BY J. CLARA CHAN | HollywoodReporter.Com
Beginning on Monday, advertisers will have a new set of restrictions on the types of ads they can place on the “most prominent” slot on YouTube’s home page.
YouTube has banned ads related to politics, alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling from its “most prominent” ad slot on the homepage, according to updated guidelines posted to Google’s advertising support page on Monday.
Ads that depict or refer to alcohol, prescription drugs and gambling will not be allowed on the homepage. Political ads that endorse a candidate for office will also be outright banned, but others that are related to political issues will be reviewed case-by-case, according to Axios, which first reported the news.
The new restrictions announced on Monday will only apply to the homepage, meaning that rejected ads related to these topics may still appear elsewhere on YouTube or other Google-owned properties.
“We regularly review our advertising requirements to ensure they balance the needs of both advertisers and users,” a Google spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We believe this update will build on changes we made last year to the masthead reservation process and will lead to a better experience for users.”
YouTube previously adjusted its guidelines for its highly coveted masthead ad slot by barring advertisers from reserving the ad slot for full days. The change, which went into effect at the beginning of this year, was first announced in November after Donald Trump purchased the homepage slot for several days leading up to the election.
In April, YouTube said it had surpassed $6 billion in advertising revenue in the first quarter of 2021, representing a 50 percent year-over-year growth rate compared to the $4 billion in ad revenue that YouTube reported for the first quarter of 2019.
June 14, 1:55 p.m. Updated with a statement from Google.
By Barton Goldsmith, Tribune News Service
For those who suffer from depression, more time in the day isn’t a bonus
Longer days and warmer weather are on the way. For most people, summertime is a good time of year. It can also be very helpful for people with seasonal affective disorder.
But many others may feel pressured by the extra time in the day and feel guilty for not enjoying themselves. For many depressed people, going to bed is the best part of their day.
Here are some things you can do to combat the summertime blues.
1. Be grateful this isn’t last year
Remember how we were locked down in many areas, and even Disneyland was closed? Many states are lifting their mask mandates and expecting things will mostly be back to normal this summer. And that’s something we can all be at least a little happy about.
2. Plan some kind of a summer adventure
Maybe it’s in your own town, or maybe you will travel to a place that holds fond memories or somewhere you’ve never been to create new ones. Whatever your choice, a lot of joy can be found in the planning process. Whether you are going to travel on your own or with a group, your family or just your partner, figuring out everything you’d like to do once you get to your destination is a big part of the fun. It’s also a good way to lift you out of a funk. Happiness comes from making plans, so try it.
3. Honor any concerns about the virus
It’s understandable to still be nervous about COVID-19. If you are, then continue your protocols and stay safe, but look to taking more walks in your hometown, and commit to discovering new things in your own backyard. It is amazing how just planting a few flowers and watching them bloom helps you blossom internally as well. If that doesn’t work for you, there is always the option of a good garage cleaning. Once you start on home improvement projects, it can become a fulfilling part of your routine.
4. Add a new dimension to your lifestyle
If you didn’t learn a foreign language or invent the next big thing during the lockdown, welcome to the biggest club in the world. This summer is your chance to do something fun that makes you feel good about yourself. You can take up the guitar and have campfire singalongs or learn one of the new soft sports like paddleboarding. The idea is to do something different from the norm but that’s relaxing as well as a little exciting.
5. Reconnect with good friends and loving family
What a difference being around other people can make. I found that the first handshake I received in a year actually made me feel good, and an unexpected hug even better. Socializing and working with fully vaccinated people makes this a little easier.
Adding joy back into your world, while still being appropriately cautious, is going to make the summer of 2021 a lot more fun than last year. Most all of us need to play a little bit, and summertime brings up thoughts of jumping off piers and walking along a beautiful trail. This is the stuff of life. Being in nature or bringing it to you is a natural healer for the summertime blues.
DONALD WOOD | TravelPulse.Com
Troy Warren #travel-all
New data from American Express found spending on domestic travel bookings was already nearing a full recovery.
