July 30, 2012
'Dark Knight' falls, NBC gets heat for Olympics. Modern Family is a happy family. Changes high up in networks.
"The Dark Knight Rises" took a tumble at the box office over the weekend. (Warner Bros.)
The Skinny: I spent the weekend at the TV press tour and now I need to try to catch up with the Olympics so I can be part of the conversation. Monday's headlines include the weekend box office report, a look at all the criticism NBC's getting for its coverage of the Games and an appreciation of now former Fox Sports chief David Hill.
Daily Dose: The recent decision by the Federal Communications Commission to force Comcast to distribute the Tennis Channel in as many homes as it carries its own sports networks is dividing the industry. The National Cable & Telecommunications Assn., the industry's chief lobbying arm in Washington, D.C., blasted the FCC. Then the Tennis Channel ripped the NCTA. Much is being made of Tennis Channel chief Ken Solomon's close ties to the Obama administration, but top Comcast executive David Cohen also has helped raise money for the president. Maybe the top execs should play tennis and winner takes all.
Can't please everyone. NBC's Olympics coverage is scoring big ratings for the network and its cable channels that are also carrying the Games from London. But it seems people are spending as much time complaining about what the network is doing both on television and with its live streams as they are watching the competition. NBC's chief digital officer Vivian Schiller probably didn't help matters when she retweeted a CNN producer's joke that “the medal for most Olympic whining goes to everyone complaining about what happens every 4 yrs., tape delay.” Also incessant talking and cutting away from events audiences turned in to see. The New York Times and Reuters on the heat NBC's coverage is taking.
News hole. CNN's longtime chief Jim Walton announced he would leave the cable news empire at the end of the year when his contract is up. Walton helped turn CNN into global powerhouse but has been unable to fix its U.S. channel, which has struggled in the ratings for many years. No successor was named for Walton. Analysis of CNN's woes from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal.
He leaves a big hill to climb. Last week, it was announced that longtime Fox Sports chief David Hill was stepping aside for a broader advisory role. Hill, a colorful character never at a loss for words or enthusiasm, also was a pioneering producer, which kind of got lost in the news that he would no longer be the top man at Fox Sports. Deadspin looks at Hill's legacy.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: The adult cast of "Modern Family" is a happier family with its new contracts. We're trying to figure out why we care about Kristen Stewart cheating.
Follow me on Twitter. I promise not to gripe about Olympics coverage. Twitter.com/JBFlint