Boz Scaggs’ Collection, THE ESSENTIAL BOZ SCAGGS, Tracks Hitmaking Career Over Course Of Five Decades



Grammy Award®-winner Boz Scaggs’ unique mix of blues and soul, rock, and sophisticated R&B all comes together on THE ESSENTIAL BOZ SCAGGS (, a new collection of his work that will be available everywhere October 29th  through Columbia/Legacy, a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT.

THE ESSENTIAL BOZ SCAGGS is the first 32-song, double-CD collection to track his solo career from 1969 (his seminal self-titled American debut LP on Atlantic Records, produced by  Rolling Stone editor/publisher Jann Wenner in Muscle Shoals, with Duane Allman on lead guitar) all the way to 2013 (his Memphis album, a tribute to that city’s musical greats).  At the heart of this collection are 23 cuts that cover his near two-decade stay at Columbia Records starting in 1971, including 14 Hot 100 chart singles that established him on radio in the U.S.


The well-crafted liner notes essay for THE ESSENTIAL BOZ SCAGGS (which utilizes exclusive interview material gathered for the occasion) is written by Rolling Stone contributing editor Anthony DeCurtis.  He analyzes Scaggs’ Texas rhythm & blues-flavored vocal mastery, and points to his hitmaking years at Columbia as “a seemingly unstoppable roll.” Continue reading

Hershey’s First New Brand In 30 Years, Lancaster Soft Cremes, Launches In The United States


The Hershey Company announced it is launching a new confectionery brand in the United States called Lancaster. The new brand will feature a line of caramel soft cremes that will roll out nationwide in January 2014.

The introduction of the Lancaster brand marks a significant milestone for The Hershey Company, as it’s the first time the company has launched a new brand that is not a brand extension or acquisition in the past 30 years. The new brand is rooted in Hershey’s heritage and is inspired by Milton Hershey’s original confection company, The Lancaster Caramel

Hershey's First New Brand In 30 Years Launches In The United States.  (PRNewsFoto/The Hershey Company)

Hershey’s First New Brand In 30 Years Launches In The United States. (PRNewsFoto/The Hershey Company)


Lancaster Soft Cremes will offer a long-lasting and unique taste experience that is distinct from the typical caramels that dominate the category. The surprisingly soft, rich and creamy Lancaster Soft Cremes provide a modern caramel taste experience to meet a growing consumer demand and were inspired by similar candies that company founder, Milton Hershey, made more than 120 years ago in his original candy company located in Lancaster, Pa. As Mr. Hershey’s first successful candy company, The Lancaster Caramel Company established his reputation in the confectionery industry and provided the foundation for the launch of The Hershey Company which first produced sweet chocolate as a coating for the caramels before creating the iconic Hershey’s® Milk Chocolate bar.

The launch of Lancaster Soft Cremestakes Hershey back to the early days of our founder Milton Hershey and his truly innovative spirit and desire to make great tasting, high-quality products for consumers,” said Steven Schiller, Senior Vice President Sweets and Refreshment, The Hershey Company. “The Lancaster brand will delight all consumers looking for a rich and indulgent experience as they savor our new soft cremes that are rooted in our company’s deep history.”

Earlier this year, Hershey successfully launched the Lancaster brand in China, which underscored the company’s deep commitment to China, as well as the importance of the market in Hershey’s global growth plans.  The launch of Lancaster brand in China marked the first time a brand launch originated outside of the United States. The initial launch in May included three cities – Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu – and will be followed by a wider distribution in China in 2014.

Lancaster Soft Cremes will be available in the United States in three flavors, including Caramel, Vanilla and Caramel and Vanilla and Raspberry, and will be officially launched in the United States in January 2014.  Lancaster Soft Cremes will be widely available at Food, Mass, Drug and Convenience retail channels around the country and will be offered in 8oz bags that retail for $3.99 and 4oz bags that retail for $2.49. The new brand will be supported by a robust integrated marketing campaign that will begin in the first quarter of 2014.

