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Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger Steps Aside, Ending 15-Year Run at Top

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“Chapek is a really good, no-brainer pick — the other division leaders have been there too short of a time,” Michael Nathanson, a media analyst and founding partner at MoffettNathanson, said in a phone interview. “He’s a really nice person who is part of the Disney culture, which is important.” Other candidates to succeed Mr. Iger included Kevin A. Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international division, and Peter Rice, chairman of Walt Disney Television.

Since taking over as chief executive in 2005, Mr. Iger has led Disney to record financial results, even in the face of economic downturns, the occasional horrendous movie write-off and changing consumer habits that dented ESPN, the company’s longtime profit engine. Last year, Mr. Iger completed a $71.3 billion acquisition that gave Disney the bulk of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, substantially altering the entertainment landscape. Mr. Iger then oversaw the successful introduction of Disney Plus.

The downside to that success? Nobody seemed to measure up, complicating succession at a company that has a history of bumpy transfers of power. Mr. Iger’s predecessor, Michael D. Eisner, tried to cling to his job, resulting in him eventually turning over a company that was struggling.

One internal candidate to succeed Mr. Iger, the well-regarded Thomas O. Staggs, abruptly left Disney in 2016 after losing the unqualified support of Mr. Iger and some other board members. Since then, Disney has been engaged in a quiet hunt for a successor.

Even among media conglomerates, Disney has a unique mix of businesses, some of which are healthier than others. The company’s movie studio is widely regarded as the strongest in Hollywood and the Disney theme parks are delivering record profits. But the company’s vast consumer products division has been in decline, and Disney’s television operation, which includes ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform, has been struggling with ratings weakness and a lack of breakout shows. Now it has entered the streaming era with Disney Plus, which has started strong but will lose money for the coming years as Disney spends billions of dollars on original content and technological infrastructure.

Mr. Iger started his entertainment career at ABC in 1974. Disney has no mandatory retirement age for chief executives; the company’s mandatory retirement age for board members is 74.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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What’s on TV Monday: ‘The Good Doctor’ and ‘The Schouwendam 12’

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THE GOOD DOCTOR 10 p.m. on ABC. In the second part of the season finale, the doctors at San Jose St. Bonaventure Hospital continue to respond to the major earthquake that rocked their city. The crisis is testing their ingenuity and pushing their personal issues to the surface. Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore), the protagonist of the series, is still reeling from his latest rejection by Lea (Paige Spara), who cited Shaun’s autism as a reason not to pursue a romantic relationship with him. Undeterred, he revealed in the last episode that he hadn’t lost hope. Lea, who was trapped after the earthquake hit and eventually rescued, overheard Shaun’s comments and responded emotionally. But before they could address them, an aftershock left Shaun stranded with a patient in the flooding basement of a collapsed building.

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Lily James and Matt Smith Take Afternoon Stroll Amid Split Rumors

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Are sparks flying once again between Lily James and Matt Smith?

On Sunday, the Baby Driver actress and 37-year-old British star were spotted taking an afternoon walk, which marked the first time they’ve been seen together since fueling breakup rumors in December.

In photographs, the dynamic duo seemed to be in good spirits with each other. One image captured Lily smiling, as The Crown actor was caught eyeing the leading lady.

However, they appeared to keep their distance during their outdoor walk, but it’s unclear if that was due to the fact that people are currently practicing social distancing amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

For the outing, the two kept things low-key and casual for their afternoon stroll. The Cinderella star stayed warm with her long grey and plaid coat, khaki pants and red beanie. Matt also opted for something cozy, as he donned a thick, black puffer jacket with matching joggers and beanie.

Back in December, the two sparked breakup rumors after they hadn’t been seen together for quite some time.

Fueling the rumors even more, the Daily Mail shared images of the pair having a “tense” lunch in London. At that time, it marked their first public outing together in four months—but as the publication pointed out, it wasn’t their happiest hang out.

That same month, the Baby Driver actress was spotted leaving the 2020 British Fashion Awards after-party with actor Max Ianeselli.

“They came out together but Lily got into a cab on her own,” a source told E! News at the time. “She was holding her head down as if she did not want to be photographed with him.”

“Max was walking close behind her but as soon as they came out to the street he went up the block and she got in the cab,” the source continued. “He got in and left with her.”

Moreover, Matt sparked romance rumors with The Crown co-star, Claire Foy. However, it was debunked after many pointed out they were strictly friends.

Lily and Matt first sparked romance rumors in 2014. They made things official in early 2015, when they walked their first red carpet together at the Cinderella premiere.

Neither star has commented on the split rumors.



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Lady Gaga & Ellen DeGeneres Join Elton John’s COVID-19 Relief Concert

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Weekends aren’t what they used to be but tonight’s going to be really special. 

Ellen DeGeneresLady GagaRyan SeacrestMelissas McCarthy and Ben Falcone joined Elton John tonight for his benefit concert to raise relief funds for those affected by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release. 

The group of star-studded celebs played hit tunes while also sharing words of inspiration during the Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America

On Sunday evening, our favorite musicians and stars performed live and straight from their homes to help raise funds for Feeding America and First Responders Children’s Foundation—two organizations helping victims and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Other celebrities on the line-up for this evening’s special event? Alicia KeysBackstreet BoysBillie Eilish, Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah CareyTim McGrawCamila CabelloDave GrohlH.E.R., Ken JeongSam Smith and many more. 

“What’s up, everyone? This is H.E.R. Welcome to my living room,” the songstress began before performing. “It’s amazing how I think music can bring us all together even though we are all at home. I hope everybody staying at home and staying safe.”

Along with singers using their pipes to spread love and inspiration, Lizzo urged people to support one another and lift each other up during this time.

“You cannot let this tear us apart. The social distancing is something we are doing for our health, but we have to come together closer as a people,” she told the cameras while also speaking to Elton.

She continued, “Call a friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while, call a family member. This is a very real pandemic. I know we watch TV and we see a lot of fear on television, but you can’t let the fear spread faster than the virus. We have to let love spread. So that’s what I’ve been practicing every single day.”

A moment that captured everyone’s hearts was when a doctor, named Elvis Francois performed “Imagine.” Photos of first responders appeared on the screen, which showed the realities healthcare providers are currently experiencing.

“We’re living in moment unlike any other. Now’s the time to help out in as many ways as we can.Today, we are joining forces with @FeedingAmerica + @CharityStars, as food banks need more support than ever before,” Billy Joel on Instagram, ahead of the special program, which also provided information on how you can help.

He added, “If you are in need of food support, please head to http://charitystars.com/FeedTheNeed where you’ll find a link that will show you the closest Food Bank near you. If you can help out, please visit the same link. We’re all in this together. #FeedTheNeed.”

Fox Presents the iHeart Living Room Concert for America airs Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on FOX. Viewers at home can also stream it on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and the mobile app.

Watch NBC News Special Report: Coronavirus Pandemic Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on NBC, MSNBC and NBC News NOW. For the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic and for tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please visit The Center for Disease Control and Prevention at https://www.cdc.gov.



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