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About Cranberrys

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  1. Moving, beautiful, and timeless.
  2. Audra, I won't confirm or deny which companies are mine but you can easily google the 4th largest Hotelier (a combination of two companies - one private and one public) to find out my identity. I won't confirm it but you will know. To answer your questions about travel - all methods of domestic travel are down drastically. Rail, air, and auto are all down more than 50%. Airlines are the most depressed industry in the nation. Most air carriers have announced massive lay offs of 60% or more of their work forces. Delta announced 60,000 layoffs just a few days ago. Virgin Atlantic is the largest to completely go out of business - it hasn't happened yet but Richard Branson has no alternative. Richard and I have a common business interest in a Cruise channel dock and parking accomodation in San Francisco. He is selling his stock in that project at a loss. Hotel occupancy for my hotels (in all 33 states) is down 70% - even worse in large market cities. Roadside rural motels are doing better. Most large cities have begun to rent out upscale urban hotel rooms for transients, the homeless, and to quarantine families who are suffering financial hardship. But my companies have not participated in that effort. It is not a good strategy for our brand. We've already felt the pain of lay-offs - 50% of our staff and do not want to get involved with all the problems that go along with government occupancy. We can hold out for two years at 50% staff at our current occupancy levels. If Covid 19s impact on our hotels current occupancy rates lasts two years I will lose everything. I don't think that will happen. The trend is slowly getting better. People have cabin fever - and they want to get out and travel America. Overseas travel is down 90% - a big advantage to American hoteliers. I think business will begin to improve in the 4th quarter and get back to somewhere around 70% of pre-Covid occupancy rates by the end of 2021. My businesses will survive, although much less profitable and with a lot of debt - but that's life. It has it's ups and down's. I'm still one of the luckiest men on earth and I won't complain. Life is still very good for my family despite Covid 19.
  3. Haven't been around in a few months. One of the last times I was here I revealed quite a bit about my real life business interests in a response post in this thread. Covid has devastated them. I've been occupied with the financial problems Covid created for my company every day & night since Covid broke out mainstream in mid-March. Two days ago my badly bruised business interests brought me in direct contact with Kelly Clarksons thriving business interests. I'm primarily in the hotel business. Combined, my two Hospitality companies are the 4th largest Hotelier in America - and I'm going broke. In the 2nd Quarter my hotels lost $220 million. I'm the Chairman, along with Vice Chairman Chris Nassetta, of the Covid 19 Work Committee to bring business back to hotels for the American Hotel & Lodging Association. We have a big, but delicate, budget to persuade Americans traveling America is safe during the Pandemic and hotels will keep them safe while they travel. At one time or another over the last 35 years I've been the President or Chairman (or both) of every major Hotelier, Hospitality, Franchise & Private Hotel & Livery Association in America. Covid has devastated the Hotel business. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm sure almost everyone on this forum has experienced scary financial consequences from Covid - and I'm certain many have experienced dire, long term, life changing, devastating events as a result. Everyone having a tough time financially as a result of Covid 19 has my sympathy and sincere hope for a recovery and better days very, very soon. My Committee is looking for a spokesperson to get Amercans to start traveling again and staying in hotels. There are 13 people on the Committee and everyone has suggestions for who it should be. In July we approached CAA for their opinion and they brought us a list of Celebrity Q Scores and, as they call it "Cold, Cool, Warm, and Hot" prospects for each type of business based on historic trends and current reality social media and broadcast trends. Turns out Kelly Clarkson is near the top of the list in the "Warm" group in most traditional industries. You could say she was one of the top 3 leaders across the broadest swath of traditional industries. I can't reveal her Q Score but it is very impressive. An offer was made to Clarkson through CAA Monday, August 3rd. The offer was rejected Friday, August 7th. We were disappointed but quickly moved on to another contender - I won't mention the celebs name because a few days after the offer was made this celebrity made politically charged statements in headlines that scared off the very traditional Hotelier Association - and the offer was withdrawn. Fast forward to Thursday, August 