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BUSINESS
March 24, 1995
We'd like to hear your comments about Company Town and suggestions for entertainment industry stories. We regret that we can't always respond to individual queries. From time to time, we will seek your comments about specific subjects and publish some responses. This week, we'd like to hear your thoughts about the joint interactive venture by Microsoft and DreamWorks SKG, as well as the $500-million investment by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in DreamWorks.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
In a bid to spur digital movie purchases, Sony Pictures has struck a deal with Wal-Mart's Vudu video streaming service to add video sharing and other features to new releases including "This Is the End" and "After Earth" as well as forthcoming titles such as "Smurfs 2" and "One Direction. " The feature, dubbed Vudu Extras+, will enable consumers who've bought a movie through the online service - or deposited a copy in their digital storage locker - to search for scenes or lines of dialogue, or clip and share a film vignette on Facebook or Twitter.
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BUSINESS
December 6, 1994 | ALAN CITRON
Hollywood's favorite movie title these days isn't "The Santa Clause" or "Interview With the Vampire," despite their box office success. Insiders say it's more like "The Great Escape." Industry executives looking to get out from under their oppressive workloads are taking longer and more frequent vacations than at any time in recent memory, sources say. One studio is holding its Christmas party two weeks earlier this year than last.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2013 | By Meg James
Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts has made a mission out of perfecting a new-generation remote control to help customers seamlessly find TV programs they want to watch. Now, Roberts is turning to Twitter to help him do just that. Comcast and Twitter on Wednesday announced they are teaming up to try to capitalize on the hundreds of thousands of conversations about TV shows that unfold each day on the popular micro-blogging site. The two companies have struck a strategic partnership to introduce a feature designed by Comcast engineers called "See It" that will connect consumers with TV shows.
NATIONAL
June 7, 2013 | By David Horsey
If you are wondering what the cartoon above is all about, I confess it is a tease. To see the entire image -- my take on the HBO series, "Game of Thrones" -- you'll need to go to the blog,  Company Town  or wait to see it in our Sunday newspaper. Last week, I expanded my role at the L.A. Times by doing the first cartoon in what I hope will be a long string of weekly cartoons about Hollywood. In the months to come, I will be commenting on the business side of entertainment, caricaturing celebrities and stars and finding satire in all the glitz, glamour, greed and goofiness of the movie, TV and music industires.
NATIONAL
July 18, 2013 | By David Horsey
Let's take a break from politics today and dip into the fantastical world of the San Diego Comic-Con. The image above is a slice taken from my latest Horsey On Hollywood cartoon. You can jump to the full image by clicking here . This is a reminder that, in addition to my Top of the Ticket cartoons, I am now doing a weekly cartoon lampooning the wonderful, wacky world of entertainment. Starting next week, those cartoons will appear on Wednesdays in the Company Town blog . You can also see them in print on page 3 of the Sunday L.A. Times Calendar section.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 3, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After weeks of speculation, NBC confirmed today that Jimmy Fallon will succeed Jay Leno as host of “The Tonight Show” in the spring of 2014. As part of the switch from Leno to Fallon, “The Tonight Show” will move from Burbank to New York City. Leno has served as host of “The Tonight Show” for more than two decades and has been in first place in the ratings during much of that run. Fallon, who hosts the show that currently follows Leno, recently signed a new deal with NBC. No replacement for Fallon has been named but there is talk that Seth Meyers of “Saturday Night Live” is the leading candidate.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2013 | By Meg James
Univision Communications Inc.'s networks president, Cesar Conde, has left the Spanish-language media giant to accept a larger role overseeing international expansion at rival NBCUniversal. On Friday, Conde was named NBCUniversal executive vice president in charge of international and business development, signaling the company's growing interest in Latin America. Conde, a polished 39-year-old executive, had a meteoric rise at Univision, where he worked for the last decade, including the last four years overseeing Univision's expanding TV networks group.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
In a bid to spur digital movie purchases, Sony Pictures has struck a deal with Wal-Mart's Vudu video streaming service to add video sharing and other features to new releases including "This Is the End" and "After Earth" as well as forthcoming titles such as "Smurfs 2" and "One Direction. " The feature, dubbed Vudu Extras+, will enable consumers who've bought a movie through the online service - or deposited a copy in their digital storage locker - to search for scenes or lines of dialogue, or clip and share a film vignette on Facebook or Twitter.
