After the coffee. Before getting into my March Madness zone.
The Skinny: I finished reading “Kitty Genovese” by Kevin Cook about the infamous 1964 murder. While Cook does a good job of shooting holes into the accepted story about the horrendous crime, there is a lot of padding that is unnecessary in my view. But it’s worth a Kindle download. Today’s Fix includes layoffs at Sony Pictures Entertainment and the effect that proposed FCC rules are having on the stocks of some big broadcasters. Also, a new book dishes some dirt about the Golden Globes.
Daily Dose: Viacom settled its seven-year copyright infringement battle with Google over the latter’s YouTube video site. Viacom had sued seeking as much as $1 billion in damages over pirated videos of its content appearing on YouTube, which Viacom said the site was aware of and should have taken down. However, legal rulings so far had favored Google. Terms were not disclosed.
Not so sunny at Sony. It wasn’t a happy St. Patrick’s Day at Sony Pictures Entertainment, which started making widely expected cuts throughout the unit. Last November, Sony told investors it would make $250 million in budget reductions. While Sony Interactive is expected to feel the brunt of the cuts, other units including film and television probably won’t be immune. More from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.
Flying high. Interest in the vanishing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has boosted CNN’s ratings. While the network is careful not to talk about gains from a tragic story, it does reiterate the strength of the network when there is a big breaking news story. Of course, that’s not news. The problem has always been what CNN does when there isn’t a hot story to cover. There have been some concerns that CNN’s coverage has become too speculative and is aimed more at keeping ratings high than advancing the story with serious journalism. Coverage of CNN’s coverage from the New York Times.
Trying to make a new name for himself. Julius R. Nasso is best known as Steven Segal’s partner who then did time after being arrested for using mob enforcers to collect money he felt the action star owed him. Now Nasso has a new martial arts expert he’s betting a comeback on -- Tony Schiena. The Los Angeles Times looks at Nasso’s attempt to have a second act in Hollywood.
Taking a beating. The FCC’s efforts to crack down on partnerships between local broadcasters led one prominent media analyst to downgrade the shares of some of the nation’s biggest TV companies, causing some pretty big stock drops. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Nexstar and Gray Television were among the companies that took a big hit after Wells Fargo’s Marci Ryvicker downgraded the sector. Details from Multichannel News.
Inside the Golden Globes. Philip Berk, a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the folks behind the Golden Globes, has written an autobiography that also lifts the curtain a little on the awards show, including the controversial decision to give Pia Zadora an award, a move that led the show to briefly lose its television coverage. Also, a bizarre story about Brendan Fraser and a pinch. More on the book from the Hollywood Reporter.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: David Lazarus on Time Warner Cable raising prices again. “Blackfish” director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s controversy documentary has become a hit but it didn’t make her rich.
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