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The Morning Fix: Is this it? Gaspin wants to win (or so he says). News Corp. in lead for Travel Channel. Stephen King and Kindle.

October 22, 2009 |  6:57 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out why you're not on Fortune's "40 Under 40" power list.

Will this be it? Michael Jackson's last days, captured on film, is hitting the box office. Will "This Is It" be his final monster performance or a let down? More than 1,600 shows have been sold out already for the Sony Pictures release. A sneak peak at the movie and a look at at its prospects from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

Gaspin growls. NBC Universal Television Entertainment Chairman Jeff Gaspin has ditched the mantra of his predecessor Ben Silverman and his boss Jeff Zucker that the network is managing for margins, not ratings. In an interview with the Wrap, Gaspin said, "I hope over time we will prove that we are trying to bring NBC back to greatness." What he didn't say was anything about Jay Leno.

CTlogosmall Travel budget. News Corp. has emerged as the leading contender to land the Travel Channel, which Cox Communications put on the block earlier this year. According to the Financial Times (registration required) a deal could be done in two weeks for $800 million (that's a lot of frequent flier miles). Other bidders include Scripps Networks.

Play nice! SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer have some new playmates. Viacom's Nickelodeon has shelled out $60 million for the rights to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," the old 1980s TV series and more recently a film franchise. Move comes as Nickelodeon tries to get into action adventure kids' fare and lure more boys, says the Los Angeles Times

From the Web to TV. And they said it couldn't be done. "Chidren's Hospital," a parody of a medical drama that plays on TheWB.com, has been acquired by Cartoon Network, which will run the episodes in its "Adult Swim" late-night programming block. Details in Variety (read down past the Rob Corddry deal stuff).

Under the dome and off the Kindle. Stephen King's latest book, "Under the Dome," will be available in hardback only for the first six weeks of its release before the e-version is available. King told the Wall Street Journal he wanted to help independent bookstores and national chains, who will sell it for about $35 vs. the less than $10 an e-edition will cost. 

Power players. Fortune has released its 40 Under 40 list of big shots, and a few familiar names are on the list, including James Murdoch, Hulu's Jason Kilar, "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane and, yes, Ben Silverman. We're pretty sure the issue went to press after July. Just kidding, Ben!

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on "Saw VI" vs. "Paranormal" battle at the box office. Denise Martin on "Real Housewives of Atlanta" breakout star NeNe Leakes. 

-- Joe Flint

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