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The Morning Fix: Media and marketers want better ratings; Warner Bros. targets Redbox; 'Saving Grace' won't be saved

August 14, 2009 |  7:33 am

After the coffee. Before deciding if Redbox is your friend or foe.

Going after Nielsen? The Financial Times reports that several major media companies including News Corp., Viacom, Time Warner, NBC Universal, CBS and Disney are talking with some major advertisers about teaming up to find better ways to measure consumption of content. There is no deal yet and some companies involved told Company Town that the discussions are not necessarily about creating a rival to Nielsen.

CTlogosmall Now its Warner Bros. versus Redbox, oh, and Netflix too. A new day, a new studio taking aim at video kiosk operator Redbox. On Thursday, Warner Bros. said it would delay providing movies to Redbox, and it also talked tough about Netflix. The move comes a day after Redbox sued News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox. Analysis on the red-hot topic from the Los Angeles TimesWall Street Journal and Deadline Hollywood Daily.

Bailing on Beck. Several major advertisers have pulled out of Fox News' "Glenn Beck" show, says The New York Times in the wake of Beck's calling President Obama a racist. A Fox News spokeswoman said all the advertisers have taken ads in other shows on the network.

Not saving Grace. TNT wanted to bring its drama "Saving Grace," starring Holly Hunter back for a fourth season, but producer Fox TV Studios declined, and now the show will end with a shortened third season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Although it is unusual for a studio to say no to a network that wants to keep a show going, it is becoming more common in these tight times, especially if the producer doesn't think there is a huge back end in the program. 

Letterman strong even when he's not playing. David Letterman was off last week, but even in reruns he beat NBC's Conan O'Brien in viewers and adults age 18 to 49. It was the first time in 14 years that Letterman reruns beat new episodes of NBC's "Tonight" show, reports The New York Times. That's not a good sign for NBC. Separately, The Hollywood Reporter looks at the booking wars sure to explode this fall when Jay Leno comes back on the air in prime time.

Woodstock 40 years later. Yes, that's right, 40 years and no, I wasn't there! USA Today looks back at the groundbreaking festival and ponders just how important the event really was.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: An appreciation for Les Paul, the man who really made his guitar talk. The return of AMC's "Mad Men." No "Idol" for Posh. Video game sales disappoint

-- Joe Flint

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