The Morning Fix: Sony wants Bond! CBS News makes news. Learn how to play a corpse.
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After the coffee. Before kicking myself for missing the Justin Bieber premiere.
The Skinny: Sometimes I think I should use The Skinny the way Chuck Lorre uses those vanity cards at the end of ‘Two and a Half Men.’ Unfortunately, I can’t make the type that small. We’ve got a reorganization at CBS News, Sony going after James Bond and Keith Olbermann finding a new home in Wednesday’s news.
And that’s the way it is. CBS put new leadership in place at CBS News. Tapped to lead the division are network veteran and longtime ’60 Minutes’ producer Jeff Fager, who becomes chairman, and outsider David Rhodes, who has spent his entire career in cable, first at Fox News and then Bloomberg. Sean McManus, who had been serving as president of both news and sports, returns full time to sports. He had been running news since 2005, when he stepped in after Andrew Heyward resigned from the position in the wake of the network’s controversial stories about President Bush’s military service. By installing Fager, CBS has at the top someone who has been there for over 30 years while Rhodes gives them an agent of change. Analysis of the moves, and, of course, what it means for anchor Katie Couric from the Los Angeles Times, Daily Beast and Broadcasting & Cable.
Hope they make a good martini. Sony Pictures is near a deal to distribute and co-finance movies with MGM including the next two James Bond movies. The talks are progressing although nothing is written in stone yet. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
Fox talks tough. News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting is telling its affiliates that it is not afraid to end relationships if deals can’t be reached over what kind of cut the network should get from the money the stations get from cable operators. All the networks are squeezing their stations for more money to help cover programming costs, but none as aggressively as Fox. The dirt from Bloomberg.
Keeping Current. It’s official, Keith Olbermann has a new home to rant from. He is joining Current, the small cable channel whose owners include former vice president Al Gore. Current is no doubt hoping that adding Olbermann to its mix of news and documentaries will boost awareness for the network. Olbermann also gets a stake in Current, whose other owners include new NBC Universal and MSNBC parent Comcast Corp. So much for completely escaping ‘the man.’ Details and critiques from the New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Hollywood Reporter.
Petty concerns. The Hollywood Reporter enters Us Weekly mode with a piece on actor Alex Pettyfer, star of the upcoming DreamWorks movie ‘I am Number Four’ that says he’s developing a (gasp) reputation for being ‘difficult and demanding.’ An actor being difficult and demanding? Stop the presses. Of course, usually they wait until they’re big stars before letting the inner diva out, but kids today are just so impatient.
Work to die for. Ever wonder how you get an acting gig as a corpse? Wall Street Journal reporter Amy Chozick decided to find out for herself and got to play a stiff on ‘Law & Order: Los Angeles.’ The most important thing to know if you’re going to play dead is that you want to be a fresh kill because if you are in a morgue you have to lie still for hours on end with full-body makeup and an incision from the autopsy.
-- Joe Flint
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