Panasonic Corporation known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. is a Japanese multinational electronics corporation headquartered in Kadoma, Japan. The company was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers alongside Sony, Toshiba and Canon Inc. In addition to electronics, it offers non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. Panasonic is the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share. Panasonic has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices, it has a secondary listing on the Nagoya Stock Exchange. From 1935 to October 1, 2008, the company name was "Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd." On January 10, 2008, the company announced that it would change its name to "Panasonic Corporation", in effect on October 1, 2008, to conform with its global brand name "Panasonic". The name change was approved at a shareholders' meeting on June 26, 2008 after consultation with the Matsushita family.
Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita as a vendor of duplex lamp sockets. In the 1920's Matsushita began launching products. In 1927, he produced a line of bicycle lamps that were the first to be marketed with the "National" brand name. During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, electric irons, wireless equipment and its first vacuum tubes. After the war, Panasonic regrouped as a Keiretsu and began to supply the post-war boom in Japan with radios and appliances, as well as bicycles. Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for components after World War II. Sanyo grew to become a competitor to Panasonic, but was acquired by Panasonic in December 2009. In 1961, Matsushita met American dealers; the company began producing television sets for the U. S. market under the Panasonic brand name, expanded the use of the brand to Europe in 1979.
The company used the National brand outside North America from the 1950s to the 1970s. The inability to use the National brand name led to the creation of the Panasonic brand in the United States. Over the next several decades Panasonic released additional products, including black and white TV's, electrical blenders, rice cookers, color TV's and microwave ovens; the company debuted a hi-fidelity audio speaker in Japan in 1965 with the brand Technics. This line of high quality stereo components became worldwide favorites, the most famous products being its turntables, such as the SL-1200 record player, known for its high performance and durability. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Panasonic continued to produce high-quality specialized electronics for niche markets such as shortwave radios, developed its successful line of stereo receivers, CD players and other components. In 1973, Matsushita established "Anam National", joint venture with Anam Group in South Korea. In 1983, Matsushita launched the Panasonic Senior Partner, the first IBM PC compatible Japanese-made computer.
In November 1990, Matsushita agreed to acquire the American media company MCA Inc. for US$6.59 billion. Matsushita subsequently sold 80% of MCA to Seagram Company for US$7 billion in April 1995. In 1998, Matsushita sold Anam National to Anam Electronics. On May 2, 2002, Panasonic Canada marked its 35th anniversary in that country by giving $5 million to help build a "music city" on Toronto's waterfront. On January 19, 2006, Panasonic announced that it would stop producing analog televisions from the next month, in order to concentrate on digital televisions. In 2008, all models of electric shavers from the Panasonic factory were called Panasonic shavers, they dropped Matsushita and National from their name, regardless of worldwide or Japanese markets. On November 3, 2008, Panasonic and Sanyo announced that they were holding merger talks, which resulted in the acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic; the merger was completed in December 2009, resulted in a corporation with revenues of over ¥11.2 trillion.
With the announcement that Pioneer would exit the production of its Kuro plasma HDTV displays, Panasonic purchased many of the patents and incorporated these technologies into its own plasma displays. In April 2011, it was announced that Panasonic would cut its work force by 40,000 by the end of fiscal 2012 in a bid to streamline overlapping operations; the curtailment is about 10 percent of its group work force. In October 2011, Panasonic announced that it would trim its money-losing TV business by ceasing production of Plasma TVs at its plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture by March 2012, cutting 1,000 jobs in the process. In January 2012, Panasonic announced that it had struck a deal with Myspace on its new venture, Myspace TV. Myspace TV will allow users to watch live television while chatting with other users on a laptop, tablet or the television itself. With the partnership, Myspace TV will be integrated into Panasonic Viera televisions. On May 11, 2012, Panasonic announced plans to acquire a 76.2% stake in FirePro Systems, an India-based company in infrastructure protection and security solutions such as fire alarm, fire suppression, video surveillance and building management.
