The Morning Fix: James Murdoch on hot seat! Ryan Seacrest’s new deal.


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After the coffee. Before hiring Ryan Seacrest’s agent for my next negotiation.

The Skinny: I’m trying to eat healthier. It’s not fun, but it is cheaper. Tuesday’s headlines include a tough start to the week for Netflix, a new executive team at CBS News, and James Murdoch back in the hot seat. Also, Ryan Seacrest signed a deal to stay with Fox’s ‘American Idol.’


Daily Dose: On Monday in this space, I wrote an item about how NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ was engaging in a little bit of corporate promotion during Sunday’s show -- on what’s supposed to be a serious news magazine. On Monday night when I went online, Facebook was suggesting I subscribe to the feed of ‘Meet the Press’ executive producer Betsy Fisher. A coincidence? No, just another example of how the gang at Facebook is watching everything you do online. Scary.

Netflix doubters. Netflix had its first net loss since 2005, and investors punished the company’s stock. For the first quarter of 2012, the video subscription giant lost $5 million, which was attributed to efforts to grow its business abroad. Then information Netflix gave analysts during a conference call made investors nervous that the company will not meet its goal of adding an additional 7 million subscribers here. Analysis from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

On the hot seat. News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch, are this week appearing before a judicial inquiry into the ethics and behavior of the British media to answer questions regarding the phone-hacking scandal at the company’s newspapers the News of the World and the Sun. James Murdoch is being grilled today, and his father is scheduled to be questioned Wednesday. Early reports on James Murdoch’s appearance from the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Guardian, which has a live stream of the event.

New team. CBS Films is the tiny movie production company that CBS launched in 2010. It has struggled to find its way, but now has a new executive team. Terry Press, a former Disney and DreamWorks executive who has been consulting for CBS Films, and the movie company’s chief operating officer, Wolfgang Hammer, have been named co-presidents. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Seacrest sticking around. ‘American Idol’s’ ratings may be on the decline, but the show’s host, Ryan Seacrest, is getting a raise. Seacrest signed a new two-year deal that will take his annual salary from $10 million a year to $15 million. Details from the Los Angeles Times and the Hollywood Reporter.

There’s an idea. After NBC’s morning news program ‘Today’ goofed and put up an edited transcript of George Zimmerman’s phone call to police regarding Trayvon Martin, it fired the producer and acknowledged the mistake to the media. The only people the show forgot to tell were its actual viewers. New York Times columnist David Carr on how NBC missed doing the obvious in its efforts to clean up after itself.


Inside the Los Angeles Times: Want to see a movie that’s not playing your town? A new start-up called Tugg lets consumers set up a screening if enough people show interest.

-- Joe Flint

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