After the coffee. Before trying to get a story done well before deadline.
The Skinny: I joke a lot about my cats in this space, but right now sadly one is very ill. So keep a good thought for my beloved Skinny (yes, he is the inspiration for the name of this section of the Morning Fix). Today’s headlines include the surprising hiring of Dee Dee Myers as the new spokeswoman of Warner Bros. Also, the Cannes Film Festival unveils its lineup and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) is trying to get Netflix to go on the record with any concerns it may have about Comcast getting bigger.
Daily Dose: No need to worry that the Supreme Court battle between broadcasters and Aereo could end in a 4-4 tie. Justice Samuel Alito who previously recused himself from the case, has indicated that he will participate after all. No details for the switch were provided but whatever the conflict was, it apparently has been removed. Broadcasters privately cheered the move, believing that Alito is more likely to favor their argument that Aereo, which distributes local TV signals via the Internet, violates copyright law.
From the West Wing to the West Coast. Warner Bros. has tapped Dee Dee Myers, a former White House spokeswoman for President Bill Clinton as its new executive in charge of corporate communications. Myers, who succeeds Sue Fleishman, will also provide potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with yet another entry to Hollywood power players. Fleishman spent much of her tenure at Warner Bros. trying to manage media during an awkward battle between Jeff Robinov, Bruce Rosenblum and ultimate winner Kevin Tsujihara for the top spot at the studio. The track record of D.C. communication strategists transitioning to Hollywood is mixed at best. Analysis of the hire from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and Deadline Hollywood.
Paris in spring. The Cannes Film Festival unveiled the lineup for this May’s festival this morning. Two American movies -- “Foxcatcher” and “The Homesman” -- made the cut to compete. Both star Tommy Lee Jones. The Los Angeles Times, Variety and the Hollywood Reporter on the lineup. Overall, 49 films were selected and more than a dozen were directed by women.
Making their case. Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments between broadcasters and Aereo, a startup that streams local TV signals over the Internet. Broadcasters claim Aereo is stealing their signal and violating copyright law. Aereo argues there is nothing illegal about its antenna service and cloud DVR. Ultimately it’s about money. Broadcasters fear Aereo (which charges $8 to $12 a month for its service) could undercut the revenue they gets from pay-TV operators. Media and digital mogul Barry Diller is an investor in Aereo and penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal defending the service.
If you see something, say something. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), the most vocal critic of Comcast’s proposed deal to acquire Time Warner Cable, wants Netflix to provide its thoughts on the deal. In a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Franken wrote, “as a popular provider of Internet content that competes directly with Comcast, Netflix is uniquely positioned to gauge the risks posed by this deal. I therefore write to invite you or your designee to share Netflix’s views.” Netflix and Comcast have clashed in the past over broadband. More from CNet.
Maybe they can arm-wrestle for it. Earlier this week, the Center for Public Integrity won a Pulitzer for its coverage of sick Appalachian miners who couldn’t get healthcare. But ABC News, which also reported on the story as part of a partnership with the center, isn’t celebrating. Instead it wants to share in the glory. The center was less than amused by this and sparks flew. Details from the New York Times.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: John Horn on the unusual pairing of Woody Allen and John Turturro in the comedy “Fading Gigolo.
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