The Morning Fix: Eisner and Comcast's Shell in running to run Tribune! Could Oscars move back to Mondays? Conan will have to curb his tongue at Emmys.
It really is a small world after all. Former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner and Comcast Corp. programming executive Jeff Shell are in talks with the largest creditors of bankrupt Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. to run the company once it emerges from bankruptcy. The senior creditors include JPMorgan Chase and hedge funds Angelo, Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital Management. Eisner is already tight with John Angelo, with whom he has long ties. Besides the Los Angeles Times, Tribune also owns the Chicago Tribune and television stations in some of the nation's biggest markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. More on the trials and tribulations of Tribune Co. as it struggles to rebuild, from the Los Angeles Times.
Is there something in the water? First ex-Disney chief Michael Eisner and Comcast's Jeff Shell emerge as potential operators of old media stalwart Tribune Co. Now Major Garrett, a veteran Fox News reporter, is leaving TV for print. Garrett, the White House correspondent for Fox News, is headed to the National Journal, the small but influential Washington magazine to cover Congress. Garrett has often been caught in the middle of tensions between the White House and Fox News, but he told the Washington Post that the bad blood between the administration and Fox News "made my job more difficult.... I'd be a liar if I said otherwise." But, he said his own role was that of "conscientious objector."
Back to Mondays? If the National Football League goes ahead with increasing the regular season schedule to 18 games, there is a good chance that the Oscar awards might have to move from Sunday back to Monday to steer clear of football playoffs or possibly the Super Bowl. The football season already drags into February on a regular basis (much to this old-school fan's chagrin) and the addition of two more games would likely mean a Super Bowl around the middle of February. My own conspiracy theory is that the NFL wants to make the Super Bowl a permanent fixture of President's Day weekend. That way everyone has Monday to off to get over their hangovers. More on what a longer NFL season could mean for the Oscars from Variety.
Conan's gag order. If Conan O'Brien takes home an Emmy for his short-lived hosting duties of NBC's "Tonight Show," he may not be able to tell everyone how he really feels (unless he just feels happy, that's OK). O'Brien signed a fairly comprehensive gag order when he left NBC earlier this year (doesn't that already seem like it was years ago instead of less than 10 months ago?) and he may want to run his acceptance speech by his lawyers. The Hollywood Reporter looks at what he can and can't say.
SAG vs. AFTRA. As much as SAG and AFTRA, the two big actors unions try to cut the trash talk between the two, it seems that they can't get along. AFTRA is now become an issue in the upcoming Screen Actors Guild Election. More on the busting on unions from Deadline Hollywood.
What's the long-term viability of the situation? Advertising Age looks at the rush of some marketers to embrace the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" and whether Snooki, Situation, JWoww and the rest of the gang that makes my head hurt anytime I'm on a flight and torment myself by watching a bunch of episodes" will have real staying power will they be footnotes in a year or so. My advice: cash in on everything and anything now since in 20 years you'll be auditioning to get on some lame VH1 show and getting told you didn't make the cut. Except for you Sammi, you'll still be sweet.
Germany may make Facebook off limits to employers. Facebook can provide companies with some information about potential employees that might not come out in an interview such as their love of beer or skimpy bikinis or off-color jokes. There are plenty of safeguards to lock down your profile, but it is the Internet after all, so some common sense should apply. But Germany, according to the New York Times, apparently doesn't view the opportunity to get a sneak peak of what that prospective employee may really be like as a good thing and the government is considering a law that would limit an employer's ability to use Facebook in checking out employees. This has little to do with media, but caught my eye anyway since one has to wonder what the issue is with anyone wanting to look at all material possible before deciding on hiring someone, especially when a prospective employee puts it out there for the world to see.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The Emmys are Sunday, but Andy Sale of Ernst & Young already has a pretty good idea of who is going to win. John Horn on why documentary directors can make good commercial directors.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. I need to impress my bosses. Twitter.com/JBFlint