The Morning Fix: A Martha Stewart Channel? American Idol for sale! Godzilla's coming back, not sure about Rodan and Monster Zero.
Is this a good thing? Martha Stewart and Crown Media, parent of the Hallmark Channel, are in early talks about launching a cable network for the lifestyle diva, according to Broadcasting & Cable. Stewart already has a large chunk of programming on the Hallmark Channel as part of a previous deal that her Martha Stewart Omnimedia struck with Crown earlier this year. While the Stewart name is certainly known, launching a new cable network would be a tremendous challenge. The Los Angeles Times suggests Crown and Stewart might be better off just having her take over the struggling Hallmark Channel and make that her branded home.
What about Rodan and Monster Zero? Legendary Pictures is teaming up with Warner Bros. to remake "Godzilla." Hopefully they'll keep it funny instead of trying to make it scary. I personally was always partial to the three-headed Monster Zero (sometimes referred to as King Ghidorah). Variety with some details.
Dragon flames out on Wall Street. Shares of DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon" fell almost 10% Monday after the movie's opening made a disappointing $43.3 million. The financial report from Hollywood Reporter.
Not good news for CNN. Time Warner Inc.'s CNN is struggling in the ratings, even though so far this year has had a lot of breaking news stories, usually the cable network's strong suit. Larry King in particular has seen his audience take a big tumble. The New York Times looks at CNN's first three months of 2010.
Just what is 'American Idol' worth? Robert F.X. Sillerman, the media entrepreneur whose CKX Entertainment owns the "American Idol" franchise as well as the image of Elvis Presley (don't ask), is near a deal to sell his firm to a consortium led by One Equity Partners, says the Wall Street Journal. The price tag is said to be about $6 per share.
ABC cuts deal with Sinclair. Walt Disney Co.'s ABC has struck a new affiliation deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group, owner of nine ABC stations, according to the Associated Press. What makes this newsworthy is that as part of the deal Sinclair will pay ABC to carry the network's programming. For decades, networks paid stations to carry their shows. Over the last 10 years, networks have phased out those payments and are now finally completely reversing the relationship.
Send flowers and chocolates. Warner Bros. TV has promoted Susan Rovner to executive vice president of development, making her the No. 2 behind chief Peter Roth, says the Hollywood Reporter. She succeeds Leonard Goldstein, who is now running Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage's production company.
-- Joe Flint