Salary sacrifice arrangements are very simple, highly effective and potentially beneficial to both employee and employer. It is almost too good to be true.At the heart of a salary sacrifice arrangement is an agreement between an employer and an employee to change the terms of the employment contract to reduce the employee’s entitlement to cash pay. This sacrifice of cash entitlement is usually made in return for some form of non-cash benefit such as more holidays, a better car or enhanced health insurance.Salary sacrifice can be financially beneficial for both employer and employee. For example, when part of an employee’s remuneration shifts from cash, on which tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) are due, to non-cash benefits that are wholly or partially exempt from NICs, both sides can be better off.While simple in principle, and capable of being changed, suitable documentation is required. If an employee wants to opt in or out of a salary sacrifice arrangement, their employer must alter their contract with each change. Employees’ contracts must be clear on what their cash and non-cash entitlements are and, once the entitlements are clear, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure that they pay and deduct the right amount of tax and NICs for cash and benefits.Following the significant increase in salary sacrifice arrangements over the years, the government is becoming concerned about the potential loss of NICs. Concerns were raised in the Summer Budget, and the government announced in the Autumn Statement 2015 that it was launching consultation among employers, which seems likely to form part of a wider evidence-gathering process on the use of salary sacrifice.At present, there is no clear indication as to which way the Treasury is likely to move. With the prospect that income tax and NIC maybe harmonised in the foreseeable future, it is unlikely that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will remove any of the tax advantages from salary sacrifice.However, HMRC is almost certain to take a tougher approach to ensuring that every detail of salary sacrifice schemes is implemented correctly, whether or not the harmonisation of income tax and NIC actually happens. Employer failures in implementation may mean that what looks too good to be true is proved by HMRC to be just that.George Bull is senior tax partner at RSM UK Tax and Accounting
Health cash plans are policies employers can offer their staff to reimburse the partial or full cost of everyday health treatments such as employee assistance programmes (EAPs), dental appointments and hospital inpatient care. They are a preventative way of offering employees health and wellbeing benefits, whereas private medical insurance (PMI) covers the treatment of curable, short-term conditions or accidents, such as outpatient procedures and diagnostic tests.Different needsHealth cash plans also sit well alongside other healthcare benefits, including PMI, and although the two differ, employers may opt to offer both to cover all manner of employees’ needs.Paul Gambon, sales director at Medicash, says: “Health cash plans cover the everyday health needs of employees, whereas PMI is [used in] the eventuality should something more severe, [such as] a long-term health condition, occur.”Successfully implementing a health cash plan requires employers to align their plan with employees’ healthcare needs by identifying which staff would benefit most from cover. This can be conducted through methods such as face-to-face conversations and staff surveys.Deciding which option is best for an organisation and its employees is also dependent on both parties’ budgets. Peter McAndrew, sales director at health cash plan provider Health Shield Friendly Society, says: “Cash plans are great if an organisation can’t afford PMI for all.”Innovating benefits In recent years, innovations in the cash plan market includes the addition of options such as EAPs and extending access to services such as Best Doctors, which allows employees to obtain medical advice about health complaints.Some corporate healthcare providers also offer employee wellbeing support, for example, Health Shield enables employees to claim for nutritional therapy and Indian head massage. Options such as these reflect the diverse range of health and wellbeing issues that cash plans can now cover.Brian Hall, managing director of BHSF, says: “The [employee benefits] industry needs to accept that PMI and health cash plans are very different, but both have a place. Comparing them is like comparing a speed boat with skis; both can be good but have very different purposes.”Combining benefitsOnce employers have analysed