TRAIL GUIDE
Our experts score the debate: How Clinton beat Trump, round-by-round

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COMPANY TOWN

  • Lester Holt gets out of the way as moderator, and the spin room approves

    Lester Holt gets out of the way as moderator, and the spin room approves

    “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt moderated his first presidential debate like a boxing referee who lets the fighters go at it in the middle of the ring. Holt’s largely unobtrusive style during the first meeting Monday night of Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton had...

  • Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    Why Disney is unlikely to buy Twitter

    One is an entertainment giant famous for exacting tight control over its content. The other is a tech firm whose commitment to free speech has earned it a reputation as a hub for news and a haven for online harassment.  Together, they make for a brow-raising pairing. But stranger things have happened...

  • China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    China's Dalian Wanda Group in talks to buy Dick Clark Productions

    Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group is in talks to buy a controlling stake in the iconic Dick Clark Productions, a move that would further accelerate its rapid push into Hollywood. The deal would value the production firm at as much as $1 billion, according to one person familiar with the process...

  • The troubled past and questionable benefits of Hollywood’s oldest awards show for kids

    The troubled past and questionable benefits of Hollywood’s oldest awards show for kids

    Actors and actresses strolled in tuxedos and sequined gowns along the red carpet. Cameras flashed as photographers scrambled to get the best angles. Autograph seekers lingered and film producers jostled for position, hoping to sign up talent for their next movie. Inside, broadcast cameras waited...

  • Wanda Group partners with Sony Pictures, giving China’s richest man a leg up in Hollywood

    Wanda Group partners with Sony Pictures, giving China’s richest man a leg up in Hollywood

    The Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group announced a partnership with Sony Pictures on Friday, giving it some creative control over upcoming Sony films and underscoring China’s rapidly rising influence in Hollywood.  Wanda, which is led by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, will invest an undisclosed...

  • Who votes for the Young Artist Awards?

    Who votes for the Young Artist Awards?

    The Young Artist Awards hands out golden statuettes in categories familiar to anyone who has taken in a Hollywood awards show. But unlike events such as the Academy Awards, whose voting procedures are largely known, the way the YAA selects its nominees and winners is almost entirely opaque. Anyone...

  • Moody's downgrades Viacom credit

    Moody's downgrades Viacom credit

    Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Viacom’s credit following the  struggling media company’s disclosure that it would tap debt markets to maintain its liquidity. The ratings firm on Thursday lowered Viacom’s credit to one notch above junk status. The move came as Wall Street continued to digest...

  • Major League Baseball lends a hand to 'Pitch'

    Major League Baseball lends a hand to 'Pitch'

    As a self-described baseball geek, writer-producer Dan Fogelman was eager to take on “Pitch,” Fox’s new drama about the first woman to become a major league player. But he had one big concern. “I said, ‘If we don’t get Major League Baseball to sign on as partners, I don’t think we can do the show,’”...

  • Charter introduces Spectrum brand in Southern California

    Charter introduces Spectrum brand in Southern California

    Four months after Charter Communications acquired Time Warner Cable, the company is officially retiring the much-maligned Time Warner Cable brand name. Charter on Tuesday switched its product brand to Spectrum and the recently bulked-up company — now the dominant cable-TV and Internet service provider...

  • NBC's 'Today' regains ratings lead in key demographic

    NBC's 'Today' regains ratings lead in key demographic

    NBC’s “Today” has finished the 2015-16 TV season as the No. 1 network morning show among the 25-to-54 age group that matters most to advertisers. The win in the demographic is the first since the 2010-11 season, when “Today” was having its historic 16-year run as the top-rated morning program....

  • 'Magnificent Seven' is gunning for the box office top spot in battle with 'Sully'

    'Magnificent Seven' is gunning for the box office top spot in battle with 'Sully'

    “The Magnificent Seven,” a remake of John Sturges’ classic 1960 Hollywood western, looks like it will wrangle the top spot at the box office this weekend, leaving the Tom Hanks-led “Sully” in the dust. The MGM and Sony’s Columbia Pictures’ release is expected to gross $30 million to $45 million...

  • Chinese-language films soar over national Mid-Autumn Festival holiday

    Chinese-language films soar over national Mid-Autumn Festival holiday

    The film “A Chinese Odyssey: Part Three” topped China’s box office last week, grossing $37.7 million in its opening five days.  The Chinese-Hong Kong fantasy-comedy film, directed by Jeffrey Lau, grossed $6.26 million on its first day, Sept. 14, according to data from film industry consulting firm...

