US-Industry: Summary

Maker-Disney deal nears OK; Relativity's bid rejected

(Reuters) - YouTube network Maker Studios said on Monday a majority of shareholders had approved its purchase by Walt Disney Co, making clear it was not for sale to Relativity Media, which made a surprise bid of up to $1.1 billion for the company. Disney agreed to buy Maker on March 24 for $500 million in cash, a price that could rise to $950 million if Maker hits certain performance milestones.

Cameron's ex-media chief says Brooks affair was wrong

LONDON (Reuters) - David Cameron's former media chief Andy Coulson told a London court on Monday he had not spoken to the British prime minister since his arrest, and admitted his affair with Rebekah Brooks when working for Rupert Murdoch tabloids was wrong. Coulson and Brooks, the ex-boss of News Corp.'s British newspaper arm, are on trial accused of charges linked to phone-hacking. Prosecutors have suggested that their affair played a key role in their involvement in criminal offences.

Shaw Communications to cut 400 jobs in structure revamp

(Reuters) - Shaw Communications Inc, a Western Canada-focused cable-TV and media company, said on Monday it will cut 400 jobs as it consolidates several operating units into a new consumer unit to improve efficiency. The Calgary-based company, which faces tough competition for TV and Internet customers from telecom rival Telus Corp, said that both management and nonmanagement jobs will be affected, but that it will also hire more than 100 people to support the new structure.

Saudi liberal website closed by Jeddah court: local media

DUBAI (Reuters) - A Saudi court has ordered a liberal Internet forum to permanently close for publishing what it described as anti-Islamic material, Saudi media reported on Sunday. The decision by the general court in Jeddah came less than nine months after the editor of the "Free Saudi Liberals" website, Raif Badawi, was sentenced to seven years in jail and 600 lashes for setting up a forum that violated Islamic values.

Sans persona, new kind of Colbert steps up to CBS 'Late Show'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A new kind of Stephen Colbert will be coming to late-night network television as he succeeds CBS's "Late Show" host David Letterman next year, capping the generational shift in late-night TV's landscape across U.S. networks eager to attract younger viewers and online followings. Colbert, 49, who made his mark satirizing political conservatives on his Comedy Central weeknight cable show "The Colbert Report," said on Thursday he would drop his known persona of a dim-witted, big-egoed conservative pundit.

Music labels follow movie studios in suing Megaupload

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Four music labels filed a copyright infringement lawsuit on Thursday against the file-sharing website Megaupload and its founder Kim Dotcom, three days after several major movie studios did the same. The lawsuit says that Megaupload, Dotcom and other defendants "engaged in, actively encouraged, and handsomely profited from massive copyright infringement of music," according to a statement issued by the Recording Industry Association of America.

Canada's CBC cuts 650 jobs, retreats from sports to trim costs

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's public broadcaster will no longer bid for professional sporting rights and will slash more than 650 jobs in the next two years as it tightens its belt following a slump in ad sales and previous cuts to its funding from the federal government. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said Thursday it would cut C$130 million ($119 million) from its budget immediately and halt planned regional expansion, but still look for ways to cover events of national importance such as the Olympics, to which it remains committed.

Rupert Murdoch can see all-digital N.Y. Post in 10 years: report

(Reuters) - Media mogul Rupert Murdoch can envision his tabloid newspaper the New York Post as an all-digital publication in 10 years, he said during an interview with Fortune magazine published on Thursday. Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, acknowledged that the paper lost $40 million in 2012, hit by declines in advertising revenue.

Telecom Italia inks content deal with 21st Century Fox unit

MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has signed a deal with Sky Italia to sell pay-TV content for the unit of Rupert Murdoch's Twenty-First Century Fox to its clients from 2015, the companies said on Thursday. The deal could make Telecom Italia's broadband offerings more attractive at a time when the phone group is carrying out costly network upgrades to boost Internet speeds and help it win customers in a recovering domestic market.

U.S. lawmakers press Comcast on Time Warner Cable merger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc executives sought to reassure lawmakers on Wednesday that their planned merger would not send cable TV prices skyrocketing but found a fair amount of congressional skepticism. The Senate Judiciary Committee held the first public hearing on the proposed $45.2 billion merger between the two largest U.S. cable companies, a deal that has raised eyebrows among public interest groups and some lawmakers. Comcast promises that it will benefit consumers without eliminating any choices.
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