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BUSINESS
November 19, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
The Writers Guild of America-East, which has been trying to unionize writers of "reality" shows for years now, is just out with a new report on the mistreatment of these wage slaves in the ever-burgeoning and fabulously profitable entertainment segment. How profitable? The average margins at the cable channels that depend on what is prettily described as "nonfiction" television run as high as 60%, the guild says. And why not? Overhead is low, on-air talent comes cheap. Even a modestly budgeted cable scripted show -- the guild cites "Royal Pains," a very entertaining show in its fifth season on the USA Network -- can cost up to $2.5 million an episode; a nonfiction show on the History channel tops out at $425,000, and some are as cheap as $100,000.
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BUSINESS
November 19, 2013 | By Michael Hiltzik
The Writers Guild of America-East, which has been trying to unionize writers of "reality" shows for years now, is just out with a new report on the mistreatment of these wage slaves in the ever-burgeoning and fabulously profitable entertainment segment. How profitable? The average margins at the cable channels that depend on what is prettily described as "nonfiction" television run as high as 60%, the guild says. And why not? Overhead is low, on-air talent comes cheap. Even a modestly budgeted cable scripted show -- the guild cites "Royal Pains," a very entertaining show in its fifth season on the USA Network -- can cost up to $2.5 million an episode; a nonfiction show on the History channel tops out at $425,000, and some are as cheap as $100,000.
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OPINION
October 9, 2007
Re "CIA doesn't use torture, Bush says," Oct. 6 The U.S. does torture people. We have all seen the photographs of detainees being tortured by U.S. troops. We have heard testimony from detainees who have been tortured in U.S. custody. We have heard statements from U.S. troops admitting to torturing Iraqi detainees. President Bush's reluctance to make Justice Department memos and testimony available seems like an admission that the U.S. government does torture people.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2013 | By Philip Brandes
The real-life people depicted in “Nickel and Dimed” at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre aren't this docudrama's target audience - those people couldn't afford even the modest $25 ticket. Rather, Joan Holden's stage adaptation of journalist Barbara Ehrenreich's 2001 bestseller about America's working poor is aimed squarely at educating the more fortunate among us in the realities of trying to get by on the income from low-wage service jobs. In the social experiment depicted in both the book and play, Ehrenreich posed as an unskilled worker in three cities to see if such jobs (paying in the $6 - $7 range at the time)
NEWS
January 6, 1994 | LYNN SMITH, Lynn Smith is a staff writer for The Times' View section
In "Schindler's List," the hedonistic opportunist Oskar Schindler makes a fortune in World War II using Polish Jews as slave labor, but then, unable to deny the murderous evil of his Nazi friends, he turns his attention and profits to saving 1,100 of his workers from the Auschwitz death camp. (Rated R) * Normally, Eric and Samia Friedrichsen do not take their children, 11 and 13, to R-rated movies. But this one is different.
NEWS
March 19, 2003 | James Flanigan
It wasn't very long ago that green -- the color of money -- was the color that corporate executives worried most about. These days, though, it is orange -- the color of the government's heightened terrorism alert -- that is weighing heaviest on many of their minds. Underscoring this grim reality is Inter-Con Security Systems Inc. of Pasadena, an enterprise whose 30-year history encapsulates the evolving nature of protection for major companies and institutions. Simply put, before the Sept.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 4, 2002
Thank you, Maratta, for your depiction of the fabrication of life via pixels (Silent Pictures, July 28). I was stunned by the grim reality. That image so enraged me I scanned it and sent it to everyone I know. Parents, wake up. JAMES SPENCER Sun Valley
OPINION
October 2, 2003
Re "A 'Clean' Sweep for Elections," Opinion, Sept. 28: Micah Sifry's plea for public funding of election campaigns hits the core threat to our democracy, to social justice and to humanity's survival of corporate domination and perpetual military and class warfare. The grim reality is that private funding of election campaigns permits special interests that are in conflict with the public interest to buy our politicians. Nick Seidita Northridge
MAGAZINE
October 13, 1991
The saddest thing about the disappearance and killing of Jack Shelton in Guatemala is that his murderers were likely paid by U.S. largess from a fund that I, as a taxpayer, am required to pay into. Furthermore, the grim reality of death-squad murder is also repeated ad nauseam in El Salvador and Honduras, with the apparent but tacit blessing of our own State Department. The entire Central American foreign policy needs to be rethought. This country has no business supporting terrorist military dictatorships anywhere.
