Amid a sea of successful American media companies are seven giants worthy of note: Comcast (CMCSA  ), Walt Disney (DIS  ), News Corp (NWSA  ), Time Warner (TWX  ), National Amusements (NASDAQ:VIAB or VIA and NYSE:CBS or CBS.A) and Gannett Company (GCI  ). This article is a brief overview of each company's history and current events. 

The country's largest provider of Internet broadband, Comcast has a market value of 148.2 billion dollars as of May 2016. Originally a small cable system in Tupelo, Missouri, Comcast now provides video, digital video, high-speed data and cable phone services to a huge subscribership. The CEO of Comcast is Brian L. Roberts and his executive vice president is David L. Cohen. In recent years, Comcast's broadband dominance has caused critics to lash out against the dangers of consolidated media power and Comcast's 2014 attempted $45 billion merger with Time Warner Cable failed for similar reasons. Regardless, Comcast claims it will not use its broadband dominance to edge out its competition, including the internet TV companies Netflix (NFLX  ) and Hulu. 

Incorporated in 1995, the Walt Disney Company is a diversified and global entertainment company. Founded by the Disney brothers in 1923, the company is now run by Robert A. Iger, Andy Bird, Alan Braverman and Bob Chapek. Much of Disney's revenue comes from its parks and resorts, and Disney owns a number of global properties. Disney's publishing companies are Hyperion Books and Marvel Comics. The company is more notable for its movie studios (Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, LucasFilm) and TV stations (e.g. ABC, ESPN, The Disney Channel, Toon Disney, ABC Family, Lifetime and Soapnet.) 

Time Warner Inc. is the TV and film entertainment company with the third largest revenue in the world. Its TV stations include CNN, HBO, The CW and Cinemax. Its publications include Time Magazine, People, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Mad Magazine and DC Comics. Time Warner's CEO and chairman is Robert D. Marcus, and its COO is Dinesh C. Jain. Because Time Warner's strengths are in traditional programming, the company has been slow to adapt to the digital era. But Time Warner's recent investment in live-streaming specialist Kamkord and its launch of FilmStruck shows a willingness to adapt. In recent news, CNN president Jeff Zucker has succeeded in leveraging profit and raising ratings for CNN by increasing its advertising fees. By doing so, he has managed to capitalize off of the entertainment value of CNN's coverage of the 2016 elections. 

 The original News Corporation was founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1980. Four years ago in 2013, News Corporation split into the publicly traded companies 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA and NASDAQ:FOX) (new media, TV and film) and News Corp (publishing). Now, 21st Century Fox owns 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios, as well as Fox, Fox News, Fox Business, FX, Fuel TV, TV Guide Network, Speed and the National Geographic Channel. News Corp's publishing outlets are HarperCollins, The New York Post, Dow Jones, and The Wall Street Journal. Company news of the past decade centers on a 2011 phone hacking scandal, in which a now-defunct British tabloid (News of the World) was found intercepting voicemails from public figures. The scandal is cited as a key factor behind News Corporation's split.

 From humble beginnings as a drive-in theater business, National Amusements later developed into an all-American theater chain. The company's 93 year old founder Sumner Redstone holds roughly under 80% of Viacom and CBS stocks and serves as chairman for both companies. National Amusements owns The Paramount Pictures Corporation, CBS, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET, CMT, Spike, TV Land, Nickelodeon, and Showtime, Simon and Schuster, Pocket Books, Jeopardy, 60 Minutes,,,, and Atom Entertainment. When CBS and the current Viacom split in 2006, the current CBS changed its name from Viacom to CBS and the spin-off kept the Viacom name. CBS is now the most watched TV network in America and Viacom the world's sixth largest broadcasting and cable company. Recent company news centers on Mr. Redstone's decision to replace five Viacom directors, including CEO Philippe P. Dauman. As a controlling shareholder, Redstone claims complete discretion, but Viacom's lead independent director Frederic V. Salerno has countered with a suit. Critics cite Mr. Redstone's mental decline and the influence of his daughter Shari as factors contributing to Mr. Redstone's decision. Ms. Redstone is accused of plotting to take over Viacom by taking advantage of her father's age. 

Sumner Redstone and Shari Redstone
Sumner Redstone and Shari Redstone

Incorporated in November 2014, Gannett Co. is America's second largest newspaper publication by circulation and America's largest publisher. Its CEO is Robert J. Dickey. Today, Gannett operates in over 30 American states, Guam, and the United Kingdom, with over 20 local television stations. Gannett supplements its print publications with companion products integrated on electronic platforms. Recent company news includes its persistent $864 million bid for the Tribune Publishing Company (TRNC  ). Gannett's attempts to merge with an owner of 11 iconic newspapers testifies to Gannett's desire to consolidate. Consolidation would cut costs--a valuable asset, given print's decline. To prove its financial independence while also fending off Gannett, Tribune has changed its name to Tronc ("Tribune Online Content") and switched its stock from NYSE to NASDAQ. It now projects itself as a technology company.