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Monday, March 5, 2012

Fox takes on Telemundo and Univision. Development Season in full swing. Lorax rules box office. New Troubles for FOX/NewsCorp. Bruce Springsteen has another "hit" album (out tomorrow).



MundoFox launches this fall
From the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for latest entertainment news.

KHWY LA to be Spanish Network Flagship. Fox has struck a deal with Meruelo Group’s KWHY-TV Channel 22 in Los Angeles to be the flagship station for the Spanish-language network it is launching later this fall.

MundoFox, a joint venture between Fox and Columbia broadcaster RCN Television, also unveiled deals with TV stations in more than 10 cities including Miami. It still does not have an outlet in New York City, one of the largest Latino markets, but plans to at some point.

With plans to program 16 hours a day, MundoFox will bet on a mix of telenovelas and teleseries, which are soap opera-type shows aimed at a more male audience.

Overall, MundoFox hopes to differentiate itself from Univision and Telemundo by targeting primarily younger Latino viewers, as opposed to Latinos of all ages.

“We intend to be different in a way that the Fox network was different,” said Hernan Lopez, president and chief executive of Fox International Channels, adding that MundoFox shows will strive to be “edgier and bolder.”

Many of the shows on MundoFox will be imports that air elsewhere around the globe. The network will also carry sports and reality programs.

Although Fox parent News Corp. owns an independent station in Los Angeles, KCOP-TV Channel 13,  that in theory could have been a home for MundoFox, Lopez said the network went with KWHY because it already carries Spanish-language programming and thus is known to that audience.

While the content from MundoFox will cut into hours available for KWHY's own content, KWHY President Xavier Gutierrez said the “vision of the station is to be Los Angeles’ local Spanish-language channel.” The station, which now has two hours of local news during the week and one hour on weekends, wants to expand, Gutierrez said.

The move conforms with an overall media market trend that seeks to capitalize upon the nation’s growing Latino population, now estimated to be more than 50 million. Univision is the dominant player, followed by Telemundo. ESPN, Univision and Fox all have sports channels for Latino viewers as well. Last month Comcast Corp. announced two new cable networks looking to tap the growing market.

Slimfix? Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire and media mogul, wants to build a Netflix-like service there. However, Slim will need government approval before he can enter the streaming business. Details from Bloomberg.

The Skinny:Did you watch Lindsay Lohan on "Saturday Night Live?" Was it just me or did the cameras seem to be pulled really far back in every skit she was in? Monday's headlines include the weekend box office results, new troubles for News Corp. and a look at TV's development season.

The Lorax and Danny DeVito are number one at the box office
 Photo: Danny Devito is the voice of the Lorax. Credit: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images. 

Seeing green. Universal's "The Lorax" took in more than $70 million in its debut weekend, the biggest opening of the year. That figure almost doubles the previous best opening of 2012, the romantic movie "The Vow." Also getting off to a solid start was Warner Bros. R-rated teen comedy "Project X," which took in almost $21 million. Box office recaps from the Los Angeles Times and Movie City News.

Daily Dose:Brian Williams, NBC's news anchor and host of its struggling news magazine "Rock Center," will have Gawker Media chief Nick Denton on the show this Wednesday. Wonder if Williams will bring up his own cozy relationship with Denton and his tendency to email the Web gossip king with his own media observations. That habit that got the anchor in trouble when Denton's Gawker published one in which he ripped singer Lana Del Rey's performance on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

From Russia with love. The FBI is looking into whether News Corp., when it operated a Russian billboard marketing company, bribed officials to approve its advertisements, according to the Wall Street Journal. The FBI's probe is more bad news for the media giant, which is already battling accusations of bribing officials in Britain in return for scoops for its tabloid newspapers. Though News Corp. no longer owns the Russian unit, if found guilty the company could still get in hot water with lawmakers in the U.S. over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which says it's a no-no for individuals or corporations doing business in America to bribe foreign officials.

Looking for laughs. The broadcast networks are wrapping up what is known in the industry as "development season," the period in which new scripts are bought and TV pilots are made for the fall. Given the success of sitcoms this season, it's no surprise that the networks are betting heavily on that genre. USA Today says CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox have a combined 46 comedy projects in the work. Meanwhile, here's the latest on who's getting cast in all these pilots from Variety.

Rushing for cover. Several advertisers have pulled out of Rush Limbaugh's radio show after the talk show host mocked a law school student over her views on the White House's push to make health insurance plans cover birth control products. Limbaugh has since apologized for his attack on Sandra Fluke, but critics of his show are continuing to put heat on his sponsors. Coverage from the New York Times and Washington Post.



Sumner Redstone at the Academy Awards
Photo: Viacom Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone at the Academy Awards on Sunday in Hollywood. Credit: Paul Buck / European Pressphoto Agency

Sumner Redstone to attend Viacom Meeting. Viacom Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone has decided he's not too busy to attend his media company's annual shareholders meeting after all.
On Friday, just 24 hours after Viacom said Redstone had an "unavoidable conflict" that would prevent his traveling to New York to preside over next week's meeting, the octogenarian apparently had a change of heart.

"Mr. Redstone very much wanted to attend the Viacom annual meeting. He was able to change his commitment and will participate in person at the meeting," Viacom spokesman Carl Folta said late Friday in a statement.

Folta declined to identify Redstone's now-averted "unavoidable conflict."

Thursday's news of Redstone's planned absence from the shareholders meeting raised questions in the investment community about the aging media mogul's health. The billionaire, who lives in Los Angeles and turns 89 in May, has been limiting his travel in recent years.

Viacom annual meetings typically are sparsely attended affairs, primarily because Redstone owns nearly 80% of the voting stock. But Redstone has not been one to miss the gatherings.
Viacom's widely traded B shares closed Friday at $48.48 a share, down 35 cents. Viacom A shares, which are the preferred voting shares, continue to rise in value above the price of the non-voting shares, in part because some investors anticipate an eventual change in control. Viacom A shares closed Friday at $54.22, down 29 cents.

Redstone, who collected $21 million last year in executive compensation from Viacom, also is the controlling shareholder of CBS.  Last year he attended both the Viacom and CBS annual shareholder meetings.

He appeared with his grandson at the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood on Sunday. Redstone also plans to partake in the festivities when he receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame this month.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Randall Roberts on Bruce Springsteen's new release "Wrecking Ball."
-- Joe Flint
Follow me on Twitter. I won't steer you wrong. Twitter.com/JBFlint



 From the LA Times Company Town Blog. Click here for latest entertainment news.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think Latinos watch way more television than americans no joke. From experience, non stop drama on tv, i remember a lady that used to take care of me and her tv would be on since around 12pm when telenovelas would start and those keep coming on continuously until 10pm. THAT is a lot of television 7 days a week. A lot of commercials for that matter.

Stephanie Cardiel Com 4044

Cameron Rand com101 4044 said...

I don't think the Spanich version of fox news is going to have much luck when most people in America speak english.