The Morning Fix: Who's biting the Apple and who's not. New twist in Miramax deal. Time Warner Cable and Disney keep signals on for now.
After the coffee. Before scrambling to figure out plans for the three day weekend.
Biting that Apple. News Corp., parent of Fox and Walt Disney Co., have agreed to offer television shows to Apple for the software giant to rent on iTunes at a price of 99 cents per episode. Other major media companies including CBS and NBC are a little more wary of Apple's plans to rent TV shows. The concerns are that the plan will undercut other distribution models that traditionally have been the backbone of the media industry. Programmers have to decide what is more important -- being on all platforms or protecting their financial model because it may be difficult to do both. News and analysis on the Apple announcement from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Hollywood Reporter, and Reuters.
Miramax money goes bye-bye. James Robinson, the founder of Morgan Creek Productions, has backed out of being an investor in construction magnate Ron Tutor's bid to acquire Miramax from Walt Disney Co. Robinson had been expected to provide as much as $100 million of the $660-million purchase price. Also pulling out is philanthropist Jerome Swartz, whom Tutor was counting on for $25 million to $50 million. This means Tutor and his gang will either need to find some new money or see if Disney will renegotiate the terms. I think we know the answer to that one. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
No need to adjust your TV. Walt Disney Co., parent of ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel and ABC Family, did not pull its programming off of Time Warner Cable on Thursday morning even though the deal between the two companies expired just after midnight. Talks are continuing, and if history is any guide, since the signals are still on, it seems unlikely they will get pulled now unless talks really go downhill. At issue are fees Disney wants Time Warner Cable to pay to carry its programming both on television and online. The latest from Bloomberg.
Hard jobs to fill. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes is still looking for the right suit to replace Barry Meyer at the top of Warner Bros. Meyer, along with Alan Horn, was expected to head off into the sunset at the end of next year. Now it is looking as though Meyer could get an extension, according to the Hollywood Reporter, which looks at the challenges in finding the right executives for those parking spots.
Figuring out Comcast's sports book. If Comcast is successful in acquiring control of NBC Universal, it will have the potential to create a sports powerhouse that could one day rival Walt Disney's ESPN. Of course, that is easier said than done. Nonetheless, Sports Business Journal makes five predictions about what a Comcast - NBC will do in sports.
Tough day at Discovery. A deranged man described as an extreme environmentalist who was angry at cable programming giant Discovery Communications, took three people hostage in the company's lobby in Silver Spring, MD. After a four-hour standoff with police, James J. Lee was shot dead and no hostages were harmed. Details on Lee and his angry obsession with Discovery from the Washington Post.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Steven Zeitchik on actor Danny Trejo's rare role as a good guy in "Machete." Mary McNamara on the new contestants on "Dancing With the Stars." Having fun with Vanity Fair's power list.
-- Joe Flint
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