After the coffee. Before acting surprised at the welcome-back party awaiting me in the office.
The Skinny: It was so nice of CBS and Time Warner Cable to wait until I was back in town to resolve their distribution dispute. Too bad they had to ruin the last day of my vacation. Did you miss me? I was in a world with no Twitter or emails and it was great. I highly recommend getting off the grid! Also, a big thank you to Ryan Faughnder for filling in. Monday's headlines include CBS and Time Warner Cable's peace treaty, the Labor Day box office report. If you are a good person and ask nicely, send me a note and I'll add you to the Morning Fix email alert list.
Daily Dose: I spent my vacation at Canyon Ranch in Arizona. While I made a point not to watch too much TV, I did notice that the cable package the resort has from Comcast carries ESPN2 but not ESPN. That's sort of like having Diet Coke but not Coke. Although the biggest cable sports channel in the country was not available there, Comcast's Golf Channel was part of the package. Maybe if I'd watched it, my golf lesson would have gone better.
We have a deal. While we were trying to enjoy Labor Day weekend, CBS and Time Warner Cable were laboring at nailing down a new distribution deal. The companies finally came to terms on a retransmission consent agreement and the signals of CBS-owned media properties returned to Time Warner Cable subscribers just in time for the start of the fall television season and, more importantly, the NFL regular season. CBS was able to negotiate a significant increase in fees that Time Warner Cable pays to carry CBS' local TV stations. The deal runs just less than five years. Coverage from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and Reuters.
"The Butler" did it ... again. "The Butler" cleaned up at the box office over the Labor Day weekend, beating back a challenge from "One Direction: This is Us." Since Labor Day weekend is considered the end of the summer movie season, there are lots of recaps analyzing the hits and misses of the past three months. Here are takes from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
Too much drama. Reinventing the long-running ABC soap operas "One Life to Live" and "All My Children" for the Internet has been a roller coaster. Union issues, fans that might be a wee bit too passionate and even legal fights with ABC are just some of the hurdles that Prospect Park, the company behind the effort, has faced. The Los Angeles Times goes behind the scenes to get the lowdown on what's worked and what hasn't with moving the two soaps to the web.
Security breach. The first episode for the new season of Showtime's CIA drama "Homeland" has leaked online. According to Variety, the episode was downloaded hundreds of thousands of times in the last few days. The story goes on to say the "circulating copy resembles the screener handed to critics at July’s Television Critics Assn. event in Los Angeles." Well, if anyone's wondering I still have my copy and it hasn't even been watched yet, so don't look at me!
The boys from Baltimore. Sinclair Broadcast Group may be the biggest media company that no one outside the industry has heard of. The Baltimore-based broadcaster -- run by David Smith whose family founded the company -- owns or operates more than 100 television stations. Smith, known for his conservative views, is a tough negotiator who has caught the attention of many media watchdogs. More on Sinclair from the Washington Post. And just to date myself, I've been covering those guys since they owned a handful of TV stations.
While I was out. I did my best not to pay attention to media while on vacation so I missed this Hollywood Reporter story on Harry Connick Jr. joining the Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban as a judge on Fox's "American Idol." Nothing against Connick but I'm not sure he screams young viewers.
Follow me on Twitter so you'll know how much you miss me when I'm on vacation! @JBFlint.