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Discovery's Eurosport Readies Challenge to ESPN
New York Post
David Zaslav has played up Discovery's European sports rivalry with Disney's ESPN. The CEO hinted that Discovery, through its controlling stake in Eurosport, would explore a new regional sports network and partner with European companies on rights and sharing coverage.

Dish Network to Offer 'Virtual Cable' by End of Year
CNNMoney
Dish Network said it is on track to introduce a slimmed-down bundle of cable channels to Internet subscribers by the end of the year. The product would be the first of its kind in the United States, similar to the cable and satellite packages that most households already pay for.

UK Channel 4 to Launch Online Hub for TV Streaming
Guardian
Channel 4, the British public-service TV broadcaster, plans to make live streaming of its TV networks and on-demand service 4oD available in a new online hub, branded All 4, in a bid to better exploit the growing trend in viewing on devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Comcast Agrees to Carry Univision Sports Network
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast, which has faced criticism over its market power with Hispanic TV audiences, has agreed to distribute the Spanish-language Univision Deportes Network. The agreement seems likely to neutralize a possible opponent of Comcast's proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner Could Spin Off HBO Stake, Analysts Say
Hollywood Reporter
After years of shedding such businesses as Time Warner Cable, AOL and Time Inc., Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes has continued to trim. Some analysts say TW could reduce its ownership of HBO by spinning off a portion. "The market anticipates some sort of 'transaction' here."

Viacom Closes $725 Million Acquisition of Channel 5
Hollywood Reporter
Viacom has closed its acquisition of British broadcaster Channel 5. The deal, which was announced on May 1, was closed after winning clearance from the European Commission. The ownership "will significantly increase Viacom's investment in British creativity and content."

Disney's ABC Teases Exclusive Report About Apple
Apple Insider
ABC "World News Tonight" anchor David Muir appears to have been granted inside access to Apple's big Tuesday event, which is expected to include the debut of new iPhone models and possibly an "iWatch" device. "ABC's David Muir will be the only anchor with exclusive access."

21st Century Fox: We've Moved On from Time Warner
Variety
"We've moved on," said Chase Carey, COO of 21st Century Fox, when asked whether there would be a new bid for Time Warner. "We don't want to be revisiting something that is in the past." No other acquisition targets are in sight, he added. "Time Warner was a unique opportunity."

Disney, Sony in Lawsuit Over Wage Suppression
Reuters
A federal lawsuit has accused Disney, Sony, DreamWorks and other companies in special effects and animation of conspiring to suppress wages in the industry through "no-raid" deals. The companies are said to have "avoided wars" because they "avoided raiding each other."

CBS, Letterman in Lawsuit Over Unpaid Internships
Los Angeles Times
A former unpaid intern at "Late Show With David Letterman" has filed a class-action lawsuit accusing CBS and Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, of violating minimum-wage and overtime laws. Mallory Musallam's suit seeks back pay, interest and attorneys' fees.

Comcast Merger Curbs Tough to Enforce, Critics Say
New York Post
No matter what conditions regulators place on Comcast in order to approve its merger with Time Warner Cable, they will be toothless, according to TV industry insiders. The Federal Communications Commission is unable to enforce some of the conditions it sets down, the critics claim.

Opinion: The Absurd Opposition to Media Mergers
Wall Street Journal
Leo Hindery Jr.: "The consolidation of the media-content-distribution industry began in June 1998 when AT&T announced its intention to acquire Tele-Communications Inc., and it has continued. No one can prove that any such mergers have harmed American consumers."

Fox's Murdoch Has Futuristic Meeting with Will.i.am
Mediaite
Rupert Murdoch met with musician Will.I.Am last week and the two apparently hit it off well, with both parties confirming the rendezvous on Twitter. "Yesterday and today meeting Will.i.am," Murdoch tweeted. "Great artist, now turned tech entrepreneur with mind-blowing ideas."

Disney Leads in Slowest Movie Weekend Since 9/11
Bloomberg
Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy" again led the box office, as movie ticket sales tumbled to the lowest level in 13 years during a traditionally slow weekend. The film collected $10.2 million in U.S. and Canadian theaters, racking up its fourth win, the most of any motion picture this year.

Fox's Murdoch, British Eurosceptic Hold Private Talk
Independent
What could the leader of Britain's fervent Eurosceptic and fastest growing political party and one of the most powerful media magnates have to talk about? Ukip's Nigel Farage and Rupert Murdoch met after the politician taped an appearance on Fox News Channel in Manhattan.

Comcast's Media Rivals Begin to Cite Risks of Merger
New York Post
The knives are finally flying toward Comcast cable colossus maker Brian Roberts. Sources close to the deal between Comcast and Time Warner Cable have begun to detail an array of concerns. Discovery has raised fears that a tie-up would pose a possible monopoly-like threat.

Disney Proves 'Old Media' Can Thrive in Digital Age
Quartz
Shares in Disney are flirting with their highest levels since the company went public in 1957. The conglomerate's current market value of $155 billion makes it pretty much the biggest "old media" company around. Analysts describe Disney as the "un-media" story of the year.

Time Warner's Warner Bros Studio Eliminates Jobs
Bloomberg
Time Warner's Warner Bros. unit will eliminate an unspecified number of workers as part of a drive to position the film and TV studio for growth. "It pains me to say this," CEO Kevin Tsujihara said in a memo to staff. "Positions will be eliminated — at every level — across the studio."

DreamWorks Studios Names Turner's Wright as CEO
Reuters
DreamWorks Studios has named Michael Wright as CEO. Wright is currently president and head of programming at Time Warner's TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies TV networks. Wright "has a keen understanding of storytelling," said DreamWorks co-founder Steven Spielberg.

Fox Film Studio to Add Snider After DreamWorks Exit
Bloomberg
Stacey Snider, who is stepping down as CEO of DreamWorks Studios, is said to be joining Rupert Murdoch's Twentieth Century Fox film studio next year. Snider is expected to report to Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox's Los Angeles-based film unit.

IMG Names ESPN Veteran Shapiro as Content Chief
Reuters
IMG Worldwide, the talent management company, has named Mark Shapiro as chief content officer. Shapiro was most recently executive producer at Dick Clark Productions, which has produced events such as the Golden Globes. Shapiro also worked for 12 years at ESPN.

FCC Chief Says Broadband Competition Doesn't Exist
CNET
Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said U.S. broadband competition is seriously lacking, and he outlined policies designed to help fix the problem. "Americans need more-competitive choices for faster and better Internet connections."

Comcast, Time Warner Cable Holders to Vote on Merger
Capital New York
Comcast and Time Warner Cable shareholders will vote on the proposed merger between the two companies on Oct. 8 and 9, according to a filing with U.S. regulators. Time Warner Cable CEO Rob Marcus could see an $80 million windfall should the deal pass.

Sony, Clooney Plan Film on Murdoch Phone Hacking
TheWrap
George Clooney plans to direct a film adaptation of journalist Nick Davies' book "Hack Attack," which details the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper publishing arm. The drama, said Clooney, "has all the elements — lying, corruption, blackmail."

Fox Former Exec Joins TPG-Pritzker Backed Group
Bloomberg
Oren Aviv, a former film exec at 21st Century Fox and Disney, will join a new studio backed by TPG Capital and Gigi Pritzker as head of motion pictures. The company, founded by producer Robert Simonds, has raised more than $1 billion to spend on films over the next five years.

Disney Details a New, Boy-Centric Animated Movie
New York Times
Disney's last animated movie, "Frozen," made little girls go berserk. Is Disney's next big-screen cartoon, "Big Hero 6," about to do the same thing for their brothers? Disney recently invited a group of reporters to its headquarters for some answers. "Big Hero 6" is due out Nov. 7.

Time Warner CEO Running Scared, CNN Founder Says
Huffington Post
Reese Schonfeld, co-founder of CNN: "Jeff Bewkes and John Martin seem to be following the traditional trail of MBAs — cut costs, put lipstick on the pig, dress it up and sell it for as much money as you can get and let the buyer worry about the future. Bewkes and Martin are running scared."

Weinstein to Release Tarantino's 'Eight' After Leak
Associated Press
Quentin Tarantino is moving forward with "The Hateful Eight." The Weinstein Co. said it will distribute the filmmaker's latest project — a post-Civil War Western — next year. Tarantino previously proclaimed he wouldn't make the film following an online leak of the script.

Disney Plans Short Film Follow-Up to Smash 'Frozen'
E! Online
"Frozen Fever," a short film due next spring, will reunite key players from Disney's 2013 smash hit "Frozen," the most successful animated film of all time. Directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee will return, as well as the songwriters behind the Academy Award-winning "Let It Go."

Viacom Hires Ex-House Chairman as Russia Lobbyist
Politico
Viacom has hired former House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Howard Berman to defend its interests in Russia amid increasing international sanctions. Viacom has several properties that operate in Russia, including MTV Russia and Nickelodeon Russia.

Vice Media Lands Second Investment to Fuel Growth
New York Times
Vice Media has closed a $250 million investment from Technology Crossover Ventures, the Silicon Valley venture capital company that has invested in Facebook and Netflix. The financing follows a $250 million investment from A&E Networks, owned by Hearst and Disney.

Bloomberg Returning to Lead Namesake Company
New York Times
Mike Bloomberg has decided to reassume the leadership of his business empire only eight months after ending his final term as mayor of New York. Bloomberg has told senior execs of Bloomberg LP that CEO Daniel Doctoroff would leave the company at the end of the year.

Reed Elsevier Bids for Terror Funds Monitor FircoSoft
Bloomberg
Reed Elsevier is said to have bid $197 million for FircoSoft, a maker of software used by banks to weed out terrorist financing and names on sanctions watchlists. The Anglo-Dutch publisher has been selling trade magazines, such as Variety, to focus on electronic data services.

Hearst Invests in Billing Company Kubra Data Transfer
Press Release
Hearst has announced the acquisition of an 80% stake in Kubra Data Transfer, a provider of digital bill delivery and payment services. The investment puts Hearst in a position to provide services to a clients in industries including insurance, financial services and healthcare.

Time Warner's Warner Bros Studio Planning Buyouts
Bloomberg
Time Warner's Warner Bros. unit is said to be planning to offer buyouts to an unspecified number of workers as part of a drive to increase profit. The studio, led by Kevin Tsujihara, may fire staff if too few employees take the offer. Cost cuts "will go beyond personnel."

Fox Apologizes for 'Headless Day' TV Series Promo
Deadline
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, which is handling the digital, DVD and Blu-ray release of the TV series "Sleepy Hollow," issued a statement after a marketing firm launched a "Headless Day" promotion on the same day that a second U.S. journalist was killed by ISIS.

Disney in Legal Fight with DJ Over Mouse Ears Logo
TMZ
Disney is in a legal brawl with Deadmau5 over whether the music producer's headgear is too similar to the media giant's own famous logo. Disney claims Deadmau5's logo is too close in appearance to its Mickey ears, and the company aims to stop the DJ from getting a trademark.

Comcast Bets on Hyper-Local by Reviving EveryBlock
Washington Post
Comcast is reviving the once-future of local online news, announcing that it has expanded its relaunch of the news and social site EveryBlock to include its home city of Philadelphia, at the same time the company is digging into its potential nation-wide merger with Time Warner Cable.

Apple, FBI Probe Alleged Hack of Celebrity Photos
NBC News
The FBI and Apple said they are investigating the apparent hacking of iCloud accounts that led to alleged private photos of Jennifer Lawrence and other female stars being posted online. Said Apple: "We take user privacy very seriously and are actively investigating this report."

Disney's 'Guardians' Leads US Box Office for 2014
Reuters
The "Guardians of the Galaxy" misfits reached a new box office stratosphere over the Labor Day weekend, soaring past fellow Marvel hero "Captain America" to become the year's highest-grossing domestic film. "Guardians" rung up $16.3 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales.

Fox Wins Summer Box Office Amid Slumping Sales
Fortune
The five films Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox division put out this summer season have grossed some $783 million. That makes for a pretty good per-film average of more than $156 million. Last year, Fox hauled in $595.9 million with six films averaging $99 million each.

Disney-Hearst Venture to Buy Stake in Vice Media
Financial Times
Vice Media is finalizing the sale of a 10% stake to A&E Networks, the cable TV group jointly owned by Disney and Hearst, in a deal valuing the digital media company at $2.5 billion. The deal comes after Vice and Time Warner ended talks over the purchase of a stake.

Comcast: FCC Seeks Private Feedback from Rivals
Wall Street Journal
As the Federal Communications Commission reviews Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable, the agency is encouraging media companies to offer feedback confidentially. One gripe: a practice that gives cable giants the same terms as competitors.

AT&T Says Cox Makes 'Billions' From Its Patents
Reuters
AT&T is suing Cox for infringing eight patents dealing with network quality after the regional cable provider ignored its complaints about the issue, according to a new lawsuit. Cox "generates billions of dollars in revenue every year through its use of AT&T technologies."

Liberty Global Stirs Talk of Takeover Offer for ITV
Telegraph
Liberty Global is canvassing support from major ITV shareholders following its acquisition of a 6.4% stake, raising speculation of a full takeover bid. Liberty is said to be forming alliances with the big American investors that own chunks of Britain's biggest commercial broadcaster.

Report: Big Media Rethinking Broadcast TV Models
TheWrap
The future of broadcast TV is everywhere on the minds of media execs across the industry. The conclusion emerging is that over the long-term network TV is a challenged business. "Everyone in the TV business should be reevaluating how important the broadcast business is."

Comcast: New York Carries Big Stick in Deal Review
Bloomberg
In a test of state clout over megamergers, New York regulators have threatened to disrupt Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable unless the companies agree to costly concessions. The two cable giants are trying to appease state officials reviewing the $42.5 billion deal.

Report: Big Media Rethinking Broadcast TV Models
TheWrap
The future of broadcast TV is everywhere on the minds of media execs across the industry. The conclusion emerging is that over the long-term network TV is a challenged business. "Everyone in the TV business should be reevaluating how important the broadcast business is."

Fox 'X-Men' Director's Accuser Drops Abuse Lawsuit
Associated Press
A former child model can drop his lawsuit accusing "X-Men" franchise director Bryan Singer of abuse and has the option of refiling it later, a federal judge has ruled. Michael Egan III said that he wanted to dismiss the suit because he can't find a new lawyer to represent him.

Universal Music Invests in 'Virtual Jukebox' Rockbot
TechCrunch
Rockbot, a virtual jukebox solution for businesses, has closed a strategic investment from Universal Music Group. The funding will be used as Rockbot seeks to expand its business in restaurants, bars and other brick-and-mortar locations across the United States.

Comcast: Time Warner Cable Deal to Close in 2015
Bloomberg
Comcast said it expects its planned $45.2 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable to be completed early next year. The timing is due to the company's current expectations about regulatory approvals. Comcast previously said that the deal may be completed by the end of 2014.

Time Warner Cable Paying $1.1 Million for Violation
Reuters
Time Warner Cable will pay $1.1 million to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation that found the cable and Internet provider did not properly report multiple network outages. The FCC found that the company "failed to file a substantial number of reports."

