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The Morning Fix: Slow July 4 box office; Conan and young men; Univision battles on; FX wants to capture magic

July 6, 2009 |  7:40 am

After the coffee. Before deciding if you need a summer haircut.

CTlogosmall Fewer fireworks. The box office explosions were muted over the July 4 weekend. "Ice Age" and "Transformers" tied for the top spot on a slow Saturday. "Ice Age" did melt audiences abroad. Analysis from: The Los Angeles Times; Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter

Young men and Conan. NBC's Conan O'Brien is having his greatest success with men 18-34.  Just over a month after taking over from Jay Leno, O'Brien has brought the median age of NBC's "Tonight Show" down ten years. At the same time, the overall audience for the show has also shrunk dramatically giving CBS something to crow about as well. The New York Times.

Univision navigates bumpy road. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision is battling a tough economy and a heavy debt load but some recent deal-making has given it some breathing room, reports The Los Angeles Times' Meg James.

Special FX John Landgraf, head of News Corp.'s FX cable channel, wants to recapture the buzz that the network used to have when it was seen as basic cable's HBO. Oh, and if he had sports the network would be up there with TNT and USA. Of course, if NBC had "American Idol" it'd be in first place instead of fourth. Broadcasting & Cable.

Michael's money. The Wrap weighs in with its take on Michael Jackson's finances. 

The perils of freedom. Mark Cuban offers business advice via paidContent. To sum up: "hen you succeed with Free, you are going to die by Free. Your best bet is to recognize where you are in your company’s lifecycle and maximize your profits rather than try to extend your stay at the top."

The contraian Carr. New York Times columnist David Carr says Steve Jobs health is really not our business. Writes Carr: "...We all buy, sell and trade on someone’s health without knowing their fates. Sergey Brin or Larry Page, Google’s founders, may be fit as fiddles, but they could get run over tomorrow by a Prius in Palo Alto (a Prius would still hurt, right?)."

In today's Los Angeles Times: Videogamers are saving their pennies by renting games or buying used ones. 

-- Joe Flint