The Morning Fix: Katie staying put? Charlie Sheen’s latest antics. Lions Gate makes case for MGM.
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After the coffee. Before the network presidents rubber-chicken luncheon.
The Skinny: CBS star Charlie Sheen has a pretty high threshold for unmanageability. Fox and Cablevision are still fighting. It’s looking more like Katie Couric may stay with CBS. Lions Gate is trying to make its case for MGM, but the studio seems more interested in aligning itself with Spyglass.
Katie may stay put. Only with TV anchors is it newsworthy when they are considering staying in their jobs. The Daily Beast’s latest addition -- former Washington Post reporter Howard Kurtz -- reports that CBS anchor Katie Couric may actually renew her deal with the network at least through the 2012 election. The real question, of course, is whether Couric will maintain her north-of-$10-million-a-year salary or have to take a pay cut. Kurtz’s story is one of the few friendly ones toward Couric and CBS News from the Daily Beast, and it’s good to see she doesn’t hold grudges.
Lions Gate makes case for MGM. Lions Gate, the production company that is simultaneously battling investor Carl Icahn and trying to make a run at MGM, made its case for the latter in a regulatory filing. As part of the filing, though, MGM’s board of directors and management sent a letter to the studio’s creditors about the proposal and had several questions about it. They reiterated their belief that MGM’s best bet is to align itself with Spyglass Entertainment. More from Variety and the Los Angeles Times.
Still a bad boy. Charlie Sheen, the hard-living star of the CBS hit ‘Two and a Half Men’ who spent his summer in a legal fight stemming from an arrest in connection with a domestic dispute, is at it again. According to the New York Post, Sheen trashed his hotel room at the New York Plaza when he came back to his room with an ‘unidentified woman’ and ‘noticed his wallet was missing, causing him to fly into a rage.’ Given Sheen’s admissions in the past about his willingness to pay for pleasure (it’s even a running joke on the CBS sitcom), perhaps he was upset that he was going to have to cancel his plans. Normally we stay away from tabloid stories, but given that Sheen is a star on a hit show and makes a lot of money for CBS and ‘Two and a Half Men’ producers Warner Bros., both of whom seem perfectly comfortable with ignoring seemingly pretty clear warning signs about their star, this is worth noting. Meanwhile, TMZ, which is usually first on these sorts of stories, has posted that Sheen was hospitalized Monday night, but has few details. We’ll wait for a story about food poisoning to emerge later.
Harvey and Bob are beefing up ... again. Deadline Hollywood is reporting that the Weinstein Co., headed by brothers Harvey and Bob, is starting a ‘strategic initiatives, investments & banking group’ that will be headed by David Hutkin, who has film-financing experience from stints at Bank of America and First California Bank. Of course, the last time the Weinstein Co. got into money troubles was when they begin to take on a lot of strategic initiatives and investments and moved away from just making movies.
Being faithful. The feud that has kept the signals of Fox’s New York and Philadelphia TV stations off of about 3 million Cablevision Systems homes has moved to the Federal Communications Commission. Both companies have filed responses to last Friday’s letter from the FCC seeking information on the talks so the agency could determine if the companies are engaging in good-faith negotiations. Let’s just say there are three versions of every story -- Fox’s side, Cablevision’s side, and the truth -- which is probably buried somewhere deep in those filings. The latest on the spat from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and New York Post. Meanwhile, the New York Daily News has this funny one about how Cablevision is telling subscribers how to find Fox shows online --legally or not.
What was he thinking? Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told CNN’s ‘Parker Spitzer’ that if people don’t like that the search engine company takes pictures of houses and cars for its Street View feature, they can move. All Things Digital notes that given recent concerns about Google and privacy, Schmidt’s remarks probably weren’t the greatest from a public-relations standpoint. Interestingly, Schmidt’s remarks were used in promos and online but did not make the version of the interview that ran on CNN. Google says it didn’t ask for the sound bite to be cut, and CNN says it was an editorial decision by the producers. If that’s true, I think we know why CNN is struggling in the ratings. Their producers don’t know what news is.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on Juan Williams, Rich Sanchez and Mel Gibson.
-- Joe Flint
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