  • Haim Saban's media investment fund to go public

    Haim Saban's media investment fund to go public

    Media mogul Haim Saban has launched a special-purpose investment fund that is going public in an effort to raise at least $235 million for potential investments or acquisitions. The new company, Saban Capital Acquisition Corp., said in a regulatory filing Friday that it is offering 23.5 million...

  • Emmy-ratings skid continues as Sunday's show averages 11.3 million viewers, an all-time low

    Emmy-ratings skid continues as Sunday's show averages 11.3 million viewers, an all-time low

    The audience for the awards show billed as TV’s biggest night keeps getting smaller. ABC’s telecast of the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards was watched by an average of 11.3  million viewers on Sunday, an all-time low for the ceremony. The figure for the live event emceed by ABC late-night host Jimmy...

  • ESPN targets Latino viewers with a new bilingual sports show

    ESPN targets Latino viewers with a new bilingual sports show

    ESPN is launching its first bilingual sports news show, aimed at the growing audience of Latino viewers in the United States. Starting Sept. 26, cable network ESPN2 will air “Nación ESPN,” a one-hour weekly program with Los Angeles sports radio host Jorge Sedano, boxing reporter Bernardo Osuna...

  • 'Sully' maintains box-office altitude, fends off 'Blair Witch' and 'Bridget Jones'

    'Sully' maintains box-office altitude, fends off 'Blair Witch' and 'Bridget Jones'

    “Sully” maintained its altitude at the top of the domestic  box office, outperforming three newcomers, including “Blair Witch” and the latest “Bridget Jones” sequel, to bring in an estimated $22 million for its second weekend in release. The Clint Eastwood-directed drama about the emergency landing...

  • Rob Friedman stepping down as co-chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group

    Rob Friedman stepping down as co-chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group

    Rob Friedman, the co-chair of Lionsgate Motion Picture Group for the last four years, is stepping down from his post, Santa Monica-based Lionsgate said Friday. Friedman, however, will remain in the fold, serving as a special advisor to Lionsgate Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer. The company’s movie...

  • HBO's boxing business shows signs of fatigue

    HBO's boxing business shows signs of fatigue

    When Mexican fighter Canelo Alvarez and Britain’s Liam “Beefy” Smith step into the ring Saturday, the crowd in Dallas’ AT&T Stadium is expected to roar. But the match won’t deliver a knockout punch for HBO. The premium pay-TV channel helped build boxing into a television heavyweight, dating to...

  • 21st Century Fox sues Netflix over executive poaching

    21st Century Fox sues Netflix over executive poaching

    Call it the new front line in the streaming battles: the poaching of executives. 21st Century Fox on Friday filed a lawsuit against Netflix, accusing the streaming video giant of illegally recruiting two of its executives who were under contract.  The suit, which was filed Friday in California...

  • Knitting Factory buys 49% stake in local promoter Spaceland Presents

    Knitting Factory buys 49% stake in local promoter Spaceland Presents

    Spaceland Presents has long been one of the most influential independent concert promotion firms in L.A. Now they’re set to potentially get a lot bigger. The firm announced this week that Knitting Factory Entertainment had acquired 49% of the L.A.-based firm, which books venues like the Echo and Regent...

  • Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy sign long-term deals after replacing Roger Ailes

    Fox News co-presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy sign long-term deals after replacing Roger Ailes

    Fox News parent 21st Century Fox has given a vote of confidence to recently named Co-Presidents Bill Shine and Jack Abernethy by signing them to long-term contracts. Shine and Abernethy were promoted to their posts Aug. 12, several weeks after the resignation of Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, who...

  • Turner scores major 'Star Wars' deal to televise 11 movies

    Turner scores major 'Star Wars' deal to televise 11 movies

    Betting big on the staying power of the “Star Wars” film franchise, Turner television networks have claimed the rights to run the iconic film franchise on cable channels TNT and TBS. The multiyear deals, announced Wednesday, steer 11 “Star Wars” movies, including last year’s blockbuster, “Star...

  • MPAA blasts USC over film tax credit report

    MPAA blasts USC over film tax credit report

    The lobbying arm for the major Hollywood studios is taking aim at USC over a report that casts doubt on the effectiveness of film tax credits. The Motion Picture Assn. of America, whose members have benefited from tax breaks available across the country, fired back at a recent USC report that concluded...

  • 'Blair Witch' looks to scare up box-office returns, beat 'Sully'

    'Blair Witch' looks to scare up box-office returns, beat 'Sully'

    "Blair Witch," a sequel to the similarly named 1999 horror classic, looks to take the top spot at the box office this weekend from “Sully,” the critically acclaimed film starring Tom Hanks. The Lionsgate found-footage film is expected to gross $19 million to $24 million in ticket sales from the...

