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Feb 26, 2015

Oscars still top draw for advertisers despite fickle ratings

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The number of people who watched Sunday’s Oscars was down and the critics were less than impressed, but Hollywood’s biggest night is still a top draw for television advertisers.

This year’s telecast – which producers believed could build off 2014′s big audience of 43.7 million – attracted its lowest audience in six years and the oldest demographic ever with a median age of 53.

Feb 24, 2015

Comcast revenue rises as it adds video, internet customers

By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – Comcast Corp, the largest U.S. cable operator, posted fourth-quarter revenue that marginally beat estimates as the company added new video and high-speed internet customers.

The owner of media and entertainment company NBCUniversal also increased its stock buyback program to $10 billion, of which it earmarked $4.25 billion for 2015, and raised its annual dividend to $1.00 per share from 90 cents.

Feb 23, 2015

‘Birdman’ leap makes Fox Searchlight shine at Oscars

LOS ANGELES, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Fox Searchlight, the
arthouse film division of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox
, dominated the Academy Awards on Sunday with eight
awards including the coveted best picture prize for its absurd
comedy-drama “Birdman.”

The recognition at the film industry’s top honors will
likely boost theater, DVD and digital sales for “Birdman,” which
has collected $76 million at global box offices.

Feb 23, 2015

Oscars kick off with humor and award for ‘Whiplash’ actor

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The 87th Academy Awards kicked off on Sunday with a humorous nod toward the lack of diversity among nominees for Hollywood’s highest honors and the night’s first recognition of a veteran actor.

As predicted, J.K. Simmons won the best supporting actor Oscar, the first of his career, for his role as a monstrous music teacher in the independent film “Whiplash.”

Feb 23, 2015

Oscar hopefuls turn up wattage for Hollywood’s big night

LOS ANGELES, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Two small movies headed to a
showdown for the biggest of all film prizes at the 87th Academy
Awards on Sunday, in an evening ceremony likely to honor veteran
actors along with feats of filmmaking.

Show business satire “Birdman” and the coming-of-age tale
“Boyhood” are widely considered favorites in the battle for best
picture and best director Oscars. But in one of the least
predictable years in recent memory, the races were too close to
call and there was room for upsets.

Feb 23, 2015

Oscar hopefuls hit red carpet for Hollywood’s big night

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Two small movies headed to a showdown for the biggest of all film prizes at the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, in an evening ceremony likely to honor veteran actors along with feats of filmmaking.

Show business satire “Birdman” and the coming-of-age tale “Boyhood” are widely considered favorites in the battle for best picture and best director Oscars. But in one of the least predictable years in recent memory, the races were too close to call and there was room for upsets.

Feb 20, 2015

Netflix raises Oscar stakes with documentary contender ‘Virunga’

LOS ANGELES, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc, the
streaming video pioneer that shook up Internet television with
“House of Cards,” loped into the heart of the Hollywood film
world this awards season on the backs of some captivating
mountain gorillas.

In a sign of the company’s ambitions, Netflix mounted a
high-profile campaign to win the feature documentary category at
Sunday’s Academy Awards with “Virunga,” the story of rare
gorillas threatened by unrest and oil drilling in the Congo’s
Virunga National Park.

Feb 19, 2015

Cox developing digital home health services with Cleveland Clinic

By Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – Broadband and cable TV provider Cox Communications Inc [COXC.UL] and the Cleveland Clinic medical center will announce on Thursday a new venture to develop in-home healthcare services, stepping into a market that is poised to grow as medical care goes digital.

The joint venture in Atlanta called Vivre Health is designed to help Cox expand its reach into healthcare beyond its current services such as providing broadband for hospitals.

Feb 13, 2015

‘Fifty Shades’ goes global, but film too hot for some countries

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The steamy novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” is a global phenomenon, but fans in China and other countries will not be able to see the movie version in theaters even though the sex scenes have has been toned down for the big screen.

The film adaptation opened this week in 57 international markets, including France, where it was declared suitable for anyone 12 or older.

Feb 5, 2015

Disney promotes parks chief Staggs, seen in lead to succeed Iger

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co (DIS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) named Thomas Staggs, the head of its theme parks and resorts unit, as chief operating officer of the company on Thursday, putting him in the lead to succeed Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger in 2018.

Staggs will assume the role of COO immediately while he continues to run the parks business until a successor is named, Disney said in a statement.