After the coffee. Before seeing if I can make it here.
The Skinny: It took almost two hours to get from JFK to the Upper West Side on Wednesday but a four-mile run in Riverside Park recharged me. Think of me in a sticky subway station while you're in your air-conditioned car. Thursday's headlines include Sen. John McCain's efforts to overhaul the TV industry, Fox's plans to overhaul "American Idol" and a new documentary on the late J.D. Salinger, an author who made Thomas Pynchon look outgoing. And remember, if you are interested in receiving an email alert when the Morning Fix is live, please send me a note.
Daily Dose: Next week while the big networks are rolling out their fall schedules to advertisers and promising a bright future, the Senate Commerce Committee is going to be doing its own presentation about the TV business. On Tuesday, the committee will question top lobbyists from the broadcasting and cable industries about the future of video. Sure to be a topic of discussion will be rising programming costs and alternate distribution systems and what that all means for consumers.
Maverick's back. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is preparing to introduce legislation that -- if passed -- would turn the TV business upside down. On McCain's wish list is legislation requiring cable operators to offer channels to consumers on an individual, or so-called a la carte, basis rather than in the bundles they are sold in. McCain also wants to throw cold water on the idea of a broadcast network turning into a cable channel. It remains to be seen if McCain still has the muscle to get such legislation through Congress but he does have the industry gossiping. Details on McCain's efforts to re-regulate the media industry from the Los Angeles Times, TVNewsCheck and The Hill.
Pay TV pays. Thanks to its cable channels including Fox News and FX, News Corp. posted third-quarter profits of $2.85 billion, a big increase from the $937 million the company earned in the year-earlier period. Cable's contribution to the bottom line of News Corp. will only continue to grow as the company continues to launch channels including a new sports network set to debut this summer. Filmed Entertainment at News Corp. was also solid thanks to home entertainment revenue from "Life of Pi" and "Taken 2." More on the numbers from the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal.
Catcher in the box office? J.D. Salinger, whose book "The Catcher in the Rye" has been must reading for alienated teens for generations, is the subject of a new documentary from the Weinstein Co. But given that reclusive is an understatement when it comes to describing the late author's life, the question is just what material does director Shane Salerno have that wil entice people? Salinger's son doesn't think he has much, telling the New York Times that his father had so few confidants that “there were barely enough people to form a circle in the last 30 or 40 years.”
Even Randy Jackson? The Wrap is reporting that Fox and the producers behind the fading talent show "American Idol" are preparing to overhaul the entire program. All four current judges -- veteran Randy Jackson and newcomers Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban -- will be shown the door along with executive producer Nigel Lythgoe. While "American Idol" is certainly no longer the force it once was, it still makes money for Fox. However, those big salaries some of the judges get take a big bite out of profits and all the publicity Carey and Minaj has generated has not translated into bigger ratings.
Location, location, location. Ever wonder why your agent keeps squeezing you? Maybe he or she just has a big rent bill to cover. While much hasn't changed, these guys don't exactly work in offices like Broadway Danny Rose. After all, what better way to woo clients then to be in some fancy building with big lobbies and valet parking? Variety looks at all the pricey real estate the big agencies operate in.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "The Great Gatsby." Former British tabloid editor turned CNN host Piers Morgan is executive producing "Fleet Street," a new drama in development at Starz about the British press in the 1970s. Fox has picked up nine new series for the upcoming fall TV season.
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