employees’ healthcare needs, they must decide which benefits are most suitable for them. It may be that offering both PMI and a health cash plan is the best fit for an employer’s workforce. Gambon says: “The two are often combined because they fit together really well to cover everything.”Investing in a bespoke health cash plan can encourage employees to engage with benefits their employer is offering through the process of selecting what is most suitable for them. However, this can be expensive and may not be an option for smaller organisations or those with tighter budgets.Cost implicationsFrom the employers’ perspective, health cash plans are a cost-effective way to support everyday healthcare needs. They can also help employers to alleviate the financial strain of healthcare provision, as well as help to reduce sickness absence and boost staff retention and morale.McAndrew says: “Cost is the main driver of the health cash plan’s popularity because it is an inexpensive way to cover an entire workforce. Cash plans look at everyday healthcare needs and they’re more holistic. The big differentiator is price.”The fact that employees tend to utilise cash plans more often than PMI on a day-to-day basis, due to the nature of their cover, can boost their engagement with these. Paul Shires, executive director, sales and marketing at Westfield Health, says: “The average employee claims twice a year on their cash plan, which is a really great and easy way to get good engagement, plus health cash plans are much more affordable than PMI.”Employers therefore need to carefully calculate their healthcare budget to ensure that what they offer will have the intended effect and meet objectives at the desired cost.Issues such as the ageing workforce, available budgets and employees’ different lifestyles and personal situations, mean that choice is essential when considering a health cash plan or PMI. Employers need to take employee data into careful consideration when creating a healthcare strategy, so that all employees’ needs are recognised. Sarah Brannan, senior consultant at Xerox HR Services, says: “Employers have to appeal to an increasingly diverse workforce with different needs, so if they look at employee data they can work out what their workforce’s main healthcare issues are.”Business objectivesAccording to LaingBuisson’s Health cover UK market report 2015, published in June 2015, there were 3.94 million PMI policies at the start of 2015, compared to 3.97 million in 2014. The research also found that employer-paid PMI policies fell by around 14,000 in 2014. Employers should look at what other organisations offer staff, and therefore what their existing and potential employees will expect of them.Gambon says: “Which one is most suitable for an organisation depends on its nature, budget and staff in terms of age profile and salaries. Both PMI and health cash plans promote health and wellbeing, but whichever one an employer chooses must depend on what the organisation is trying to achieve or improve. Both need to be well communicated, with a particular focus on explaining what they entail for workers.”Health cash plans could become even more inclusive in the future as corporate healthcare providers expand to offer cover for a broader range of treatments and services. Their design is also becoming more flexible to help employers better manage health budgets, and employees to manage their health. But while cash plans could offer a cost-effective, viable alternative to private medical insurance for some employers, it is essential that employers consider their budget, employee demographics, and the options on offer when considering whether to opt for PMI, a health cash plan or both within their healthcare and wellbeing strategies. Viewpoint: Health cash plans and PMI proactively support staffThe National House Building Council’s (NHBC) health and wellbeing strategy is supported by benefits that help to attract and retain talent. We want to be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to wellbeing, ensuring that our employees are well at work and as productive as possible, and to support them if they become ill.We offer various health benefits, including gym membership and bikes via salary sacrifice, an employee assistance programme (EAP), mini health checks, eye tests and part-funded hearing aids. We also offer private medical insurance (PMI) alongside a cash plan that employees fund.Cash plans are cost-effective and straightforward, and employers can tailor them to suit the workforce demographic, hence they have a wide appeal. They are all about prevention; employees do not need to be ill to claim. A cash plan helps employees to