20th: The Committee, still unhappy with the choices on the table, circled back to Kelly Clarkson, changed the framework of the offer & increased the financial compensation. Clarkson's CAA agent called back Tuesday, August 25th with a potential compromise: Allow Omnigroup (a specific producer at Omnigroup) to handle all aspects of filming the commercials under Clarkson's direct supervision. Clarkson would serve as creative director, co-writer & co-producer in collaboration with Omnigroup from beginning to end of the campaign. Problem: This collaboration blew a hole in the budget. A BIG hole. This hole is what brought me in direct contact with Clarkson last Monday afternoon. Kelly Clarkson, along with her sister & mother, participated in a Zoom Conference Forum that included myself and 2 other members of the AH&LA Committee, 3 CAA reps, *Brandon Blackstock*, and three people I'm legally restricted from naming - 2 from Omnigroup and a well known Entertainment Manager. Ultimately we did not strike a deal and left it on the table for Clarksons tribe of agents, advocates, and creative collaborators to consider. I was shocked how deeply Clarkson was involved in the minute details of the project and how fiercely she demanded creative control. Her price is very high but it includes the cost for the best creative minds, technicians, ad & entertainment executives in America. She knows what she's doing. My gut tells me she'll leave our offer on the table. I hope I'm wrong.
  4. I don't know anything about anything but Chevel's dad seems flakey - in a well-meaning but extremely crude (and a lil creepy) way.
  5. Anti-Carrie Underwood fan here. Besides the other things I'm going to mention I don't care for Underwood's one dimensional vocal technique or wall to wall belting. Underwood clubs songs to death with volume. Most of her fans believe that's her biggest asset. I jthink she's got a loud mouth. Subtlety and nuance are foreign words to Underwood's narrow musicality. Tenderness and meek vulnerability don't mix well with all the monotone belting she does. What little versatility she has doesn't appear in her catalog. Carrie Underwood has done more to hurt the careers of her female country peers than anyone in any era of Country Music history. Every country songwriter in America sends CU their best work - leaving nothing but scraps for most other great country females singers out there - Martina McBride included. Beginning with her second album Carrie's been changing a word or two on other writers work and taking writing credits she doesn't deserve. Underwood has never written a single melody for any song she has ever recorded that reached the top 10 on the country charts. Underwood often participates in the writing process but only as a sounding board to help the real writers work out the phrasing. Underwood's music & squeaky clean persona fit the widest available female country radio niche and Country radio gave it to her 15 years ago. Carrie won that slot with her American Idol win and, most importantly, with her first album "Some Hearts". Carries biggest career making hits are on "Some Hearts". Of the 13 songs on that album Carrie had one tiny co-writing credit with two other writers on ONE (1) track - the last track on the album. Carrie Underwood's Idol victory, first album's mega success, and strangle hold on country songwriters is the backbone of her success and why there are so few opportunities for other females artists on country radio. Underwood's attractive features and petite figure combined with keeping her private life wholesome and controversy free make her an easy, safe, and popular choice for country radio programmers to choose her over other country female artists. I can't argue with Underwood's chart and touring success. But I wouldn't walk across the street to hear her drone boring caterwauling.
  6. It used to be the case great songwriters wrote great songs and they handed them off to great singers to sing them. Taylor Swift came along and played a big part in changing that business model. Taylor is a shitty singer but a great songwriter. She managed to write great songs with great hooks she could perform in her extremely limited one octave range. Swifts vocals were never the artistic aspect of her songs. Her songs are always reduced to simple, single octave vocals she's capable of performing - as basic and easy as a child singing "Happy Birthday". When great singers cover Swifts songs they expand the range, nuance, and phrasing, and make her songs exponentially better. But Swift and the current batch of radio girls (Maren Morris, Kelsea Ballerini etc.) are recording the songs they write despite they're limited vocal abilities for fame and fortune - art be damned - and you can't really blame them until you hear a great singer cover their shitty vocals. I'm not a fan of this way of producing music. I want to hear great singers sing great songs. Shitty singers singing great songs are like children playing. Unfortunately, today, all that matters is the songs hook - the singer's skill is an afterthought.
