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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 1, 2009 | Meg James
Nora O'Brien, an NBC Universal program executive working on the series "Parenthood," died Wednesday after collapsing while on location in Berkeley. She was 44. The cast and crew of "Parenthood," a remake of the 1989 Steve Martin film, had taken an evening break from shooting and a few people, including O'Brien, were playing basketball, according to a friend. O'Brien said she felt dizzy and then she collapsed. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, friends said.
ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2014 | By Meg James
The NBC broadcast network, after trailing in the ratings for nearly a decade, could finish the TV season in first place among viewers prized by advertisers. Comcast Corp. executives Tuesday lauded the peacock network's performance, which helped power the Philadelphia cable giant's earnings for the quarter ended March 31. This season, NBC has increased its prime-time audience among viewers ages 18 to 49 - the audience that advertisers pay a premium to reach. "The Blacklist" with James Spader and the singing competition show "The Voice" have been reliable performers.
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BUSINESS
April 17, 2010 | By Meg James
NBC Universal is relieved that its winter financial wipeout is finally over. Parent company General Electric Co. on Friday released its first-quarter results, which included, as expected, substantial losses generated by NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada. Although GE posted a 32% drop in earnings, the company nonetheless beat analysts' expectations. GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt said there were signs the economy was improving, along with the industrial giant's profit margins -- except for a couple of problem divisions.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 29, 2014 | By Meg James
NBCUniversal is closing two pioneering Internet businesses: Daily Candy, a sugary digest consumed by legions of trend-conscious women, and Television Without Pity, a website created to critique TV shows. Daily Candy announced Friday in an email to subscribers the end of its run: "It is with the heaviest of hearts that we write today to say goodbye. After 14 years delivering you the best in food, fashion, and fun, this train, as they say, is pulling into the station. " The pink-hued website, and its daily email blasts, are scheduled to end April 4. Daily Candy was an early adopter of Internet distribution, sending email newsletters to people who wanted to stay current on fashion trends and up-and-coming eateries and retail shops.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2010 | Bloomberg News
Comcast Corp., the largest U.S. cable company, posted second-quarter profit and sales that beat analysts' estimates as more customers elected premium services such as digital video recorders and high-speed Internet. Profit, excluding costs related to the company's pending takeover of NBC Universal Inc., was 33 cents a share, on sales of $9.53 billion, Comcast said Wednesday. That topped the 32-cent average of estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Analysts predicted the cable operator's sales would be $9.28 billion.
BUSINESS
October 14, 2010 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Time
Google Inc.'s ambitions to broaden its advertising reach beyond the Internet have been dealt a blow by the loss of its marquee media partner ? NBC Universal. NBC said Wednesday that it had stopped providing unsold commercial time from several of its cable channels to Google. Two years ago, Google's efforts to ramp up its television ad sales brokerage system received a substantial boost when NBC Universal became the first major TV programmer to sign on. NBC had been contributing time from its Syfy, Oxygen, MSNBC, Sleuth and Chiller channels.
NEWS
September 26, 2010 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Comcast Corp. and General Electric Co. announced Sunday that Comcast's No. 2 executive, Steve Burke, would become chief executive of NBC Universal when the merger of the two companies is completed. Burke, 52, will succeed Jeff Zucker, who announced Friday that he would step down when Philadelphia-based Comcast assumes control of GM, which is expected to happen late this year or early 2011. Zucker will stay on for the next few months and work with Burke to attempt a smooth transition.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2010 | By Meg James, Los Angeles Times
Comcast Corp.'s second-in-command, Steve Burke, will become chief executive of NBC Universal when the merger of the entertainment assets of Comcast and General Electric Co. is complete, the two companies announced Sunday. Burke, 52, will succeed Jeff Zucker, 45, who said Friday that he would step down when Philadelphia-based Comcast assumes control of NBC Universal, which is expected to happen late this year or early 2011. The two companies are awaiting the federal government's approval of their $30-billion transaction.
BUSINESS
November 21, 2009 | By Meg James
Comcast Corp.'s plan to take control of NBC Universal has encountered a roadblock. The Philadelphia-based cable operator, which had hoped to have a deal announced this week to acquire a 51% stake in the entertainment giant, is being held up as NBC Universal owners spar over the value of the company, according to people close to the negotiations. General Electric Co., which owns 80% of the television and movie company, and French telecommunications firm Vivendi, which owns 20%, have been negotiating for several weeks over the value of the minority stake.
BUSINESS
September 25, 2010
Jeff Zucker, a lifelong employee of NBC Universal, said Friday that he would step down as chief executive after being told there won't be a place for him once Philadelphia cable giant Comcast Corp. takes over the company at the end of the year. Two weeks ago, Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke told Zucker that he wanted him to "move on" as soon as Comcast takes control of the media conglomerate. Federal regulators are expected later this year or early next to approve the $30-billion merger between Comcast's entertainment properties and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, which will create an entertainment juggernaut that includes the NBC broadcast network, cable channels including USA, Bravo, MSNBC, CNBC and E!
