The Morning Fix: Big paydays for top media execs. Haim Saban's leather ceiling. Freddy Krueger kills at the box office. Conan O'Brien speaks
Ample pay for media chiefs. It's proxy season, that time of year when companies disclose what the top guys are making, and some of the pay packages, including CBS chief Leslie Moonves' $43 million in compensation, are raising a few eyebrows. "Anybody who reads the business section knows the margins are being
squeezed at media companies, so the fact that there are these huge
packages makes no sense," James F. Reda, head of a compensation consulting firm, told the New York Times.
Slashing performance for "A Nightmare on Elm Street." The latest Freddy Krueger movie took in $32.2 million at the box office, easily cruising to first place. That'll be short-lived since "Iron Man 2" opens this weekend. Looking to be out in front of the World Cup, the Robert Downey Jr. film already made its international debut and pulled in $100 million or so in 53 territories. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Hot Blog. The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, looks at how Disney is trying to put its mark on the franchise. Disney bought Marvel, but "Iron Man" rights are shared with Paramount through a third sequel.
A look at Haim Saban. The New Yorker's Connie Bruck digs into Haim Saban, the man who got rich off kids' TV, is an ardent supporter of Israel and apparently has leather on the ceiling of his Beverly Hills home. The article is 12 pages long and I'll be reading it later this morning after the coffee kicks in.
Dish everywhere. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network will offer its own version of TV Everywhere, according to Multichannel News. For the unfamiliar, TV Everywhere is how distributors want consumers to watch content online. If you're a Comcast cable subscriber, you'd need to prove it before watching a ton of TV content online. Not all programmers -- including Disney and Fox -- are hot on the idea of requiring customers to show they subscribe to a pay-TV service before watching shows online.
Coco speaks. If you didn't watch Conan O'Brien's interview on CBS' "60 Minutes" last night, you
didn't miss too much. Somehow, the fact that he has inked a deal for a show on TBS and has
been on tour takes away from the anticipation of finally hearing him speak. This didn't stop the trade pundits from weighing in, with Variety's Brian Lowry writing that the O'Brien interview was self-serving and Hollywood Reporter's Andrew Wallenstein writing that the former late-night host was out of touch. Lowry even wondered if the inclusion of O'Brien's wife saying some harsh things about NBC was CBS' way around the talk show host's own gag order. Broadcasting & Cable wondered about some of Steve Kroft's questions while the Wrap wondered why CBS put video of the interview up online before the show aired on the West Coast and hence undercut its own affiliates. For the record, CBS always does that with its news program; it wasn't special for O'Brien. As for me, I watched it and am glad I didn't feel an overwhelming compulsion to write about it on a Sunday night.
NBC's recovery efforts. NBC Universal Television Entertainment overlord Jeff Gaspin is on a goodwill tour of the press. The executive has been doing meet and greets with reporters lately, and Monday's New York Times features an interview in which he acknowledges that the network will have to spend a lot on prime time. "You can only manage through cost cuts for a short period of time," he said, adding, "and we’ve been doing it for five years."
The people have spoken. USA Today publishes the results of its annual survey of what shows the networks should save. As usual, those "Chuck" fans are the loudest. Meanwhile it doesn't look so good for other fan faves including the CW's "One Tree Hill." Want more? Deadline's Nellie Andreeva also looks at the bubble show situation and says ABC is interested in CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and maybe even "Ghost Whisperer" if they become available. Just curious, but does everyone who works for Deadline have to write "I hear" before getting into their story? We get that you heard it, otherwise you wouldn't be writing about it.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Sunday night's episode of HBO's "The Pacific" included the death of Congressional Medal of Honor winner John Basilone and one of his comrades recalls his heroism. Mary McNamara on the newest season of Bravo's "The Real Housewives of New Jersey."
-- Joe Flint