The Morning Fix: Murdoch reelected at BSkyB
After the coffee. Before writing something I won't even remember in two hours.
The Skinny: Time to push the rock up the hill again. Tuesday's headlines include James Murdoch being reelected as chairman of BSkyB, the powerful British satellite broadcaster in which Murdoch's News Corp. has an ownership stake. Other stories include merger talks between Lions Gate and Summit Entertainment, a profile of NBCUniversal Chief Steve Burke and a look at the growth in popularity of dance video games.
Short list. Last week's news that ESPN President George Bodenheimer was stepping down at the end of year and programming chief John Skipper was taking over will set off other changes at the cable sports empire as well. Attention is starting to focus on who will succeed Skipper in what is basically the No. 2 position. The two big names making the rounds are Norby Williamson, an executive vice president in programming and production, and Rob King, whose title per his LinkedIn page is senior vice president, editorial, print and digital media. Another name that hasn't gotten a lot of play but some observers have on their long-shot list is Sean Bratches, ESPN's executive vice president of sales and marketing.
The sum may be greater than the parts. You didn't think we'd get out of 2011 without another story about Lions Gate Entertainment either merging with someone or being acquired by someone else, did you? The latest is that Lions Gate is in talks with Summit Entertainment. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg.
The book on Burke. New NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke doesn't just want to return the Peacock Network to greatness. He also wants to kayak around Manhattan. That might be easier than getting NBC back to No. 1 in the ratings. Philadelphia Magazine with a profile on Burke.
Quid pro quo? When singer Charlotte Church was 13, she sang at the wedding of News Corp. Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng. Now Church has told the Parliament committee investigating phone hacking at News Corp.'s British papers that as part of her deal to sing, she was to get favorable coverage from the tabloids. "This strategy failed," Church said in a statement to the inquiry. "In fact Mr. Murdoch's newspapers have since been some of the worst offenders, so much so that I have sometimes felt that there has actually been a deliberate agenda." More on the inquiry from News Corp.'s Wall Street Journal.
Not going anywhere. As expected, James Murdoch, the News Corp. executive most under fire for his handling of the phone hacking scandal at the company's British tabloid News of the World, was reelected as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting. Details from the Sydney Morning Herald.
No cameras allowed. C-SPAN is taking a run at getting the Supreme Court to rethink its policy against cameras in its courtroom. “It’s the sound bite,” C-SPAN chief Brian Lamb told The New York Times when asked why he thought the high court was against cameras. “They don’t like, in the modern age, that people can sound-bite them.” Makes sense to me.
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: James Murdoch in Munich, Germany on Jan. 25, 2011. Credit: Miguel Villagran / Getty Images