The Morning Fix: Vivendi keeps quiet; ex-agent Laurie Ann Levin doesn’t; Ailes’ big check; Moore’s rants and his surprising backer; remembering Alphabet City


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After the coffee. Before finishing your Emmy pool.
NBC nonnews. Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy said nothing new Wednesday at a media conference about what the French conglomerate will do with its 20% stake in NBC Universal when its option to stay or leave comes up in two months. However, he did list what the company’s options were, and although that was nothing new either, it was enough to set the media off on a tear. Here’s the coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Broadcasting & Cable, Deadline, Variety, Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times. Hey, what do you want? It was sort of slow yesterday.

Spiritual dirt. Former agent turned wellness consultant Laurie Ann Levin, also known as the new (well, not so new now) Mrs. Gerald Levin (former Time Warner chief) has a memoir that manages to dish a little in between the lessons on how to live more spiritually, reports the New York Times. In ‘God, the Universe, and Where I Fit in: A Psychic’s Reflection on Figuring Out the Rest of Your Life,’ Levin writes about her marriage to former CAA powerhouse Jack Rapke; how Michael Ovitz stole Madonna from her and how Michael Keaton propositioned her (no, he didn’t say, ‘I’m Batman’).


Shields and Murdoch form startup. Former Bebo chief Joanna Shields and Elisabeth Murdoch are teaming up to create an Internet content company, says the Wall Street Journal’s, All Things D blog. The venture is backed by Shields and Murdoch’s Shine Group. Any bets on how long until Ben Silverman joins its board of directors?

Riots in Tompkins Square. Robert DeNiro and Spike Lee are teaming up to produce a drama about the East Village in the early 1980s before it became totally gentrified. ‘Alphaville:’ (why it’s not called Alphabet City escapes this former Avenue B resident) also has John Ridley on board as a writer, reports the Hollywood Reporter.

Ailes’ allowance. Anyone who doubted how valuable Fox News chief Roger Ailes is in the eyes of his boss Rupert Murdoch need only look at his contract. According to Business Week, Ailes pulled in $24 million in salary and bonuses last year.

Where’s my cut? Twitter’s latest venture round puts a valuation of the company at $1 billion, says TechCrunch. The company, according to TechCrunch, has raised $55 million so far and has $30 million in the bank. My rants alone ought to be worth six figures.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A big look at ‘Capitalism: A Love Story,’ Michael Moore’s latest screed and the irony of whom Moore has backing the movie. Fox’s ‘Fringe’ comes into its own.

-- Joe Flint

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