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The Morning Fix: Big weekend ahead! 'Balloon boy' parents popped. Iger's pay cut and gym bill. 'Idol' musings.

December 24, 2009 |  8:18 am

After the coffee. Before leaving out the cookies and milk for any late-night visitors.

Goodbye and good riddance. As 2009 putters to an end, it is clearly a year the media industry would like to forget. Unfortunately, 2010 may not be much better, particularly for the advertising industry. Detroit still isn't spending, big marketers want to cut their fees and commissions, and Washington regulators appear to want to play a bigger part in the industry. "We have not seen a convergence of so many issues and crises at the same time," Maurice Levy, chief executive of Publicis Groupe, whose clients include General Motors Co., Procter & Gamble Co. and Coca-Cola Co., told the Wall Street Journal.

CTlogosmall Iger's pay cut. Walt Disney Co. chief executive Bob Iger took home $2 million in salary, received stock valued at $6.3 million and options worth an additional $8.3 million, and a $9.3-million bonus in 2009. The bonus was off almost 30% from 2008. That's the dry stuff from Disney's proxy statement. The fun stuff, per the Los Angeles Times, is the $589,102 that Iger got for personal security, $132,374 for air travel and reimbursement for a health club membership, gym equipment and a vehicle that totaled $14,400. And I thought Equinox was expensive.

Big box-office weekend ahead. Between "Avatar," "Sherlock Holmes" and, yes, the "Alvin and the Chipmunks" sequel, Hollywood could have a huge weekend at the box office. After all, we can only stand being around family for so long. Forecast from the Hollywood Reporter

"Balloon boy" punishment. Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents of "balloon boy" Falcon, were given a few weeks in jail for their Oct. 15 hoax that their son had floated away in a homemade balloon. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Comcast peace accord. Cable giant Comcast Corp. has resolved a bitter carriage dispute with the regional sports channel Mid-Atlantic Sports Network that had gotten hung up at the Federal Communications Commission, reports Broadcasting & Cable. With a deal to take control of NBC Universal facing a tough review in Washington, it's important for Comcast to resolve as many of these routine fights as possible.

Looks so good you can watch it. Forget relationships and races, the hottest reality shows are about food and cooking. Food Network, Bravo and TLC have all seen ratings spikes from their cooking shows. Next year, Scripps Networks is turning its Fine Living cable channel into an all-food, all-the-time network. USA Today has the dish on what's cooking.

Tired of reading about Cowell and "American Idol." The Wrap's TV ace Joe Adalian tries to separate fact from fiction and news from non-news in the recent surge in stories about Simon Cowell's status with Fox's hit "American Idol." We feel his pain.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Fox Business Network's Alexis Glick quit. John Horn looks deeper at Hollywood's record year at the box office and finds it wasn't all wine and roses. 

-- Joe Flint

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The Morning Fix will take Christmas off. Have a great holiday and see you Monday.

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