JBL® New Cinema Series Home Theater Sound Systems Deliver Big Screen Sound at Home


HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated, announces two new JBL® 5.1 surround sound systems that turn any flat panel TV into a home theater experience. The new JBL Cinema 610 and Cinema 510 deliver immersive theater sound that brings movies to life at a price any home can afford.

With JBL audio technology, there’s no reason why every flat panel TV user can’t enjoy home theater quality sound,” said MichaelJbl-logo Mauser, President of HARMAN Lifestyle. “With the JBL Cinema Series 5.1 surround systems, we’ve packaged perfectly-balanced, deep, rich sound in a small footprint that fits in any living room.”

Both JBL Cinema systems are designed for easy, quick plug-and-play connection to any audio/video receiver using the included speaker cables. With the subwoofers’ small footprint and included wall brackets for the satellite speakers, the JBL Cinema systems provide room-filling, perfectly configured sound to create the experience of a home theater, even where space is at a premium. Subwoofer volume and phase controls allow you to fine-tune your room for the best possible sound, faithfully reproducing the deep bass and crisp treble of movies and concerts. Included wall brackets and cables (three 3-meter and two 5-meter cables for the satellite speakers, and a 5-meter LFE cable for the subwoofer) save space in your room, and setup is easy.

Cinema 610  (PRNewsFoto/HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated)

Cinema 610 (PRNewsFoto/HARMAN International Industries, Incorporated)

JBL Cinema 610 Sound System
The JBL Cinema 610 delivers premium cinematic surround sound to your home theater in a complete, easy to install system. With its 8″ bass reflex 100W powered subwoofer, four identical satellites and a dedicated center speaker, all voice-matched for clarity and flawless voice reproduction, you’ll experience movies the way they are meant to be heard. The JBL Cinema 610 also includes wall mounts, so you can customize your new 5.1 speaker system to meet any and all space requirements. Satellites can be install vertically and horizontally to fit any living room configuration.
— Performance tuned 8″ bass reflex, 100W powered subwoofer with five voice-matched satellites for masterful surround sound
— Dedicated center channel for crisp sonic reproduction and vocal clarity
— Custom-designed for easy integration into any home where space is at a premium
— Connects easily to any audio/video receiver for a simple plug-and-play
experience with included speaker wires

JBL Cinema 510 Sound System
The JBL Cinema 510 connects to any audio/video receiver for a perfectly configured 5.1 surround sound system complete with a powerful 6.5″ powered subwoofer and five voice-matched satellites for an immersive home theater experience. The subwoofer includes volume and phase control, providing total performance management of the system and customized tuning for your room. Designed to integrate with any flat screen TV, the compact JBL Cinema 510 fits snugly into any home environment to bring you signature JBL performance. Designed and engineered to work as an integrated system, the JBL Cinema 510 maintains a small footprint, making it convenient for flexible placement in any size space.
— Easy-to-install System
— Performance tuned 6.5″ bass reflex, 60W powered subwoofer
— Voice matched satellites for detailed listening
— Supply with all cables and accessories

For additional information or to purchase the JBL Cinema 610 (MSRP $349) or 510Sound System (MSRP $249), visit

TAO Group Unveils TAO Downtown


TAO Group, the pioneers of the Pan-Asian trend that swept New York City over a decade ago, unveils the evolution of the TAO brand today with the opening of TAO Downtown.

The TAO Group is considered to be a leading restaurant and nightlife company that develops, owns and operates many of the most successful food and beverage facilities in the United States. The TAO Group partners include principles Marc Packer, Richard Wolf, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, as well as managing partners Paul Goldstein, Bill Bonbrest,

TAO Downtown.  (PRNewsFoto/TAO Group)

TAO Downtown. (PRNewsFoto/TAO Group)

Ralph Scamardella, Kim Kurlanchik Russen, Louis Abin, Andrew Goldberg and Rich Thomas. Collectively the 11 native New Yorkers are the creators of TAO Asian Bistro, Nightclub & Beach and LAVO Italian Restaurant & Nightclub.