In line with company prediction of a net loss of 765 billion yen, on November 5, 2012, the shares fell to the lowest level since February 1975 to 388 yen. In 2012, the sh
Variety is a weekly American entertainment trade magazine and website owned by Penske Media Corporation. It was founded by Sime Silverman in New York in 1905 as a weekly newspaper reporting on theater and vaudeville. In 1933 it added Daily Variety, based in Los Angeles. Variety.com features breaking entertainment news, box office results, cover stories, photo galleries and more, plus a credits database, production charts and calendar, with archive content dating back to 1905. Variety has been published since December 16, 1905, when it was launched by Sime Silverman as a weekly periodical covering theater and vaudeville with its headquarters in New York City. Sime was fired by The Morning Telegraph in 1905 for panning an act which had taken out an advert for $50, said that it looked like he would have to start his own paper in order to be able to tell the truth. With a loan of $1,500 from his father-in-law, he launched Variety as editor. In addition to Sime's former employer The Morning Telegraph, other major competitors on launch were The New York Clipper and the New York Dramatic Mirror.
The original cover design, similar to the current design, was sketched by Edgar M. Miller, a scenic painter, who refused payment; the front cover contained pictures of the original editorial staff, who were Alfred Greason, Epes W Sargeant and Joshua Lowe, as well as Sime. The first issue contained a review by Sime's son Sidne known as Skigie, claimed to be the youngest critic in the world at seven years old. In 1922, Sime acquired The New York Clipper, reporting on the stage and other entertainment since 1853 and folded it two years merging some of its features into Variety. In 1922, Sime launched the Times Square Daily, which he referred to as "the world's worst daily" and soon scrapped. During that period, Variety staffers worked on all three papers. After the launch of The Hollywood Reporter in 1930, which Variety sued for alleged plagiarism in 1932, Sime launched Daily Variety in 1933, based in Hollywood, with Arthur Ungar as the editor, it replaced Variety Bulletin, issued in Hollywood on Fridays.
Daily Variety was published every day other than Sunday but on Monday to Friday. Ungar was editor until 1950, followed by Joe Schoenfeld and Thomas M. Pryor, succeeded by his son Pete; the Daily and the Weekly were run as independent newspapers, with the Daily concentrating on Hollywood news and the Weekly on U. S. and International coverage. Sime Silverman had passed on the editorship of the Weekly Variety to Abel Green as his replacement in 1931. Green remained as editor from 1931 until his death in 1973. Sime's son Sidne succeeded him as publisher of both publications. Following his death from tuberculosis in 1950, his only son Syd Silverman, was the sole heir to what was Variety Inc. Young Syd's legal guardian Harold Erichs oversaw Variety Inc. until 1956. After that date Syd Silverman managed the company as publisher of both the Weekly Variety in New York and the Daily Variety in Hollywood, until the sale of both papers in 1987 to Cahners Publishing for $64 million, he remained as publisher until 1990 when he was succeeded on Weekly Variety by Gerard A. Byrne and on Daily Variety by Sime's great grandson, Michael Silverman.
Syd became chairman of both publications. In 1953, Army Archerd's "Just for Variety" column appeared on page two of Daily Variety and swiftly became popular in Hollywood. Archerd broke countless exclusive stories, reporting from film sets, announcing pending deals, giving news of star-related hospitalizations and births; the column appeared daily for 52 years until September 1, 2005. On December 7, 1988, the editor, Roger Watkins and oversaw the transition to four-color print. Upon its launch, the new-look Variety measured one inch shorter with a washed-out color on the front; the old front-page box advertisement was replaced by a strip advertisement, along with the first photos published in Variety since Sime gave up using them in the old format in 1920: they depicted Sime and Syd. For twenty years from 1989 its editor-in-chief was Peter Bart only of the weekly New York edition, with Michael Silverman running the Daily in Hollywood. Bart had worked at Paramount Pictures and The New York Times.
