The Morning Fix: RIP Sue Mengers. McDonald’s TV! What now for Hulu?


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

After the coffee. Before trying to remember out how to carve a pumpkin.

The Skinny: I didn’t see ‘Footloose’ but my girlfriend did and she reported an exodus from the theater about ten minutes before the end of the movie, which finished in second place at the box office. Other headlines include appreciations of Sue Mengers, the legendary agent who died Saturday, and previews of News Corp.’s annual meeting.


RIP. Pioneering agent Sue Mengers, whose ground-breaking career paved the way for women who wanted to be big shots behind the screen, died Saturday at age 79. Mengers represented some of the biggest names in Hollywood for some three decades. Her client roster included Faye Dunaway, Candice Bergen, Steve McQueen, Nick Nolte and Burt Reynolds, as well as directors Sidney Lumet and Brian De Palma. She started at the old MCA agency before moving to William Morris and eventually spent many years at ICM. Obituaries and appreciations from the Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair and Deadline Hollywood.

Out of step. ‘Real Steel’ managed to hold off challenger ‘Footloose’ and stay on top at the box office. ‘Real Steel,’ the robot boxing flick starring Hugh Jackman, took in $16.3 million. ‘Footloose,’ a remake of the 1980s classic (I use that word ironically) made $16.1 million, less than industry experts were projecting. The two other wide releases of the weekend, ‘The Thing’ and ‘The Big Year,’ flopped. Box office coverage from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Showdown. News Corp.’s annual meeting is Friday in Los Angeles, the first opportunity for shareholders to confront the company about scandals rocking through the company’s European newspaper operations. It should be a festive affair as some key pension funds have advocated voting against CEO Rupert Murdoch and other Murdoch family members who are seeking reelection to the company’s board of directors. The odds of their not being reelected are long but it will be a humbling moment. Don’t try to sneak a pie into the meeting; my hunch is News Corp. has stronger security than Parliament. More from AdWeek and AFB.

What now? With the popular online video site Hulu no longer on the block, new questions about its future are emerging. Owned by Disney, News Corp., Providence Equity and silent partner Comcast, there is debate among some of the owners about the best strategy to keep the site viable without hurting other content businesses. Analysis from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg.

Back to the drawing board. After rumblings that Time Warner Cable was finally near a deal to carry the NFL Network, talks have fallen apart, according to Sports Business Journal. With the NFL starting its regular season in a few weeks, that would leave Time Warner Cable subscribers out of luck once again.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: McDonald’s is starting its own in-store television network and has Mark Burnett on board to help. A look at the third Olsen sister, whose career is on a roll.


-- Joe Flint

Follow me on Twitter. It’ll impress your friends.