The Morning Fix: Disney's Iger talks tough! Robinov snubbed by waiter. Discovery keeps pumping out cash. Too much Ellen, not enough music on 'Idol.'
After the coffee. Before deciding whether you miss snow or you're glad you're out here.
Walt Disney Co. talking tough. Disney CEO Bob Iger warned that his company is willing to go the distance with cable operators over carriage fees for the ABC stations and Disney cable channels, according to Multichannel News and PaidContent. Great, another three weeks writing retransmission consent stories and blog posts. Disney also announced a slight drop in first-quarter profit because of restructuring costs. More on its earnings from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Someone's about to get canned. Some poor waiter's inability to recognize Warner Bros. Pictures big shot Jeff Robinov is the opening anecdote in a mostly friendly piece about the studio chief in the New York Times. One of Robinov's priorities -- other than getting that waiter fired (we kid!) -- is turning DC Comics into a steady provider of franchise films. Look for a new "Wonder Woman" soon.
Kind of wish they were still feuding. Any bad blood left between Viacom CEO Sumner Redstone and Tom Cruise is clearly been swept under the rug for career purposes as the actor has agreed to make another "Mission: Impossible" flick for the mogul's Paramount Pictures. Details from Variety. I miss the days when people got mad and stayed mad.
From 360 to 3. ESPN is pushing to put more live sports events on the Internet and as part of that effort is going to re-brand its ESPN360 website ESPN3. The Wall Street Journal says the site will make its debut with a Yankees-Red Sox game in April. We're sure the cable operators that pay $4 a month per subscriber to carry ESPN will love this.
Discovering more cash. Discovery Communications announced its fourth-quarter earnings this morning (see, not everything on the East Coast is snowed out) and gains of 33% in international advertising revenue. Overall, the cable programmer had fourth-quarter revenue of $964 million and net income of $155 million. There was also a charge of $20 million tied to costs for the Oprah Winfrey Network, which launches next year. More from Broadcasting & Cable.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: "Valentine's Day" may be a sappy romantic comedy, but it's an environmentally correct sappy romantic comedy. Music critic Ann Powers says "American Idol" needs less Ellen DeGeneres and more music. I agree, but would add less Seacrest too!
-- Joe Flint