The Morning Fix: Zucker roasted! Providence Equity toasted! Too many commercials!


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After the coffee. Before figuring out how long until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.

The Skinny: The San Francisco Giant took the World Series in five games, which is bad news for Fox, because the longer the series, the more ad dollars they get. Being in the movies isn’t a dream for everyone, as Providence Equity learned. CNN taps a producer for Piers Morgan’s new show.


The award isn’t going to present itself. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is planning on giving Jean-Luc Godard an honorary Oscar. Only problem, according to the New York Times, is he won’t be there to receive it and apparently no one wants to give it to him. The award would be presented next week at a banquet, not live during the Oscars telecast. The issue: the French filmmaker’s views on Palestine and Israel, which have upset many in the Jewish community.

One born every minute. With MGM desperately trying to recover from its financial mess, the New York Post looks at how Providence Equity fared in its investment in the once-renowned studio. Guess what? It didn’t do so hot and will end up taking a bath to the tune of $400 million.

Shorter commercials, but not fewer commercials. Since our attention spans seem to be shrinking, Madison Avenue is relying more on 15-second commercials rather than 30-second commercials, says the Associated Press. According to Nielsen, 15-second commercials have grown more than 70% in the last five years. Of course, that means we’re getting a lot more commercials in a commercial break, which means we need to stare even harder at the DVR as they go whizzing by.

Perhaps they should call it a medium-rare interview. With Conan O’Brien getting ready to premiere his new late night show on TBS next week, Phil Kent, the usually low-key CEO of Turner Broadcasting, is making the rounds in the press too. First he had a lengthy chat with Broadcasting & Cable and now he talks with Variety in what the trade dubs a ‘rare interview.’ Well, if he did one just a few weeks earlier, how rare is it? In both, Kent talks about the strengths of TNT and TBS and defends recent decisions regarding CNN. I would have asked what he was thinking when he signed off on ‘Glory Daze,’ a TBS sitcom launching soon that, uh, is kind of not so good.

The man behind the man replacing Larry King. Jonathan Wald, an NBC and CNBC veteran who has served as a producer of the ‘Today’ show and ‘Nightly News,’ has been tapped as executive producer of Piers Morgan’s CNN show, which will replace ‘Larry King Live’ in January. Although King’s ratings have been on the decline for years, he remains one of CNN’s more popular shows. CNN’s efforts to fix other parts of its network with news shows and new executives have yet to pan out, so there is a lot riding on Morgan, a British TV personality who is best known in these parts as a judge on NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Details from the Washington Post.

Take my job ... please. Outgoing NBC Universal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker was roasted by the Center of Communications on Monday. Some of the better quips included Katie Couric’s, who in noting Zucker’s love for golf said it was “no surprise he was drawn to a game where the lowest score wins.” The New York Times on the roast.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein tries to figure out the MPAA ratings system. Carl Icahn’s lawsuit against MGM is thrown out.

-- Joe Flint

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