The Morning Fix: Verizon wants to stream. Jolie gets serious.
After the coffee. Before remembering when The Beastie Boys were just punk kids hanging around my NYU dorm.
The Skinny: Every day something new happens to make me feel old. On Tuesday it was the official word that The Beastie Boys are going into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Their roots were in my New York University dorm, which was also the home of now legendary music producer Rick Rubin. Oh well. Tuesday's headlines include a look at the biggest gun supplier to Hollywood, Verizon's plans to get into the streaming game and a profile of director Angelina Jolie.
Close that window. One of the new senior executives at NBCUniversal got a pleasant surprise one day when he tugged at the window of his 52nd-floor office and it flew wide open. As any high-rise occupant knows, windows that open wide are extremely rare. Alas, after a few days of enjoying fresh air and sticking his head out the window, it all came to an end. The memo came from building management saying that while indeed the windows do open, that doesn't mean you're allowed to open them. Probably just as well, an open window might be too tempting for NBC executives when football and its big ratings go away after the Super Bowl next February.
Got yourself a gun. Meet Gregg Bilson Jr., the man to see in Hollywood if you need a piece. Bilson runs Independent Studio Services, which has become the go-to prop house for guns for movie and television shows. "We provide everything from crossbows to rocket launchers and all points in between," Bilson told the Los Angeles Times. "There is nothing we can’t supply. And if we don’t have it in stock, we can make it." Hmm. I could use one for work meetings.
Can you watch me now? Verizon Communications wants to take on Netflix and other streaming services. According to Reuters, the telecommunications giant has approached Hollywood studios and television networks about acquiring content for the service. Of course these days everyone who has a connection into the home has mulled launching some sort of content delivery platform. I'm waiting for Pacific Gas & Electric to announce they too want to offer a movie-streaming service.
But what she really wants to do is direct. The Angelina Jolie publicity tour trumpeting “In the Land of Blood and Honey," her first directorial effort, continues in full force. Having already made appearances on CBS' "60 Minutes" and ABC's "This Week," the actress now finds the New York Times weighing in with a feature story. Normally, we don't link to profiles of onscreen talent, but there aren't many photo options in this morning's roundup.
Busted again. Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator who was previously jailed for hacking into the phones of members of the British royal family on behalf of News Corp.'s now-closed News of the World tabloid, was arrested again. According to the BBC, Mulcaire was back in custody as part of Scotland Yard's probe into phone hacking by the paper.
Just say no. Adam Sandler isn't for everyone. But one thing I've admired about his career is that he has avoided doing lame sequels to his numerous comedy hits. Now that may be changing, though, as his production company, Happy Madison, is in talks with Sony about a follow-up to last year's "Grown Ups," according to Variety. Don't do it Adam. You're not desperate. Full disclosure: Sandler and I were also at NYU at the same time and he wouldn't recognize me if he ran me over on his way to the office.
Follow the money. Nexstar, one of the biggest owners of local television stations in the country, wants big bucks from the multichannel video program distributors that carry its stations. Speaking at an investment conference, Nexstar Chief Executive Perry Sook said local TV stations represent 40% of viewing for distributors but only get 5% of the fees, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Of course, local broadcasters such as Nexstar need to get as much as they can from MVPDs, because the broadcast networks that supply Sook's stations with content are asking for more money. And the end result is -- say it with me now -- we pay more.
I'm the king of cable. "Titanic" director James Cameron will be heavily involved in a National Geographic Channel documentary on the doomed ocean liner, timed to the 100th anniversary of its sinking next April. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop but forgets to mention that "Titanic" was made for 20th Century Fox Studio, whose parent News Corp. is also a partner in National Geographic.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Randall Roberts on the new members of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: Angelina Jolie. Credit: Carlo Allegri / Reuters.