The Morning Fix: CNN’s Larry King to end reign! Time for a box office ‘Eclipse.’ Hulu finally details pay plans.


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After the coffee. Before checking if my neighbors are spies.

The King is gone. Well, not yet, but CNN’s Larry King has read the writing on the wall and announced his retirement from the cable network that has carried his show for 25 years. King first alerted the world via Twitter (of course) and then on his show. While King told his first guest Bill Maher that this was his choice, it’s no secret that his numbers have been in decline for years and some critics were starting to question his always somewhat soft and removed interview skills. CNN did not name a replacement for King, who will exit later this year, but the last few weeks have been filled with speculation about Piers Morgan, a British TV personality who also judges NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Other names we will likely hear over and over include Ryan Seacrest (King’s choice) and Katie Couric. More King coverage from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post. Meanwhile, another TV news personality has also seen his ratings take a hit lately -- MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann. Details on that from Business Insider.


Hulu’s bill to you. Hulu, the video site owned by News Corp., Walt Disney and NBC Universal, unveiled its new pay service Tuesday. Don’t worry, all you slaves to free content online, Hulu will still have plenty of stuff free for the taking. But the site will start charging for older episodes of shows and the advertisements will still be in a lot of content. There are the usual outcries from people saying they’ll never pay. I’m guessing a lot of these people also said they’d never pay for water or shell out $4 for coffee at Starbucks. Why people have no problem paying for cable TV but get outraged at the idea of having to pay online is lost on me. Look at the bright side, Hulu will now be an outlet for all those old episodes of ‘The Odd Couple’ you want to watch without buying the DVDs because who needs the clutter. Anyway, details on Hulu’s plans from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, PaidContent and TechCrunch.

More sex? Hot Blog’s Dave Poland looks at the economics of another ‘Sex and the City’ movie and tells us the obvious -- it’s all up to Sarah Jessica Parker. But he also gives her a wakeup call that it’s the biggest paycheck she’s likely to get anytime soon. Of course there is that whole quality thing, but that hasn’t stopped writer Darren Star or the cast before.

Popcorn still selling overseas. So all those stories about how the World Cup was going to hurt international box office? So far that hasn’t panned out. Variety reports that most of the big movies released in the last month are pulling their weight, even south of the border.

Yahoo names programming chief. Yahoo has tapped Erin McPherson as its new head of original programming, according to the Hollywood Reporter. A Yahoo vet, McPherson is a lawyer, not a programmer by trade, but apparently it’s her deal-making skills that the portal wants as it tries to expand further into the content business.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsey Sharkey says ‘Eclipse,’ the latest ‘Twilight’ installment, has lots of bite. That’s good because I’d hate to think my niece has been standing in line for nothing. If you want to make a commercial touting a California product, you will shoot that advertisement in California, reports our Richard Verrier.

-- Joe Flint

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