According to CNBC.com, American Express CEO Steve Squeri revealed bookings in May were 95 percent of what they were in May 2019, signaling that COVID-19 vaccines and lifted restrictions are elevating traveler confidence.
“We also believe that by the end of the year in the U.S., we will have a full consumer recovery from a travel perspective, and overall, by the end of the year I think globally we’ll probably be about 80 percent of what we were in 2019,” Squeri told Jim Cramer on Mad Money.
The number of travelers taking to the skies is also on the rise, with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screening 2.03 million passengers at airport checkpoints around the U.S. on Friday, the first time the agency surpassed two million people since the pandemic began.
While the number of travelers screened continues to climb steadily, they are still only 74 percent of the volumes registered on the same day in 2019. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it would no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to wear a face mask in transportation hubs, including airports, train stations and bus terminals.
Data from American Express also found that restaurant spending is also on the rebound, with May dining expenses amounting to around 85 percent of May 2019 levels.
“The people that are really spending a lot in restaurants [are] millennials — 130 percent in April of what they spent back in 2019,” Squeri continued. “We believe that that’s going to continue to move forward.”
BY GEORG SZALAI | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren #business-all
Although Pascal Desroches says about the process: “I’m not confident that we are going to be able to get something done very quickly through the DOJ.”
AT&T’s WarnerMedia merger with Discovery shouldn’t face any real challenges from regulators and could end up securing clearances before the companies’ mid-2022 closing target date, AT&T CFO Pascal Desroches signaled during an investor conference on Tuesday.
“Getting through the U.S. and international different market regulatory regimes just takes some time,” he said duringCredit Suisse’s virtual 23rd Annual Communications Conference. “We are hopeful that we are conservative in our outlook in terms of the time that it is going to take to get it approved, but we don’t know.”
Desroches also said about the Washington review process: “I’m not confident that we are going to be able to get something done very quickly through the DOJ (Department of Justice). That is why we gave the one-year timetable. We are not concerned at all that this could be challenged from a regulatory standpoint.”
In mid-May, AT&T unveiled a deal to spin off WarnerMedia, merge it with Discovery and get $43 billion, in the process creating a new global content powerhouse with scripted and unscripted programming. AT&T will use the sale of its entertainment unit to reduce debt and focus on its connectivity business.
“This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” AT&T CEO John Stankey had said in unveiling the deal. “It will support the fantastic growth and international launch of HBO Max with Discovery’s global footprint and create efficiencies which can be re-invested in producing more great content to give consumers what they want.”
For AT&T shareholders, he called it “an opportunity to unlock value and be one of the best capitalized broadband companies, focused on investing in 5G and fiber to meet substantial, long-term demand for connectivity.”
HBO and the HBO Max streaming service ended March with 44.2 million domestic and 63.9 million global subscribers. AT&T did not break out the number of subscribers for HBO Max as it no longer reports “activations.”
BY ASHLEY CULLINS | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren #local-all
An Erie County judge denied Weinstein’s request to stay at the Wende Correctional Facility outside of Buffalo, New York until the start of trial.
Harvey Weinstein will be transferred to Los Angeles, after multiple delays of his extradition, an Erie County New York judge on Tuesday ruled.
Weinstein appeared via Zoom from the Wende Correctional Facility, and his lawyer Mark Werksman also appeared remotely.
Norman Effman, who appeared in the courtroom before Erie County Judge Kenneth Case on behalf of Weinstein, argued that Weinstein was moved to Wende because of the facility’s ability to treat his health issues. Jails aren’t designed for longterm incarceration, Effman said, and because it’s unlikely a trial would occur in the next four to six months Weinstein would be sitting in a jail instead of his current prison during that time. If LA wants jurisdiction, Effman argued, they can do a virtual arraignment.
Effman is also arguing that a copy and paste error on the prosecutor’s request for temporary custody makes it invalid. “We’re challenging the paperwork because it’s not right,” Effman argued. “I realize it’s a legal technicality … That’s what due process is about, following the rules. They did not.”
Weinstein’s lawyers want him to stay where he is for treatment and say he “would be ready to go to L.A. when they’re ready to start voir dire for jury selection.”
