After the coffee. Before getting ready to fly back to D.C.
The Skinny: Traveling to D.C. on Saturday for Passover on Monday. Given the cost of flying and renting a car, this will be a very expensive Seder. Don’t worry, eating matzo won’t stop me from doing the Morning Fix on Monday and Tuesday. Today’s roundup includes analysis of Stephen Colbert’s move to CBS and a preview of the weekend box office.
Daily Dose: Although it doesn’t look like DirecTV is going to carry the Dodgers-owned, Time Warner Cable channel SportsNet LA any time soon, don’t expect that to change the $3.63 sports surcharge the satellite broadcaster hits its Southland subscribers with every month. A company insider said even without SportsNet LA, this market is one of the most expensive in regards to regional sports networks. However, if you call and complain you might get a rebate for a few months and free upgrades, according to one subscriber we’ve heard from.
Big shoes to fill. CBS has tapped Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman as host of its “Late Show” next year. The move came just a week after Letterman announced on air his plans to retire next year. Even though the official deal came together fast, Colbert’s camp had been eyeing Letterman’s seat for sometime and had made it known to CBS brass how eager Colbert was for the job should it open. Colbert will drop the faux conservative TV host persona of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” for the “Late Show” gig. Comedy Central, meanwhile, has a big hole in its schedule and the person who a year ago would have seemed like an obvious choice to replace Colbert -- John Oliver of “The Daily Show” -- now has his own show on HBO. Coverage and analysis of Colbert’s move from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Variety and Hollywood Reporter.
Tough birds. Will “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” meet its match in a few animated birds? That’s what box office projectionists are forecasting. “Rio 2" and the latest “Captain America” are expected to take in around $40 million each this weekend. The original “Rio” took in about $39 million in its opening weekend. Also opening is “Draft Day,” the Kevin Costner sports drama about the National Football League draft. It’s not expected to be a first-round pick for movie-goers (see what I did there?) but it should take in about $12 million. Box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Deadline Hollywood.
Time to dance. Every spring, the broadcast networks spend millions making new shows for the fall season. Then they spend the summer trying to get Madison Avenue to pay big bucks to advertise in their shows in what is known as the “upfront market.” It’s called upfront because the ad time is bought in advance. The broadcast networks have done a remarkable job of raking in big bucks in the face of shrinking audiences and increased competition from cable and online. Will this year be a wake-up call? The Wall Street Journal takes an early look at this year’s upfront market.
Stop this deal! Last month, Walt Disney Co. agreed to buy online video production giant Maker Studios in a deal worth at least $500 million. But now co-founder and former chief executive Danny Zappin wants to hit the brakes on the sale and is asking a judge to delay the vote. Zappin is already involved in a legal fight with Maker with his former colleagues. Details from the Hollywood Reporter.
Breaking news. ABC News has named James Golston as its new president, succeeding Ben Sherwood, who was recently named to replace Anne Sweeney as co-chairman of Disney Media Networks and head of the ABC TV Group. More on the move from the Los Angeles Times.
New digs. CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves has a new beach house. According to the New York Post, Moonves has shelled out about $30 million for Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s Malibu Beach house. If true, I’m free most weekends Mr. Moonves.
Follow me on Twitter today because who knows what will happen tomorrow! @JBFlint.