Nikki Rocco, Universal Pictures' veteran president of domestic distribution, will retire at the end of the year.

Universal's longtime distribution chief Nikki Rocco to retire

Nikki Rocco, the veteran head of domestic distribution at Universal Pictures, will retire at the end of this year, she said Tuesday.  

Rocco, the first woman to become president of a major studio’s distribution operations, has worked for the studio for nearly five decades.

Rocco, 64, first joined Universal Pictures as a paid intern in 1967 while she was a high-school senior, after which she was hired to work in the company's New York office. She has been Universal's head of domestic distribution since 1996. 

PHOTOS: 2013's highest-paid media executives

"Nikki Rocco is an industry icon,...

More...

Three Hollywood executives deny accusations of teen sex abuse

Three Hollywood executives accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the late 1990s say the allegations against them are false. 

Garth Ancier, David Neuman and Gary Goddard were named in three separate complaints, filed Monday by attorney Jeff Herman in Hawaii, accusing them of sexually abusing Michael F. Egan III. Last week, Egan accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer in a federal lawsuit of drugging and sexually assaulting him.

Ancier is a prominent television executive who has held senior positions at Fox, NBC and CNN. Neuman is a former senior Walt Disney television executive and also...

More...
Taylor Schilling in a scene from Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black."

Comcast pushes back on Netflix; touts benefits of TW Cable deal

Netflix has emerged as one of the biggest foes of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

Despite a recent agreement in which the digital programmer agreed to pay the cable and broadband giant for a direct connection to its 20 million high-speed Internet customers to improve the speeds and quality of its video streams, the two companies are publicly trading shots at each other.

On Monday, Netflix said it was opposed to Comcast acquiring Time Warner Cable, a deal that would give Comcast an estimated 40% share of the U.S. broadband market. It would also make the company the biggest...

More...
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood, left, and Robin Wright as Clair Underwood in a scene from Netflix's original drama "House of Cards."

Analysts cheer Netflix price-hike plans; stock rises

Here's one group that's happy about Netflix's planned price hikes: Wall Street.

The video giant said Monday it will soon raise prices for new customers of its streaming service by $1 or $2 a month as it bets its growing slate of original content will continue to draw subscribers. Existing customers will continue to pay current prices for a time. 

Wall Street analysts praised the coming hikes as a way to drive profitability as Netflix continues to spend on new content -- including originals such as "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards" -- and deals to ensure video quality. 

"Price...

More...
NBCUniversal saw its first-quarter 2014 revenue increase 28%, in large part because of advertising sales for the Winter Olympics and the beginning of Jimmy Fallon's tenure at "The Tonight Show." Fallon is pictured here during his first "Tonight Show" appearance in New York.

NBC turnaround, Olympics, Jimmy Fallon help lift Comcast earnings

The NBC network is beleaguered no more.

After nearly a decade in the ratings cellar, NBC is poised to finish the prime-time TV season in May in first place in the coveted advertising demographic of viewers aged 18 to 49. 

February's coverage of the Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia, generated strong viewership and $1.1 billion in revenue, Comcast executives said in announcing the Philadelphia-based company's first-quarter earnings, which exceeded analyst expectations.

"Any way you look at the Olympics, it was a tremendous success," Comcast Corp. Chief Executive Brian Roberts told Wall Street...

More...
James Spader, left, and Marc Damon Johnson in "The Blacklist."

TV ratings: NBC wins Monday with 'The Voice' and 'Blacklist'

James Spader and wannabe pop stars ruled Monday night for NBC, even though "The Voice" fell week-to-week, according to early numbers from Nielsen.

"The Voice" earned a 2.9 among 18- to 49-year-old viewers, down 14% from last week. Monday's episode, on which the top 12 contestants faced off, drew 11 million viewers overall. The NBC FBI drama "The Blacklist," starring Spader, earned a 2.8 at 10 p.m., nearly matching its big singing contest lead-in and holding steady with its most recent original episode.  

"The Voice" and "The Blacklist" were the night's No. 1 and 2 shows, respectively, among...

More...
Peter Chernin, chief executive of the Chernin Group, attends an economic forum in 2009; the Chernin Group and AT&T on Tuesday announced a venture to invest $500 million in online video services.

Chernin Group-AT&T venture to invest $500 million in online video

The Chernin Group and AT&T have formed a venture to invest more than $500 million in online video services, increasing their reach in a rapidly expanding market that competes with traditional television channels.

Chernin Group, run by the former Fox president Peter Chernin, is contributing to the new venture its majority stake in Crunchyroll, a subscription video-on-demand service that specializes in Japanese animation known as anime.

In announcing the venture Tuesday, the two companies did not identify what properties they might want to buy. The goal, they said, was to invest in advertising...

More...
Netflix, home of "House of Cards," will increase its subscription fees. Pictured: Kevin Spacey in the Netflix original production.

Aereo case heard in Supreme Court; Netflix to raise prices

After the coffee. Before hearing about the Aereo case at the Supreme Court.

The Skinny: The Supreme Court on Tuesday morning will hear arguments in the ABC vs. Aereo case. Aereo is an Internet startup that broadcasters charge steal their signals. Alas, I won't be there, but I have a high court story for you anyway. When I was based in Washington, I occasionally covered the Supreme Court. You have to dress nice and they will wake you if you doze off. Other stories in Tuesday's Fix include Netflix saying it will raise prices and Comcast posting its second-quarter results.

Daily Dose:Over the...

More...
CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said that if Aereo loses the Supreme Court case, “it may mean the end of our company.” Above, he shows a tablet displaying Aereo’s technology in 2012.

Aereo fights for future before the Supreme Court

It is about the size of a dime and light as a feather.

But in the eyes of the broadcast television industry, an Aereo antenna might as well be a hundred feet tall and weigh a thousand pounds. The big networks claim it is illegal and could destroy everything they hold dear.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments from both sides, and the results could have major implications for the future of television.

Launched in 2012 by Chaitanya "Chet" Kanojia, an Indian-born engineer with 14 patents, Aereo enables consumers to stream and record on the Internet the over-the-air signals of local...

More...

Fox exec's fundraising effort leads to firing and lots of questions

Was it an act of altruism or a scam?

That's the big question behind media executive Darlene Tipton's efforts to raise money for the family and girlfriend of Philip Wood, a passenger who was on the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

Tipton, a vice president at Fox Cable Networks, was fired April 9 after using her work email to contact Wood's girlfriend, Sarah Bajc. The cable executive said in the email that she wanted to discuss a plan to raise $22 million for Bajc and Wood's family via the website GoFundMe.

Bajc said she was taken aback by the email and found it “egregious” and...

More...
Comedian Kurt Braunohler co-hosts a weekly show called "Hot Tub with Kristen Schaal" at The Virgil on Monday evenings.

'Last Comic Standing' in serious standoff with editors guild

The NBC contest show "Last Comic Standing" isn't generating many laughs from the Motion Picture Editors Guild.

The guild, Local 700 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, said more than a dozen workers employed by NBC Studios in Glendale walked off the job late Monday morning, weeks before the show's debut.

The workers are seeking a union contract, including health insurance and pension benefits, the guild said.

PHOTOS: 2013's highest-paid media executives

“This is an experienced, top-notch crew, putting together a primetime series for broadcast on NBC,”...

More...
Advertisement
Connect

VIDEO