Report: Media Giants to Rely Less on Ad Revenues
MediaPost
Big media companies have been moving to lessen their reliance on advertising revenue in favor of other sources of revenue, including subscriptions, syndication and production fees, according to an analysis by SNL Kagan. Traditional ad platforms will see "continued pressure."

Hollywood Pins Hopes on Lineup for Summer 2015
Wall Street Journal
Excitement over a flurry of scheduled franchise sequels — and a comparatively lousy summer this year — has some movie studio execs wanting the 2015 season to start now. 2015 and 2016 are "shaping up to be some of the strongest box office years in recent history."

Liberty Global Set to Win EU Approval for Ziggo Bid
Bloomberg
Liberty Global is said to be poised to win European Union approval to buy Dutch cable operator Ziggo after it pledged to sell premium TV channel Film 1. Concessions by billionaire John Malone's company are expected to enable it to dodge formal objections to the $6.5 billion deal.

Time Warner's Turner to See 550 Buyouts, Layoffs
TheWrap
Some 550 buyouts are expected to be offered at Time Warner's Turner division this week, with a couple of hundred of those at CNN and HLN, which will lead to layoffs if they are not taken voluntarily. The company will "start 2015 more streamlined, nimble and efficient."

Disney Seeks Drone-Related Patents for Air Shows
Reuters
Disney has filed for drone-related patents that it said could lead to an era of aerial movie screens and larger-than-life puppets flying through the sky. The entertainment giant joins a list of companies pressing the U.S. government to allow commercial use of small unmanned flight systems.

Report: Album Sales Hit New Low as Streaming Grows
Billboard
The U.S. music industry keeps breaking sales milestones — the wrong kind. This week's 3.97-million album sales tally is the smallest weekly sum for album sales since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991. It's also the first time weekly sales have fallen below 4 million.

Fox's BSkyB Eyes Tech Investments in Silicon Valley
Pando Daily
Twenty-First Century Fox-controlled BSkyB plans to open an office in San Francisco with the purpose of finding tech investments and partnerships. Heading up the post will be Hilary Perchard, an 11-year veteran of the Sky organization who moved to the Bay Area in March.

AT&T Agrees to Conditions for Purchase of DirecTV
New York Post
AT&T is said to have agreed with the Justice Department on conditions paving the way for it to acquire DirecTV. The company had agreed in May to buy the satellite-TV company for $48.5 billion. Being able to work out a deal with the regulators is seen as a good sign for Comcast.

Comcast Exec Hails Mega Merger as 'Pro-Consumer'
TheHill
Comcast has repeated its promises about the benefits of its proposed $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, as the first round of public input on the deal came to a close. In a blog post, EVP David Cohen wrote that the deal "is pro-competitive and strongly in the public interest."

Disney's 'Guardians' Becomes Summer's Top Movie
Associated Press
Marvel's space adventure "Guardians of the Galaxy" has passed "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to become the summer's biggest domestic hit, with a box office total of $252 million. The Disney release — an unlikely August sensation — "couldn't have come at a better time."

Sony's PlayStation Network, Chief Targeted in Attack
USA Today
Sony said its PlayStation Network went down due to an outside attempt to "overwhelm" the online service, part of a bizarre tale that included the flight of Sony Online chief John Smedley being diverted for security reasons. A group called Lizard Squad claimed his flight had explosives on board.

Viacom's MTV: No Connection to Shooting at Event
USA Today
Rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight was shot early Sunday morning at a pre-MTV Video Music Awards party in West Hollywood, Calif. The nightclub party was hosted by VMAs nominee Chris Brown. MTV said in a statement: "MTV has no affiliation nor is connected to this event in any way."

Fox's Murdoch, Son in Spat Over Move to Big Apple
Sydney Morning Herald
Rupert Murdoch threatened to fire his son James unless he moved to News Corp.'s home city of New York, during a meeting to restore their relationship after the British phone-hacking scandal. The revelation came in the new book "Hack Attack," by Guardian reporter Nick Davies.

Time Warner's HBO Sees Emmy Awards Gain Luster
New York Times
HBO, which racked up 99 nominations, the most of any network, will face off against broadcasters, cable networks and Netflix at this year's Emmy Awards. "Television is no longer the creative backwater," said HBO exec said Michael Lombardo. "Accordingly, the Emmys mean more."

Comcast Asked by FCC for More Merger Review Data
Reuters
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has asked Comcast for additional details about its video and broadband operations, to review the company's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. Notably, the FCC asked numerous questions about Comcast's broadband business.

Hollywood Laments Summer's Plummeting Box Office
Financial Times
After a record summer in 2013, box-office receipts for this year's peak moviegoing season have fallen by more than 15%. "It comes down to the product on the screen, and the product on the screen hasn't delivered." Still, "there is quiet confidence that things will improve next year."

Viacom, Disney Films May Save Hollywood's Summer
Businessweek
Summer 2014 was a big disappointment for Hollywood. However, there has been some good news of late: Revenues for August are on track to break $1 billion for the first time ever, helped by Paramount's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" and Disney's "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Time Warner's HBO Could Rake In $600 Million Online
Re/code
When will HBO start selling subscriptions to web subscribers, just like Netflix? There are two interesting ways it could play out, according to Kannan Venkateshwar of Barclays Capital. Both options could generate up to $600 million in new earnings, the analyst estimated.

Viacom Sued by 'Naked' Reality Series Cast Member
EW
A woman who went on "Dating Naked" has filed a $10 million lawsuit after Viacom's VH1 channel apparently showed her too naked. New York model Jessie Nizewitz said she was humiliated on social media after the freshman reality series flashed her body during one segment.

Comcast Mega Merger Opposed by Consumer Groups
TheHill
Consumer advocacy groups have filed a formal petition asking regulators to reject Comcast's proposed $45 billion deal to merge with Time Warner Cable. "Denying the merger in its entirety is the only effective way to protect competition and consumers and serve the public interest."

Channel 4 Chief Sees Threat from US Media Moguls
Independent
David Abraham, chief exec of the U.K.'s Channel 4, has warned that British TV could "wither" under the dominant influence of American media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch and John Malone. "U.S. entities [are] queuing up to buy our producers and now our broadcasters."

Report: TV Dominates World Media Consumption
MediaPost
Worldwide, TV viewing remains the single biggest media activity. On average, 2.58 hours per day are consumed globally, according to GlobalWebIndex's new report of media consumption. The U.S. remains the biggest TV market. Plus, online TV viewing is continuing to rise.

Media Bigs in Race to Scoop Up Indie TV Studios
New York Post
Prices for independent TV studios have been soaring this year, as big media companies rush in to gain control of hot shows. Programmers are watching carefully as a growing number of producers take their work directly to new players such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

Comcast-Time Warner Cable Tie-Up Faces Threat
Bloomberg
A fee dispute between Time Warner Cable and its rivals that has left Los Angeles Dodgers games blacked out for most fans has threatened to undermine the cable company's merger with Comcast. Concerns over the combined company's heft could lead regulators to block the deal.

CBS Plays Hardball with Over Station Affiliate Fees
Wall Street Journal
Last week CBS stripped an Indianapolis TV station of its affiliation after a fee dispute. The timing couldn't have been worse: The station's owner, LIN Media, was due to be acquired by Media General in the biggest TV-station merger of the year. Media General cut the price it is paying for LIN.

Disney Unveils 'Star Wars' Game for Mobile Devices
New York Times
Disney Interactive has announced "Star Wars: Commander," a free-to-play game for mobile devices. The promise of "Star Wars" — once plugged into Disney's vaunted franchise management system — is one reason the entertainment giant's stock price has risen 18% this year.

Time Warner's Turner Tells Staffers to Expect Layoffs
Capital New York
In a memo to employees, Turner Broadcasting CEO John Martin said that the company will unveil a new corporate structure "in the next two months." He suggested that there will be layoffs across the entire operation, which includes CNN, TNT, TBS, Turner Sports and Cartoon Network.

Disney Shares Reach New High Under Iger's Watch
Los Angeles Times
Disney stock is trading at all-time highs. Shares of the media and entertainment giant closed Tuesday up 12 cents to $90.09 a share. On Monday, Disney shares reached $90.37 during intra-day trading. Investors appear to approve of CEO Bob Iger's stewardship of the company.

Fox's Murdoch Warns of 'More Fergusons' Coming
Washington Times
Rupert Murdoch said that the current events in Ferguson, Mo., are likely to replicate in communities around the nation, due in part to the sluggish U.S. economy. The media magnate tweeted: "US has historic high in people out of work. Major changes needed to open opportunities."

Scripps Elevated Stock Price Suggests Bid to Come
Bloomberg
Investors are pricing Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of HGTV and the Food Network, as if it is already in takeover talks. The elevated stock price reflects bets that an offer could come soon, from Discovery, Viacom or another party. "There are probably a lot of interested players."

Viacom Movie Trailer Directs Viewers to Whisper App
Mashable
Viewers are used to seeing call-outs to Facebook and Twitter in movie trailers. Paramount's "Men, Women & Children" features a new one — Whisper. A trailer for the Jason Reitman film asks viewers "What do you Whisper?" and directs them to use the hashtag #MWC.

Disney's Maker Studios Signs Musical Star Stirling
TheWrap
Lindsey Stirling has partnered with Disney-owned multichannel company Maker Studios. The 27-year-old musician, dancer and performer already has a YouTube channel with over 5 million subscribers. Said Stirling: "I am one step closer to becoming a Disney princess!"

Media Industry Seen Ripe for Mergers, Acquisitions
Wall Street Journal
Even after 21st Century Fox abandoned its bid for Time Warner, the media industry is likely to see more M&A activity, said Monica DiCenso, U.S. head of equity strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Companies are flush with cash, she said, and a scramble is on to control the best content.

Fox's Murdoch Bashes Google on Privacy in Tweet
Fortune
Twitter users have let Rupert Murdoch know that a media mogul who was forced to shutter a newspaper over phone hacking might not be an appropriate moral authority when it comes to privacy. "NSA privacy invasion bad, but nothing compared to Google," Murdoch had tweeted.

Lionsgate's 'Expendables' Flop Shows Piracy Danger
Variety
"The Expendables 3" flopped at the box office last weekend, the victim of scathing reviews. It was also hindered by widespread piracy, as a high-quality copy of the film that leaked online three weeks before it premiered was downloaded by an estimated 2.2 million people.

DreamWorks Animation Names Chief Financial Officer
Los Angeles Times
DreamWorks Animation has appointed a new chief financial officer. Fazal Merchant, a former exec at DirecTV and Barclays Capital, has been tapped as the company's finance chief. He succeeds Lew Coleman, who will focus on global growth initiatives as vice chairman.

Activision Blizzard Plots Foray into Movies, TV Shows
The Information
Activision Blizzard has been famously averse to adapting its hit video games for the big screen, but that could soon change. The publisher of blockbuster games including "Call of Duty" and "Skylanders" is said to be considering a plan to launch its own entertainment studio.

Survey: Media Execs to Seek Growth Though Digital
World Screen
CFOs of leading media and entertainment companies have shifted their focus from cost-cutting to expansion, particularly in digital media, according to a survey by EY. Media execs are pursuing growth through investments in tech, digital talent and infrastructure, as well as acquisitions.

Murdoch Sniffing Around Startups in San Francisco
Telegraph
Rupert Murdoch didn't take long to get back in the takeover game after Time Warner spurned his $80 billion approach. Despite losing $545 million through News Corp.'s ill-fated 2005 foray into the "crappy" MySpace, the billionaire has begun sniffing around the startups of San Francisco.

Fox: No More Pursuits of Media Content Companies
Associated Press
Twenty-First Century Fox said that the company won't try to buy any other big content companies, after it called off its pursuit of rival media giant Time Warner. "We have no plans to pursue any other third-party content company as an alternative to Time Warner," said COO Chase Carey.

Time Warner Under Pressure After Fox Walks Away
CNNMoney
Is Rupert Murdoch's quest to take over Time Warner over just because he says it's over? That's what media watchers asked after Murdoch "walked away" from 21st Century Fox's proposal to acquire its big-media rival. Time Warner likely will be "prepared to sell in a year or two or three."

Fox's New Investor Sees Future Deal with Time Warner
Reuters
ValueAct Capital said it has taken a $1 billion stake in 21st Century Fox. The hedge fund known for taking stakes in companies and quietly affecting change over the long term said it sees a possible tie-up with Time Warner down the road. Fox should "revisit the deal."

Liberty Global's Malone Whets Appetite for More Deals
Financial Times
Liberty Global has been among Europe's hungriest companies, agreeing to $40 billion in acquisitions since last February. There is now speculation that John Malone's cable group might extend its drive into video content. "The one thing that's certain is that they're going to buy things."

Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Ups Media Investments
Fortune
Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway traded one cable investment for another in the second quarter, both with ties to media investor John Malone. And it increased its bet on Verizon. The moves are a part of a shift in Berkshire's investment portfolio toward media plays.

Comcast Aims to Reinvent Itself as Software Company
CNET
Comcast exec Marcien Jenckes: "This is a company that is reinventing itself. There's a great line, that cable companies used to be construction companies — that's what we did, we laid cable and broke up streets. We're now software companies, focused on consumer experiences."

Disney to Sell Radio Stations, Cut Staff in Digital Move
Los Angeles Times
Disney plans to sell 23 radio stations and will begin distributing much of its Radio Disney content digitally, the company said. As a result of the expected sales, Radio Disney, which targets children and families, will lay off about 200 people. A buyer for the stations has not been identified.

Viacom Invigorates MTV Amid Rivalry with Vice Media
TheStreet
Viacom's handling of MTV has been successful, but competition is hot on its heels. Vice Media CEO Shane Smith has made it known that he wants to transform his company into "the next MTV." In response, MTV said: "MTV is the MTV of this generation, and it continues to regenerate."

CBS Eyes Future in Digital Video Channels Like Netflix
Capital New York
CBS plans to produce original shows for digital video channels, according to CEO Les Moonves. "Shortly you will hear about us being in business with some of the SVODs with programs." Digital outlets like Netflix and Amazon have become enormous revenue streams for CBS.

Time Warner's Bewkes Faces Grilling Over Fox Offer
New York Post
Jeff Bewkes will be on the hot seat next week when Time Warner reports results. The CEO will be grilled by Wall Street for rejecting an $80 billion offer from 21st Century Fox. Bewkes's quick rebuff of Fox's bid will put pressure on him to explain why his company is worth more alone.

Fox's Murdoch 'Unlikely' to Seek Takeover of BSkyB
Telegraph
Rupert Murdoch's bid for Time Warner is a bet on content — one that would raise European regulatory concerns if he circled back to seek full control of Sky Europe. The attempt would be almost unthinkable on competition grounds, experts said. "It would be extremely difficult."

Viacom Spends Millions After MTV Shows Dead Body
Hollywood Reporter
Viacom had to spend millions of dollars after the MTV reality series "T.I.'s Road to Redemption" showed a dead body during its premiere episode. The media giant didn't believe it was financially responsible and has taken an insurance firm to court, seeking reimbursement of legal costs.

