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The Morning Fix: News Corp. weighs split. Forum getting makeover.

June 26, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • The Forum will get a big makeover.
The Forum will get a big makeover. (Genaro Molina/Los Angeles…)

After the coffee. Before listening to politicians babble.

The Skinny: Tuesday's headlines include the plans to give the Forum a makeover to compete with the Staples Center, News Corp. considers splitting the company in two and an amusing look at how much writer Aaron Sorkin likes to repeat himself.

Daily Dose: Adam Sandler's raunchy"That's My Boy" may have been a flop at the movie theater but not everyone has lost faith in him. FX has secured the basic cable rights for the movie. The deal comes after FX agreed to buy"Men in Black 3." Both movies are from Sony.

An even more fabulous Forum? Left for dead after the Lakers and Kings fled the Forum for Staples Center, new owner MSG, parent of New York's famous Madison Square Garden, is planning a $50 million makeover for the Inglewood arena. MSG thinks it can make the Forum a world-class facility that can challenge Staples Center as the area's top locale for big events including concerts. AEG, the powerful owner of Staples Center isn't shaking in its boots yet. "We are very certain of our customer experience, their safety and the vibrancy of our campus," Tim Leiweke, president of Los Angeles-based AEG, said. That's his polite way of saying he thinks the Forum is in a bad neighborhood. A look at MSG's ambitions from the Los Angeles Times.

Divide and conquer. Media giant News Corp. may spin off its publishing assets into a separate company. The move, which investors have wanted for many years, has previously been resisted by News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that Murdoch has "warmed to the idea." The split would put News Corp.'s entertainment assets --including its TV and film operations -- into one company and its newspaper and book publishing holdings into another. Murdoch and his family would still be the controlling owner of both companies. News Corp. confirmed Tuesday it is considering the move.

100 or bust. FX's new sitcom "Anger Management" starring Charlie Sheen has a different business model than most TV shows. Rather than make a pilot and order 13 episodes and then see if the show performs well enough for a full season, FX ordered 10 episodes out of the box and if those shows deliver decent ratings the network is on the hook for 90 more shows. That will allow the show's producers -- Debmar Mercury and Lionsgate -- to sell reruns and recoup their investments much quicker than most producers. "Anger Management" executive producer Bruce Helford tells Variety why he's a fan of this approach, which means a lot more work upfront.

Serving up a sale? If the Tennis Channel emerges victorious in its long-running legal fight with cable giant Comcast and ends up getting a lot more subscribers, its owners may decide to put the channel up for sale, according to the New York Post. The additional subscribers would boost the channel's value and make it more attractive to potential suitors.

Breaking story. HBO's new journalism drama "The Newsroom" from writer Aaron Sorkin drew 2.1 million viewers in its Sunday debut. For the pay cable channel, that is a decent number. Also, it does not include people who recorded the show and watched later. More on the numbers from the New York Times. Also, if some of the dialogue on "The Newsroom" sounded familiar, don't be surprised. As this video put together by Gawker shows, Sorkin is not afraid to use his own material over and over again. 

But can he sing? Stand-up comedian Dane Cook, who is starring in an NBC mid-season comedy, is going to try his hand at singing. According to Deadline Hollywood, Cook has signed up for the Hollywood Bowl's production of "The Producers," which will run for three days at the end of July.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: A look at Gaikai, a company that hopes to become the Netflix of video games. Vivendi was ordered to pay Liberty Media $950 million as part of a verdict in a long-running legal battle.

Follow me on Twitter and separate truth from spin. Twitter.com/JBFlint

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