The Morning Fix: Zaslav gets lots of TLC from Discovery! Hollywood goes after Zediva. YES says no to iPad app.


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After the coffee. Before putting the new DMV sticker on my car.

The Skinny: That was one ugly game last night. Glad I only had to hear it on the radio. Bill Walton didn’t seem to think much of it. It’s proxy report season, so be prepared to be outraged by media executive salaries. This week, Discovery Chief Executive David Zaslav may head the envy and anger list.


That’s a lot of TLC. The 2010 pay package for Discovery Communications’ Zaslav was an astounding $42.6 million. Zaslav oversees a cable-programming empire that includes Discovery Channel, TLC and 50% of the Oprah Winfrey Network. That package is almost four times more than his 2009 package, which was valued at $11.7 million. The breakdown of his compensation was $2 million in salary, stock awards of $20.3 million, options that are currently valued at $15.4 million. Discovery also coughed up $4.4 million in non-equity incentives, plus other compensation, including travel and security expenses. In fairness, he did have to put up with Oprah Winfrey a lot more in 2010 than he did in 2009. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

Solution in search of a problem? Although theater owners are upset at the idea of movies being made available on video-on-demand just two months after their big-screen premiere at a price of $30 or so, not every analyst thinks it will be another nail in the coffin of the theater business. ‘I’m not sure what the incentive is to pay six times what you would pay for a regular VOD title just to see it 60 days earlier,’ said Piper Jaffray analyst James Marsh, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stop your streaming! Hollywood, led by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, is suing Zediva, an online company that streams DVDs of movies over the Internet for its customers for a buck or two. At issue, besides Zediva’s absurdly low prices, is how it streams the content. Rather than using digital copies, Zediva basically lets its customers rent a DVD and player online. Details from Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times. Meanwhile, several Capitol Hill lawmakers push for a piracy crackdown, per Variety.

Future is so bright, they have to wear shades. Despite corporate owners Disney, News Corp. and Comcast seemingly losing interest in Hulu, the online video site said its new subscription channel should pass the 1 million-member milestone this year and take in close to $500 million in revenue, which would be almost twice as much as 2010. More from the Wall Street Journal.

That’s because they can’t work the remote! Ad Age reports that NBC News wants to convince advertisers that the older audience for the network’s nightly news pays more attention to ads and thus has greater value to marketers than younger viewers.

Don’t take me out to the ballgame. No surprise here. One of the first to protest Cablevision’s iPad app that lets its subscribers watch live TV on the tablet is the YES Network, which is the sports cable channel owned by the Yankees. The Yankees and Cablevision have always had a rocky relationship. The New York Post on the latest spat.


I think I read this somewhere before. TMZ needs to stick to celebrities. The website boasts of having an ‘exclusive’ story that ’60 Minutes’ correspondent Scott Pelley will be replacing Katie Couric. Only problem is TV Guide and the Los Angeles Times are among several outlets to have already reported that Pelley is the favorite to succeed Couric. Maybe they were the only news outlet reporting it at 1 a.m Tuesday morning. Of course, that won’t stop the rest of the media from forgetting that this is old news just as it forgot Monday that there had already been dozens of stories about Katie Couric leaving CBS News when the Associated Press finally weighed in.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on the Foo Fighters documentary. Tough times at Disney Tokyo.

-- Joe Flint

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