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The Morning Fix

Obama win keeps networks busy. Cable drives Time Warner results.

November 07, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • NBC's Brian Williams calling election night results.
NBC's Brian Williams calling election night results. (NBC )

After the coffee. Before figuring out who's ahead for 2016.

The Skinny: Hear that? It's quiet. No political ads. No screaming on cable news. Let's see how long it lasts. Wednesday's headlines include a look at how TV did covering the race, Paramount's struggles regarding a 3-D version of "Top Gun" and Time Warner posts solid third-quarter results.

Daily Dose: Paramount Pictures had no problem showing lots of alcohol brands in the movie "Flight," about an alcoholic pilot, including Budweiser, Bushmills and Absolut. And some of those folks weren't too happy about it. But when it came to cigarettes, the movie went with a fake. While the package on the cigarettes Denzel Washington smokes throughout the movies resembled the Winston brand, it is a fake called "Brunswick." Perhaps because cigarettes are not shown in the same negative light as the booze, Paramount didn't want to be seen giving the tobacco industry a boost.

Covering the coverage. I was looking forward to a mellow night watching my favorite Fox sitcom "New Girl." But apparently there was some election thing going on that all the networks and cable news channels felt some obligation to cover. They had fancy graphics and talking heads and big charts. They also had a bunch of people on who like to hear themselves talk whether they had something smart to say or not. I couldn't tell you who was best or worse or who had the coolest-looking set or just what ABC's Diane Sawyer was doing. But fortunately there are folks who can, and here are the takes on the media coverage of election night from the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Associated Press, Hollywood Reporter and USA Today. If you want to hear from the amateurs as well as the professionals, Variety takes a look at Twitter's reaction to the coverage.

A delicate situation. Prior to taking his own life, director Tony Scott was working on a sequel to his 1986 classic "Top Gun," which cemented Tom Cruise's status as a movie star. That's obviously history now, but as part of the plan to hype that movie, the original movie was given a 3-D makeover. Now Paramount Pictures is trying to figure out how it can release the movie without seeming to be exploiting the tragedy of Scott's death. The New York Times on the studio's dilemma. 

Perfect marriage? About a decade ago, satellite broadcasters DirecTV and Dish Network tried to merge, only to be foiled by regulators. But the idea is still floating around in Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen's head, and he thinks getting by the government is not impossible. “My personal opinion is this is probably a doable deal no matter who the administration is, under certain circumstances," Ergen said on an earnings call. A Dish-DirecTV combination would be the biggest pay-TV distributor in the nation with close to 35-million subscribers. More from the Denver Business Journal

Cable profits. Time Warner Inc., the parent of Warner Bros., HBO and Turner Broadcasting (CNN, TBS, TNT), reported third-quarter results early Wednesday morning and posted profits of $838 million. While the movie studio results were down, cable TV was strong, with revenue up 4.1%. A look at the results from Business Week.

Cable losses. Several big pay-TV distributors reported results this week including Dish Network, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. There was some bad news on the subscriber front and many distributors reported declines. Is cord-cutting for real or did some high-profile programming feuds lead some consumers to switch providers. The Wall Street Journal looks at the topic.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: "The Hangover III" is giving Orange County a big tip.

Follow me on Twitter for four more years! @JBFlint.

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