The Morning Fix: NBC keeps Olympic flame burning. Keith Olbermann still has plenty to say.
After the coffee. Before moving my car because they're repaving the street.
The Skinny: If this report feels rushed, it's because I had to move my car by 6:30 a.m. due to street reconstruction. Still, we hit all the big stories for you, including NBC's new Olympics deal and the latest babblings from Keith Olbermann.
The fire still burns. NBC will remain the home of the Olympics into the next decade. It is shelling out $4.38 billion to the International Olympic Committee for the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Games. NBC was seen as something of an underdog despite its long ties to the Games. For starters, new owner Comcast has been sending not-so-subtle signals that the network was going to be very conservative when it comes to big-ticket events, especially because NBC lost $233 million on the 2010 Games. Also, last month, NBC Sports chief and huge Olympics supporter Dick Ebersol abruptly resigned from his post, which was seen as another signal of a lack of interest. But when the dust cleared in Switzerland, NBC had easily outbid rivals Fox and ESPN. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Philadephia Inquirer and Wall Street Journal.
There must be a trend in here somewhere. What do two aging talk-show hosts (Regis Philbin, Larry King), a retiring news anchor (Jim Lehrer), a morning personality (Meredith Vieira) quitting to be with her ailing husband, a daytime yakker leaving to launch her own cable network (Oprah Winfrey), a low-rated news anchor trying her luck at daytime (Katie Couric) and a TV evangelist striking out on his own (Glenn Beck) have in common? Absolutely nothing. But reporters and editors often like to find trends in things, and so the New York Times on Wednesday tried to connect all these recent changes to a seismic shift in the television business. Sometimes it's good to helicopter up and observe the forest through the trees. Other times, though, each tree has its own unique story, and a broad look just leads to generalizations that don't really hold up.
Playing favorites. Two big Hollywood studios -- Paramount and Disney -- have steered clear of announcing plans to make their movies available via video-on-demand just a couple of months after their theatrical debuts. Does that mean those studios will get some more love from theater owners. Variety takes a look.
That's one expensive ark. Darren Aronofsky is shopping a movie version of the story of Noah's ark, which he'd direct. Deadline Hollywood says the director of "Black Swan" and "The Wrestler" wants $130 million to make the movie. Can't wait to see those zebras dance with each other.
Does his voice ever get tired? Former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann is hyping his new show on Current TV and making the rounds with the media. The Hollywood Reporter put him on the cover and gave him a platform to rant. At least it didn't cost them as much as what Current is going to pay him.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: An interesting legal battle looms over new start-up company StarGreetz, whose backers include several Hollywood heavyweights.
-- Joe Flint
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