Meanwhile, prosecutors contend that their paperwork is in order and disagree that Weinstein can only be treated in New York. “They don’t get to pick when and where they get the treatment,” Erie County Assistant District Attorney Colleen Curtin Gable argued. “It’s Los Angeles. It’s not some remote outpost that doesn’t have any sort of medical care.”
Case sided with the prosecution and also denied a stay.
“Based upon everything that I’ve read and I’ve heard, I believe that I will respectfully deny your petition, Mr. Effman,” Case said. “If California doesn’t come to pick up Mr. Weinstein within a reasonable period of time, certainly, come back to see me.”
Weinstein’s Zoom was the last to be disconnected. “Are we done?” he asked someone in the room. They chatted for a minute before the frame froze on an image of Weinstein with his head in his hands and went dark.
“We are disappointed in this decision today,” a rep for Weinstein said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “Just now, Mr. Weinstein’s attorney filed a writ of Habeas Corpus with the L.A. county Superior Court. We are asking the court to hold off the extradition of Mr. Weinstein to Los Angeles until he can receive his needed medical care here in New York.”
Weinstein is currently serving a 23-year sentence for a conviction of committing a criminal sexual act in the first degree and third-degree rape, which he’s appealing. In California, Weinstein was indicted by an L.A. grand jury and is facing 11 counts of sexual assault.
By Pam Belluck | NYTimes.Com
Troy Warren #covid-all
An analysis of health insurance records of almost two million coronavirus patients found new issues in nearly a quarter — including those whose Covid infection was mild or asymptomatic.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have sought medical care for post-Covid health problems that they had not been diagnosed with before becoming infected with the coronavirus, according to the largest study to date of long-term symptoms in Covid-19 patients.
The study, tracking the health insurance records of nearly two million people in the United States who contracted the coronavirus last year, found that one month or more after their infection, almost one-quarter — 23 percent — of them sought medical treatment for new conditions.
Those affected were all ages, including children. Their most common new health problems were pain, including in nerves and muscles; breathing difficulties; high cholesterol; malaise and fatigue; and high blood pressure. Other issues included intestinal symptoms; migraines; skin problems; heart abnormalities; sleep disorders; and mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.
Post-Covid health problems were common even among people who had not gotten sick from the virus at all, the study found. While nearly half of patients who were hospitalized for Covid-19 experienced subsequent medical issues, so did 27 percent of people who had mild or moderate symptoms and 19 percent of people who said they were asymptomatic.
“One thing that was surprising to us was the large percentage of asymptomatic patients that are in that category of long Covid,” said Robin Gelburd, president of FAIR Health, a nonprofit organization that conducted the study based on what it says is the nation’s largest database of private health insurance claims.
More than half of the 1,959,982 patients whose records were evaluated reported no symptoms from their Covid infection. Forty percent had symptoms but didn’t require hospitalization, including 1 percent whose only symptom was loss of taste or smell; only 5 percent were hospitalized.
Ms. Gelburd said the fact that asymptomatic people can have post-Covid symptoms is important to emphasize, so that patients and doctors can know to consider the possibility that some health issues may actually be aftereffects of the coronavirus. “There are some people who may not have even known they had Covid,” she said, “but if they continue to present with some of these conditions that are unusual for their health history, it may be worth some further investigation by the medical professional that they’re working with.”
The report, which will be posted publicly on Tuesday morning on the organization’s website, analyzed records of people diagnosed with Covid-19 between February and December 2020, tracking them until February 2021. It found that 454,477 people consulted health providers for symptoms 30 days or more after their infection. FAIR Health said the analysis was evaluated by an independent academic reviewer but was not formally peer-reviewed.
“The strength of this study is really its size and its ability to look across the range of disease severity in a diversity of age groups,” said Dr. Helen Chu, an associate professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the University of Washington School of Medicine, who was not involved in the report. “This is a hard study to do with that much data.”
The report “drives home the point that long Covid can affect nearly every organ system,” said Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, chief of the research and development service at the VA St. Louis Health Care System, who was not involved in the new study.
