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.
(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.
(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.
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
(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.
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.
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.
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.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Dreamworks Animation SKG Inc, the studio that built one of Hollywood’s largest film franchises on the back of a green ogre named Shrek, has suddenly become one of the entertainment industry’s busiest dealmakers.
In the last year, Dreamworks has bought a YouTube network aimed at teenagers and picked up a company that controls such iconic characters as Lassie and Casper the Friendly Ghost. It acquired the rights to the Troll toy franchise and in June, signed a deal to produce a TV series for streaming video service Netflix Inc. It also plans to build a $3 billion entertainment complex with partners in China.
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – U.S. broadcast network CBS took its dispute with Time Warner Cable to the Internet, blocking access to shows on the CBS.com website for the cable operator’s customers in New York and Los Angeles.
The move followed Time Warner Cable’s decision on Friday to drop CBS from its systems in those markets and some others, an escalation of a weeks-long fight over the fees it pays to carry the network.