The Morning Fix: Out at Overture! Icahn and Lions Gate continue battle. Sony gets its Spider-Man
After the coffee. Before wishing happy birthday and a better year ahead to Lindsay Lohan.
Over at Overture. The departure of Chris McGurk and Danny Rosett, the chief executive and chief operating officer, respectively, of Liberty Media's Overture Films has jump-started speculation that the production company may be sold. Private equity players Tom and Alec Gores have been circling and Chris Albrecht, the ex-HBO chief who now oversees Overture, is focusing his efforts on Starz, Liberty's pay cable channel. Too bad for Overture, which has made some decent movies including "Law Abiding Citizen," but it has not had much box office success. More on Overture from Variety, Los Angeles Times, Wrap and some venom from Deadline Hollywood.
Icahn and Lions Gate trade roars. Investor Carl Icahn has almost 38% of the shares of Lions Gate as he prepares for a proxy battle at the company's next annual meeting. Lions Gate, meanwhile, is going to try to establish another poison pill that would allow the company to issue more stock to prohibit anyone from acquiring more than 40%. More on the saga that knows no end from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.
This sounds worse than a late fee. Struggling rental chain Blockbuster will have its shares delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, according to the Wall Street Journal. On the plus side, Blockbuster was able to extend the due date on making a payment on some of its debt. Oh, guys, I'll be a few weeks late returning that DVD. No biggie, right?
Dolan vs. Dish. New York cable operator Cablevision Systems, infamous for playing hardball with programmers when it comes to negotiations (remember its battle with Walt Disney Co. last spring?), is now on the other end. Satellite broadcaster Dish Network has dropped Fuse, a music channel that Cablevision owns, because it doesn't want to pay more than the roughly 6 cents per-subscriber, per-month it already shells out. Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan will have to put this one on his to-do list right below signing LeBron James to play for the New York Knicks, the NBA team that his company also owns. More from the New York Post.
What, me worry? Pay channels HBO and Showtime seem to be immune to the worries that plague broadcast and basic cable television in the Internet era. The Hollywood Reporter looks at how the pay cable business is positioned for the digital age.
Disney hits the tap. Walt Disney Co. bought Tapulous, a developer of games for iPhones. PaidContent talks to Disney Interactive Media President Steve Wadsworth about the deal and what else is happening at Disney on the digital front.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on Mel Gibson's latest crisis. "Toy Story 3" is struggling to make headway in Russia. Lindsay Lohan turns 24 on Friday, but there isn't a lot of happiness at the moment. Oh, and Sony found its Spider-Man in Andrew Garfield.
-- Joe Flint
The Morning Fix will return Tuesday, July 6. Have a happy and safe Fourth of July and remember to follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/JBFlint