The Morning Fix: MLB takes over Dodgers! Forget Katie Couric, Ricki Lake is coming back! Directors side with theater owners in fight against studios.
After the coffee. Before shelling out $30 to watch "Just Go With It" at home. KIDDING!
The Skinny: I wonder if I can get Fox to loan me $30 million like it did Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Better still, let's create a fund and make a bid on the team! In other news, some big-shot directors are siding with theater owners in the argument over putting movies on video on demand just two months after their big-screen premiere. Ricki Lake is coming back to daytime, and Lindsay Lohan will be paid for belonging to a criminal family.
We're mad as heck! A group of high-profile directors, including James Cameron and Michael Bay, may get some very nice Christmas gifts from movie theater owners for saying they are against the plan of several major studios to put some movies on video on demand just two months after their theatrical premiere. The directors sent an open letter to the studios -- Warner Bros., Sony, 20th Century Fox and Universal -- critical of the strategy and are asking prominent players to join them in protesting the move. Details from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
He'll never be a Hollywood mogul at that salary! Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings may run one of the most important companies in entertainment, but you wouldn't know it from his paycheck. Hasting's 2010 pay package was valued at just $5.5 million. That's chump change when compared with the compensation packages of Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman ($84.5 million), CBS CEO Leslie Moonves (almost $58 million), Discovery chief David Zaslav (about $43 million) and Time Warner Chief Executive and Netflix hater Jeff Bewkes ($26.3 million). Hastings will need to get an excessive deal if he wants to be taken seriously out here and in New York. Details from the Los Angeles Times.
Forget Katie Couric, Ricki Lake wants to come back to daytime! While CBS anchor Katie Couric plays Hamlet, former daytime talker Ricki Lake wants to give it another go and has struck a deal with News Corp.'s Twentieth Television to try to launch a show in the fall of 2012. Lake spent almost a dozen years in daytime and was actually fairly successful (you have to be to have lasted that long). The scoop from Broadcasting & Cable. Meanwhile Couric's camp continues to shop a daytime talk show and milk attention from the media.
Wait until Comcast realizes they own a chunk of the Weather Channel too. In a move that will be called synergy but that will also save some bucks and could cost a few jobs, Comcast will use one of its regional sports cable networks to provide coverage for the NBC station in San Francisco. Don't be surprised if Comcast takes a similar approach in other cities where the company has a regional sports channel and owns an NBC station, including Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. Details from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Is she in or out? There are conflicting reports regarding whether Lindsay Lohan is going to play a Gotti in a movie about the mob family. On Wednesday, the Wrap reported she was not going to be in the movie. Then later that day, Variety said she in fact had struck a deal to play the wife of John Gotti Jr. That appears to have been the right story so they will get the link and we'll all get a lesson in how the media can get used as part of the negotiating process.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: In a sad moment for a storied franchise, Major League Baseball is taking over the troubled Los Angeles Dodgers, whose owner, Frank McCourt, was so desperate for money, he took a $30-million loan from Fox, which carries the team on cable. A risky bet from 20th Century Fox on "Water for Elephants."
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter and we'll raise money for a Dodgers bid! Twitter.com/JBFlint