In April 2009, Bart moved to the position of "vice president and editorial director", characterized online as "Boffo No More: Bart Up and Out at Variety". From mid 2009 to 2013, Timothy M. Gray oversaw the publication as Editor-in-Chief, after over 30 years of various reporter and editor positions in the newsroom. In October 2012, Reed Business Information, the periodical's owner, sold the publication to Penske Media Corporation. PMC is the owner of Deadline Hollywood, which since the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike has been considered Variety's largest competitor in online showbiz news. In October 2012, Jay Penske, Chairman and CEO of PMC, announced that the website's paywall would come down, the print publication would stay, he would invest more into Variety's digital platform in a townhall. In March 2013, Variety owner Jay Penske appointed three co-editors to oversee different parts of the publication's industry coverage; the decision was made to stop printing Daily Variety with the last printed edition published on March 19, 2013 with the headline "Variety A
Apollo 13 (film)
Apollo 13 is a 1995 American space docudrama film directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris. The screenplay by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert dramatizes the aborted 1970 Apollo 13 lunar mission and is an adaptation of the book Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by astronaut Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger. The film depicts astronauts Lovell, Jack Swigert, Fred Haise aboard Apollo 13 for America's third Moon landing mission. En route, an on-board explosion deprives their spacecraft of most of its oxygen supply and electric power, forcing NASA's flight controllers to abort the Moon landing, turning the mission into a struggle to get the three men home safely. Howard went to great lengths to create a technically accurate movie, employing NASA's technical assistance in astronaut and flight controller training for his cast, obtaining permission to film scenes aboard a reduced gravity aircraft for realistic depiction of the "weightlessness" experienced by the astronauts in space.
Released to cinemas in the United States on June 30, 1995, Apollo 13 was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In total, the film grossed over $355 million worldwide during its theatrical releases; the film was positively received by critics. In July 1969, astronaut Jim Lovell hosts a house party where guests watch Neil Armstrong's televised first human steps on the Moon. Afterwards Lovell, who had orbited the Moon on Apollo 8, tells his wife Marilyn that he intends to return to the Moon to walk on its surface. Three months as Lovell conducts a VIP tour of NASA's Vertical Assembly Building, his boss Deke Slayton informs him that because of problems with Alan Shepard's crew, his crew will fly Apollo 13 instead of 14. Lovell, Ken Mattingly, Fred Haise train for their new mission. A few days before launch, Mattingly is exposed to the measles, the flight surgeon demands his replacement with Mattingly's backup, Jack Swigert. Lovell resists breaking up his team, but relents when Slayton threatens to bump his crew to a mission.
As the launch date approaches, Marilyn has a nightmare about her husband getting killed in space, but goes to the Kennedy Space Center the night before launch to see him off. On April 11, 1970, Flight Director Gene Kranz gives the go-ahead from Houston's Mission Control Center for the Apollo 13 launch; as the Saturn V rocket climbs through the atmosphere, a second stage engine cuts off prematurely, but the craft reaches its Earth parking orbit. After the third stage fires to send Apollo 13 to the Moon, Swigert performs the maneuver to connect the Command/Service Module Odyssey to the Lunar Module Aquarius and pull it away from the spent rocket. Three days into the mission, the crew makes a television transmission, which the networks decline to broadcast live. After Swigert turns on the liquid oxygen tank stirring fans as requested, one of the tanks explodes, emptying its contents into space and sending the craft tumbling; the other tank is soon found to be leaking. They attempt to stop the leak to no avail.
With the fuel cells closed, the Moon landing must be aborted, Lovell and Haise must hurriedly power up Aquarius to use as a "lifeboat" for the return home, as Swigert shuts down Odyssey before its battery power runs out. In Houston, Kranz rallies his team to come up with a plan to bring the astronauts home safely, declaring "failure is not an option". Controller John Aaron recruits Mattingly to help him invent a procedure to restart Odyssey for the landing on Earth; as Swigert and Haise watch the Moon pass beneath them, Lovell laments his lost chance of walking on its surface turns their attention to the business of getting home. With Aquarius running on minimal electrical power, the crew suffers freezing conditions, Haise contracts a urinary infection and a fever. Swigert suspects; when carbon dioxide approaches dangerous levels, ground control must invent a way to make the Command Module's square filters work in the Lunar Module's round receptacles. With the guidance systems on Aquarius shut down, the crew must make a difficult but vital course correction by manually igniting the Lunar Module's engine.
