The Morning Fix: Son rises at News Corp. Cub does a bear of a job on Sony exec! Katie may keep working for CBS.


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After the coffee. Before remembering when baseball season started in April.

The Skinny: It’s too early to play baseball, especially in the east. Wake me in June. In other news, once again, I’ve been passed over for the top job at News Corp. NBC’s ‘The Playboy Club’ may have to come in a brown paper bag and a Sony executive learns that cubs have delicate bladders.


The son also rises. James Murdoch, the youngest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, inched closer to succeeding his father and running News Corp., the media giant with holdings around the world and a big influence on politics and culture. Murdoch was named deputy chief operating officer and will relocate from London where he had been overseeing the company’s European operations to New York to work closer with his father and his immediate boss Chase Carey, the president and deputy chairman. Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Murdoch kid has been anointed. James Murdoch’s older brother Lachlan once held the same title and was described by his father as ‘first among equals.’ A look at James and what he is poised to inherit from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

Sign me up! ‘The Playboy Club,’ NBC’s pilot about the 1960s centered around the Playboy club in Chicago, wants its cast to get down and dirty. Variety reports that contracts for actors in the show include clauses for nudity and simulated sex that go beyond the typical deal for a broadcast show. While broadcast networks are more restrained (and under more scrutiny from advertisers and the government) when it comes to sex on TV, standards are loosening and the producers behind the show -- 20th Century Fox and Imagine Television -- could use the material to make more adult versions for DVD and iTunes.

Stop whining and start suing! Fox has sent a letter to Time Warner Cable telling the pay TV distributor to stop streaming Fox-owned cable channels on the iPad. Fox is the second programmer behind Scripps Networks, parent of Food Network, to tell Time Warner Cable it does not have permission to offer their programming via an iPad app. Time Warner Cable begs to differ. More on the spat from Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times.

More of a meow than a roar. Lionsgate, already something of a mini-studio, wants to make a broader push into low-budget movies. The production company said it plans on making 10 movies with budgets of less than $2 million over the next few years. ‘A lot of people want to dip in their toe and we want to put our whole foot in,’ Michael Paseornek, president of movie production and development at Lionsgate told The New York Post.

Isn’t this what stars and his bosses do to him all the time? Rory Bruer, the head of worldwide distribution, did not get good reviews from the bear cub he carried with him onstage at the CinemaCon convention. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he brought the cub on stage as part of a promotional push for the upcoming Kevin James movie ‘Zookeeper,’ when the cub decided to urinate on him. Hope someone was filming it for the movie trailer.

It does pay the bills. Advertising Age crunches the numbers and decides ‘Mad Men’ could use a few more commercials. After all, those martinis and cigarettes aren’t cheap.


Never saw this coming. Arnold Schwarzenegger has often seemed like a comic book character come to life. Well, now he’ll get to be a comic book character. Entertainment Weekly on the making of ‘The Governator.’

Katie may be staying put, sort of. Katie Couric may end up staying with CBS after she gives up her gig anchoring the network’s evening news. Broadcasting & Cable reports that CBS is in the lead to land her next gig as a daytime talker. Of course, CBS will have to make room for her on their stations, which alrady carry ‘Dr. Phil’ and ‘Judge Judy,’ among other shows. Maybe they can give the hook to ‘The Talk.’ Oh wait, a host on that show is the wife of the network’s chief executive. Never mind.

In the Los Angeles Times: A look at ‘Source Code’ director Duncan Jones, who had an unusual upbringing with his father David Bowie.

-- Joe Flint

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