The Morning Fix: ‘Grand Theft Auto’ for everyone. Meyer gets new deal. Sun Valley hype picks up steam.


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After the coffee. Before seeing if the Dodgers owe me any money.

The Skinny: A busy day for the Supreme Court, which tossed a video game law meant to shield kids from the excessive violence of some of today’s games and said it would hear a case that could reduce or eliminate the government’s ability to regulate content on broadcast television. Elsewhere, Ron Meyer signs a new deal at Universal, and Charlie Sheen still has Radar on speed dial.


‘Grand Theft Auto’ for everyone! In a victory for the video game industry, the Supreme Court tossed out a California law that prohibited the sale of violent games to kids, saying the ban violated the 1st Amendment right to free speech. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said in his majority opinion that there is ‘no tradition in this country of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence. … Grimm’s Fairy Tales, for example, are grim indeed.’ More on the decision from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Wall Street Journal. The court also agreed to hear a case in its next session that could decide the fate of the Federal Communications Commission’s indecency rules. More on that from the Los Angeles Times and Broadcasting & Cable.

Ultimate survivor. Most people get nervous when they get new bosses. Not Universal Studios President Ron Meyer. He just sits back and waits for the contract renewal, which came for the industry veteran Monday from Comcast Corp., which became the latest owner of the studio earlier this year. Meyer, who has had too many bosses to count in his almost 20 years at the studio, will be sticking around through 2015. More on Meyer from the Los Angeles Times, which told readers a few weeks ago that the renewal was coming down, and Deadline Hollywood.

Boondoggle time. It is almost July, which means it’s time to start hyping investment bank Allen & Co.’s annual gathering of media and technology leaders in Sun Valley, Idaho. The conference, which is the business media’s version of Comic-Con, is notorious for being the birthplace of many big deals. The press is not allowed to cover any of the sessions so, instead, respectable reporters throw their pride out the window for a week and sit outside meeting rooms reporting on who went to the bathroom with whom. I’ve done it too, but when security starts handing you a bucket and pointing to the bushes when you ask if you can relieve yourself, it’s time to reassess. More on how this year’s invite list is shaping up from the New York Post and Hollywood Reporter.

Cutting the string. Sony chief Howard Stringer took a 15% pay cut after the consumer electronics and entertainment giant suffered a third straight year of losses. I’ll still trade paychecks with him any day. More from Bloomberg.

Sheen spin. It’s probably just a coincidence that on the same day news breaks that Charlie Sheen’s last ‘goddess’ has left the building, Radar reports that Lionsgate Entertainment is producing a sitcom with Sheen that Turner Broadcasting is very interested in buying. As is often the case with Radar, there are some grains of truth in the story but also a fair amount of fiction. Turner went on the record to say they were not buying any shows starring Charlie Sheen. Lionsgate, however, declined to comment on the story, which in Hollywood-speak means they at least had some sort of meeting with Sheen and/or his representatives.

Taking the word ‘diversity’ out of a diversity unit. Variety takes a look at Fox’s rebranded diversity unit, now dubbed Audience Strategy, which is designed to increase diversity both on its shows and behind the scenes.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Inside the Dodger’s depressing bankruptcy filing. A look at International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees President Matt Loeb. MPAA President Bob Pisano is stepping down.

-- Joe Flint

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