The Morning Fix: Layoffs hit Disney Studios. Glenn Beck’s pay plan. What does Katie Couric mean for ‘General Hospital’?
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After the coffee. Before another day of being spun.
The Skinny: I won’t link to Anthony Weiner stories in the hopes of generating traffic. Let others play that game. I will link to stories about layoffs at Disney, the future of ABC’s ‘General Hospital’ and Microsoft’s new plans for the Xbox.
Not the happiest place on Earth. Walt Disney Studios is looking to cut 5% of its workforce around the globe, which translates to about 250 jobs. The majority of the cuts will be on the distribution side, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. ‘A constellation of factors are squeezing the industry, including falling DVD sales, flat theater attendance and concerns that one of the biggest technological boons to hit the megaplex, 3-D, may have peaked,’ said the Los Angeles Times.
Go, Glenn, go. Glenn Beck wants to charge a subscription fee for the daily Internet show he plans to launch. According to the New York Times, the paper of choice for Beck, fans can pay either $4.95 a month for just his show or $9.95 for all the other content he’ll offer on GBTV. Whatever else one thinks of Beck, he’s taking a big gamble here and if successful he could be something of a digital media pioneer and help other personalities as well as traditional media outlets establish pay models.
Cable through your Xbox. Microsoft wants to make the Xbox an all-purpose box. At E3, the video game confab that kicked off here this week, the software giant unveiled plans to make its popular Xbox a cable box as well as a voice-activated remote control. Now you can really yell at the TV. Details from Variety (registration required) and the Los Angeles Times.
OK Go? Time Warner Inc., parent of People magazine and gossip site TMZ, is kicking the tires on the U.S. version of British gossip magazine OK!, according to Sky News blogger Mark Kleinman. The price tag that Kleinman says Time Warner has offered is between $30 million and $35 million.
Will Katie Couric kill ‘General Hospital’? When ABC was wooing David Letterman several years ago, the late-night host was reluctant to go in large part because he did not want to be seen as the person who killed the newsmagazine ‘Nightline.’ Katie Couric apparently has no such quibbles when it comes to ABC’s ‘General Hospital.’ The former ‘Today’ host and CBS News anchor’s move to ABC puts ‘General Hospital’ on the endangered species list. Couric’s show will premiere in fall 2012 and something will have to give. Perhaps one of the new chat shows ‘The Chew’ and ‘Revolution,’ both of which debut this fall, will get the hook, but ABC has already shown its disdain for soaps by canceling ‘All My Children’ and ‘One Life to Live.’ More from Deadline Hollywood, TV Guide, Hollywood Reporter and the Los Angeles Times.
Yes! Announcer Marv Albert is joining CBS to cover professional football. Albert had covered the NFL for 20 years with NBC from 1977 to 1997, but has since been primarily a professional basketball announcer with TNT. Is it too tacky to joke about the hiring of Marv taking a bite out of the competition. Guess I’ll find out. More on the move from USA Today.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on Scott Pelley’s first day on the job as anchor of the ‘CBS Evening News.’
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter and we’ll try to make sense of it all. Twitter.com/JBFlint