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February 7, 2014 | By Meg James
The lighting of the Olympic flame in Russia will launch a nearly $900-million bet by U.S. advertisers that this year's Winter Games will become a feel-good event for television audiences. Leading up to Friday's official opening of the XXII Olympic Winter Games, most of the attention has centered on difficulties - and not the athletes. The Sochi athletic competitions will be unfolding against a backdrop of threats of terrorist attacks, allegations of corruption, tense U.S.-Russia relations and protests over Russia's controversial anti-gay laws.
January 26, 2014 | By Daniel Miller
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, who assumed her post after Adam Fogelson was ousted from the position last fall, has had her contract renewed through 2017. Her role at the Comcast Corp.-owned studio is also expanding. Langley, who currently oversees Universal's production strategy and the studio's Focus Features division, will add international production and marketing, and domestic marketing to her portfolio.    Financial terms of Langley's deal were not disclosed.
January 14, 2014 | By Michael Hiltzik
Advocates of a free and open Internet could see this coming, but today's ruling from a Washington appeals court striking down the FCC's rules protecting the open net was worse than the most dire forecasts. It was " even more emphatic and disastrous than anyone expected," in the words of one veteran advocate for network neutrality. The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit thoroughly eviscerated the Federal Communications Commission's latest lame attempt to prevent Internet service providers from playing favorites among websites--awarding faster speeds to sites that pay a special fee, for example, or slowing or blocking sites and services that compete with favored affiliates.
January 7, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before figuring out why 2014 is dragging. The Skinny: Apparently the first Monday after Jan. 1 is the most depressing day of the year. I actually was in a good mood yesterday. Go figure. Maybe I'm just grateful not to be at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Tuesday's headlines include a look at the growth of digital sales of TV and movies. Also, Michael Bay's flame-out at CES and a new show about youth football has the NFL throwing a flag.
January 6, 2014 | By Joe Flint
One coach tells his players, "rip their freaking heads off and let them bleed. " Another coach smacks a player in the head while telling him, "don't give me that soft crap. " The next season of HBO's "Hard Knocks?" An ESPN documentary on the famed defense of the 1985 Chicago Bears? Nope. This is the Esquire Network's new show "Friday Night Tykes," a documentary about the Texas Youth Football Assn., whose players are under the age of 10. VIDEO: Winter TV preview 2014 The coaches say things that might make even Mike Ditka cringe.
December 18, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Jay Leno, CNN might want to stick a press card in your hat. With his gig on NBC's "Tonight Show" wrapping up early next year, the 63-year-old comic is thinking about his next move. And published reports say that CNN boss Jeff Zucker has recently visited Leno, possibly to discuss coming over to the cable news network. It would be a reunion of sorts, since Zucker was Leno's boss when he ran NBC Universal. PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times A CNN spokeswoman did not immediately return an email requesting comment.
October 30, 2013 | By Joe Flint
Comcast executives downplayed speculation that it was near a deal with Netflix to add the streaming service to its cable set-top boxes. On a conference call with analysts to discuss the cable and programming giant's third-quarter results, Comcast Cable President Neil Smits dismissed the flurry of recent media reports that a groundbreaking agreement to add a Netflix app to its set-top boxes was in the works. "It is incredible to me the amount of press coverage this has received," Smits said, adding that there is "nothing to report" and that a Neflix app on set-top boxes is "not really a high priority for us. " Smits noted that Comcast customers already have many ways to access Netflix.
October 23, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before deciding who to root for in the World Series. The Skinny: If I don't have a personal rooting interest in the World Series, I tend to go with the American League. This year is tougher since the Red Sox beat the Tigers and I hate those stupid beards. It will be a gut decision made with the opening pitch tonight. Today's roundup includes Carl Icahn's Netflix stock sale and George Clooney's "The Monuments Men" pushed to next year. Also, a look at NBC's "Dracula.
October 15, 2013 | By Daniel Miller
As part of its ongoing makeover, Focus Features announced a slew of executive changes Tuesday afternoon, including the departure of co-Chief Executive Andrew Karpen. Earlier this month, parent Universal Pictures set into motion an overhaul of the specialty imprint, naming FilmDistrict founder Peter Schlessel its new head.  Schlessel, FilmDistrict's chief executive, will assume the CEO role at Focus in January.  James Schamus , Focus' current chief executive, departed the company, whose headquarters are being relocated from New York to the Universal lot. PHOTOS: Highest-paid media executives of 2012 Focus is best known for such films as "Brokeback Mountain," "Moonrise Kingdom," "Atonement" and "The Kids Are All Right.
October 10, 2013 | By Joe Flint
After the coffee. Before rooting for the Tigers to beat the A's.  The Skinny: How do the St. Louis Cardinals do it? Every year they are in the running. That is some smart management and the Dodgers will have their work cut out for them. Thursday's headlines include a deal between Comcast and Twitter, clouds over Katie Couric's daytime show and CBS overhauls its struggling Monday night lineup. Daily Dose: Satellite broadcaster Dish Communications is in another spat with a broadcaster.
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