Arts & EntertainmentThe EnvelopeCompany Town

Lawmakers gripe about cable deal. Murdoch talks. Jane Pauley's back.

Television IndustryMedia IndustryTennis Channel (tv network)Fox Broadcasting CompanyRupert MurdochComcast CorporationTime Warner Cable Inc.

After the coffee. Before getting ready for Passover.

The Skinny: I've gotten so deep into "Sons of Anarchy" that I'm two episodes behind on "The Americans." I need to catch up tonight. Today's roundup includes recaps of the Senate hearing about the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal. Also, Rupert Murdoch talks business and his personal life with Fortune and the Hollywood Reporter looks back at the aftershocks of Disney President Frank Wells' death 20 years ago.

Daily Dose: Former Fox and UPN senior executive Adam Ware has joined the Tennis Channel as senior vice president and head of digital media. Ware will be reunited with former colleague and Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. Ware, who had been consulting for Tennis Channel for the last few years, will focus on the network's online efforts, including its Tennis Channel Everywhere app.

Out of order. The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Comcast and Time Warner Cable executives for more than three hours yesterday over their proposed marriage. While the two companies stuck to the party line, saying the merger would be good for consumers and wouldn't harm competition, most lawmakers were not convinced. However, none drew any real blood either, just a few flesh wounds. The highlight was Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) questioning Comcast's David Cohen, which was their version of the courtroom scene in "A Few Good Men." Coverage of the hearing from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Hill and Politico.

ON LOCATION: Where the cameras roll

Rupert speaks. If media mogul Rupert Murdoch's often colorful and at times politically incorrect Twitter feed isn't enough for you, Fortune has an extended interview with the chairman of 21st Century Fox and News Corp. Among topics of conversation are the state of the media business, succession at his empires, a few shots at other companies and even some dish about his divorce from Wendi Deng. 

Outfoxed. Someone finally noticed that Fox is having a really tough year. Ratings on its returning shows are pretty much all down and, besides "Sleepy Hollow," it has not had good luck with new shows. In the past Fox could count on "American Idol" to lift its fortunes but now that show is a mere mortal. Variety on Fox's tough season.

Don't ever take sides against the family. Cablevision Systems Corp. Chief Executive Jim Dolan promoted his wife and brother-in-law in a corporate restructuring at the New York-based cable giant. Kristin Dolan, who had separated from Jim Dolan but stayed at the company, has been upped to chief operating officer. Also, Brian Sweeney, who is married to Dolan's sister Deborah, was named president. The COO post had been open since the well-regarded Tom Rutledge left Cablevision to run Charter Communications. More from the Wall Street Journal.

PHOTOS: Celebrity production companies

Welcome back. Former "Today" anchor Jane Pauley is returning to broadcast news with a role on "CBS News Sunday Morning." Pauley, who cohosted NBC's "Today" for 13 years and held other senior roles at the network, has been mostly away from television for the last few years. USA Today on her return to TV.

Memory lane. It was 20 years ago that Walt Disney Co. President Frank Wells died in a helicopter crash. That tragedy set the stage for Jeffrey Katzenberg's exit from Disney to launch DreamWorks and a long legal battle with Disney CEO Michael Eisner. Kim Masters, who covered the drama for Vanity Fair, looks back in this Hollywood Reporter piece.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Nicole Kidman isn't afraid to take chances.

Follow me on Twitter. I cover Capitol Hill from Los Angeles. @JBFlint.

MORE

ON LOCATION: People and places behind what's onscreen

PHOTOS: Biggest box office flops of 2013

PHOTOS: Celebrity production companies

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Comments
Loading