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The Morning Fix: Simon vs. Simon! News Corp. looks for goodwill.

July 21, 2011 |  7:36 am

After the coffee. Before trying to have a Rupert-free day.

The Skinny: There is an assumption that now that News Corp.'s Rupert and James Murdoch have faced the music from Parliament, things will start to die down. Guess again. The headlines may fade, but now the real work will start as British officials and eventually U.S. lawmakers see what, if anything, should be done to the company and top management for their part in the phone-hacking scandal that torpedoed the News of the World tabloid. As if News Corp. didn't have enough on its mind, Simon Fuller, creator of Fox's big hit, "American Idol," sued the network Tuesday. Oh well, hopefully, Momma told them there'd be days like this.

How you like me now? Looking to build some goodwill with British lawmakers and the public, News Corp. said it would stop paying legal fees for Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was convicted of hacking into the voice mails of members of the royal family on behalf of the company's News of the World. However, that may do little to ease the heat on the company, and U.S. lawmakers are getting more vocal about the need to investigate how News Corp. operates here. An old case in which a marketing firm accused a News Corp. unit of hacking into its computers could come back to bite Rupert Murdoch's media giant in the you-know-what. The latest coverage from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times (which finally has no blaring headlines about the scandal on its home page), Business Week, Washington Post and Bloomberg

Simon vs. Simon. "American Idol" creator Simon Fuller wants credit for "The X Factor" as well. Fuller has filed a lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting and producer Fremantle North America Inc., claiming he is entitled to an executive-producing credit on "The X Factor," another musical talent show that premieres on the network this fall and stars former "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell. The suit is the latest in the love/hate relationship between Fuller and Cowell. Fuller, who tapped Cowell as a judge for "American Idol's" British predecessor, "Pop Idol," later sued Cowell over there after the latter created "X Factor." Fuller claimed copyright infringement. The suit was settled, and Fuller said part of that settlement included a producing credit on "X Factor" in any U.S. version. Fox and Fremantle said the case has no merit. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

Will they call it Yalu? Web portal Yahoo is serious about its interest in Hulu, the online video site controlled primarily by News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. The big issue for Yahoo, according to Business Insider, is the terms of exclusivity surrounding the content from its media parent owners, which also include Comcast Corp. Yahoo, Business Insider said, wants at least four years of exclusive access to the content (and by exclusive, it means exclusive to Yahoo and the current owners' own websites, so not really exclusive at all), which probably won't fly.

Friends with similar ideas. This weekend, Sony's "Friends With Benefits" opens. The movie (about two pals who decide ... never mind, if you can't figure out what the movie's about from the title alone, just move on) is very similar to "No Strings Attached," which opened earlier this year. Variety looks at how "Friends With Benefits" hopes to overcome those similarities and show that sometimes being second doesn't mean coming in second.

For sale. Nexstar Broadcasting, which owns or operates 63 TV stations in medium and smaller markets is considering putting itself up for sale. The move is surprising, says TV News Check, because many saw Nexstar as a buyer. However, that may have been before the company got into an ugly fight with Fox Broadcasting over fees the network wants from its affiliates, fees that Nexstar thinks are out of line.

Did they get to the bottom of Jeremy Piven's hair? The Hollywood Reporter offers up another one of its "secrets behind the success of fill-in-the-blank" cover stories. This time around, THR has an oral history (man, I'm tired of oral histories, just write a story for crying out loud) of HBO's "Entourage," which kicks off its final season Sunday.

Want to work at ESPN? Deadspin has a copy of the standards-and-practices manual for the sports empire. Let me know which page covers the rules regarding how little coverage the Washington Redskins are to be given versus other NFL teams.  

Inside the Los Angeles Times: How Kristin Scott Thomas went from movie star to actress. Steven Zeitchik with the back story on the new science fiction movie "Another Earth." TLC's next big bet is a reality show about Muslim families in Dearborn, Mich.

-- Joe Flint

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