Tag: Video

Amid orchestra’s contract talks, lessons learned after the wolf’s been chased away

July 4th Louisville orchestra
Music Director Teddy Abrams leads players during a July 4th concert at Waterfont Park.
Louisville Orchestra‘s 2011 bankruptcy recalls one of the morals from Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” — let down your guard, and you may get gobbled up. Back then, the ensemble had grown overly reliant on a relative handful of backers, missing signs their generosity was about to dry up amid the financial crisis.

“No one wanted to face the reality that one day support would end,” Jorge Mester, the music director at the time, told The New York Times for a story about a string of financial crises roiling orchestras that spring.

Now, five years later, the Louisville orchestra is on far more stable footing. Contributions and grants jumped 29% in the year ended May 31, 2015, bringing total revenue to $7.2 million, according to its most recent IRS tax return. After expenses, that left a $1.3 million surplus. The endowment rose about 3% to nearly $1.6 million.

Launched in 1937, the orchestra has about 170 employees and an energetic music director, Teddy Abrams, who started in 2014 after working as assistant conductor at the Detroit Symphony. Abrams, 29, is among a new vanguard of conductors hoping to attract a younger audience and a wider donor base to guard against another sharp downtown.

Against that backdrop, management and players have started negotiations for a new contract to replace one that expired last spring, according to The Courier-Journal. They’re not alone. From coast to coast this year, other ensembles have been in contract talks, too, amid a stronger economy that’s fortified players’ resolve to claw back wages and benefits lost during the financial crisis.

andrew-kipe
Kipe
The tenor of Louisville’s contract talks isn’t known because negotiators aren’t talking publicly. “The organization is still a bit fragile, and we are in the middle of planning,” Executive Director Andrew Kipe told the newspaper.

But a review of the group’s recent IRS returns, alongside contract talks at other orchestras, offers a glimpse at the fraught stakes involved. Continue reading “Amid orchestra’s contract talks, lessons learned after the wolf’s been chased away”

Papa John’s serves up ‘one of biggest’ launches, and Wall Street smacks its lips

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:49 a.m.

PAPA JOHN’S: Calling it “one of its biggest product innovations in a decade,” the company has introduced a pan-style pizza with an even greater emphasis on fresh ingredients. “Made from fresh, never-frozen pan dough with no artificial preservatives,” the chain said yesterday in a news release, “this crust features seven simple ingredients — a signature blend of flour and extra virgin olive oil, cold-filtered water, sugar, salt, yeast and oil.”

papa-johns-pan-pizzaPapa John’s is promoting the new menu item with a specially designed black box, and a new advertising campaign featuring retired Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, NFL Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, and CEO John Schnatter. (See, above.)

Wall Street liked the news. The company’s stock (PZZA) jumped 3%, closing yesterday at $78.10, up $2.25. The rally continued after hours, with shares rising another 15 to $79.06.

At Pizza Hut, stuffed crust began 21 years ago with a self-deprecating Trump; plus Amazon shares soar to new record high

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 12:57 p.m.

PIZZA HUT‘s introduction of its newest stuffed crust pizza — a grilled cheese version — recalls the fact that the original was launched 21 years ago by a kinder and gentler version of Donald Trump, according to AdWeek.

The new pizza debuted March 26, 1995. Six days later, Pizza Hut kicked off a $45 million national ad campaign, buying TV time during the NCAA’s Final Four weekend. The 30-second spot created by BBDO New York showed a tuxedo-clad Trump in a gilded suite along with Ivana Trump, whom he’d divorced five years earlier. (Watch the ad below.) In the commercial, the two poke fun of their headline-grabbing split.

“He was an egomaniac billionaire and almost charming,” said Hayes Roth, principal of brand and marketing firm HA Roth Consulting. “His egomania was so huge that he makes fun of himself. He’s lost that sense of humor. But he put on a great show, and back then we bought it” (AdWeek).

AMAZON‘s stock traded at a new record high today, $805.77, up $16.09, or 2%. The retail giant employs 6,000 workers at distribution centers in Jeffersonville and Shephardsville. More Amazon news.

Miss Kentucky competed for the Miss America title Sunday on an unlikely campaign platform: eating disorders (plus other fun contest facts)

Updated: Last night, Miss Arkansas won the annual Miss America contest between 52 contestants (you’re maybe forgetting D.C. and Puerto Rico). Miss Kentucky, Laura Jones of Danville, finished among the top 15 finalists before being eliminated. Here’s my original post:

By Jim Hopkins
Boulevard Publisher

Miss Kentucky is Laura Jones of Danville, a 23-year-old graduate of Kentucky Christian University, where she earned a degree in university studies and biblical studies, with a minor in counseling psychology. She plans to become an eating disorders counselor and life coach, following her own struggles with an eating disorder.

miss-kentucky-laura-jones-150
Jones

Jones spent 10 years on the pageant circuit, winning the state contest July 2 in Lexington on her fourth try. “I just felt such a sense of peace through the whole process,” she told the Lexington Herald-Leader moments after being crowned. (The paper noted that she spoke with “a fake eyelash coming loose from an avalanche of tears.”) On Sunday, she will play a violin solo for the talent portion.