Mattingly and Aaron struggle to find a way to turn on the Command Module systems without drawing too much power, transmit the procedure to Swigert, who restarts Odyssey by transferring extra power from Aquarius. When the crew jettisons the Service Module, they are surprised to see the extent of the damage; as they release Aquarius and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere, no one is sure that Odyssey's heat shield is intact. The tense period of radio silence due to ionization blackout is longer than normal, but the astronauts report all is well and splash down in the Pacific Ocean; as helicopters bring the three men aboard the recovery ship USS Iwo Jima for a hero's welcome, Lovell's voice-over describes the subsequent investigation into the explosion, the careers of Haise, Swigert and Kranz. He wonders. Tom Hanks as Apollo 13 Commander Jim Lovell: Jim Lovell stated that before his book Lost Moon was written, the movie rights were being shopped to potential buyers and that his first reaction was that Kevin Costner would be a good choice to play him.
However, by the time Howard acquired the director's position, Costner's name never came up in serious discussion, Hanks had been interested in doing a film based on Apollo 13. When Hanks' representative informed him that a script was being passed around, he had the scrip
The Blues Brothers (film)
The Blues Brothers is a 1980 American musical comedy film directed by John Landis. It stars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as "Joliet" Jake and Elwood Blues, characters developed from "The Blues Brothers" recurring musical sketch on the NBC variety series Saturday Night Live; the film's screenplay was written by Landis. It features musical numbers by rhythm and blues and blues singers James Brown, Cab Calloway, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker; the film is set in and around Chicago, where it was filmed. It features non-musical supporting performances by Carrie Fisher, Henry Gibson, Charles Napier and John Candy; the story is a tale of redemption for paroled convict Jake and his blood brother Elwood, who set out on "a mission from God" to save the Catholic orphanage in which they were raised from foreclosure. To do so, they must reunite their R&B band and organize a performance to earn $5,000 needed to pay the orphanage's property tax bill. Along the way, they are targeted by a homicidal "mystery woman", Neo-Nazis, a country and western band—all while being relentlessly pursued by the police.
Universal Studios, which had won the bidding war for the film, was hoping to take advantage of Belushi's popularity in the wake of Saturday Night Live, Animal House, the Blues Brothers' musical success. The start of filming was delayed when Aykroyd, new to film screenwriting, took six months to deliver a long and unconventional script that Landis had to rewrite before production, which began without a final budget. On location in Chicago, Belushi's partying and drug use caused lengthy and costly delays that, along with the destructive car chases depicted onscreen, made the final film one of the most expensive comedies produced. Concerns that the film would fail limited its initial bookings to less than half those a film of its magnitude received. Released in the United States on June 20, 1980, it received positive reviews, it earned just under $5 million in its opening weekend and went on to gross over $115 million in theaters worldwide before its release on home video. It has become a cult classic, spawning the sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, 18 years, a critical and commercial failure.
Blues vocalist and petty criminal "Joliet" Jake Blues is paroled on good behavior grounds from Joliet Correctional Center after serving three years of a five-year sentence, is picked up by his blood brother Elwood in his Bluesmobile, a battered, decommissioned police car. Elwood demonstrates its capabilities by jumping an open drawbridge; the brothers visit the Roman Catholic orphanage where they were raised, learn from Sister Mary "the Penguin" Stigmata and old friend Curtis that it will be closed unless $5,000 in property taxes is collected. During a sermon by the Reverend Cleophus James at the Triple Rock Baptist Church, Jake has an idea: they can re-form their band, "The Blues Brothers" – which disbanded while Jake was in prison – and raise the money to save the orphanage; that night, state troopers attempt to arrest Elwood for driving with a suspended license. After a high-speed chase through the Dixie Square Mall, the brothers flee to the flophouse where Elwood lives, miraculously escaping a rocket launcher attack by a mysterious woman.
