1300 Radio Stations Now Under The Bankruptcy Umbrella

Story by Radio Ink
Written by Deborah Parenti

Should we look at that statement as good news? Of the approximate 11,300 AM and FM radio stations in America, over 11% of them (iHeart with 850/Cumulus with 445) are now under the umbrella of bankruptcy. And there are many in our industry who are cheering that fact. Why are they cheering? Why is this good news to them? It’s not because they wanted those two companies to fail. Rather, they see light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Radio’s two big companies are finally facing the elephant in the room and working on plans to shed over $22 billion in debt that for years has been kicked down the road.

Many radio executives have been prognosticating, even hoping, this day would come. They were hoping radio’s two biggest companies would get their restructure in motion, get it over with, and get back to business. Since the day Mary Berner took over Cumulus she has been very forthcoming that the debt situation she inherited needed to be addressed. And she’s following through with addressing their $2 billion in debt.

Since the day Bob Pittman inherited iHeart’s massive debt load, while unable to move that needle, he transformed a radio company into a multi-media platform giant. Many may not agree with all of the decisions made, but conventional wisdom alone was never going to be enough to erase that massive debt. Bold moves are never sure bets but credit should go to those who dare to try.

It appears 2018 may be the year it all gets cleaned up, and certainly that IS good news for all. Of course, anything can happen along the way; these bankruptcy plans could fall apart, which would be catastrophic (and rare). Other radio companies could find themselves in the same position. And for sure, there are going to be many who are not repaid a penny in these situations. For them, none of this is great news.

Industry watchers have said for a long time that the enormous amount of debt iHeart and Cumulus have been carrying around, combined with their inability to pay it down, has been marring the entire industry. It has cast a dark shadow over everyone, including advertisers, and the sooner they both clean up their balance sheets and come out on the other side stronger, the better it will be for everyone.

When you really think about it, shouldn’t we all be rooting for Mary Berner and Bob Pittman to succeed? Shouldn’t we hope both Cumulus and iHeart emerge as more solid companies, making the industry stronger? We all know there were a lot of layoffs along the way, and there may be more, but there are still many thousands of employees we should also be cheering for, championing their efforts to create great content, market and sell that great content, and best of all, serve their communities all across the country better than any other medium. This could be the dawn of a new day for radio.
Read more: http://www.insideradio.com/free/iheartmedia-to-have-a-capital-structure-that-matches-its-strong/article_efb334b4-2898-11e8-8b49-13a5fe32cfc7.html


iHeartMedia, Largest U.S. radio company, files for bankruptcy

Story by Reuters
Written by Tom Hals

Updated info: http://www.insideradio.com/free/iheartmedia-to-have-a-capital-structure-that-matches-its-strong/article_efb334b4-2898-11e8-8b49-13a5fe32cfc7.html

IHeartMedia Inc (IHRT.PK) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Thursday as the largest U.S. radio station owner reached an in-principle agreement with creditors to more than halve its $20 billion in debt.

The company said it ‍reached the agreement with holders of more than $10 billion of its outstanding debt that would restructure its balance sheet by transferring 94 percent of the stock in the reorganized company to its lenders.

IHeartMedia has struggled with debt that was taken on to finance a $17.9 billion leveraged buyout in 2008 of what was then Clear Channel Communications Inc. That deal led by Bain Capital LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners LP closed just as a financial crisis began to undermine the U.S. economy.

In the years that followed, the operator of 849 radio stations has faced intensifying competition for advertisers and listeners from internet platforms such as music streaming services.

“The agreement ... is a significant accomplishment, as it allows us to definitively address the more than $20 billion in debt that has burdened our capital structure,” Chief Executive Bob Pittman said in a statement.

The company, which traces its roots to the 1972 purchase of KEEZ-FM in San Antonio, Texas, where it is currently headquartered said it would fund the business and bankruptcy process from cash on hand and cash generated from operations.

It said in a statement it was seeking to maintain business as usual during the bankruptcy, and to “uphold its commitments” to its staff. It employs 12,400 people, according to court records.

The filing comes less than four months after Cumulus Media Inc, which operates 445 U.S. radio stations, filed for Chapter 11.


