The Morning Fix: Regis Philbin says he’s retiring! Randy Falco headed to Univision. FCC gets ready to bless Comcast-NBC Universal deal.

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After the coffee. Before wondering if my tombstone will read ‘after the coffee ...’

The Skinny: Lots of Monday morning quarterbacking going on about the performance of Golden Globes host Ricky Gervvais. Did he go too far or just say what everyone was thinking anyway? How about both? To me, the funniest thing in the show was ‘The Social Network’ screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s bizarre mea culpa to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, when he said in accepting his award that one of the characters in the movie had Zuckerberg wrong. Well, who wrote the character? Viewership for the show was flat compared with a year ago, which, given that there were fewer big hits to award, was a win, in my opinion.


A year to forget. No one would blame Hollywood for wanting to put 2010 in the rear-view mirror. After all, DVD, CD and video game sales fell. Cable lost subscribers, and fewer people went to the movies. Although it is easy to lay it all on the economy, one has to wonder if something else isn’t happening in the way people are consuming their entertainment. ‘The studios and the content companies have become increasingly aware of the problem, but they seem collectively paralyzed about what to do about it,’ Craig Moffett, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., told the Los Angeles Times, which tries to make sense of the trends.

Countdown continues. The Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve the Comcast-NBC Universal deal perhaps as early as Tuesday. That is no surprise because last month the office of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski indicated that approval was likely. The real news will be the severity of the conditions put on Comcast regarding how the company offers its own content to rival cable and broadband distributors and how it carries content of competing programmers. The latest from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

He’s out of here. Regis Philbin, host of the long-running morning show ‘Live with Regis and Kelly,’ announced his retirement on Tuesday morning’s show. Philbin, 79, has been doing the show for almost three decades and has become a pop culture icon. The show is also a cash cow for Walt Disney Co., which will now be faced with the task of finding someone to fill the seat and play well with co-host Kelly Ripa. Details from the Associated Press.

Other apples in the tree. With Steve Jobs taking a medical leave from his job as chief of Apple, a lot of pressure will be on the rest of the leadership there, most of whom do not have the worldwide recognition of their leader. The New York Times looks at No. 2 Timothy Cook and the rest of the company’s bench and the challenge they will face while Jobs deals with his health.

Falco lands. Randy Falco, a former senior executive at NBC and later AOL, is joining Spanish-language media giant Univision as chief operating officer. ‘The move signals that Univision’s board -- headed by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban -- felt it needed to strengthen its executive bench after a rocky two years as the company navigated through the recession, which brought a downturn in advertising spending, and the restructuring of its mountain of debt,’ said the Los Angeles Times.

Broken records. The Wrap looks at the woes of the music industry and is anticipating a 2011 full of layoffs and cost-cutting.


Blockbuster cash crunch. Blockbuster, the struggling video store chain that is trying to get out of bankruptcy, is trying to get its bondholders to cough up an additional $200 million to $250 million to put it on solid footing. More from the Wall Street Journal.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on the Golden Globes. The producers of ‘The Social Network’ are trying to make nice with Facebook.

-- Joe Flint

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