Fox, Time Warner Seen 'Long, Long Way' from a Deal
Bloomberg
Dick Parsons, former CEO of Time Warner, said Rupert Murdoch's $75 billion offer for his old company was "way off the mark." Parsons served as top exec from 2002 to 2008. "I know the management well because I put most of them in place." Time Warner is a "long, long way" from a deal.

Time Warner to Press HBO Distributers for More Cash
New York Post
Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes is said to be planning to get tough with HBO's pay-TV partners. Under pressure from Wall Street to boost growth, Bewkes is expected to press distributors when renewing deals to share more of the proceeds from HBO promotional subscribers.

Fox: Murdoch's Ex-Son-in-Law Rejects BSkyB Offer
Telegraph
Crispin Odey, former son-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, has rejected BSkyB's offer to buy up shares of Sky Deutschland. Odey is Sky Deutschland's second biggest shareholder. The proposal "understates the value of the company." Odey was once married to Murdoch's daughter Prudence.

Liberty Global's Next Step Is Pursuing Media Content
Wall Street Journal
Amid a global race to keep up with Google and other tech companies, Liberty Global now needs media assets to complement its cable empire. "It's the 'eat or be eaten' drive of capitalism," said chief John Malone. "Scale economics are compelling in the media space."

DreamWorks Says SEC Probing Write-Down of Movie
Reuters
DreamWorks Animation said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating its write-down of film inventory on "Turbo." The company's shares fell nearly 9% after the movie studio also said quarterly revenue almost halved. "Turbo," about a garden snail, performed poorly.

Disney Bolsters Asia Executive Suite with New Boss
Screen International
Paul Candland has been named to the newly created position of president of the Walt Disney Co., Asia. The 16-year company veteran will oversee Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia and Greater China. "Asia is a region of incredible growth and great promise for Disney."

DreamWorks Taps Disney Veteran as Operating Chief
Los Angeles Times
DreamWorks Animation has promoted Ann Daly to company president and named former Disney exec Mark Zoradi as its chief operating officer. The company said the changes were intended to help DreamWorks grow as an increasingly diversified family entertainment business.

Time Warner's To-Do List Is Topped by Fixing Turner
Wall Street Journal
If Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is to fight off 21st Century Fox's takeover advances, he must show his media company would be better off on its own. Key to this is fixing the Turner Broadcasting unit, which houses TNT, TBS and CNN, and accounts for half of the media giant's profits.

U.S. Regulators Likely to Block One Big Media Deal
Multichannel News
The growing number of media deals could force U.S. regulators to block at least one of them, according to influential analyst Craig Moffett. "Media consolidation is always unpopular — and all the more so now when merger mania has seemingly run amok." But which one will get the boot?

Comcast Renames University Arena After Xfinity Brand
Baltimore Sun
The University of Maryland's Comcast Center, home of the school's basketball teams, has been renamed the Xfinity Center at the request of the media giant, which is eager to promote its "Xfinity" brand. Comcast has held naming rights under a $20 million, 25-year agreement.

Fox's Bid for Time Warner to Include Board Seat Offer
Wall Street Journal
21st Century Fox is said to be prepared to offer board seats to shareholders of Time Warner as part of its bid to acquire the media company. However, the offer is likely to make no difference in Time Warner's deliberations, given the limited role of Fox's board.

Time Warner Pushes HBO Web Growth Amid Bid Battle
Bloomberg
Jeff Bewkes is said to be looking to the Internet to accelerate growth at his prized TV network, HBO, as he seeks to demonstrate to investors that Time Warner is worth more on its own than with Rupert Murdoch. HBO may expand a $49-a-month trial introduced last year with Comcast.

Liberty Media to Form New Company with Cable Assets
Reuters
John Malone's Liberty Media has started the process of spinning off its cable assets through a stock dividend to its shareholders to form a new listed company called Liberty Broadband. The spun-off company will house Liberty's stake in Charter and investment in Time Warner Cable.

Fox Leaks Details of Bid for Time Warner in Strategy
Bloomberg
After various news outlets caught wind that Time Warner was a possible acquisition target, Rupert Murdoch and the team at 21st Century Fox are said to have decided to get the full details out. Murdoch "has a clear understanding of the impact media exposure gives his efforts."

Media's Old Guard in Fight Against Amazon, Google
Telegraph
Even if 21st Century Fox were combined with Time Warner, the merged business would be just more than a third the size of Google in market cap, and only around a quarter the size of Apple. "The Murdochs can legitimately argue that they need to make a land-grab to ensure Fox's survival."

Martha Stewart's Company Profits from Cost Cutting
New York Post
Looks like those pre-Christmas firings at Martha Stewart's struggling media company have paid off. Shares of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia inched up after it reported a profit of $2.2 million in the second quarter, driven mainly by cuts. In publishing, revenue dropped 8.1%.

BSkyB Increases Stake in Virtual Reality Tech Firm Jaunt
Hollywood Reporter
BSkyB has increased its investment in Jaunt, a startup whose technology adds virtual reality components to TV programming. The U.K. pay-TV giant said it is investing an additional $400,000 in the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company after a December deal to pump $350,000 into it.

Comcast's Roberts: The Internet's Most Powerful Man
Time
Brian Roberts does not wear a hoodie. In a country that has long celebrated its tech titans as geek celebrities, the Comcast CEO dresses for the boardroom. If you met him on the street, you would never guess that he could soon control the U.S. Internet's most powerful company ...

Fox's Europe Deal Means Cash for Time Warner Bid
USA Today
21st Century Fox has entered a deal to sell all of its stake in Sky Italia and a majority stake in Sky Deutschland to BSkyB, raising over $8 billion to fortress its rebuffed Time Warner bid. Rupert Murdoch is expected to offer Time Warner a higher bid, but one that won't warp Fox's credit rating.

Time Warner Mulls IPO of HBO in Defense Against Fox
New York Post
"HBO Go" has taken on new meaning inside Time Warner, as the media giant contemplates a possible defense against 21st Century Fox. The idea being bandied about is an initial public offering of HBO in order to showcase the value embedded in that single Time Warner division.

Comcast Synergy at Work with 'Fifty Shades of Grey'
Forbes
Comcast's Universal Studios has released online a full-length theatrical trailer for "Fifty Shades of Grey." A sanitized-for-network-TV version debuted Thursday morning on NBC's "Today" show, which was followed by an interview with the film's stars and a clip from the forthcoming movie.

Time Warner Cable to Distribute ESPN's SEC Network
Los Angeles Times
ESPN's new SEC Network has scored a touchdown, with Time Warner Cable signing a deal to carry the new network. Set to debut Aug. 14, the SEC Network is a joint venture between ESPN and the Southeastern Conference. The channel will carry 1,000 events in its first year.

Chernin, AT&T to Buy YouTube Network Fullscreen
Re/code
Fullscreen, the YouTube network, is said to be finalizing a deal to sell a majority stake to Otter Media, the AT&T-Chernin Group joint venture. The deal would value Fullscreen, which says it generates 3.5 billion views a month on YouTube, between $200 million and $300 million.

Comcast in Public Relations Battle Over Net Neutrality
Washington Post
Comcast has two big goals in Washington this year. The first is to get its merger with Time Warner Cable approved by federal regulators. The second is to forestall what it views as potentially onerous new regulations on its broadband business. The two goals are interconnected.

Fox-Time Warner: Harry Potter, Simpsons Key to Deal
BuzzFeed
Combining the Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox studios would give Rupert Murdoch control over the two largest film and TV catalogs, creating a highly lucrative annuity and allowing for unprecedented sway over how content is made and sold across distribution platforms.

Hollywood Frets Over Possibility of Fox-Time Warner
Financial Times
The possible 21st Century Fox-Time Warner combination has caused alarm in Hollywood's creative community. "We are adamantly opposed to the idea," said David Young, head of the Writers Guild of America West, which represents screenwriters. "It's a disaster for talent in Hollywood."

Sony, Disney Delaying Big Summer Franchise Films
Wall Street Journal
Sony plans to delay the release of "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" to 2018, after a disappointing box-office performance for "Spider-Man 2." Meanwhile, Disney plans to release the fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie in 2017. Last year, Disney delayed the film from its 2015 release.

Hollywood Movies Face Worst Summer in Eight Years
Hollywood Reporter
The domestic summer box office is expected to be down some 20% this year. For the first time since 2001, no summer film will cross the $300 million mark. Analysts say the young male audience hasn't been "as enthusiastic as usual." One studio exec lamented: "I wish I worked at Netflix."

Time Warner Investors Pressure Carey to Stay at Fox
Reuters
Chase Carey, 21st Century Fox's president, may be feeling pressure to stay in his job for several more years from Time Warner, the company his boss, Rupert Murdoch, is trying to buy. Some Time Warner investors are said to be concerned about who might succeed the 83-year-old Murdoch.

Liberty Chief: Time Warner Unlikely to Get Other Bids
Wall Street Journal
John Malone said 21st Century Fox has long been eyeing a takeover bid for Time Warner and isn't likely to face competing bidders, pouring cold water on speculation that tech companies could emerge as rival suitors. "It would be very difficult to put together a competitive bid."

BSkyB Near Deal to Create Pay-TV Giant 'Sky Europe'
Financial Times
BSkyB is said to be poised to confirm its European expansion on Friday by announcing a deal to acquire its sister companies in Germany and Italy. Proceeds of the deal would strengthen 21st Century Fox as Rupert Murdoch continues to pursue an acquisition of Time Warner.

Vice Media Earns Big Ad Premium for the 'Cool' Factor
The Information
Vice Media has built a billion-dollar company by declaring itself as the news source with a direct line to hip millennials. But the company's success is said to be based largely on "convincing brand marketers to pay a premium for the 'cool' factor — a strategy that could prove hard to sustain."

Fox Mindful of Debt Amid Its Pursuit of Time Warner
Wall Street Journal
To win over Time Warner's board with an increased takeover offer, 21st Century Fox could take on so much debt that its investment-grade credit rating could be downgraded. Aiming to avoid a downgrade, Fox is said to be prepared to only consider a bid of between $90 and $95 a share.

Time Warner Execs Forgo $137 Million to Reject Fox
TheWrap
CEO Jeff Bewkes and other top execs of Time Warner would be entitled to some impressive sums of money if anyone bought the company. Thanks to a golden parachute of sorts, Bewkes would rake in some $79 million; Turner Broadcasting boss John Martin would net $26.1 million.

Comcast: We Have No Plans to Bulk Up on Content
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast reported solid second-quarter earnings, losing 144,000 TV subscribers while adding 203,000 high-speed Internet customers. Referencing 21st Century Fox's offer to buy Time Warner, top exec Steve Burke said: "We certainly don't think we need to bulk up on content."

Time Warner Vulnerable Despite Move to Thwart Bid
Bloomberg
Time Warner's board took a step to fend off 21st Century Fox's unwanted takeover bid by eliminating a provision in its bylaws that lets shareholders call special meetings. But Time Warner is still vulnerable if Fox can convince shareholders to vote out a majority of the company's board.

Disney Park Injuries Mount as Boy Lacerates Fingers
Orlando Sentinel
A man whose fingertips were severed aboard Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean this month made international news. Three months before that, it turns out, a 12-year-old boy lacerated four fingers on the same ride. The incident was one of a dozen injuries Walt Disney World has revealed.

Viacom's MTV, Spotify in Music-Streaming Partnership
Wall Street Journal
Viacom's MTV, VH1 and other cable channels have forming a marketing partnership with streaming service Spotify to allow users to listen free to music by the featured artists on their websites, along with playlists related to its series and franchises, such as MTV's Video Music Awards.

CBS Films Shakes Up Top Leadership, Lays Off Staff
NikkiFinke
Terry Press has taken over as the solo president of CBS Films, after Wolfgang Hammer was quietly moved out of the co-president's position. Hammer has "transitioned into a consulting role working on digital content ideas." Also, five staffers have been laid off in a "regrouping."

Comcast, Lionsgate Add App Content for Film Buyers
Reuters
Lionsgate will provide extra content through apps for "Divergent" and other films to Comcast customers who purchase digital versions through Xfinity On Demand. The additional features are designed to encourage digital ownership of movies as customers turn away from buying DVDs.

'Rupert' Murdoch Play to Be Staged in Sydney, London
Sydney Morning Herald
Following productions in Melbourne and Washington, D.C., playwright David Williamson's play "Rupert" has been scheduled to open at Sydney's Theatre Royal on Nov. 29 ahead of a run in London’s West End in 2015. Williamson said the play will be updated to include recent events.

Fox's 'Apes' Helps Studio Swing to Top of Hollywood
Bloomberg
21st Century Fox's "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" has topped the box office for a second week in theaters, outselling new releases. Fox now has six releases that have surpassed $100 million in domestic ticket sales this year, and leads Hollywood studios with over $1.1 billion in sales.

Time Warner Looks at Ways to Counter Bid from Fox
Los Angeles Times
Time Warner is said to be hoping that 21st Century Fox's takeover pursuit drama will be a repeat of Comcast's failed bid for Disney a decade ago. Disney had dug in its heels and refused Comcast's hostile $54-billion offer. Time Warner hopes "someone else will come along."

Fox Promises Discipline in Its Pursuit of Time Warner
New York Post
Rupert Murdoch has ponied up for prized assets in the past. But this time, 21st Century Fox will be disciplined in its pursuit of Time Warner, sources said. Also: While the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal is about distribution, the 21st Century Fox-Time Warner bid is all about content.

Forbes Valued at $475 Million in Sale of Majority Stake
Bloomberg
The Forbes family, an emblem of American wealth and pioneer of business journalism, has given up control over the media empire it cultivated for almost a century in a sale to a Hong Kong-based group. The deal will hand over Forbes magazine to a group led by Integrated Asset Management.

Fox Could Seal Deal for Time Warner at $100 a Share
New York Post
Although CEO Jeff Bewkes was quick to shoot down a takeover offer by 21st Century Fox, Time Warner shareholders could be swayed with a bid of around $100 a share, sources said. That would be 18% above Fox's initial $85-a-share proposal. "They need to sweeten it a little bit."

CBS' Moonves Interested in Buying CNN If Available
Bloomberg
Les Moonves said his CBS is interested in buying CNN if the news channel becomes available. Getting between Rupert Murdoch and Time Warner is another matter. Moonves suggested he wouldn't be interested in teaming with Time Warner in a broader deal. CBS wants to be "nimble."

BSkyB in Talks to Buy Fox's Pay TV in Germany, Italy
Reuters
BSkyB has opened talks with 21st Century Fox to acquire Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia to create a European pay-TV powerhouse with 20 million subscribers. The plan is a bold bet on long-term growth at the expense of short-term profit, but BSkyB has pulled off such gambles before.

