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The Morning Fix: James Murdoch out as BSkyB chair! Big paydays for big media.

April 3, 2012 |  7:16 am

After the coffee. Before finding out what happened to my $50-million pay package.

The Skinny: We've got a busy day today, so no light banter. Tuesday's headlines include the resignation of James Murdoch as chairman of BSkyB, the fight between DirecTV and Tribune going federal and a look at the big paychecks some top media executives got last year.

  James Murdoch in happier times at BSkyBDaily Dose: Keith Olbermann, who was fired from Current TV, is making the rounds this week. Not only is he still listed as appearing on David Letterman's "Late Show," he is also scheduled to be on a panel with his former ESPN co-anchor Dan Patrick at the Paley Center in New York on Thursday. If Patrick does pull out of the Paley event, it won't be the first time. Several years ago he was supposed to interview Jerry Seinfeld there as part of a tribute to humorist Jean Shepherd, only to bail three hours before it was to start. New York Times reporter Bill Carter was hustled in as a replacement.

Couldn't hack it? James Murdoch is resigning as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, the satellite broadcaster that is 40% owned by News Corp. Less than a year ago, News Corp. was on the verge of taking over BSkyB with Murdoch, son of mogul Rupert Murdoch, calling the shots. But the hacking scandal at News Corp.'s British tabloids scuttled that deal and now has forced the exit of James Murdoch as chairman. Murdoch, who will remain on the board, is being replaced by BSkyB Deputy Chairman Nicholas Ferguson. The latest from the Los Angeles Times, BBC, Telegraph and Sky News.

Connect the dots. When it comes to animation, the Internet is no longer just a stepping stone to the big leagues of film and television. Tom Hanks is producing and starring in "Electric City," a new cartoon being made for Yahoo. "It's a great way to get into your audience's bedroom, to be able to go wherever they are and to give them an experimental and compelling story," said Hanks' producing partner Gary Goetzman. The Los Angeles Times looks at how Yahoo, YouTube and other Web giants are stepping to the plate with animation.

Call the feds! DirecTV has filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against Tribune Broadcasting. The two sides have been fighting over a new deal for the satellite broadcaster to continue carrying Tribune's TV stations. In its filing, DirecTV accuses Tribune — parent of the Los Angeles Times — of acting in bad faith and reneging on an agreement. Details from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

Morning wars. Katie Couric is back on morning TV, guest-hosting ABC's "Good Morning America" this week. Sarah Palin is guest-hosting at NBC's "Today." Always an intense battlefield, this week the morning shows are kicking the competition up a notch. The New York Times looks at how far they'll go for the upper hand.

Didn't I see this movie? Roland Emmerich is negotiating to direct "White House Down," a movie about a military takeover of the Oval Office, according to Deadline Hollywood. Emmerich must like attacking the White House, as his previous credits include "Independence Day."

Painting a new picture. Don Ohlmeyer, the former head of NBC Entertainment and producer of "Monday Night Football" known for his gruff personality and innovative producing style, has found a new life in retirement as an artist. Sports Business Daily catches up with the outspoken Ohlmeyer.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Big paydays for the top executives at Time Warner, Viacom, Disney and Discovery. And can "Titanic" be a massive hit the second time around?

— Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. It's where I mingle with the little people. Twitter.com/JBFlint

Photo: James Murdoch. Credit: Tim Anderson / Getty Images.

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