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The Morning Fix: Washington is watching; 3-D day at Comic-Con; White Shadow for president; Twitter cracks down on spam

July 24, 2009 |  7:12 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out how to turn the latest Jersey corruption case into a script.

CTlogosmall Will Washington be watching? Ventures such as Hulu, which counts News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney as owners, and TV Everywhere, the Time Warner- and Comcast-backed online venture, along with recent talks among several studios to merge back-end DVD operations, could draw scrutiny from regulators concerned about consolidation, warns the Reuters news agency.

Upfront action . . . finally. Although it's not a flood, there has been a trickle of deal-making in the upfront market, where commercials for the fall season are sold. Advertising Age says NBC and Fox are about halfway through, and Broadcasting & Cable reports CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rollbacks of at least 4% for buyers. Variety says NBC is facing the steepest cuts. A network executive and a big agency warned Morning Fix that the market is still going to drag on for a few more weeks.

3-D day at Comic-Con. James Cameron's "Avatar" sneak peek was the big event at Comic-Con, but getting those glasses back in one piece proved to be a challenge, say the New York Times and Variety. Today is the always amusing "Star Wars" day, says USA Today.

White Shadow for president. Ken Howard has thrown his hat into the ring to be the next president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is on the Unite for Strength party ticket, which is the more moderate wing of the guild. Howard, who was nominated for an Emmy for HBO's "Grey Gardens," warns that SAG will pay dearly if it is not "smart and strategic" about its future, reports the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, Hollywood Reporter notes it's unclear who Howard will face in the race.

To have or have not. Jon Miller, News Corp.'s new digital chief, says the Internet "will become a have and have-not world" when it comes to paying for content. Journalism, he predicted, will "increasingly become a paid model." Bloomberg

Where'd all my followers go? Notice your Twitter fan base shrinking? No, it wasn't that tweet about getting your nails done that did it (although it should have). Twitter has been cracking down on spammers. However, these spammers are a pesky bunch, as we can attest and they do find their way back! TechCrunch

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Netflix earnings show sometimes it's better to rent than to own. Here's why you missed Manny Ramirez's big hit (not that it'll make you feel any better). 

-- Joe Flint

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