meet their everyday health needs and to take responsibility for their own health.However, in cases of serious illness, which are often unexpected and expensive, PMI is a valuable benefit. PMI gives employees quick access to diagnosis and treatment when they need it most. Employers can tailor the cover to suit the demographic of their workforce. At NHBC, we have added enhanced musculoskeletal cover to help reduce related absence. But PMI cover comes at a cost, and a peak in claims can make the benefit increasingly expensive.PMI and cash plans can be integrated and complement one another, and, as with all benefits, the employer should align these to the objectives of its health and wellbeing strategy, monitor trends in the organisation, then adapt what is on offer to suit the changing needs of the business and employees. Most importantly, employers need to market what they are offering to drive take-up.Louise Neilson is reward manager at NHBC Boston College health cash plan offering helps to reduce sickness absenceBoston College offers a health cash plan to all of its 450 employees, irrespective of their level of seniority or the number of contracted hours they work. Its health cash plan, provided by Westfield Health, has helped to reduce staff sickness absence rates by 28%; employee absence rates for the entire workforce fell from 4,114 days in 2011 and 2012 to 2,955 days in 2013 and 2014.The plan also enables staff to pay towards health resources they may not otherwise have access to, such as acupuncture and osteopathy, as well as an employee assistance programme (EAP).Tim Millington, human resources manager at Boston College, says: “There is no doubt that there are some additional benefits to PMI compared to a health cash plan.“[But] further education has suffered badly under the austerity measures introduced over the last few years, and we have to recognise people’s financial restrictions at the college.”Millington adds that Boston College’s health cash plan adheres to employees’ needs effectively, and explains that budgetary constraints mean the college cannot offer PMI as well. “We have found the cash plan to be a very well-received employee benefit offering excellent value for money for [employees], and providing great results in staff engagement and staff absence,” he explains. Need to know:Considering cost and employees’ needs is vital when choosing between health cash plans and private medical insurance (PMI).Health cash plans sit well alongside other healthcare benefits, including PMI.Cash plans have been developed to meet the increasingly diverse needs of organisations and their staff.
The BBC will have to publish the details of all employees who earn more than £150,000 a year in reforms laid out in the draft BBC royal charter and updated framework agreement.The charter, which aims to ensure that the BBC is as open and transparent as possible, will require the broadcaster to publish a report from the remuneration committee that details how senior executive pay is determined, and the names of senior executives who earn more than £150,000 a year. The BBC will also be required to share the names of all other staff and talent who are paid over £150,000, set out in pay bands.The draft charter builds on a government white paper, A BBC for the future: a broadcaster of distinction, which was published in May 2016. In the white paper, the proposed reforms included the disclosure of the names of employees, freelancers, and talent who earn above £450,000 a year.The draft charter will now be subject to parliamentary debates across the UK, including in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales over the autumn.The charter is expected to come into force on 1 January 2017. A period of transition will run until 3 April 2017.Karen Bradley, culture secretary, said: “The BBC produces world class programming that is admired and respected by millions around the world. The BBC’s next charter will help it adapt to the changing digital world and continue to thrive into the future.“We have made considerable progress since the publication of the white paper and resolved a number of important areas with the BBC, which go further in the key areas of transparency, fairness and securing the BBC’s independence.”Rona Fairhead, current chairman at the BBC Trust, said: “[The] charter is validation of what the public have told us they want; a strong, bold BBC, editorially independent, effectively governed and which places audiences at its heart.“We don’t agree with the government on everything and are disappointed with the decision on the disclosure of presenters’ pay. We don’t believe this is in the long term interests of licence fee payers.”
