ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ENVELOPE COMPANY TOWN

Anne Sweeney exits Disney. Bill Maher sticks up for Jay Leno.

After the coffee. Before deciding if what I really want to do is direct.

The Skinny: Just bought the book "Kitty Genovese: The Murder, the Bystanders, the Crime that Changed America." I'll give you a full report when I finish. I've always been fascinated by that case. Today's roundup includes Anne Sweeney's exit from a top TV position at Walt Disney Co. Also, Bill Maher sticks up for pal Jay Leno. 

Daily Dose: Although there will soon be no more Time Inc. at Time Warner, don't look for the media giant to rethink its name. In fact, the company is excited that once Comcast acquires Time Warner Cable, there will be no more confusing that firm and Time Warner, which have been separate for several years.

New direction. Disney/ABC TV Group President Anne Sweeney, the industry's highest-ranking female television executive, is exiting after 18 years at the media giant. Sweeney said after decades as a corporate suit what she really wants to do is direct television shows. The news -- packaged in a fawning Hollywood Reporter cover story -- came after denials from the company that she was on the way out. Not everyone was buying that Sweeney suddenly got bit by the creative bug, particularly the New York Times, which seemed to be taking the directing angle with a large grain of a salt. No replacement for Sweeney was named. More on her exit from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll       

Leaning in? The New York Post speculates that Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is in the running to succeed Bob Iger as CEO of Walt Disney Co. Although she's already on Disney's board, executives there have been dismissive of that speculation and many think theme parks head Tom Staggs has the inside track. Of course, if you read the above item, you also know sometimes companies are not always completely candid about delicate issues.

Making a mark? More Disney news today comes from Re/code, which reports that the company is kicking the tires of Maker Studios, a YouTube network. The deal, if successful, would value Maker at over $500 million, the story says.

Sticking up for Jay. Bill Maher issued a strong defense of "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno, who was inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame. “He’s not perfect, but he’s held to a standard that no one else in the world is expected to live up to other than him," Maher said, adding that the media was off base in the way it covered the Conan O'Brien drama. More on the event, which I left early, from Variety

Inside the Los Angeles Times: "Mad Men" creator Matt Weiner on the show's new season, which starts next month.

Follow me on Twitter while I still matter. @JBFlint.

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