The Morning Fix: Rough day for Rupert. Tao of Leo. Occupy Comcast!
After the coffee. Before wishing for earnings week to be over.
The Skinny: Still no Kim Kardashian for you! I honor my word. Thursday's headlines include more woes for News Corp., a CBS win in its indecency fight with the FCC and a look behind the scenes at Eddie Murphy's new movie, "Tower Heist."
Rough day for Rupert. News Corp. the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch and currently embroiled in an ethics scandal, said its first-quarter earnings fell 5%. The company incurred charges tied to the phone-hacking fiasco at its now-shuttered News of the World that has had reverberations throughout the company. The numbers weren't the only disappointment. The new issue of Vanity Fair has a long article detailing how the company's woes are creating turmoil inside the Murdoch family. Here is an excerpt from that piece as well as coverage of the numbers from the Los Angeles Times.
This case is still going on? CBS won its latest court fight with the Federal Communications Commission over the regulatory agency's attempt to fine the network $500,000 for Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The FCC has not said if it will appeal a decision by a Philadelphia appeals court saying the fine was invalid. Whatever they do, the legal fees over a few seconds of Janet Jackson's breast is well past the cost of the fine at this point. More if you want it from the Los Angeles Times.
Occupy Comcast. The 99-percenters took the Occupy movement to the Philadelphia headquarters of Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable operator. Somehow I doubt the protesters were complaining that the cable giant doesn't give the Bloomberg financial news channel placement near its own CNBC network. More on the protest from the Philadelphia Inquirer and kudos to fellow aggregator I Want Media for fishing it out.
The tao of Leo. It would have been easy for Leonardo DiCaprio to find a couple of action-picture franchises to milk for years and do an occasional comedy. Instead, he takes on big projects often about larger-than-life characters as is the case with his latest movie about legendary FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. “When I can’t immediately define the character, and there’s an element of mystery to it and still a lot to be explored, that’s when I say yes,” he told the New York Times. Sounds like he's not interested in my "Growing Pains" movie script.
Eyeing the door? Peter Liguori, the No. 2 at cable programming giant Discovery Communications may be looking to make an exit, according to Deadline Hollywood. While the piece appears light on sourcing, Liguori watchers won't be surprised by the news. He spends most of his time in Los Angeles even though Discovery is based in Maryland. He may be hungry for a return to a media company that is a player in the scripted business. Also, trying to be the middleman between Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Oprah Winfrey has to be a thankless job no matter what you're paid.
What I really want to do is produce. Ryan Seacrest, host of "American Idol" and producer of several hit reality shows, wants to add movies to his resume. Seacrest has struck a deal to co-produce a romantic comedy with Reese Witherspoon, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
-- Joe Flint
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