The next morning, as the police arrive at the house, the woman detonates a bomb that demolishes the building, but miraculously leaves Jake and Elwood unharmed, saves them from being arrested. Jake and Elwood begin tracking down members of the band. Five of them are playing a Holiday Inn lounge, agree to rejoin. Another, "Mr. Fabulous", turns them down as he is the maître d' at expensive restaurant "Chez Paul", but the brothers behave rudely and refuse to leave the restaurant until he relents. On their way to meet the final two band members, the brothers find the road through Jackson Park blocked by an "American Socialist White People's Party" – "the Illinois Nazis" – demonstration on a bridge; the last two band members, Matt "Guitar" Murphy and "Blue Lou" Marini, who now work in a soul food restaurant, rejoin the band against the advice of Murphy's wife and restaurant owner. The reunited group obtain instruments and equipment from Ray's Music Exchange in Calumet City, Ray, "as usual", takes an IOU.
As Jake attempts to book a gig, the mystery woman blows up the phone booth. The band stumbles into a gig at a local honky-tonk, they win over the rowdy crowd, but run up a bar tab higher than their pay, infuriate the country band, booked for the gig, the Good Ole Boys. Realizing that they need one big show to raise the necessary money, the brothers persuade their old agent to book the Palace Hotel Ballroom, north of Chicago, they mount a loudspeaker atop the Bluesmobile and drive the Chicago area promoting the concert—and alerting the police, the Nazis, the Good Ole Boys of their whereabouts. The ballroom is packed with blues fans, police officers, the Good Ole Boys. Jake and Elwood perform two songs sneak offstage, as the tax deadline is approaching. A record company executive offers them a $10,000 cash advance on a recording contract — more than enough to pay off the orphanage's taxes and Ray's IOU — and shows the brothers how to slip out of the building unnoticed; as they make their escape via a service tunnel, they are confronted by the mystery woman: Jake's vengeful ex-fiancée.
After her volley of M16 rifle bullets leaves them miraculously unharmed, Jake offers a series of ridiculous excuses that she accepts, allowing the brothers to escape to the Bluesmobile. Jake and Elwood race back toward Chicago with dozens of state/local police
University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California. It was founded in 1868 and serves as the flagship institution of the ten research universities affiliated with the University of California system. Berkeley has since grown to instruct over 40,000 students in 350 undergraduate and graduate degree programs covering numerous disciplines. Berkeley is one of the 14 founding members of the Association of American Universities, with $789 million in R&D expenditures in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Today, Berkeley maintains close relationships with three United States Department of Energy National Laboratories—Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory—and is home to many institutes, including the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Space Sciences Laboratory. Through its partner institution University of California, San Francisco, Berkeley offers a joint medical program at the UCSF Medical Center.
As of October 2018, Berkeley alumni, faculty members and researchers include 107 Nobel laureates, 25 Turing Award winners, 14 Fields Medalists. They have won 9 Wolf Prizes, 45 MacArthur Fellowships, 20 Academy Awards, 14 Pulitzer Prizes and 207 Olympic medals. In 1930, Ernest Lawrence invented the cyclotron at Berkeley, based on which UC Berkeley researchers along with Berkeley Lab have discovered or co-discovered 16 chemical elements of the periodic table – more than any other university in the world. During the 1940s, Berkeley physicist J. R. Oppenheimer, the "Father of the Atomic Bomb," led the Manhattan project to create the first atomic bomb. In the 1960s, Berkeley was noted for the Free Speech Movement as well as the Anti-Vietnam War Movement led by its students. In the 21st century, Berkeley has become one of the leading universities in producing entrepreneurs and its alumni have founded a large number of companies worldwide. Berkeley is ranked among the top 20 universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the U.
