Company Town

The business behind the show

« Previous Post | Company Town Home | Next Post »

The Morning Fix: Redstone keeps National Amusements but sells some CBS and Viacom stock. Young exits 20th. 'NCIS: LA' success bad for creativity? Twitter cop!

October 14, 2009 |  7:12 am

After the coffee. Before finding your umbrella.

Sumner's nine lives: Looks like Sumner Redstone can still go to the movies for free. The media mogul chairman of both Viacom and CBS is holding off on selling National Amusements Inc., the closely held movie-theater chain, which looked like a sure thing because of a looming $500-million debt payment, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, this morning National Amusements said it would sell shares of CBS and Viacom (both stocks have been on the rise lately) to make payments on the debt, an update from the Associated Press

Shakeup at 20th: Alex Young is out as co-president of 20th Century Fox, with Emma Watts expected to become a solo act at the studio. The Wrap says Young was pushed, Variety says Young "sparked to the chance" (huh?) to become a producer at the studio.

One more thing to put his name on: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's financial media giant Bloomberg L.P. has scooped up BusinessWeek for about $5 million and will -- of course -- rename it Bloomberg Business Week. For Bloomberg, it is a chance to extend the brand into consumer media. Details from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and a Q&A with Norm Pearlstine, Blooomberg's chief content officer and former WSJ and Time Inc.chief from PaidContent.

CTlogosmall "NCIS" success bad for risk-takers? Advertising Age looks at the hot spin-off of the new TV season -- CBS' "NCIS: LA" -- and wonders if this is not necessarily a good thing for innovative writers and producers. In other words, if formulaic retreads of established brands become the norm, where will the next unique vision come from? Uh, cable?

Roger slaps Rush: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell took a shot at radio personality Rush Limbaugh, who is part of a group looking to buy the St. Louis Rams. Speaking in Boston, Goodell said "divisive comments are not what the NFL is about." He's referring to Limbaugh's brief stint as an ESPN personality when he made racially charged comments about Eagles QB Donovan McNabb. The New York Times reports there is a growing backlash against Limbaugh's long-shot bid to become an owner.

This could get interesting: CBS News is digging into the hot story of the day -- David Letterman's backstage life and the alleged extortionist who went after him. The New York Observer looks at the tricky minefield (wait, is there any other kind of minefield?) that CBS reporter Armen Keteyian will have to walk through. 

Instant payoff from Imus: Don Imus' first week on the job boosted Fox Business Network, according to Broadcasting & Cable. His show drew 148,000 viewers, very small compared to his CNBC days but big enough to beat rival CNBC's "Squawk Box." Oh, and it was a 1000% improvement from whatever Fox Business had there before.

The new Jackie Gleason? "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, who has also popped up on ABC's "FlashForward" and is a Hulu spokesman, will now try his hand as a variety show host in a Fox special, reports Variety. The special will run commercial-free but be filled with marketing pitches about Microsoft's new Windows system.

Brendan Wilhide, Twitter cop: If you're thinking of setting up a fake Twitter account for an athlete, be wary of Brendan Wilhide, a public relations executive who has developed a second career exposing fake Twitterers. Even the sports leagues are impressed with his detective skills. The scoop from the Wall Street Journal

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Paul Haggis gets good news in his profit battle over "Crash." Weinstein Co. sells stake in snooty social networking site. Jane Lynch's gleeful moment. Current's "Vanguard" returns just a few months after the release of two of its stars,  Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who were held in North Korea. 

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter.