to an exe- cutive familiar with those plans who was not author- ized to publicly disclose them. Ed Carroll, chief op- erating officer for parent company AMC Networks, said in an interview that AMC Networks will operate moreefficientlybyhaving its four entertainment net- works under each executive. Under the previous struc- ture, program creators were pitching the same ideas to development teams at the differentnetworks. “It givesusmore leverage and an ability to see the whole playing field,” Carroll said. Themoves follow the de- parture of Charles Collier, who last month announced he would leave his post as president of AMC, Sun- dance TV and AMCStudios to become chief executive of entertainment for Fox, the company to be spun off from 21st Century Fox after the sale of most of its assets to WaltDisneyCo. Carroll said the restruc- turing was planned well before Collier’s decision to exit. Barnett’s risecomesafter she developed the dramahit “KillingEve” forBBCAmeri- ca. The mystery series saw its audience grow every week during its eight- episode run this year. Likeallbroadcastandca- ble channels, AMC Net- works is facing a challenging environment as more view- ers are streaming their fa- vorite shows online and spending less timewatching conventionalTV. The company has been making investments in over- the-top streaming video channels, including the re- cent acquisition of Acorn, a service that offers British dramaprograms. AMC also offers cable and satellite companies a channel called AMC Pre- miere, which gives subscrib- ers its programs on demand and without commercials for an additional monthly fee. AMCNetworks Inc. stock closed Monday at $61.86, up nearly 3%on theday. stephen.battaglio @latimes.com Twitter: @SteveBattaglio AMC adjusts exec lineup Network promotes 2 in effort to centralize management. Source says fewer than 40 positions will be cut. By Stephen Battaglio NBCUniversal saidMon- day that it is pulling Presi- dent Trump’s controversial anti-immigrant campaign advertisement, hours after the spot ran prominently during “Sunday Night Foot- ball.” Fox News said it de- cided to quit running the commercial as well, and Facebook stopped accept- ing it as a paid ad, although the social media giant still allows users to post the vi- deo. The 30-second advertise- ment, which Trump un- veiled lastweek, features im- ages of long lines of people marching, evoking a group of migrants making their way throughMexico. The ad also contains footage of Luis Bracamontes, a man who killed two Northern Califor- nia deputies in 2014 while he was inthecountry illegally.A voice-over on the advertise- ment then says: “America cannot allow this invasion. The migrant caravan must be stopped.” The commercial, which many have branded as rac- ist, then urges viewers to “Stop the Caravan. Vote Re- publican.” It concludes with a Trump voice-over saying: “I am Donald Trump and I approve thismessage.” Thecontroversycomesin the run-up toTuesday’s cru- cial midterm election, which will determine the makeup of Congress for the next two years. Dozens of governorships also are up for grabs around the country. Trump has been cam- paigning strenuously in re- cent days, holding rallies in battleground states such as Florida, West Virginia and Indiana. The president fre- quently blames Democrats for the stalemate over immi- gration reform and has made prominentmention of themigrants fleeing Central America by making their way through southernMexi- co. The ad ran once during “Sunday Night Football,” a high-profile matchup be- tween the New England Pa- triots and the Green Bay Packers. “Sunday Night Football” draws among the highest ratings in television, and Sunday’s installment generated the highest rat- ings for a network program inmore than sixmonths, ac- cording to preliminary Nielsen numbers. Ratings estimates suggest more than 20 million viewers watched the game, which New England won. The ad also was in rotationMonday morning on cable news channelMSNBC. FoxNewsdistanced itself from the commercial. “Upon further review, Fox News pulled the ad yesterday and it will not appear on either Fox News Channel or Fox Business Network,” Mari- anne Gambelli, Fox News’ president of ad sales, said in a statementMonday. Some other news organi- zations, including CNN, re- fused to run the spot. Trump faced reporters’ questions about the contro- versy before he boarded Air Force One on Monday. The president said he wasn’t aware of the flap. “We have a lot of ads, and they certainly are effective, based on the numbers that we’re seeing,” Trump said. Healsoshruggedoff the idea that people have com- plained about the commer- cial. “A lotof thingsareoffen- sive,” he told reporters. “Your questions are offen- sive a lot of times.” On Facebook’s platform, the ad reached millions of viewersbeforethesocialnet- work decided to stop run- ning it Monday. A Facebook spokespersonsaid thesocial network rejected the ad be- cause it “violatesFacebook’s advertising policy against sensational content.” The advertising policy does not cover content posted by users, so people can still put videooftheadontheirpages and share it with their friends. NBC faced criticism for running the advertisement, which draws a direct line from immigrants to crime, even though studies have shown that immigrants do not commit more crimes. But Trump has made the correlation many times, in- cluding during his June 2015 announcement that he was running for president. NBC began having sec- ond thoughts about airing the commercial, which was paid for by the Donald J. Trump for President cam- paign committee. “After further review, we recognize the insensitive na- ture of the ad and have de- cided to cease airing it across our properties as soon as possible,” anNBCU- niversal spokesmansaid ina statement Monday. “It will cease to air on any proper- tiesmoving forward, nation- ally or locally.” Trump released a longer version of the video last week. That version blamed Democrats for Braca- montes’ ability to enter the United States illegally; the version that ran during “SundayNight Football” did not explicitly blame Demo- crats. Fact checkers havenoted that Bracamontes, who is from Mexico, entered the United States illegally more than once— during the ten- ure of President Clinton, a Democrat, and that ofPresi- dent George W. Bush, a Re- publican. Bracamontes first ar- rived as a teenager