Both TAO & LAVO have locations in Las Vegas (Venetian & Palazzo Resorts) and in New York City (58th Street between Park & Madison Avenues). Together, the group has also opened The Stanton Social (2005), Avenue (2009) and Beauty & Essex (2010), in New York City; they also operate all food and beverage outlets at Dream Downtown (2011), including PH-D Rooftop, Electric Room, Marble Lane Steak Joint + Bar and Melvin’s Juice Box, a partnership with Melvin Major Jr. As the owners of Marquee New York, which was re-launched in 2013 after a decade of success, the group opened Marquee Las Vegas, followed by its first property outside of the United States, Marquee – The  Star, Sydney, Australia, in March 2012, as a  joint  venture  with  The  Star’s parent company, Echo Entertainment. In November 2012, TAO Group partnered with Chef Laurent Tourondel to open Arlington Club on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This October, TAO Group unveiled the next iteration of the iconic TAO brand with the opening of TAO Downtown, beneath New York City’s Maritime Hotel.

TAO Downtown Main Dining Room.  (PRNewsFoto/TAO Group, Melissa Hom)

TAO Downtown Main Dining Room. (PRNewsFoto/TAO Group, Melissa Hom)

Since its inception in 2000, TAO Uptown, well-known for spurring the trend of “vibe-dining,” has been a national and international hotspot. Following nearly a decade of bicoastal success, TAO Group showcases the next iteration of this iconic brand at TAO Downtown, located beneath the Maritime Hotel. Spanning an entire city block (approximately 22,000 sq ft.), every element has been meticulously planned from a menu based on culinary fact-finding trips throughout Asia to decorative items sourced during trips abroad.

We’ve spent over ten years perfecting what TAO represents,” said Partner Rich Wolf. “This isn’t just a ‘second location’ of TAO in New York City; it is the next iteration of our brand. Devoted fans will still feel at home, but there are many elements that distinguish the restaurant from its sister locations. This is what guests can expect from us moving forward.”

The menu, designed by Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella and his culinary team, comprised of Executive Chef Yoshi Kojima (formerly of Morimoto, Oahu and Jai by Wolfgang Puck) and Executive Chinese Chef Ooi Soon Lok (formerly of Jin Xuan in the Ritz Carlton, Shanghai and Hakkasan, Miami), draws inspiration from the group’s varied backgrounds and expertise.

Ralph Scamardella (Photo- Tao Group)

Ralph Scamardella (Photo- Tao Group)

We approached this menu as New Yorkers who have seen this city’s experience and perspective of Asian cuisine change drastically over the last decade,” said Chef Scamardella. “We’ve studied in kitchens abroad and brought in talent from overseas with the number one goal of delivering authentic, flavorful dishes that celebrate old-school techniques and cooking as diverse as are the regions of Asia.” Continue reading

Comedian Owen Benjamin to Host the Art Directors Guild 18th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards, Feb. 8

Comedian Owen Benjamin will host the 18th annual Art Directors Guild’s (ADG) Excellence in Production Design Awards, Saturday, February 8, 2014, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The announcement came from John Shaffner, ADG Council Chairman and ADG Award Producers Raf Lydon and Dave Blass.


The Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents nearly 2,000 members who work throughout the United States, Canada and the rest of the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers, Art Directors, and Assistant Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Illustrators and Matte Artists; and Set Designers and Model Makers. Established in 1937, ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society; an annual Awards Banquet, a creative/technology community (5D | The Future of Immersive Design) and Membership Directory; a bimonthly craft magazine (Perspective);

Owen Benjamin  (PRNewsFoto/Art Directors Guild)

Owen Benjamin (PRNewsFoto/Art Directors Guild)

and extensive technology-training programs, creative workshops and craft and art exhibitions.

The Excellence in Production Design Awards are open only to productions, when made within the U.S., by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. Nominations for this year’s ADG Excellence in Production Design Awards will be announced January 9, 2014. The ADG will present winners in ten competitive categories representing theatrical films, television productions, commercials and music videos. As previously announced, Rick Carter will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Robert Clatworthy, Harper Goff and J. Michael Riva will be inducted into the ADG Hall of Fame.

