The Morning Fix: Disney gets its marketing chief. Lions Gate passes on Icahn's latest offer. What's in it for Ron Burkle?
After the coffee. Before analyzing the NFL schedule to see which network got sacked.
If the shoe fits. Disney Studios chief Rich Ross has finally found his marketing chief, tapping outsider MT Carney for the high-profile gig. Carney is a young ad executive who most recently headed her own firm -- Naked Communications. Bet that company gets noticed on a resume. Carney will, of course, be told she faces a learning curve and will be seen as someone unfamiliar with the ways of the industry. But her firm has done work for many major advertisers and Disney's approach these days seems to be as much about the brand as it is the content. Details from the Wrap and Los Angeles Times. And no, we don't know what the MT stands for.
Maybe he'll send Hit Girl to make his next offer. Lions Gate on Wednesday rejected investor Carl Icahn's latest hostile bid of $7 per share for the movie studio whose latest release, "Kick-Ass," opened No. 1 at the box office. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
What is Ron Burkle thinking? While Harvey and Bob Weinstein's efforts to get Miramax back from Disney has gotten a lot of attention, the reality is it is supermarket magnate Ron Burkle who is spending the money and who will own the library. The Weinsteins are just hired hands. Apparently some covering the story are just waking up to this detail. Both the Wrap and the Daily Beast try to take a whack at explaining the back story. We will save you some time. Burkle thinks the library will kick off a steady flow of cash and has been seduced persuaded by the Weinsteins to buy it and let them run it. He'll either be champ or another chump. The real question is what all this means for the Weinstein Co.
Chernin playing games. Peter Chernin has had talks with Microsoft about creating a channel for Xbox users. According to Bloomberg, the network would be exclusive to Xbox Live subscribers and would feature both original content and reruns. While Xbox users can access Netflix and other content, whether it could support original programming remains to be seen. Chernin, Bloomberg reported, thinks Xbox could raise its monthly subscription fee a couple of bucks to cover the programming costs.
What's cooking? The Food Network's spinoff Cooking Channel, which launches at the end of May, unveiled a lineup to advertisers Tuesday that is geared more toward slackers than chefs. The New York Times says the network's shows are "targeted at a hipper crowd interested in the grass roots of food culture." In other words, no Paula Deen. Food has become the hot genre among cable networks and while one would think the Food Channel and its sister service would have a lock on viewers, TLC and Bravo and other cable networks have made inroads on their turf.
What's in a name? Variety's Brian Lowry thinks it's time for some cable networks to change their names to better reflect their programming. TLC, which once stood for The Learning Channel, should become UFC -- Unusual Family Channel. G4, a channel about video games, should become Geek while VH1 should call itself CRUD, which stands for "Celebrity Reality & Unorthodox Dating."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Warner Bros. has acquired Turbine, which makes games based on "Lord of the Rings" while News Corp. bought game developer Irata Labs. ABC is developing a daytime talk show with Tori Spelling. Another movie futures exchange is approved.
-- Joe Flint