SPORTS
November 16, 1985 | JOHN WEYLER, Times Staff Writer
Welcome to the Walkup Skydome where a couple of reclamation projects will be showcased tonight (5:30 p.m., PST) as two teams try to salvage what's left of disappointing 1985 seasons. Cal State Fullerton, Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. champion the last two years with an 18-6 record over that span, has been reduced to the grim reality that the best it can do with this season is post a winning record--and the Titans must win their last three games to do that.
BUSINESS
September 4, 2011 | By Jay Price
Before Hurricane Irene smacked his tender tobacco plants sideways, David Parker was headed for a terrific crop, maybe his best in 32 years of farming. Now, as Parker rushes to save a few acres of shredded leaves before they rot on the dying stalks, the math looks different. "I've never had a year I didn't make money farming, but I think this will be the one that gets us there," he said last week, driving up a dirt road between a beaten-down cotton field and a 17-acre patch of dejected-looking tobacco.
OPINION
October 9, 2007
Re "CIA doesn't use torture, Bush says," Oct. 6 The U.S. does torture people. We have all seen the photographs of detainees being tortured by U.S. troops. We have heard testimony from detainees who have been tortured in U.S. custody. We have heard statements from U.S. troops admitting to torturing Iraqi detainees. President Bush's reluctance to make Justice Department memos and testimony available seems like an admission that the U.S. government does torture people.
OPINION
October 8, 2006
AFTER CIRCLING THE BAGHDAD airport for 40 minutes because of mortar and rocket fire, traveling by helicopter to the Green Zone to avoid the deadly bomb-strewn highway into the city and holding a meeting with President Jalal Talabani in darkness because the power was suddenly cut off, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice held a news conference Thursday to talk about all the progress being made in Iraq.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 30, 2006
"IF you're a political junkie" -- especially one from Hollywood -- "this was almost as good as Oscar night," wrote Tina Daunt about the party in New York where guests doled out $15,000 apiece to attend Bill Clinton's Global Aid Initiative and mix with some of the world's most rich and powerful ["A Soiree With a Serious Agenda," Sept. 22]. There is a chasm as deep and as wide as the Pacific Ocean between that party and the grim reality of millions living in wretched conditions. True, it was a feel-good event that raised funds to help the distressed of the world.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2006 | P.J. Huffstutter, Times Staff Writer
As thousands of visitors arrive in downtown Detroit for this weekend's Super Bowl, they are greeted by a city that appears to be booming with promise. In the shadow of glass and steel skyscrapers, crowds of customers salivate over rich platters of smoked salmon Benedict and baskets stacked high with freshly baked fruit breads inside Detroit's Breakfast House & Grill.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 27, 2005 | Patrick Pacheco, Special to The Times
EARLY on in the adaptation of "The Color Purple" to the Broadway musical stage, lead producer Scott Sanders gave the creative team a directive: "You guys have 10 to 12 minutes to tell all the sad stuff you want, but then get Sofia on that stage." Sofia, of course, is one of the self-empowered heroines of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. The big-bosomed, no-nonsense force of nature blows into the life of Celie, who is burdened with the "sad stuff."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 1991
I am appalled by the planned cuts into one of the few state organizations that produce revenues for the state coffers: the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control ("State Plans to Lay Off 75% of Liquor Board Agents," front page, Oct. 3). Millions of dollars generated yearly by this fine agency are funneled into other, often money-losing projects. Trimming the one money-making department to support the losers is tantamount to shooting oneself in the leg in order to win a footrace!
ENTERTAINMENT
December 21, 1998 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
Killing fields in prime time. The program aired at 9:30 p.m. Thursday on Foothill Community Access Television in Grass Valley, Calif. It aired with a detailed disclaimer warning parents that it might not be suitable for their children. And it aired without a hitch, the tiny station reported. Good. No demonstrations. Good. No angry callers. Good.
SPORTS
October 26, 2004 | T.J. Simers
You know that business about being careful what you wish for, because you might be seen on Fox TV by everyone in the country, revealing the fact that almost everyone who lives in Boston is pretty ugly? Well, you can bet it's no accident that Fox scheduled the premiere of "The Swan," featuring 10 "ugly ducklings," for Monday night, after two days of World Series camera shots showing ugly people sitting in the stands at Fenway Park.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 10, 2004 | Richard Fausset, Times Staff Writer
As former employees of some of Southern California's most exclusive hotels, Jim Tetreau and Don Anderson know something about the well-appointed refuges of the rich. They started a small nonprofit group, Strive, as a somewhat naive experiment: What would happen if a South Los Angeles neighborhood got a taste of the four-star treatment? After 14 years of struggle, the two men are close to an answer.
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