After the coffee. Before applying for Piers Morgan's CNN gig.
The Skinny: I'm almost through "House of Cards," and I think we may have to replace the phrase "jumped the shark" with "jumped the Meechum." If you don't get that joke, you will soon enough. Busy last few days in the media world and we've got it all here, starting with the big Netflix-Comcast deal. Also, "The Lego Movie" stays on top at the box office and CNN is pulling the plug on Piers Morgan.
Daily Dose: A recent court defeat in Utah isn't slowing Aereo down. The start-up service that streams local TV station signals to consumers via the Internet is set to launch in Austin, Texas, on March 3. It is already available in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. Broadcasters are trying to stop Aereo on the grounds that it violates copyright laws. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear their concerns in April.
Did Frank Underwood make this deal? Netflix has reached an agreement in which it will pay Comcast to make sure its content flows smoothly through the broadband giant's Internet pipes. This is a big deal because Netflix traffic has grown so much it often gets clogged (as it did for me Sunday), and it could lead to similar pacts with other Internet service providers. Think of Netflix as a supermarket that is now paying a little extra for a bigger parking lot or a fast-food chain adding a second drive-through window because it has so many customers. There are some media watchdogs worried that there are negative implications to the agreement. News and analysis from the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn, whose report on the deal is worth reading to better understand what this is and isn't all about.
"Lego" remains unbreakable. "The Lego Movie" took in an additional $31 million, which was more than enough to stay on top of the box office for the weekend. "Three Days to Kill" might as well be renamed "Three Days to Video-on-Demand" given its poor performance. Also flopping was "Pompeii." A box-office recap from the Hollywood Reporter.
The DOJ on JSAs. The Justice Department is raising concerns about the common practice of local television stations teaming up and sharing resources. Known in the industry as joint sales agreements or shared service agreements, the TV industry argues that such arrangements help keep smaller TV stations competitive. Watchdogs counter that these deals limit media diversity and allow big broadcasters to gain influence without any checks and balances from the government. Details on the Justice Department's filing at the Federal Communications Commission from the Los Angeles Times, Broadcasting and Cable and TV NewsCheck.
Money honey has new pot. Maria Bartiromo makes her debut on Fox Business Network on Monday with a new morning show called "Opening Bell." Bartiromo, who made a name for herself at CNBC and helped put that channel on the map 20 years ago, is tasked with making Fox Business more popular. At Fox Business, she'll be reunited with Roger Ailes, the Fox News chief executive who oversees the channel and was Bartiromo's boss at CNBC. The challenge for all the business channels is not only staying competitive with technology, but expanding their audience beyond hard-core money men. More about Bartiromo's move and the state of business news from the Los Angeles Times, Variety and Reuters.
Piers Morgan sent packing. Can't say the news that CNN is ending Piers Morgan's prime-time show is a surprise. Ratings have been dropping faster than membership to the Alex Rodriguez fan club. Brought in to replace Larry King three years ago, the former tabloid editor and judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent" never clicked with viewers. No word on how CNN chief Jeff Zucker will replace Morgan, whose show will likely officially end next month. The New York Times on Morgan's demise.
Reunited? Discovery Communications is a potential bidder for Channel 5, one of Britain's big TV outlets. Discovery, which has been increasing its international presence for the last few years, may team up with British Sky Broadcasting on an offer. If that happens, it would put Discovery backer John Malone and 21st Century Fox chief Rupert Murdoch in bed together again, as the latter owns almost 40% of BSkyB. Coverage from the Financial Times.
You won't have Alec Baldwin to kick around anymore. Alec Baldwin, whose spats with the paparazzi have brought him a lot of negative publicity and even cost him some jobs, gave a Richard Nixon-like speech to New York magazine about all the horrors he has endured. Though parts of it indicate that Baldwin may lack some self-awareness and is a case of self will run riot, his retelling of his experience at MSNBC is good reading and, in my opinion, probably spot-on.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Chief Executive Dawn Hudson and President Cheryl Boone Isaacs talk about the Oscars and the academy's future plans.
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