IHeartMedia had $3.58 billion in revenue in 2017 and reaches 271 million radio listeners. The company also sells advertising on digital platforms, at live concerts and on syndicated programs featuring personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest.

However, the company spent $1.4 billion on interest payments last year and has more than $8 billion in debt maturing by the end of 2019.

Under the company’s debt-cutting deal, holders of secured loans and secured notes, who are owed nearly $13 billion, agreed to accept about $5.6 billion in new debt and 94 percent of the equity in a reorganized iHeartMedia, according to court documents.

These creditors also will receive iHeartMedia’s 89.5 percent stake in Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc (CCO.N), the world’s largest billboard company, which did not file for bankruptcy.

IHeartMedia also proposed that junior debt holders, who are owed more than $2 billion, will receive their pro rata share of 5 percent of the equity in the reorganized company and $200 million in new secured notes.

Existing shareholders would receive 1 percent of the stock in the reorganized company, according to court documents.

The junior debt holders are expected to actively oppose the agreement, said Brian Coleman, iHeartMedia’s treasurer, said in a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Houston.

Investors led by funds affiliated with Angelo, Gordon & Co took iHeartMedia to a New York court last month in a failed bid to protect what they said was the seniority of the debt.

IHeartMedia has also drawn interest from John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp (FWONA.O), which proposed on Feb. 26 a deal to buy a 40 percent stake in a restructured iHeartMedia for $1.16 billion. Such a deal would unite iHeartMedia with Liberty’s Sirius XM Holdings Inc (SIRI.O) satellite radio service.

Shares of iHeartMedia lost three-quarters of their value in the second half of 2015 and have not recovered. The pink sheet stock traded at 62.5 cents in early Thursday trade. Shares of Clear Channel Outdoor climbed 2 percent to $5 on the New York Stock Exchange.


Craig Mack, American rapper on Diddy's Bad Boy label, dead at 46

Craig Mack "Flava in Ya Ear"

Story by NY Daily News
Written by Kyle Eustice

Craig Mack, the Long Island rapper who found fame on Sean "Diddy" Combs' Bad Boy Records in the mid-1990s, has died at age 46, his producer confirmed to the Daily News.

Mack — who launched to hip-hop acclaim with the platinum hit “Flava in Ya Ear” in 1994 before being overshadowed by fellow artists such as the Notorious B.I.G. — died of heart failure at a hospital near his Walterboro, S.C., home Monday.

Craig Mack, you were the first artist to release music on Bad Boy and gave us our first hit. You always followed your heart and you had an energy that was out of this world. You believed in me and you believed in Bad Boy. I will never forget what you did for hip-hop.

"Flava in Ya Ear" The Re-Mix
Read more:

Register NOW: PUSHTech2020 Summit April 12-13, 2018 in the Bay Area

Register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pushtech-2020-2018-annual-summit-rainbow-push-coalition-and-citizenship-education-fund-tickets-43701599661


United States President Donald Trump fires Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, names CIA Director Mike Pompeo as successor at State

Story by The Hill
Written by Morgan Chalfant and Max Greenwood

President Trump has removed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a move that stunned Washington with its timing.

Trump is nominating Gina Haspel, Pompeo’s current deputy, to lead the CIA.

Trump told reporters Tuesday morning that he made the decision “by myself,” signaling he did not speak with Tillerson before firing him.

“I actually got along great with Rex, but really, it was a different mindset,” Trump said from the White House.

Those comments belied the fact that Trump and Tillerson had repeatedly clashed, most famously when the secretary of State reportedly referred to Trump in private as a "moron." The report clearly got under Trump's skin, and the president responded by challenging Tillerson to an IQ test.

Trump tweeted the news of the staff changes shortly after Tillerson's firing was first reported by The Washington Post.

"Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State," Trump tweeted.

"He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!"
Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/378073-tillerson-ousted-as-secretary-of-state-report


‘Black Panther’ Launches With Solid $66.5 Million in China

Story by Variety
Written by Dave McNary

Underlining its global power, Disney-Marvel’s “Black Panther” has opened solidly in China with $66.5 million in its first three days.

