The Morning Fix: Amazon's digital play! Icahn raises his bid. It's 'Conan.' Fallon irked at NBC for not streaming his version of 'Born to Run.'
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to commit to watching "Sons of Anarchy."
Amazon throws its hat into the ring. Amazon is planning its own streaming service for movies and TV shows, making the Internet retailer the latest to make a run at a piece of the digital space. The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon has been meeting with Time Warner, NBC Universal, Viacom and other big media players to strike deals for content. Of course, this is already a crowded field, with Netflix already in the game along with Apple's iTunes. Google is also pushing for a big chunk of digital dollars with Google TV. Of course, the television industry is wary of many of these services because of their potential to undercut the revenue that comes from cable and satellite operators who pay big bucks for their content. Separately, Apple is expected to offer details of its plans to get into the television show rental business with Fox and Disney most likely on board as the guinea pigs, according to Wired.
Time to check whether your ego and parking space are justified. Vanity Fair's annual (some might say tired) "New Establishment" list of the top 100 players in media and entertainment is out. Clever Vanity Fair puts one entry per page on its Web offering of the list, meaning the site will get a lot of clicks from eager moguls looking for where they fell on the list. At the top are Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Apple's Steve Jobs. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch is the highest-ranking old-school mogul while yours truly has again inexplicably been left off the list.
Icahn reaches into wallet again. Investor Carl Icahn upped the ante in his battle to take over Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. Perhaps in reaction to the strong summer the production company had at the box office ("The Expendables," "The Last Exorcism"), he is now offering $7.50 per share. That's a buck more than his last offer and may make it harder for Lions Gate shareholders and its board to keep him at bay. Details on Icahn's latest play from the Los Angeles Times.
CBS News woes. This summer has been particularly brutal for CBS News as its ratings continue to plunge to new lows. Anchor Katie Couric is nearing the end of her deal and, according to the Daily Beast, another round of cuts could be hitting the news division soon. Of course, all network newscasts are struggling. But CBS pays Couric a lot of money and it hasn't helped ratings. It may be time for the broadcast networks to shift the focus of their news programming to the morning shows rather than the evening newscasts, which seem increasingly like relics of a bygone era. Already, local stations are increasingly looking at morning news as an audience to be tapped, notes the New York Times.
Tossed from the ledge? Manager and producer Gavin Polone, he of the healthy eating and exercise regime, has filed a suit against Summit Entertainment claiming he was given the shaft with regards to a producing role on "Man on a Ledge." Details from the Hollywood Reporter. Odds are this legal battle won't be nearly as exciting as the one Polone got into against his former employers, United Talent Agency, back in the day.
Live from Burbank on TBS , it's "Conan." Yes, that's the name Conan O'Brien and his team have come up with for his new late-night show that debuts this November "It's simple, pure, like the man himself," O'Brien revealed in a video he made for Vulture.
Well, that would've been really expensive. Although Jimmy Fallon's version of "Born to Run" from Sunday's Emmy Awards is all over the Internet, it's not on NBC's website. That's because neither NBC nor the TV Academy wanted to pony up the bucks to Bruce Springsteen for the rights to stream. "That could have been worth 500,000 hits on NBC.com," Fallon told Daily Variety. "People are looking for it. We worked so hard on it and it's our own network, and it's a good commercial for our network. It's so simple, just pay for it."
Inside the Los Angeles Times: It pays to be a Murdoch or at least married to one. Union Station is becoming a hot location for shoots. Hallmark Channel gets a break-up card from AT&T. James Rainey on ESPN's plans to get into the local sports news game.
-- Joe Flint
It's September already? You'd know this if you followed me on Twitter. Twitter.com/JBFlint