The Morning Fix: Couric's back, sort of. Our cost for Dodgers deal?
After the coffee. Before another day in paradise.
The Skinny: I'm not a shill for TV shows, but NBC's "Bent" is a quirky comedy that deserved better than a Wednesday time slot opposite ABC's massive "Modern Family." I hope NBC finds a way to keep it going and let it find an audience. (OK, I'm done pitching.) Thursday's headlines include more analysis of Magic Johnson's Dodger deal, Ron Tutor's efforts to make something out of Miramax and Katie Couric's brief return to morning TV.
The Daily Dose: Los Angeles may be on the verge of cable sports overkill. The City of Angels already has two cable sports channels, News Corp.'s Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket. Later this year Time Warner Cable is launching its English- and Spanish-language sports networks (which will have the Lakers). Also coming is a channel from the Pac-12 conference. If the Dodgers start their own channel (see below), that would be six sports networks. That might be the tipping point as far as consumers and lawmakers are concerned and could lead for renewed calls to offer sports networks on an a la carte basis so customers who aren't interested in sports don't have to pay big monthly fees.
Pay ball. The stunning $2.15 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers by an investment group that includes former Lakers great Magic Johnson continues to be the talk of the town. The price tag, far more than most industry observers thought the team would get, has many wondering just how the team will make ends meet. Here's a hint: bigger TV deals. The new owners are counting on either getting big bucks from Fox Sports or Time Warner Cable or starting their own channel. Analysis of what the Dodger deal means for the TV industry and consumers from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
Just what we need. News Corp., parent of Fox Sports, is again mulling over a national cable sports channel that could rival Walt Disney Co.'s dominant ESPN. NBC already is trying to battle ESPN with its NBC Sports Network and CBS also has its own sports channel. While Bloomberg said the new service could start as early as late 2012, Fox insiders were downplaying the idea as just something that is being kicked around and may end up going nowhere. Additional coverage from the Los Angeles Times.
Welcome to Hollywood. Ron Tutor has a big house, a big boat and a big construction business. He also has Miramax, which needs some construction. The Hollywood Reporter looks at Tutor's Hollywood learning curve.
Who's the fairest of them all? Relativity Media's "Mirror, Mirror" is something of a change of pace for the production company, which is more known for action films than family comedies. Variety looks at Relativity's big bet with its retelling of the "Snow White" story.
Set the alarm clock. Katie Couric will make a brief return to morning television next week when she fills in for Robin Roberts on ABC's "Good Morning America." Couric, who was the longtime anchor of NBC's morning news show "Today" before becoming anchor of CBS' evening newscast, is launching an afternoon talk show for ABC's parent Walt Disney Co. this fall. For Couric, the brief return to the morning slot is a chance for her to promote herself and the new show. Wonder what "Good Morning America" would do if the show beat "Today" next week. I know -- highly unlikely. More on Couric's stint from TV Newser.
Welcome back. Katie Couric's not the only big news anchor making a comeback. San Diego's own legendary anchor Ron Burgundy is also returning. Will Ferrell went on Conan O'Brien's TBS show Wednesday as one of his most famous characters to announce a sequel to the 2004 hit. Details from USA Today.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Banjo legend Earl Scruggs died at 88.
-- Joe Flint
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Photo: Katie Couric with friends. Credit: Philippe Cheng/Sesame Workshop.