The Morning Fix: FCC moves on net neutrality. Another day, another Oprah story. MGM out of bankruptcy.
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After the coffee. Before wondering if I need to look for deeper meaning in all this rain.
The Skinny: Looks like Brett Favre’s new consecutive-games streak may end at one. The FCC will unveil its rules for regulating Internet traffic Tuesday and odds are everyone will find something to complain about. The media obsession with Oprah Winfrey’s new cable network OWN continues.
Rules of the road. The Federal Communications Commission detailed Monday its plans to monitor the flow of traffic on the Internet and on Tuesday was expected to officially vote on the new rules. Of course, this won’t end the debate over Internet regulation. Many Republicans and some telecommunications companies would rather not have any rules, while Democrats and advocacy groups are countering that the commission did not go far enough. In a nutshell, the regulations would prohibit telecommunications companies from blocking access by consumers to any legal content and from favoring their own content. Details and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and The Hill. If after all that you’re still confused, call the FCC.
Oprah’s almost ready, are you? We’re almost a week away from the launch of the biggest cable network ever. The channel that will change your life. The network that will make all other networks seem meaningless. The network that is the answer to all the problems in the world. Could I be talking about anything other than the Oprah Winfrey Network? This time it’s our own Los Angeles Times checking in with its piece on the launch of OWN. What will be most interesting to watch is how long OWN sticks with its positive programming strategy if the ratings are not strong. One could argue, of course, that the reality show with Tatum O’Neal and her dad, Ryan, that OWN is making is already indicative that it will have its own fair share of crash-and-burn reality shows.
Lets put that on hold for now. Hulu, the online video site co-owned by NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co. is putting its plans to launch an initial public offering on the back burner for now, according to the Wall Street Journal. Given the ongoing debates over its strategies to charge for content (uh, should have done that from the start instead of giving it away first), it is hardly a surprise. If you’re keeping count, the phrase ‘people familiar with’ appears no less than three times in this story. That’s code for ‘the company told us but wouldn’t go on the record to discuss it.’
Spin those numbers! Variety looks at the holiday season box office and how the studios have come up with a new phrase -- ‘Christmas multiples’ -- to justify or rationalize a movie’s less-than-stellar performance. Given how PC Hollywood is, shouldn’t they call it ‘holiday multiples’?
Whose movie made what. Our friends at Forbes just love lists. This time they’ve compiled a ranking of Hollywood’s highest-grossing actors. On top is Leonardo DiCaprio, thanks to ‘Shutter Island’ and ‘Inception.’ The problem with lists like these is that they don’t factor in other elements. Nothing against DiCaprio, but if another actor had gotten the part in ‘Inception’ it probably still would have fared well, as people were drawn to the movie because of director Chris Nolan as much as they were the cast. After all, did you see ‘Jurassic Park’ because of Jeff Goldblum?
Hope the Spidey senses are still tingling. There was yet another injury in Monday’s performance of ‘Spider-Man’ on Broadway. The show has been plagued with all sorts of behind-the-scenes problems since its inception and now it appears that it may actually be a health danger as well. The latest on the troubled show and injured performer from the New York Post.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Former William Morris chairman Jim Wiatt got scammed in a Ponzi scheme and wants restitution. MGM has emerged from bankruptcy and may put NBC Universal TV chief Jeff Gaspin on its board.
-- Joe Flint
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