The opening weekend made China the largest international territory for “Black Panther,” as it leaped past the U.K. at $55.8 million, South Korea at $42.8 million and Brazil at $29.6 million. “Black Panther” is also the first major Hollywood title to release since Chinese New Year in February and the end of the unofficial blackout period during which local films are given distribution priority.

“Black Panther” took in 53% market share in China and represented the fourth highest opening of a Marvel Cinematic Universe title. It launched 16% ahead of Disney-Marvel’s “Thor: Ragnarok” and is the biggest opening of a Western title in China in 2018 to date.

China is the final foreign market for the superhero tentpole, which has generated $517 million internationally — passing “Captain America: Winter Soldier” ($454 million), “The Dark Knight” ($470 million), “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” ($474 million), “The Amazing Spider-Man” ($496 million), “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” ($506 million) and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” ($514 million).

With $562 million domestically, “Black Panther” has a worldwide box office total of $1.078 billion. It became the 33rd film to cross the $1 billion worldwide mark on Saturday and currently ranks 21st on the all-time list, about $6 million behind “The Dark Knight.” It trails “Transformers: Age of Extinction” by $26 million for 19th place.

Chinese action holdover “Operation Red Sea” scored the second-highest weekend number internationally with $23.8 million from seven markets, lifting the worldwide gross to $530 million, according to comScore. Zhang Yi, Huang Jingyu, Hai Qing, Du Jiang and Prince Mak star in the story of the evacuation of foreign nationals and Chinese citizens from Yemen’s southern port of Aden during the 2015 Yemeni Civil War.

Fox’s “Red Sparrow” took in $15.7 million from 6,774 screens in 69 markets, led by its second weekend in Germany with $2 million and in the U.K. with $1.7 million. The Jennifer Lawrence spy thriller has grossed $51.8 million overseas.

Warner Bros.’ international launch of “Tomb Raider,” starring Alicia Vikander, pulled in $14.1 million at 3,525 locations from nine markets ahead of its March 16 domestic release. South Korea was the top market with $2.9 million.

Fox’s “The Shape of Water,” following its Oscar wins for best picture and director, grossed $11.3 million from 5,686 screens in 52 markets as the majority of markets outperformed the prior weekend. The international total stands at $87.4 million with China opening on March 16.

President Trump and Congresswoman Maxine Waters again show they do not care much for each other

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Los Angeles on March 10, 2018. (Dan Steinberg/Invision/Associated Press)

Story by Los Angeles Times
Written by Laura King

Video link of Representative Waters: https://www.facebook.com/humanrightscampaign/videos/10156244050893281/?t=67

President Trump and Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) engaged in a sharp war of words through the weekend, with Trump calling Waters a "very low-IQ individual" and Waters firing back by calling Trump "con man Don."

Trump started the exchange at a raucous Pennsylvania rally Saturday night for Republican House candidate Rick Saccone, Trump derided Waters, who has called for his impeachment, apparently imitating her as supposedly declaring, "'We will impeach him. We will impeach the President. But he hasn't done anything wrong. It doesn't matter; we will impeach him.'"

"She's a low-IQ individual — you can't help it, she really is," Trump said.

Waters responded Sunday on MSNBC, saying that "this is what this con man does. He diverts attention from himself by attacking others."

"He can keep calling names," Waters said. "I've got plenty for him.… Everyone knows he's a con man. He's been a con man all his life."

Waters appeared undaunted by the President's latest swipe at her, telling MSNBC's Joy Reid that she plans to continue calling for his impeachment.

"I believe he should be impeached," Waters said. "I think we're on the road to it. I think it is possible and I'm going to keep going after him also."

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin on Sunday defended Trump's spree of name-calling, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the verbal assaults were intended to be humorous.

"The President likes making funny names," Mnuchin told interviewer Chuck Todd, who himself was slammed by Trump in the Pennsylvania speech as a "son of a bitch."

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), also appearing on NBC, urged fellow Republicans not to "normalize" the President's behavior. Flake, who is not seeking reelection, said Trump's continual name-calling and continuing attacks on the news media are a threat to democratic norms.

"It's our responsibility at some point when he goes so far to stand up and say, 'This is not normal,'" said Flake, who has also been subjected to repeated Trump insults.


