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ENTERTAINMENT
March 20, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Federal Communications Commissioner Robert McDowell, who was seen as a free-market advocate and friend to the media industry and a foil to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, announced he is leaving the regulatory agency in the next few weeks. A Republican, McDowell has been at the FCC for almost seven years and was seen as a potential chairman if Mitt Romney had won the White House in November. McDowell did not say what his future plans are. McDowell often disagreed with Genachowski on how to best regulate the media 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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