The Morning Fix: Microsoft wants you to Bing; Lions Gate sells big chunk of TV Guide Channel and some sort of shift in late night TV is coming
After the coffee. Before contemplating calling in sick.
Will people start saying I "Binged" you? Microsoft announced "Bing," a new search engine designed to take on the incumbent search champ Google and second place Yahoo. The Wall Street Journal says Microsoft will spend as much as $100 million in an advertising campaign to promote Bing.
Don't worry, Mom and Dad still love you. Time Warner officially announced its "legal separation" from its younger wife AOL. The marriage failed to make the ten year mark, but Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes told his children (i.e. Time Warner staff) that "with your continued support I'm confident we have a bright future. The Los Angeles Times
If you are a longtime Time Warner employee with options stop reading! How far has AOL in value fallen since it acquired Time Warner in 2000 for $124 billion. Bloomberg does the math and says its worth half as much as Facebook and less than 5% of Google. Ouch. If it makes you feel any better, AOL Founder Steve Case tweeted that a return to greatness is "doable."
Apparently there is some sort big change going on in late night television. USA Today has an interview with Conan O'Brien about his new gig hosting NBC's "Tonight Show" and, surprise, surprise, outgoing host Jay Leno says the gig "couldn't go to a better person."
Variety and others are saying that Pixar's "Up" is projected to top $60 million while "Drag Me to Hell" could top $20 million.
Attendance is down 14% at New York's BookExpo as publishers deal with a tough environment for the written word. Even children's books are having a tough time. The New York Times
And finally in today's LA Times: Lions Gate is selling 49% of the TV Guide Channel to One Equity Partners for $123 million. Lions Gate needs the money to boost its balance sheet. TV Guide Channel, which is in 83 million homes, has struggled to find an audience despite a built-in brand name and will be revamped. The listings scroll will be one of the first things to go. DreamWorks Animation said it would make more movies.
Have a suggestion for what should come after the coffee? Send it in and if we use it well, there's no cash but you'll feel good.
-- Joe Flint