A Word About Louis Farrakhan and Tamika Mallory

Louis Farrakhan; Tomika Mallory (Photo: Carlos Osorio (AP Photo); Bebeto Matthews (AP Photo))

Story by The Root
Written by Terrell Jermaine Starr

Women’s March Co-President Tamika Mallory’s public image has been taking a drumming all week since news broke of her attendance at the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviour’s Day, during which Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a speech with anti-Semitic commentary.

The speech was delivered at the end of February, but Twitter went ablaze last weekend after CNN’s Jake Tapper posted footage on Twitter with time stamps indicating where Farrakhan made the incendiary remarks. An Instagram post Mallory shared from the event was amplified on social media, further drawing sharp reactions from progressives and others.

Public statements from the Women’s March and from Mallory, released on NewsOne Wednesday explaining how the NOI was with her when the father of her son was killed some 17 years ago, haven’t abated media scrutiny.

On Thursday, CBS ran with the headline, “Women’s March Leader Tamika Mallory Defends Relationship With Farrakhan.” The Washington Post ran a column Wednesday titled, “The Anti-Semite Who’s Haunting the Left.” Headlines with even harsher critiques of Mallory and other co-leaders of the Women’s March ran in days prior.

Some of Mallory’s supporters wonder why she’s being held accountable for Farrakhan’s words and that pressure for her to do so reinforces how black women are held accountable in ways white women rarely—if ever—confront. Kellyanne Conway, Hope Hicks, Sarah Huckabee Sanders and other white women are regularly interviewed on network television as officials of the Trump administration, but face no consequences for supporting a white supremacist president. White female Trump supporters are often painted in a sympathetic light in mainstream media, never pressed to answer for electing a racist and alleged sexual abuser.

A letter emailed to The Root by a group of black women outlined their support of Mallory, reading in part, “We denounce any effort to smear Ms. Mallory’s reputation as one of our country’s most promising bridge builders of people of all backgrounds. We stand united against those attacks and encourage the Women’s March to stand united as a diverse body of women and to guard against judgements based on association.”
Read more:
The Root: https://www.theroot.com/a-word-about-louis-farrakhan-and-tamika-mallory-1823607435
CBS: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/womens-march-leader-defends-relationship-with-farrakhan/
Washington Times: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/mar/9/planned-parenthood-cuts-ties-womens-march-leader-o/


The late Michael Jackson spoke out about Black artists institutionalizing their Music in 2002

Michael Jackson speaks about Sony's mishandling of mostly Black artists signed with Sony

Former First Lady Michele Obama on International Women's Day:

Hi Kirk, and Happy International Women's Day.

Growing up, my parents always had a clear message for me and my brother: There is nothing more important for your future than getting a good education. Nothing.

Even though neither of them had a college degree, they were determined to give us that opportunity. And let me tell you, my education changed everything for me -- opening doors I never could have imagined and allowing me to pursue the career of my dreams.

For me, education meant freedom and empowerment; the chance to fulfill my potential and make my voice heard in the world. And it breaks my heart that today, there are millions of girls across the globe who don't have the chance to attend school.

We know the kind of impact educating girls can have -- not just for them and their families, but for their communities and their countries as well.

Girls who go to school marry later, have lower rates of infant and maternal mortality, are more likely to immunize their children, and are less likely to contract malaria and HIV. Girls who are educated also earn higher salaries -- 10 to 20 percent more for each additional year of secondary school. And sending more girls to school and into the workforce can boost an entire country's economy.

That's why, as First Lady, I started an initiative to help more girls worldwide attend school, and before I left the White House, I committed to working on this issue for the rest of my life.

I want every girl on this planet to have the same kind of opportunities that I've had, and that my daughters have -- and I need your help.

Every single one of us has a role to play in helping girls get the education they deserve, and International Women's Day is the perfect time to make that commitment.

Will you join us in creating opportunities for girls around the world? https://go.obama.org/page/s/international-womens-day-em?source=20180308_IWD_top&utm_medium=email&utm_source=obamafound&utm_campaign=20180308_IWD_top&utm_content=2+-+Will+you+join+us+in+creating+opportuniti

I look forward to sharing more about our work with you soon, and I hope you'll join us in this effort. Thank you for everything you've done and continue to do to support the Obama Foundation.


