The Morning Fix: ABC News gets its man. OWN media blast hits high speed. Slow weekend ahead at box office.


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After the coffee. Before those prisoners with cellphones have better plans than me.

The Skinny: Getting a haircut today. ABC News sort of went outside in naming a new president. Congress has approved a bill outlawing loud commercials. Now take it a step further and ban bad TV shows!


Breaking news. ABC News announced this morning that Ben Sherwood, a former executive producer of the network’s ‘Good Morning America’ who went on to become an author and Internet entrepreneur (I’m never quite sure what that means) has been tapped as the division’s new president. Sherwood replaces David Westin, who announced a few months ago he was exiting at the end of the year. Sherwood inherits a division that has gone through severe cuts over the past several years. No doubt speculation will soon start over whether Sherwood will pursue some sort of news-sharing agreement. Here’s the release from ABC News and some quick analysis from the Los Angeles Times.

Good time to catch up on the yard work. Typically, the weekend after Thanksgiving is one of the slowest of the year. Hollywood is doing their part by launching only one wide release -- Relativity Media’s ‘The Warrior’s Way -- starring Jang Dong Gun. But couldn’t people go see the movies they didn’t see last weekend because of the crowds? Variety says it will be a ‘black weekend.’ Since black is usually good from a financial sense, shouldn’t it be a red weekend?

So sad to see them breakup.Thursday’s news that Liberty Media Chairman John Malone was ending his investment in Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp. also brings to an end the 17-year relationship between the two media moguls. That’s led to lots of analysis and soul-searching among the media. Well, maybe not soul-searching, but here’s some coverage from the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Hollywood Reporter.

Let the media blitz begin. We are now less than a month away before the launch of the Oprah Winfrey Network! Do you feel the excitement? Are you prepared to have your life changed forever? What do you mean, you don’t know? Come on! Well, you better get ready because if you go to the movies this weekend you’ll likely be watching an ad hyping the new cable network. According to the New York Times, the ad features Winfrey asking: “What if I could take every hero who inspired me; every lesson that motivated me; every opportunity that was ever given to me; and give it to you?” That’s nice, but my hunch is that Discovery, Winfrey’s partner, will just settle for a nice return on the tens of millions it is investing in the channel.

No more scrambling for the remote during the commercial break.It may be a lame duck Congress, but that doesn’t mean they are not addressing the tough issues. The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would stop the volume from being cranked when commercials come on. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), said she pushed for the bill from her own ‘earsplitting experiences’ watching TV. More on the bill, which is headed to the White House, from the Associated Press.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Does Narnia have another run in her? Kenneth Turan wasn’t drooling over ‘Black Swan.’


-- Joe Flint

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