  • HBO's 'Vice News Tonight' debut pushed back to Oct. 10

    HBO's 'Vice News Tonight' debut pushed back to Oct. 10

    HBO’s upcoming “Vice News Tonight” is aimed at the generation of TV viewers who see the evening news as something their grandmothers watch before “Wheel of Fortune” comes on. But making the nightly program from the renegade journalists at Vice Media a true alternative to the format that has been...

  • Cleaned-up films for $1? Movie-filtering streaming service VidAngel draws the ire of Hollywood

    Cleaned-up films for $1? Movie-filtering streaming service VidAngel draws the ire of Hollywood

    Brothers Neal and Jordan Harmon wanted to show how rampant profanity in “The Wolf of Wall Street” harms families. So they made a viral ad.  The two-minute video showed a family of four getting blasted by 3,192 paintballs, one for every swear and curse in the 2013 movie. “Every word has an impact,”...

  • 'Star Trek Beyond' dominates box office in China

    'Star Trek Beyond' dominates box office in China

    The latest adaptation of a half-century-old sci-fi series last week sailed over its Chinese box-office competition, most of which involved unusual encounters with animals. “Star Trek Beyond” pulled in $23 million the first full week of September, according to film industry consulting firm Artisan...

  • Lionsgate partners with Univision on a Spanish-language movie streaming service

    Lionsgate partners with Univision on a Spanish-language movie streaming service

    Film studio Lionsgate is extending its reach into the video streaming market by teaming with Univision Communications to launch a Spanish-language subscription movie service. The new offering, which is expected to launch early next year, is a recognition that Latinos are among the most prolific...

  • Fox Networks ad sales chief Toby Byrne abruptly leaves company

    Fox Networks ad sales chief Toby Byrne abruptly leaves company

    Fox Networks Group announced the abrupt departure of its respected advertising sales president, Toby Byrne, who was responsible for commercial sales for the broadcast network and sports and entertainment cable channels. “After nearly 21 years and a fantastic run … I'm leaving the Fox Networks Group...

  • Talking pancakes and foul-mouthed puppets: 'Robot Chicken' producer Stoopid Buddy Stoodios finds its niche

    Talking pancakes and foul-mouthed puppets: 'Robot Chicken' producer Stoopid Buddy Stoodios finds its niche

    In a nondescript Burbank business park, the creators of stop-motion animation house Stoopid Buddy Stoodios keep a 1970s Winnebago parked inside their offices. In keeping with the campground vibe, the company behind Adult Swim’s “Robot Chicken” gives employees merit badges and proudly displays its...

  • NBC News chief Andy Lack praises Matt Lauer's presidential forum performance

    NBC News chief Andy Lack praises Matt Lauer's presidential forum performance

    NBC News Chairman Andy Lack is standing up for Matt Lauer after the “Today” co-anchor was torched for his moderating skills at Wednesday’s “Commander In Chief Forum.” Lack issued an internal memo to staffers late Friday congratulating them on the news division’s one-hour special, in which presidential...

  • How Turner is changing the program to keep up with a new TV era

    How Turner is changing the program to keep up with a new TV era

    The ax just fell on one of cable television’s most popular programs. TNT’s crime-fighting duo, “Rizzoli & Isles,” solved their final murder mystery Monday, capping a successful seven-season run. The police procedural long had been the highest-rated scripted drama on the Turner channel, buoyed by...

  • Lydia Murphy-Stephans wants to lead Pac-12 Networks into the digital future

    Lydia Murphy-Stephans wants to lead Pac-12 Networks into the digital future

    As a young producer for the legendary ABC anthology show “Wide World of Sports,” Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans learned all about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Today the onetime Olympic speed skater (she was on the U.S. team in 1984) plays in a far more complex...

  • FCC chief Tom Wheeler wants to give consumers the option of cable service without a set-top box

    FCC chief Tom Wheeler wants to give consumers the option of cable service without a set-top box

    Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler wants consumers to be able to say goodbye to their cable set-top boxes. In a Los Angeles Times op-ed piece published Thursday, Wheeler is proposing a new rule that would require cable and satellite video companies to offer consumers the option...

  • MGM reduces earnings outlook on 'Ben-Hur' loss

    MGM reduces earnings outlook on 'Ben-Hur' loss

    Movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has reduced its annual profit outlook by about $50 million, thanks to the spectacular box-office crash of the summer epic “Ben-Hur.”  MGM warned investors Wednesday that it expects its 2016 earnings, excluding certain items, to decline 10% from last year’s profit...

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