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Radio ratings mess! DreamWorks Animation gets 'Felix the Cat.'

TelevisionTelevision IndustryRadioViacom Inc.PBS (tv network)DreamWorks AnimationFederal Communications Commission
Morning Fix: L.A.'s radio ratings mess. DreamWorks Animation acquires 'Felix the Cat'

After the coffee. Before trying to get my cat into show biz.

The Skinny: I admit I was surprised and initially less than thrilled with the ending of "Fargo" (no spoilers, don't worry). But now that I have slept on it, I am at peace with the creative decisions and appreciate the show's willingness to embrace the unexpected. Today's roundup includes the latest on the Los Angeles radio ratings scandal. Also, DreamWorks Animation acquires "Felix the Cat."

Daily Dose: The NFL has created a website that attempts to make the case for keeping the Federal Communications Commission's so-called blackout rules intact. The FCC has indicated that it wants to gut the rules, which prevent NFL games being shown in markets where the home team failed to sell out the stadium. The rules are aimed at stopping pay-TV distributors, including cable and satellite operators, from circumventing agreements between sports leagues and television-rights holders regarding blackouts of games that are not sold out.

Maybe Elvis Costello was right: Nielsen reissued May radio ratings for Los Angeles stations after recalculating the numbers because its survey sample had become tainted. The "clean" numbers showed big drops for two Spanish-language radio stations -- Univision Communications' KSCA-FM and Radio Centro's KXOS-FM -- compared with April's numbers. Interestingly, all it took was two homes to corrupt the numbers. New April ratings will be released later this week but the scrutiny of Nielsen and how it is measuring radio listening will continue. The Los Angeles Times has all the dirt on the 2014 ratings scandal. By the way, for those wondering what Elvis Costello has to do with this, I was thinking of his old song "Radio, Radio," which included the line: "Radio is in the hands of such a lot of fools."

From small things: Viacom is still at odds with dozens of small cable operators that have stopped carrying the media giant's channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central. The issue is fees Viacom wants for its networks that the little guys don't want to pay. The Wall Street Journal reports that subscribers aren't rallying against the distributors and that few are reporting negative effects from not carrying the channels. Because the little operators only represent about 1% of all Viacom subscribers, it isn't being hurt either. But big operators are watching the situation and no doubt are thinking: Maybe I can drop Viacom if they ask for too much and not feel an real consequences.

Shrinking street: PBS is going to start carrying a half-hour version of the long-running children's show "Sesame Street" during weekday afternoons this fall. The "new" show will really just be a shortened version of the hourlong "Sesame Street" that runs in the morning. Still, the move is seen as significant, if for no other reason, because it points to the short attention span of viewers, particularly kids and their growing use of mobile apps, which is another motivating factor for PBS and "Sesame Street." More on the move from the New York Times.

Is Jupiter ascending or crashing? Warner Bros. last-minute decision to delay the release of "Jupiter Ascending," which was supposed to be one of its big bets for this summer, is seen as a red flag. Directors Lana and Andy Wachowski have stumbled with their last few efforts, and now there are worries about "Jupiter Ascending." Warner Bros. still has a game face on and says the delay is due in part to a desire to mount an aggressive marketing campaign in advance of the release. Variety looks at the "Jupiter Ascending" situation.

No shortage of hype: Fox and Warner Bros. are pulling out all the stops for "Gotham," the prequel of sorts to the Batman tale that will debut on the network this fall. Fox has struggled to launch new shows and "American Idol" is in a tailspin, so getting "Gotham" off to a strong start is crucial for the network. USA Today on the media blitz.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: DreamWorks Animation is now the proud owner of "Felix the Cat."

Follow me on Twitter for a better Wednesday. @JBFlint.

 

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