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The Morning Fix: 'GMA' to top 'Today'! Hulu's next chapter.

April 17, 2012 |  7:23 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out how to win a Pulitzer Prize for tweeting.

The Skinny: Memo to hotels: I don't want to have to use a remote control to turn lamps on or close curtains. I don't want music to come on when I walk into the room. I just want a nice bed and clean towels. Tuesday's headlines include a look at BET founder Bob Johnson's new online venture, Hulu's new strategy, and ABC's "Good Morning America" finally tops NBC's "Today."

BET founder Bob Johnson has a new business

Daily Dose: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski played a game of hide and seek with reporters Monday at the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention. Genachowski gave a speech then tore out through a side door with aides and reporters jogging behind him. He was then led to a green room while an assistant kept the press at bay. Being press shy is nothing new for Genachowski. At another convention, his office once got a blueprint of the facility so it could map out the best route to avoid interacting with anyone.

New chapter. Robert Johnson, above, the founder of BET who sold the cable network to Viacom for $3 billion almost a decade ago, is now looking to be a new media pioneer. Johnson is building an online distribution company and is in the process of acquiring content to feed the pipes. "The gatekeepers have been, for practical purposes, disassembled. If you can identify and curate the content, there is nothing keeping you from reaching a global audience," Johnson tells the Los Angeles Times.

Growing up. When Hulu was launched, it was aimed at curbing piracy. The theory was that the owners of the online video site -- News Corp., NBC and now Disney -- would fight content theft by offering their own shows online for free. Of course, they soon realized that's akin to fighting crime by leaving your doors and windows wide open. Now the site keeps much of its content behind a pay wall and is starting to create original programming as well. In other words, it's an online cable network. More on how Hulu has evolved as it prepares to hold its first big presentation to advertisers, from the New York Times.

Balancing act. On Monday, Walt Disney Co. and China's DMG Entertainment announced plans to make the next "Iron Man" movie there. While trying to crack the Chinese market is a goal of Hollywood, shooting a movie there and working with a Chinese company will not be without challenges. The Wall Street Journal notes that China "maintains a tight grip over who participates in its film industry and what they are allowed to make." Studios have to weigh the benefits of getting exposure in China vs. potentially giving up creative freedom.

The streak is over. While it's not quite on the level of Cal Ripken's consecutive games streak, NBC's morning news show, "Today," has owned first place every week for 16 years (852 weeks). But that streak appears to be over. Early ratings information from Nielsen indicates that ABC's "Good Morning America" topped "Today" last week. The morning shows are the profit centers for broadcast network news divisions and "GMA" has been nipping at the heels of "Today" for the last few years. More on the win from the New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times.

Changing styles. Cable networks USA and TNT have been best known for their drama shows such as "Burn Notice" and "The Closer," respectively. Now USA is going to try its hand at comedy while TNT is launching a reality show. It is part of a growing trend among some big cable networks to broaden their programming approach. Bravo, queen of cheesy reality shows such as the "Real Housewives" franchise, is looking at soap opera-style shows while History, which long ago stopped being just about History, is getting into original scripted programming. More on cable networks reshuffling the deck from USA Today.

Stern loses to Sirius. A judge dismissed Howard Stern's lawsuit against satellite radio broadcaster Sirius in which the radio personality claimed that his contract had been violated. Stern, who got stock bonuses based on subscriber growth, argued he should have gotten a big bonus after Sirius gained millions of subscribers through its merger with rival XM. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at the obsession over "Fifty Shades of Grey." Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski chastised broadcasters for resisting the regulatory agency's push to put detailed information about political ad spending online.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. I have no filter. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: Robert Johnson is looking to be a new media pioneer. Credit: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

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