The Morning Fix: Does Comcast want to shake up Universal Pictures? Fox News wins big Tuesday.
After the coffee. Before figuring out whether to see "Due Date" or just rent "Planes, Trains & Automobiles."
The Skinny: Fox News was the other big winner Tuesday night. Are mall tours coming back? MySpace may be losing its space if it doesn't get it together soon.
No space for MySpace? News Corp., Rupert Murdoch's media empire whose holdings include Fox, released its first-quarter earnings Wednesday and the news was pretty good except for MySpace. The social networking site, which News Corp. bought for $600 million several years ago, continues to struggle to remain relevant in the age of Facebook and lost about $70 million. News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey expressed frustration with the site. The Fox network also had a bad quarter thanks to a weak performance of the fall lineup. Details from the Wall Street Journal.
Fox News in a landslide. Fox News was also the big winner Tuesday night. The cable channel drew almost 7 million viewers for its prime-time coverage of the election. It easily beat CNN, which averaged 2.42 million viewers, and MSNBC, which had 1.94 million viewers. While much of Fox's win will no doubt be attributed to its audience, which may have had something to crow about, my observation is from a production standpoint Fox News also stands out for its simple approach. CNN's set seems too crowded and its cameras were herky-jerky all night. With regards to MSNBC, most of the time I'm staring at Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews looking for signs of tension and those are not hard to miss. Analysis from the Associated Press and New York Times.
Universal change. Cable giant Comcast has already made it clear that Jeff Zucker will be out as CEO of NBC Universal after its deal to acquire the content company closes. Could Ron Meyer, the longtime head of Universal Studios, be next? Vulture says Dick Cook, who was ousted as head of Disney Studios, has been approached about the top job at Universal.
How many tents do you need? Warner Bros., which is already focused on a big-picture strategy based on establishing franchises, isn't likely to change as studio boss Jeff Robinov assumes greater responsibility. The Wrap says Robinov wants to produce fewer movies but make even bigger movies. This means, of course, less chance-taking and more sequels and special effects. In other words, business as usual.
Skip the movie and stay on the couch.Time Warner's Warner Bros. plans to experiment offering movies via video-on-demand while they are still playing in the theaters as soon as next summer. On its Tuesday earnings call, CEO Jeff Bewkes said the company is working out sticking points with distributors. While Bewkes said the company was in talks with theater owners, it came as news to them. "Exhibitors were surprised today to read Mr. Bewkes' comments," John Fithian, who runs the theater owner trade association NATO, told Variety. Will people pay as much as $50 to watch a movie at home? Disney has also been looking at trying to offer some movies in the home via VOD during their theatrical release.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The stars of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” will be doing a mall tour to promote the movie, which opens next month. Jon Nesvig has been selling commercials since the Don Draper days and now he's ready to talk about it. If you're not tired of reading about MGM yet, here's more on its bankruptcy filing.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter just because. Twitter.com/JBFlint