• The Sheen Beat: Calculating The Dollar Damage Of 'Men' Shutdown
    You may not see him on his regularly scheduled prime-time CBS show, but suddenly Charlie Sheen is seemingly everywhere else on the networks. On ABC and NBC interviews, he demanded not only that CBS raise his salary to $3 million an episode "because of psychological distress," but that network execs also proffer an apology and a foot-licking. Is that the technical definition of "chutzpah" or what? In an earlier New York Times   piece, the cost of shutting down production of "Two And A Half Men" was estimated at a quarter million bucks between CBS and Warner ...
  • Good News For Financial Times: 12% Rise
    FT Group, the division of Pearson that publishes the Financial Times, reported a a 12% year-on-year revenue increase, according to Editor & Publisher.
  • Motorola Sues TiVo In Patent Lawsuit
    In the latest of three lawsuits against TiVo concerning patents on DVR technology, Motorola sued the company on Friday. The suit claims a company called Imedia, which later became part of a Motorola subsidiary, invented the DVR.
  • Oscars Scorecard: Ratings Down, Critical Pans
    Sunday's Oscar telecast drew fairly universal critical pans and lower ratings than last year's show, according to preliminary numbers from Nielsen showing viewing in the 56 largest markets was down 7% from 2010. Meanwhile, reviewers cited such gaffes as bad writing and a lack of chemistry between the hosts, a trying-so-hard-it-was-embarrassing Anne Hathaway and a laid-back-enough-to-be-taken-for-dead (or at least stoned) James Franco. Even the audience seemed to long for a seasoned comic pro to take charge again, as they gave former host Billy Crystal a standing ovation.  One solution, suggested by commenters on TV critic Alan Sepinwall's HitFix post: ...
  • Paper Of Record Spins Social Media For Oscar Coverage
    "It was an Oscar night tricked out as a meeting of Old Hollywood and New, a contest between the heart (King George VI) and the brain (Mark Zuckerberg), and most of all, a melding of old-school network tradition and Internet age connectivity," wrote The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley. Her employer likewise took the hint, becoming the first major newspaper to employ all the tricks of social media, video and mobile to keep viewers interacting with the Times on a second screen while tuned in to the broadcast. The live updates section on the Times site was a ...
  • Dish Network Hurt By Retrans Battles
    Analysts blame Dish Network's "worst quarterly subscriber performance in the company's history" for Q4 2010 on the company's retrans battles with Fox Sports and MSG Network, according to Multichannel News' Mike Farrell. Dish lost 156,000 customers in that quarter after National Geographic Channel, FX and 19 regional Fox Sports networks went dark on Dish from Oct. 1 to Oct. 29; MSG Network also pulled the Dish plug on Oct. 1.
  • Maybe It'll Be 'One And A Half Men'?
    Since CBS and Warner Bros. announced the production shutdown of "Two and a Half Men" for this season yesterday, the question now remains: will the show be canceled, or will it come back, perhaps with Charlie Sheen written out -- or replaced by another hard-drinking, partying character as a foil to Jon Cryer's prissy Alan? After all, as Robert Seidman points out in TV By The Numbers, "Charlie Sheen might be (ok, is) high, but so are the stakes for everyone involved. All you need to do is look at the ratings for originals, repeats and syndication to know ...
  • ABC To Telecast Oscars For Nine More Years
    The long-term partnership between ABC and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will continue. The two just renewed their contract for ABC's telecasting the annual Oscars ceremony for six more years, through 2020, when it will be a grand total of 45 straight years. The current contract was up in 2014.
  • Fair-Use Rewrite Or Plagiarism?
    Check this out. In light of reports that the Temple [Texas] Daily Telegram was pulling a column by syndicated columnist Cal Thomas that managing editor Carroll Wilson said "essentially plagiarized from the New York Times" -- a column no other papers have complained about -- Poynter's Jim Romenesko posted both columns for a comparison. "A fair-use rewrite, or plagiarism? You decide," he writes.
  • Netflix To Add More Subtitles To Streaming Videos
    After a very limited rollout last year, Netflix has added more than 3,500 tiles to its stock of subtitled videos. And those TV shows and movies will also be available in that format on select connected devices. That makes 30% of all streaming titles with subtitles -- primarily for the hearing-impaired, not in other languages, according to Gigaom's Ryan Lawler.
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