The Morning Fix: ‘Tron’ hot, ‘Yogi,’ ‘How Do You Know’ not! Is Fox helping or hurting its affiliates?


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After the coffee. Before grabbing a raft and paddling to the office.

The Skinny: I have an opening on Sunday night for a good drama if any broadcast or cable network wants to provide one. Not much excitement at the box office this weekend. Less than two weeks before OWN launches and the media match continues. Remember how you figured you’d start in the mail room and work your way up? Guess again.


‘Tron’ strong. Disney’s ‘Tron: Legacy’ opened on top with a three-day take of $43.6 million. That blew away what little competition was out there. The two other big openings for the weekend -- Warner Bros. ‘Yogi Bear’ and Sony’s ‘How Do You Know’ each had disappointing debuts. ‘Yogi Bear’ only made off with $16.7 million in picnic baskets while the romantic comedy ‘How Do You Know’ made a weak $7.6 million. Box-office analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Variety, and Movie City News.

In the Gray Lady. There are too many media-related articles in the New York Times to do individual items, so in a Morning Fix first, we’re putting them all in one easy-to-read blurb. On Sunday, the paper weighed in with its 3,000-word story on the launch of Oprah Winfrey’s OWN. In Monday’s paper, there are stories on the early struggles of Google TV, the debate between studios and theater owners over when movies should be made available to cable operators to put on video-on-demand, and David Carr on John Wells’ ’The Company Men.’

Jautz jumps in. Ken Jautz, CNN’s new president, is wasting no time trying to put his stamp on the struggling cable news channel. The Wall Street Journal looks at how Jautz is trying to toughen up Anderson Cooper, find a morning show that works and make sure Piers Morgan doesn’t flop as Larry King’s replacement.

Changing the Internet forever. Well, that may be a little dramatic, but the next few weeks will be big ones for the Internet. The Federal Communications Commission this week is expected to vote on rules it wants to preserve an open Internet, and sometime in the next couple weeks it will lay down conditions it wants on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger, many of which will focus on online video. The Washington Post on what’s at stake.

Too much information. Get ready to think your TV knows a little too much about you. DirecTV, the nation’s second-largest pay-TV distributor behind Comcast, is going full steam ahead with its so-called addressable advertising initiative, according to the Wall Street Journal. In other words, if you have a pet, you may get ads for pet supplies that your neighbor with DirecTV doesn’t get. Some think this is a clever way to make viewers appreciate ads more while others, like me, see it as something of an invasion of privacy. If I had DirecTV, I might be annoyed at the company for providing material about me to advertisers, even if it is done anonymously.

With friends like these. Remember last year when Fox and Time Warner Cable were in their big battle over a new deal for the cable operator to carry the Fox TV stations? Well, it turns out that as part of that deal, Time Warner Cable negotiated what amounts to an insurance clause. Should the cable giant be unable to strike a deal with a Fox affiliate (an affiliate being a TV station that carries Fox content but is not owned by Fox), the network will provide its feed. Now Time Warner Cable is in a dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which owns a lot of Fox affiliates and feels the Fox clause is undercutting their ability to negotiate a so-called retransmission consent agreement. TV NewsCheck with analysis of the dispute.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Fantasy football is helping to drive NFL ratings. Starting at the bottom in Hollywood is no longer a sure way to get to the top. Ron Howard talks about his plans for Stephen King’s ‘The Dark Tower.’

-- Joe Flint

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