Penske eyes Variety! Geist heading to ‘Today’? Cohen exiting WMG.

After the coffee. Before seeing if I can become an NFL replacement by this Sunday.

The Skinny: The bad officiating wasn’t the only thing wrong with ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” game between the Packers and Seahawks. The game ran for well over three hours. Tuesday’s headlines include a profile of producer Randall Emmett, a new co-host at “Today” and a review of CBS’ new drama “Vegas.”

Daily Dose: From boffo to toldja? My co-worker Ben Fritz reports that Penske Media, owner of Hollywood blog Deadline, is making a serious play for Variety. The price tag for the venerable trade paper is in the neighborhood of $30 million, which is far less than what current owner Reed Elsevier was initially seeking. Full disclosure: I used to work at Variety (so did Fritz), and every three months or so I get a pension statement that pretty much tells me I won’t be retiring anytime soon.

Hard-working man. Meet Randall Emmett, a master of low-budget movies who is stepping up to the big leagues. Emmett, 41, has made 70 movies, many of which you may have never seen but only walked past in the aisles of Walmart. But persistence is paying off. Now Emmett has some big-time financing and is making movies for 20th Century Fox, Universal and Lionsgate. A look at the guy who used to bring Mark Wahlberg drinks from the Los Angeles Times.


Never too early to start speculating. MSNBC commentator Willie Geist (best known for that disapproving stare he gave Mark Halperin after the latter insulted the president) is going to be tapped as host of the third hour of NBC’s “Today,” according to the New York Times. Although Matt Lauer recently signed a new deal to keep hosting the first two hours of “Today,” that won’t stop speculation that Geist may be the heir apparent. I’m still trying audition for the seventh hour of “Today.”

From triple A to the big leagues. “Recipe Rehab,” a cooking show on YouTube, will find a television home on ABC stations. The show is the latest example of how the Internet can work as a farm system for broadcast and cable channels. Cartoon Network found similar success with “Annoying Orange.” More from the Wall Street Journal.

Change of tune. Lyor Cohen, head of Warner Music Group, is exiting the company at the end of the month. Cohen, who used to run Def Jam records, is credited with pumping new life into Warner Music. However, the corporate life appears to have lost its appeal for Cohen. Label heads will now report directly to Warner Music Group CEO Stephen Cooper. Details from Reuters.

Rothman returns. Only a few weeks after being pushed out from his job as co-chairman of Fox Filmed Entertainment, Tom Rothman is close to landing his first production gig. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Rothman is negotiating to produce Robopocalypse, which Steven Spielberg is directing.


I’m available too. Twitter is looking to add some entertainment experience and is trying to persuade former News Corp. Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin to join its board of directors, according to All Things Digital.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on CBS’ new drama “Vegas.”

Follow me on Twitter. Keith Olbermann retweeted me and so can you! @JBFlint.