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December 27, 2012 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before watching some more midseason pilots. The Skinny: I'm doing my best to find some news for you folks but it is pretty slow out there. Of course, most of you aren't reading me this week anyway because you're having fun! I'm not bitter though. Really! Today's headlines include some looks back at the year in entertainment and profiles of "Zero Dark Thirty" director Kathryn Bigelow and "Les Mis" star Anne Hathaway. Daily Dose: DirecTV put a lump of coal in the stockings of its subscribers.
August 4, 2012 | By Danielle Paquette, Los Angeles Times
Every pew at St. Hilary Church of Perpetual Adoration in Pico Rivera was filled Friday morning for the funeral of actress-activist Guadalupe "Lupe" Ontiveros, who died July 26 at 69. Inside the white brick walls, where Ontiveros attended Mass for more than 30 years, her former "Desperate Housewives"cast mate Eva Longoria stepped behind a lectern. "But the just man, though he die early, shall be at rest," Longoria said, voice wavering, reading from the Bible. "For the age that is honorable comes not with the passing of time, nor can it be measured in terms of years.
July 12, 2013 | By Meredith Blake
“Sharknado,” Syfy's latest shlocky made-for-TV guilty pleasure, hit social media Thursday night like, well, a swirling cyclone of bloodthirsty fish. Yet another offering from the minds who brought us “Dinoshark,” “Sharktopus” and “Mega Shark Versus Crocosaurus,”  “Sharknado” also benefited from the presence of at least two past-their-prime actors, starlet-turned-party-girl Tara Reid and “Beverly Hills 90210's” resident bro, Ian Zeiring. And, well, it's the summer and there isn't much else on. The combination of an absurd yet self-evident premise, a clumsy portmanteau title, visual effects that would leave Ed Wood embarrassed, and D-list stars proved to be the perfect storm for Twitter snarking, with seemingly everyone -- or at least seemingly everyone related somehow to the media industry -- weighing in on the campy spectacle.
February 13, 2014 | By Ryan Faughnder
Comcast's blockbuster deal to buy Time Warner Cable has ignited speculation among Wall Street analysts about further consolidation in the media industry.  Investors have long anticipated merger agreements between Dish and DirecTV on the satellite side, as well as Sprint and T-Mobile on the wireless service provider side, and are now pondering what's next. The deal also raises questions about future moves by Cox Communications and the jilted Charter Communications, which was in the process of its own takeover attempt of Time Warner Cable.
January 11, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Sen. Jay Rockefeller's announcement that he won't seek reelection in 2014 may not upset too many folks in the entertainment business. The Democrat from West Virginia and chairman of the powerful Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has never been shy about bashing the media industry. Last fall at a confirmation hearing for two nominees for the Federal Communications Commission, Rockefeller said that television news has been "dumbed down" and that entertainment programming was too too "obscene" and "promiscuous.
March 27, 2013 | By Joe Flint
One of the longest-serving chief executives in the media industry is stepping down. Frank A. Bennack Jr., chief executive of Hearst Corp. since 1979, will give up that title in June. Steven Swartz, currently president and chief operating officer, will become CEO. Bennack will remain vice chairman of the Hearst Board. Although best known for its magazine unit, which includes Cosmopolitan and Esquire, Hearst also has a major presence in the TV industry. It owns stakes in several powerful cable networks including ESPN, A&E, History and Lifetime.
November 19, 2003 | Edmund Sanders, Times Staff Writer
As Congress winds down for the year, time is running short for efforts to roll back media ownership rules that were relaxed this summer by the Federal Communications Commission. Opponents of increased media consolidation, including some influential Republican lawmakers, are vowing to repeal one of the most controversial new FCC rules as part of a massive appropriations bill expected to be passed later this week.
July 12, 2013 | By Meredith Blake and Scott Collins
In terms of the swath it cut through social media, "Sharknado" was an epic F5, even if the ratings barely kicked up a cloud of dust. Syfy's latest schlocky made-for-TV guilty pleasure struck Twitter on Thursday like, well, a swirling cyclone of bloodthirsty fish. In fact, the network said that at its peak the corny B-movie about a shark-laden tornado that devastates Los Angeles was hurling nearly 5,000 tweets a minute. Bosses announced plans for an encore next week and mulled a possible sequel.
October 16, 2012 | By Joe Flint
The main problem with owning a network that specializes in 3D is that there isn't a ton of 3D programming around to fill the schedule. With that in mind, 3Net -- the 3D cable channel owned by Sony, Discovery and IMAX -- have created an in-house production company to make original 3D content. “With the industry now struggling to keep pace with the rapidly accelerating consumer demand for 3D programming across multiple platforms...the formation of a world-class production studio to help fill both the 3D and ultra-high-definition content voids became a logical next step in our evolution as a global player in the entertainment arena,” said Tom Cosgrove, president of 3Net.
November 4, 2013 | By Joe Flint
New Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has tapped one of the media industry's fiercest watchdogs for a senior role on his team. Gigi Sohn, who has headed the nonprofit advocacy group Public Knowledge for 12 years, is joining Wheeler's staff as special counsel for external affairs. The appointment of Sohn is sure to raise eyebrows in some circles. She has been a critic of media consolidation, and her views on copyright protection are often at odds with those of the entertainment industry.
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