The Morning Fix: Happy birthday, Hulu! IPad is coming, but your favorite TV shows aren't. Miramax deadline extended. RIP, David Mills
After the coffee. Before figuring out what prank to pull today.
Happy birthday, now change! Hulu, the online video site co-owned by News Corp., NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co., is coming up on its third birthday. The good news is that the service, which features content from broadcast and cable channels as well as some old movies, all for free, has had two straight quarters of profitability. The bad news is, some of its owners are pushing hard for a subscription model and also want ad revenue to grow. Originally launched in part to fight piracy, Hulu also is seen as something of a threat to the core businesses of the companies that created it as well as to other distributors such as cable companies. One of those companies, Comcast Corp., is in the process of trying to acquire NBC Universal, which could have an effect on Hulu. The New York Times looks at what might be ahead for the site.
Not much content on that iPad, at least for now. Apple's latest game changer, the iPad, goes on sale this weekend. The debut of the device was even a major plot point of Wednesday night's "Modern Family." Sure hope the show's producers got a nice check from Apple for that one. Still, there won't be a ton of content accessible on the iPad yet, but CBS and ABC are making some of its shows available. Apple has been pressuring the networks to make content available for the iPad, but they are resisting. There will be a Hulu application, but it's not ready. The Wall Street Journal's All Things Digital looks at the issues between Apple and programmers.
Deadline extended. In my world, the more you extend a deadline, the more you are saying you're not getting the price you want. First, MGM extended deadlines for its bids, and now Walt Disney Co. has extended its deadline for interested buyers of Miramax. There aren't many. Redskins owner Dan Snyder had a brief flirtation but apparently didn't want to be distracted from his day job of destroying a once-great NFL franchise. The Weinstein Co. is desperate to get Miramax back, but it remains unclear whether they can get the money together (Disney is said to want $700 million). The Los Angeles Times with the latest on Miramax.
Another digital departure at News Corp. Jeremy Philips, a top executive at News Corp. who served as something of a new-media guru for the conglomerate, is leaving. His is the latest exit as the company continues to struggle to turn around MySpace. More from the Financial Times.
RIP, David Mills. Former Washington Post reporter-turned-TV-writer David Mills died on the set of HBO's new drama Treme. Mills was involved in writing and producing some of TV's greatest dramas, including "NYPD Blue," "Homicide" and "The Wire." Newark Star Ledger TV critic Alan Sepinwall's appreciation.
See Tiger Woods' grimace in 3-D. And you thought you had to do something naughty for that privilege. Broadcasting & Cable outlines the plans by the Augusta National Golf Club to show the Masters in 3-D, which will be distributed for free by Comcast, parent of the Golf Channel.
Inside the Los Angeles Times. John Horn on 3-D conversions. Pierce Brosnan moves past James Bond. Missed "American Idol" Wednesday? Here's all you need to know. Univision President Cesar Conde on the census and what it means for the Spanish broadcaster.
-- Joe Flint