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AEW Is Outselling WWE In New York Market Ticket Sales

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AEW Is Outselling WWE In New York Market Ticket Sales


As AEW and WWE continue to promote big shows in the New York market during the month of September, upstart AEW is outperforming New York-based WWE.

AEW and WWE ran successful shows in the New York/New Jersey area this past week. Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite in Newark, N.J. nearly sold out with almost 12,000 ticket sales, while WWE SmackDown’s Sept. 10 broadcast in Madison Square Garden had an announced attendance of 14,425—enough for SmackDown’s biggest gate ever. Both AEW and WWE will run Long Island’s UBS Arena for the first time, within ten days of one another, starting with WWE Raw on November 29.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported “The WWE show sold about 750 on the pre-sale while AEW sold about 4,000 on the pre-sale.” Per WrestleTix (h/t Wrestling Inc), WWE Raw’s debut in the UBS Arena has sold 2,365 tickets while AEW has sold 6,1,67 tickets. With the Summer of Cena now officially over following his loss to Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, WWE’s drawing power has suffered. WWE’s full-time roster—which, for over a decade, has been promoted as second-fiddle to stars of the past like Cena and Brock Lesnar—is predictably struggling to attract fans. 

In addition to outselling WWE in its home base, AEW is also enjoying a two-week winning streak over WWE Raw in the 18-49 demographic. AEW Dynamite beat WWE Raw this past week despite Raw featuring two WWE Championship matches and Big E’s Money in the Bank cash-in. Raw’s September 13 broadcast, however, went head-to-head with Week 1 of NFL’s Monday Night Football, which will continue to hobble WWE in viewership throughout the fall.

MORE FROM FORBESAEW Dynamite Ratings: Dynamite Beats WWE Raw In 18-49 Demo Yet Again

AEW is now poised to defeat WWE for a third-straight week ahead of its biggest Dynamite ever in the nearly-sold-out Arthur Ashe Stadium. As of this writing, AEW Grand Slam has sold well ver 18,000 tickets for AEW Grand Slam. WWE will return to its emergency glass case Monday on Raw as Roman Reigns and The Usos will take on The New Day. Raw will once again face tough sledding against Monday Night Football, featuring one of the NFL’s biggest stars Aaron Rodgers and public team the Green Bay Packers.  

The story of AEW catching up to WWE is not a story of the wrestling business exploding as it did when WCW toppled WWE in the mid-’90s. This is a story of the overall wrestling audience shrinking, and AEW doing a better job of connecting with pro wrestling’s niche base of mostly hardcore wrestling fans. Both WWE Raw and AEW Dynamite were down double digits this week, with AEW Dynamite falling 11% in overall viewership and 15% in the 18-49 demo. AEW’s precipitous drop in the 18-49 demo (from 681,000 to 574,000) was still good enough to best WWE Raw’s own decline as Raw fell 10% in overall viewership (down 17% in 18-49 viewership).

This is far from the Monday Night Wars. AEW and WWE’s battle for viewership supremacy is closer to a Monday Night Thumb Wars, and a much smaller, male-dominated pro wrestling audience continues to gravitate toward AEW in key business metrics. 

Similar to Monday Nitro, AEW has been effective in rejuvenating and marketing former WWE stars. Free agent signings Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson and CM Punk have all made instant impacts in AEW’s main event picture. All three will be featured on AEW Grand Slam, which is trending towards AEW Dynamite’s biggest television gate in history.

As AEW continues to struggle attracting women, WWE can counter by building its own, much larger, women’s audience. WWE is in position to do just that, currently featuring Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch in a top storyline on SmackDown, while Naomi continues her own racially charged storyline opposite Sonya Deville and “Karen.” AEW, meanwhile, is looking to build a female following with the forthcoming “Rhodes to the Top” reality show featuring Cody and Brandi Rhodes.



