In the News: Radio and TV Correspondents Love John Hodgeman, Sundance Still Bringing in Bucks for Utah

By Michael O'Connell June 24, 2009, 3:00 PM EDT

John Hodgeman Wins Over Correspondents' Crowd: The White House Correspondents' Association Dinner may suffer from an annual inability to not offend some party with its divisive M.C.s, but that doesn't seem to be the case at the Radio and Television Correspondents' Dinner. Host John Hodgeman—of Apple commercial and Daily Show fame—won over the audience at Friday's event by skirting an actual roast and opting to label Barack Obama the country's first geek president. Obama seemed to please the crowd with his own speech, and come Monday morning, nobody was licking wounded egos on cable news. [Wired]

Fests Like Sundance Still Boosting the Economy: Festival-town locals might bemoan the congestion and hullabaloo associated with their annual events, but they sure do benefit from them. Despite an 11 percent drop in attendance this year, a study by a group at the University of Utah calculated that the Sundance Film Festival brought in $92.1 million to the state this year. The numbers broke down to $34,579,698 on accommodations, $14,976,306 on food, $4,693,682 on transportation, and $4,015,870 on “discretionary items"—which we'll assume includes booze. [NYT]

New iPhone Greeted With Subdued Launch: When Apple released the first crop of iPhones two summers ago, the crowds, lines, and general in-store madness were a sight to be seen for weeks. The latest model? Not so much. Retailers still had to go out of their way to provide crowd control, with extra staffers, security vendors, and taping and ropes to organize lines, but the groups of several hundred customers didn't match the scene from just a few years back. [CNN]

Planners Turn to Virtual Meetings: A poll of British corporate events professionals reveals that most are bracing for fewer live meetings and conferences in the coming year. As many as 70 percent of internal planners and 64 percent of intermediary specialists anticipate a rise in “virtual” meetings as the recession continues, and a mere 7 percent of corporate staffers anticipate an increase in live events in 2010. [Conworld]

Virgin Atlantic Recycles Birthday Party: Part celebration, part stunt, 25th birthday festivities for Virgin Atlantic kicked off this week when Virgin Group president Richard Branson walked out on a plane's wing with model Kate Moss, clad in a bright red jumpsuit, in his arms. Turns out the billionaire entrepreneur pulled the same act for the airline's 21st birthday, only with Pamela Anderson instead of Moss. After the photo op, the pair boarded the plane for an in-flight party during a repeat of the company's inaugural flight from London's Heathrow Airport to New York City. [Daily Mail]

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