Weekend Headlines — 6/29-6/30/13

REMINDER: I'll begin my annual Summer Vacation starting Monday, which means that posting will be limited to major breaking items only until Tuesday, July 9.  I'll see you back here in a little over a week!

Alec Baldwin loses it in Twitter rant, hurls homophobic slurs
Alec Baldwin went on a homophobic, profanity-laden online rant Thursday before shutting down his Alec Baldwin Foundation Twitter account, all in defense of his pregnant wife Hilaria, whom a Daily Mail reporter had apparently errantly accused of tweeting while the couple attended James Gandolfini's funeral. [LA Times]

Intel Corp., the computer-chip giant, will enter a crowded field of companies offering alternatives to Comcast Corp. and traditional pay-TV services. This year, the Santa Clara, Calif., company plans to sell a set-top box that streams content from the Internet onto a TV. Intel's self-install set-top box will come with a bundle of live local TV, ad-supported cable channels, and premium cable. There will be no need for professional installers, an Intel spokesman said. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

Raftery Joins FOX Sports 1
In a move that might symbolize how much money FOX is willing to pay talent to join FOX Sports 1, college basketball commentator Bill Raftery is leaving ESPN to join the network, which launches in August. Raftery has brought his wit and signature phrases to ESPN over the past three decades, notably on Big East games. [MediaPost]

John Malone Said to Explore Scenarios for Time Warner Cable Deal
Billionaire John Malone is exploring scenarios for how Charter Communications Inc. could acquire Time Warner Cable Inc., even after his initial overtures were rebuffed, according to people familiar with the discussions. [Bloomberg]

With deals for Local TV LLC and Allbritton Communications likely to come in the not-too-distant future, the burning question is: What will they fetch? A report from J. Davis Hebert, senior analyst in Wells Fargo Securities’ high-yield research division, offers some tantalizing hints. [TVNewsCheck]

Smulyan Not Ready To Give Date For NextRadio Launch
On his earnings conference call this morning, Emmis CEO Jeff Smulyan says only one out of 70 broadcasters he's spoken to does not support his industry-wide FM cell phone chip plans. "He said, "There has been an outpouring of support from the industry." [Radio Ink]

N.D. Considers Buying Lawrence Welk's Home
The State Historical Society of North Dakota is considering buying the boyhood home of Lawrence Welk, though some worry the farmstead may not draw many tourists because most of the famed champagne music bandleader's fans have died or will do so soon. [AP/TVNewsCheck]

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