T Dog’s Media Notepad: Tax the cloud

old man yells at cloudThe latest edition of T Dog’s Media Notepad:

Only in Chicago: if you stream any kind of entertainment and have a paid subscription, you – the consumer- are now going to be subjected to a 9 percent sales tax. This includes any paid subscription to Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, Amazon Prime, etc. The so-called “cloud tax” also applies to businesses who store data and information over the Internet, i.e. “the cloud”.

City officials defend the move, saying it needs the revenue to close revenue defecit. The problem is, the revenue expected to come in is only $12 million a year -a drop in the bucket to wipe out a deficit reported to be much larger. Chicago’s tech community, which has been growing by leaps and bounds, isn’t happy with the move – and some say would discourage tech firms from doing business in the city.

Of course, what do you expect when the city and the state are run by a bunch of idiots?

So if you want to watch House of Cards or Daredevil, it’ll cost you more while you don’t get taxed for what passes off as radio in this town. Oh, I can hear the NAB gloating now… In the meantime, look for a surge for people using fake Evanston, Bedford Park, Blue Island, and Hammond addresses.

Sinclair Broadcasting, owners of a few downstate and two Milwaukee TV stations, has formed a partnership with former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner to produce programming for first-run syndication.

Christened Tornante-Sinclair LLC (Eisner’s company is named Tornante), the new venue plans to produce and develop programming for first-run syndication for Sinclair stations and others – each with equal amounts of ownership. The move comes as syndicators – especially those in the studio-run system- have lost interest in developing such product as ratings for live TV continue to decline amidst a viewer exodus toward alternative video forms in addition to a lack of off-network shows, notably comedies – an area Tornante-Sinclair is looking into.

Eisner’s company already produces courtroom show Judge Faith for Trifecta Entertainment and is cleared on 35 Sinclair stations (in Chicago, Faith airs at 9:30 p.m. weeknights on Weigel-owned The U Too.)

It looks like Comic-Con is sticking around San Diego for awhile – the city in the nation’s 27th-largest television market signed a deal to keep the large pop-culture convention in town until 2018, according to Variety. This development comes as this year’s show takes place earlier than usual (July 8-12) and also comes as the city may be losing its football team – the San Diego Chargers are considering a move to Los Angeles if a new stadium deal isn’t reached. Charter members of the AFL, the Chargers played their first three seasons in L.A. from 1960-63. The Chargers now play at Qualcomm (Jack Murphy) stadium.

So how did San Diego manage to keep Comic-Con? I guess a “cloud tax” wasn’t part of the deal.

Comic-Con officials fielded offers from the Los Angeles area, including Anaheim. No doubt the geek community would rather see the Chargers move to Hollywood rather than Comic-Con. After all, a Super Bowl victory for the Chargers is in the realm of “fantasy”.

Quick Bits:

– WKQX hires a new PD

– WBEZ decides to unionize

– NBC cancels American Odyssey and A.D. The Bible in a holiday news dump

– Fox sets soccer rating records with Women’s World Cup final – USA!