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March 2, 2017: Oscars Fire Accountants Responsible for Best Picture Mistake, Why More Podcasts Are Turning to Live Events, Discovery to Partner With Mobile Providers to Create Local Olympics Content

1. OSCARS FIRE ACCOUNTANTS RESPONSIBLE FOR BEST PICTURE MISTAKE: The president of the Academy has announced that the accountants responsible for the Oscars Best Picture mistake on Sunday will not be invited back to work the ceremony. Associated Press: "Cheryl Boone Isaacs said Wednesday that Brian Cullinan, the PwC representative responsible for handing over the errant envelope that led to 'La La Land' mistakenly being announced as best picture rather than 'Moonlight,' was distracted backstage. He tweeted (and later deleted) a photo of Emma Stone in the wings with her new Oscar minutes before giving presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway the wrong envelope for best picture. Cullinan and his colleague, Martha Ruiz, have been permanently removed from all film academy dealings, Boone Isaacs said. The academy president broke her silence four days after the biggest blunder in the 89-year history of the Academy Awards. She told The Associated Press that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' relationship with PwC, which has been responsible for tallying and revealing Oscar winners for 83 years, remains under review. PwC released a statement late Sunday and another Monday taking "full responsibility for the series of mistakes and breaches of established protocols" during the Oscar show. The company did not immediately respond to email and phone messages sent Wednesday. … Also on Wednesday, the academy addressed another embarrassment on Sunday's show, apologizing to the Australian movie producer it incorrectly displayed during the in memoriam segment."

2. WHY MORE PODCASTS ARE TURNING TO LIVE EVENTS: More podcasters are partnering with producers to host live events, in an effort to grow their businesses. Digiday: "In the past week, both Midroll and WNYC announced major podcast festivals on opposite coasts: LA-based Midroll’s Now Hear This festival will take place in New York, while WNYC’s Werk It, a podcast festival focused on women, will take place at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles. Later this month, Gimlet, the venture-backed podcast startup from Alex Blumberg, will present its very first live podcast at the Bell House, in Brooklyn; even podcast newcomers Spotify, which announced its first slate of original shows this week, is putting on live events for shows like AudioHQ’s recently launched scripted podcast Bronzeville. Each of these companies is starting from a different place, and none of them depends on live shows for revenue. But they are all investing more time and energy in events, and at this point, many podcast producers now consider live events to be an integral part of any show’s development and growth. 'We’ve kind of knit it into every project that we launch,' said Dean Capello, the chief content officer at WNYC. … Events, in turn, are also growing from a small, but encouraging position. Midroll, which produced its first three-day podcast festival last year, now has a full-time staffer who focuses on events programming (it also leans on the programming resources inside its parent company, Scripps). And Slate, which produces more live podcasts than most other publishers, sold over 9,000 tickets to its live shows last year, with most of those going for $30 or $35, and its most popular show, the Political Gabfest, reliably sells upwards of 1,200 tickets per show."

3. DISCOVERY TO PARTNER WITH MOBILE PROVIDERS TO CREATE LOCAL OLYMPICS CONTENT: Discovery Communications wants to partner with global mobile providers to allow them to be official mobile broadcasters of upcoming Summer and Winter Olympics. Adweek: "Discovery—which has the exclusive TV and multimedia rights for 50 countries and territories from 2018 through 2024—will let mobile providers co-brand with the Olympics to drive more engagement. Speaking today at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Jean-Briac Perrette, president and CEO of Discovery Networks International, said the goal is to help mobile operators provide more localized Olympic content for viewers in specific markets. He said mobile carriers and Discovery will be able to tell stories of local sports heroes as the games progress—and not just during the Olympic Games, but also in the days long before and after. The partnerships will also allow Discovery to access a 'personalized, direct link' with consumers, Perrette said. Along with on-demand content, providers will be able to analyze data about what types of content is relevant to viewers. Perrette said the key is to understand what works across platforms. For example, he said sports work on every platform, along with kids programming and entertainment."


ATLANTIC CITY:  Hard Rock International will buy the closed Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. Press of Atlantic City:

BOSTON:  Cake Comedy Tour will kick off with the Women in Comedy Festival on April 21 at the Rockwell. The event will feature stand-up from New York-based comedians Carrie Gravenson, Abbi Crutchfield, Kaytlin Bailey, and Erin Judge.

CHICAGO:  Oxford Hotels & Resorts has announced that the Days Inn Chicago on the border of Lincoln Park and Lakeview will rebrand as the Hotel Versey, a 135-room boutique hotel, this spring.

LOS ANGELES:  The fourth annual All-Star Chef Classic will take place March 8-11 at L.A. Live. Events include the Italian Masters Dinner presented by Melissa's Produce, Southern Eats, and Grill & Chill presented by DCS and Stella Artois.

California's first-ever Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville will open March 30 at Universal CityWalk. Buffet and the Coral Reefer Band will perform at the opening.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Women of Tomorrow Annual Gala Cocktail Party will take place Saturday at Mandarin Oriental Miami. The event raises funds for the Women of Tomorrow Mentor and Scholarship Program, which supports at-risk women in South Florida.

Lightkeepers restaurant and bar has opened at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, Miami. The restaurant serves seafood and dishes made with locally sourced ingredients from chef Raul A. Del Pozo.

NEW ORLEANS:  Chance The Rapper has joined the lineup for this year's Essence Festival presented by Coca-Cola, taking place June 30-July 2 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Other headliners include Diana Ross, Mary J. Blige, Solange, and John Legend.

NEW YORK:  NYC & Company has announced that it expects 300,000 fewer tourists to visit the city this year than in 2016. The New York Times:

Chocolatier Jacques Torres is slated to open a chocolate museum at his SoHo shop. Eater:

Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Paulette Cole's third venture AbcV has opened at 38 East 19th Street. The 75-seat restaurant serves plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian dishes from chef de cuisine Neal Harden.

Dream Midtown has been named the official partner hotel of Broadway's Miss Saigon.

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate will open its new recreation area in May, with an additional 23,000 square feet of pool deck, 16 private cabanas, and a wave pool. In the fall, the resort will open an additional 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space and a new three-story building with 93 guest rooms.

SAN DIEGO:  Nightlife venue Oxford Social Club has opened inside the Pendry San Diego hotel.

TORONTO:  Heroes vs. Villians: The Hunt, a charity event hosted by the students from the Special Events Management Program at George Brown College, will take place March 29 at One King West Hotel and Residence. The event will benefit Children's Mental Health Ontario and George Brown College scholarships.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  EnventU, an education initiative providing work-based learning opportunities in the event industry for high school students, has announced its first-ever board of directors. Members include BizBash C.E.O. and founder David Adler; Dufour & Co C.E.O. Philip Dufour; Design Cuisine principal William Homan; Occasions Caterers co-founder and president Eric Michaels; The Mark and Brenda Moore and Family Foundation coordinator JenĂ©e L. Padmore; Design Foundry creative director and C.E.O. Annie Senatore; and Bravo! Partners founder and C.E.O. Nancy Shaffer.

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center has announced David Creamer as its new executive chef. Creamer will oversee all culinary operations.

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With contributions from Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from

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