The Morning Fix: Peter Chernin's secret life. Pros and cons of MPAA gig. Gannett not loving Leno. Beatles Rock Band sales not fab. The disappointment of Vince Vaughn.
After the coffee. Before realizing today marks six months at the Los Angeles Times. (And they said it wouldn't last.)
Chernin Consulting Co. Former News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin has been whispering in the ear of Comcast Corp. for the last few months as a consultant to the cable giant. Chernin, who has a production deal on News Corp.'s Fox lot, has been whispering words of wisdom to Comcast topper Brian Roberts and No. 2 Steve Burke as the duo makes a play for control of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal. However, Chernin, who has homes near both Roberts and Burke, isn't expected to take on any role if a deal gets done. Another former Fox exec, Peter Liguori, who also is advising Comcast, could end up with a permanent gig there. Details from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
If Chernin really wants a challenge ... The entertainment industry's top job in Washington, D.C., is open as Motion Picture Assn. of America CEO Dan Glickman is stepping down when his contract is up next September. The perks are a (low) seven-figure salary, free screenings and probably Redskins tickets (although that's not much of a perk these days). The drawbacks are reporting to six different bosses with different agendas and having to fight pirates all day. A look at Glickman's reign and who might be in line to succeed him (maybe former Congressman Harold Ford) from the Los Angeles Times, Variety, the Hollywood Reporter and, well, we tried to find a story on this in the Washington Post, but they ran AP copy.
Gannett not hot on Leno. Back from medical leave, Gannett CEO Craig Dubow told analysts that his company's TV operations would be doing better if NBC had stuck with dramas at 10 p.m. instead of the cheaper Jay Leno. Gannett is the biggest owner of NBC affiliates in the country. Story from Dow Jones Newswires. Dubow's remarks come the same day as our story (yes, I'm plugging it again) looking at how Leno is hurting the late-news programs of many NBC affiliates.
McCormick moves to production deal. Warner Bros.' Kevin McCormick, the studio's president of production, is exiting his post for a production deal on the lot. Since Deadline says this was his idea while the Los Angeles Times notes that McCormick, whose position won't be filled, had another year left on his deal and had not been seeing eye to eye with Warner Bros. Pictures Group President Jeff Robinov.
I saw the sales today, oh boy. The Beatles: Rock Band video game opened up with solid but not spectacular sales. Although almost 600,000 games were sold last month, making it one of the top sellers, analysts thought it could hit the million mark. More from USA Today.
Fox Digital is all about the branded. On Monday, News Corp. unveiled Fox Digital Studios, which will focus heavily on branded entertainment -- or what you civilians call commercials with a plot. Details from Advertising Age.
Weinstein's book business turns page. In another move as part of its shift toward solely focusing on movies and TV, the Weinstein Co. is merging its publishing arm into a joint venture with Perseus Books. Details from the Wall Street Journal.
-- Joe Flint