Disney's Maker Studios Names AOL Veteran Ad Chief
TheWrap
Maker Studios has appointed former AOL exec Charles Gabriel as its chief advertising officer and EVP of global sales. In the new role, Gabriel will lead Maker's global sales strategy and drive worldwide ad revenue. "Charles is widely recognized as a thought leader."

Fox Working on Sweeter Takeover Bid for Time Warner
New York Post
Time Warner's board may be saying no, but some of its shareholders have already signaled interest in a takeover approach from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The two media conglomerates have 11 major shareholders in common. "We have no problem taking Rupert's offer."

Time Warner Bid Seen as 'First Salvo' in Media Deals
CNBC
21st Century Fox's surprise $80 billion offer for Time Warner may have been rejected, but more consolidation in media is likely. It's "part of the digital disruption. The new age of the Googles, the Amazons, the Apples, the Netflixes all suggest that you have to be very entrepreneurial."

Viacom, Discovery in Play on Talk of Media Mergers
USA Today
Time Warner may have rejected a proposed buyout by Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox, but investors can't help but speculate which media giants might be in play. Six of the 50 most valuable media companies that trade on a U.S. exchange were up 4% or more on Wednesday.

Fox Bid Puts Future of Carey, Murdoch Sons at Stake
Bloomberg
When 21st Century Fox's Chase Carey approached Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes about a merger, Bewkes asked him: Who would manage the merged company? It's a question likely to dominate the conversation as Rupert Murdoch forges ahead with his plans to buy Time Warner.

Liberty Global Chief Looking to Buy the Next Netflix
CNBC
Liberty Global has been gobbling up cable operators, including the U.K.'s Virgin Media and Dutch operator Ziggo. What's next? CEO Mike Fries said the target has shifted to companies that own or produce content — sports, broadcast networks and so-called over-the-top operators like Netflix.

Fox's Murdoch Makes Bold Bid to Acquire Time Warner
New York Times
21st Century Fox, the media empire run by Rupert Murdoch, is said to have made an $80 billion takeover offer in recent weeks for Time Warner but was rebuffed. The bold approach could put Time Warner in play and might ignite a new spate of mega-mergers in the media industry.

Liberty Global in Deal to Buy BSkyB's Stake in ITV
Sky News
Liberty Global has entered an agreement to buy BSkyB's minority stake in ITV, Britain's biggest commercial free-to-air broadcaster. The deal marks the latest U.K. expansion of Liberty Global, following its purchase in May, with Discovery, of TV producer All3media.

Disney's Marvel: New Captain America Will Be Black
Daily News
He's red, white and blue — and black. Captain America’s mantle will be taken over by his long-time ally, the Falcon, the high-flying African-American hero from Harlem, Marvel Comics has announced. The move comes one day after Marvel's announcement of a new female Thor.

Comcast's 'Belligerent' Service Call Goes Viral Online
CNN Money
Comcast never wants a customer to go — but admitted that one of its reps went too far trying to convince one account-holder to stay. The cable giant apologized after a customer's attempts to cancel were stymied by a phone call with a service rep that was "straight up belligerent."

Sony, Universal Facing Probe Over Songwriter Fees
Bloomberg
The music-publishing arms of Sony and Universal Music are said to have been investigated by the Justice Department for alleged price coordination. The inquiry is part of a wider examination of how the industry operates as rights holders battle Internet radio's Pandora Media over licensing fees.

Disney's Marvel Unveils Female Thor in Appeal to Girls
Bloomberg
Disney's Marvel Entertainment will introduce a female Thor in comic books to capture a wider audience for its superheroes. Comic-book producers are increasingly targeting female characters to broaden the appeal of the male-centric superhero genre to include more women and girls.

Disney's 'Disruptive' Iger Named CEO of the Year
Orlando Sentinel
Disney's Bob Iger has been named 2014 CEO of the Year by Chief Executive magazine. Previous recipients of the honor include Microsoft's Bill Gates and General Electric's Jack Welch. Winners are selected by other CEOs. Iger is described as "a disruptive innovator."

Time Warner, Disney to Face NBA TV Rights Hike
Wall Street Journal
The National Basketball Association is said to be seeking to double the TV-rights fees it currently receives from ESPN majority owner Disney and Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, as the sports league looks to lock up deals for nationally televised games in the coming months.

Fox Restructuring Seeks One Big Happy TV Family
Los Angeles Times
21st Century Fox has restructured its TV operations in hopes of creating one big happy family that will put more hits on the Fox network. Dana Walden and Gary Newman, the co-chairs of 20th Century Fox Television, will now also have oversight over Fox Broadcasting.

Lions Gate Joins Alibaba for Video Service in China
Bloomberg
Lions Gate has teamed with Alibaba to stream Hollywood movies and TV shows as China's biggest e-commerce operator expands its video offerings. Lions Gate content, such as "The Hunger Games" and "Mad Men," will be delivered through a new Alibaba set-top box in China.

AT&T-Chernin Web Video Venture Buys Creativebug
Re/code
Earlier this year, AT&T said it was giving Peter Chernin $500 million to buy and build a collection of "over the top" web video assets. Their venture, called Otter Media, has acquired Creativebug, a video website that specializes in selling how-to clips to crafters, for $10 million.

Fox's 'Apes' Opens Strong Amid Downward Trends
Associated Press
"Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" thumped its chest at the box office with a $73 million opening weekend, one of the summer's best debuts. But it wasn't enough to stop an overall downward trend. The weekend's box office was down nearly 24% from the corresponding weekend last year.

Time Warner Seeks to Stay Relevant in 21st Century
Investor's Business Daily
Time Warner has been working to change its image, shuffling its roster of holdings to meet dynamic shifts in popular culture. The media conglomerate aims to show Wall Street that it is a vital cog in the digital world. Time Warner "needs to rethink its core business models."

Comcast Treads Water During Tough Merger Review
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast's stock has treaded water as the cable giant finds itself in a tough regulatory review of its $45.2 billion deal to acquire Time Warner Cable. "Uncertainty has held back the stock." Experts believe that Comcast may have to agree to concessions to win approvals.

Disney, CBS Queried by Officials in Comcast Merger
Bloomberg
Disney, Discovery and CBS are said to have been asked for information by U.S. antitrust officials probing Comcast's planned purchase of Time Warner Cable. The Justice Department has reached out to the companies as it investigates whether the cable merger is anticompetitive.

Fox's Star India to Acquire Screen Magazine, Awards
Live Mint
Rupert Murdoch's Star India is said to be acquiring Screen, an English-language weekly broadsheet that covers the movie and entertainment industry. The deal, which is expected to be announced soon, also includes the Screen Awards, a ceremony honoring India's film Industry.

Wolff: How Media Usage Is Taking Over Our Lives
USA Today
Michael Wolff: "As a media writer, I've seen many businesses that have proposed to somehow help chart the universe of media options." However, "there are no longer one-source distributors of media that can easily be controlled. Instead, we are all distributors, or redistributors."

Sun Valley's Media Moguls Divided on TV Mergers
The Information
The scuttlebutt heading into this year's Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, was that the TV programming industry is ripe for consolidation. But several attendees have been expressing the view that programmers won't gain more leverage by simply getting bigger.

Scripps CEO in the Market for a Corporate Partner
New York Post
Scripps Networks Interactive is said to be shopping for a partner. Ken Lowe, CEO of the company that owns HGTV, Food Network and Cooking Channel, has been holding conversations about such a deal at the Sun Valley mogulfest. "He is shopping himself to everybody."

CBS CEO Moonves: No War with Diller Over Aereo
CNBC
CBS chief Les Moonves may be one of the fiercest opponents of Aereo. But that hasn't caused him to feud with his friend Barry Diller, a key backer of the video-streaming startup. "Barry and I decided a year and a half ago not to talk about Aereo. We had lunch and it didn't come up."

Comcast-Time Warner Cable Deal Clock Set by FCC
Los Angeles Times
The Federal Communications Commission has released its schedule for the public and the media industry to weigh in on Comcast's proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable. Setting the dates starts the agency's 180-day merger clock to review and either approve or deny the deal.

Google-Time Warner Acquisition Deal Talks Denied
Seeking Alpha
CEO Jeff Bewkes has denied that Time Warner held talks to sell the media giant to Google. The rumor was making the rounds at the Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, and appeared to give Time Warner shares a little jolt. Daily News: Photo gallery of Sun Valley attendees.

Time Warner to 'Lose Leverage' Amid Consolidation
TheStreet
Time Warner will lose leverage as the media industry consolidates and the line between content producer and distributor is blurred, according to analysts at Barclays. "Leverage in the media value chain is changing as new layers of intermediation get added to content distribution."

Discovery CEO Expects Consolidation in TV Content
CNBC
Discovery CEO David Zaslav said consolidation among cable and satellite companies isn't over and he expects TV content owners to respond with mergers of their own. "There's still a lot of distributors that are left," he said, adding that he sees "more consolidation on the distribution side."

Tribune Renames Itself Ahead of Publishing Spinoff
Crain's Chicago
Tribune will hold its first annual meeting in seven years in Los Angeles next week and ask shareholders to approve changing the company's name to Tribune Media. The company is convening the meeting just weeks ahead of a breakup into broadcast and publishing entities.

Media, Tech Titans on Alert for Drones at Sun Valley
Bloomberg
As billionaires and dealmakers descend upon Sun Valley, Idaho, for the Allen & Co. media conference, security personnel are on the lookout for a new kind of threat — drones. Event staff are watching the skies for unmanned aerial vehicles that could photograph or harass attendees.

Sinclair Raises $1.1 Million in Debt to Fund Acquisition
Bloomberg
A unit of Sinclair Broadcast Group is raising $1.05 billion in the junk-bond and loan markets to finance its acquisition of TV stations owned by the Allbritton family. The company plans to raise $500 million of new term loans maturing in July 2021, according to a statement Wednesday.

Weinstein Adds TV Projects Amid Possible Stake Sale
Bloomberg
Weinstein Co. is clinching deals to expand TV production as founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein consider selling a stake in the division. Weinstein has signed with Discovery for a third season of the reality series "Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor," among other projects.

Tribune Digital Ventures Buys TV E-Guide What's-ON
Multichannel News
Tribune's technology arm has acquired What's-ON, a TV search and electronic program guide data provider for India and the Middle East. Tribune said the deal expands its TV listings and video metadata footprint to 50 countries and its reach to 600 million TV subscribers.

Fox's Murdoch Goes Eerily Silent on Twitter Account
Sydney Morning Herald
Rupert Murdoch's account on Twitter has been among the most scrutinized. Yet, the normally combative feed has been mostly silent in recent months. The 83-year-old media mogul didn't mutter a word after the conviction of Andy Coulson and the acquittal of golden-girl Rebekah Brooks.

Disney Halts Movie Sales on Apple iTunes in Japan
Bloomberg
Disney has stopped on-demand sales of new movies through Apple's online store in Japan after the two companies couldn't reach an agreement on sales. Sales through iTunes of films, including "Frozen" and "Thor: The Dark World," have halted and the company is trying to restart the service.

FCC Names Lawyers to Lead Big Media Deal Reviews
Reuters
A Federal Communications Commission lawyer will lead the U.S. agency's review of the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, while an external lawyer will head up the review of AT&T's bid for DirecTV. Members of the office of FCC chief Tom Wheeler will be involved.

Disney's Iger Sees Tech-Enabled Future for Leisure
Wall Street Journal
Bob Iger, CEO of Disney: "What will that future look like? I'm hesitant to make predictions. But a few things seem certain to me. In short, we are creating what I like to call technology-enabled leisure. Mobile storytelling, and mobile entertainment, will dominate our lives."

Sports Leagues, Team Owners Eye New Media Profits
Bloomberg
Major League Baseball Advanced Media began streaming live video in 2002. It currently has 3 million paid subscribers to its digital products, and is projected to have more than $800 million in revenue this year. "There's a whole generation of people who don't consider this new media."

Comcast Adds Mobile-Ad Prowess, Worrying Rivals
Wall Street Journal
Comcast's recent purchase of FreeWheel Media, a mobile-advertising tech firm, has stoked fear among rivals that the cable giant is gathering too much influence over the digital-TV business. "Do you really want a competitor to have access to what's going on in your digital backyard?"

Disney Chooses 11 Startups for Accelerator Program
Los Angeles Business
Disney has selected 11 companies for the first round of its tech accelerator program. The Disney Accelerator is a 15-week immersive project that gives companies top Disney execs as mentors, up to $120,000 in investment capital and access to the entertainment giant's resources.

New Media Landscape to Shift the Talk in Sun Valley
Wall Street Journal
Allen & Co.'s annual gathering of media and tech execs kicks off Tuesday in Sun Valley, Idaho, against a business landscape that has shifted radically since last year. Deal makers said they wouldn't be surprised to see Apple, Google or Amazon make a bid for a media company.

Old Media Circling YouTube Multichannel Networks
New York Post
YouTube multichannel networks have been getting a lot of calls from traditional media companies looking to invest. "The real question is how do these companies become profitable? Google takes 50% of your revenue and you have to split the other 50% with the talent."

Viacom's 'Transformers' Tops Weak July 4 Weekend
Associated Press
The Fourth of July went off like a dud at the box office, as the Michael Bay sequel "Transformers: Age of Extinction" and the Melisa McCarthy comedy "Tammy" led the weakest summer holiday weekend in at least a decade. Hollywood "simply didn't aim for big fireworks this year."

News Corp Seen as Suitor for Australia's Ten Network
Bloomberg
Ten Network is said to be weighing a possible sale, after a string of programming flops and two years of losses. The Australian TV channel "is so cheap that acquirers can buy it for less than the value of its broadcasting license." Suitors might include Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Big Media to Enjoy Boost from Sequels, Superheroes
Deadline
Hollywood is likely to produce more sequels, animated films and superhero flicks. Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente has raised his forecasts for Disney, Fox, and Time Warner, arguing that their efforts to make films in genres popular with overseas audiences should bring profits.

Viacom's 'Transformers' Bigger in China Than in U.S.
Bloomberg
"Transformers: Age of Extinction," widely expected to be the top-grossing film in U.S. theaters this summer, is proving an even bigger hit in China. Sales in the No. 2 film market behind the U.S. have totaled $134.5 million since Viacom's Paramount Pictures released the film on June 27.

Time Warner's 'Tammy' Ready to Fight Optimus Prime
Los Angeles Times
The Fourth of July weekend brings no new big-budget blockbusters, leaving room for "Transformers: Age of Extinction" to continue to dominate the box office. But there could be room for comic star Melissa McCarthy to deliver a hit. Her "Tammy" is likely to see a solid second-place finish.

Fox's Murdoch Takes Family on Holiday to Mykonos
Mail Online
Rupert Murdoch may be one of the world's most powerful media figures, but he showed he still keeps his feet on ground when he was seen boarding a boat barefoot in Mykonos. The billionaire is holidaying in Greece with his family, including sons James and Lachlan.

Viacom's MTV Sees Millennials Redefining Patriotism
Blog.Viacom
In time for the Fourth of July, MTV has taken a look at patriotism among young people in a new research study, "Millennials & #Merica." The results tell a positive story, with 86% stating they are "proud to be American." Yet, millennials are "redefining patriotism" with "acts of questioning."