Owen Benjamin is a series regular on the TBS hit comedy Sullivan and Son and has been featured on many popular television programs such as Chelsea Lately, Live atGotham, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Punk’d, Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time and The Jay Leno Show.  Owen’s standup comedy specials include the recent High Five ’til It Hurts and Comedy CentralPresents Owen Benjamin.  Feature credits include The House Bunny (2008)and All’s Faire in Love (2009)co-starring Christina Ricci.

Benjamin’s multiple talents extend to writing, directing and producing television shows including Gaytown and Owen Benjamin Presents.

Media sponsors include The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, and Shoot. The Guild’s Online Directory/Website Resource is at Follow ADG on Twitter: @ADG800 Offers Must-See Halloween Attractions for Fright-Finders, Party-Goers and Fun-Seeking Families from Around the Country

Niagara Falls, Seattle and Chicago are tops for each type of Halloween adventure seeker according to

Each year, the Halloween season brings about a fun-for-all showcase of horrifying displays, mega parades and family fun festivities. This year, the travel experts at® have put together top picks for all kinds of Halloween attraction-seekers, no matter if their preference is trick or treat (or a little of both). suggests top Halloween attractions and destinations for all kinds of thrill-seekers alike.  (PRNewsFoto/ suggests top Halloween attractions and destinations for all kinds of thrill-seekers alike. (PRNewsFoto/

Everyone does Halloween a little bit differently in their town, and now is an amazing time to take a long weekend to see the creative traditions in a different city,” said Taylor L. Cole, APR, travel expert for “Many of today’s Halloween-themed attractions are so incredibly well done, they are certainly worth the trip for a fall break.”


Nightmares Fear FactoryNiagara Falls, Canada
allegedly built on the abandoned grounds of a coffin factory, the Nightmares Fear Factory is said to prey on the actual phobias of each visitor that dares to walk the attraction. “Fear Pics” of thrill-seekers turned “chickens” (more than 120,000 have cried mercy) have made the factory famous on social media.

Hangman’s House of HorrorsFort Worth, Texas
Celebrating its 25th and last haunting season with a creepy “Unhappily Ever After” scary tales theme, this award-winning Texas institution will give visitors a frightening new look at childhood classics like Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, The Wizard of Oz and Hansel and Gretel.

Halloween Horror NightsHollywood
Universal Studios Hollywood utilizes the sets from some of its most terrifying movies and shows as the backdrop for numerous immersive mazes based on spine-chilling productions such as The Walking Dead, The Purge, Insidious, Evil Dead and more.


FreakNight FestivalSeattle
Featuring two full days of carnival rides, sideshow spectacles, and goosebump-evoking performances from dance music’s finest, the 17th annual FreakNight Festival is one of the premier parties of the Northwest. In addition to the new two-day format, this year also marks the inaugural run of “FreakWeek,” during which concerts and club events will be taking place the entire week leading up to the festival.

Monster BashSan Diego
For 12 years, the Monster Bash has shut down the Gaslamp Quarter of the city for a shocking display of demons, vampires, witches and dozens of other ghastly characters one can’t even imagine. The extravaganza planned for 2013 will overtake eight blocks and feature 17 DJs spinning electrifying mixes across three stages, all surrounded by plenty of restaurants and bars to keep the party going to the end.

Village Halloween ParadeNew York City
As the nation’s largest public Halloween celebration and public participatory event, the annual parade of over 50,000 costumed partiers is an absolute must-see. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the parade, so it’s bound to deliver an astounding experience of dance, music, art and more.

Keep Your Socks On, but Have a Blast

A month long festival of spooktacular sights and eerie decor throughout the streets of Chicago culminates with a weekend of over-the-top celebrations and performances that both children and adults will love. Highlights include a haunted village display, pumpkin carving and decorating contests, a pyrotechnic exhibition and performances by high flying aerial entertainers.

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween PartyOrlando
Centered on the mysterious magic and fun of Halloween, Disney’s celebration is much less about the tricks, but still has an abundance of entertaining treats for thrill-seekers of all ages. Jam-packed with shows, activities, parades, character meet-and-greets and more, it would be a tall Halloween tale indeed if someone were able to do it all in one night.

