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No standing for Ovation. Sirius XM names new CEO! Comcast soars.

December 19, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • "Zero Dark Thirty" is getting good buzz.
"Zero Dark Thirty" is getting good buzz. (Columbia Pictures )

After the coffee. Before packing in case the Mayans are right.

The Skinny: It's cold here! What's up with that? Wednesday's headlines include Time Warner Cable dropping the little arts channel Ovation and a review of "Zero Dark Thirty." Also, satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM names a new interim chief executive.

Daily Dose: If you can't find a big TV to watch the Super Bowl, fear not. The NFL will again make the big game available. Also being streamed will be the wild card playoff games and the Pro Bowl. The best part is it's free. You don't need to have a pay-TV subscription to access the streams. Last year, 2.1 million people watched a live stream of the Super Bowl.

No standing for Ovation. Time Warner Cable, which has talked tough about dropping low-rated cable networks from its program lineup, made its first move by cutting the artsy channel Ovation. Although Ovation is a lot cheaper to carry than most cable channels, its small audience and lack of a big media company for an owner makes it vulnerable. Interestingly, while Time Warner Cable is dropping Ovation, it recently added several new sports channels and a network launched by Magic Johnson called Aspire. Johnson is also an owner of the Dodgers and Time Warner Cable is interested in securing the rights to the team. More on Ovation's woes from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.

Incompetence, not intent. The BBC, which has been ripped for not airing a news program that probed allegations of child abuse by the late Jimmy Savile -- a longtime personality on the channel -- was cleared of a cover-up by a report investigating the matter. Nick Pollard, a prominent newsman in Britain, released a lengthy examination in the matter and decided that a poor management structure that was not capable of handling the hot-potato story led to the mess the BBC finds itself in. There have been accusations that the BBC brass intentionally buried the story to spare itself embarrassment. An analysis of the report from the New York Times

Good year. Cable and entertainment giant Comcast Corp. is finishing the year on a roll as its market value closed at over $100 billion for the first time in the company's history and two years after its big deal to take control of NBCUniversal. Comcast is outperforming all the other big media stocks. Details from Bloomberg.

More than fashion. With the CW show "Gossip Girl" having ended Monday, gadget makers lost a key show to advertise in. While one might think only clothes and cosmetic companies would spend big on "Gossip Girl," the show also got lots of attention from cellphone and computer companies. Ad Age takes a look at the role technology played in "Gossip Girl."

Feeling lucky. "Dirty Harry" was one of 25 films added by the Library of Congress to its National Film Registry. Other titles selected for their cultural significance include "Breakfast at Tiffany's," "Anatomy of a Murder," "A Christmas Story" and "The Matrix." Really? "The Matrix." What about "Point Break?" The list from Variety

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on "Zero Dark Thirty." Sirius XM named James Meyer interim CEO in the wake of Mel Karmazin's exit.

Follow me on Twitter. Who else gives you news during the day and poetry at night? @JBFlint.


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