Disney’s big move
I’ve been watching with interest Fox’s attempt to acquire British entertainment company Sky, and it took an unexpected turn this week. Regulatory hearings in the U.K. have provided a glimpse into the corporate culture of Fox and may have contributed to the ouster of conservative pundit Bill O’Reilly. British regulators expressed concern that Fox owner Rupert Murdoch, who already owns two U.K. newspapers, shouldn’t also have control of news channel SkyNews. Then this week, Disney announced it will buy the film side of Fox from the Murdochs, who will keep the company’s cable networks, including the Fox News Channel. Disney will take over the ongoing Sky deal, removing Murdoch from the equation and improving the likelihood of the Brits approving the sale. When the dust settles, Disney might have not only acquired 21st Century Fox but also made a major power play in the British TV market. —L.L.
Music and memories
The site of a historic South Side Chicago church that burned down in 2006 soon will house the nation’s first gospel music museum, organizers say. Don Jackson, founder of the Stellar Gospel Music Awards and former chairman of the DuSable Museum of African American History, said the project will fill a need in Chicago for preserving black history. The National Museum of Gospel Music is planned on the site of the Pilgrim Baptist Church in the Bronzeville neighborhood. The church’s music director, blues pianist Thomas A. Dorsey, pioneered the music genre in 1932, blending Christian text with jazz and blues. The church drew singers such as Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson, and James Cleveland. Don Jackson plans to open the museum in 2020 during the month of September, designated by former President Barack Obama as Gospel Music Heritage Month. —L.L.
The National Film Registry announced this week 25 selections it plans to add to its collection for preservation. This year’s additions include Die Hard, Dumbo, Field of Dreams, Titanic, La Bamba, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Superman, and The Goonies. “The selection of a film to the National Film Registry recognizes its importance to American cinema and the nation’s cultural and historical heritage,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said. “Being tasked with selecting only 25 each year is daunting because there are so many great films deserving of this honor.” The registry’s website includes select film footage, much of which chronicles historic events. Visitors to the site can watch President William McKinley take the oath of office in 1901 or family movies from the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. —L.L.