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Alex Weprin

Alex Weprin is a senior editor at Mediabistro. He has written about television for Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Cynopsis: Weekender and other outlets, and is a big New York Mets fan. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/alexweprin

Inside The Samsung Galaxy S4 launch Event

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Last night Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S4 in front of a packed Radio City Music Hall in New York. AppNewser was there to get some hands-on time with the company’s new flagship phone.

Radio City was a madhouse. Doors opened at 6 with the presentation supposed to start at 7. Despite arriving right at 6, the line was already wrapped around itself down the block (see the photo to the left). I didn’t get in the doors til 6:50.

Once inside, I was ushered up to the mezzanine, as the orchestra level had filled up. The glow of phones, tablets and laptops filled the theater in the minutes leading up to the presentation. As for that presentation, it was… interesting. You can watch it here to get all the details on the phone, and see all of the odd (yet attractive) set pieces they used.

The crowd was excited for the phone, not the presentation. I had never been in a crowd that cheered so loudly when the words “4G LTE” were uttered, or how a number of audible gasps and “whoa”s were heard when a burst mode on the camera was demoed.
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Here’s What Will Make The Apple TV Different

Apple CEO Tim Cook is interviewed by NBC News anchor Brian Williams tonight, and in a preview clip, he hints that Apple has something brewing in the TV space.

“When I go into my living room and turn on the TV, I feel like I have gone backwards in time by 20 to 30 years,” Cook told Williams. “It’s an area of intense interest. I can’t say more than that.”

As it happens, on Tuesday of this week, Les Moonves, the CEO of CBS, said that he met with Cook a few weeks ago, though he wouldn’t say about what. Last week, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes insinuated that he also met with Cook recently. Apple is clearly working on a TV product, but given the current state of TV sets and cable boxes, what would make it different?

The two keys are software and content.

An Apple TV set will undoubtedly feature the software that the Apple TV product currently has. It makes it easy to watch videos from Netflix and iTunes on your existing TV set. That said, at this moment in time, Apple needs to give customers access to the shows that want to watch in order to have a succesful product, that is the content side of the equation.

There are two ways to do this: partner with a cable or satellite company, or partner with the content companies themselves.

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Spike Lee: My First Big Break

In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we talk to legendary filmmaker Spike Lee.

While Lee is well-known for his movies, did you know that if it wasn’t for NBA superstar Michael Jordan and a pair of Nike Air Jordan sneakers, Lee–and Nike–might not be the icons they have become today? It all came down to a risky commercial shoot.

“So Michael Jordan could easily have said, ‘I can’t take a chance on this young gun, this young boy, just give me the reels of the top guys on Madison Avenue.’ But Michael Jordan didn’t do that,” the Red Hook Summer  director recalls. “For some reason, he decided to give me a shot. And the commercial I did with Michael Jordan ended up being some of the greatest campaigns ever in the history of advertising and Nike took off.”

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Why Apple’s New ‘Maps’ App Presents A Huge Opportunity For Google

Many pundits are declaring the Apple’s new “Maps” application for iOS—which ditches Google’s mapping data for something developed in house—is a death knell for Google in the mobile mapping space.

On the contrary, it actually presents a golden opportunity for Google to gain traction.

Apple’s new mapping app looks great, with free turn-by-turn navigation (see right), and a cool “flyover” feature that delivers beautiful 3D shots of major metropolitan areas.

The problem is what the new app seems to lack. As noted by ReadWriteWeb’s Dan Frommer, the new Maps app does not appear to have public transit or walking directions, which are vital to those iPhone users in urban areas. It also does not appear to have “Street View,” which—while not as pretty as a 3D virtual flyover—is extremely useful when trying to locate a house or address you haven’t been to before.

In addition, we haven’t had a chance to see if Apple’s Maps are as accurate and clear as Google’s are. The early pictures look very promising, but until we get a hands-on, it will be hard to know for sure how it stacks up to Google’s mapping solution.

Why is this an opportunity for Google? Because now Google can have a Google Maps app to call its own on the iPhone and iPad.

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Glenn Beck: My First Big Break


In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we hear from radio personality, author, former Fox News host and GBTV founder Glenn Beck. While he has found tremendous success across many different forms of media, did you know that he almost left the business to go to cooking school? If it wasn’t for a heart-to-heart conversation with his father, he may never have found his professional voice.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Bonnie Fuller: My First Big Break


In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we hear from HollywoodLife.com editor Bonnie Fuller. Fuller gained international acclaim as the editor of magazines such as Marie Claire, US Weekly and Cosmopolitan, but did you know that she started out as a beat reporter writing about sports clothes? Or that a friendship with an upcoming fashion designer named Tommy Hilfiger led to a meeting that would change her professional career? Watch below, as Fuller explains how she went from a young cub reporter, to one of the most powerful women in publishing.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Deborah Norville: My First Big Break


In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “My First Big Break,” we talk to “Inside Edition” anchor Deborah Norville. Now everyone knows her as the face of the syndicated CBS news program, but before she got her shot nationally, she started in Georgia, working at CBS affiliate WAGA. As for her break, it came before she even graduated from college, and involved a little bit of luck, and former President Jimmy Carter.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Dan Rather: My First Big Break


In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s series “My First Big Break,” we speak to HDNet “Dan Rather Reports” anchor and former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather. Did you know that if it weren’t for a hurricane that struck near Galveston, Texas, he might never have had his shot at working in network news? That among other things, he had to deal with thousands of snakes in order to report on the story? That he helped create a weather-reporting graphic that has become ubiquitous on TV news? Below, Rather talks about the event that brought him to the attention of CBS in New York, and changed his professional life.

For more videos, check out our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV

Keith Olbermann Officially Launches His "Fok News Channel" Website

Late on Friday night, former MSNBC host and soon-to-be Current TV host Keith Olbermann launched his new website, FOK News Channel.

As we reported last week, the site is accessible at FOKNewsChannel.com

The site features three sections: “The First Guess,” which features Olbermann’s thoughts on the news of the day. “Snappy Answers to Stupid Headlines,” which has Olbermann snarking to headlines from various news outlets and “Worst Persons of the Day.” which is the online version of his popular TV show segment.

News of the site’s launch has already left the blogosphere and made the mainstream media, with ABC News and The Washington Post.

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