Time Warner CEO: On-Demand to Fuel TV's Fortunes
Variety
Jeff Bewkes has predicted that the growing availability of content on an on-demand basis will help media companies flourish. "You have demand for the programming beginning on demand, not just here but around the world, which is bringing billions more viewers into the process."

Comcast CEO Extends Employment Contract to 2015
Philadelphia Business
Brian Roberts has renewed his contract as CEO of Comcast until June 30, 2015. Since 2005, the company has reportedly practiced one-year extensions as part of an employment pact. Not surprisingly, Roberts has been deemed the highest-paid CEO in the Philadelphia region.

Dish Network Chief Courted DirecTV Amid AT&T Talks
Denver Business
Charlie Ergen's Dish Network talked with DirecTV about a merger at least twice since 2011, and the most recent round of discussion ended in May, when Ergen concluded AT&T's looming offer for DirecTV would be too rich for Dish. Ultimately, AT&T won the contest for DirecTV.

AT&T, Comcast Mega Pay-TV Deals Driven by Sports
Bloomberg
AT&T's bid for DirecTV and Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable are tied together by a thread that is driving many decisions in pay-TV. The two deals are prime examples of how sports programming's immense popularity has become the solution to pay-TV's slowdown.

Fox's Murdoch Ready for Dealmaking in Sun Valley
Reuters
Rupert Murdoch is due to jet into Idaho's Sun Valley next week for investment bank Allen & Co.'s tech and media conference, armed with both the money and the appetite for a major deal. Murdoch's interest in Time Warner has been the subject of industry speculation.

Disney, Time Warner Surpass Media Rivals at Midyear
Hollywood Reporter
At the halfway mark of 2014, the major media conglomerates are underperforming the broader markets with two notable exceptions — Disney and Time Warner. All of Disney's and Time Warner's big-media rivals either fell or rose less than the S&P 500. Sony was the worst.

Time Warner to Expand UK Film Studio Operations
Bloomberg
Time Warner's Warner Bros. is expanding its U.K. operations, taking advantage of government subsidies and official strategies to promote the film, animation and video-game industries. The studio plans to build three new stages, bringing its number in the U.K. to 13 by year end.

Fox, Time Warner Chiefs on Guest List for Sun Valley
Hollywood Reporter
About 250 guests are expected at this year's Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho, including Rupert Murdoch, Jeff Bewkes, Philippe Dauman, Les Moonves and Jeffrey Katzenberg. The annual off-the-record gathering attracts many of the nation's most powerful media and tech execs.

Viacom's 'Transformers' Breaks Box Office Records
Bloomberg
"Transformers: Age of Extinction," the summer blockbuster from Paramount Pictures, opened with weekend sales of $100 million to mark the biggest domestic debut of the year. The film, which pulled in $300 million worldwide, may end up drawing significant sales from Asia.

Comcast CEO Roberts Bulks Up Company for Future
Los Angeles Times
Comcast has faced more opposition to its planned acquisition of Time Warner Cable than it did when it took control of NBCUniversal. Consumer advocates fear that a bulked-up Comcast will be too powerful an Internet gatekeeper. "It all comes back to broadband Internet."

NBC Former Exec Ancier Countersues Abuse Accuser
NBC News
Garth Ancier, who was sued by a former child actor alleging abuse, has filed a lawsuit of his own. The suit accuses Michael Egan III and his lawyers of malicious prosecution — just two days after they dropped the legal action against him. Also: Egan has dropped a third abuse lawsuit.

Fox's Murdoch Sells Aussie Property for $10 Million
Mail Online
Lachlan Murdoch and his wife Sarah have sold their five-bedroom beachside home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia, for about $10 million. The Murdochs moved out of the property five years ago and it is believed the house was once rented to Australian actress Toni Collette.

Disney's Maker Studios to Embrace Marvel, ESPN
Deadline
Disney, which bought Maker Studios earlier this year, plans to connect its entertainment brands — Marvel, ESPN, ABC and others — with the online multi-channel network's thousands of video creators. Maker is bringing Disney "into the YouTube ecosystem," said CEO Ynon Kreiz.

DreamWorks CEO Says YouTube Still In Its Infancy
Hollywood Reporter
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said it is still difficult for creators to monetize on YouTube because a small percentage of the overall community is creating the majority of the value. But he believes that will change: "The opportunities ahead are significant."

Sony to Acquire UK TV Networks Group CSC Media
Hollywood Reporter
Sony Pictures Television has agreed to acquire U.K. TV networks group CSC Media. The deal, which comes after the recent Viacom agreement to acquire U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, will add 16 channels in the kids, music and general entertainment space to Sony's portfolio.

Viacom's 'Transformers' Courts Audiences in China
Wall Street Journal
Paramount's new "Transformers: Age of Extinction," which opens Friday, pulled out all the stops to appeal to audiences in China, the world's second-largest movie market. Four of the movie's actors were cast through a Chinese reality TV show, and crews spent weeks filming in Beijing.

Viacom-CBS Chief's Personal Life Probed in Litigation
Hollywood Reporter
Sumner Redstone's business decisions and private life have been dragged into a heated legal war that pits his live-in companion against the star of a former MTV reality series. Now the star's lawyer is probing highly personal details about the Viacom and CBS executive chairman.

News Corp: Hacking Charges Could Be 'Apocalyptic'
Daily News
A lawyer for News Corp. has pleaded with British officials not to file corporate charges in a phone-hacking scandal, arguing it would be "apocalyptic" for the company and put 46,000 jobs at risk. Also: Rupert Murdoch has jetted to London to speak with News UK staff.

CBS, Media Stocks Jump on Court Ruling Over Aereo
USA Today
CBS and other broadcasting and media stocks surged after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that web TV startup Aereo could no longer capture their signals and stream them over the Internet. Reflecting the big win for broadcasters, CBS rose $3.65; 21st Century Fox surged $4.70.

Yahoo's Mayer Among Invited Guests to Sun Valley
Bloomberg
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is said to be among the invited guests at this year's Allen & Co. conference in Sun Valley, Idaho. Yahoo has a 23% stake in Alibaba, whose planned IPO in August is likely to be a major topic of discussion at the retreat of media, entertainment and tech execs.

Disney, Fox Not in Pursuit of Bidding for Vice Media
Hollywood Reporter
Reports suggesting that Disney and 21st Century Fox were interested in paying big money for a stake in Vice Media are said to be overblown. "An interested party is obviously trying to drum up a bidding war." Time Warner is still considered to be a suitor for the media company.

Apple Takeover of Disney Seen as Logical, Obvious
Washington Post
Francis McInerney, a consultant at North River Ventures, has an idea for how Apple can keep revenues growing — Why not acquire Disney? "The logic is so great this could happen tomorrow." Apple-Disney "would be a powerhouse." The combition would produce a "Netflix on steroids."

NBC Former Head Ancier's Abuse Lawsuit Dropped
BuzzFeed
Michael Egan, who in April accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and three others of assaulting him when he was underage, has dismissed his lawsuit against TV exec Garth Ancier. "Ancier was undeserving of the stain to his reputation caused by the reckless complaint," his attorney said.

Time Warner Invests in Social Video Startup Epoxy
Variety
Epoxy, a startup whose platform is designed to help content creators distribute and track video across social websites, has raised $6.5 million in funding led by Time Warner and Upfront Ventures. "Their product, team and vision are the best we have seen in the space."

Disney Powers New Infinity Video Game with Marvel
Fortune
The marriage of Disney and Marvel will be realized across video-game consoles this September with the launch of "Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes." The sequel to Disney Interactive's Infinity game will give Disney and Marvel a new platform to cross-promote theatrical releases.

AT&T, DirecTV Pitch Proposed Merger to Congress
Washington Business
The CEOs of AT&T and DirecTV have testified at two congressional hearings, in an attempt to convince Congress that their proposed merger would be good for the TV and telecommunications industries. "This is not Comcast/Time Warner," said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson.

News Corp: Coulson Found Guilty of Phone Hacking
Wall Street Journal
A British jury has found Andy Coulson, a former spokesman for Britain's prime minister and a former senior News Corp. editor, guilty of conspiracy to intercept phone voice-mail messages. But the jury cleared Rebekah Brooks, a former senior News Corp exec, who also stood trial.

Time Warner, Amazon Near Resolution in DVD Dispute
Wall Street Journal
Amazon is said to have reversed a halt on preorders of movie discs from Time Warner's Warner Bros. studio as the two sides near a resolution to a pricing dispute. Preorders of forthcoming Warner DVD and Blu-ray releases are again being offered on Amazon.

Viacom Resolves Spat Over 'Transformers' in China
Bloomberg
Viacom's Paramount Pictures has reached an agreement with Chinese investment firm Pangu, which had threatened to delay Friday's release of the new "Transformers" film in the world's most-populous nation. Paramount and Pangu "resolved the issues that led to a misunderstanding."

Fox's Murdoch Meets Italian Prime Minister About TV
Hollywood Reporter
21st Century Fox co-COO James Murdoch has met with Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi to outline a $55 million plan to develop new Italian TV series and increase the use of Rome's historic studios. Italy's TV industry has "big unexpressed potential," said Murdoch.

WPP Chief Says 'Watch Out' for a Focused Murdoch
Australian
WPP chief Martin Sorrell has warned News Corp.'s rivals to "watch out," as the media company becomes more focused a year after Rupert Murdoch separated it from 21st Century Fox. "A focused Murdoch is a much more dangerous beast than an unfocused one," said Sorrell.

21st Century Fox, Viacom Could End Up Together
BuzzFeed
Viacom's eventual sale has been described as an open secret in the media industry. And 21st Century Fox, which is twice as large as Viacom, could easily afford to buy its big-media rival. "Stranger things have happened." Fox's absorption of Viacom would be "relatively clean."

Disney, Fox Among Media Giants Salivating for Vice
New York Times
Vice Media has been reported to be negotiating to sell a large stake to Time Warner. But 21st Century Fox, which owns a small stake in Vice, is also discussing a deal. So is Disney. Any agreement is likely to value the edgy, Gen Y media company at $1.5 billion to $2.5 billion.

Time Warner Former Film Chief Finds Chinese Investor
Wall Street Journal
Former Warner Bros. film chief Jeff Robinov has found a new investor for his planned independent studio. Chinese conglomerate Fosun International said it plans to invest in Robinov's Studio 8. Robinov left Warner Bros. last year after losing an internal competition to become its CEO.

Sony's 'Man' Bests Warner's 'Boys' with $30 Million
Associated Press
Sony's Kevin Hart-led comedy "Think Like a Man Too" topped a slow weekend at the summer box office with $30 million, besting blockbuster holdovers from last week, as well as Warner Bros.' new Four Seasons musical "Jersey Boys." Sony's "22 Jump Street" was No. 2.

Viacom Loses Bid to Dismiss Cablevision Lawsuit
Reuters
A federal judge has rejected Viacom's effort to dismiss Cablevision's lawsuit accusing it of forcing cable providers and subscribers to buy channels they do not want. Cablevision had accused Viacom of coercing it into paying for obscure channels if it also wanted "core networks."

Univision Sees Value in Holding Off on Potential Sale
Reuters
Univision has held several informal sale talks in the past year. But the company's board could take a year or longer to decide on a potential deal, as the U.S. Spanish-language media outfit seeks to boost profits and pay down debt ahead of a possible IPO or sale in 2015.

Comcast to Break Ground on New Philadelphia Tower
Inquirer
Comcast disclosed plans for a new $1.2 billion Philadelphia high-rise in January, saying it hired leading architect Norman Foster to design it. Since then, the cable-TV giant's proposed deal to acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion has overshadowed the construction project.

Viacom-Twitter Talk Raises Question: What Is Twitter?
MediaPost
WPP's Martin Sorrell, moderating a talk between Twitter's Dick Costolo and Viacom's Philippe Dauman at Cannes Lions, said he was "a little confused" about what Twitter actually is. Costolo responded that his company is "amplifying" content produced by the likes of Viacom.

Vivendi Seeks Media Future with Former Hearst Exec
Reuters
France's Vivendi, with a new focus on media, has up to $13.6 billion to remake itself. Bankers are honing pitches to buy U.S.-based TV companies like AMC, Starz and Scripps Networks Interactive. Future CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine joined Vivendi from Hearst in January.

Relativity Media Plans to Raise Capital Ahead of IPO
Bloomberg
Relativity Media, the company that helped fund "The Social Network," is working with Jefferies Group to raise money ahead of a planned IPO, according to CEO Ryan Kavanaugh. The independent film and TV studio is targeting a public offering within the next 18 months, he added.

Comcast Wins Approval to Place Logo Atop 30 Rock
Inquirer
A New York City panel has approved placing the Comcast logo with the NBC peacock atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza, one of the world's most famous properties. The Comcast logo will replace lighted "GE" signs, for former NBC owner General Electric, atop the 70-story 30 Rock.

Fox-News Corp's Murdoch Urges Immigration Reform
Mediaite
Rupert Murdoch has penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he strongly advocates for immigration reform. Murdoch makes the case that immigrants "enrich" U.S. culture and add to economic prosperity. "I don't believe that people come to America to sit on their hands."

News Corp Board Extends Provision for Poison Pill
Reuters
News Corp.'s board of directors has extended a poison pill provision it put in place to prevent hostile takeovers when the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch and his family split from its cable and entertainment properties last year. The provision now lasts until June 18, 2015.

Time Warner Deal 'Won't Screw Up' Vice Media Brand
Guardian
Vice Media creative officer Eddy Moretti has insisted any prospective deal with Time Warner will not be at the expense of "selling out" the company's hard-won edgy image that has drawn youth audiences to its digital media brand. "If we screw that up we have nothing."

Sony: No Plans to Spin Off Entertainment Business
Reuters
CEO Kazuo Hirai, in response to a question at Sony's annual meeting, said the company was not thinking of splitting off or listing its entertainment business. Sony rebuffed a proposal last year by investor Daniel Loeb to partially spin off its entertainment assets.

Comcast Turning Home Routers Into Wi-Fi Hotspots
CNNMoney
If you're a Comcast cable customer, your home's private Wi-Fi router is being turned into a public hotspot. So far, the company has turned 3 million home devices into public ones. By year's end it plans to activate the feature on another 5 million. The upside is "Internet everywhere."

Viacom, 60 Cable Firms Part Ways in Middle America
Wall Street Journal
About 60 small cable companies in middle America said they — and their customers — are surviving fine without Viacom after a fee dispute. "Quite frankly, I can't say I did notice," said one customer, adding that he hadn't watched Viacom channels in at least a dozen years.

Disney's Maker Studios, Stiller to Revive Web Series
Wall Street Journal
Maker Studios, looking for content for its planned new video site Maker.tv, has turned to Ben Stiller for help. The Disney-owned multichannel YouTube network is enlisting Stiller's Red Hour Digital to help revive "Next Time on Lonny," one of the web's odder cult video series.

