The Morning Fix: News Corp.'s MySpace blues; Day 2 of Paula; Leno not here to save NBC
After the coffee. Before digging up that old copy of "What Makes Sammy Run?"
If Leno won't rescue NBC, maybe Fallon will. Jay Leno, who is moving from late night to prime time this fall, cracked, "I'm not here to save them." Speaking at the semiannual TV press tour, Leno said, "Screw them." On a serious note, Leno said his new show will feature two guests at the most and he won't use a desk. Leno got the laughs while NBC executives faced tough questions on what the bar is for Leno to be called a success and how NBC will turn around its struggling evening lineup. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Variety.
News Corp. swings to loss and talks tough about Red Box. News Corp.'s underperforming interactive unit, which includes MySpace, caused the media conglomerate to take a $452-million charge and led to a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of $203 million. The company is also drawing a line in the sand regarding the video kiosk company Red Box and talked tough about charging for content online. The Wall Street Journal , Financial Times and Los Angeles Times.
After Abdul. Was it money or pride that made Paula Abdul walk away from "American Idol," the nation's top television show? Although she didn't get the salary she was seeking, people close to the show say that it wasn't all about money, and some of it was about love, which she apparently was not feeling from Fox. The door is still slightly open for her to return and others are expressing interest in the singer. The Los Angeles Times , New York Times and New York Post. Fox execs will meet the press today.
So long Ben & Ben. ABC is getting rid of Ben Lyons and Ben Mankiewicz as hosts of its long-running "At the Movies" in favor of the New York Times' A.O. Scott and the Chicago Tribune's Michael Phillips. Deadline Hollywood Daily.
Brave New World. Leonardo DiCaprio will star in Ridley Scott's adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The Hollywood Reporter.
Facebook and MySpace not so hot in Britian. It was only a matter of time until the parents came and spoiled the kids' party. In Britain, the Financial Times reports that a new survey by OfCom shows the "proportion of British 15- to 24-year-olds with a profile on a social networking site such as Facebook or MySpace fell for the first time last year from 55% to 50%." That trend is happening here as well.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Inside the plans to capitalize on Michael Jackson's death. Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co., which is in bankruptcy protection, is getting heat for its bonus payment plans. John Horn explains how "The Hurt Locker" is beating the odds. Budd Schulberg, author of the classic Hollywood tale "What Makes Sammy Run?" and prolific screenwriter, dies at 95.
-- Joe Flint