Supermarket retailer Asda has proposed a new contract for its hourly-paid retail employees in England, Scotland and Wales, offering to increase pay to £9 an hour but cut paid breaks.Asda has proposed the new employment contract in order to provide a standardised offering across all its retail employees in the UK, streamlining the organisation’s six existing contract types down to one.The proposal would increase the basic rate of pay to £9 an hour, with the potential for additional geographical and role premiums. Asda last improved its basic pay rate in 2017 to £8.50 an hour.The new contract asks employees to agree to work more flexibly, for example working different times or across different store departments. Asda states that at least three weeks’ notice would be given for rota changes, and consideration would be given to staff with additional commitments outside of work. The organisation will also move towards making all breaks unpaid.The proposed contract further details a change in the night shift window and an increase to the night shift premium. It also requires employees to work bank holidays unless they are booked as annual leave, excepting Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, which will remain voluntary and paid at double time. The contract confirms that employees will receive 28 days of annual leave in total, including bank holidays.Asda’s non-pay benefits, such as the employee discount, workplace pension, sharesave scheme and bonus plan, will remain unchanged.Anthony Hemmerdinger, senior vice president, operations, said: “Our [employees] do an amazing job every day and we want to continue to reward them with a higher rate of pay, plus benefits such as their annual bonus.“As our customers continue to change the way they shop with us, we also have to be prepared to change to meet their needs and a key part of delivering great service is having the right [employees] in the right place at the right time, which is what this contract aims to achieve.“This proposal is also about increasing our basic rate of pay and aligning the way of working in our stores so that everyone has the same contract, making it fairer to all [employees] and ensuring we can consistently provide the best service to customers.”Asda has entered into a collective consultation process with employees on the proposed contract changes. If successful, Asda expects the contract to take effect from late 2019.Asda predicts that around 5% of its retail staff will be at a financial disadvantage as a result of the new contract implementation. It plans to provide them with a transition payment, which is to be agreed during the consultation process.The contact is already available on a voluntary basis, currently applied to 50,000 staff.Gary Carter, national officer at trade union GMB, added: “Absolutely nothing has been agreed with GMB and we will fight any imposition of these contracts on our members. Since Asda introduced its flexible contract two years ago, nearly 60% of employees have opted not to go on the new contract.“These contract changes will affect nearly 60,000 members of staff; they cannot just be imposed from the top. We expect Asda to negotiate. If [it wants] to roll out the new contract, [it] must listen to employees and sit down with GMB to discuss beneficial improvements to terms and conditions which have the support of the workforce.”
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida organization made a hefty donation to Habitat for Humanity.Florida Girls Giving Back wrote a check for $70,000 to help support the building of a home for a family with special needs, in Fort Lauderdale.The nonprofit group, made up of young women between the ages of 12 and 18, said they are striving to make Broward County a better place to live by positively impacting underprivileged families and youth. For more information, click here.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – The Sheriff’s Foundation of Broward County donated night vision goggles, Wednesday, to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.Forty night vision goggles were donated to the BSO SWAT Team to help them see clearly at night. “When we are searching for bad guys armed or not armed, we’re going into back yards and low light areas,” said BSO SGT. Matt Patten.“At night, our officers can wear the night vision goggles and literally just stand in the backyard, put the night vision on and immediately know someone is standing in the dark,” said Patten.The foundation made the donation in hopes of making things safer for on-duty deputies.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) – Police in Margate are on the lookout for a carjacked Sedan, Friday morning.According to officials, a pair of crooks walked up to a woman and punched her in the face before taking her car.It happened near Lakeside Drive and Coconut Creek Parkway, Thursday night.The stolen car is a 2016 blue Hyundai Genesis with a tag of 006ICM.If you have any information on this carjacking, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) – Key West International Airport has announced that they will resume commercial service Wednesday.Officials said commercial flights will be on a limited schedule the first few days and recommend that travelers contact their airlines for specific information.“I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication that the airport maintenance employees have shown over the course of this trying time,” Monroe County Airports Director Donald DeGraw said in a press release. “We are excited to start commercial service and serve our valued customers.”The airport has been closed for 12 days due to Hurricane Irma and the damage the storm caused.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
