40% of TV Stations to Switch to Digital Signals Next Week: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer February 11, 2009

Watch Shelly's commentary on the nearly 40% of television stations switching to all digital signals next week, despite the government postponing the end of analog television until June 12.

Intel plans to spend $7 billion over the next two years upgrading technology at its US factories. Despite having a rough quarter, and announcing that the company would layoff more than 5,000 workers, the chip manufacturer will spend more than it ever has to bolster its production process. Intel President and CEO Paul Ortellini said that historically Intel had found the best way to get out of a slump is to give customers a new reason to purchase goods, and urged other companies to do the same.

With less than a week to go until its $175 million of debt comes due, Sirius XM has hired advisers to help the company file for bankruptcy. The satellite radio company, which has never turned a profit, has more than $3.25 billion in debt.

As expected, Live Nation and Ticketmaster announced plans to merge yesterday. In total, the deal would be worth roughly $2.5 billion. If the deal becomes complete, Barry Diller would be named Chairman, while Live Nation's Michael Rapino would serve as CEO. Expected to garner quite a bit of scrutiny from the Department of Justice, the two companies hope to save $40 million by combining ticket services, marketing campaigns and data centers through the deal, which could close in the second half of 2009.

The Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP are set to resume negotiations on February 17th. However, SAG president Alan Rosenberg is still threatening to block any deal, with his lawyer Eric George saying any deal reached would be "null and void, without force of law and not binding on the artists represented by SAG."

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net