The Morning Fix: Anderson Cooper has day dreams! Live Nation drama continues. World according to Ryan Kavanaugh.
After the coffee. Before reflecting on when a big AOL deal was buying Time Warner, not some tech blog.
Ads for sale, or is it resale? Walt Disney Co.'s ABC has come up with a system to allow its affiliates to buy advertising time from the network which they could resell if it is apparent that they will do better with it than the network could. The way it currently works is that affiliates give up the bulk of their advertising time in return for carrying a network's programming. That won't change, but now stations will have the option to buy more time that the network will offer. If enough stations make the bet, then ABC will release the inventory. The program was primarily designed for stations to be able to take advantage of what will likely be a surge in political advertising as the election nears. Details on the initiative and how it works from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.
They won. We lost. Next -- the sequel. The aftershocks of Barry Diller's abrupt resignation as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment -- the music giant created by the merger of concert promoter Live Nation and Ticketmaster -- continued to reverberate throughout the industry Wednesday. This being the modern age, rather than release a statement on what happened, Irving Azoff, the executive chairman of the entity (yes, they basically had two chairmen) tweeted that the reports are "ridiculous." Those reports focused on clashes of board members Diller, Azoff, Liberty Media's John Malone (is there a company or industry he doesn't have a role in?), former ESPN executive and Six Flags chief Mark Shapiro and super agent Ari Emanuel. Speculation has ranged from Diller trying to flex his muscle and getting rebuffed to the mogul getting frustrated with a circus-like atmosphere at board meetings. More spin from the Los Angeles Times, Hollywood Reporter, New York Times and Wrap.
A certain sameness. The Hollywood Reporter, looking to stir up some conversation, notes that it does not look like it will be a good year for blacks at next year's Oscars. "There's a real possibility that for the first time since the 73rd Oscars 10 years ago, there will be no black nominees in any of the acting categories at the February ceremony," THR said. Director John Singleton told the paper that "it's more difficult than ever to get a picture made with any serious subject matter -- let alone an ethnic-themed one," Meanwhile the Academy screening for the critically praised "The Social Network" (shouldn't it just be "Social Network"), is coming up and Gold Derby wonders if a movie about Facebook is too hip for Oscar voters.
Put your mouth where your money is. Oprah Winfrey makes the cover of Fortune and talks about her commitment to OWN, the cable network she is launching in partnership with Discovery Communications. OWN, which launches in January, has gone through lots of executive turmoil as it tries to get everything just right. Discovery has also agreed to pump more money into the project. I'll say this. If this network doesn't work, it won't be due to a lack of promotion.
Because he's worked so well at CNN. Anderson Cooper, the CNN newsman who has struggled to build an audience despite massive marketing campaigns, is in talks with Warner Bros. Telepictures to create a daytime television show. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Cooper would hold on to his evening gig. The goal would be to try to snag time slots that may be opening up with the departure of Oprah Winfrey in 2011. While newsmen don't usually jump into the zoo that is daytime talk TV, Cooper did have a stint as host of an ABC reality show called "The Mole" early in his career.
Here we go again. The New York Post says that Carl Icahn, the investor who has spent much of the last year trying to take over Lions Gate, is renewing his interest in MGM as well. Time Warner Inc., which has expressed some interest in Time Warner, also apparently is looking again. A lot of this story is rehash of what's already been out there and some of it seems, uh, dubious. But hey, it's been at least a week since there has been an Icahn mention in the Morning Fix and that's far too long.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter because I'm slander-free. Twitter.com/JBFlint