Soft start likely for ‘Killing Them Softly’; Zucker’s CNN challenge.


After the coffee. Before finding some zebras and building an ark!

The Skinny: I know I said yesterday I like the rain but I don’t like guests that overstay their welcome. Time for some sun. Friday’s headlines include a preview of the weekend box office, a profile of CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and a review of “Killing Them Softly.”

Daily Dose: Although Federal Communications Commission rules prohibit a company from running more than two TV stations in an individual market, Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has found a way around that. Sinclair owns WBFF and operates WNUV. Now, it will run WUTB, a station that Fox just sold to Sinclair, which in turn assigned the license to a company called Deerfield LLC. See, the FCC doesn’t need to relax its ownership rules. People find ways around them anyway.


Same old story. “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2” is expected to finish first at the box office for the third weekend in a row. The big new movie opening is “Killing Them Softly” starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and James Gandolfini. Is it just me or have trailers for that film been in the theaters for six months? Anyway, it’s not expected to knock anyone dead and is projected to take in $10 million. The other wide release is the horror flick “The Collection,” which will be lucky to scare up $5 million. As for me, I’ll be seeing “The Central Park Five,” a documentary about the injustice carried out in the aftermath of the infamous 1989 Central Park rape case. Weekend box office previews from the Los Angeles Times and Variety.

Tough job. Former NBCUniversal Chief Executive Jeff Zucker’s new job as president of CNN Worldwide will be no easy gig. While CNN is very profitable and has a huge global presence, here at home it has struggled against Fox News and MSNBC. If Zucker can improve CNN he’ll also return some luster to his reputation as a media executive, which has taken a beating over the past several years. News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, USA Today, Hollywood Reporter and New Republic (yes, the New Republic!).

He’s in charge. You wouldn’t think the chief executive of a major media company would get involved with the casting of supporting roles on a cable drama. Most wouldn’t but CBS CEO Leslie Moonves does. The successful run Moonves has had at CBS is due in large part to his attention to details and his love for what actually goes on the screen. The Wall Street Journal takes a long look at Moonves’ career and what’s ahead.

Black out. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV is at odds with Gannett Broadcasting over a new distribution contract. Gannett owns more than 20 stations in major markets around the country. If the stations are dropped, there will be a lot of angry football fans. More on the latest retransmission consent fight from Broadcasting & Cable.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on “Killing Them Softly.”

Follow me on Twitter: I don’t tweet “flash,” I just tell you what you need to know. @JBFlint.