Donate today to support the Obama Foundation's work, including our ongoing investment in young people across the globe. https://go.obama.org/page/contribute/IWD?utm_medium=email&utm_source=obamafound&utm_content=3&utm_campaign=20180308_IWD_langA_above&source=20180308_IWD_langA_above


Donors launch $2.5 million push to elect Georgia's first African-American Governor Stacey Abrams

Democrat Stacey Abrams holds a news conference Tuesday to announce she has qualified to run for Georgia governor. (Photo: Bob Andres, AP)

Story by USA Today
Written by Fredreka Schouten

WASHINGTON — An influential Democratic donor is launching a $2.5 million effort to help elect veteran Georgia legislator Stacey Abrams as the state's first African-American governor — and to lay the groundwork for what Democrats hope will be more victories in the Deep South.

Susan Sandler, a San Francisco-based philanthropist, is spending $1 million of her own money and has rounded up commitments for another $1 million. In a strategy memo shared with USA TODAY, she called on some other 100 Democratic donors to chip in to boost Abrams.

The spending is the first phase of a larger campaign by some of the country's most prominent liberal donors to help Abrams, a Yale-educated lawyer and former romance novelist, become the nation's first black female governor.

The early money is aimed at increasing black turnout for the May 22 primary and boosting the name recognition of Abrams, who shares the first name of her primary opponent, Stacey Evans.

Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, is term-limited. At least five Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, are vying for the GOP nomination.

Although their party has not held the governor's mansion in solidly Republican Georgia in more than 15 years, Democrats are emboldened by recent victories in Virginia's governor's race and in deep-red Alabama, where Doug Jones became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from the state in 25 years.

The political operation overseen by Sandler and husband Steve Phillips, helped drive black turnout in the Alabama Senate race, and they hope to deploy a similar strategy in Georgia, where African Americans make up about 30% of the electorate.

In recent statewide elections in Georgia, the winner has been determined by about 230,000 votes on average, Sandler wrote. But in Georgia's last gubernatorial election in 2014, some 1.2 million eligible black voters stayed away from the polls.

"The upset election of Doug Jones in the Alabama Senate race in December gave a glimpse of a new electoral equation," Sandler wrote in the memo. "If we elect Stacey, we will show that we know how to win in the South without compromising our principles and beliefs," Sandler wrote.

She said the model also "will set us up to win Georgia in the 2020 presidential race."

Sandler and Phillips want turn out 80,000 black voters to back Abrams in the primary through a mix of advertising, phone calls and door-knocking. They also plan to hire 250 organizers.

The Obamas visit D.C. shelter that received daughters' swing set as donation

President Obama and the first lady visited a Southeast Washington family shelter and spent time with the children in the swing and play set that once belonged to the Obama girls. The Obamas installed the swing set in 2009, shortly after moving to the White House.


Sade has returned

Sade returns

One of The Largest Black-Owned Airlines Is Being Run By A Savvy 29 Year-Old Woman named Sherrexcia Rolle

Sherrexcia ‘Rexy’ Rolle is the Vice President of Operations and General Counsel for Western Air, a Bahamas-based black-owned aviation business

Story by Western Air

You may not have known that there are black-owned airlines, but guess again. Sherrexcia ‘Rexy’ Rolle is the Vice President of Operations and General Counsel for Western Air, a Bahamas-based black-owned aviation business. Although the company was founded by her parents Rex and Shandrice Rolle, Rexy has led the charge in expanding her family’s privately-owned business which has been in existence for approximately two decades. With a net worth of $90+ million, Western Airlines has been steadily increasing its routes across the Caribbean, including direct flights to Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica and soon Florida. In this interview, Rexy describes how Western Air came to be and shares advice on how to make it in the aviation industry as a person of color.

Let’s get into the history of Western Air. What prompted your family to delve into the business of aviation?

