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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
Southern California's Metrolink commuter rail agency plans to replace a key subcontractor Friday in an attempt to keep on schedule a $211-million, state-of-the-art collision avoidance system. The passenger railroad's board of directors is expected to approve a $6.8-million contract to Wabtec Corp. for an important component of the "Positive Train Control" system that will help dispatchers keep track of trains on Metrolink's 500-mile network. Officials said the current subcontractor, ARINC, failed to meet deadlines and agreed to the change.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 21, 2014 | By Joe Flint
For a decade, the National Football League made getting its NFL Network up and running and fully distributed a top priority. Now that those goals have been pretty much achieved, the league is considering some moves that could be seen as reducing the channel's value, especially to the cable and satellite operators that carry it. The NFL is in the process of fielding offers for a one-year Thursday night package of games from its current TV...
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Stefan Stern
All companies sit somewhere in a supply chain. Most have competitors and collaborators. And yet we look at businesses very often in isolation - as if their results depend solely on their own separate efforts. The principal achievement of the book "Network Advantage: How to Unlock Value From Your Alliances and Partnerships" is to draw attention to the importance of these broader networks to the success or failure of businesses. With detailed and thoroughly researched case studies, the authors - Henrich Greve and Andrew Shipilov of INSEAD global graduate business school and Timothy Rowley of the Rotman School of Management in Toronto - show how to take a more systematic approach to the portfolio of networks and alliances in which businesses find themselves.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | Michael Hiltzik
The big television networks have faced all number of challenges in recent years. But they could be done in by something called Aereo. Most people probably haven't heard of Aereo, which has been rolling out its video service for just over a year and still serves only 10 cities, none further west than Salt Lake. But millions will be hearing about it now, because on Jan. 10, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the broadcasters' complaints that Aereo's business dramatically breaches telecommunications and copyright law. The New York start-up offers its subscribers signals from their local over-the-air broadcasters in a way that is either a minor tweak of how they can get those signals on their own (that's Aereo's version)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2014 | By Meg James
Discovery Communications is boosting its digital chief, JB Perrette, to the role of president of Discovery Networks International. Perrette will replace Mark Hollinger, a 23-year Discovery veteran who last fall said that he would be stepping down. The cable programming giant, based in Silver Spring, Md., announced Perrette's promotion on Wednesday. Hollinger will work with Perrette during the transition, Discovery said. Biggest box office flops of 2013 Perrette, 42, joined Discovery in the fall of 2011 to head its digital initiatives.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 15, 2014 | By Jessica Gelt
The "Veronica Mars" resurgence shows no signs of slowing down. The CW President Mark Pedowitz announced on Wednesday that a digital spinoff series is in the works for the network's online-only platform, CW Seed. "Veronica Mars" creator Rob Thomas' hugely successful Kickstarter campaign to make a "Veronica Mars" movie certainly got the network's attention, Pedowitz acknowledged during a session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena.  "Rob and I spoke last night," Pedowitz said.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Satellite broadcaster DirecTV is less than thrilled with the WWE's plans to launch an online network and said it will have to rethink its relationship with the programmer and whether it will continue to offer its pay-per-view specials. As part of the WWE's online network, which will launch next month, its 12 pay-per-view specials including the hugely popular "Wrestlemania" will be made available to subscribers at a price tag of $9.99 a month. Traditional pay-TV distributors including DirecTV have for years counted on WWE's pay-per-view specials as a solid revenue source.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After four years and tens of millions of dollars spent on developing a new channel, WWE Corp. ultimately decided to bet on itself. Its new network, unveiled Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas , is not a traditional channel that will be distributed by pay-TV distributors including cable and satellite companies. Instead, it will be an online network that WWE fans can watch if they shell out $9.99 per month. By going the so-called over-the-top or OTT route, WWE is bypassing launching a network that would likely have been a slam dunk with distributors.
SPORTS
January 9, 2014 | By Steve Dilbeck
It's official. No, it's not. Well, kinda. Hey, just check back. The Dodgers are launching their own sports network on Time Warner Cable this year, but the actual date of the debut of SportsNet LA has yet to be announced. I mean, like on a press release. But when John Hartung signed off at KABC to join the Dodgers, Hartung said he'd see viewers next on Feb. 25 over at Time Warner. Then came this: The Daily News' Tom Hoffarth took this photo of a billboard off the 405 freeway in Culver City featuring Yasiel Puig that plainly announced the new network would start Feb. 25. A few hours later, the billboard was covered up. Seems it was a tad hasty and the team was not ready to “officially” announce the estimated $7.5 billion launch.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Wrestling impresario Vince McMahon is going over the top. No, that's not a new move he's going to display on WWE's TV shows "Friday Night Smackdown" or "Monday Night Raw. " It's the technological platform that the WWE Corp. is using to launch its long-in-the-works network. Rather than create a traditional channel that would be distributed to potential viewers via cable and satellite operators, the WWE Network will be streamed over the Internet, a method that is known in the entertainment industry as over the top, or OTT.  The network, which will launch Feb. 24, will cost $9.99 a month.
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