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The Morning Fix: radio nowhere; advertising blues; zooming in on Zaslav; singing for "Glee"

September 2, 2009 |  7:35 am

After the coffee. Before realizing an hour without Gmail isn't that big a deal.

Maybe it's under the couch. The Financial Times says U.S. media lost $10 billion in advertising in the first half of this year. The 15.4% year-to-year drop is the biggest in a decade, according to Nielsen, which conduced the study. Separately, The New York Times reports that globally an advertising comeback is not exactly on the horizon

CTlogosmall Discovering Zaslav. USA Today gives Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav the five-star treatment in a glowing profile. The always-on-the-go Zaslav oversees an empire that is one of the few media outlets showing real advertising growth. But he has a lot of balls in the air between Oprah's new cable network and a kids' channel Discovery is launching with Hasbro. Discovery, says cable giant and Discovery board member John Malone, has "bitten off a lot" and now the challenge is "in the execution."

Clash of the titans. DirecTV and Comcast are in an ugly feud over the latter's sports channel Versus. DirecTV has dropped the network calling Comcast "piggish." Comcast counters it's not about money. This is not the first time these to media giants have gone head to head, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Radio nowhere. The weak advertising market is forcing already-strapped radio broadcasters to renegotiate their debt, says The Wall Street Journal. Citadel Broadcasting, one of the industry's bigger radio operators, may even have to file for bankruptcy.

Singing for "Glee." Fox has a lot riding on its high school comedy "Glee." After premiering the show to strong numbers after "American Idol" last spring (a slot where, frankly, a test pattern would get big numbers), the network is heavily promoting the show by having its stars hit the road and holding contests to draw viewer interest, reports The New York Times.

Wiatt's YouTube moment? Former William Morris honcho Jim Wiatt may take a consulting gig with Google's YouTube, says All Things Digital. Wiatt, who was a driving force in the Morris/Endeavor merger but without a major role after, is tight with Google chief Eric Schmidt. So far, YouTube has been a costly investment and the company wants more professional content it can monetize since those dogs-on-skateboard clips don't exactly bring in the big bucks.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Freedom Communications files for bankruptcy. Having fun with Vanity Fair's power list.

-- Joe Flint

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