December 14, 2012 |
Cable programming giant Discovery Communications has gone on a $2-billion spending spree in an effort to significantly boost its international presence. Discovery, parent of several popular U.S. cable channels including Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, has struck a deal to acquire Scandinavian programmer SBS Nordic from Germany's ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, and has formed a strategic alliance with French media giant TF1 that includes a 20% equity stake in its popular Eurosport Group and four pay-TV channels in France.
November 30, 2012 |
Mercury may be a scorching hunk of rock just next door to the sun, but planetary scientists have discovered nearly pure frozen water and even some organic material in the planet's frigid polar regions. The findings from the Messenger spacecraft orbiting the planet cap the decades-long search for water on the second-hottest planet in the solar system and may help scientists better understand the origins of the molecular building blocks for life on Earth. The new research "doesn't mean we have life on Mercury," said UCLA planetary scientist David Paige, lead author of one of three papers published Thursday by the journal Science.
November 27, 2012 |
Discovery Communciations has developed a taste for Middle Eastern food. The cable programming giant whose holdings include Discovery Channel and TLC has struck a deal to acquire Dubai-based Takhayal Entertainment, the parent company of Fatafeat, a popular food network in the region. "The acquisition of Takhayal, the premier company for cuisine and culinary programming in the Middle East, significantly strengthens our portfolio in this important region and adds content in a genre that has proved popular with our viewers around the globe," said Mark Hollinger, chief executive of Discovery Networks International. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but people with knowledge of the transaction put the price at less than $10 million.
November 23, 2012 |
There's gold in them thar hills! Or is there? Three seasons into Discovery Channel's "Gold Rush," the hardscrabble crew at the center of the gritty reality show is again mining for millions in Alaska and the Klondike. The displaced blue-collar workers, friends and family members on a desperate make-or-break treasure hunt have yet to hit the mother lode. The cable channel, on the other hand, has already struck it rich with a series that regularly draws more male viewers on Friday nights than anything else on television, broadcast networks included.
November 21, 2012 |
There are countless dirty jobs, and someone's got to do them -- but now we won't get to see Mike Rowe trying his hand at them: Discovery is pulling the plug on on its long-running reality series "Dirty Jobs. " Rowe, the show's host/creator/executive producer, announced the news in a blog post Wednesday . "A few weeks ago, I was officially informed that Dirty Jobs had entered into a new phase," he wrote. "One I like to call, 'permanent hiatus.' Or in the more popular industry vernacular, canceled.
November 21, 2012 |
As Curiosity prepares for Thanksgiving on Mars, rover fans have been left hanging about a discovery from the Red Planet that a NASA official has billed as a big one. Just you wait, NASA says. Not everyone wants to. Curiosity's Facebook page had one early-morning comment from a fan: "WHAT IS IT?!?!" Mars watchers were expressing the same sentiments on Twitter. PHOTOS: Awesome images from space NPR stirred things up Tuesday with a report in which John Grotzinger, principal investigator for the rover mission, called the news a discovery for the history books: "This data is ... looking really good ," he said. The scientist told NPR it would be several weeks before NASA had anything to say. Researchers are being very careful to make sure they get it right before they blab.
November 13, 2012 |
Cable programming giant Discovery Communications is in talks to form a strategic partnership with French media holding company TF1 Group, parent of the powerful European sports network Eurosport. Discovery said in a statement that if the negotiations are successful it would invest in TF1's pay television unit and that the two companies would enter into a "mutually beneficial production relationship. " Eurosport is the asset Discovery is most interested in as it reaches 123 million households, according to TF1's website.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 10, 2012 |
Wallace L.W. Sargent, a Caltech astrophysicist known for his observations of black holes, quasars and other celestial objects at the farthest reaches of the universe, died Oct. 29 at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles, according to a Caltech spokesman. He was 77 and had been battling prostate cancer. A professor emeritus of astronomy, Sargent arrived at Caltech from his native Britain in 1959 and spent three years as a research fellow. He returned to the university in 1966 as an assistant professor and became a full professor in 1971.
November 9, 2012 |
NEW YORK - Oliver Sacks never meant to be part of the story. Indeed, much of his new book, "Hallucinations," (Alfred A. Knopf: 326 pp., $26.95), which mixes case studies, analysis and personal observation, had already been written when, in March 2011, the 79-year-old author and neurologist tripped over a box of books in his lower Manhattan apartment and broke his hip. While in the hospital, he was visited by a friend who got him talking about the...
November 6, 2012 |
Over the last few weeks, astronomers announced not one but two extraordinary discoveries in the ongoing search for planets orbiting stars beyond the sun. The first was a world about the size of Neptune, 5,000 light-years away, whirling around in a solar system with four stars. It's something like Luke Skywalker's home world of Tatooine in the "Star Wars" movies, except that fictional planet sported only two suns. The second was an Earth-size planet right next door in the Alpha Centauri system - three stars that orbit one another not thousands or hundreds but a mere four light-years from our solar system.