The Morning Fix: Bodenheimer bolts ESPN! Muppets battle vampires.
After the coffee. Before making the pies.
The Skinny: If you are going anywhere this holiday weekend, don't tweet and drive! Wednesday's headlines include the executive shift at ESPN, a preview of the weekend box office and reviews of "Hugo" and "The Muppet Movie." The Morning Fix will be off on Thursday and Friday. See you Monday.
New quarterback. Cable sports giant ESPN is shaking up its starting lineup. George Bodenheimer, the longtime president, is stepping back, and programming head John Skipper will become top dog. As Bodenheimer did, Skipper also will serve as a co-chairman of ESPN parent Walt Disney Co.'s Media Networks unit. Bodenheimer, whose contract was up at the end of the year, will become executive chairman of ESPN. The 53-year-old Bodenheimer had come up on the business side of ESPN and led it to new highs in profitability. Skipper is more of a creative executive who spent years in the magazine industry including early stints at Rolling Stone. More on the move from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Hulu adds to menu. Online video site Hulu has cut a deal for library product from Carsey-Werner, the production company whose credits include "The Cosby Show" and "Third Rock from the Sun." However, "That '70s Show" and "Roseanne," two of the company's biggest hits, are not part of the deal. Details from Variety.
Hold the turkey, pass the popcorn. Will "Breaking Dawn" beat all the competition at the box office this Thanksgiving weekend or will Kermit the Frog show those vampires a thing or two? Besides "The Muppets," the new movies this weekend include "Arthur Christmas" and "Hugo." Previews from the Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Maybe he can get his own sitcom too. The biggest star at NBC is its news anchor Brian Williams. His audience last week averaged 9 million viewers, which is bigger than anything other than football on NBC's prime-time lineup, reports the Associated Press. You don't have to be a TV insider to know that it is a bad sign that none of NBC's entertainment shows draws a bigger audience than the evening news program. The good news: The sharp-witted Williams could be ideal for another workplace sitcom.
Murdoch watch. Embattled James Murdoch is back in the news, and out of a job. The News Corp. executive has resigned from the top position at News Group Newspapers Limited (publisher of The Sun) and Times Newspapers Limited (publisher of The Times and The Sunday Times.) More from the Telegraph. As the phone-hacking scandal continues to spread, the young Murdoch is also the center of another media inspection in The Daily Beast. You can thank me later.
— Joe Flint
Beat the holiday rush and follow me now on Twitter. Twitter.com/JBFlint
Photo: Miss Piggy and Kermit in a scene from "The Muppets." Credit: Scott Garfield / Disney.