The Morning Fix: WWE plans makeover! Theater owners plan retaliation. How Kelly Bush tames dragons. Glenn Beck hits road.
After the coffee. Before Chris from Syracuse's daily call to the Dan Patrick Show.
The Skinny: Been a crazy week. Shakeups at the "Today" show. Dish buying Blockbuster. Vince McMahon wants to do more than wrestle. Theater owners and studios at each other's throats. Glenn Beck bounces out of Fox News. I want a quiet Thursday and Friday.
Get out of the ring. WWE Chief Executive Vince McMahon wants to take wrestling out of World Wrestling Entertainment. From now on WWE will no longer stand for World Wrestling Entertainment. It will just be WWE, plain and simple. Don't worry, there will still be plenty of smack in "Smackdown." But WWE is trying to rebrand itself through a name change and acquisitions. The company, which has little debt, wants to gobble up some non-wrestling production assets. "I think every brand has to re-create itself," McMahon told the Los Angeles Times. "I want everyone to look at us in a vastly different way than they have."
Odd couple. One is a satellite broadcast service and the other is a struggling movie rental chain. On the surface there does not seem to be a lot of synergy between Dish Network and Blockbuster. But dig a little deeper and ... nope, still not a lot of synergy. Many analysts are still trying to figure out just what Dish Network has in mind for Blockbuster with most attention focusing on the idea that Dish could try to build a bigger online presence with the Blockbuster brand and take on Netflix. That would take a lot of money though. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Los Angeles Times.
It's not pirated material, it's YouTube. Google's YouTube wants to reinvent itself as a place for original content. According to the Wall Street Journal, the online video site is planning to launch channels focusing on original content and is willing to spend $100 million. The challenge will be making enough money to justify the cost of production. Personally, if I were Google I'd try to woo some big star like Jon Stewart away from TV to their site and use him as a building block to bring people in. It is a lot easier to create hits and stars off the backs of established hits and stars. Any further advice will cost money and since this is Google, they know how to find me.
We'll show you, we'll hurt ourselves! Angry about the plans of several studios to make their movies available through video-on-demand only two months after their theatrical debut, some movie theater owners are threatening to not show trailers for studios participating in the initiative with DirecTV. Problem is, previews help theater owners so won't they be harming themselves as well? Couldn't one argue that now is the time to make going to the movies such a remarkable experience that no one would even think of shelling out $30 to watch a movie at home? Of course, I don't like tons of previews so I could care less, but I also recognize I'm in the minority here. I get why the theater owners are angry and they have good reason. But potentially hurting yourself and taking away something your audience likes is not the answer. Coverage on the controversy from Deadline Hollywood and Hollywood Reporter.
Rise and fall. Fox News and Glenn Beck are going their separate ways. With his ratings in decline and advertisers failing to embrace him, Fox News was running out of reasons to keep Beck's afternoon show going. Beck and Fox News had clashed in the past. Beck will likely try his hand as a solo act either online or in television. Coverage of Beck reaching the end of the road with Fox News from the Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast and New York Times. Already syndicators are saying they'd take a pass on Beck. Details on that from Broadcasting & Cable.
Top secret. Comcast Corp., the new majority owner of NBC Universal, has asked the Federal Communications Commission to keep private a filing it is about to make regarding the operations of Hulu, according to Politico. As a result of its deal to acquire NBC Universal, Comcast is now one of the owners of the video site, which is co-owned by News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. Politico makes so much out of the request to keep the filing away from the public that it didn't bother saying what the filing was about. After all, Comcast is supposed to be pretty much a silent partner in Hulu with no say over operations. It was one of the conditions of the deal. Guess I'll have to find out for myself.
Spin queen. "World domination" is what public relations ace Kelly Bush wants, according to the New York Times in a puffy profile of the ID PR boss. The juiciest part of the story is buried at the bottom. Apparently Warner Bros. retained Bush to "contain Nikki Finke," the editor of Deadline Hollywood. The article says after Bush was hired, "the tenor of Ms. Finke’s coverage started to change" and "Warner news started to show up on Deadline first." It appears Finke was not given a chance to respond to that.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Disney gets ready to break ground on its long-anticipated Shanghai theme park. It's all part of the company's plan to take over China like they took over Times Square. The Grammy Awards are getting a makeover.
-- Joe Flint
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