The Morning Fix: Viacom profits up! Lions Gate-Icahn battle drags on. Jimmy Fallon for the Emmys? So what does 'off the record' mean?
After the coffee. Before deciding on that PR job at Goldman Sachs.
Viacom profits up. Viacom released its first-quarter results early Thursday morning, and thanks to increased viewership at MTV and Nickelodeon and some cost cutting elsewhere, profits were up 38%, to $245 million. Paramount Pictures had a tougher first quarter. Although the studio could boast of "Shutter Island" and its part of "How to Train Your Dragon," the results didn't compare well with "Hotel for Dogs," "Monsters vs. Aliens" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," from the first quarter of last year. Early reports from Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal.
Don't rush out for those 3-D glasses for TV yet. Two top media executives said the 3-D sensation that is hitting movies probably won't trickle down to television beyond sporting events. Speaking at Michael Milken's big conference in Beverly Hills, CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves (he of the $43-million pay check) and News Corp. President Chase Carey (he of the fancy mustache), said they were unconvinced that 3-D would become huge in television. Kudos to the Reuters reporter for making this panel seem the least bit newsworthy; I was there and had trouble keeping my eyes open.
Back and forth. Now Lions Gate is trying to appeal the decision of Canadian regulators to toss the movie company's so-called poison pill aimed at stopping investor Carl Icahn's $7-per-share takeover offer. Isn't there anything new on that Disney-Miramax-Weinstein Co. deal to write about? This one's hitting a rut. More from the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.
Fallon likely Emmy host. Variety says Jimmy Fallon is NBC's top pick to host the Emmy Awards, which the peacock network has this year. Of course, Conan O'Brien is out of the question, and Jay Leno seems a long shot. Other contenders could be Jerry Seinfeld or a pairing of Steve Carell and Tina Fey. The worry with Fallon is whether he has broad-enough appeal for the show. Given that NBC is sticking the show in August because of football and airing it live across the country instead of on tape delay on the West Coast, why not make it a trifecta of big gambles?
Facebook CEO not big on privacy; New York Times blogger not big on "off the record." Which is more disconcerting, that the chief of Facebook doesn't care about privacy issues or that someone writing for the New York Times apparently doesn't know what "off the record" means? I'll go with the latter. Hardly a surprise that a guy who has built a company on getting people to reveal every last detail of their mundane lives is not worried about privacy issues. More shocking is the writer not knowing how this "off the record" thing works. Let me explain. "Off the record" means I can't use it at all. "Background" means I can use it but not attribute it directly to the source. Oh, and of course Twitter is involved in this one. For more, see Wired.
Steve Carell might be taking long lunch. While promoting "Date Night," Steve Carell said he is probably done with NBC's "The Office" after next season, when his contract up. This, of course, will now lead to tons of stories for the next year about his fate, one of the first of which comes from Deadline. Wake me when it's over.
Bet on it. The Wrap tries to make the case for why a box office futures market is a good thing. This idea is looking like it's dead in the water.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: ABC News only had to lay off about two dozen staffers as part of its cutbacks, but that's not because the network rethought its plans; it's because about 300 saw the writing on the wall and took buyouts. Fox News has won in the ratings for 100 months in a row, but Glenn Beck's not doing his part.
-- Joe Flint