S. News & World Report Global University Rankings, it is considered one of the "Public Ivies", meaning that it is a public university thought to offer a quality of education comparable to that of the Ivy League. In 1866, the private College of California purchased the land comprising the current Berkeley campus in order to re-sell it in subdivided lots to raise funds; the effort failed to raise the necessary funds, so the private college merged with the state-run Agricultural and Mechanical Arts College to form the University of California, the first full-curriculum public university in the state. Upon its founding, The Dwinelle Bill stated that the "University shall have for its design, to provide instruction and thorough and complete education in all departments of science and art, industrial and professional pursuits, general education, special courses of instruction in preparation for the professions". Ten faculty members and 40 students made up the new University of California when it opened in Oakland in 1869.
Frederick H. Billings was a trustee of the College of California and suggested that the new site for the college north of Oakland be named in honor of the Anglo-Irish philosopher George Berkeley. In 1870, Henry Durant, the founder of the College of California, became the first president. With the completion of North and South Halls in 1873, the university relocated to its Berkeley location with 167 male and 22 female students where it held its first classes. Beginning in 1891, Phoebe Apperson Hearst made several large gifts to Berkeley, funding a number of programs and new buildings and sponsoring, in 1898, an international competition in Antwerp, where French architect Émile Bénard submitted the winning design for a campus master plan. In 1905, the University Farm was established near Sacramento becoming the University of California, Davis. In 1919, Los Angeles State Normal School became the southern branch of the University, which became University of California, Los Angeles. By 1920s, the number of campus buildings had grown and included twenty structures designed by architect John Galen Howard.
Robert Gordon Sproul served as president from 1930 to 1958. In the 1930s, Ernest Lawrence helped establish the Radiation Laboratory and invented the cyclotron, which won him the Nobel physics prize in 1939. Based on the cyclotron, UC Berkeley scientists and researchers, along with Berkeley Lab, went on to discover 16 chemical elements of the periodic table – more than any other university in the world. In particular, during World War II and following Glenn Seaborg's then-secret discovery of plutonium, Ernest Orlando Lawrence's Radiation Laboratory began to contract with the U. S. Army to develop the atomic bomb. UC Berkeley physics professor J. Robert Oppenheimer was named scientific head of the Manhattan Project in 1942. Along with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley was a partner in managing two other labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. By 1942, the American Council on Education ranked Berkeley second only to Harvard in the number of distinguished departments.
During the McCarthy era in 1949, the Board of Regents adopted an anti-communist loyalty oath. A number of faculty members led by Edward C. Tolman were dismissed. In 1952, the University of California became; each campus was give
Circuit City Corporation is an American online consumer electronics retail company, established by Ronny Shmoel in 2016 as part of his acquisition of the brand name and trademark rights sold by Systemax, which operated the CircuitCity.com website from 2009 until 2012, when it was consolidated into the TigerDirect brand. Founded in 1949 by Samuel Wurtzel as the Wards Company, the original company operated stores across the United States and pioneered the electronics superstore format in the 1970s. After multiple purchases and a successful run on the NYSE, it changed its name to Circuit City Stores Inc. In early 1949 Wurtzel was on vacation in Richmond, Virginia when, while at a local barber shop, he was witness to the start of television in the South. Imagining the opportunities, in late 1949, he moved his family to Richmond and opened the first Wards Company retail store. Abraham L. Hecht joined him as a partner in the business. By 1959, Wards Company operated four home appliance stores in Richmond.