  7. I was disappointed Kelly didn't tweet a link to Chevel's new video too. It is understandable though, Kelly does have a lot going on - and maybe Chevel didn't tell her when she was releasing it. But that's hard to believe that since Kelly is the Executive producer of Chevel's EP. I have a feeling Kelly paid for the video too. Kelly's soon-to-be ex-husband, Brandon, is not involved in Chevel's career. eta - I forgot to say how much I like "The Letter". The only downside to the song is the opening verse (and a few other spots) needed a strong lower register for contrast and, unfortunately, Chevel just doesn't have a lower register. The rest of the song is great, emotional, well sung, and memorable. I hope Country Radio picks it up. Chevel just needs one small radio hit to crack that tough-ass country radio window .
  8. It's never been more obvious than today's Hamilton Tribute episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show that Kelly Clarkson is the best Talk Show/Entertainment Host in television. Kelly's genuine interaction, sharp instincts, sparkling dialogue, and innate natural delivery with the entire original cast of the epic Broadway Musical Hamilton tops anything Ellen or even Oprah could do. Kelly didn't win an Emmy for top Entertainment Talk Show Host for nothing - she "is" the most talented talk show host on television. Kelly's brilliant communication with the cast beamed across the universe was amazing. Add Clarkson's world class vocal talent - that never ends - and there has never-ever been a more talented singer/mama/entertainer/host than Kelly Clarkson. #She'sallthat!
  9. I hope someone helps Just Sam get her foot in the door. With a big dose of self confidence and some allies in R&B/HipHop she could break out. Idol doesn't seem to have an answer to the problem. After all the failures from AI and TV it's obvious it all comes down to getting a "hit" song on the radio. And it seems no one is going to give a talent show winner one anymore. So they're going to have to write it themselves. It's time for a hybrid show that includes songwriting in the process similar to Nashville Star. A collaboration between Songland and The Voice would be a good place to start..
  10. A little surprised Gwen is coming back. Probably shouldn't be. Gwen is an icon with a solid fanbase. It looks like TV is embracing the older demo - that's where The Voice dominates the ratings. Gwen is fun and funny and that's what gives The Voice the advantage over Idol. Happy to here there will be lots of laughs on Season 19!
  11. I'll stipulate the main portion of your post and agree Blake's longevity at The Voice give him some advantages. I won't agree he has carte blanche with the fans - because he doesn't. eta - This forum only has, at most, a few dozen regular posters so anything I post here has limited effect. I enjoy the "small extent" of the banter here. It's one of the few places on the net where there is consistent reaction from a very small universe of dedicated consistent posters on this subject. I enjoy it here. My daily life is very different than this forum and that dichotomy gives me a strange freedom I rarely experience.
  12. If Kelly and Blake had started on The Voice together in season 1 Kelly would probably have twice as many wins as Blake. Kelly Clarkson is enormously more talented and analytically adept in every aspect of music than Blake. Clarkson would have mined & mentored far more talented contestants than Shelton. Blake is a great guy but he can't hold a candle to Clarkson in any aspect of vocal performance in any genre. It's not my intention to denigrate Blake's talents but comparing Blake Shelton's vocal skills to Kelly Clarkson's vocal skills is like comparing an amoeba to a full grown medieval Dragon. Kelly Clarkson sang Ave Maria to the Pope and the world wept at it's beauty. Kelly Clarkson sang My Country Tis of Thee at Obama's 2nd inauguration and changed the world. Blake is incapable of competing with Kelly Clarkson in any head to head vocal competition. Good ole country boys & their families will disagree but 99% of the rest of the world won't even acknowledge Blake Shelton exists. Clarkson is a multi-genre 4 octave genius. Blake can only admire her from a distance too far to comprehend. Blake's good fortune is derived exclusively from the lowest end of the economic spectrum of the country music genre where anyone who can carry a tune relates to the poorest among us. He's had other successes but they were anomalies. BIG ANOMALIES.
