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The Morning Fix: Oscar's odd couple. TW profit down. Comcast profit up, mum on NBC. PTC doesn't like three.

November 4, 2009 |  6:52 am

After the coffee. Before the numbers for the 'V' premiere roll in.

Oscar's odd couple. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, who between them have hosted "Saturday Night Live" something like 2,000 times, have been tapped to host the Oscars. The move was met with mostly positive reaction from critics. We can't help but wonder if it wasn't supposed to be a trio but Tina Fey turned them down. Coverage and scrutiny from the Los Angeles Times, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and the Wrap.

CTlogosmall Time Warner profit drops. Media giant Time Warner announced its third-quarter results early this morning (well, early for us West Coasters anyway) and said profit had fallen almost 40%, from $1.07 billion to $661 million. Time Warner's publishing group, which is going through big layoffs, saw its earnings drop 40%, and the company said it would take a $100-million restructuring charge. AOL revenue was also off by double-digits. Details from the Wall Street Journal

Comcast profit up. Cable giant Comcast Corp., which is in negotiations to acquire a majority stake in General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, also posted third-quarter earnings this morning. Profit was up 22% to $944 million. Ad revenue for Comcast was off 16%, but that's better than the 20% decline the cable company experienced in the third quarter of 2008. The numbers from the Wall Street Journal. On the call with analysts, Comcast kept their mouths zipped about NBC talks.

Chinese democracy, no. Chinese Disney, yes. Walt Disney Co. finally has the green light to build a theme park in Shanghai and will shell out about $3.5 billion to do it (bet that price tag goes up). China is a huge market (duh), and Disney hopes to be in business there by 2014. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

PTC making a stink over "Gossip Girl" spreading the love. The Nov. 9 episode of the CW's rich-kid drama "Gossip Girl," which features three of the characters getting intimate with one another (I'm not sure if my editors will let me write "threesome" so just go with it), has put the media watchdog group Parents TV Council on red alert. The PTC, says the Wrap, is trying to get CW affiliates not to air the show and will likely target advertisers as well. If you are going to tune in, we've been told that the episode to watch is the one after the, uh, event because the flashbacks are racier than the real thing. Ah, just like in life.

Fox cruises as Yankees and Phillies battle. A tight World Series (Game 6 is tonight) gave Fox the momentum to easily win the week in key demographics and post the best 18-49 number for any network in five years, according to Variety. BTW, numbers keep falling for Jay Leno, and on Monday he hit a new low opposite football and baseball.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Raleigh Studios is expanding to Eastern Europe. Jeff Dunham is cable's hot personality. Mary McNamara on the Oscar duo. 

--  Joe Flint

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