Rexy: My parents were very young and just started out their lives when they had me. My mom was 17 and my Dad was 18, just beginning his career as a pilot. We are from a small town called Mastic Point, Andros in the Bahamas. My father started his career in the aviation industry as a private pilot by trade, however, owning his own airlines and developing it in the Bahamas was a lifelong dream of his. My parents worked tirelessly and persevered in developing this business by saving their money and doing their research with various aircraft brokers. My parents were eventually fortunate enough through faith, their persistence and dedication in their business plan to [receive offers] from two aviation investors from the U.S. From that moment moving forward, Western Air Limited was a dream that is now a reality.

Developing an airline is a lucrative but very competitive industry. What were the market gaps that your family wanted to bridge when developing Western Air Ltd.?

Rexy: With any business, it is all about knowing your industry and what particular problem you are solving for the consumer. In the Bahamas, there are over 700 islands and many Bahamians usually take small charter ferries as transportation to the other islands. Even though we have a very efficient government airline in the Bahamas, there were certain islands that were not being targeted for our consumers to have a convenient way to travel. This is where our airline comes in and once we recognized those gaps in the market, we were able to convince our investors why our airline is needed.

I understand in the business of aviation there are little to no minorities who are either owners or have senior level positions. What are some of the challenges that you and your family face in this industry and how do you all overcome those challenges in maintaining the brand and taking Western Air Ltd. to the next level?

Rexy: Every day we have our challenges, just like any other company. Being the largest privately-owned airline company in the Bahamas, as a family, we have an understanding that we must maintain our focus on our mission. We understand we have to work 10 times harder and we don’t shy away from the challenge. Moreover, as the Vice President of Operations and General Counsel, the number one thing I stressed for our company is consistency.

In the beginning, we had our issues in time management and delays. However, in this industry where timing is very crucial, we began to focus on the reasons why these things were happening and “sweating the small stuff” in ensuring that our customers arrive at their destinations in a safe and timely fashion. Once my team and I began fine-tuning arrival and departure times, our performance began to improve. Our ticket sales increased also. From that first initial step, we are continuing a hands-on approach on our customer service by making sure people get there safely, on time and most importantly with their luggage intact. Presently, as we are speaking, I am sitting in my office looking at schedules and flights that are departing and arriving. Just like the old saying goes, “Timing is everything.”

Western Air Ltd. is continuing to grow every year. What are some ideas for expansion that you have in mind?

Rexy: As an urban millennial woman, I know that it is important for us to increase our online and social media presence. My parents did a great job with grassroots marketing through word of mouth in the Bahamas but now it is time to increase our awareness and promote our services internationally.

Presently, there are various women specifically Black woman that hold senior-level positions in Top 500 companies, however, since the #metoo campaign, many women have come forward with sexual harassment claims from men in the workplace. Have you ever been in a position in which you were either discriminated against based on your age, race and gender? If so, how do you handle those challenges in an industry where men dominate the aviation industry?

Rexy: In these cases, like most women, we have our intuition and what I learned is that we must follow it. The minute I sense a meeting has turned beyond the level of business, I shut it down immediately. I learned that if you want people to take you seriously, especially in this industry where I have to constantly negotiate claims and deal with serious regulations, you must be confident in what you know and only do business with people who are focused on the mission in sealing the deal. Anyone that has approached me in any other manner allowed me to know that I would not be doing business with them.

I had to know within myself I will be successful without them and there is always alternatives. As advice to other women who are working in corporate or not, you should not tolerate anything that will degrade you of your womanhood and character. Everything will work out and you should never adhere to sexual harassment or misconduct in the workspace. Those that do that are threatened by your confidence and intelligence.

What is some advice that you would give women that are interested in the aviation industry?

Rexy: Be confident in what you know and I say that over again. One of our downfalls as women is that we leave it at the door, — we must stay CONFIDENT in what we know and the work we produce. We as women were groomed from schooling and professionally to always second guess our decisions and feel as if we are “under-qualified.” I learned from experience to know your industry very well because the odds are immediately against you due to gender and race. In the aviation industry, you should know its a highly regulated industry as it should be, but it’s also incredibly broad with various work opportunities that are not commonly known. In my role, I have to ensure operations comply with not only our company policies and standards but to all relevant laws and regulations.

