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The Morning Fix: News Corp. drama takes more twists! What's new with Vuguru? Critics fight for 'Men of a Certain Age.'

July 12, 2011 |  7:08 am

After the coffee. Before the next twist in the News of the World scandal.

The Skinny: This tabloid scandal would be great for Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. if it wasn't about one of his tabloids. The story continues to take more twists and turns. Elsewhere, Michael Eisner's online studio, Vuguru, has some old-media ideas for new media.

The story that won't die. News Corp.'s phone-hacking drama is the story that won't go away. With its deal to take control of satellite broadcaster BSkyB in jeopardy because of the scandal that led to the demise of its News of the World tabloid, News Corp. altered its strategy, delaying the purchase and inviting further regulatory scrutiny of the proposal. The move is seen as a political attempt to appease British regulators. Meanwhile, News Corp.'s stock continues to be punished by investors, with one group filing a suit complaining that the board of Rupert Murdoch's company is ineffectual. Early Tuesday morning, News Corp. announced a $5-billion stock repurchase plan. In the U.S., complaints are growing louder that the government needs to start looking at whether News Corp. has the character to maintain its TV licenses, although the odds are very long that the headaches Murdoch's company is enduring in Britain will reach across the Atlantic. The latest coverage from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Reuters and Bloomberg.

NBC adds more power to executive lineup. NBC will tap Jennifer Nicholson Salke, a top programming executive at 20th Century Fox Television, to be its new president of entertainment, according to Deadline Hollywood. The move has been expected for several months, even though Salke still had some time left on her deal with Fox. Wonder what sort of deal the studio cut with NBC to let her out of her contract early. Perhaps two pilot commitments to be named later?

Save this show! TV critics are starting to rally around TNT's "Men of a Certain Age," the drama about three old friends confronting life after 40. The show, which can be both funny and poignant at the same time, has struggled in the ratings despite lots of love from critics. TNT has not decided its fate yet, but with plenty of other hits on the network, the hope among fans of "Men of a Certain Age" is that TNT will recognize there is also value in having a prestigious critical darling on its roster. Pleas from the critics at Hollywood Reporter and AOL TV. Full disclosure, I too am a huge fan of this show.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at Michael Eisner's online studio, Vuguru, which is starting to take an old-media approach to new media. Reliance and Digital Domain are teaming up to open new studios in India and Britain.

-- Joe Flint

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