T-Mobile Jumps Into Music Streaming with 'unRadio'
Associated Press
T-Mobile have moved into music streaming with a package of features that sets it apart. At its "Un-carrier" event, the mobile carrier said customers of its Simple Choice plan will be able to stream music from services like Pandora, Spotify, Rhapsody, iHeartRadio and iTunes Radio.

Axel Springer Acquires Stake in Search Engine Qwant
Bloomberg
Axel Springer, the German publisher leading a campaign to curb Google's influence in Europe, has acquired a 20% stake in Qwant, a Paris-based search engine that focuses on data privacy. The investment will help Qwant develop new features such as encrypted e-mail.

Bertelsmann to Shutter German Book Club Operation
Associated Press
Bertelsmann said it will shut down its book club business in the German-speaking world at the end of next year, closing a business that was once a driver of the media giant's growth. "The club's business model no longer has a sustainable economic perspective."

Disney's Defunct Game Remade by Unsanctioned Teen
Bloomberg
Toontown Online, based on the Disney film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," was an Internet game introduced in 2003. Disney shut it down amid a shift away from subscription games. Now, it's getting a second life thanks to fans who created a knockoff version without Disney's permission.

21st Century Fox Eyes Windfall in European Pay TV
Sunday Times
21st Century Fox expects a substantial payout from BSkyB's plan to build a pan-European pay-TV business. The British satellite broadcaster has hired investment banks Morgan Stanley and Barclays to help arrange the complex takeover of its sister companies in Germany and Italy.

Tribune Ready to Make News Again as a Broadcaster
Barron's
Tribune shares could be worth 25% more once it hives off its publishing, if it can realize more of the value in its various assets. Upcoming strategic shifts will turn the company into a "pure play broadcaster." And CEO Peter Liguori has other moves underway that could boost valuation.

Scripps Grows with Acquisitions of Two TV Stations
Cincinnati Business
E.W. Scripps has completed the acquisition of two TV stations. The Cincinnati-based company purchased WMYD-TV, a MyNetwork affiliate in Detroit, and WKBW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Buffalo. Scripps paid $110 million to Granite Broadcasting in a deal financed with cash on hand.

Comcast, Charter Name Financial Officer for Spinoff
Wall Street Journal
Charter and Comcast said Time Warner Cable treasurer Matthew Siegel will be the chief financial officer of their planned cable-company spinoff. The spinoff is expected after Comcast's planned $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable, along with related divestitures and other moves.

DreamWorks Animation Launches YouTube Channel
USA Today
Shrek now has a video blog on YouTube. DreamWorks Animation has officially launched DreamWorksTV, a family oriented YouTube channel. The channel combines short-form content from the familiar faces of the DreamWorks movies with new reality and animated programming.

Media Giants Scout Deals as Merger Talk Heats Up
Wall Street Journal
U.S. media companies are priming themselves for what many industry execs believe will be a major round of consolidation. Univision and AMC Networks are seen as among potential takeover targets. One possible mammoth deal — a 21st Century Fox acquisition of Time Warner.

CBS, Viacom Should Look at Merging, Investors Say
Wall Street Journal
Amid consolidation in pay TV, speculation has been mounting over whether content companies will follow suit. For CBS, a logical deal may be to merge with former sibling Viacom. While there is no sign that such a deal is being considered, investors are considering the possibility.

Univision Acquisition Eyed by Mexico's Carlos Slim
New York Post
Haim Saban's efforts to sell Univision are said to have included talks with billionaire investor Carlos Slim Helu. Mexico-based Slim is said to be weighing a bid for the leading U.S. Spanish-language TV network. "Carlos Slim could just come in and buy the whole thing."

Vice Media Founder Builds a $2 Billion Media Brand
Financial Times
Shane Smith has turned Vice Media into a global brand but says he plans to keep expanding. "I want us to be the next MTV, ESPN and CNN rolled into one," he once said. Smith will be a step closer if he completes a reported possible deal with Time Warner that values Vice at $2 billion.

Time Warner CEO Fields Questions on Succession
Los Angeles Times
CEO Jeff Bewkes' contract isn't up until 2017, but succession issues were raised by shareholders at Time Warner's annual meeting on Friday. The company has a "deep bench of potential successors," said Bewkes. He also fielded questions about CNN and DC Comics.

Viacom, Time Warner Reap New York State Windfall
Crain's New York
U.S. entertainment giants rake in hundreds of millions in incentives designed in 2004 to foster filming in New York state. The incentives have been greatly expanded, from $25 million to $420 million annually, making them the most generous of their kind in the country.

Sony's 'Jump Street' Slays DreamWorks' 'Dragon'
Bloomberg
"22 Jump Street," the cop comedy starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, topped the box office in its debut, marking the second straight weekend in which a less costly film outsold a big-budget production. The Sony sequel beat DreamWorks Animation's new "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

Fox Has Much Riding on Three Sequels to 'Avatar'
New York Times
James Cameron is expected to have the long-awaited screenplays for three "Avatar" sequels ready within weeks. Billions of dollars are riding on the effort. The effects-heavy sequels will be expensive: The director has said their combined production costs will be "less than $1 billion."

Disney Mulls Gay Take for Next 'Father of the Bride'
NikkiFinke
Disney and Warner Bros. "are sorting out the rights" to "Father of the Bride 3," with Steve Martin returning. "The twist in this threequel is that Little Matty is now 29 and gay and getting married to a Navy SEAL's son. Father of the bride George is 'thunderstruck and speechless.'"

Comcast Seeks to Replace GE Initials Atop 30 Rock
New York Times
Comcast, which last year bought General Electric's remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal, has applied with New York City's landmarks commission to replace GE's 24-foot-high initials on top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Whether another name change will be embraced by the public is arguable.

Viacom, Twitter CEOs to Debate at Cannes Ad Fest
WPP
The Cannes Lions international advertising festival kicks off in France this weekend. One of the week's highlights is expected to be the debate next Friday featuring two of the media world's most influential leaders: Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo.

Disney CEO Iger Expected to Announce Successor
NikkiFinke
CEO Bob Iger is said to have "finally" made a decision on his heir apparent at Disney. The leading candidates are believed to be parks and resorts head Tom Staggs and CFO Jay Rasulo. "People are canvassing and campaigning for this like an election," said one insider.

CBS, Time Warner Eyeing Acquisition of Univision
Wall Street Journal
Univision's owners are said to have held preliminary discussions in recent weeks with several media companies, including CBS and Time Warner. The dominant U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster is controlled by a consortium of investors including billionaire Haim Saban.

Liberty Global, Discovery Seek Stake in Formula One
Bloomberg
Liberty Global and Discovery are said to be working to bridge a $1 billion valuation gap with the owners of Formula One, as they seek to buy a 49% stake in the auto-racing series. A deal would give Liberty and Discovery sports content to go along with their European cable-TV assets.

21st Century Fox Has 'No Plans' to Exit Vice Media
Guardian
Time Warner is said to be seeking to take a stake in Vice Media. Meanwhile, 21st Century Fox, which already holds a 5% stake in the hipster media company, reportedly has no plans to exit Vice. Such a move is "not on the table." Fox has "proved how hot Vice is as a media company."

Time Warner's CNN Faces Harsh Truth on Birthday
Associated Press
CNN faces a harsh truth as it marks its 34th birthday — There simply isn't enough news to fill 24 hours of airtime, at least not enough to keep viewers tuned in. The news network is said to be in danger of diluting its signature role as a news provider with its new emphasis on "docu-fare."

CBS to Feel Impact If Aereo Wins at Supreme Court
Deadline
Shares of CBS and broadcast companies likely will take a hit if the U.S. Supreme Court upholds Aereo's right to stream TV signals without paying, according to Wells Fargo Securities' Marci Ryvicker. Supreme Court justices are expected to make their decision before June 30.

Vice Media: 'We're Talking to Everybody' About Deals
TheWrap
CEO Shane Smith said Vice Media has doubled in value since the company was valued at $1.4 billion last year. And while he wouldn't confirm Vice is in talks about Time Warner acquiring a stake, he did say the media outfit is "talking to everybody" about potential deals.

Disney Sees Infinity Game Sales Reaching $1 Billion
Reuters
Disney expects global retail sales from its Infinity video game to reach $1 billion, even as rivals also combine physical toys with video games, said company interactive head Jimmy Pitaro. Disney launched Infinity in August to help turn around its interactive gaming unit.

U.S. Media Getting Ready as World Cup Kicks Off
Associated Press
The world's most popular sporting event kicks off Thursday in Brazil. All 64 World Cup soccer matches will air in English in the U.S. on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. Will the event be profitable for ESPN? "Media pundits are going to be surprised at how big the World Cup is going to be."

Study: Teen Media Use Sees Rise in Digital Screens
Associated Press
American teens are texting behind the wheel and spending a lot of time on video games and computers, according to a new U.S. government study. In a big survey jump, kids are spending three or more hours on an average school day on recreational screen time that doesn't include TV.

Media Industry Faces 'Second Apocalypse' in Mobile
ZDNet
Low revenues from mobile advertising are said to be "killing" digital media companies. And traditional media, struggling with online ads producing one-tenth the revenue of print, now must cross an incredible chasm — $1,000 dollars in print advertising becomes $10 on mobile.

Comcast to Live Stream World Cup Across Devices
Multichannel News
Comcast will allow customers to live stream matches from the 2014 World Cup in multiple languages via its Xfinity TV microsites and the Xfinity TV Go app. All 64 matches will be offered for live streaming in English, Spanish and Portuguese, with select matches streamed in Korean.

Time Warner Cable Former CEO Britt Dies at Age 65
NY1
Glenn Britt, who joined Time Inc. in 1972 right out of business school and worked his way up to CEO of Time Warner Cable, has passed away after a long battle with melanoma. Under his watch, the U.S. cable giant's share price more than quadrupled in the years after the recession.

Fox's Murdoch to Deliver Media Mastermind Keynote
World Screen
James Murdoch, co-COO of 21st Century Fox, is slated to open the Media Mastermind keynote series at this year's MIPCOM trade show in October. "We are extremely honored to welcome James Murdoch. James represents one of the world's global content powerhouses."

CBS Ready for Deals After Outdoor Unit Stake Sale
Bloomberg
CBS has taken the final step in the spinoff of its billboard business following CBS Outdoor Americas' initial public offering, with a plan to fully divest its 81% ownership. For CBS, the IPO will help provide about $5 billion for share buybacks and possible acquisitions.

Time Warner-Vice Media Deal Valuation Questioned
Wall Street Journal
Ad buyers see a great fit between Time Warner and Vice Media, should the two companies figure out how to work together. As for whether Vice warrants a multi-billion dollar valuation, that is open to serious debate. "Vice charges a premium for the cool factor they bring."

AT&T Defends Deal for DirecTV to U.S. Regulators
Reuters
AT&T has told U.S. regulators that its acquisition of DirecTV would offer consumers access to video in a variety of media and give the company scale to compete with larger cable competitors. "Each company cannot provide on its own what consumers increasingly demand."

Sony Unveils First Original TV Series for PlayStation
TheVerge
The first original TV show for the Sony PlayStation is coming. "Powers," based on the graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis, debuts in December. Every PlayStation Network customer will get the first episode for free. PlayStation Plus subscribers will have access to the entire series.

Time Warner Seeks Vice to 'Solve Problem' of HLN
BuzzFeed
Time Warner isn't so much buying into Vice Media as getting rid of HLN. The media giant is "very close" to an agreement to take a roughly 45% stake in the hipster media company. Time Warner hopes a deal will "solve its perpetual problem" with struggling news channel HLN.

Fox, News Corp's Murdoch Eyes Stake in SocietyOne
Financial Review
Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer could join the rush into "disruptive" financial services through a stake in peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne. The two Australian moguls are said to be eyeing an investment worth in the millions of dollars in the Sydney-based startup.

Comcast Merger Should Be Blocked, Tech Giants Say
TheHill
A group representing Google, Facebook, Yahoo and other tech giants wants U.S. regulators to block the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The Computer and Communications Industry Association fears the deal would increase Comcast's "bottleneck market power."

Guggenheim Digital Media Chief Levinsohn Departs
Re/code
Ross Levinsohn has left his latest gig as CEO of Guggenheim Digital Media. The former interim CEO of Yahoo, who also was president of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive Group, joined the investment firm in January last year, focused in part on investing in digital properties.

Vice Media CEO Shares Thoughts on Media's Future
TheStreet
The future of media is the convergence of talent and technology, according to Vice Media CEO Shane Smith. He spoke last month on a panel entitled "The Future of Media," hosted by the website I Want Media. "There's going to be a correction online," Smith warned. "Only the strong will survive."

Time Warner in Talks to Acquire Stake in Vice Media
Sky News
Time Warner is said to be in talks to buy a major stake in Vice Media, the global youth media company. In one potential deal, Time Warner could "inject" cable network HLN into Vice in return for about half of the enlarged company. A deal could value Vice at more than $2 billion.

Viacom Trades Game Websites for Stake in Defy Media
Re/code
Viacom has agreed to acquire a stake in Defy Media, a conglomerate of websites and online video properties aimed at young men. Defy is perhaps best known as the home for YouTube comedy act Smosh, which will become a corporate cousin to SpongeBob and MTV's Teen Moms.

21st Century Fox Extends Contract of Chief Carey
Wall Street Journal
Chase Carey, president and COO of 21st Century Fox, has agreed to a two-year employment contract extension, ensuring the company will retain an experienced exec during a period of industry change. Carey has been the No. 2 exec at Rupert Murdoch's media company since 2009.

Comcast Tests 'MyMedia' App for Personal Sharing
Multichannel News
Comcast has begun to test a new app called MyMedia that enables customers on the X1 platform with access to a cloud-based storage system to upload personal videos and photos from their mobile devices and play them back across a variety of platforms, including set-top boxes.

Fox's Female-Led 'Fault' Trumps Cruise at Box Office
Bloomberg
"The Fault in Our Stars," a female-led, emotional drama about two young cancer patients who fall in love, bested the latest Tom Cruise movie, "Edge of Tomorrow," to open in first place over the weekend for 21st Century Fox. "Never underestimate the box office clout of young women."

AT&T Floats NFL Sunday Ticket for Wireless Users
Wall Street Journal
AT&T is said to be floating the possibility of offering DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket programming to all its wireless phone customers, as the telephone giant seeks to convince Wall Street of the strategic value of its $49 billion planned acquisition of the satellite-TV company.

Fox, News Corp Raise Concerns Over '22 World Cup
Reuters
News Corp.'s Sunday Times has published stories claiming that bribes were paid to secure the 2022 World Cup for Qatar. U.S. broadcaster Fox, which paid $425 million for rights to the next two World Cups, was already unhappy with plans to switch the dates of the Qatar games.

Clear Channel's Pittman Rises to $5 Million Challenge
Financial Times
Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman has set about talking up radio's value to an advertising industry still loyal to TV and more excited by digital music. The $5 million investment he made in the company's equity — worthless unless he can wrestle its debts — means he has much at stake.

