BSkyB to launch online TV service

(Adds details, quotes) LONDON, Jan 31 – Britain’s BSkyB is to launch an online TV offering to non-Sky customers to enable it to better take on firms such as Lovefilm and Netflix and following some signs of slowing growth at its main satellite base. Britain’s dominant pay-TV group said it would launch the new service to tap in to the 13 million homes that do not currently pay for a television service. It made the announcement as it revealed it had added 40,000 net new customers to its main TV service in the second quarter, slightly below expectations. …

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Paula Abdul Exits ‘X Factor’

Fellow mentor Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones are also out; a source tells Deadline ‘none of the three left on their own accord.’
By Kara Warner

Paula Abdul

Photo: Mark Davis/ Gety Images

For any “X Factor” fans who are thinking season two of the Simon Cowell-created singing competition will be business as usual, think again, because Monday (January 30) marked a veritable bloodletting of the show’s key talent and judging panel.

In addition to the losses of mentor Nicole Scherzinger and host Steve Jones, original “American Idol” diva and delightfully unpredictable judge Paula Abdul will also not be returning to the program. A source close to Cowell told that all three personalities were asked to leave the show.

“None of the three left on their own accord,” Deadline editor Nikki Finke wrote of what her insider source told her of the mass exodus. “It was cleaning house day at the so-so rated show.”

Despite their frequent onscreen bickering and banter, Cowell spoke highly of Abdul when it was announced that she would be joining him on “X Factor.” “I missed her the second she left [‘Idol’],” Cowell told Deadline last year. “Always loved working with her even though she can be a pain. I don’t know what it is about her, but I’ve always clicked with her. You just have to get that chemistry, and she’s right. I’ve never found anyone better than her.”

Former Pussycat Doll and “Dancing With the Stars” champ Scherzinger was also sent packing, although a source close to Scherzinger told E! News that she left the show to focus on her music career. “She’s spoken to Simon [Cowell], and he’s given her his blessing,” the insider told E! Scherzinger often became emotional during elimination episodes, shedding tears and expressing sympathy for ousted contestants.

As for inaugural “X Factor” host Jones, the cheeky Welshman broke the news himself via Twitter on Monday. “I won’t be hosting next seasons X Factor which is a shame but I cant complain as I’ve had a great time,” Jones tweeted to his more than 94,000 followers. “Good luck to everyone on the show.”

Jones had decidedly big shoes to fill stepping into the gig, with comparisons instantly made to “American Idol” host/ media mogul Ryan Seacrest. Throughout the season, the reviews of Jones’ hosting skills were decidedly mixed.

As far as we know, L.A. Reid will continue to work alongside Cowell on the judging panel. There has been no word yet from Fox on who might replace Abdul, Scherzinger and Jones, or when season two will premiere.

Who do you think should join “X Factor”? Share your ideas in the comments!

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Diddy ‘Playful But Serious’ About Machine Gun Kelly Arrest

‘I talked to Puff today, and he’s like, ‘It’s all good,’ ‘ Bad Boy rapper tells MTV News.
By Rob Markman

Machine Gun Kelly

Photo: MTV News

When Diddy first announced that he signed Machine Gun Kelly to Bad Boy Records, he said he wanted the Cleveland, Ohio, breakout to stay “true to himself.” Since the deal, the “Wild Boy” rapper doesn’t seem to have changed very much. And after his arrest for misdemeanor disorderly conduct on Sunday morning, Puff didn’t seem too bent out of shape.

“@machinegunkelly where the f— are you at? Are you ok? Do you need Bail or a lawyer?????!! Eveyrone hit him to see if he’s ok,” Diddy wrote jokingly on Twitter. “@machinegunkelly WtF!!!!!! Call me at miami crib now!!!!! Everyone hit him and tell him to call me NOW!!!!! Pls thanks!!!!”

“You can tell he’s, like, playful with it, but there’s a serious tone behind [it],” Machine Gun Kelly told MTV News on Monday (January 30) about his boss’ reaction to the incident in a Florida club that led to the arrest. “I talked to Puff today, and he’s like, ‘It’s all good. Do what you do. You did what you had to do.’ ”

Diddy was very understanding — that is, until he misread a tweet while on the phone with Kells, which led him to believe his new protégé was put in cuffs twice this weekend. On Friday night, one of MGK’s friends was caught drunk driving and got into a car crash; Kells was not present, but try explaining that to Diddy.

“He thought I was in the car too, so he thought I got arrested twice. It was like the first arrest was cool, like, all right, he’ll let it slide. But when he [thought it was two arrests], he was like, ‘What the f—? You got arrested two times? Something is wrong with you, man,’ ” MGK said, imitating one of Puff’s patented tantrums. “He was, like, spazzing out. I think all the label is on edge about how we rock.”

This wasn’t Kelly’s first arrest either. Back in August 2011, the raging rapper was locked up and charged with disorderly conduct after police said he organized a flash mob in a Cleveland mall.

