The Morning Fix: Oprah ready to hit road! Visual effects artists make sad face. Should Oscar hire Ebersol?


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After the coffee. Before plowing through the ESPN book.

The Skinny: Will you remember where you were when Oprah Winfrey did her last show? I will guess that Winfrey will get about 15 million viewers for her finale. Besides Winfrey’s exit, the other news of the day is the spilled ink over a tattoo in ‘The Hangover 2’ and some angry visual artists.


Goodbye and farewell. It’s Oprah Winfrey’s last day on the job as a daytime TV host. Her final show will air this afternoon and then it’s off to OWN, the cable network she launched earlier this year with Discovery Communications. Winfrey’s been on TV so long it is easy to forget what a pioneer she was when she first went on the air 25 years ago. The hole she will leave will be unlikely to be filled, certainly not by anyone on the air or coming now. USA Today looks at who faces the unenviable task of trying to follow Winfrey. Variety zooms in on what she meant to the first-run syndication business and the Los Angeles Times offers thoughts on the last shows from the queen of daytime TV.

Tattoo you. A judge ruled that ‘The Hangover 2’ can open on schedule but also said the tattoo artist who sued the studio to stop the release had a point. The artist, S. Victor Whitmill, created the tattoo on Mike Tyson’s face that plays a pivotal role in the new movie when the character played by Ed Helms wakes up after a wild night with the same tattoo on his face. According to the New York Times, the judge in the case said Whitmill has a “strong likelihood of prevailing on the merits for copyright infringement” and that the objections to his case offered by Warner Bros. were “just silly.”

And we want better craft services too. Visual effects artists want respect. ‘The work we do helps a lot of people make money, but it’s not being shared on an equal basis, nor is the respect that’s due us, especially considering 44 of the top 50 films of all time are visual effects driven,’ wrote Eric Roth, executive director of the Visual Effects Society, in a letter posted on the organization’s website. The Los Angeles Times on what’s eating Roth.

School rules. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch reiterated the company’s desire to become a major player in the education business. Speaking at the G-8 conference in Europe, Murdoch said,
“the same technologies that transformed every other aspect of modern life can transform education, provide our businesses with the talent they need to thrive, and give hundreds of millions of young people at the fringes of prosperity the opportunity to make their own mark on this global economy,” according to the Financial Times. He forgot to add, and we think we can make a lot of money off it.

Apple and Amazon use Madonna’s Express Yourself Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way.’ Lady Gaga has become a pawn in the battle between Apple and Amazon for digital music supremacy. The Wall Street Journal on how the selling of Gaga’s latest album highlights the differences between the two rivals.

One down and one to go. Nancy Grace is exiting her daytime TV talk show and will be replaced by Judge Jackie Glass as host of the syndicated program ‘Swift Justice.’ Glass will still be on prime time television on HLN. More on the switch from Broadcasting & Cable.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Patrick Goldstein on why DIck Ebersol should produce the Oscars. Universal has two big hits in ‘Fast Five’ and ‘Bridesmaids,’ but still no TV deals for either.

-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. You’ll need something to take the place of Oprah.