The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a $7.5 million grant to the producers of the "Nashville" television show that ABC will begin airing this fall. ECD officials said the reimbursable grant will be based on the actual qualified expenditures made in Tennessee to local vendor or residents. Making the show, which is being produced by ABC, Lionsgate and Gaylord Entertainment, is expected to employ more than 350 crew members.
"We are taking a new approach to one of Tennessee’s strongest and most unique businesses, the entertainment industry," Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said. "Gov. Bill Haslam has made a concerted effort to fold the film and music sectors into our department and make them a part of the state’s regular economic goals and initiatives."
Derby Jones' CMD Publishing, parent company of the Williamson Herald, has snapped up Southern Exposure magazine, which was founded 10 years ago by Brandy Blanton. Blanton put the publication on hiatus after she was elected to the Franklin Board of Mayor and Alderman.
In making the purchase announcement, Jones also announced the return of the sixth annual Sizzle Awards in partnership with FranklinIs.com. Plans are underway to launch interactive voting as Williamson County residents choose their best of in a variety of categories.
Milt Capps checks in with an update on Bruce Dobie's efforts to build his Eviesays event listing service. Now helping that endeavor is Forrest Shoaf, a veteran of the local finance scene and most recently CFO at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. Shoaf has invested in Eviesays parent Dobie Media, which will soon launch a formal funding round.
Former Nashville Banner publisher Irby Simpkins has put an end to his tussle with Internal Revenue Service officials about his use of foreign investment vehicles in the late 1990s. The feds last decade went after various large accounting firms marketing the plans and obtained a number of settlements. Simpkins late last year was ordered to pay the IRS almost $7 million in back taxes and penalties.
“I went for 10 years without being able to have my case heard. Well, in that 10 years, the IRS spent a lot of money investigating, not only my transaction — I was almost a nonentity — but investigating over 700 taxpayers nationwide. They settled with the accounting firms for fairly nominal fees in exchange for the accounting firms furnishing the names of all of their clients that they had recommended these investments to and had made those investments. And so the reality was that after 10 years, it was insane for me, at 68, to continue with this kind of worry and frustration and not be able to deal with the Internal Revenue [Service]. At that time my attorney and I decided the best thing to do was just settle this.”
Dobie Media's eviesays event calendar platform has landed Cablevision's News 12 Networks as a client.
The agreement means that the News 12 Network stations, clustered in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, will adopt the eviesays calendar technology at their websites. The calendars, which will be privately branded to have the look and feel of the News 12 Network stations, will enable visitors to find, browse, and interact with the hundreds of thousands of event listings nationwide residing at the eviesays.com website.
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