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The Morning Fix

Will Lance put Oprah over the hump? Media fell for Te'o story.

January 17, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Will Lance Armstrong take Oprah Winfrey's network to the next level?
Will Lance Armstrong take Oprah Winfrey's network to the next level? (AFP/Getty Images )

After the coffee. Before asking Manti Te'o to fix me up. 

The Skinny: I wonder if Oprah Winfrey would drop Lance Armstrong for Manti Te'o if she could? Thursday's headlines include stories on whether the Armstrong interview can boost OWN, the White House wants to know more about the role TV, movies and video games plays in desensitizing people to violence and previews of the Sundance Film Festival, which starts today.

Daily Dose: CA Media, the Asian investment arm of Peter Chernin's media company, has bought a minority stake in Graphic India, which is a comic book and animation company there. With Chernin investing, the plan is to take Graphic India product and develop content for various digital platforms including mobile. The other owner of Graphic India is Liquid Comics, which has a large library of products featuring Indian characters.

Cycling for ratings. Lance Armstrong isn't the only one putting a lot on the line with his Oprah Winfrey interview that airs Thursday and Friday night. Winfrey and Discovery Communications, the partners in her OWN Network, are hoping that the big numbers Armstrong should generate will put the channel over the hump. OWN has struggled since it launched in January of 2011, burning though lots of executives and $300 million in cash. The Los Angeles Times looks at OWN's track record and whether it can stand on its own two feet without performance enhancing interviews.

Taking aim. President Obama, who on Wednesday introduced plans he thinks will reduce gun violence, also called for more studies on whether entertainment has a role in contributing to the problem. Hollywood usually argues its movies, TV shows and video games don't influence users. Of course, at the same time, they all go out of their way to not show lots of smoking because, well, it might send a message to kids that smoking is cool. More on the White House initiative from the Associated Press.

If it sounds too good or too bad to be true, it probably isn't. Kudos to Deadspin for its debunking of the Manti Te'o dead girlfriend story. Whether the Notre Dame football star was in on this or a victim is still muddy, but one thing is for sure: A lot of media outlets fell down on the job when a routine Google search would have started to raise questions.

Want to buy a billboard? CBS is spinning off its outdoor advertising unit. The company will sell its European and Asian operations and is putting its U.S. holding into a real estate investment trust (REIT). More on the transaction and what's motivating it from the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.

Off limits. E!'s late night host Chelsea Handler has been told to stop making jokes about "Today" anchor Matt Lauer, according to the New York Post. An E! spokesperson denied that was the case. Both E! and "Today" are part of the NBCUniversal empire. I've done no reporting on this one, but I'll go with the New York Post being accurate on this one.

Ski and screens. The Sundance Film Festival kicks off Thursday. It's a place where big shots eat, drink and party while watching depressing dramas and dark comedies. But this year, according to the New York Times, "Sundance is looking a lot less bipolar." Additional coverage from Variety

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Kenneth Turan on the documentaries that will be at Sundance. Robert Lloyd on FX's new dark comedy "Legit."

Follow me on Twitter. Most of my girfriends have been real. @JBFlint

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