After this latest incident, Kelly promises no more run-ins with the law. He posted $100 bond and fired this message off on Twitter before heading off to New York City: “Thank you Florida for ragin this week. Lookin forward to seeing every state during this spring/summer tour (no more handcuffs tho!)”

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Mitt Romney Florida Supporters Feel The Momentum

‘I just really want to see some hope restored in America,’ one voter tells MTV News a day before Florida primary.
By Gil Kaufman

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Jacksonville

Photo: Joe Raedle/ Getty Images

JACKSONVILLE, Florida — One skipped school to be there, another took time out from her college courses and working at her two jobs to drop in, and both liked what they heard from Mitt Romney on Monday (January 30).

One day before the primary in the pivotal swing state of Florida, which could finally cement his status as the leader of the pack in the Republican presidential nominating contest, a pumped-up Romney took the stage at a Caterpillar equipment dealership to speak to an enthusiastic crowd.

His message of “real hope and change” resonated with Amy Gallogly, 23, a community college student who works at a tax service and an alarm company in the area. “I just really want to see some hope restored in American,” she said after the event wrapped as Romney shook hands and signed autographs while Kid Rock’s “Born Free” blasted from the speakers. “I’m just really pushing for any Republican candidate. … The one reason I really am pushing for Mitt Romney [though] is because I think he’s the one candidate who can beat Obama.”

High school senior Tori Reiman, 18, came with her mom, who works in the real-estate business in the state with the nation’s highest foreclosure rate. “I’m kind of over Obama,” she said. “He’s not doing his job. He’s raising the taxes on the richer side of American, which I don’t believe is fair.” Asked why she came out to the event, Reiman said, “I believe in Mitt Romney and I believe in America.”

Law student Eric Bast, 24, definitely picked up on Romney’s message of change, saying that he’s energized to participate in his first election. “I want to change it back,” said Bast, who recently registered to vote.

MTV is on the scene in Florida! Check back for up-to-the-minute coverage of the primaries and stick with throughout the 2012 presidential election season.

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Florida NAACP Members ‘Will Not Be Silenced’ By New Voter Laws

‘The rules are setting up minority and young voters to fail,’ University of South Florida NAACP President Vanity Shields tells MTV News.
By Gil Kaufman

Vanity Shields

Photo: MTV News

TAMPA, Florida — It’s fitting that 20-year-old University of South Florida junior Vanity Shields, 20, chose to speak to MTV’s Power of 12 in the shadow of her campus’ Martin Luther King Jr. memorial reflecting pond.

Nearly 50 years after the Voting Rights Act of 1965 outlawed discriminatory laws that disenfranchised black voters thanks to the tireless work of the civil-rights giant, Shields is preparing for another voting-rights fight in her state. The president of the NAACP chapter on the USF campus and first-time voter is concerned that a new Florida law, ostensibly aimed at cutting down on voter fraud, might leave many young and African-American voters off the rolls this presidential election year.

“I personally feel that the rules are setting up minority and young voters to fail,” the health sciences major said of the new law, which carries heavy penalties for third-party organizations trying to register new voters if they fail to comply with the sometimes-byzantine rules. “Now they have 48 hours to fill out this massive amount of paperwork.”

A portion of the new law includes restrictions on community-based voter-registration drives that require anyone registering new voters on behalf of organizations such as Rock the Vote or the League of Women Voters to turn all forms in within 48 hours of obtaining a signature or face unspecified civil penalties. Those two groups have been forced to suspend their voter-registration efforts in Florida this year because, according to a press release announcing a lawsuit seeking to block the new provisions, they “include burdensome administrative requirements, unreasonably tight deadlines for submission for completed forms and unnecessarily harsh penalties for even the slightest delay or mistake.”

Shields said the USF NAACP chapter has been very active on the issue and planned a general body meeting called “The Colors of Justice” on Monday (January 30) to discuss the new rules and raise awareness about them. There will also be a voter-awareness rally soon, though she said efforts such as the NAACP’s get-out-the-vote “Souls to the Poll” action from years past has been canceled this year because of new restrictions on registering voters on the Sunday before an election.

“I am originally from New Jersey, and Hillsboro County in Tampa is a pre-clearance [area]. … What that means is that people who were previously registered are still able to vote, but with this new law, if Hillsboro County were not pre-clearance, I would have to go back to New Jersey to vote,” said Brianna Simms, 20, the second vice president of the USF NAACP chapter. “As a college student, I don’t have the funds or the time to do that, so that would limit my impact on the country in choosing our next president.”

Shields said awareness of the voting issue is pretty low at the moment, but she plans to start posting about it on Twitter and Facebook, distribute fliers and ask her fellow students if they know about the changes. “I feel that our demographic is being targeted and that they’re trying to silence us, but we will not be silenced,” she said. “We will speak our minds and keep our right to vote.”

MTV is on the scene in Florida! Check back for up-to-the-minute coverage of the primaries and stick with throughout the 2012 presidential election season.

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