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FDA Introduces A New Approach To Food Safety

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FDA Introduces A New Approach To Food Safety


It’s been more than 10 years since President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The Act gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased authority to regulate the way foods are grown and processed in the US and in countries that export foods to the US. The objective of FSMA was to make foods safer, reducing cases and outbreaks of foodborne disease. The success of FSMA has been mixed, largely because of the challenges posed by illnesses associated with fresh produce.

The fresh produce industry has changed dramatically over the past several years. Consumer demand has increased along with pressures on US growers to produce larger quantities and more variety. Also, produce is now sourced globally, making seasonal produce items available throughout the year. An article by Conner McDaniel and Ravi Jadeja at Oklahoma State University (2019) states that fresh produce is the number one cause of these foodborne illnesses in the US. The article also refers to the economic costs associated with illnesses associated with fresh produce which is estimated to be $39 billion annually (26% of the total)[1].

In an effort to change its approach to regulating the food industry, including fresh produce, FDA is hosting a summit this week to usher in a “New Era of Smarter Food Safety.”  The initiative is being led by Frank Yiannas, Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response. He has long been an advocate for the concept of a “Food Safety Culture” as the framework for improving food safety. The objective of this innovative approach is to “leverage technology and other tools and approaches to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system”. Also, to “bend the curve of foodborne illness in this country by reducing the number of illnesses.” The new era for food safety at FDA will rely on enhanced traceability and predictive analytics technologies to better manage fresh produce risks. This will allow the agency to speed outbreak response and prevention, identifying and removing contaminated products from commerce, ideally before it’s consumed.[2]

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint is centered around four core elements:

1.      Tech-enabled Traceability

2.      Smarter Tools and Approaches for Prevention and Outbreak Response

3.      New Business Models and Retail Modernization

4.      Food Safety Culture

FDA has identified these as “foundational pillars of the New Era of Smarter Food Safety” which are designed to help create a safer and more digital, traceable food system.

Another component of the New Era initiative is a commitment to work constructively with the food industry and food industry technology providers to build effective food safety systems that reduce contamination risks for fresh produce and all food products.

FDA’s New Era initiative will be integrated into the existing regulatory requirements associated with FSMA. These include rules requiring preventive controls, specific rules for produce safety, accredited third-party certification, and a Foreign Supplier Verification Program. FSMA provides the framework for the food industry to design and implement safe food processes which are a prerequisite for safe foods. The New Era initiative combined with the FSMA rules will provide the necessary industry and regulatory tools to allow for substantive food safety improvements.

Clearly, FDA’s “New Era of Food Safety” initiative represents a major step towardsthe goal of reducing foodborne illness. The agency has recognized that the regulatory approaches used in the past aren’t working as well as they should to protect consumers in the ever-changing global landscape of food production and processing. FDA is also proactively embracing technology and leading the food industry – something that is uncommon in government regulatory agencies.

Janet Woodcock, M.D., the Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs, and Frank Yiannas should be commended for not losing sight of the importance of food safety through the COVID pandemic. The new approach to food safety has the potential to make our food supply safer and reduce foodborne illnesses and outbreaks.

[1] McDaniel and Jadeja, 2019

[2] US Food and Drug Administration, 2021


McDaniel, C., & Jadeja, R. (2019). A review of fresh produce outbreaks, current interventions, food safety concerns and potential benefits of novel antimicrobial sodium acid sulfate. MOJ Food Processing & Technology, 7(3), 59–67. https://medcraveonline.com/MOJFPT/MOJFPT-07-00221.pdf

US Food and Drug Administration. (2021). New era of smarter food safety: Modern approaches for modern times. https://www.fda.gov/food/new-era-smarter-food-safety

 



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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs By Cointelegraph

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Valve removes blockchain games, tells users not to publish content on crypto or NFTs By Cointelegraph



Video game corporation Valve has informed users no content related to cryptocurrencies or nonfungible tokens will be allowed through its Steam marketplace.

