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The Morning Fix: Anderson Cooper for Katie Couric? Inside the Murdoch soap opera. 'Shutter Island' tops again. Leno back in late night and, apparently, last 10 months were just a dream

March 1, 2010 |  7:16 am

After the coffee. Before making your bet on how Jay Leno will do tonight.

Burying the lead? Deep inside a New York Times thumb sucker about the challenges nightly newscasts on broadcast networks are facing in today's media landscape is a nugget about CBS having some talks with CNN's Anderson Cooper about succeeding Katie Couric as anchor of its evening newscast when her deal is up in about year. Playing that tidbit in such a low-key way would seem to mean the paper doesn't put too much stock in it, but it was too juicy to leave out. The rest of the story talks about how tough the business is, as evidenced by the recent cuts at ABC News and CBS News. Of course, no one has suggested yet that maybe it's time the networks rethought their priorities when it comes to big paychecks for their anchors. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times looks at the pros and cons of trying to do more with less in TV journalism. 

CTlogosmall As the Murdochs turn. Wonder if News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch still wishes he owned New York magazine, which weighed in with a lengthy piece on the mogul and his family. Although there is some good color in there, half the story is a rehash of what's going on at the Wall Street Journal and Murdoch's efforts to take on the New York Times. You have to get through the first six pages before getting some dirt on the current heir apparent to Murdoch's throne -- his youngest son, James. 

Set your clocks back about 10 months. Maybe NBC's "Tonight Show" will open with Jay Leno in a shower and Kevin Eubanks realizing it was all just a dream. Leno returns to late night tonight while Conan O'Brien is now resorting to Twitter to get his jokes out. NBC has to hope viewers will welcome him back and that the network can rebuild the 10 p.m. hour that Leno's show kind of destroyed. More on this from the Hollywood Reporter and Variety, which looks closely at the bet NBC is making on "Parenthood," and the Wrap, which analyzes what Leno is facing in late night. Advertising Age, meanwhile, offers its take on the fragmenting late-night ad market. 

Shutter Island still drawing tourists. The thriller "Shutter Island," which was not a critical favorite, continues to rule the box office. It took in $22.2 million, and its box-office drop from debut week was less than 50%. "Cop Out" took in $18.6 million, and Overture Films may have bought itself a few more weeks with "The Crazies" taking in $16.5 million. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter

And the Oscar for worst commercial goes to ... ABC has sold out its Oscar telecast, but though the rates for a commercial are up from 2009, they're still down from 2008, according to Media Week. It's estimated that advertisers paid between $1.4 million and $1.5 million for a 30-second spot. Hyundai is the exclusive automaker in the show, but we're guessing that doesn't mean stars and agents are going to run out and sell their Range Rovers and Hummers after the telecast.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: There are more than Leno and Letterman in late night, and we look at who else is making a name for themselves. "CSI Miami" is still chugging along. Must be David Caruso's sunglasses.

-- Joe Flint

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