Boo in the ZooNew York (The Bronx)
Bringing together numerous elements of family fun, including magic shows, costume parades, hayrides, musical theater, crafts, live music and more, Boo in the Zoo is a smorgasbord of eerie entertainment happening at the iconic Bronx Zoo. This year, the program adds an extra layer of creepy-crawly to its roster with a Dragons & Dinosaurs Safari.

Check out the Last Minute Deals page to find a steal of a hotel deal in the frightful city that fits your Halloween haunting taste.

They’ve Been Filmed Every Seven Years Since 1964. Now the “Kids” Are ’56 Up,’ Premiering on POV, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 on PBS INDIES SHOWCASE



POV’s 26th Season continues with the national broadcast premiere of Michael Apted’s 56 Up on Monday, October 14, at 10 PM on PBS (Check local listings). The film is the third film in the new PBS Indies Showcase, a four-week series of independent documentaries airing on Monday nights from September 30 – October 21.


As part of its commitment to provide viewers with year-round access to the creative work of independent filmmakers, the PBS INDIES SHOWCASE is scheduled during the weeks between the seasons of the award-winning series POV and INDEPENDENT LENS and will feature films from both. While PBS features the work of independent filmmakers throughout the year, the SHOWCASE is designed to spotlight their work and increase audience visibility for this important genre.

In 1964, a group of British 7-year-olds were interviewed about their lives and dreams in a groundbreaking television documentary, Seven Up. Since then, in one of the greatest projects in television history, renowned director Michael Apted has returned to film the same subjects every seven years, tracking their ups and downs. POV, which presented the U.S. broadcast premiere of 49 Up in 2007, returns with 56 Up to find the group settling into middle age and surprisingly upbeat. Through marriage and childbirth, poverty and illness, the “kids” have come to terms with both hope and disappointment.

Jackie, Lynn and Sue at age 7

Jackie, Lynn and Sue at age 7

In 1964, director Michael Apted (Coal Miner’s Daughter, Gorky Park, Gorillas in the Mist) was a young researcher on the experimental documentary series World in Action for a program called Seven Up!, produced for England’s Granada Television. Taking its cue from the Jesuit maxim “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man,” the film focused on 7-year-olds from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. By asking 14 children about their lives and their hopes and fears for the future, the filmmakers aimed to explore contemporary English attitudes, especially regarding the class system, as expressed by children. And by following the youngsters as they progressed through life, the Up series looked to test the strength of that system and the truth of the Jesuit saying. Was the adult already visible in the 7-year-old?

Director Michael Apted

Director Michael Apted

After Seven Up!, Apted took the series’ directorial helm, and over the half-century since, he has returned every seven years to ask the same subjects to talk about how they see their lives. The result has been a unique, inspired and always-surprising chronicle of lives-in-the-making. In 56 Up, Apted finds the “kids” have mostly weathered the marital, parental and career tumults of middle age with remarkable aplomb, even as they begin facing the challenges of aging, illness and economic crises.

About the Characters

Tony in 56 Up

Tony in 56 Up

Ebullient, charming, cockney-accented East Ender Tony wanted to be a jockey when we met him in Seven Up! The series followed him as he saw his dream come true and then gave it up to be a cabbie. He’s been successful enough to own a home in England, which he shares with his wife, Debbie, and their children and grandchildren. He also owns a vacation home in Spain. In 56 Up, Tony shows the lot he was planning to develop before the economy turned sour. He seems happy, yet he harbors guilt about infidelities and frustration with the immigrants who have changed his beloved East End. He talks about 32 years of marriage. “High and low, Debbie has stood by me,” he says tearfully. “At the end of it, I still love her so.” As he visits the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, formerly the site of a dog track in his East End neighborhood, he brims with pride. The Up series has brought him such recognition that when astronaut Buzz Aldrin was his passenger, a taxi driver pulled up and requested an autograph. When Tony asked Aldrin to oblige, the other cabbie said, “No . . . I want your autograph.” Says Tony, “To this day I thought to myself, ‘I’m more famous than Buzz Aldrin? He’s the second man to land on the moon!'” Continue reading

Rimmel London Celebrates 180 Years of Fabulous Cool with Kate Moss, Rita Ora and Georgia May Jagger


LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Georgia May Jagger attends the Rimmel London 180 Years of Cool party at the London Film Museum on October 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Rimmel London)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 10: Georgia May Jagger attends the Rimmel London 180 Years of Cool party at the London Film Museum on October 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Rimmel London)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 10: Kate Moss arrives at the Rimmel London 180 Years of Cool party at the London Film Museum on October 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Rimmel London)

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 10: Kate Moss arrives at the Rimmel London 180 Years of Cool party at the London Film Museum on October 10, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Getty Images for Rimmel London)

On the evening of Thursday 10th October 2013, London’s cool crowd and special VIP guests gathered at the London Film Museum for the ultimate birthday party to celebrate the imminent 180th anniversary of edgy make-up brand, Rimmel London. The evening was hosted by longtime brand ambassador (and the main face of the brand) Kate Moss, Singer Rita Ora and rock-and-fashion progeny, Georgia May Jagger. Incredibly enough, trend setting Rimmel London is one of the world’s oldest beauty brands having been the fashion-forward inventor of the hip London look since 1834. Aptly, the party was hosted at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden, just a few meters away from the Strand where the first Rimmel headquarters was located back in 1860.

This must-not-be-missed, invite-only event was an incredible reflection of Rimmel’s cutting-edge style – past, present and future. The fashion elite partied with Rimmel ambassadors Kate Moss and Georgia May Jagger, who arrived in authentic London style in Rimmel-branded black cabs. Guests also witnessed a unique fashion show and enjoyed a surprise performance from the London’s hottest music artist, Rita Ora, who was (in early September) announced, is the latest style icon to collaborate with Rimmel.  With her widely followed and truly unique sense of British style, Rita Ora will brings the perfect edge and glamour to the brand through her new ‘must have’ color collection. Taking inspiration from the looks that has turned her into such a media magnet, Ora will work with Rimmel London to create what is expected to be most trendy & stylish exclusive lip and nail shade color collection of the season, to be released as in March 2014 for the spring/summer season, ensuring that Rimmel is beginning the next 180 years with a bang. Continue reading

Entertainment Leader John Sykes to Receive Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award at the 2013 T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala


Clear Channel President of Entertainment Enterprises and one of the entertainment industry’s most innovative leaders, John Sykes, will receive the Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award at the 38th annual T.J. Martell Foundation Honors Gala to be held on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at Cipriani on 42nd Street in New York City. The Lifetime Music Industry Achievement Award is the T.J. Martell Foundation’s most prestigious music industry honor and is
awarded to a person who has made profound contributions to the music and entertainment industries.

John Sykes, President Clear Channel Entertainment.  (PRNewsFoto/T.J. Martell Foundation)

John Sykes, President Clear Channel Entertainment. (PRNewsFoto/T.J. Martell Foundation)

The T.J. Martell Foundation ( has also announced that Sting and Bryan Adams will perform at the star-studded annual event. President Bill Clinton, also a past T.J. Martell Foundation honoree, will present longtime friend John Sykes with the prestigious award.

John Sykes has been a music and entertainment industry leader for over 30 years, and continues to create enterprising, recognizable television brands and events that reach millions of people around the globe. Prior to joining Clear Channel,
he built and operated a number of leading entertainment brands. He was a member of the original team that founded

President Bill Clinton.  (PRNewsFoto/T.J. Martell Foundation)

President Bill Clinton. (PRNewsFoto/T.J. Martell Foundation)

MTV in 1981 and spent 21 years at Viacom. John was the President of VH1 from 1994-2002 and led the rebrand of the
television network to a music and pop culture channel. He served as chairman and CEO of Infinity Broadcasting from 2002-2005.
As the current President of Clear Channel Entertainment Enterprises, Sykes is responsible for developing new business partnerships and platforms across a range of media including television, digital platforms and live events. He also
is co-executive producer of Clear Channel’s annual iHeartRadio Music Festival, one of the most recognized, record-setting music festivals in history seen and heard here in the U.S. and around the world. Sykes also guides the company’s
relationship with Ryan Seacrest Productions on the creation and distribution of television programming, as well as the development of other media and entertainment content.

