The Morning Fix: Abdul an 'Idol' no more; upfronts sputter to finish line; ESPN's new social network rules
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to audition for Paula Abdul's job.
Abdul out! After weeks of intense non-negotiations, Paula Abdul announced last night via Twitter (of course) that she was leaving "American Idol" after eight seasons. Abdul, who was making between $2 million and $4 million a year depending on who you ask, was looking for a bigger raise than Fox was willing to offer. What will it mean for her? What will it mean for the show? News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, The Wrap, The New York Times, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
Upfront sputters to finish line. Advertising Age reports that the broadcast networks are about done selling ad time for the fall season and the five-network take will be off by as much as 15% compared to last year. Broadcast volume will be between $7.8 billion to $8.2 billion, compared to 2008's $9.23-billion total.
Dog days. August is traditionally a slow month for movies, but some high profile pictures will keep studio executives sweating more than usual, says The New York Times.
Discovery + Spielberg? Deadline Hollywood Daily says Discovery Communications is in talks with Steven Spielberg about creating a digital cable network together. The cable powerhouse also reported second-quarter earnings. Analysis on that from CNBC's Julia Boorstin.
I'm from the government and I'm here to help. In an interview with The Wrap, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz said the agency would not rule out loosening regulations to help struggling news media. "This might be one of those rare industries where you must think about ways to ensure the vibrancy of news,” he told the site.
First the Marines, now ESPN. One day after Wired reported that the Marine Corps is saying no to social networks, Disney's ESPN has issued its own guidelines on Twitter and Facebook. The New York Times says ESPN talent is "prohibited from having sports-related blogs or Web sites and that they will need a supervisor’s approval to discuss sports on any social networking sites."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Current journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee landed on U.S. soil in Burbank early today after being released by North Korea, thanks to former President Clinton's meeting with Kim Jong-II. Paramount won't screen "G.I. Joe" for critics. The latest news from the TV press tour.
-- Joe Flint