Understanding your market and clientele — the customers ALWAYS come first! What we take pride in at Western Air Ltd. is our customer service. This is exactly what sets us apart from our competition. Our customers are family and we treat family members with pride and the utmost respect. In building your capital, be sure you do your research to ensure your aviation and finance partners or investors understand your vision and what it will require. Trust your staff, partners, and most importantly YOURSELF.

Flippy the robot doesn’t demand $15 an hour - Will tariffs protect American Labor?

Story by UPI

Chain eatery Caliburger announced its location in Pasadena is the first to employ Flippy, a burger-flipping robot developed by Miso Robotics.

Officials said Flippy requires a human helper to put the patties on the grill and the robot then takes over cooking duties.

“The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots,” David Zito, co-founder and chief executive officer of Miso Robotics, told KTLA-TV.

The company said Flippy’s artificial intelligence uses thermal imaging, 3D and regular camera vision to sense when to flip or remove a patty from the grill.

“It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty and the temperature of the grill surface,” Zito said.

Caliburger said it plans to roll out Flippy robots to all of its locations across the country.

“The key to success in the restaurant industry is consistency. So anytime you go to a Caliburger anywhere you know that the patty will be cooked exactly the same,” said John Miller, CEO of Caliburger parent company Cali Group.

Officials said it costs about $60,000 to build a single Flippy robot.

Dylann Roof sentenced to death for church slayings

Story by AP

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal jury has sentenced Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack in 2015.

Roof, who is white, faced either life in prison or execution for the slayings on June 17, 2015. The Justice Department says he is the first person to get the death penalty for federal hate crimes.

The jury reached a decision after about three hours of deliberations.

Roof was convicted last month of all 33 federal charges against him. During sentencing, he represented himself and told jurors he didn’t have a mental illness. But he didn’t offer any remorse or ask that his life be spared.

Roof told FBI agents he wanted to bring back segregation or perhaps start a race war with the slayings.


White House Communications Director Hope Hicks resigning

Story by AP
Written by Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin

WASHINGTON DC — White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of President Donald Trump's most loyal aides, is resigning.

In a statement, the president praises Hicks for her work over the last three years. He says he "will miss having her by my side."

The news comes a day after Hicks was interviewed for nine hours by the panel investigating Russia interference in the 2016 election and contact between Trump's campaign and Russia.

She acknowledged to a House intelligence panel that she has occasionally told "white lies" for Trump. But she said she had not lied about anything relevant to the Russia investigation.

Hicks served as Trump's one-woman communications shop during his winning campaign. She says in a statement, "There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump."

Bill Cosby thankful for sympathy and support following daughters' death

The Cosby Family thanks many people for their prayers for their beloved and beautiful Ensa, who recently died from renal disease.

Andrew Wyatt Publicist for Bill Cosby and The Cosby Family

National Democratic Redistricting Committee introductory letter


I’m Kelly Ward, Executive Director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. I want to start off by thanking you for supporting our work.

NDRC is a groundbreaking organization that’s already making waves in the fight against gerrymandering. With our three-point strategy -- winning key state elections, fighting in the courts, and supporting ballot initiatives -- we’re fighting for fairer districts all over the country.

I can’t tell you how much this work matters. As the Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, I saw first-hand how gerrymandered districts gave Republicans an unfair advantage.

So we’re fighting back. We’re building a broad-based organization to fight in the states and in the courts and, importantly, to expose what the GOP is doing. Because look -- Republicans are going to great pains to redraw their district boundaries in secret. They don’t want you to know what they’re up to.

But we will bring you that information. Follow us on social media for breaking news, rapid response alerts, and takeaways from leaders like our Chair and former Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr.

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Things are already moving quickly (for example, courts in Virginia and Texas just told Republicans the districts they drew are unconstitutional), so don’t wait.

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Kelly Ward
Executive Director, National Democratic Redistricting Committee

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Major Gun Retailer, Stops Selling Assault-Style Weapons

Story by NY Times
Written by Julie Creswell

One of the nation’s largest sports retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, said Wednesday morning it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores.

The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws.

The announcement, made two weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 17 students and staff members, is one of the strongest stances taken by corporate America in the national gun debate. It also carries symbolic weight, coming from a prominent national gun seller.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/28/business/dicks-major-gun-retailer-will-stop-selling-assault-style-rifles.html