DAVIE, FLA. (WSVN) – Western High School was evacuated, Thursday, after a reported hazmat situation.School officials said the students were evacuated as a precaution while hazmat crews worked to determine what’s going on. Just before 12:40 p.m., students were seen going back into the building.According to Davie Fire Rescue, there was an odor in a hallway near a computer lab. Crews checked out four patients who complained of shortness of breath. However, no transports were made.7Skyforce HD captured video of students crowding the football field as they waited for the all-clear.The cause of the smell remains unknown.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Former Miami Dolphins player Dimitri Patterson faced a judge in court, Friday.Patterson was given a $180,000 bond and faces several charges including battery on law enforcement and resisting an officer without violence.He also has to surrender his passport.Protesters gathered outside the courthouse and demanded that the former NFL cornerback be released.They believe this is an attempt to intimidate Patterson to drop a $50 million dollar civil lawsuit against Miami-Dade authorities and ESPN.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
MIAMI (WSVN) – Rescue crews took a man to the hospital after, police said, he was struck in Miami by a woman who was driving under the influence.City of Miami Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene of the crash near Northwest 36th Street and 32nd Avenue, just after 1:15 a.m., Sunday.Officials said the victim was crossing the street when he was hit.Paramedics transported him to Jackson Memorial Hospital in critical condition.The driver was taken into custody.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Fort Lauderdale firefighters have rescued a cat that was stranded in a pine tree.Crews jumped into action to help the feline, which was found more than 50 feet up the tree, at around 2:45 p.m., Monday.Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue shared photos of the rescue.Crews were able to return the cat to its family unharmed.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
In October 2016, the Professional Teaching Practices Commission proposed twelve changes to the Code of Ethics of the Education Profession. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Professional Teaching Practices Commision has added flirting, sexting, and inappropriate touching to the list of things that teachers are not allowed to do with students. The first changed went into effect back in September, including broadening what constitutes ‘sexual misconduct’ and expanding anti-discrimination policy to protect a student’s gender identity. Additional changes are still under review according to the Commision, including a proposal that would not allow for a teacher to get romantically involved with a student for one year after their graduation. Jim Seitz, executive director of the Professional Teaching Practices Commission, says “the state’s code of ethics had not been updated since 2005.” Story as aired: Audio PlayerJennifer-on-school-code-of-ethics-changed.mp3VmJennifer-on-school-code-of-ethics-changed.mp300:00RPd The Commission made further revisions during their January 2017 meeting and then voted to accept all twelve proposals. The next commission meeting is set for January 29-31, 2018. The Professional Teaching Practices Commission is composed of five teachers, one superintendent, one principal, one representative of the Department of Education & Early Development, and one representative of higher education.
Quebecor World, one of the world’s largest printers, has reached an agreement with its creditors that it says will allow the company to emerge from bankruptcy protection.The agreement, Quebecor said, is based on the terms of a consolidated restructuring plan that is intended to recapitalize and “substantially deleverage” the company from its pre-filing levels. Quebecor filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2008. The announcement came one day after Quebecor World’s deadline for $400 million (Canadian) in a rescue financing deal with Tricap Partners passed without an agreement.Quebecor said it plans to file an official plan of reorganization in Canada and in the U.S. by the end of April. The company also said it hopes to exit creditor protection as early as mid-July.”This is very positive, especially because it is a concensus agreement by all the creditors committees and is an important step in the company’s progress to exit creditor protection in July with a strong balance sheet—and as a strong player in our industry,” spokesperson Tony Ross told FOLIO:. In connection with the restructuring, Quebecor said it anticipates having to arrange exit financing at levels below its current debtor-in-possession financing facility.Last month, Quebecor reported a net loss from continuing operations of $943.9 million for 2008 compared to a net loss from continuing operations of $1.8 billion in 2007. The results included $165.9 million in taxes.
In the past, Allure magazine has turned to its Web site as the entry point for readers to participate in its annual advertiser-sponsored giveaway, which features hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of beauty products. This year, the Condé Nast title tapped Microsoft’s High Capacity Color Barcode technology to feature nearly 40 customized 2-D barcodes in the August issue.The result? The tags, which when scanned by smartphones allowed readers to enter the 159 giveaways, were scanned 444,572 times. Microsoft and Allure claim it is the largest tag campaign to date. “Editorial supported the partnership in an organic way,” says John Fauller, Condé Nast’s director of print to mobile solutions. “Over 35 pages of the August issue featured tags, which were incorporated into design. There was also a master tag of the contest calendar in the back of the magazine and on Allure.com.”“When done right, technology is a service, not a gimmick,” says Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells. “What we did was use tags to give readers what they want—a fast, easy and more convenient way to participate in our giveaways.”After scanning a tag, readers were asked to provide certain personal information. Fuller says Allure utilized a feature called Device ID that “lowered the hurdle for repeat performances as entry information was linked to the phone, eliminating the need to re-register.” In addition to providing value to the reader, Allure managed to capitalize on the initiative beyond just partnering with exclusive sponsor L’Oreal. The magazine says it saw a subscription conversion rate of 3.24 percent, and that 34 percent of readers who scanned the tags opted in for news and other marketing materials.
