An eight-year member of DISH network's board of directors resigned over the manner in which a bid for the bankrupt telecommunications company LighSquared was handled -- a bid that, if accepted, could result in millions of dollars of personal profits to company Chairman Charlie Ergen, the Wall Street Journal reported today (Thursday), citing people involved in the situation. The director, Gary Howard, had served on a special two-man board committee directed to assess the LightSquared deal, because Ergen had been buying up LightSquared debt at huge discounts and could profit substantially if DISH bought the company, the Journal said. Howard and the other committee member, Stephen Goodbarn, reportedly expressed concern that DISH's $2-billion offer for LightSquared could look bad in the eyes of regulators, given Ergen's personal interest in the company, and wanted to keep open the possibility that at least some if Ergen's gains be returned to DISH's shareholders. Members of DISH's board, however, felt that the company could ensure that The Deal would be fair to shareholders; moreover, they felt that Ergen stood to profit even if another company bought LightSquared, the Journal's sources said. The board disbanded the committee on July 23, two days before DISH made its bid for LightSquared. Two days later, Howard resigned.
In what appears to be an accelerating race among video streaming service to see who can offer the most original programs, Netflix announced today (Monday) that it had signed a mult-year deal with Dreamworks Animation for some 300 hours of new cartoons. The announcement said when the shows become available for online streaming next year, it will mark the first time that DreamWorks Animation characters like Shrek and Kung Fu Panda are shown on television as a branded collection. Terms of The Deal were not disclosed, but reports indicated it was probably Netflix's biggest programming deal to date. This is an unprecedented commitment to original content in the Internet television space, DWA CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. Netflix is a visionary company that continues to redefine the way audiences watch television, and it is a thrill to add to their growing momentum.
In an all-stock deal, Media General and Young Broadcasting have agreed to merge. With Media General's 18 stations, and Young's 12, the combined company, which will be called Media General, will own 30 stations in 27 markets and reach 14 percent of U.S. households. In a statement, Media General said that The Deal will enhance its ability to participate in retransmission revenue growth, share growth of national and digital advertising, and syndicated programming purchasing. Young's largest outlet is KRON-TV in San Francisco, which made headlines when it refused demands by NBC to control the station's programming and dropped its affiliation with the network in 2002, an act that eventually plunged the company into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
DISH Network is using advertisements to tout its anti-advertisement technology, Auto Hop. The campaign features a demonstration of the new Hopper DVR with Sling that allows DISH's subscribers not only to watch programs they have recorded without commercials on their TV sets but also on their smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. One spot begins with the words: In Memoriam: Commercials. In a note to clients, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield said on Monday that NBC and all the other networks are missing the point when they argue that ratings should include measurements of viewers who watch programs more than three days after the shows are broadcast. Nobody, he said, is watching commercials on a time-delayed basis. Moreover, he said, The Rise of subscription video-on-demand services is making commercial viewing even less appealing. He pointed out that Amazon has just reached a deal with CBS allowing Amazon to offer, via its Amazon Prime streaming service, the new series Under the Dome following the three-day ratings period after its debut on June 24. The Deal, said CBS's chief licensing officer Scott Koondel, will give the show's fans the opportunity to stay current with this serialized series.
Incoming CNN chief Jeff Zucker would like to replace Anderson Cooper with Ann Curry and make Cooper a roving international correspondent, according to RadarOnline.com. However, it inidcated, he faces the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of Curry's NBC contract, which has another two years to run. According to the website, which cited a source close to the situation, Curry has formally asked to be released from her contract. Ann's lawyer feels that there is a very strong case to be made that NBC has breached terms of The Deal because Curry was demoted from Today, the source said, referring to reports that she was replaced by Samantha Gunthrie after network executives blamed her the morning show's falling ratings. However, Today's ratings have fallen further since Curry's departure.
'X Factor' judge Britney Spears has reached and agreement with her former employee after two years.
Britney Spears has settled a lawsuit with a former bodyguard who claims she sexually harassed him and was an abusive mother.
Details of The Deal that the singer's legal team struck with Fernando Flores were not disclosed in the court documents obtained by E! News.
The settlement will end a two-year-old case in which the claimant suggest Britney regularly flashed her genitals at him.
Continue reading: Britney Spears Settles Bodyguard Lawsuit
Kevin Costner has landed a role in thriller franchise 'Jack Ryan' which could also see him star in the spin off and headline his own film.
The 'Bodyguard' actor has agreed to appear in the latest instalment of the thriller franchise, which is being directed by Kenneth Branagh, and The Deal could also see him in the spin off film 'Without Remorse'.
The movie is a prequel to Tom Clancy's popular 'Jack Ryan' novel series and the 57-year-old star will play American patriot William Harper, who recruits and mentors the titular spy played by Chris Pine.
Continue reading: Kevin Costner To Star In Jack Ryan
Pharrell Williams is reportedly the frontrunner to be the new 'American Idol' judge and is ''close'' to signing the deal.
A source told the Los Angeles Times that Pharrell has almost accepted the role and the paper reports: ''Williams will join Mariah Carey as one of the new judges and his relationship with the five-time Grammy Award winner and Idol stalwart Randy Jackson was a factor in his decision.
Continue reading: Pharrell Williams Is American Idol Frontrunner
Missy Elliott's new Lamborghini has been impounded and the rapper is suing an Illanois-based car dealership, Fox Valley Motor Cars, for breach of contract.
Missy Elliott's new Lamborghini is being withheld from her.
The 'Get Ur Freak On' rapper claims the luxury car is being 'held hostage' by an Illinois-based car dealership and she is suing to get her 2012 Matte White Lambo Aventador back.
The 41-year-old star insists she made a deal with Fox Valley Motor Cars last year to buy the car for $376,000, and made a down payment of $30,000 in cash and the part exchange of her Bentley car - worth $85,000 - so she could receive the vehicle by mid-2012.
Continue reading: Missy Elliott Can't Get Her Lamborghini
Russell Crowe is reportedly in line to portray media tycoon Rupert Murdoch in a new film.
The 'Gladiator' star is tipped to take on the role of the media mogul in a movie based on 'Good Times, Bad Times', the memoirs of former Sunday Times editor Sir Harold Evans.
A source told the Daily Star newspaper: ''You have to be brave to play someone like Murdoch. Russell can do it.''
Continue reading: Russell Crowe To Play Rupert Murdoch
Martha is soon caught in the middle of a hitman war.
News on Bran, Dany and Arya in these latest images.
Everyone wants this year to be Leo's year.
It's been 15 years since Zoolander hit movie screens in 2001.
After his starring turn in The Green Lantern tanked at the box office, critics were surprised that Ryan Reynolds was pushing for a solo movie based...
Shot on a plane in zero gravity, the video features OK Go's usual levels of choreography with a few surprises thrown in for good measure!
Rebel Wilson has taken the world by storm after arriving in America five years ago.