The non-profit Miss Kentucky Scholarship Pageant Inc. has an annual budget of about $169,000, according to its most recent public IRS tax return. Most of that, nearly $94,000, went toward staging the contest itself. By contrast, Mississippi — which has won the national contest four times — spends $636,000 annually.

Kentucky has had only one Miss America winner: Heather Renee French Henry, in September 1999. Six other states have also won just once: Connecticut, Indiana, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina and Oregon. Four states have tied for the most winners (six each): California, New York, Ohio, and Oklahoma. (This list shows winners by state, including the 19 that have never won.)

Henry’s win was the top story on The Courier-Journal’s front page the next day (photo, top). Here’s the moment when she won:

The Miss America Organization’s annual budget was $8.3 million in 2014, according to its most recent tax return. The TV production was the biggest expense: $4.6 million; Miss America herself got paid $305,000. Legal expenses inexplicably totaled Continue reading “Miss Kentucky competed for the Miss America title Sunday on an unlikely campaign platform: eating disorders (plus other fun contest facts)”

KFC kicks off a new Colonel Sanders, and a pro football team to boot

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:02 a.m.

KFC: The newest in the TV commercials starring a resurrected Colonel Harland Sanders  imagines him launching a professional football team, the chicken-fueled Kentucky Buckets, in a 30-second spot that starts airing today to promote $20 buckets. The chain posted the commercial to its YouTube page yesterday, where it’s already been viewed more than 153,000 times. Check it out:

The commercial stars “Saturday Night Live” cast member Rob Riggle, the latest actor to portray the KFC founder. Earlier ones were played by Darrell Hammond, Norm MacDonald, Jim Gaffigan and, most recently, perpetually tanned actor George Hamilton, as the “Extra Crispy” colonel. The campaign featuring resurrected KFC founders started in May 2015.

When the Yum unit unveiled the campaign last year, many customers were skeptical or disgusted that the chain would revive its founder — a real person — from the dead, according to Business Insider. But the controversial move has paid off for the chain; in July, Yum announced the fried chicken chain had its eighth consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, after a period of slumping sales (Business Insider).

KINDRED‘s Gentiva Health Services unit successfully advocated for a Medicaid rule change that could extend care to 18,000 people in Mississippi. Eligible patients in the state will now be able to receive home and community-based services — “waiver services” — at the same time as hospice services. “The old program was unintentionally keeping patents away from hospice care,” Mullins told Home Health Care News. “Patients would be forced to choose between their waiver services, like Meals on Wheels, or hospice care” (Home Health Care News).

Yum agrees to sell $464M stake in China unit ahead of spinoff; Haier to brand cooktops and ovens in U.K.; plus more (possibly) bad news about the (allegedly) leaked KFC recipe

A news summary focused on 10 big employers; updated 8:41 a.m.

YUM has agreed to an advance sale of a $464 million slice of its China operations to a prominent Chinese deal maker and the financial affiliate of Chinese Internet giant Alibaba. The deal announced this morning is with Primavera Capital and Ant Financial Services Group. They will buy the shares at an 8% discount to the average price at which Yum China’s shares trade between 31 and 60 days after they’re distributed to Yum shareholders in a spinoff expected by Oct. 31. Yum China will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent company on Nov. 1 under the ticker symbol “YUMC.”

Greg Creed
Creed

Louisville-based Yum also announced Primavera founder Dr. Fred Hu, former chairman of Greater China at Goldman Sachs, will become Yum China’s non-executive board chairman. In a statement, Yum CEO Greg Creed said: “The investments from Primavera and Ant Financial in Yum China mark another important milestone in our plans to separate the China business and create a solid foundation for Yum China” (Wall Street Journal and press release).

GE APPLIANCES owner Haier is filling a hole in its product lineup: It will begin to sell Haier-branded gas cooktops, induction cooktops and ovens in the U.K., beginning next year. China-based Haier hasn’t yet released prices or dates when they might appear in other countries, however. Haier bought Louisville-based GE Appliances for $5.6 billion in June, in a bid to gain a stronger presence in the U.S., where it has only 1.1% of the appliance market. The Louisville company employs 6,000 workers at Appliance Park in the south end (CNET).

KFC: YouTube vlogger Hellthy Junk Food has done a blind taste taste of real KFC fried chicken vs. that purportedly leaked super-secret recipe of 11 herbs and spaces founder Harlan Sanders created. Posted Tuesday, the video’d results have already drawn 75,000 views — and they don’t bode well for the chain:

BROWN-FORMAN: Financial news site Seeking Alpha  Continue reading “Yum agrees to sell $464M stake in China unit ahead of spinoff; Haier to brand cooktops and ovens in U.K.; plus more (possibly) bad news about the (allegedly) leaked KFC recipe”