"Wait, wait, wait, wait a second. You're tellin' me that I came all the way to Kentucky to get some of your fried chicken, and the Colonel isn't even workin' today?!?"
-- Peter Griffin

What is lost can never be saved

The following was taken from The Ottawa Citizen archives on canada.com.

Hefty special bonuses gild Owens’s Nortel parachute

Bert Hill, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Saturday, December 03, 2005

Former Nortel Networks chief executive Bill Owens got more than $5.5 million U.S. in special bonuses as he left his job.

The company disclosed yesterday that he got a $2-million severance payment based on two times annual pay, $3.4 million in double bonus payments based on his maximum annual bonus of 170 per cent of salary and a lump sum to cover nine weeks of unused holiday time.

The company also immediately vested Mr. Owens’s 2.9 million stock options, which means he can cash them immediately, rather than over four years. He also got unspecified relocation and tax-preparation services.

Earlier this year Nortel approved a special pension payment for Mr. Owens, who was a director for one year and chief executive for 19 months. He gets $703,913 in June and equal monthly payments of $99,073 through to November 2010.

Nortel also said Mr. Owens could get another bonus under a success incentive plan if it is are granted for 2005.

The Owens payments are another sign of the high cost of changing top leaders at Nortel.

New chief executive Mike Zafirovski received pay, bonus, restricted stock, options and other incentives that will likely generate about $4 million to $7 million in his first year. Nortel also paid him $11.5 million so he could repay Motorola Inc., his former employer, to settle a breach-of-contract lawsuit.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2005



No surprises here. I was always fairly certain that previous piracy-sales correlations were exaggerated. But what would you expect from an industry that sues its (former) customers? Did the horse-and-carriage industry sue people that acquired motorcars?

On a related note, Cineplex has purchased Famous Players. If they know what’s good for them they need to do an about-face toute suite if they want to avoid a download calamity themselves, and remain in good standing with the studios. I’ve heard that some American theatre chains are removing some ads following public pressure (and maybe a lawsuit or two, I can’t remember). Bravo!


Tunnel vision from the outsider’s screen

I was going to rant about the satanic nature of this arrangement between Sony and Pizza Hut, but the eloquent folks at Ctrl+Alt+Del have already done it for me in graphical form.


You can’t take the sky from me…

OK, here’s the e-mail I mentioned earlier. This was sent in response to a friend making a smart-ass comment about Firefly getting cancelled because nobody watched it.

From: KaveMan
Sent: April 29, 2004 7:41 AM
Subject: RE: Firefly marathon – part 1

Actually, the show was cancelled because Fox is a vision-less network trying to regain past glories like X-files or Simpsons without taking any of the risks that led to those shows finding some level of success. Firefly was stuck in the Friday 8pm time slot that has historically been a show-killer, and had almost no marketing whatsoever–the only place I saw ads for it was in some DC comics (!). Then, at the 11-episode mark, Fox cancels it, magnanimously allowing the previously-unaired original pilot to serve as series ender (two additional episodes were shot but never aired–they’re on the DVDs).

If you take a look at the ratings, those 11 episodes did better than the first-season episodes of Buffy, Angel, X-files, and many, many other successful shows. A genre show like Firefly takes a little bit of time to build an audience, which is something that Fox experienced (and then promptly forgot about, apparently) with The X-Files. Even so, almost 3 million Americans watched Firefly every week, on average.

Of course, an interesting, well-written, and entertaining show obviously can’t compare to the TV exec’s dream: Who wants to Marry a Big Fat Obnoxious Millionaire Bachelorette while Buildings Collapse and Celebrities Box at Paradise Hotel on Temptation Island….

p.s. yes, I’m bitter….stoopid Fox….
p.p.s. for some laughs, read this Feb 2000 article containing statements from Fox execs, and then check these out: http://www.fox.com/simplelife/, http://www.fox.com/bigfat/, http://www.fox.com/swan/


He does pretty well with fiends from hell…

I have no problem with Joss forsaking all others for the sake of Firefly. Serenity needs to come out, make a bajillion dollars, and then get back on the air, preferably on a semi-useful network, and not that short-sighted, money-grubbing, realityunscripted-show-loving, quality-bereft, wouldn’t-know-good-storytelling-if-it-bit-em-in-the-ass network, Fox.

I need to post a rant I sent out via e-mail a few months ago, but I’m not at my own computer right now…someone remind me if I forget.