ENTERTAINMENT
March 28, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Joan Rivers returned to "The Tonight Show" Thursday after being banned for nearly three decades. The 80-year-old comic was welcomed by host Jimmy Fallon for her first sit-down interview in 26 years since a feud with former host Johnny Carson made her persona non grata at the network. Carson is credited with discovering the sharp-tongued Rivers in the '60s. He made her a writer on his show, and she even dedicated her book "Enter Talking" to him. But when she got her own competing, late-night talker on Fox in 1986, the pair fell out and never spoke again.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 13, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before finding a way to get that lost hour back.  The Skinny: I literally got chills watching "The Americans" on FX last night. I know I keep plugging it but trust me, it's worth an hour of your time. Thursday's roundup includes a look at Disney's search for an Anne Sweeney successor and the new journey for Noah's ark. Also Jimmy Fallon has made NBC's "Tonight Show" his own with a dose of energy and originality, says our critic Mary McNamara. Daily Dose: The WWE is still shopping its franchise shows "Raw" and "Smackdown," which have been airing on NBCUniversal's USA and Syfy for years.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Construction is set to start later this year on a $2-billion Universal Studios theme park in Beijing, according to published reports. A park in Beijing has been under discussion for years, but details have remained murky. A spokesperson for Universal Studios Theme Parks, a division of NBC Universal, could not be reached for comment. The park would be the sixth for Universal, including four already in operation and one that is set to open in South Korea in 2016. Construction will begin in Beijing later this year, with completion scheduled for 2018, according to the website aastocks.com.
BUSINESS
March 6, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Construction is set to start this year on a $2-billion Universal Studios theme park in Beijing, according to published reports. A park in Beijing has been under discussion for years, but details have remained murky. A spokesperson for Universal Studios Theme Parks, a division of NBC Universal, declined to comment on the latest report. The park will be the sixth for Universal, including four already in operation and one that is set to open in South Korea in 2016. Construction will begin in Beijing this year, with completion scheduled for 2018, according to the website Aastocks.com.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 24, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Some small cable networks are worried that a combined Comcast and Time Warner Cable will make getting distribution more difficult. In a memo to his staff, Eric Sherman, chief executive of health and wellness channel Veria Living, said he is "not optimistic that this new development will be good for us or other independent networks. " Owned by Indian media giant Zee Group, Veria Living is a specialty channel that focuses on Eastern wellness practices. Its programs include "Got Zen?"
OPINION
February 14, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
The proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, the country's two largest cable TV operators, generated a predictable wave of outrage from opponents of corporate consolidation. With about 30% of all pay-TV customers served by its wires, the combined company would have extraordinary leverage when negotiating with television networks over the fees for their programming. It also would be the gatekeeper to a third of all U.S. homes with broadband. Those are scary scenarios for consumers and content companies.
BUSINESS
December 8, 2009 | By Matea Gold
When Comcast Corp. assumes control of NBC Universal, the company will inherit a portfolio of news organizations, including a top-shelf network news division that dominates the competition. Powered by the "Today" show in the morning and "NBC Nightly News" in the evening, NBC News is one of the few bright spots at the broadcast network. It's also one of the few aspects of the venture that will be largely new terrain for Comcast. Until now, the Philadelphia-based cable television operator's experience in news has been limited to running a handful of local television channels that produce newscasts, including the East Coast regional network CN8 until it shut down at the end of last year.
BUSINESS
December 23, 2010 | By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times
NBC Universal won't be ringing in the new year as part of the Comcast Corp. family. The cable giant confirmed Wednesday that despite earlier hopes the purchase would close this year, its proposed deal to acquire control of General Electric Co.'s film and television division won't get through regulatory review and be finished until 2011. In a statement, Comcast said although the cable company believes the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Justice Department continue to make "substantial process toward approval of our transaction ... it now appears that we will not be able to close the transaction with GE relating to NBC Universal by year-end.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Scott Collins
Eye-yi-yi: Viewers may not see much of Bob Costas for a while as the NBC Olympics host continues to battle an eye infection that has temporarily taken him off the air.  "It's a slow process," Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBC Sports Group, said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "He's very frustrated. " Costas' health woes have become a hot topic on social media at the 2014 Winter Game in Sochi, Russia. The longtime NBC sports broadcaster covered the first few days of the Games, but the eye infection steadily worsened and over the weekend became obvious as viewers saw redness and irritation spreading to his right eye as well as the left.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 12, 2014 | By Meg James and Joe Flint
Comcast Corp. has reached an agreement to buy Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $45.2 billion, according to people familiar with the negotiations. The proposed blockbuster combination is expected to be announced Thursday and would create a video and Internet juggernaut with 30 million subscribers and operations in some of the country's biggest markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Besides its cable and Internet operations, Comcast also is the parent of NBCUniversal, which owns the NBC broadcast network, Universal Studios and several popular cable channels, including CNBC, MSNBC and USA Network.  ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll Time Warner Cable also has been expanding into programming and owns two sports channels in Los Angeles.
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