BUSINESS
January 16, 2013 | By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times
One of the newest hot spots for filming in the San Fernando Valley is a 71-acre former retirement community featuring lodge-style residences and medical buildings, surrounded by oaks, redwoods and pines, on the edge of the Angeles National Forest - owned and operated by the Union Rescue Mission. On a chilly Tuesday morning, operations manager Scott Johnson was barreling a red golf cart through the sprawling hillside facility, known as Hope Gardens Family Center, his two-way radio crackling.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2013 | By Dawn C. Chmielewski
Amazon Studios has put into production three comedy pilots as the online retail giant deepens its investment in original content for its Prime Instant Video streaming service. The studio struck deals with several established Hollywood writers and producers - including Jill Soloway, producer of the Emmy-nominated HBO series "Six Feet Under," and writer Roman Coppola, who received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay for "Moonrise Kingdom" - to develop the latest pilots.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2013 | By Meg James and Walter Hamilton
Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, is examining its operations in an effort that is likely to result in staff reductions at the company's daily newspapers. The company acknowledged a cost-cutting review is underway after Chicago business blogger Robert Feder wrote late Thursday that Tribune may slash as much as $100 million in expenses from its eight daily newspapers. A Tribune spokesman called Feder's report "grossly inaccurate" and said the company has not set an expense reduction target.
BUSINESS
September 18, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Even before he took office, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti vowed to name a film czar to serve as an industry advocate in City Hall and to help stop runaway production. But nearly three months later, Garcetti is still searching for someone to fill the position, underscoring the challenges of finding the right person for what some might consider the impossible job of persuading Sacramento to do more to help Hollywood. "It's been a struggle for everyone who wants this to happen and wants this to move forward, but it doesn't surprise me," said Ed Duffy, business agent and vice president for Teamsters Local 399, which represents location managers, casting directors and studio drivers.
BUSINESS
September 14, 2013 | By Meg James
Univision Communications Inc.'s networks president, Cesar Conde, has left the Spanish-language media giant to accept a larger role overseeing international expansion at rival NBCUniversal. On Friday, Conde was named NBCUniversal executive vice president in charge of international and business development, signaling the company's growing interest in Latin America. Conde, a polished 39-year-old executive, had a meteoric rise at Univision, where he worked for the last decade, including the last four years overseeing Univision's expanding TV networks group.
BUSINESS
September 2, 2013 | By Joe Flint and Meg James
After a monthlong blackout, Time Warner Cable Inc. and CBS Corp. reached an agreement that returned the broadcast network's programming to millions of frustrated subscribers in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas. The new distribution deal, which runs almost five years, came Monday afternoon after weeks of bitter negotiations and public posturing by the two media giants, with consumers caught in the middle. Besides CBS-owned stations including KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 in Los Angeles, the network's premium channel Showtime was blacked out in Time Warner Cable homes.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 28, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
Inside the North Hollywood prop house History for Hire, a technician clamps down a sheet of pearl finish plastic and cuts a strip to fasten around the wooden hoop of a Slingerland bass drum. Another worker is busy rebuilding a black Ludwig drum to precisely match the same set - right down to the manufacturer's keystone logo - used by the Four Seasons during a 1966 performance on the Ed Sullivan show. FOR THE RECORD: History for Hire: An article in the Aug. 28 Business section about North Hollywood prop house History for Hire included a photo caption that made a reference to the testing of Marshall amplifiers.
NEWS
October 28, 2012 | By Cristy Lytal
For "Chasing Mavericks," Grant Washburn taught Gerard Butler everything he knows about surfing - and even more about wiping out. In the film from 20th Century Fox, which debuted Friday, Butler plays surf legend Frosty Hesson, who teaches teenager Jay Moriarity (Jonny Weston) to take on Mavericks, the point break where waves crest at upward of 60 feet near Northern California's Half Moon Bay. And he relied on Washburn, a pro big-wave surfer, to make him look the part. VIDEO: Critic Betsy Sharkey on 'Chasing Mavericks' Washburn, 44, fondly remembers surfing Mavericks with Moriarity, who died at age 22 in a free-diving accident in the Maldives.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2013 | By Joe Flint
ESPN has severed ties with a hard-hitting PBS "Frontline" documentary about the National Football League's management of player head injuries - a two-hour show that was a collaboration between the sports giant and the public television network. The decision raises questions about whether the sports network yielded to pressure from the NFL, and highlights the delicate balance it must maintain with its billion-dollar partner. ESPN asked Thursday to have its logos and credit removed from the "Frontline" episode, which includes interviews with former NFL players and is not expected to portray the league in a flattering light.
BUSINESS
August 14, 2013 | By Richard Verrier
The prospects of finding a distributor for a $220,000 movie, produced mainly by college students at an obscure San Diego Catholic university, could hardly be worse. But about 60 students at John Paul the Great Catholic University who embarked on a quixotic class project two summers ago to make and release their own movie beat the odds. With the help of faculty members who had ties in Hollywood, the students recruited professional actors and crew members to help make their film.
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