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ENTERTAINMENT
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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ENTERTAINMENT
May 1, 2013 | By Joe Flint
President Obama officially nominated lobbyist-turned-venture capitalist Tom Wheeler on Wednesday as the new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. Wheeler is well known to the media industry. He has headed both the National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. and the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Assn. Most recently he was a managing director at Core Capital, a private equity firm. "For more than 30 years Tom has been at the forefront of some of the very dramatic changes that we've seen in the way we communicate and how we live our lives," Obama said in announcing Wheeler's appointment.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2014 | By Joe Flint
The Federal Communications Commission has pulled the plug on a study that sought information on the how local radio and television stations cover news. The Critical Information Needs study was to be conducted every three years for Congress. It was aimed at eliminating barriers that make entry into the media industry difficult for entrepreneurs and small-business owners. However, the pilot test for the survey included questions regarding the editorial practices of media and was heavily criticized both inside and outside the FCC. The test was slated for this spring in Columbia, S.C. PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of movies and TV Besides general inquiries regarding coverage of issues including the environment and requests for insight into the decision-making process behind a newscast, it also sought details on the relationship between journalists and management.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
BUSINESS
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.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
BUSINESS
December 10, 2005 | Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writer
At least two potential buyers made preliminary bids Friday to acquire Knight Ridder Inc., the country's second-largest newspaper chain, according to three people familiar with the discussions. Among those submitting offers by the first-round deadline were investment firm Texas Pacific Group and an alliance of private equity investors Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Blackstone Group and Providence Equity Partners, the people said.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 12, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Sen. Jay D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), chairman of the powerful Commerce Committee, is introducing a bill aimed at giving a boost to new digital video services that are trying to compete against established pay-television distributors. The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act looks to do for online video services -- known in the media industry as over the top, or OTT -- what the 1992 Cable Act did for the satellite television industry by making sure it has access to programming. "Evidence is growing that some traditional media and broadband companies are attempting to discourage the growth of online video platforms through various anti-competitive practices," said an announcement detailing Rockefeller's bill.
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