The Morning Fix: YouTube scores win! Lions Gate and MGM might make one big cat. Weinstein Co.'s ninth life. Spitzer's new hourly gig
After the coffee. Before figuring out what Eliot Spitzer's CNN paycheck breaks down to on an hourly basis.
YouTube wins against Viacom. Google's YouTube won in its copyright-infringement battle with Viacom. At issue was whether YouTube had been aggressive enough in removing Viacom shows from the site. YouTube argued that it was up to the copyright holder to alert them when stolen material was on the site. Viacom, with subsequent support from other media companies, felt YouTube needed to be the one responsible for making sure such content came down without having to be alerted by the copyright holder. The summary judgment, by a federal judge in a New York U.S. District Court is a big blow for Viacom and other entertainment companies. Viacom said it would appeal. More on the decision and what it means to Silicon Valley and Hollywood from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Daily Beast and Wall Street Journal. Although it's not necessarily the Morning Fix's role to offer an opinion (just to snark), if someone hands me something that I'm pretty sure is stolen, I don't think I'm supposed to wait for the police to come find me before giving it back.
Can these two kittens roar together? One studio is struggling with a huge debt load and screaming creditors. The other is in the midst of a takeover battle with its biggest shareholder. Let's bring them together! Yes, there is talk of a merger between Lions Gate and MGM, breaks the Los Angeles Times. Of course, Lions Gate shareholder Carl Icahn will have to give his blessing, but that may not be as hard as it seems if he gets enough board seats on the new entity. Yes, this is one long-running soap opera.
Get the Spitzer jokes ready. Former Democratic New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer's rehab tour continues with CNN hiring him to co-host an issues debate show with conservative columnist Kathleen Parker. The jokes about Spitzer, who resigned after it was revealed he had been cavorting with paid escorts, started about two seconds after the announcement. Among the better ones: Maybe CNN should stand for Client Nine Network and does Eliot Spitzer get paid for the full hour if he finishes his show early. But underneath the wisecracks is an acknowledgment that the nothing-but-straight-news approach isn't working. More on CNN's latest shift from the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post.
Weinstein Co. gets ninth life. All it took was giving Goldman Sachs and Assured Guaranty Ltd. more than 200 of its movies and some future projects to get itself debt free. Now maybe the company can focus on actually trying to make some movies people want to see, which is something else they've struggled with lately. Details on the latest life for Harvey and Bob Weinstein from the Wall Street Journal and the Wrap. Oh and Deadline Hollywood's Nikki Finke has her own take on all this. You go, girl!
Tough pill to swallow. CKX, the parent of 19 Entertainment, which makes "American Idol," has approved a so-called poison pill designed to stop any potential suitors from teaming up with the company's former chief executive and largest shareholder, Robert F.X. Sillerman, to try to acquire control of the company. In other words, CKX's board wants whoever goes after the company to have to make an offer for all the shares and not just team up with Sillerman to get a majority. This one is not quite on the scale of the soap operas at MGM and Lions Gate, but it's getting there. Details as best we can from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.
The Donovan effect. Landon Donovan's dramatic winning goal that propelled the U.S past Algeria should mean some big numbers for Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and sets the stage for Saturday's match against Slovenia, which could be the most-watched soccer game in U.S. history. I won't even joke that what that really means is it might get hockey-like numbers. Lets get behind our guys come Saturday. More on the ratings from Variety.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: So all that talk about the Oscars moving to January may be a tad premature, says Don Mischer, the awards show vet who will be directing next year's show. John Horn on those movies that grab all ages and why.
-- Joe Flint
No one can do more with 140 characters. Follow me on Twitter at: Twitter.com/JBFlint