October 10, 2014: Wendy’s Hires Stars for Barbecue 'Tweet-a-Thon,' Promoters Fight for Control of Beloved L.A. Venue, Political Conventions Allowed New Funding Sources

By Beth Kormanik October 10, 2014, 7:54 AM EDT

1. WENDY’S HIRES STARS FOR BARBECUE 'TWEET-A-THON': To promote a new line of BBQ sandwiches and sides, Wendy’s sponsored a “tweet-a-thon” with celebrities Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and currently on Dancing with the Stars), wrestler Steve Austin, and Karate Kid actor Ralph Macchio. The team answered questions on Twitter and acted out “barbecue-related requests.” Adweek: “In addition to the tweet-a-thon, Wendy’s has created several new video ads using Macchio, Ribeiro and Austin. A series of 90-second PSA-like spots rally around the idea that Americans need more BBQ food in their diets. Wendy’s effort also includes a Tumblr page that pulls together all of the campaign’s GIFs and videos. There is also an online petition to the White House to recognize BBQ as the National Dish of America.”

2. PROMOTERS FIGHT FOR CONTROL OF BELOVED L.A. VENUE: Live Nation is making a play for management of city-owned Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, whose contract with Nederlander Concerts comes up for renewal next year. Events giant AEG is partnering with Nederlander, but each side has its supporters—and importantly for fans has promised a renovation to the outdoor amphitheater. Los Angeles Times: “Live Nation, which proved itself to City Hall after it produced the successful Made in America festival in downtown Los Angeles, has already secured the support of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, according to a report in The Times' L.A. Now blog. However, according to that same report, neighbors of the tony Los Feliz neighborhood that houses the entrance to the Greek and who must endure the crowds throughout the season, are mostly siding with Nederlander's bid.”

3. POLITICAL CONVENTIONS ALLOWED NEW FUNDING SOURCES: Political parties can now form new committees to raise money to pay for their national conventions, after a Federal Election Commission ruling Thursday that was opposed by critics who warned against raising contribution limits for donors. Cleveland Plain Dealer: “The decision sought by the Republican and Democratic National Committees means each group can launch a fourth fundraising committee to collect money for convention expenses, in addition to the three committees they already operate to raise money for House races, Senate races, and general party expenses. … FEC Commissioner Matthew S. Peterson said the new committees would raise money for non-political parts of the conventions, like logistics and transportation and said the new process would keep undisclosed 'soft money' from 'creeping into the system.'”


BOSTON:  The lineup has been announced for 103.5 Kiss FM’s Jingle Ball, which will take place at Allstate Arena on December 8. The event—part of the iHeart Radio Jingle Ball tour—will feature Demi Lovato, Iggy Azalea, Calvin Harris, and Rita Ora.

CHICAGO:  Momotaro, the Japanese concept from BOKA Restaurant Group, will open in the West Loop next week. With sushi and robata programs, the restaurant will have a main-level dining space and a bottom-level izakaya.

Park West has hired Allie Newmark as an account executive for event sales.

LOS ANGELES:  Los Angeles Auto Show producers have announced the addition of ThinkLA’s Motor City West to this year’s Press & Trade Days lineup, November 18-20. Scheduled for November 19, the half-day conference presented by Yahoo is slated to focus its discussions on the latest trends and topics transforming the way auto brands sell to consumers.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The second Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival is October 22-25. Events include a kickoff finner at Joe’s Stone Crab, the Chef Showdown, and the Seafood & Sneakers Ball.

NEW YORK:  Pratt Institute will present its annual scholarship benefit Legends 2014 on November 20 at the Mandarin Oriental New York. The honorees are designers Iris Apfel and David Yurman and Paper magazine editor in chief Kim Hastreiter.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  The Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort hosts its Food & Wine Classic October 31-November 1. This is the fifth year for the event, which offers dozens of food and wine stations as well as educational seminars on topics such as pasta making, mixology, and wine blending.

PARIS:  ReedPop—the company behind New York Comic Con, PAX, and other pop culture-based conventions—will produce the first Paris Comic Con on October 23-25, 2015.

TORONTO:  Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada will host its first Tea and Tiaras fund-raiser at the Royal York Hotel on November 2.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Smithsonian magazine will host its third annual American Ingenuity Awards October 16 at the National Portrait Gallery. Rosanne Cash will receive the Performing Arts award, although other winners won't be announced until the event. Presenters include T Bone Burnett, Stephen Hawking, Daniel Libeskind, and other luminaries. NPR’s Michel Martin will host.

The new George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum announced an opening date of March 21. The 46,000-square-foot space will house a collection of more than 19,000 objects.

Prince George’s Community College's Partners for Success Awards Dinner is October 29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center. This year's honorees are U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Lockheed Martin, and Kaiser Permanente.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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