Categories: Griffin News 21Feb Rep. Griffin helps Michigan House approve more money for road repairs Roads in Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties would benefit from legislation approved today by state Rep. Beth Griffin and the Michigan House.The $175 million bill provides additional money for road maintenance and construction across Michigan as early as this summer.“People are sick and tired of dodging potholes every time they drive,” said Griffin, of Mattawan. “Investing more in our roads and bridges is consistently near the top of the priority list when I talk to people in the district. We have money available to give our road repairs a boost right now, and we can’t afford to miss this opportunity.”In addition to state projects, the bill includes money for county, city and village roads throughout Michigan. Estimated local allocations include Van Buren County ($669,434), Kalamazoo County ($1.45 million), Bangor ($16,859), Bloomingdale ($5,438), Breedsville ($3,181), Decatur ($15,706), Gobles ($7,365), Hartford ($20,464), Parchment ($13,490), South Haven ($41,315), Lawrence ($10,275), Lawton ($17,276), Mattawan ($20,619) and Paw Paw ($26,487), among others.The money is left over from a previous state government budget cycle and is already available, meaning no budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment. The money included in the bill approved today comes in addition to previous changes providing more funding for road and bridge projects across the state.House Bill 4321 advances to the Senate for further consideration.###
NBC News is to acquire a 25% stake in Euronews, according to various press reports. The European news channel is to be renamed Euronews NBC following the transaction.NBC News chief Andy Lack revealed the move in an internal memo to NBC staff in which he announced that Noah Oppenheim, the executive in charge of the flagship Today programme, would take over from Deborah Turness as the US news network’s president.Turness, a former ITV executive, was named president of NBC News International, a new division that will liaise between the US news division and Euronews, and could also serve as the springboard for further international expansion by NBC News.Lack told staff that NBC would invest in European journalism and strengthen the depth and pace of Euronews’ reporting.According to Bloomberg and The New York Times, NBC will spend US$30 million for its stake in the European news outfit.The move will make NBC the second largest shareholder in Euronews after Egyptian tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who holds a 53% stake, with the remainder shred between about 20 European broadcasters.The operation must be approved by Euronews’ current shareholders, who are scheduled to hold their general meeting at the end of this month.News of Euronews’ discussions with NBC first emerged in November, when AFP reported that the channel was in exclusive talks with the US company. The loss-making European outfit launched a restructuring plan some months ago that saw it eliminate about 35 posts and revamp its working methods.
Amazon’s chief financial officer, Brian Olsavsky, said he expects Prime Video spend to “increase even further in 2019” but would not put a price on its programming budget.Brian OlsavskyOlsavsky made the comment on the company’s fourth quarter earnings call, responding to a question asking for an update on the company’s ambitions in the video space.The CFO said that video and music builds “stronger Prime connectivity,” with members more likely to renew and engage with Amazon’s subscription offering, which includes other perks like free one-day delivery of physical goods.He also pointed to Amazon’s 10 Golden Globe and three Oscar nominations as proof of the success of its Amazon Studios division.In the AVOD space, Amazon subsidiary the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), launched an ad-supported streaming service called Freedive in January.Amazon’s director of investor relations, Dave Fildes, said on the call that the company is excited about the service and “other opportunities we’ve been working with in ads,” citing Amazon’s Thursday Night Football streams in the US.Fildes said Amazon is “looking forward to pursuing more opportunities to engage and serve with customers with those types of video offers, but also take some opportunity to monetise with the advertising.”In terms of financials, Amazon’s fourth quarter revenue increased 20% year-on-year to US$72.4 billion. Operating income increased to US$3.8 billion in Q4 2018, compared to US$2.1 billion in Q4 2017.