Sykes has made history through an array of philanthropic projects, producing some of the world’s biggest benefit concerts. In 2012, he co-produced the special one-night-only concert event “12-12-12” (A Concert for Sandy Relief), which raised over $53 million to support victims of Hurricane Sandy, which was nominated for two Emmy Awards. In October of 2001, following the attacks on the World Trade Center, he co-produced “The Concert for New York City” at Madison Square
with Harvey Weinstein and James Dolan, which raised over $50 million to provide support for the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. In addition, while serving as President of VH1 he created the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, which has raised over $45 million to rebuild music education programs in public schools across America. John has also been instrumental in serving the New York community as a Board Member of the Robin Hood Foundation for nearly two decades. He also serves on the boards of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School.

Wild Turkey® Introduces Wild Turkey Spiced


If variety is the “spice” of life, then Spiced Rum drinkers have reason to rejoice. In a move designed to offer a more masculine choice to Spiced Rum, Wild Turkey® Bourbon has written a new chapter in its impressive history of innovation for drinkers and make the bold leap into the wild world of whiskey.

Forever changing the Bourbon category, the legendary brand introduces Wild Turkey Spiced(TM), the first-ever spiced Bourbon from the “Island of Kentucky.” Featuring world-famous Kentucky Straight Bourbon with exotic spice, Wild Turkey Spiced is the consummate choice for drinkers curious about Bourbon and looking to trade-up from Spiced Rum.

Since its introduction, Wild Turkey has maintained a distinctive distillation and ageing process that gives it a smooth taste WILD TURKEY SPICED BOURBONand a lingering flavor. Wild Turkey uses a differentiated process whereby the bourbon is distilled at a low proof to seal in its flavors. Very little water is added to Wild Turkey, resulting in a full-flavored authentic bourbon taste similar to what one would get straight out of the barrel. Wild Turkey is a genuine drink with a sought after “burn” that comes from its high proof, an attribute fundamental to the brand and critical in maintaining its authentic bourbon characteristics.

Wild Turkey has over 150 years of spirits heritage. Austin Nichols began operations in 1855 as a wholesale grocer specializing in the sale of teas, coffees and spirits. In 1869, the Ripy family founded a distillery on what is now known as Wild Turkey Hill in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky; Austin Nichols purchased the distillery in 1971. Wild Turkey got its name in the 1940s after a distillery executive brought a private supply of 101 proof bourbon along with him for a wild turkey hunting trip with friends. They liked it so much that the next year they asked him to bring along some of that same “Wild Turkey” bourbon. He honored his friends’ good taste by turning their nickname into a legendary brand.

At 86 proof, Wild Turkey Spiced is a truly unique Bourbon experience that maintains the brand’s signature bold flavor while highlighting spiced cues previously found only in island spirits. Wild Turkey Associate Master Distiller and Bourbon Hall of Famer Eddie Russell created an eminently mixable, yet sip-able spirit with a sweet and spicy taste profile that can be enjoyed on its own, but really shines when mixed with cola.

The release of Wild Turkey Spiced continues a nearly 40-year tradition of innovation dating back to 1976 when Wild Turkey took the category in a completely different direction with the original honey flavored Bourbon, better known today as American Honey®. Like all Wild Turkey Bourbons, Spiced is born from a natural aging process
using American oak barrels with the deepest number 4 or “alligator” char that is used to age every Wild Turkey Bourbon variant.  Wild Turkey Spiced joins a growing product line-up that features flagship Wild Turkey Bourbon 81 and 101, Wild Turkey Rye, Wild Turkey Forgiven(TM), Rare Breed®, Kentucky Spirit®, American Honey® and Russell’s Reserve®.

I wanted to develop a liquid that brought to life the best of our robust Bourbon, while borrowing cues that have made island spirits so appealing,” said Russell.  “As the category continues to grow, many people, especially rum drinkers, are becoming curious about Bourbon and its sophisticated, more pronounced taste profile. We believe Wild Turkey Spiced is the perfect drink to bring them into the category.”


