The Morning Fix: NBC's Bromstad hits road! Kimmel gets more time. Bargains at Sundance.
After the coffee. Before deciding whether to see "No Strings Attached" or watch football on Sunday.
The Skinny: I am rooting for the Jets and Packers. Just wanted to get that out of the way. NBC prime-time chief Angela Bromstad joins Jeff Zucker and Jeff Gaspin out the door as Comcast gets ready to take command. Meanwhile, Eric Schmidt, who led Google's phenomenal growth and executed the vision of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, is stepping back. Finally, despite all the negative headlines, I actually think Fox's "American Idol" numbers were pretty impressive given the show's age and departure of Simon Cowell.
Buh-bye. Just a few days after Comcast got government approval to take over NBC Universal, Angela Bromstad, NBC's head of prime-time entertainment, turned in her resignation. The move had been expected since last November when Comcast said former Showtime programming chief Bob Greenblatt would run NBC's entertainment operations. Other senior executives also leaving are NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker and NBC Universal TV chief Jeff Gaspin. Expect lot of other departures. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety. Meanwhile, General Electric Co. reported its fourth-quarter results and NBC revenue was up 12%. Zucker talked about the results in his farewell memo, which you can read courtesy of Hollywood Reporter.
Bargains to be had. You can leave the checkbook at home and stick to the ATM card at this year's Sundance. While there's lots of good product, the New York Times says the "buzzwords among most sales agents this year are "recalibrated expectations" and "new normal." This essentially means that deals will get done but that prices will be confined to the mid-seven figures or less. The Times says films that in the past would have gotten $1.5 million in minimum guarantees now get around $250,000.
Boys against girls. This weekend "No Strings Attached" -- the Ashton Kutcher-Natalie Portman romantic comedy -- will square off against "The Green Hornet." I would have thought "No Strings Attached" would flame out, but given Portman's popularity right now, I'll bet it does decent numbers but won't have staying power. Box office projections from the Los Angeles Times and the Wrap.
All grown up. Eric Schmidt is giving up his CEO title at Google and co-founder Larry Page will take that spot. Schmidt will become executive chairman. The move was a surprise, although Schmidt, who was brought in 10 years ago to provide veteran leadership for youthful founders Page and Sergey Brin, tweeted that "day-to-day adult supervision no longer needed!" Coverage from the San Jose Mercury News and Wall Street Journal.
Bad Friday. Jean-Marie Messier and Edgar Bronfman were found guilty and fined by a Paris court for assorted charges related to their leadership of Vivendi. According to the Financial Times, Messier got a three-year suspended sentence for misleading investors while Bronfman was given a 15-month suspended sentence for insider trading.
Kimmel gets more time. ABC said it is pushing up the start time of Jimmy Kimmel's late-night show from 12:05 a.m. to midnight. That also means that "Nightline," the lead-in for Kimmel, is going to lose about six minutes of show. Kimmel was able to negotiate for the extra time as part of the most recent extension of his deal. Details from USA Today.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: For some actors, having a movie at Sundance can help them make a new impression.
-- Joe Flint
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