in 1993 when Clinton was in office. He was deported in 1997 af- ter serving time in Arizona for possession of narcotics for sale. By 1998, he apparently wasbackagain; according to the Sacramento Bee, records show he was ar- rested in Phoenix on drug charges that year and then, for unknown reasons, re- leased by the office of then- MaricopaCountySheriff Joe Arpaio. Arpaio is a prominent Republican and supporter of Trump, and last year he received an executive par- don from the president after being convicted of criminal contempt for violating a fed- eral court order to stop ra- cially profilingLatinos. Bracamontes was ar- rested and repatriated to Mexicoasecondtime in2001. Heappears tohave returned to theUnitedStateswithina year, while Bush was presi- dent. He lived in Salt LakeCity until 2014, when he shot and killed Sacramento County Sheriff ’s Deputy Danny Ol- iverandPlacerCountySher- iff ’s Det. Michael Davis Jr. He was convicted of those killings this year and is on death row at San Quentin StatePrison. meg.james@latimes.com Twitter:@MegJamesLAT Backlash over Trump campaign ad THE TRUMP ad contains footage of Luis Bracamontes, who killed two Northern California deputies in 2014 while he was in the country illegally. Randy Pench TNS Facebook, NBC, Fox News stop running the anti-immigration commercial. By Meg James more money on food and drinks that they might oth- erwise spend at bars and restaurants. “They’re catering to their clientele,” said MKM Part- ners analyst Eric Handler. “You’re in the high-rent dis- trict there, so a premium theater makes a lot of sense.” Cinepolis’ Pacific Pali- sadesmoviehouse is just the latest in a wave of upscale cinema construction. AMC Theatres, theworld’s largest cinema operator, started retrofitting its auditoriums with recliners years ago. Leawood, Kan.-based AMC opened a dine-in theater serving Marina del Rey in 2012. Boca Raton-based chain IPic Entertainment has lo- cations in Pasadena and Westwood, featuring gourmet food and waiter service, and Texas-based Cinemark in 2015 opened a high-technine-screenmulti- plex in Playa Vista. Cinepo- lis, for its part, operates its own luxury theater inanoth- er Caruso complex, the PromenadeatWestlake. “People are willing to spend more on a higher- quality experience,” Han- dler added. Pacific Palisades repre- sents the most recent Southern California expan- sion for Cinepolis, the world’s fourth-largest thea- ter circuit by number of screens. It’s the eighth Cine- polis location in Southern California and the 21st in the UnitedStates. The largest of the new venue’sauditoriumsseats77 people, while the smallest holds 30.The theater’s sand- colored seats, made by a Barcelona-based manufac- turer, are twice as expensive as the leather recliners in Cinepolis’ other theaters, executives said. The chairs, boasting adjustable head- rests and footrests, appear in only two other U.S. ven- ues: the lounges and VIP zones at the Miami Dol- phins’ Hard Rock Stadium and at the San Francisco 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium. The lobby bar includes cocktails and a craft beer se- lection. About 30% of the menu items, which patrons can order from their seats, are unique to the Pacific Palisades location, Olloqui said. New dining options in- clude vegan spring rollswith Thai peanut sauce; a kobe beef burger with bacon and sriracha mayo; and a bri- oche sandwich with sauteed shrimp, blended cheeses andpickled strawberries. “We wanted to do a little twist to the menu ... and de- velop dishes that would ap- peal to the tastes and the lifestyles of the people in the community,” he said. The revived theater serves as an anchor for Pali- sades Village, the latest de- velopment by Caruso, known for retail-restaurant- residential complexes in- cluding theGrove inLosAn- geles and the Americana at Brand in Glendale. The 125,000-square-foot com- plex, spanning three acres, features 40 boutique stores, restaurants and cafes, smaller footprint than Ca- ruso’s otherprojects. Caruso said Cinepolis was the ideal partner to re- vive the Bay Theatre, which first opened in 1948 but was converted into a hardware store after its demise in1978. “In the right communi- ties, luxury theaters work,” Caruso said. “They’re obvi- ouslyrespondingtoaneedin themarket.” Amid themodern accou- trements, the theater also imparts a certain amount of nostalgia from a bygone era. Patrons entering the small lobby pass under a large-let- teredmarqueesign, inspired by architect S. Charles Lee’s original design for the Bay Theatre. The 35mm projector, in particular, is a throwback at a time when cinemas have transitioned almost entirely todigital projection. The company decided to make the addition after Cin- epolis Chief Executive Ale- jandro Ramirez discussed thepossibilitywith filmmak- ers earlier this year. Many continue to prefer the look and feel of film to digital technology for their movies, especially when hosting events for industry peers. The company had to relo- cate a projector from anoth- er theater and create addi- tional space in the projec- tion booth to fit both the large old-style machine and a contemporary digital proj- ector. The addition of the equipment — the only op- erating 35mm projector in Cinepolis’ circuit — in- creased costs by $150,000 to $200,000,Olloqui said. Executives expect the heavy investmentwillpayoff by attracting film buffs and industry types. The com- pany is in talks with major studios to hold screenings there, including events for classic films. Hollywood heavyweights who have homes nearby could poten- tially use the auditorium as an intimate screening room for their projects. “Even though the indus- try has moved forward with technology, there is still some value in doing things differently,” Olloqui said. “And sometimes, different means theway itused tobe.” ryan.faughnder @latimes.com Twitter:@rfaughnder Luxury theater goes all out MOVIEGOERS at a soft opening of the Bay Theatre in Pacific Palisades enjoy the luxury amenities in one of the five screening rooms. The seats are twice as expensive as the leather recliners in Cinepolis’ other theaters. Allen J. Schaben Los Angeles Times [Theater, from C1] ‘They’re catering to their clientele. You’re in the high-rent district there, so a premium theater makes a lot of sense.’ — Eric Handler, analyst withMKMPartners

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