“Some of these manifestations are chronic conditions that will last a lifetime and will forever scar some individuals and families,” added Dr. Al-Aly, who was an author of a large study published in April of lingering symptoms in Covid patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs health system.
In the new study, the most common issue for which patients sought medical care was pain — including nerve inflammation and aches and pains associated with nerves and muscles — which was reported by more than 5 percent of patients or nearly 100,000 people, more than a fifth of those who reported post-Covid problems. Breathing difficulties, including shortness of breath, were experienced by 3.5 percent of post-Covid patients.
Nearly 3 percent of patients sought treatment for symptoms that were labeled with diagnostic codes for malaise and fatigue, a far-reaching category that could include issues like brain fog and exhaustion that gets worse after physical or mental activity — effects that have been reported by many people with long Covid.
Other new issues for patients, especially adults in their 40s and 50s, included high cholesterol, diagnosed in 3 percent of all post-Covid patients, and high blood pressure, diagnosed in 2.4 percent, the report said. Dr. Al-Aly said such health conditions, which have not been commonly considered aftereffects of the virus, make it “increasingly clear that post-Covid or long Covid has a metabolic signature marked by derangements in the metabolic machinery.”
Relatively few deaths — 594 — occurred 30 days or more post-Covid, and most were among people who had been hospitalized for their coronavirus infection, the report found.
The study, like many involving electronic records, only addressed some aspects of the post-Covid landscape. It did not say when patients’ symptoms arose or how long the problems persisted, and it did not evaluate exactly when after infection patients sought help from doctors, only that it was 30 days or more.
BY LINDZI SCHARF | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren #picks-all
The actress’ County Line Florals subscription service was created following her father’s fatal heart attack. “When something crazy happens to you that’s traumatic, you have a choice — to do something beautiful with it.”
In time for Father’s Day, actress-producer Abigail Spencer’s County Line Florals flower-delivery service has opened its first retail space at Free Market, a new collective of shops in Playa Vista. The collective, owned by Alchemy Works and Apolis founders Raan and Lindsay Parton, also includes Jeni’s Ice Cream, Loqui restaurant, Heyday skincare, hatmaker Teressa Foglia and the Studio C boutique.
When Spencer spotted what looked like a greenhouse at the site, she knew it was meant to be and called upon design firm Maneuverworks to collaborate on building out County Line Florals’ roughly 1,000-square-foot new home.
“We are creating a space that people will want to hang out at,” Spencer says of the shop, which will feature a “florista bar.” All bouquets (from $65) are predesigned and listed on an iPad menu. “You can go around Free Market, get a glass of wine or some ice cream, and then sit back at the bar and watch your florista make your creation. It’s a good date night.”
BY RICK PORTER | HollywoodReporter.Com
Troy Warren #reviews-all
The actress will wrap up her run on the NBC series with the conclusion of season eight.
One of the two leads of The Blacklist is departing.
Megan Boone will exit the NBC series with the conclusion of season eight. The season finale is scheduled to air June 23, and the Universal TV/Sony Pictures TV drama has been renewed for a ninth season.
NBC declined comment on Boone’s departure.
Boone and James Spader have formed the central relationship on The Blacklist from its beginning. She plays Elizabeth Keen, a young FBI agent who joins a task force working with Spader’s Raymond “Red” Reddington, a former intelligence officer turned criminal, in tracking down criminals both the bureau and Reddington have an interest in capturing.
The current season has seen Elizabeth become a criminal in her own right and target Reddington, culminating a long game in which she sought to avenge Red killing her mother.
Boone made the show’s producers aware of her decision earlier in the season, so there will be a conclusion to Elizabeth’s story in the final two episodes that circles back to why Red took such an interest in the young agent at the show’s outset.
The Blacklist was a breakout role for Boone, who recurred on NBC’s Law & Order: Los Angeles in 2010-11 and had a handful of TV and film roles before landing the show. She also plays a role in Amazon’s The Underground Railroad.
With Boone’s departure, Spader, Harry Lennix and Diego Klattenhoff are the sole remaining members of The Blacklist‘s original cast heading into season nine.
Deadline first reported the news.