After the coffee. Before freezing my you-know-what off!
The Skinny: I'm in D.C. for Thanksgiving, and it's cold and wet here. But that's not nearly as bad as watching the Redskins lose on East Coast time. At least on the West Coast I don't have to stay up until midnight to feel humiliated. But enough whining. Today's Fix includes a look at MAVTV, a cable channel launched by Lucas Oil. Also, more thoughts (including mine) on Katie Couric's new job and a shakeup at AEG Live. Also, the last Nikki Finke story you'll ever need to read.
Daily Dose: All the talk about Time Warner Cable being up for grabs may have some wondering whether consolidation among cable operators will mean lower programming bills. But Bernstein Research analyst Todd Juenger noted that is highly unlikely. "Cable consolidation by definition does not change the number of choices of pay-TV providers for (almost) any household in the country, and therefore doesn't change the balance of power between distributors and content owners," he wrote in a new report. He added that because about 10 companies control the majority of popular channels, distributors have little leverage, regardless of size. "Every time a distributor has tried to fight back by dropping the content from one of these companies, it has ended badly for the distributor."
Looking to break free from the pack. Looking for a way to reach potential customers, Lucas Oil decided that it might be smarter to own a TV channel rather than advertise on one. The company launched MAVTV, which is aimed at racing aficionados. The network is nearing 30 million homes and figures it needs to get to 50 million to have a shot at making money. The Los Angeles Times looks at what's driving Lucas Oil's desire to be a TV programmer.
New gig. It's official. Katie Couric has signed up with Yahoo to be its "global news anchor." Because it is Katie Couric and Yahoo, the media see this as some kind of seismic shift in the industry. Maybe. Or maybe this is just the latest attempt by Couric to revitalize a career that has foundered since she quit NBC's "Today" all those years ago. Her stint as an anchor at CBS News was disappointing, and her daytime show likely won't live past Season 2. Yahoo, meanwhile, is hoping signing a big name such as Couric will bring it some much needed traffic. More on the move from the Washington Post and Valleywag.
Show's over. Randy Phillips, chief executive at AEG Live for more than 10 years, has left the concert promotion giant. Phillips' departure comes less than a year after Tim Leiweke, head of parent AEG, departed and the company briefly put itself up for sale. Jay Marciano, AEG's chief operating officer, was promoted to chairman of AEG Live. Details on the AEG moves from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times.
What a bargain! Intel is looking to sell OnCue, its system for delivering pay-television via the Internet, or over-the-top as the industry calls it, for $500 million. Intel tried to launch OnCue itself but was unable to strike distribution deals with major programmers. Among those said to be kicking the tires are Verizon and Liberty Global, the international unit of Liberty Media. Coveage from Bloomberg.
Happy Birthday. Ted Turner, the pioneering media mogul who created CNN, TBS and TNT, turned 75 last week and threw himself a big bash. Turner said his health is getting worse and his memory is fading. The quick wit still seems to be there though. Asked by Fortune how he feels about life at 75, Turner replied, "It's better than being dead."
Bring back Brian. "Family Guy" fans are upset that the show killed off family dog Brian in Sunday's episode. Is he really dead (he sure looked dead) or is this just a ratings stunt to generate interest in the aging cartoon? Either way, it's working. Now some fans are petitioning to bring Brian back to life. I thought only cats had nine lives. More on the reaction to Brian's death from the Hollywood Reporter.
The last Nikki Finke story you'll need to read. I'm as tired of writing about journalist Nikki Finke and her fights with Deadline Hollywood owner Jay Penske as you are reading about them. But New York magazine actually has a very good deep dive into the Finke-Penske relationship that is worth a look. And hey, there's even an old picture of Finke in a bathing suit! Hopefully this will put the nail into the coffin on this topic, at least until next week.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Rebecca Keegan on how women are starting to crack the glass ceiling in animation films.
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