The Morning Fix: Zucker's final big deal? Disney wants to make Facebook into Amazon. Icahn and Lions Gate grid for battle
After the coffee. Before figuring out how the Supreme Court's new Miranda ruling would have been handled by 'Law & Order' if that show was still around.
That's Conan O'Brien cash! The New York Post says NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker will walk away with between $30 million and $40 million after Comcast closes on its deal to acquire control of the entertainment conglomerate. Claire Atkinson writes that the details to Zucker's exit package are being finalized and that the embattled CEO will leave "a couple of months" after Comcast seals its deal. NBC parent GE denied there is an exit package, as did NBC. Of course, most industry observers do expect Zucker to leave when Comcast takes over. As for the cash, well, if Conan O'Brien could walk away with that much for his stint as "Tonight Show" host, it seems only fitting that the man who put him there get the same amount. That's sarcasm, folks.
Them's fighting words. Investor Carl Icahn said he is prepping for a proxy battle with Lions Gate Entertainment, the small production company that he has a stake in and is trying to take over. He again extended his offer to shareholders of $7 per share and tossed out the requirement that a minimum number of shares must be tendered for his offer to take effect. So far, there have not been a ton of takers on his offer, which values the company at about $800 million. The latest on this soap opera from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Wonder if the box office from "Killers" will lead Icahn to up his offer. OK, I don't really wonder that.
Great! A new way to be annoyed on Facebook. Walt Disney Co. is using Facebook to hawk tickets for the latest "Toy Story" movie. According to the New York Times, people will be able to buy tickets to the movie without leaving Facebook and prod (or is bug a better word?) their friends to come too. The NYT says this "could transform how Hollywood sells movie tickets by combining purchases with the powerful forces of social networking." I'll put it another way. This is the latest example of over-commercialization of social networking sites, overly aggressive marketing and the demise of privacy. Guess I know why Disney didn't pitch me the story.
ABC thinking pay? ABC, whose parent Walt Disney Co. is already a partner in the online video site Hulu, is looking at creating its own online subscription service for its content. According to Engadget, ABC has conducted some online surveys to see what the response to this would be from folks. NewTeeVee contacted ABC about this and the company said: “In order to better understand our audience as the digital marketplace evolves, we constantly conduct research on a variety subjects to garner useful insights."
Ever wonder why people don't like the media? The Wrap provides us with an answer to that with this article on what Al and Tipper Gore's separation could mean for the cable network Current TV that the former vice president founded. A cynical attempt to get Web traffic disguised as analysis, the story goes on to say that, uh, nothing would likely happen to Current TV as a result of a Gore divorce. When Rupert and Anna Murdoch divorced, did she walk away with Fox News?
-- Joe Flint
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