The Morning Fix: World stops turning! Women rule box office. Howard Stern debates next move. Warner Bros. wants to beef up TMZ.
After the coffee. Before honing that daytime soap opera pitch.
"World" stops turning. "As the World Turns," the long-running CBS soap opera, has stopped its orbit. The show, which was made by Procter & Gamble, the king of all things household, was canceled Tuesday after 54 years on the air. "As the World Turns," which was a starting point for many stars including Meg Ryan and Julianne Moore, is the second major soap opera to be pushed into retirement. Earlier this year, CBS' "Guiding Light" ended its decades-long run. A shrinking daytime audience and changing tastes have hurt the genre although two soaps, CBS' "The Young and the Restless" and NBC's "Days of Our Lives," actually have increased their ratings this season. Details on the demise of "As the World Turns" from the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.
It's a woman's world. The hotshots at the box office aren't named Hanks, Willis or Washington but rather Bullock, Streep and Heigl. This year, women have been much more dominant on the big screen. And since their movies tend to cost less, that means they make more money for the studios. The Wrap on the battle of the sexes at the box office.
Howard Stern mulls options. Howard Stern, who forever changed FM radio with his long-running morning show and then shook the industry when he jumped to satellite radio, is debating (with himself, of course) whether its time to hang it up. Stern's contract with Sirius XM satellite radio expires in about a year, and he has already begun his Hamlet act on his show. "I don't think I'm going to be re-signing," he said recently. Meanwhile, Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin, who has been tied to Stern for more than two decades (he was his old boss on FM radio for years) desperately wants to keep the King of All Media on his air -- but for less money. Good luck with that, Mel. The Wall Street Journal on what's at stake for both Stern and Sirius with his decision.
It's December and that means cable. As broadcast networks throw on the reruns this month, cable has seen its ratings soar, reports Variety. USA's "Monk," FX's "Sons of Anarchy" and Showtime's "Dexter" all had big numbers last week, as did the premiere of A&E's unintentionally hilarious "Steven Seagal: Lawman." The trend continued this week with TNT's new male-angst drama, "Men of a Certain Age," drawing 5.4 million viewers, most of whom were women. Meanwhile, USA Today weighs in with an analysis of the fall season for broadcast TV, and for a change the news isn't all grim.
Where's Tiger? While Tiger Woods continues to keep a low profile after disclosures about his off-the-course life, advertisements featuring the legendary golfer also seem to have disappeared from the air. The New York Times takes a swing at figuring out when (or is it if?) Woods the pitchman might resurface.
Inside the Los Angeles Times. Now that its partnership with AOL in tabloid news operation TMZ is ending, Time Warner is looking for ways to expand the operation and boost revenues. Variety's new editor is a familiar name to Los Angeles Times staffers. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves is upbeat at media conference.
-- Joe Flint