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The Morning Fix: OWN drags Discovery profits down. Manny TV!

May 8, 2012 |  7:27 am

After the coffee. Before figuring out what to wear during upfront week.

The Skinny: Tuesday's headlines include how important a PG-13 rating has become to Hollywood, Discovery earnings taking a hit because of losses from the Oprah Winfrey Network, and the movie theater chain AMC Entertainment possibly going up for sale.

Oprah Winfrey

Daily Dose: On Monday, CNBC ran a heavily hyped special "Stay Tuned: The Future of TV." While the program spent a lot of time looking at how YouTube and other digital companies are planning to launch online channels, the financial network steered clear of raising the key issue of whether there would be enough viewers and advertising revenue to support all these ventures. Also, the special didn't raise any of the concerns from media watchdogs about how big media companies such as CNBC parent Comcast Corp. are trying to stifle the growth of new content delivery systems.

Rated for success. It's no accident that most of Hollywood's biggest hits have a PG-13 rating. With that in mind, studios are doing all they can to avoid a dreaded R rating. While some R ratings don't hamper success ("Bridesmaids," "The Hangover"), a PG-13 allows for a wider audience,especially for kids who want to see it without parental supervision. Seems to me the key to getting a PG-13 rating is to show very little consequence to violence as was the case with "The Avengers," which for all its mayhem had only one real death scene and hardly any blood. More analysis of PG-13 from the Los Angeles Times.

For sale? Theater chain AMC Entertainment is in sales talks with the Wanda Group, a big owner of theater chains in China, according to the New York Times. AMC, which is owned by several private equity groups, is worth about $1.5 billion, the article said. Interestingly, the push by Wanda Group to own theaters here comes at the same time Hollywood studios are trying to boost their presence in China.

Not living your best life yet. Discovery Communications released its first-quarter earnings Tuesday morning, and while its revenues rose 16% to $1.10 billion, its profits fell almost 30% to $221 million as the cable giant started absorbing all of the losses at OWN. Details from Reuters and Bloomberg.

Full house again. After being held up by politics, the Senate approved the nominations of Republican Ajit Pai and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel to the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC had been operating with a chairman and two commissioners, rather than the usual four, for several months. Both are lawyers who have worked at the FCC and on Capitol Hill for years. More from the Washington Post.

Beating the drum. Former comedian-turned-politician Al Franken, now a Democratic senator from Minnesota, is again attacking Comcast Corp. Franken, who was very vocal about his opposition to the cable giant's takeover of NBCUniversal, sent a five-page letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking it to investigate Comcast for violating the conditions it agreed to in return for approval of the merger. Comcast said it has complied with the FCC's conditions. Coverage from Variety.

Life outside the ring. Is welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao trying to be the next Oprah Winfrey? The Wall Street Journal looks at the boxer's busy schedule outside the ring that includes lots of TV appearances here and a variety show -- "Manny Many Prizes" -- in his native Philippines. Just one tip: if anyone offers to start a network with your name on it, make sure they foot the bill for the losses.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Need to make a commercial on the cheap? Check out Poptent Inc., which basically turns creating ads into a contest for its large network of freelancers and first-time producers. ESPN2's "First Take" is finding an audience.

-- Joe Flint

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Photo: Oprah Winfrey. Credit: Frank Gunn/Associated Press.