Aslan has over twenty years of experience researching religion and history. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, putting him the ranks of those other rabble-rousers, Horatio Alger and R.W. Emerson. Saying Reza Aslan, a known scholar of religion, shouldn’t write a book about Christianity because he’s Muslim is like saying Paul McCartney shouldn’t write a book about vocal harmonies because he’s a guitarist. [Did that make sense to you? No? Good.]Let’s be honest: No one really cares that Reza Aslan wrote a book about Jesus even though Aslan is a Muslim. Murdoch doesn’t care. Ailes doesn’t care. Lauren Green didn’t even care enough to read the second page of Aslan’s book where he notes his Islamic faith. And the bravado with which she goes after him is alarming, considering that she herself is a Christian who, as noted by Eric Hananoki at Media Matters, frequently reports on Islam.The people who care about the Aslan-writing-about-Jesus bit are those easily-manipulated, fear-mongering Americans, because FoxNews has told them to care, and it’s spent a decade building an empire that depends on a good chunk of its audience being afraid of Muslims.In an interview with John Oliver on The Daily Show, Aslan talked about who Jesus really was, in the context of his time: “… [he] stood up for the weak and the powerless, the outcast and dispossessed… [Jesus] went to the cross on behalf of these outcasts he was fighting for…”According to Aslan, Jesus was a rebel badass. And FoxNews can’t have you agree because FoxNews doesn’t make money if you agree. Jesus loved the underdogs so much, that he went to bat for every single one of them. It’s pretty hard to find controversy in a selfless Jesus, regardless of your religion. So instead, FoxNews switches the focus to the seemingly incongruous notion of a Muslim writing a book about Christianity. Otherwise, the network doesn’t have a story, its audience doesn’t have anything to get worked up about and the rest of the media has nothing to jump on.So is FoxNews’ crappy journalism a pretty genius marketing move? Only their ad team knows for sure. But given that Aslan’s book just hit number two on the New York Times bestseller list, I’d bet they’re happy to argue all the way to the bank. Here’s the thing with Lauren Green’s interview with Reza Aslan about his new book Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth that aired on FoxNews.com, which you’ve absolutely seen passed around Buzzfeed and Facebook like a cheerleader’s slambook post-prom: It’s ‘gotcha’ journalism. It wasn’t meant to inform or engage (that is still the goal of journalism, right?). It wasn’t meant to be thought provoking or to inspire debate.FoxNews.com brought Reza Aslan on for an interview to boost ratings, period. He was asked that first question: “You’re a Muslim, so why did you write a book about the founder of Christianity?” because it was incendiary. FoxNews knows who is not its audience as well as who is its audience, and if they’re not going to make money off you for clicking a story because you like them, then they may as well make money off you for clicking a story because you don’t like them. The network wanted a viral story, something with bite even if it had no teeth, because crazy press is bad journalism, and bad journalism equals good press, and all press leads to clicks, which leads to those sweet dollar bills, y’all. I mean, the first thing I thought was, “Craaaap… is Rupert really losing that much money?”
Amato will be in charge of the group’s business side. He was previously CEO of Backstage. And Wilbur was most recently CFO of Prometheus. “We believe that this new structure will not only foster growth, but allow enhanced opportunities for advertisers, readers, viewers and/or audiences and, of course, our employees,” says Todd Boehly, president of Guggenheim Partners and chairman of Guggenheim Media, in a statement.All three executives will report directly to Boehly, effective immediately. Guggenheim Partners announced some major changes to its publishing holdings under Prometheus Global Media. The group will be split into two operating units—The Entertainment Group, containing The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, and another group that combines Adweek, the CLIO Awards and the Film Expo Group.Along with the re-org, the company named Janice Min and John Amato as co-presidents of the Entertainment group and Jeff Wilbur as president of the Adweek/CLIO/Film Expo group.Min, whose title will also be chief creative officer, most recently headed up The Hollywood Reporter. Now, she’ll oversee all editorial operations for THR and Billboard.