Azoff Joint Venture Invests in Levity Entertainment
New York Post
Irving Azoff, through a joint venture with Madison Square Garden, is expected to announce a 50% stake in Los Angeles-based Levity Entertainment, which owns or operates a U.S. chain of comedy venues and represents comedians such as Jeff Dunham and Amy Schumer.

Analyst: Time Warner, 21st Century Fox Should Merge
Los Angeles Times
A report by media analyst Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets suggests that a merger between media giants 21st Century Fox and Time Warner would make a lot of sense. "However improbable it may seem, one cannot overlook this mega deal given its immense financial benefits."

Gannett Breakup Seen Likely as Media Splits Pay Off
Breakingviews
A breakup of Gannett "is really just a matter of Time." The $6.6 billion owner of USA Today and other newspapers "isn't getting much credit for its TV transformation." As Time Warner sets free its publishing arm this week, an analysis suggests Gannett should do the same.

Time Warner's Time Inc Spinoff Faces Test in Digital
Bloomberg
Time Inc. debuts Friday as the only U.S. public company focused just on magazines, putting more pressure on the publisher to adapt quickly to the Internet. The company won't have the help of other business lines that might shore up its still-falling advertising and circulation revenue.

Disney's 'Frozen' Phenom Puts Families in a Frenzy
Associated Press
"Frozen" has become the fifth-highest grossing film of all time, raking in $1.2 billion worldwide. The huge demand for anything "Frozen" has created a shortage of Disney merchandise across North America. It has also led to hours-long waits to see the film's characters at Disney parks.

Viacom's Product Licenses Expected to Pad Profits
Barron's
A "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" movie is coming in August; a "Dora the Explorer" spinoff is also due in August; and a "SpongeBob SquarePants" movie is slated for February 2015. All three popular Viacom properties are expected to provide rich opportunities for product licensing.

Disney Former TV Exec's Abuse Lawsuit Dropped
New York Times
Michael Egan, the accuser in a series of Hollywood abuse lawsuits, has dropped his complaint against David Neuman, a former Disney TV exec. A voluntary motion to dismiss came as lawyers for Neuman and for three defendants in separate suits fiercely contested Egan's assertions.

Time Warner Eyes Fox's Reilly for Turner Networks
Bloomberg
Kevin Reilly, the departing head of entertainment at Fox Broadcasting, is said to be among the execs Time Warner is considering to be president of Turner Entertainment Networks. Reilly said last week he would leave the 21st Century Fox unit by the end of June, following a drop in ratings.

Warner Bros Postpones Big Summer Movie to 2015
Associated Press
Just six weeks ahead of its planned release, the Wachowskis' space thriller "Jupiter Ascending" has been postponed to 2015. The $150 million movie, starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, will now open Feb. 6 instead of July 18. It's a stunning and unusual move for a high-profile film.

Forecast: Internet Costs to Sap Spending on Media
Financial Times
Consumers' willingness to pay for digital content is in danger of being held back by their rising spending on Internet access, according to a forecast from consultancy PwC. The report raises questions about the media industry's hopes for streaming music and video subscriptions.

Fox-News Corp's Murdoch Touts Print, Disruption
Australian
Lachlan Murdoch has demanded rivals stop "talking down" print media in a clarion call for stronger leadership in publishing. The 21st Century Fox and News Corp. exec also urged "disruption," in remarks at a media forum in Sydney. "Find opportunities — don't settle for the status quo."

Comcast to Encrypt Email for Customers' Security
Wall Street Journal
Comcast, the nation's largest Internet provider, said it will begin scrambling customer email to protect it from prying eyes. A Comcast spokesman said the company will begin using encryption on customer email "within a matter of weeks." Comcast will be "very aggressive about this."

AT&T Says DirecTV Deal Will Boost Internet Speeds
Associated Press
In an attempt to curry favor with regulators, AT&T said that if it is allowed to buy DirecTV, it will be able to afford an expansion of fiber connections into more homes to boost their Internet connection speeds. Expanding broadband access and raising speeds is a federal policy goal.

Disney's Maker Studios Due for Employee Lay Offs
Variety
Layoffs are said to be coming to Maker Studios, the multichannel network recently acquired by Disney. Approximately 10% of the 380 employees are expected to be pink-slipped as early as this week. A rep for Maker issued a statement: "Maker's business is constantly evolving ..."

Sony to Stop Selling PlayStation Portable After 10 Years
Associated Press
Sony plans to pull the plug on its hand-held PlayStation Portable video game machine after 10 years. The company has been pushing the successor machine, PlayStation Vita. Machines devoted to games are struggling against the popularity of smartphones and other devices.

Disney's 'Maleficent' Feeds Video Craze on YouTube
Bloomberg
Dozens of video bloggers have posted make-up tutorials helping to sell out products tied to Disney's "Maleficent," which opened in theaters this weekend at No. 1. MAC Cosmetics, the studio's marketing partner, developed a "Maleficent" line and worked with web personalities.

Fox's 'X-Men' Reaches Franchise Best at $500 Million
Hollywood Reporter
In only its second weekend in release, "X-Men: Days of Future Past" has become the top-grossing title in the 20th Century Fox and Marvel superhero franchise. The film took in $128.2 million globally in its second weekend for a world total of $500.2 million through Sunday.

Viacom Investor Loses Appeal Challenging Chief's Pay
Bloomberg
A Viacom investor has lost a bid to revive a lawsuit claiming chairman Sumner Redstone and two top execs were overpaid, when a U.S. appeals court refused to "second guess" the judgment of the company's board. "Courts rarely involve themselves in compensation disputes."

AT&T, DirecTV Hit with Lawsuit Over Proposed Merger
Deadline
Less than two weeks after AT&T and DirecTV sealed their $48 billion-plus tie-up, a shareholder has filed a class action objecting to the deal. In the lawsuit, Teresa Silvestri claimed the purchase price for the satcaster was too low considering its long-term potential.

Gannett's Shares Could Rise 40% on Local Gambit
Barron's
Gannett's media outlets are spread across the country, with TV stations in 22 states and newspapers in 30 states. Local is seen as a key ingredient by both company management and investors. "Gannett has a set of toll bridges that you have to cross to get to 35% of the U.S."

Time Inc Prepares for Life on Its Own with Digital Push
Wall Street Journal
Time Inc. will become a stand-alone company on Friday. In preparation, CEO Joe Ripp has cut the staff, added digital experts and plans more online video. The company's plans include a digital streaming network called 120 Sports that is intended for younger viewers.

Time Warner CEO: Mergers Could Lead to Problems
Deadline
The U.S. government may have to insist on conditions before approving deals such as Comcast's acquisition of Time Warner Cable, according to Jeff Bewkes. The Time Warner CEO wants assurance that such mergers won't close doors for consumers who want his company's content.

Liberty Media's Moves Spark Talk of Big Media Deals
New York Post
Liberty Media chief John Malone appears to want to snatch his cable crown back from Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Malone's plans to spin off Liberty's cable broadband holdings into a separate company has set off talk that he is seeking to emulate Roberts at empire building.

Disney's 'Maleficent' to Stare Down 'A Million Ways'
EW
Angelina Jolie and her threatening cheekbones will face off against Seth MacFarlane and his comedy empire this weekend, as "Maleficent" debuts against "A Million Ways to Die in the West." MacFarlane's Universal flick is expected to wither in the face of Disney's vengeful fairy.

Fox's 'Avatar' to Become a Live 'Cirque' Production
Variety
Director James Cameron plans to develop an "Avatar" live production with Cirque du Soleil. 20th Century Fox, the financier and distributor of the epic sci-fi film and its planned sequels, will act as a partner. "Avatar," the highest grossing film of all time, "remains a phenomenon."

Sony Creates President Role for Entertainment Unit
Reuters
Sony has appointed for the first time a president for its U.S.-based entertainment business, the latest in a series of management changes. Nicole Seligman, current head of U.S. operations, has been named to the new post, which reports to Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton.

Viacom India Partner Network 18 Acquired by Reliance
Bloomberg
Reliance Industries has agreed to buy the Indian partner of Viacom for $678 million to gain news and entertainment content for its new mobile phone company. Network 18 broadcasts TV channels from Comedy Central to MTV and publishes Forbes magazine's India edition.

Fox's Murdoch Eyeing 'Big' Content That Matters
Hollywood Reporter
James Murdoch has discussed the outlook for 21st Century Fox's film business, possible deals in European pay TV and his thinking on content investments. The Fox co-COO emphasized that the media giant is looking to spend money on "content that is big and matters."

Comcast CEO Defends Deal for Time Warner Cable
CNBC
Brian Roberts has defended Comcast's $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable, saying the deal would make it more competitive in video and improve its broadband offerings for customers. "It's truly an antiquated notion to say there's not competition in video," the CEO said.

Sony to Screen Press Conference in Movie Theaters
TechCrunch
Sony really wants you to watch its PlayStation E3 press conference slated for June 9. For the first time ever, the company's massive show will be available for viewing at more than 40 movie theaters across the U.S. and Canada. The event free to attend, and space is limited.

Report: How the World Consumes Media, in Charts
The Atlantic
Mary Meeker's annual State of the Internet presentation this year included data on how nations around the world consume media. Various charts showed which countries watch the most TV, stare longest at their tablets, and get lost most reliably in the glassy glares of their smartphones.

Fox, News Corp Return Felt Right, Murdoch Says
Australian
Lachlan Murdoch has explained the reasons behind his decision to rejoin his father Rupert at the helm of News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, and revealed the return "felt right emotionally" after a nine-year absence. "We have an aggressive digital expansion plan, as well as new initiatives."

Media: Five Reasons Why Execs Top CEO Pay Lists
Associated Press
Once again, media company CEOs are among the highest paid execs in the nation, occupying six of the top 10 earning spots, according to an Associated Press/Equilar study. Experts see a variety of factors at play — including the control of shareholder power in very few hands.

Viacom Off to Slow Start in Deal-Making at Upfronts
Advertising Age
Viacom has been an early mover in upfront negotiations with ad buyers for the past several seasons. But this year, it appears deal-making at the cable network group, which owns Nickelodeon, MTV and VH1, has gotten off to a slow start. Overall, the upfront marketplace has been quiet.

Disney's Acquisition Returns 'Obscured' by ESPN
Deadline
Big profits from ESPN have obscured mediocre returns on Disney's recent major acquisitions, suggests Cowen and Co. analyst Doug Creutz. ESPN remains the media giant's "growth driver," while CEO Bob Iger's big deals and investments "may have retarded Disney's improvement."

Disney, Sony Sell U.K. Video Joint Venture FilmFlex
Guardian
Sony and Disney have agreed to sell FilmFlex, a London-based video-on-demand service, to U.S.-based company Vubiquity, which also supplies on-demand services. Vubiquity plans to combine FilmFlex's digital store and technical platform with its own digital video offering.

Viacom: Users of TV Everywhere Watch More TV
Blog.Viacom
Viacom has unveiled the results of a study exploring consumer experiences around TV Everywhere apps and sites. The findings reveal an increase in TV viewing among users of TV Everywhere, as well as greater customer loyalty towards pay-TV providers that offer such services.

Comcast, NBCUniversal Team to Hold Hackathon
Multichannel News
Comcast and NBCUniversal plan to host an inaugural "hackathon" next month that will focus on "the future of media and technology." Participants will go after $15,000 in cash prizes, including a $5,000 grand prize, and the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Comcast and NBCU.

Media Execs Dominate List of Highest-Paid CEOs
Associated Press
The top 10 highest-paid CEOs of 2013, as calculated by the Associated Press and executive-pay researcher Equilar, are mostly in media and entertainment. CBS's Les Moonves comes in at No. 2 at $65.6 million. Viacom's Philippe Dauman, at $37.2 million, is ranked No. 5.

Viacom, CBS Chief Redstone Cashes In at Age 91
Wall Street Journal
Sumner Redstone, who turns 91 on Tuesday, has recently raised more than $200 million selling stock in Viacom and CBS. The media mogul is said to be clearing up his estate to take advantage of tax benefits. Redstone "has taken more of a back-seat role" at the two companies.

Fox's 'X-Men' Sequel Tops 'Avatar' in Global Debut
Reuters
"X-Men: Days of Future Past" powered to $302 million in worldwide ticket sales through the U.S. Memorial Day holiday, capping a weekend in which it surpassed "Avatar" as the biggest global debut for film studio 20th Century Fox. The movie "broadened out to a general audience."

Disney: No More Copyright Worries After 'Frozen'
Salon
For years, Disney was notoriously heavy-handed in defense of its intellectual property. Then along came the animated hit "Frozen." There is now an entire economy of independent YouTube channels synergistically thriving in concert with the media giant's official output.

Sony to Form Ventures in China for Video Games
Dow Jones
Sony plans to form joint ventures in China to re-enter the country's market for game consoles, as it bets on PlayStation sales to help turn around its troubled consumer-electronics division. Sony's bid to enter China follows the lifting of a decade-long ban on sales of game consoles.

Comcast's Big Deal Should Be Blocked, Times Says
New York Times
The New York Times's editorial board: "There are good reasons the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission should block Comcast's $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The merger will concentrate too much market power in the hands of one company."

Time Warner CEO Sees TV Taking Over the Internet
Forbes.com
Jeff Bewkes: "Today, there's a screen for everybody. There's not only TVs across every room, but now television is taking over the Internet. Every channel on television — the whole TV dial — is going to work the same way that YouTube works or that Netflix works."

I Want Media Forum: Media Pros Offer Notable Quotes
Forbes.com
Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes proclaimed his distaste for the term "media" at an I Want Media-sponsored "Future of Media" panel discussion. Given the many formats and delivery mechanisms media come in, it may be understandable to not want to lump them all together.

Thomson Reuters Adds Former FDIC Chief to Board
Bloomberg
Thomson Reuters has elected former FDIC chairman Sheila Bair to its board, adding an outspoken advocate of greater transparency from banks. Bair is joining the board along with former IBM exec Mike Daniels and Open Text Corp. chairman Tom Jenkins.

Fox's Murdoch Raises Profile with Screening of 'X-Men'
Variety
Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch hosted a glittering array of media and movie stars for a private screening of "X-Men: Days of Future Past" in New York City. The 21st Century Fox event offered up further indication of the younger Murdoch's rising profile in his father's media empire.

Disney, LucasFilm Prep Annual Spinoffs of 'Star Wars'
CNET
"Godzilla" director Gareth Edwards has been selected to helm the first of a series of annual "Star Wars" movies that will start hitting theaters in late 2016. The movies, spinoffs on "Star Wars" characters, are meant to stand apart from the forthcoming trilogy of "Star Wars" films.

Viacom Delays New 'Transformers' to Avoid World Cup
Businessweek
The World Cup coincides with the peak of the movie industry's big-budget summer season. Viacom's Paramount Pictures plans to delay the launch date of "Transformers: Age of Extinction" in many soccer-crazed countries until after the tournament ends to avoid a dent in the box office.