The company acquired stores in other locations including Albany, New York. C.. During the 1970s and early 1980s, it sold mail-order under the name "Dixie Hi Fi", advertising in hi-fi magazines. Wards experimented with several retail formats in Richmond, including smaller mall outlets branded "Sight-n-Sound" and "Circuit City". Wards Company changed its name to Circuit City and became listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1984. One of the company's early slogans was "Circuit City — Where the Streets are Paved with Bargains"; the company, which had leased floor space from the Zody's department stores as well as other department stores, began acquiring retail stores and turning them into Circuit City Superstores. The first of these replacements occurred in Tennessee. In 1981, Circuit City entered the New York City market by acquiring the six remaining stores of the bankrupt Lafayette Radio chain, they operated the stores under the "Lafayette/Circuit City" name and expanded to 15 locations, but the stores were not profitable and were closed in 1986 after spending US$20 million to enter the market.
Wurtzel served as president of the company until 1970. He remained the chairman until 1984; when he stepped down, his son Alan served as chairman until 1994. Wards purchased a new headquarters building at 2040 Thalbro Street in Richmond, Virginia and in the extra space opened "Wards Loading Dock", its first big-box format in 1974; the large-format store was popular with customers. The company continued to expand with the new format modeled after "Wards Loading Dock" and renamed it Circuit City Superstore in 1981. Circuit City began to replace its smaller stores with the Superstore format and started a nationwide expansion. In 1988, the company began constructing the new "plug" design Superstore formats. During this era, Circuit City became known for its exceptional service, going so far as to have many of its staff factory-trained, its slogan was "Welcome to Circuit City, Where Service Is State of the Art". Circuit City returned to New York City opening a 40,000 sq ft superstore in Union Square, the first of two planned Manhattan locations.
In 1998, Circuit City introduced the "Pluggie" mascot, seen on television and in-store advertising. The mascot was a plug similar to that seen on Circuit City television commercials plugging into store fronts, but had a smiley face and arms. By 2000, many Circuit City stores were out of date and in bad locations, unable to compete with newer Best Buy stores. In 2000, Circuit City abandoned the large appliance business and introduced a more self-serve "Big Box" format called "Horizon"; this was controversial because in the previous year Circuit City was the second largest appliance retailer in the United States, behind only Sears. The company had earned nearly US$1.6 billion in sales revenue from large appliances in 1999. However, executives were concerned about the competition from Home Depot and Lowe's and believed there would be big savings in warehouse storage and delivery costs if they quit the large appliance business, it was realized that Circuit City thus missed out on the residential housing boom of the mid-2000s, which saw a dramatic rise in new-appliance sales.
The new "Horizon" stores abandoned the original showroom experience for a brighter, more-open sales-floor format with open ceilings, low fixtures, wood-floor aisles to allow customers to browse the merchandise easily. The format allowed putting all products on the sales floor, except those that were too large for customers to carry themselves. Shopping carts were added for the expanded assortment of grab-and-go merchandise. A row of registers was located at the front of the store for the first time for quick checkout; the stores only had registers located within each department since the salespeople were on commission. Though the new format had commissioned sales people, it was becoming similar to Best Buy; every Superstore was retrofitted after the exit from the large-appliance business, using the space for an expanded self-serve computer accessory and software selection. Stores at the time sold only PlayStation games under an exclusive agreement with Sony; the new space allowed them to sell Nintendo and Xbox games after the agreement ended.
Music and movie sales had been added to most stores years before, but the extra space allowed the selection to be added to smaller stores. The retrofitting project alone cost the company US$1.5 billion. In 2003, Circuit City converted to a single hourly pay structure in all stores, eliminating commissioned sales. Many commi
DirecTV is an American direct broadcast satellite service provider based in El Segundo, California and is a subsidiary of AT&T. Its satellite service, launched on June 17, 1994, transmits digital satellite television and audio to households in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, its primary competitors are cable television providers. On July 24, 2015, after receiving approval from the United States Federal Communications Commission and United States Department of Justice, AT&T acquired DirecTV in a transaction valued at $67.1 billion. As of Q1 2017, DirecTV U. S. had 21 million revenues of $12 billion. On November 30, 2016, DirecTV Now, their internet streaming TV service, was launched. In 1953, Howard Hughes created the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, to which he transferred full ownership of Hughes Aircraft. Ostensibly created as a non-profit medical research foundation, HHMI was accused of being used by Hughes as a tax shelter. Following Hughes' death in 1976, HHMI was incorporated in 1977, litigation ensued to determine whether it would be allowed to maintain its interest in Hughes Aircraft.
