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The Morning Fix: White Shadow scores SAG job. Flawed moguls! MGM stress.

September 25, 2009 |  8:08 am

After the coffee. Before wishing Barbara Walters a happy birthday.

The White Shadow scores. Ken Howard is the new president of the Screen Actors Guild, beating Anne-Marie Johnson. Howard is from the moderate side of the guild and there is hope that better relations with the studios will emerge, says the Los Angeles Times. Of course, there are still a slew of divisive issues to be resolved including figuring out how talent will be compensated for digital media. It was a good week for Howard; he won an Emmy on Sunday for his work in HBO's "Grey Gardens." No word on whether Howard will bring his old center Coolidge with him in the new administration. 


It's Rupert and Sumner's fault! A new book -- "The Curse of the Mogul" by Jonathan Knee, Bruce Greenwald and Ava Seave -- says the Internet is not to blame for all of media's woe. Media companies, the authors say, have underperformed for a generation. Here's an excerpt from the Atlantic. Wonder if I can expense my copy?

Better shows or just more buzz? New York Times' media columnist David Carr wonders whether the quality of television has gotten better or just that social media sites such as Twitter now generate more attention among the masses about certain shows, creating an illusion of more quality. It's a little heavy but it's Friday, so digest. One note to our friends at the NYT, it's "Cougar Town," not "Cougartown."

MGM mess. MGM bondholders are telling the financially ailing studio to file for bankruptcy protection, according to MGM, Deadline wrote, said it needs $20 million to cover its overhead and an additional $150 million to get through the rest of the year. The New York Post followed Deadline (without credit, tsk tsk) and here's its take.

Weinstein woes. One hit does not a comeback make, and today the Wall Street Journal is the latest to weigh in on the troubles facing Weinstein Co. Although "Inglourious Basterds" was a smash, there are still lots of financial pressures on the company, which has a heavy debt load and has been taking steps to get out of its non-movie-related businesses. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Time to get some yard work done as this weekend's box office looks s-l-o-w. Ken Burns' "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" delivers. Does Miramax fit in at Disney?

-- Joe Flint

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