As reported by game developer SpacePirate on Oct. 14, Steam has updated its guidelines for what content creators are allowed to publish on the platform. According to Steam, no applications built on blockchain technology that “issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs” are permitted in its onboarding process for partners. The rule appears alongside guidelines prohibiting hate speech, sexually explicit images, and libelous or defamatory statements.

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Former ‘Hamilton’ Cast Member Files Discrimination Complaint Against Show

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Former ‘Hamilton’ Cast Member Files Discrimination Complaint Against Show


A former “Hamilton” cast member filed a federal workplace complaint against the show on Wednesday, alleging that the show had retaliated and refused to renew a contract after the actor had requested a gender-neutral dressing room.

In the complaint, filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, lawyers for the former cast member, Suni Reid (who prefers the pronouns they/them), said they were sidelined and eventually let go in September after requesting a gender-neutral space at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles where “Hamilton” was playing.

In the 28-page complaint, Reid, a Black, nonbinary performer who has performed with the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles productions of “Hamilton” since 2017, outlined several other instances of discrimination and harassment by cast members and management over the years, including episodes in which Reid said they were physically threatened or intentionally and repeatedly misgendered.

The complaint said Reid eventually intends to pursue legal claims in federal court. Filing a charge of discrimination and retaliation with the E.E.O.C. is a precursor to filing such a lawsuit.

“Publicly, ‘Hamilton’ is a beacon of diversity and appears committed to causes seeking social justice and harmony,” Reid’s lawyers, Lawrence M. Pearson and Lindsay M. Goldbrum, said in a statement. “Behind the curtain, however, the Company’s management will force out a Black, transgender cast member simply because they stood up for themselves and advocated for a more equitable workplace, and therefore called that public image into question.”

“We look forward to upholding Reid’s rights and hope this is a wake-up call for the theater industry about the systemic inequities that persist even at its greatest heights,” the statement continued.

In its own statement, “Hamilton” said Wednesday that Reid had been “a valued cast member” for years and said the show had “offered them a contract to return to ‘Hamilton’ with terms responsive to their requests.”

“We deny the allegations in the Charge,” the show said. “We have not discriminated or retaliated against Suni.” During the shutdown, it added, “we have given Suni direct financial support, paid for their health insurance, and paid for their housing. We wish Suni well in their future endeavors.”

Reid has performed in the ensemble as well as in roles such as Aaron Burr, George Washington, Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, according to the complaint.

It comes as Broadway and touring shows are working to find their footing following a lengthy pandemic-related shutdown. Earlier this summer, as several shows like “Hamilton” were preparing to restart, some of the most powerful players on Broadway signed a pact pledging to strengthen the industry’s diversity practices.

But Reid’s complaint paints a picture of a toxic workplace environment at “Hamilton” that stretched from coast to coast.

Reid was cast in the Broadway production of the show in 2017 and met hostility from the start, according to the complaint. Reid eventually requested a transfer from the Broadway production and started with the Chicago company of “Hamilton” in March 2019, according to the complaint, and came out publicly as transgender and gender-nonconforming. They were constantly misgendered by co-workers, “at times in a pointedly hostile or callous manner,” according to the complaint.

By 2020, Reid had begun rehearsals for the Los Angeles company, but never was able to to join the Los Angeles cast in performance because of the shutdown, the complaint said.

In May, Reid was presented with a contract renewal for “Hamilton.” Around that time, they asked their agent, Michele Largé, to request a gender-neutral dressing room at Pantages that Reid and others could use. “Hamilton” officials then raised concerns about posts Reid had published on social media describing racial equity issues on the show, according to the complaint.

The show would eventually agree to set up gender-neutral dressing spaces in every “Hamilton” theater. But in the fall, after Reid’s lawyers informed the show that they had legal claims of discrimination, the show told Reid’s lawyers that it was “no longer open” to having Reid perform in “Hamilton,” and that “renewal of their contract was no longer an option,” the complaint said.



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