Time Warner Continues to See 'Shawshank' Residuals
Wall Street Journal
"The Shawshank Redemption" was an underwhelming box-office performer when it hit theaters 20 years ago. But then it found an audience on home video and later became a fixture on cable TV. The film — which has taken a near-mystical hold on viewers — isn't available on Netflix.

Comcast Goes for 'Shock and Awe' to Win Cable Deal
TheHill
Comcast is waging a campaign of "shock and awe" for its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable by fielding one of the biggest lobbying teams ever seen in Washington, D.C. The company has added seven lobbying firms to its roster since first proposing the deal earlier this year.

Time Warner Magazine Unit to Exit Time-Life Building
Politico
New York publishing appears to be moving to lower Manhattan. Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp has emailed his staff: "I am delighted to share the news that we have signed a lease on a new corporate headquarters at 225 Liberty Street." The move brings Time Inc. near Conde Nast's new offices.

Disney's Iger Favored for New Baseball Commissioner
New York Post
Page Six: "Bob Iger is in Major League Baseball's potential lineup of new commissioner candidates. The Disney chairman and CEO — who oversees ABC and ESPN — is a favorite of the league's succession committee, which is trying to find a replacement for Bud Selig."

Twenty-First Century Fox Seeks a Rescue with 'X-Men'
CNBC
Fox is pinning a lot on "X-Men: Days of Future Past." With an estimated budget of $250 million, the latest film in the "X-Men" franchise could be the most expensive movie the company has ever produced. "It needs to be one of the top five films of the summer. It has to succeed on a major level."

Disney Family in 'Weird' Feud Over $400 Million Fortune
Hollywood Reporter
A caveat in the will of Walt Disney's youngest daughter had a catastrophic impact on the Lund branch of the Disney family. Its interpretation led to accusations of conspiracy and mental incompetence, and culminated in ugly depositions ahead of a battle of a trial in Los Angeles.

Report: Media Execs Plan to Make Deals, Cut Jobs
Deadline
Only 21% of media and entertainment industry execs expect to create jobs or hire talent in the next 12 months — down significantly from a year ago, according to a survey from Ernst & Young. Even worse, 21% plan to reduce employee numbers. Meanwhile, 34% plan to make an acquisition.

Sony to Make Painful Job Cuts After $9 Billion Loss
Bloomberg
Sony will cut costs by at least 20% and start a new TV business as CEO Kazuo Hirai tries to revive a company that has lost some $9 billion in the past six years. The company has announced 706 job cuts in California, including 216 at Sony Pictures. "They've got a lot of dead wood."

Time Warner Reveals Title of Superman-Batman Movie
Reuters
Time Warner's Warner Bros. studio has unveiled the title of director Zack Snyder's anticipated superhero sequel, in which legendary DC Comics characters Superman and Batman will face off. The film, scheduled for release in summer 2016, is the follow-up to last year's "Man of Steel."

Disney 'Star Wars' Fans to Get Chance at Film Cameo
Associated Press
"Star Wars: Episode VII" director J.J. Abrams is giving fans a shot at a cameo in the film that is set to be released next year. Disney, Lucasfilm and Bad Robot have teamed up for a campaign to raise funds for UNICEF. Abrams announced the initiative from the movie's set in Abu Dhabi.

Vivendi to Sell Half of Stake in Game Maker Activision
Dow Jones
Vivendi plans to sell about half of its stake in video-game maker Activision ahead of a leadership change next month. The slimmed-down Vivendi will hand over chairmanship to French industrialist Vincent Bollore, while former Hearst exec Arnaud de Puyfontaine takes over as CEO.

Comcast Annual Meeting Largely Quiet Despite Protest
Philadelphia Inquirer
Comcast held an uneventful shareholders meeting, during which CEO Brian Roberts reiterated his excitement about a proposed merger with Time Warner Cable. After the meeting, about 50 antimerger protesters chanted: "Comcast has the tower and the people have the power."

Viacom Touts Financial Strength with Dividend Boost
Broadcasting & Cable
Viacom said it has increased its dividend by 10%. The media giant and its rivals have been returning billions of dollars to stockholders through increased dividends and share buybacks. Such moves make stock more attractive. "Viacom's financial strength allows us to deliver."

Dish Network Mulls Options After AT&T Deal for DirecTV
Financial Times
When AT&T announced its bid for DirecTV, the deal appeared to leave Dish Network and chairman Charlie Ergen out in the cold. But could Ergen still come out ahead in the restructuring of the U.S. video, broadband and mobile markets? Dish has built a sizeable spectrum portfolio.

Chernin Seen as Pivotal to AT&T's Deal with DirecTV
Deadline
Last month AT&T announced that it forged a partnership with former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin, valued at $500 million, to either buy or build an over-the-top online video service. That is now potentially the biggest new opportunity for AT&T, if it completes its acquisition of DirecTV.

DirecTV Investor Sues to Block $48 Billion Takeover
Bloomberg
A DirecTV investor has sued to block AT&T's $48 billion takeover of the largest U.S. satellite-TV company, calling the offer inadequate. "Given the fact that the company was poised for significant future growth and success, the value of DTV stock is being significantly undervalued."

Tribune in Push to Maximize Holdings in Real Estate
Baltimore Sun
Tribune, owner of the Baltimore Sun, wants to find partners to develop about 37 acres of unused land next to the newspaper's printing plant. The plan is part of a push by the company to make more money from its real estate. Tribune owns "some great sites ripe for monetization."

Disney Analyzes Pay-TV Deals for Business Impact
Bloomberg
Disney is evaluating how the planned merger of AT&T and DirecTV will affect its business, said CFO Jay Rasulo. "Whether it's that merger or Comcast-Time Warner Cable, it's no surprise that there is consolidation. We have strong relationships with all of those companies."

AT&T-DirecTV Expected to Win Regulatory Approval
Associated Press
Antitrust experts say AT&T's bid for DirecTV could reap immediate regulatory rewards. Coming on the heels of the pairing of Comcast and Time Warner Cable makes it easier for regulators to approve both deals because they create two counterbalanced giants in pay TV.

Verizon Dismisses Talk of Possible Merger with Dish
Reuters
Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has shot down rumors that the company is in potential merger talks with satellite operator Dish Network, days after AT&T announced plans to buy rival satellite giant DirecTV. "I don't think owning a satellite company is something I'm interested in."

Disney Exec Who Led MyMagic+ to Leave Company
Orlando Sentinel
Nick Franklin, the senior Disney parks exec who oversaw development of the billion-dollar "MyMagic+" technology project, is said to be leaving the company in July. "Nick let us know that after 17 successful years with Disney, he wanted to help other companies innovate."

Comcast Preps Launch of Internet Delivery Service
The Information
Comcast is preparing a new service for web content companies that will enable them to bypass middlemen and deliver their offerings directly to the media giant's Internet customers. The initiative could have implications for hundreds of websites, from video services to software providers.

Liberty Media Seeking a Bigger Stake in Live Nation
Denver Business
John Malone's Liberty Media has announced its intention to buy up to 3.7 million shares of concert and entertainment promoter Live Nation Entertainment. Liberty said it would buy the shares from investors participating in Live Nation's previously announced offering.

AT&T-DirecTV Deal Contingent on NFL 'Sunday Ticket'
Dow Jones
AT&T can walk away from its $49 billion merger with DirecTV if the satellite-TV provider isn't able to renew its prize "Sunday Ticket" offering with the National Football League on "substantially the terms discussed between the parties," the company said in a filing with U.S. regulators.

Comcast-Time Warner Merger Eyed by New York State
Albany Times Union
The New York State Public Service Commission is getting its hands into the cable TV industry to a greater extent than ever before, looking into the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The state is interested in examining the merger's impact on broadband access across New York.

AT&T-DirecTV Deal to Put Pressure on Dish, Verizon
Wall Street Journal
Big communications companies are again starting to pair up, putting pressure on the ones that don't have a partner. In the latest move, AT&T agreed to buy DirecTV for $49 billion to create a pay-TV and wireless-phone giant with about $160 billion in combined revenue.

Time Warner Eyes 'Godzilla' Franchise After Hit Debut
Reuters
"Godzilla," a remake of the classic Japanese monster movie, crushed its box office competitors over the weekend, devouring $93.2 million at U.S. and Canadian theaters for the year's second-biggest debut. Warner Bros. said the new "Godzilla" was on its way to becoming a franchise.

Sony Breakup 'Long Overdue' as Market Value Declines
Bloomberg
One year and about $2 billion in lost market value later, it may be time for Sony to take Daniel Loeb's advice about breaking up. Even after attempts at restructuring, Sony remained 12% lower as of last week than when investor Loeb first urged a split of the entertainment business.

AT&T Agrees to Buy DirecTV for Nearly $50 Billion
New York Times
AT&T has formally agreed to buy DirecTV for about $48.5 billion, striking another transaction meant to overhaul the American telecommunications landscape. Including debt, the takeover is valued at about $67 billion. The deal will face scrutiny by federal regulators.

Report: Media Mergers Booming Amid Shift to Digital
CNBC
A series of big-ticket, high-profile deals have been announced this year that could alter the U.S. media landscape. Some $74 billion in M&A activity was announced in the first quarter, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. "It's a very dynamic marketplace with the shift to digital."

Fox, Apollo Near Deal to Form TV Production Giant
Los Angeles Times
Twenty-First Century Fox and private equity's Apollo Global Management have entered a preliminary deal to create a joint venture combining TV production firms. The tie-up would create a global juggernaut with shows ranging from "American Idol" to "The Biggest Loser."

Disney Film Chief Gets Contract Extension Into 2018
Los Angeles Times
Walt Disney Studios has extended the contract of chairman Alan Horn into 2018. Horn, who previously was president of Warner Bros., joined Disney in 2012. During his tenure, the studio released such hits as "Iron Man 3," "Frozen" and this year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."

FCC Moves Forward on Proposal for Net Neutrality
Associated Press
The Federal Communications Commission has taken the first step toward adopting new regulations that could create fast lanes for Internet traffic. The recommendation moves the proposed rules governing net neutrality into a public comment period. Then, the FCC will vote on the final rules.

Comcast Spinoff Names Insight Co-Founder as CEO
Bloomberg
Comcast and Charter have named Michael Willner, co-founder of Insight, one of the 10 biggest U.S. cable operators, as CEO of the new cable carrier they are creating. Comcast plans to spin off operations serving 2.5 million customers after completing its buy of Time Warner Cable.

Participant Media Joins $350 Million Investment Fund
LA Biz
Participant Media, the do-good film and TV company behind "An Inconvenient Truth" and the Pivot network, has expanded its investment portfolio. The company has invested in Evolution Media, a venture to back growth-stage media, entertainment and sports companies.

Big Media Likely to Win, With or Without Net Neutrality
TheStreet
On Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission will begin hearings on net neutrality. Time Warner, Disney, Fox, Viacom and CBS are likely to negotiate any new broadband connectivity charges with retransmission contracts. The cost to big media may be negligible.

Comcast's Bid for Growth May Spur $170 Billion in Deals
Bloomberg
Comcast's effort to buy Time Warner Cable may be the opening act for a festival of deals that could alter U.S. Internet, phone and TV services. "A slow macro economy, new competitors, shifts in technology and consumer habits all come together and force the need for more scale."

Time Warner, Comcast Want to Make You Watch Ads
Businessweek
Time Warner will start offering complete seasons of some of its shows on Comcast's Xfinity TV and digital VOD platforms. That will give customers greater access to even more programming — but they will also have to watch more advertising, because fast-forwarding will be disabled.

Disney Veteran Raises $2.25 Million for Tech Startup
Wall Street Journal
A startup called Click With Me Now has raised $2.25 million from undisclosed angel investors. Click With Me Now offers a "co-browsing" technology that lets users "share their online experience" in real time. CEO Bud Albers previously worked as chief technology officer for Disney.

Warner, Universal Acquire Stakes in Music App Shazam
Wall Street Journal
Shazam, the music-identification app, is said to have landed investments from the world's biggest record companies. Warner Music Group owner Access Industries, Vivendi's Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment are each taking $3 million stakes.

Sony Pictures Buys Film Rights to Book on Snowden
New York Times
The film rights to Glenn Greenwald's book, "No Place to Hide," about Edward Snowden and his revelations about electronic surveillance by U.S. security officials, have found a home at Sony Pictures. Greenwald's book had been in consideration around Hollywood since fall.

Tribune Poised to Become Comeback Story in TV, Print
CNBC
Tribune is on the verge of turning its "sleepy assets into big moneymakers." The company's WGN may soon have more appeal to cable companies, thanks to its new original series. Also, its print business, while not likely to grow much, could provide a surprise windfall.

Hollywood Reporter Names 'Most Powerful' in Media
Hollywood Reporter
The Hollywood Reporter's fourth annual list of influencers honors the men and women who shape the media message and interpret the sweep of the culture. New entries this year — BuzzFeed's Jonah Peretti and Ben Smith, Vice Media's Shane Smith and Gawker's Nick Denton.

Disney Bets $1 Billion on High-Tech Wristbands
Businessweek
Disney's new MyMagic+ electronic wristbands could change the way people play — and spend — at the company's theme parks. If the data-collection system works, it could be copied by other venues, including museums, zoos, airports and malls. "It's a complete game changer."

Fox's Murdoch Says He Wears Computing Device
Sydney Morning Herald
Rupert Murdoch revealed during public remarks that he now wears a Jawbone smart bracelet. "This is a bracelet that keeps track of how I sleep, move and eat — transmitting that information to the cloud," Murdoch said. "It allows me to track and maintain my health much better."

Time Warner's Slim Down Not the End of Big Media
Financial Times
Time Warner has slimmed down to a pure TV and film company. Is this the end of the "big media" era? CEO Jeff Bewkes demurs. "Big media is us," he said. The media giant is exploring a move to a new Manhattan building and will make "a gigantic pile of cash" if it sells its current digs.

Fox's Murdoch Says He Wears Computing Device
Sydney Morning Herald
Rupert Murdoch revealed during public remarks that he now wears a Jawbone smart bracelet. "This is a bracelet that keeps track of how I sleep, move and eat — transmitting that information to the cloud," Murdoch said. "It allows me to track and maintain my health much better."

Hearst Seeks Momentum After Big CEO Handoff
Fortune
CEO Frank Bennack Jr. remade Hearst by pushing into new businesses. Successor Steve Swartz aims keep it going. Today Hearst's assets include stakes in the likes of BuzzFeed. Meanwhile, the company is shedding businesses that underperform. "Nothing is sacrosanct."

Vice Media: 'We're the Time Warner of the Street'
Fortune
Vice Media CEO Shane Smith has described his irreverent digital media company as the "Time Warner of the street." Time Warner "is a media conglomerate that does magazines, TV, movies, music, books," he said. "And so are we. We are the changing of the guard."

Media Professionals Using Less Traditional Media
MediaPost
Media professionals are much more likely to be heavy users of digital media — particularly mobile and social — and are much less likely to use traditional media than average consumers, according to a study by the Media Behavior Institute. Print, however, "bucked the trend."




 

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