The Morning Fix: Cable comes to town! Berney bails on Apparition. NBC's cable queen.
After the coffee. Before going to hear Brian Roberts and Peter Chernin.
The interpreter. That's how Bridget Baker, NBC Universal's president of TV Networks distribution, describes herself. She's the one who gets cable and satellite distributors to carry NBC's cable properties and swallow the fees that go with that. She also probably has worked more closely with Comcast, the cable giant trying to buy NBC Universal, than anyone else at the company. Los Angeles Times' scribe Meg James takes an in-depth look at the woman who knows all the secrets of NBC's cable operations.
Tipping points. The cable industry will be gathering in downtown Los Angeles for the next three days, where they will focus on programming, politics and their own future. Broadcasting & Cable takes a look at the state of the industry, including how cable is making its mark in snagging must-see programming (or at least what it thinks will be must-see programming). Broadcasters, warns writer Melissa Grego, need to step up their own programming if they are going to keep trying to squeeze (our word, not hers) fees from cable and satellite distributors to carry their signals.
Berney bails. In a surprise (which means reporters didn't see it coming), Bob Berney resigned as head of the indie movie company Apparition. If he meant to time his exit to mess up Apparition than he did a good job since the move comes on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival. Deadline New York's Mike Fleming had the scoop. For some cutting analysis on Apparition, here's the take from Hot Blog's Dave Poland.
Will "Robin Hood" reward or just rob? The Wrap's Sharon Waxman takes a look at what is at stake for Universal Pictures (which has had a tough go of it lately) with "Robin Hood," which has some pretty big costs associated with it (and we don't just mean the shrink bills for everyone who had to work closely with Russell Crowe). Speaking of movies we've seen before, the Daily Beast's Peter Lauria looks at our summer of sequels and what it will mean for summer box office. For me, it means time to catch up on all those episodes of "Lost" I never watched.
Plop them in front of the TV. USA Today looks at the booming marketplace for kids' programming. There are now almost 10 networks chasing after kids, but are there enough dollars (and quality content) to support the number of channels? I'll go with no. Ever wonder what some kid stars pull in? Monday's New York Post offered up a list who's pulling the most dough. I found the numbers for Miley Cyrus to be a little low, but then again she does work for Disney.
-- Joe Flint