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The Morning Fix: Whither Hulu? Nikki vs. New Yorker. Zombies kill!

October 5, 2009 |  7:18 am
After the coffee. Before figuring out the playoff schedule.

An empire of their own. China wants its own News Corp. or Time Warner or Viacom. According to the New York Times, the Chinese government is going to "spend billions of dollars in the next few years" to develop its own media conglomerates. Foreign companies will be allowed to be investors, but there will still likely be tight control on some content, particularly news (duh).

Nikki and the New Yorker. Another month, another lengthy profile of Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke. This time around, it's the New Yorker's Tad Friend stepping up to the plate. Anyone in town will learn little new although it's always fun to read about someone's debutante days, and it's too bad there wasn't more on her childhood or her college years at Wellesley. People out of town will probably wonder what the heck goes on in this town or be bored. If nothing else, she should be pretty pleased with CTlogosmallthat illustration. Of course, she found plenty to hate about the piece and plenty to boast about as well, and for all that, you know where to go. 

More consolidation? If Comcast does the deal with NBC Universal, it could lead to another round of media consolidation, says the New York Post. Frankly, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot left to consolidate except the few remaining cable-programming operators like Discovery and Scripps that aren't part of super-huge conglomerates (and considering John Malone's involvement in Discovery, we're not so sure that qualifies). Nonetheless, while we wait to see if an NBC U deal gets done, we might as well speculate on the rest of the industry too.

Whither Hulu? Speaking of NBC Universal and Comcast, one of the more interesting things to watch will be the fate of Hulu should the deal come off. NBC is one of the founding owners of the video site while Comcast in the past has been anti-Hulu. Los Angeles Times reporters Dawn Chmielewski and Meg James (otherwise known as my cube mates) weigh in on the topic. 

NBC rethinks international operations. Prime time apparently isn't NBC Universal's only problem, The company told the Financial Times it's not meeting its targets for overseas expansion. NBC executive Roma Khanna said the company is going to streamline its overseas efforts and consolidate some channels and hoped to hit $5 billion in revenues by 2011, a year later than originally anticipated.

Local TV finding its voice. Some local television stations are starting to get into the op-ed business, reports Broadcasting & Cable. The move comes as stations struggle to stand out against both local and national competition. TV stations used to offer editorials all the time in their heyday but eased out of the game after the Fairness Doctrine became law (requiring equal time be given for opposing viewpoints). That was blown out over 20 years ago. The real fear since then has been offending advertisers.

Redbox: We're here to help! Mitch Lowe, president and CEO of video kiosk operator Redbox, gets a platform from the Wrap and says Redbox is helping the DVD business, not destroying it. 

Inside the Los Angeles Times: "Zombieland" kills at the box office with $25 million in ticket sales while "Whip It" gets whipped. "One Tree Hill" is the CW's secret weapon. 

-- Joe Flint

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