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The Morning Fix

Are tax credits a Hollywood hustle? Katie Couric preps comeback.

September 06, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • Katie Couric hopes there are third acts in television.
Katie Couric hopes there are third acts in television. (Associated Press )

After the coffee. Before deciding whether its time I learned to change my own oil.

The Skinny: Well, my bet that the Giants would go undefeated was a bust. Thursday's headlines include a debate about whether tax credits for Hollywood productions are really beneficial to the economy, more hype for Katie Couric and a look at the fall movie season.

Daily Dose: Time Warner is becoming a refuge for former News Corp. public relations executives. Earlier this week, former News Corp. spokesman Jack Horner was tapped as executive vice president of theatrical communications (theatrical communications? Does that mean his communications will be theatrical?). His arrival follows the hiring of Teri Everett away from News Corp. to be head of communications of Time Inc. Of course, the head of communications for Time Warner is former News Corp. communications chief Gary Ginsberg. 

Hollywood hustle? As California considers a $200-million subsidy for Hollywood to encourage more production to stay in state, debates are raging about whether tax breaks for productions are really a boost to the economy. "The state is using money it then can't use for other things, like education, transportation and healthcare, which also create jobs and economic growth," Nicholas Johnson of the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities, told the Los Angeles Times

Katie's back. Next week, Katie Couric will launch her much-anticipated daytime talk show. Couric who was a smash on NBC's "Today" before hitting a pothole as the anchor of the CBS Evening News, is hoping to fill the void left by Oprah Winfrey's departure. Couric's show is being distributed by Disney, which needs big ratings or else the TV stations that spent lots of money to carry it will get itchy trigger fingers. Previews of Couric's next act from the Wall Street Journal and USA Today.

Just a coincidence. Earlier this week, News Corp. nominated former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe to its board of directors. Bloomberg notes that Uribe is no stranger to some of the phone-hacking issues facing the Rupert Murdoch-controlled media empire, as his administration was accused of bugging rival politicians and members of the media. 

Hammered. Camilla Hammer, the chief executive of Shine International, a unit of the News Corp.-owned production company run by Liz Murdoch, is exiting after less than a year on the job and just before a big international TV festival. Deadline Hollywood says Nadine Nohr, who had run Granada International and recently was consulting with Shine, will succeed Hammer. 

Fall ahead. The summer movie season is over, which means it's time for the fall movie season. Funny how that works. Of course, fall is also when we are supposed to get the smart movies that make us forget about all the mindless, uninspired, big-budget junk Hollywood served us all summer. A preview of the next few months from Vulture.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: There are no more music videos on MTV and yet the Music Video Awards continue. "Paranormal Activity" producer Jason Blum is building a real haunted house.

Follow me on Twitter. It'll make you smarter. @JBFlint.

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