  13. So Audra - you came to that conclusion based on Toneisha's 2nd place finish? Seriously? I think you're wrong by a long shot. I have no official data about this specific issue - but neither do you. Let's analyze the anecdotal evidence along with the verifiable empirical data we know to be fact: Kelly signed her The Voice contract, confirmed by Variety, in late 2017, for $560K per episode = $14 to $15 million per season (25 to 27 episodes) = $28 to $30 million per year. Kelly won 3 of her first 4 seasons. Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani signed new TV contracts, with raises, just days prior to the beginning of season 17, widely reported to be approximately $14 million per season each - still at least $1 million below Clarkson's inaugural season 14 contract. Kelly Clarkson signed a new NBCUniversal deal in late 2018 for The Voice, Awards Shows, Specials (Holidays), future Christmas Specials, The Kelly Clarkson Show, and a $10 million content development contract for Clarkson and her husband, Manager & Executive Producer, Brandon Blackstock. The value of Clarkson's new contract has not been revealed but Clarkson certainly got a raise from her original $560K per episode season 14 The Voice salary which makes her the highest paid coach on The Voice by a considerable sum. Kelly's husband, Brandon Blackstock, manages both Clarkson and Blake Shelton. Managers typically earn 20% of client earnings above $5 million. That means Kelly Clarkson's family is earning at least an additional $3 million from Clarkson's TV salary and an additional $2 million (probably more) from Shelton's TV salary and more from other entertainment income Shelton earns. Clarkson and her husband Brandon are bringing home somewhere in the vicinity of $21 to $22 million per season ($42 to $44 million per year) minimum from TV alone. Add in The Kelly Clarkson Show salary (reported to be $7 to $8 million for her first season) - however her show was renewed for season 2 quickly due to outstanding ratings November 18th, 2019 just 6 weeks after it's debut - and it's certain Clarkson will earn more for season 2 of The Kelly Clarkson Show and for additional programming duties like the Billboard Music Awards, Red Nose Day, other specials, and Holiday programs. This puts Clarkson somewhere in the $52 to $55 million per year salary range from NBCUniversal (excluding the $10 million development deal) - which makes her NBC's highest paid star by a looooooong shot. Ellen makes more but she doesn't work for NBCUniversal. The Kelly Clarkson Show received 7 Emmy nominations (more than any other Entertainment Talk Show), including nods for BEST ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW, and BEST ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW HOST. Clarkson takes home at least $20 million more from the network than Blake Shelton earns from NBC. Blake is certainly popular and has a strong country fanbase - but Clarkson's base extends across genres and demographics. Clarkson is more famous than Shelton and has the added advantage of her national daytime talk show & multiple Television entertainment formats available to her, assets Shelton does not have, to promote her brand and NBC's full network schedule of brands. Kelly Clarkson for the win - a permanent Red Chair on The Voice - and reigning Queen of NBC.
  14. This is an internet message board. No one believes anything anyone says - especially about themselves. If I told you I own more than 500 hotels (mainly roadside franchise motels/hotels on main interstate hiway exchanges), I've owned dozens of television & radio stations in the past, promoted national & international concert tours decades ago before LiveNation & AEG cornered the market, own outright two full size cruise ships, own moorings and cruise ship docks in Miami, New Orleans, Boston, Los Angeles & San Francisco, own more than 600 thousand acres of land in 33 states, and much, much more you'd never believe anyone so wealthy and accomplished would spend time on an internet message board discussing television singing shows. So - there's nothing I can say that you would believe. But I'm honest when it's necessary. Rich people have time-wasting passions too - and I'm one of them. eta - and I forgot to say - yeah I like KC. But she does &hit that aggravates me all the time. Her personality, heart & soul come thru in her voice and it moves me unlike anyone ever has.
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