The Morning Fix: Lot of chairs at the new NBC Universal! Here comes Potter! Time Warner Cable's essential TV
After the coffee. Before figuring out why I wasn't named chairman of something in the new Comcast-NBC Universal executive structure.
The Skinny: Any ideas on what movie I should see when everyone else is at the latest "Harry Potter"? The Friday roundup has a lot of coverage of Comcast's new team for NBC. If you can slog through that, we've got box office predictions, a cheaper cable package, some movie reviews and even a potential legal battle involving MTV's "Jersey Shore."
Who's chairman of front-door security? Comcast Corp., the cable giant that is purchasing a controlling stake in General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, unveiled its executive structure for the entertainment giant. Most interesting is that the lineup has seven people with the title of chairman! The cable networks are divided up between two chairmen, as is NBC. There's a chairman of sports, a chairman for the movie unit and a chairman for international operations. Interestingly, the man all these chairmen report to -- Comcast's Steve Burke -- does not hold the title of chairman, he's just a chief executive officer. Guess that tells you the real value of those chairman titles. None of the new titles will go into effect until after the deal gets regulatory approval and closes, which should be late next month or early next year. Analysis of Comcast's reorganization of NBC Universal from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
Low-budget cable. Time Warner Cable unveiled a new package called TV Essentials for people who are a little strapped for cash at the moment. TV Essentials, which will be tested in New York and Ohio, has about 50 channels, including local stations and networks from various genres including news, sports, kids and entertainment. Among the channels that made the cut are CNN, TBS, ESPN News, Nickelodeon, Discovery and Bravo. Not considered a "TV Essential" are Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, ESPN and TNT. Subscribers may jump on the deal, but a lot of cable networks that were left off will be really annoyed. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Multichannel News.
No union label. The Writers Guild of America, which is going after producers and companies that aren't playing ball with the union, is trading barbs with Comcast over shows on its cable networks including E! and Style. Deadline Hollywood has the back-and-forth between the two, which is the latest example of labor unrest in Hollywood.
A trip to Potterville. Warner Bros.' latest Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1," opens this weekend and is expected to rake in tons of money. That said, be wary of stories proclaiming record box office that don't go into analysis of ticket prices. It will be interesting to see how "Unstoppable" holds up in Week 2 and how "Megamind" performs. "Unstoppable" star Denzel Washington was hitting the sports radio circuit Friday to promote the movie. Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times and Variety. Meanwhile, Bloomberg looks at how Warner Bros. will try to replace the franchise when it fades into the sunset.
Wasn't The Situation going to be a lawyer? It was bound to happen. Someone is threatening MTV with a suit, claiming the network stole his idea for "Jersey Shore." Is that an idea that one really wants to take credit for? I know, it's a massive hit and generating tons of cash but I'm still not sure I'd want that on my tombstone. Details on the potential suit from the Daily News.
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter because when I'm wrong I'll usually admit it. Twitter.com/JBFlint