The Morning Fix: Disney wants a deposit. Icahn follows through on threat. Univision hit with fine. Is Hulu measuring up?


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After the coffee. Before TV press tour insanity starts.

The check is in the mail. Walt Disney Co. wants a $40-million down payment from Ron Tutor, the construction magnate who is seeking to buy Miramax from the media conglomerate. Disney -- which has been headed to the checkout counter with Tutor and his backers, including Colony Capital, after it was not able to strike a deal with Miramax founders Harvey and Bob Weinstein -- would like the non-refundable deposit by Wednesday. If Tutor can’t pull the trigger on the deal, look for the Weinsteins to try one more time. Details on this seemingly never-ending saga from the New York Times.


They made how much? The Wall Street Journal looks at which CEOs made the most moolah in the last decade. No shocker that Oracle’s Larry Ellison tops the list with $1.84 billion. Coming in at No. 2 was former studio-and-television-executive-turned-Internet-mogul Barry Diller, who pocketed $1.14 billion over the last 10 years. Read the list. Dream about your big paycheck, and make sure you’ve got a solid prenuptial agreement.

Univision pays mucho dinero. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision shelled out $1 million to settle charges that executives in its now-defunct music unit had paid off radio stations in return for getting songs played. That’s what is known as ‘payola,’ and its a big no-no with the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department. More on the conclusion of the long-running probe from the Los Angeles Times.

Taking it to the public. Relativity Media chief Ryan Kavanaugh, who recently did a deal to pick up Overture’s marketing and distribution operations, told Bloomberg he was thinking of taking the company public.

Icahn keeps his word. Last week, investor Carl Icahn threatened legal action against Lions Gate, and on Monday he delivered. Icahn, upset by a recent Lions Gate maneuver that resulted in the dilution of his stake in the movie studio, which he is trying to take over, filed in two courts to stop the move. The latest in this never-ending saga (not to be confused with the never-ending Miramax saga) from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. The fight, as the New York Post reminds us, also pits Icahn against a former protégé -- Mark Rachesky, a Lions Gate board member and backer of the current management.

Sumner’s stock plan. The Viacom stock that a member of the Electric Barbarellas sold was a gift from the media giant’s chairman, Sumner Redstone, a really big fan of the group. Last week, it was reported that Heather Naylor, a member of the band, had sold Viacom stock. Now the Hollywood Reporter reveals that the stock is from the big man himself. The news of the stock gift came after Redstone tried to coerce the reporter who first wrote about the Viacom chairman’s interest in the band to cough up his sources.

Labor pains. The quick contract deal between the Teamsters and Hollywood last weekend may be a sign that the Hollywood studios are letting the unions know not to get too pushy in future negotiations, says Variety.


Comic-Com growing pains. Has Comic-Con gotten too big? That’s an easy one: Yes. USA Today seems to think so too. First sign you’ve gone Hollywood: The event’s planners got into a fight with a Weinstein brother.

Nigel may be back. Former ‘American Idol’ executive producer Nigel Lythgoe may be returning to the Fox show. This will set off speculation not only about who will replace Simon Cowell, but also about whether the other remaining judges, including Randy Jackson and Ellen DeGeneres, are safe since Lythgoe has been critical of the current group. Get ready for tons of speculation and big names being floated about potential new judges. Fox, meanwhile, is indicating that it won’t be announcing a Cowell replacement next week when the network meets with reporters to preview its fall lineup. The latest on Lythgoe and ‘American Idol’ from the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.

Oops. Director Oliver Stone has apologized for remarks about the Holocaust that were considered by some to be insensitive. He also backed away from comments about Jewish influence in the media. If you want to read more on this one, here’s the Wrap.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Measuring online viewing is anything but an exact science, as Hulu is learning the hard way. Patrick Goldstein on director Jay Roach.

-- Joe Flint

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