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Tour Producer Drops Tavis Smiley Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

17 minutes ago

Tavis Smiley's career has taken another hit as live producer Mills Entertainment pulled out of backing the TV host's theatrical production focusing on the last year of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life.

Smiley, who has been indefinitely suspended from his PBS talk show and lost his Walmart sponsorship, was to launch a nationwide 40-city tour of Death of a King: A Live Theatrical Experience, based on his 2014 book.

But Mills Entertainment said Friday that "in light of the recent allegations" it will "suspending our relationship with" Smiley. "We take seriously the allegations," the statement added.

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- the Associated Press

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Zendaya, Zac Efron, Hugh Jackman Join James Corden for Tense 'Crosswalk The Musical'

1 hour ago

The very amenable cast of the P.T. Barnum musical drama The Greatest Showman graciously agreed to participate in the latest edition of "Crosswalk: The Musical" with James Corden on Thursday night (Dec. 14). But suffice it to say that Zendaya, Zac Efron and Barnum himself, Hugh Jackman, weren't too pleased with the Late Late Show host's diva-like displays as they tried to dodge traffic while singing show tunes on New York's streets.

Jackman, a song and dance man with a bit of experience on the Great White Way, was more than willing to share some of his ideas with Corden, who inexplicably kept referring to the »

- Gil Kaufman, Billboard

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Michael Wolff: Why Rupert’s Really Splitting Up the Family Business

2 hours ago

At least since he nearly went bankrupt in the early 1990s, Rupert Murdoch has been obsessed with handing his business to his children. He has navigated this course through vast turmoil in the media industry, multiple marriages, frayed family dynamics, occasional signs of shareholder rebellion at such family entitlement in a public company, and even the resistance of his own children. He seemed to have succeeded in this quest — elevating his oldest son, Lachlan, cajoled back from Australia, and his youngest, James, miraculously rehabilitated for his part in the phone-hacking scandal in the U.K., to the top of his »

- Michael Wolff

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Mario Batali Fired From ABC's 'The Chew' Amid Sexual Misconduct Claims

2 hours ago

Mario Batali has been fired as co-host of ABC's daytime talk show The Chew after women have continued to come forward with sexual harassment and assault allegations against the celebrity chef. 

"Upon completing its review into the allegations made against Mario Batali, ABC has terminated its relationship with him and he will no longer appear on The Chew," said a spokesperson. Batali, who has appeared on the food-themed show since it launched six years ago, had stepped away after allegations first published on Monday, with ABC launching a review. "While we remain unaware of any type of inappropriate behavior involving »

- Jackie Strause

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Fran Unsworth Named Head of BBC News

6 hours ago

The BBC said Friday it has named Fran Unsworth director of news and current affairs following an open competition.

She replaces James Harding, who announced his departure earlier this year.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: "The director of news and current affairs is one of the most demanding of any in broadcasting. News is at the very heart of the BBC. I am delighted Fran Unsworth is taking up the role. She brings a combination of excellent news judgment, authority, management knowhow and the trust of her colleagues both in news and across the BBC."

Unsworth, who will take over »

- Georg Szalai

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MTV to Launch on Free-tv in Germany (Exclusive)

8 hours ago

Viacom International Media Networks (Vimn) will on Friday announce plans to launch an unencrypted, free-to-air version of MTV in Germany.

Viacom already operates free TV versions of its Comedy Central and Nickelodeon channels in Germany, as well as free-to-air network Viva, a German-focused music channel.

By shifting its iconic music and youth brand to free-tv in the territory, the media conglomerate is making a bid for a bigger chunk of Germany's $5.4 billion television ad market. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Raffaele Annecchino, President and Managing Director for Vimn, Southern & Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, said Viacom's goal »

- Scott Roxborough

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Late-Night Hosts Poke Fun at FCC's Net Neutrality Vote

13 hours ago

The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality protections on Thursday, and late-night television had a lot to say about it. 

"Uh, anybody here use the internet?" The Late Show's Stephen Colbert asked his audience. "It's a sad day for us web-ka-teers, us internauts," he said, while explaining that the move would repeal regulations that prevented internet providers from blocking certain websites or slowing down user's data. "And that's wrong. The only thing that should slow your internet speed is the number of people also sitting at Starbucks working on their screenplays," he joked.

"So now, a big »

- Lauren Huff

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