January 5, 2017: Seth Meyers Faces Delicate Task as Golden Globes Host, F.C.C. Chairman Cancels C.E.S. Appearance, New Facebook Messenger Event Assistant Streamlines Ticket-Buying Experience

By Ian Zelaya January 5, 2018, 8:39 AM EST

1. SETH MEYERS FACES DELICATE TASK AS GOLDEN GLOBES HOST: Actor and late night TV host Seth Meyers is facing a tricky challenge as Golden Globes host on Sunday, as he'll have to find a way to look for humor when discussing a year in which Hollywood and the entertainment industry were rocked by sexual misconduct scandals. The New York Times: “The program—which has had a reputation as a less stuffy, more raucous cousin of the Oscars and the Emmys—will be Hollywood’s first major award show following a year in which the entertainment industry was roiled by one sexual misconduct scandal after another. Prominent women spoke up to detail the abuses they suffered and once powerful men experienced precipitous falls from grace. When Mr. Meyers takes the stage at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to host the Golden Globe Awards for the first time, he will have to find humorous ways to talk about this unpleasant, extremely painful topic, even while celebrating film and TV accomplishments and roasting a room full of stars wearing black to protest gender inequality. It is a challenge Mr. Meyers said he embraces, and one that he hopes will provide a focal point to his performance. 'It’s an issue you have to address, and it’s pretty delicate,' he said on Wednesday, speaking by phone from Los Angeles. 'When you’re dealing with something that has affected so many people in a negative way, you just want to make sure you can talk about it in a way that doesn’t magnify the negative element of it.' Even so, Mr. Meyers said that, in his line of work, 'it’s nice to have an elephant in the room. There’s nothing more helpful than something everybody’s thinking about.'"

2. F.C.C. CHAIRMAN CANCELS C.E.S. APPEARANCE: Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai has canceled his appearance at C.E.S. because of security concerns, which could be related to the F.C.C.'s repeal of net neutrality. Washington Post: “But one report on Thursday suggested that Pai may have changed his plans because of death threats he had received that were 'linked specifically to the Vegas itinerary.' Pai has been a frequent target of hostility since he unveiled a proposal last year to deregulate the broadband industry by repealing the FCC's net neutrality rules. The agency repealed the rules last month, in a move that permitted Internet providers to speed up, slow down and block websites at will. In the run-up to the decision, Pai told Fox News in November that opponents of the FCC had shown up at his Virginia home to harass his family. A number of signs, he said, were posted near his home that crossed a line. The CES decision represents a break in precedent; the FCC's chairman typically participates in a keynote session at what is widely considered to be the world's biggest technology conference of the year. In addition to giving companies an opportunity to show off new gadgets and services, the show packs its agenda with policy panels that frequently involve high-level lawmakers and regulators. Three other FCC commissioners, as well as the acting chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, are still expected to attend."

3. NEW FACEBOOK MESSENGER EVENT ASSISTANT STREAMLINES TICKET-BUYING EXPERIENCE: Lea, a start-up and chatbot that works through Facebook Messenger, is offering an easier ticket-buying experience by combining event search and discovery, seat selection, and payment. TechCrunch: “And while bots haven’t had the warmest reception as of yet, they’re increasingly becoming a common way for consumers to interact with apps and brands. But in the case of Lea, the chatbot-style interface may actually work better than using a ticketing website or dedicated mobile app, like Ticketmaster’s. According to Lea’s CEO Brian Canty, the original idea—back when the company was known as Ticktate—was to offer a concierge-like application for buying event tickets. Similar to Postmates, the company would send people to the box office to buy tickets on users’ behalf. But this idea didn’t scale, Cato explains. It was expensive and the box offices themselves pushed back because of their deep ties to Ticketmaster. When the company joined 500 Startups in 2016, it was still self-funded, and in search of a model that worked. That is, one that still made it easier to find and buy event tickets, while offering users the feel of the “high-touch, hand-holding” experience they seemed to like from before, says Canty. … The bot today works only with Spotify, but the company aims to support Apple Music and SoundCloud in time. It offers users the ability to search for specifics artists, bands and concerts, or they can leverage Lea’s discovery mechanisms to stay informed of events they may like. Every week, Lea pushes out an update with around five suggested events and then tracks those you click to improve its future recommendations.”


The American Hotel & Lodging Association has promoted Brian Crawford to senior vice president and department head of governmental affairs. 


ATLANTA:  The Painted Duck, a drinkery and duckpin bowling venue from Painted Hospitality, has opened at the Stockyards Atlanta development. 

LOS ANGELES:  Marie Claire's third annual Image Makers Awards will be held on January 11 at Delilah in Los Angeles.

Chef Chad Colby’s Italian restaurant Antico is slated to open on Beverly Boulevard this summer. Eater:

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

MEMPHIS:  The Memphis Cook Convention Center will kick off a $175 million expansion and renovation during the first quarter of 2018. Slated to end in the fourth quarter of 2019, the project will bring the number of breakout rooms at the venue to 52 and will include a new sky bridge, a new entrance on the east side of the building, and a secondary flex space that converts to a 40,000-square-foot ballroom.  

NEW YORK:  Lady Gaga, Childish Gambino, Pink, Little Big Town, Patti LuPone, and Ben Platt will perform at the 60th annual Grammy Awards, which will broadcast live from Madison Square Garden January 28 on CBS. 

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

TORONTO:  Soundtrack of the City, a multi-venue indie music festival highlighting local underground musicians, will take place January 18-22. Venues include the Hideout Toronto and Edenhall. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Warner Bros. Television Group and DC Entertainment will host its DC in D.C. pop-up shop at the Newseum January 12-14. The pop-up shop, taking place alongside the inaugural DC in D.C. pop culture event, will offer Funko Pop! Figures, costumes, graphic novels, and more. 

The Women’s Voices Theater Festival will take place at 26 local venues in January. Washingtonian previews the event:

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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