In 1984, the court appointed a new board for HHMI, which proceeded to sell off Hughes Aircraft to General Motors on December 20, 1985, for an estimated $5.1 billion. General Motors merged Hughes Aircraft with its subsidiary Delco Electronics to create Hughes Electronics Corporation; the new subsidiary was composed of four units: Delco Electronics Company, Hughes Aircraft Company, Hughes Space and Communications Company, Hughes Network Systems. Stanley E. Hubbard founded United States Satellite Broadcasting in 1981 and was a leading proponent for the development of direct-broadcast satellite service in the United States. USSB was awarded five frequencies at the coveted 101-degree west satellite location. Hughes Communications, Inc. was awarded 27 frequencies at the same 101-degree location. After many years, the technology was developed to enable the building of high-power satellites, digital compression standards were developed that allowed multiple digital television channels to be sent through each satellite frequency.
Hughes attempted to create a joint venture with NBC, News Corp. and Cablevision in 1990, to launch the first high-power digital television service called Sky Cable. Failing to do so, the company instead created DirecTV as a separate division and secured an agreement with USSB to build and launch the first high-power direct-broadcast satellite system. DirecTV's name is a portmanteau of "direct" and "TV". Hughes/DirecTV turned to Thomson Consumer Electronics to develop the digital satellite system for the service that would be capable of receiving 175 channels on a small 18-inch dish; these dishes utilized a new generation of smaller, lighter receiver dishes based on military technology introduced by the Global Broadcast System, which predated DirecTV's viability by ten years. Hughes was awarded the contract to build and launch the new high-powered satellites, USSB and DirecTV agreed that the new satellites would carry the two separate programming services: USSB and DirecTV; the USSB and DirecTV programming services were launched on June 17, 1994.
Digital Equipment Corporation provided the hardware for DirecTV, Matrixx Marketing provided customer care via the Matrixx Plus department, DBS Systems created the billing software. In December 1998, DirecTV acquired USSB for $1.3 billion, combined the two satellite services. In 1999, DirecTV acquired PrimeStar, a competitor in the satellite television industry, for $1.83 billion increasing its share of the satellite television market in the US. In September 1996, Hughes purchased 70% of PanAmSat for $3 billion. In 1997, GM transferred it to Delphi Automotive Systems; that same year, Hughes Aircraft was sold to Raytheon for $9.5 billion. Raytheon filed a lawsuit in 1999 accusing Hughes of overstating the value of Hughes Aircraft by $1 billion. A $635.5-million settlement was reached in 2001. In 2000, Hughes Space and Communications was sold to Boeing for $3.75 billion, which it claimed had been overvalued by Hughes. Hughes settled with Boeing for $360 million; these sales left DirecTV, PanAmSat and Hughes Network Systems as the remaining components of Hughes Electronics.
Direct satellite broadcaster were mandated in 1992 to set aside 4% of its channel space for noncommercial educational and informational programming. DirecTV selected C-SPAN, EWTN and the Trinity Broadcasting Network from its current channel lineup plus request additional proposals from other programmers. DirecTV had given PBS Kids, PBS's original application, carriage that did not count against the set aside six weeks before the deadline. DirecTV selected an additional six channels. In 2000, DirecTV introduced the first live in-flight television service for airlines. In September 2000, GM executives, under pressure from GM's shareholders as a result of its poor performance and the greater market worth of Hughes, authorized Hughes executives to begin seeking buyers. In 2001, News Corporation began negotiations to acquire Hughes Electronics in a deal worth $8 billion, which would allow News Corp. to expand its Sky Global Networks satellite television operations into the United States. Negotiations with News Corp. failed, Hughes entered into an agreement on October 28, 2001 to be purchased for $26 billion