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The Morning Fix

CNN details new morning show. Hearst makes change. FX unveils FXX.

March 28, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • The new G.I. Joe movie may be a tough sell for critics, but will it matter?
The new G.I. Joe movie may be a tough sell for critics, but will it matter? (Paramount )

After the coffee. Before trying to make a clone to do my grunt work.

The Skinny: Was excited to see "Nashville" back, but did we really need a Katie Couric cameo? It felt forced and didn't add much to the plot. It's a busy Thursday morning as CNN unveiled its new morning show and FX detailed plans for a new sister channel. Also, a big change at Hearst Corp. and a review of the new "G.I. Joe" movie.

Daily Dose: Mornings are a priority for new CNN chief Jeff Zucker and Thursday he unveiled his plans for a show he hopes will woo viewers. As expected, Chris Cuomo will host and he will be joined by CNN's congressional correspondent, Kate Bolduan, who will serve as co-host. Also on board is "KTLA Morning News" co-host Michaela Pereira, who will be the news anchor. Veteran producer Jim Murphy, who spent many years at "Good Morning America," will serve as senior executive producer and Matt Frucci, another GMA vet, will be executive producer. All the New York-based show needs now is a title.

Adding an X. News Corp.'s cable channel FX unveiled plans for a sister channel, FXX. No, that doesn't mean X-rated versions of "Sons of Anarchy." The network, which will launch in September, will be aimed at the age 18-to-34 demographic with a heavy focus on comedy. FX is also moving two of its comedies -- "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League" -- to FXX. Details from the Los Angeles Times.

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End of an era. After more than 30 years as chief executive of Hearst Corp., Frank Bennack is stepping down and his No. 2, Chief Operating Officer Steve Swartz, will succeed him. Although Hearst is best known for its magazine unit, which includes iconic titles such as Esquire and Cosmopolitan, it also owns stakes in several powerful cable networks including ESPN and A&E and almost 30 local TV stations. The cable investments, made in the early days of the industry, have proved to be quite wise. One of Swartz's first tasks will be to find someone to succeed Scott Sassa as president of Hearst Entertainment. Sassa resigned from Hearst several weeks ago after a sexting scandal with a stripper. More on Hearst from the Los Angeles Times and New York Times.

Making a pivot. Participant Media's new cable channel Pivot plans to offer itself to subscribers via broadband. The network, which will target teens and young adults, will only be available in 40 million pay-TV homes when it launches, so having other means of distribution will be crucial to its success. Details from Reuters and more on Pivot's overall strategy from Variety.

Not so cool. The website Ain't it Cool News was once the go-to place for dirt and snark on Hollywood. But growing up has proved to be difficult for the site and its founder, Harry Knowles. The Hollywood Reporter looks at the site's money woes and how Knowles plans to make a comeback.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Betsy Sharkey on "G.I. Joe: Retaliation." Fay Kanin, former president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, died at 95. Don Payne, a writer on Fox's "The Simpsons" died at 48. 

Follow me on Twitter and it will keep away the rain. @JBFlint.

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