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Mar 18, 2014

New ‘Star Wars’ film to be set 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’

PORTLAND, Oregon, March 18 (Reuters) – The highly
anticipated next installment of the “Star Wars” franchise will
be set 30 years after “Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” Walt
Disney Co.’s chief executive officer Bob Iger said on Tuesday at
the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

Disney purchased “Star Wars” production company LucasFilm
for $4.05 billion in 2012 and announced it would release three
new films in the popular sci-fi series. Fans have been avidly
awaiting details of the next film, “Star Wars: Episode VII.”

Mar 14, 2014

Disney faces latest investor proposal to nominate directors

By Lisa Richwine and Ronald Grover

(Reuters) – Walt Disney Co shareholders are expected to vote at its March 18 annual meeting on a resolution that asks the company to allow large shareholders to nominate board members, the latest bid by investor groups to win “proxy access” rights.

The Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds and the California State Teachers Retirement System proposed that the board allow owners of at least 3 percent of the company’s stock be empowered to nominate up to 20 percent of the board, according to a regulatory filing from Disney on January 24. Under the non-binding proxy access proposal, shareholders must own their stake for three years before they have nomination rights.

Mar 11, 2014

Disney TV executive Sweeney to leave company in January

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Anne Sweeney, the president of Walt Disney Co’s Disney/ABC Television Group, will leave the media company in January after 18 years to pursue a career in television directing, the company said on Tuesday.

Sweeney, also co-chair of Disney Media Networks, oversees the ABC broadcast network, ABC Studios and cable networks including the Disney Channels and ABC Family.

Mar 3, 2014

’12 Years’ Oscar a golden ticket for box office, DVD sales

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Historical drama “12 Years a Slave” was awarded the top prize at Sunday night’s Academy Awards show, claiming the Oscar for best picture and boosting the revenue its distributor Fox Searchlight can expect from added theater and home entertainment sales.

“12 Years a Slave” won a total of three Oscars, including for Lupita Nyong’o for best supporting actress. “Gravity,” distributed by Time Warner Inc’s Warner Bros., was the night’s big winner with seven Oscars, including one for Alfonso Cuaron as best director.

Feb 28, 2014

Oscar favorite ‘Frozen’ leads red-hot animation field

LOS ANGELES, Feb 28 (Reuters) – The first Academy Award for
an animated feature film was a special honor given to Walt
Disney in 1939 for the innovation of “Snow White and the Seven
Dwarfs.” Child actress Shirley Temple presented Disney with a
full-sized gold Oscar statuette and seven miniature ones.

The studio founded by the animation pioneer, Walt Disney
Animation Studios, has never won the Oscar for best animated
feature, a category created in 2002. That is expected to change
on Sunday, as the studio’s hit “Frozen” is the favorite in a
race that has become as diverse as Hollywood’s animation

Feb 24, 2014

Netflix may need to pay AT&T, Verizon for faster speeds

Feb 24 (Reuters) – Netflix Inc, which agreed to pay
Comcast Corp for faster video delivery, may have to
make similar arrangements with other broadband providers to make
sure its customers get trouble-free access its streaming movies
and TV shows.

Verizon Communications’ chief executive said on
Monday he expects Netflix will pay the telecom company
for faster speeds after Netflix customers complained about slow
connections to stream TV shows and movies with Verizon’s FiOS

Feb 14, 2014

A romantic night awaits ‘House of Cards’ binge-watching couples

WASHINGTON/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – On this Valentine’s Day, some couples will enter a committed relationship, but it might end up lasting a mere 13 hours.

That’s the time it would take to binge-watch the 13 episodes of the second season of “House of Cards,” the Emmy Award-winning political thriller from Netflix Inc released on the online streaming service on Friday.

Feb 12, 2014

CBS shares jump after earnings report, buyback plan

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – CBS Corp (CBS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) reported higher profit that beat Wall Street forecasts for the quarter that ended in December, boosted by revenue from digital streaming deals and fees from pay television operators.

Shares of CBS jumped 4.3 percent to $64.50 in after-hours trading on Wednesday following the earnings report and the announcement of an accelerated share repurchase of $1.5 billion during the first quarter.

Feb 11, 2014

Analysis: Sponsorship dollars may follow gay NFL hopeful Sam

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – NFL-hopeful Michael Sam’s disclosure that he is gay has propelled him into a media spotlight that is sure to grab the attention of football’s biggest corporate sponsors, which will embrace the college star so long as he excels on the field.

Sam, a standout defensive lineman at the University of Missouri, could become the NFL’s first openly gay player, testing both the sport’s boundaries and the attitudes of the companies that pay athletes millions of dollars to endorse their shoes, apparel and brands.

Feb 7, 2014

Backlash hits AOL CEO after ‘distressed babies’ remark

NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, Feb 7 (Reuters) – AOL Inc
Chief Executive Tim Armstrong tried to tamp down a backlash
after he blamed a pension cut on costs stemming from two
employees’ “distressed babies,” insisting that the Internet
provider was focused on families.

Armstrong’s comments on Thursday during a company town hall
meeting about why it was cutting 401(k) contributions caused a
fire storm on social media, overshadowing positive quarterly
results from AOL. It marked the second recent instance when a
gaffe by Armstrong left the CEO with some explaining to do.