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The Morning Fix

News Corp. wants to say yes to YES! New team at 'Today.'

November 15, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • The Yankees may have some new friends on the mound.
The Yankees may have some new friends on the mound. (EPA )

After the coffee. Before figuring out who's mad at me today.

The Skinny: I'm enjoying ABC's "Nashville" but I'm much more interested in the parts of the show about the musicians and their struggles and tune out when the political drama kicks up. That's my note to the producers. Thursday's headlines include News Corp.'s play for the YES Network, Viacom's quarterly results and a look at porn star agents.

Daily Dose: News Corp.'s talks to acquire a stake in the New York Yankee cable channel YES (see below) is as much a defensive move as it is an offensive one. By acquiring a piece of YES, News Corp.'s Fox Sports keeps the channel out of the hands of rival Time Warner Cable, which is already competing with Fox in Los Angeles.

Ruth! Gehrig! DiMaggio! Murdoch? News Corp., the media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is in advanced talks to take a minority ownership stake in the YES, the sports cable network owned by the New York Yankees. News Corp., which already owns 20 regional sports networks, would likely buy out stakes owned by Goldman Sachs and other equity partners. The box score from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

Up and down quarter. Media giant Viacom, parent of cable channels MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon and movie studio Paramount Pictures said its fourth quarter earnings were up about 13% even though revenue was down 17%. The good news was increased fees from pay-TV distributors for Viacom's cable outlets. The bad news was that Paramount only released just one movie -- "Katy Perry: Part of Me" and ad revenue was down on the TV side. An early look at the numbers from Bloomberg and the Los Angeles Times

Can Nash bridge ratings gap? NBC's morning news program "Today" has tapped Don Nash as its new day-to-day executive producer, replacing Jim Bell, who will now focus on the Olympics full time. "Today" has fallen to second place behind ABC's "Good Morning America." Nash isn't the only change. NBC News executive Alexandra Wallace will now have oversight of the morning show. It must be cold on the set of "Today" because NBC is layering up. More on the changes from USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post

No laughing matter. NBC Entertainment President Jennifer Salke wants to rethink the network's approach to comedy. NBC is currently the king of cult comedies ("Community," "30 Rock") that critics love but the masses stay away from. Many of NBC's comedies, Salke tells TV Guide, are too narrow.

A whole new meaning to taking my 10%. Every agent has stories to tell but I'm guessing the ones that represent porn stars will liven up any party. The Hollywood Reporter takes a look at Mark Spiegler, who represents some of the biggest names in the business.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on the latest "Twilight" movie. Robert Lloyd on HBO's Rolling Stones documentary, "Crossfire Hurricane."

Follow me on Twitter. It's me against the world. @JBFlint.

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