The Morning Fix: Fox and Cablevision fight has no end in sight. Albrecht spills about recent past. Another ‘Jackass.’
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After the coffee. Before deciding if it is time to panic about the Yankees yet.
The Skinny: ‘Glee’ fans who are Cablevision subscribers will likely have to find viewing alternatives as the fight with Fox continues. We prefer to rent our online movies vs. buying them. Chris Albrect talks about the past and it’s not always pretty.
Renting, not buying. We buy clothes, cars and music online, but apparently we’re commitment-phobes when it comes to buying a movie. ‘The shift in consumer habit is destabilizing for the Hollywood studios that had been hoping people would seamlessly transfer their DVD-buying habit to the Web,’ writes the Los Angeles Times. ‘We’re almost inevitably moving toward a model in which download-to-own is a niche business,’ said Arash Amel, research director for digital media at Screen Digest. The reason this matters, of course, is that it is cheaper to rent than buy, which means less money for Hollywood. Makes sense to me. If I buy something I want it to come with a box.
Albrecht talks. In a GQ profile that focuses more on his past problems and personal life then on his current job as chief of Starz, Chris Albrecht talks about the incidents that led to his being forced out of the top job at HBO in 2007. His downfall followed an arrest for a drunken scuffle with his girlfriend and revelations of a previous violent incident at HBO involving a collegaue with whom he’d become personally involved. In the article, Albrecht said he’d been sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for 13 years but started drinking in 2002 after realizing drinking wasn’t his issue, his decision-making process was. The woman with whom he had the altercation at HBO hasn’t seemed to have forgiven Albrecht, telling GQ he is ‘delusional.’
Looking for leverage. News Corp.'s Fox television stations in New York and Philadelphia remained unavailable in more than 3 million homes served by Cablevision Systems Corp. Neither side is budging in talks to get a new deal. Politicians continue to scream at both sides. We’re sure it is just a coincidence that News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch recently donated more than $1 million to the Republican Governors Assn., and on Monday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican, criticized Cablevision. Meanwhile, viewers are missing football and baseball. It could get really ugly if the Yankees make the World Series. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Daily News.
New bosses? Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, may have new leadership at the top. Randy Michaels, the chairman of the media giant that is trying to climb out of bankruptcy, is expected to resign. His exit would follow last week’s departure of Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams. More from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.
‘Iron Man’ makes a move. Walt Disney Co., which last year bought Marvel Entertainment, has shelled out $115 million to buy out Paramount’s current distribution deal for the ‘Iron Man’ franchise for $115 million. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
Welcome to Washington. Bloomberg, which is one of the companies opposed to the Comcast-NBC deal, is again beating the drum on how much Comcast is spending on political donations. Citing Federal Election Commission records, Bloomberg notes that from December, when the deal was announced, through August, the cable giant’s donations to federal candidates and political parties jumped to $1.1 million from $682,450 in the same cycle two years ago.
-- Joe Flint
A mewling cat kept me up all night so be nice and follow me on Twitter. twitter.com/JBFlint