The Morning Fix: North Korea sentences U.S. journalists; Icahn still buying Lions Gate; HBO wants a comeback; New York Times and TechCrunch trade blows!

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After the coffee. Before checking if Carl Icahn is eying your company, too.

North Korea sentenced to U.S. reporters -- Euna Lee and Laura Ling -- to 12 years hard labor. Both are reporters for Current TV, the cable network founded by Al Gore and the former vice president is expected to go to North Korea to argue for their release, says The Los Angeles Times.

Still lurking. Carl Icahn hasn’t lost interest in Lions Gate just yet. Over the last month he boosted his stake to 15.6% from 14.5% of the company. Icahn, who has been critical of management at the small studio, is the second-largest shareholder behind Mark Rachesky, who has been more supportive of the current operating team. Variety.

With ‘True Blood’ coming back for its second season and new comedy ‘Hung’ premiering in a few weeks, is HBO ready to reclaim the cultural zeitgeist? Programming chief Michael Lombardo tells Broadcasting & Cable that he hates to think the pay cable channel is in need of a comeback, but acknowledges that ‘Our programming started to skew a little ponderous.’ Could he be talking about ‘John from Cincinnati?’


Running out of time. The digital switch happens this Friday, but some of you are still holding out on buying that converter box or subscribing to cable. The Wall Street Journal.

Worth singing about. ‘Billy Elliot’ took home ten Tony awards while ‘God of Carnage’ won for best play and best director. The New York Times notes there were no major upsets while our Robert Lloyd says CBS’s telecast got everything right.

Can’t we all just get along? The New York Times goes after some blogs including TechCrunch for playing it fast and loose on their reporting. TechCrunch fires back on the reality and effectiveness of ‘process journalism.’

In today’s Los Angeles Times: Univision is in a feud with its supplier Televisa over putting the latter’s telenovelas on the Internet. Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Co. is in talks with its lenders to determine control of the bankrupt company. Warner Bros. ‘The Hangover’ battled Disney Pixar’s ‘Up’ for the top spot at the box office while Universal’s ‘Land of the Lost’ got lost.

-- Joe Flint