Lisa's Feed
Aug 23, 2013

ESPN denies it quit head injuries documentary over NFL ties

By Lisa Richwine and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) – ESPN said it has pulled out of a documentary with PBS’ “Frontline” about head injuries in the National Football League, but the Walt Disney co-owned sports network denied a media report that its decision was due to pressure from the NFL.

The New York Times reported on Friday that the league had expressed its displeasure with the direction of the “Frontline” documentary at a lunch last week attended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL Network President Steve Bornstein, ESPN President John Skipper and ESPN Executive Vice President for Production John Wildhack.

Aug 21, 2013

Disney’s ABC TV unit to lay off 2 percent of staff -source

LOS ANGELES, Aug 21 (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s ABC
television unit on Wednesday will begin laying off about 175
people, or 2 percent of its workforce, to adjust to changes in
technology and viewing habits, a person familiar with the
decision said.

The move was prompted by a company-wide review to explore
cutbacks in jobs Disney no longer needs, either because of
improvements in technology or redundancies following a string of
major acquisitions in the past few years. Reuters first reported
on the internal review in January.

Aug 21, 2013

Disney’s ABC TV unit to lay off two percent of workers – source

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co’s ABC television unit on Wednesday will begin laying off about 175 people, or 2 percent of its workforce, to adjust to changes in technology and viewing habits, a person familiar with the decision said.

The move was prompted by a companywide review to explore cutbacks in jobs Disney no longer needs, either because of improvements in technology or redundancies following a string of major acquisitions in the past few years. Reuters first reported on the internal review in January.

Aug 21, 2013

Al Jazeera America launches, AT&T won’t carry network

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – New cable network Al Jazeera America introduced itself to U.S. viewers on Tuesday with reports on political strife in Egypt and a shooting at a Georgia elementary school, making its bid to win audiences shortly after a major pay TV distributor declined to carry the network.

The decision by AT&T’s U-verse pay-TV service stemmed from a contract dispute over terms to carry the new channel, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said.

Aug 20, 2013

AT&T’s U-verse TV service will not carry Al Jazeera America

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – AT&T’s U-verse pay-TV service said it will not carry Al Jazeera America, the cable news network funded by the emir of Qatar that debuted in the United States on Tuesday but has struggled to find distributors.

The decision was due to a contract dispute over terms to carry the new channel, AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said. U-verse, which was launched in 2006 and had 5 million video customers as of the end of June, is a fiber-based TV service in markets such as Texas and California.

Aug 18, 2013

Oprah’s ‘Butler’ cleans up with $25 million at box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Aug 18 (Reuters) – “Lee Daniels’ The
Butler,” a civil rights drama starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah
Winfrey, surpassed expectations and easily won the weekend box
office battle, debuting with $25 million in U.S. and Canadian
ticket sales through Sunday.

Jennifer Aniston comedy “We’re the Millers” finished in the
No. 2 slot, earning $17.8 million in its second weekend,
according to studio estimates. Last weekend’s box office leader,
Matt Damon sci-fi thriller “Elysium,” fell to third place with
$13.6 million.

Aug 15, 2013

Fox Sports to reach 90 million homes for its Saturday debut

By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – Fox Sports 1, the new sports cable channel, will reach 90 million homes when it goes live on Saturday and will be carried by all major TV operators, the network said on Thursday.

A top-ranking executive of the new cable channel, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, also said that Fox would consider bidding on Thursday night National Football League games for the new channel should the league decide to sell those rights.

Aug 11, 2013

Matt Damon thriller ‘Elysium’ flies above ‘Planes’ at box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Matt Damon’s futuristic thriller “Elysium,” the story of an elite space outpost locked in battle with poor invaders from a ruined Earth, won a crowded box-office race among four new films at U.S. and Canadian theaters over the weekend.

“Elysium” grabbed $30.5 million in domestic ticket sales from Friday through Sunday, according to estimates from distributor Sony Pictures. The movie added $10.9 million from 17 international markets, for a combined global opening of $41.4 million.

Aug 7, 2013

Disney projects up to $190 million ‘Lone Ranger’ loss

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co expects to lose between $160 million and $190 million on its expensive summer movie bomb “The Lone Ranger,” the media giant said on Tuesday as it reported a small gain in quarterly profit that beat Wall Street forecasts.

The loss for “The Lone Ranger,” a Western starring Johnny Depp, will be recorded for the quarter that ends in September, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said on a conference call with analysts.

Aug 6, 2013

Disney profit beats forecast despite studio decline

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Walt Disney Co posted a slightly higher quarterly profit that beat Wall Street expectations, even though its movie studio earnings declined as hit film “Iron Man 3″ failed to match the spectacular success of last year’s “The Avengers.”

Pre-release marketing costs for box office bomb “The Lone Ranger” helped drag down operating income at the studio division by 36 percent from a year earlier, Disney said on Tuesday.