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The Morning Fix: Kimmel's big gig! New FCC! Rupert gets religion

November 1, 2011 |  7:27 am

After the coffee. Before the candy!

The Skinny: There's no Kim Kardashian news here. I won't stoop to that for links. At least not today! In the headlines, we have a peace agreement between News Corp. and DirecTV, yet another profile of Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and a look at ESPN's growing influence on college football.

Phew. DirecTV's 19 million subscribers don't have to worry about missing "Sons of Anarchy" this week. The satellite broadcaster struck a last-minute deal with News Corp.'s Fox to keep more than two dozen cable networks, including FX, on its systems. The agreement also covers the Fox broadcast stations and Fox News and ends almost two weeks of public squabbling between the two companies. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Going downscale. Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes wants to get more in touch with the common man. The head of one of the world's largest media companies wants to move the conglomerate's New York headquarters out of its extravagant home on Columbus Circle to a more low-key setting. The move is part of the company's plans to shed some weight and focus on its core assets, Bewkes told the New York Times. If all this sounds familiar, it's because the Financial Times did a similar, albeit much longer, story about Bewkes in May 2010. All I know is I wish Time Warner would have gotten humble before becoming an anchor tenant in a building that helped destroy the character of the Upper West Side.

Who's the boss? Is ESPN a network that a carries a lot of sports or a force that dictates how much of the sports game is played? USA Today looks at the cable behemoth's influence on college football and whether it is out of bounds. "We've created … I was going to say a blurry line, but I don't think there is any line anymore as to who's in charge," said Andy Geiger, a former athletics director at Ohio State University.

New faces. President Obama has nominated Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican Ajit Varadaraj Pai to the Federal Communications Commission. Rosenworcel, currently a staff member of the Senate Commerce Committee, would succeed Commissioner Michael Copps. Pai, a lawyer who was at the FCC under previous Chairman Kevin Martin, would replace Meredith Attwell Baker. More from the Washington Post.

Rupert finds religion. HarperCollins, the publishing house owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., has acquired Thomas Nelson Inc., which is known for publishing books with religious and spiritual themes. Maybe the company is trying to find faith in the wake of the phone-hacking scandals rocking its newspaper operations. More from the Wall Street Journal.

Big gig. ABC's Jimmy Kimmel has been tapped to host this year's White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner, which is sort of like the prom for D.C. journalists. Kimmel, who routinely cuts up network presidents during ABC's annual presentation to advertisers, will need to find the balance between funny and crude that sometimes escapes hosts. Details from Variety.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: "Survivor" executive producer Mark Burnett wants to reinvent online advertising. Mary McNamara on James Garner's new autobiography.

-- Joe Flint

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