With 27 years of experience, Edward “Eddie” Freeman Russell knows a thing or two about  bourbon. As the son of renowned master distiller, Jimmy Russell, and the fourth generation Russell to work at the Austin Nichols distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky,  Eddie Russell is of an unmatched pedigree in the bourbon industry. Russell began his career at the distillery as a relief operator, eventually becoming a  supervisor of new production and then a warehouse supervisor. After two decades in  the business, he assumed the position of Manager of Barrel Maturation and  Warehousing. In this role, he collaborated with his father to create “Russell’s  Reserve,” the award-winning, 10-year old small-batch bourbon that serves as  testimony to the family’s heritage of distilling craftsmanship and tradition. Eddie Russell was recently promoted to Associate Distiller, where he will work even closer with Jimmy to ensure the continuation of the quality, taste and genuine spirit of  Wild Turkey® Bourbon. Continue reading

HALSTON Launches Digital Flagship Boutique


HALSTON announces the launch of its premiere digital flagship store at, which went live Oct 11th in over 80 countries, including the United States, Canada, the European Union and the Asia-Pacific nations, among others. The e-commerce site will feature HALSTON HERITAGE ready-to-wear, dresses, evening gowns and handbags, and will include a special feature dedicated to founder Roy Halston Frowick and the heritage of the iconic brand he created.

Halston Heritage E-commerce site.  (PRNewsFoto/HALSTON)

Halston Heritage E-commerce site. (PRNewsFoto/HALSTON)

Combining state-of-the-art technology with HALSTON HERITAGE’s modern and sophisticated design aesthetic that reflects iconic codes from the brand’s legacy – simplicity and timeless elegance – the site blends a luxury brand experience with approachable, easy-to-shop functionality. Ben Malka, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HALSTON said, “The launch of HALSTON’s first e-commerce store is an important milestone for one of America’s most iconic fashion brands. The site will serve as our global flagship and will give us the opportunity to present the brand the way we envision it, while reaching new audiences in new markets across the world.”

The launch of the online store is a partnership between HALSTON and Branded Online, an innovative e-commerce provider who developed the proprietary platform, and will manage all back-office functions including fulfillment, distribution and client services. The day-to-day business including merchandising, marketing, brand creative and brand communication will be run by HALSTON. The site will serve as a complement to the company’s on-going digital strategy, which is integral to the growth strategy of the company and will strengthen direct communication and interaction with clients and fans through the digital space and social media platforms.

This e-commerce launch follows the rollout of the first HALSTON HERITAGE retail stores earlier this year. Under the vision of new Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ben Malka, an industry veteran, today HALSTON HERITAGE is an approachable luxury lifestyle brand – mixing legacy codes with a modern edge to create an effortless women’s collection of ready-to-wear, dresses, handbags, footwear and small leather goods. The new HALSTON HERITAGE has been worn by modern style icons including Gisele Bundchen and Halle Berry among many others, and is carried by some of the world’s premier retailers including Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue, Net-A-Porter and Harvey Nichols, and as of Spring 2013 – the first HALSTON HERITAGE stores. The brand’s robust retail expansion now includes boutiques in New York on Madison Avenue and in Soho, as well as others in Beverly Hills, Newport Beach, Troy Michigan, Las Vegas and Kuwait. By the end of 2013, there will be more than 20 HALSTON HERITAGE boutiques worldwide.

Roy Halston Frowick was the creator of luxury American fashion, whose groundbreaking designs still influence and inspire us today. Founded in the 1960’s, the HALSTON label took the fashion industry by storm. Originally known for his innovation in millinery, Halston used his signature materials of jersey, cashmere and suede to reinvent the jumpsuit, the shirtdress, and the classic caftan, permanently leaving his mark on fashion. The 1970’s and the era of Studio 54 became synonymous with Halston’s designs.

Soon after, he was named “the premier fashion designer in America” by Newsweek. His strong connection to pop culture was evident through his friends and clients, which included Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor and Anjelica Huston. Halston went on to create one of the best-selling fragrances of all time in his signature tear-drop shaped perfume bottle designed by Elsa Peretti., as well as creating strong codes that are quintessential to the brand even to this day, For more information please visit

— Phillip D. Johnson