Peter Caranicas, managing editor of Variety, will lead the effort editorially. Each edition of Artisans will include a major feature story, recent news and economic reporting. Variety has covered the behind-the-scenes action of Hollywood for more than 100 years, but the show business b2b brand is going deeper with the launch of Artisans. The new vertical aims at the people who make the television and movie industries go, but never show up on screen—the “below-the-line” community of cinematographers, costume designers, stunt workers and agents.Starting with its July 29 issue, Artisans will appear regularly in the weekly print magazine, as well as online with digital-only features, including in-studio video interviews and field reports.”This is an area of the industry that has been widely unreported and Variety intends to own this coverage,” says Claudia Eller, Variety editor-in-chief of film, in a statement. “No movie, TV show or commercial could be made without the hard work of these unsung heroes. And we are committed to telling their stories and shining a spotlight on the tough issues they confront in their jobs.”
The House version of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill will be aligned with that chamber’s budget resolution, allowing DOD to tap the tens of billions of dollars in extra funds stashed in its war account for requirements that ordinarily would be funded in the department’s base budget.“I’m not too wrapped up in the label on the account,” Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said last week before his panel’s subcommittees began marking up the annual policy bill.House and Senate conferees are close to reaching agreement on a compromise budget resolution calling for the allocation of $96 billion to DOD’s overseas contingency operations (OCO) account, a $38 billion boost over the amount in the Pentagon’s budget request. With DOD’s base budget subject to the Budget Control Act spending caps, the House and Senate Budget committees decided shifting base budget needs to the war account was the easiest way to loosen the pressure on defense spending in FY 2016.Funding to bolster operations and maintenance accounts is a strong candidate to be shifted to the OCO, Thornberry told reporters, reported CQ Roll Call. The committee plans to exercise the same level of oversight over the OCO budget as it does over the base budget, he added.Relying on the war account is hardly a perfect solution for funding the military, primarily because it makes it difficult for defense officials to plan more than one year ahead as there is no certainty as to how much OCO funding will be allocated after FY 2016. But with increased pressure from defense hawks to offer the Pentagon budget relief next year, congressional leaders viewed using the war account as an overflow valve for defense spending as the most expedient solution. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Plans to convert a 68-acre portion of the former Naval Air Station Alameda, Calif., into a mixed development with homes, commercial space and parkland moved one step closer to being realized this week after Alameda’s Planning Board unanimously approved the proposal.The city council will take up the plan next month, when it also will consider the development agreement the city has struck with Alameda Point Partners for the parcel, reported the Alamedan.The city selected Alameda Point Partners after deciding to direct the project itself following two failed efforts led by master developers over the past decade.“We took the different approach,” said Jennifer Ott, the city’s chief operating officer for Alameda Point. “Because of that, we were able to streamline the public, community process,” Ott told the San Francisco Business Times.The developer’s plan calls for 800 townhomes and condominiums, a quarter of which will be affordable to lower income residents; 600,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, including a 125-room hotel; 15 acres of parks and open space; and a new ferry terminal in Seaplane Lagoon.Community advocates, business leaders and other members of the public who spoke at Monday’s board meeting overwhelmingly supported the project, saying it would provide much-needed housing and infrastructure to support economic development.Residents and elected officials have expressed concerns about increased traffic generated by the development in the past — a particular concern due to the Alameda’s island geography — but City Planner Andrew Thomas said officials would strive to reduce traffic impacts by requiring the developer to offer transit options and a high proportion of rental housing that attracts people who are less likely to drive.