Friday, October 16, 2009

News Round-up: Betty, Joosten, Oceanic, Twitter, WWE

News Corp. pursuing Fox retransmission fees
News Corp. will start seeking broadcast network retransmission fees from cable and satellite TV providers as the broadcast business "can no longer be supported" by advertising dollars alone, chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said here Friday.

Speaking at his conglomerate's annual shareholders meeting, he reiterated previous comments from president, COO and vice chairman Chase Carey that the broadcast business model is severely challenged and needs to change. Carey had also hinted at possible retrans fees for Fox, but Murdoch made the clearest comments on the issue to-date in his speech to shareholders.

News Corp. is looking at a number of ways to change broadcast distribution models, including "seeking fair compensation" from all distributors, which should share "a small portion of their profits" to help ensure the overall health of the industry, Murdoch said. "News Corp. is determined to take a leadership position" in this.

TV industry looks for a game plan on using Twitter
Many stars and show creators are promoting their series on the messaging service. But giving platoons of highly opinionated actors and writers a filter-less forum can have its drawbacks.

VIDEO: DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Emmy Winner Kathryn Joosten on Lung Cancer Battle
"I want them to know that the public has to stop treating it as though it were some invisible stepchild that can be ignored," Joosten says. "You've got to start stepping forward. Smoking is going down, down, down. You don't see people smoking in public places anymore, hardly at all. Lung cancer is going up, up, up and we're not paying any attention."

Oceanic Airlines may crash on Wisteria Lane
Marc Cherry has confirmed that a plane is going to come crashing down on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES' Wisteria Lane this season, for the show's midseason cliffhanger. And now ABC sources are spilling this cool little nugget of info: The plane might end up being none other than one from LOST's Oceanic Airlines.

GREY'S down again in ratings; VAMPIRE up
GREY'S ANATOMY (13.6 million, 4.9) dropped 9% Thursday night, the fourth week in a row it decreased, to post its lowest rating ever. Despite its falling lead-in, PRIVATE PRACTICE (10.4 million, 3.9) was up 8%. CW's THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (3.9 million, 1.8) rose 6% from its previously settled number to post its best demo rating since its premiere.

GREY'S writer/producer Mark Wilding on being fired
"Executives, writers, actors, directors, assistants – if you work in Hollywood you will get fired and go through that humiliating scenario as sure as the sun comes up in the morning."

PHOTOS: From Season 3 of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS offers a few still photos from the Oct. 28 season premiere of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS on DirecTV.

Making Ugly Betty Prettier
For three years, UGLY BETTY viewers have laughed as Betty faced the humiliations of having a mouth full of metal, from colleagues who ridiculed her to awkward kisses. At last, this season, television's lovable underdog will get her braces off.

Mobile DTV Standard Approved
A fast-track effort by broadcasters, transmission vendors and consumer electronics manufacturers to create a technical standard for transmitting digital TV signals to cellphones and other mobile devices has come to fruition, with the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) announcing Oct. 16 that it has approved the ATSC Mobile DTV Standard.

Shane McMahon Leaving WWE
His resignation comes after his mother stepped down as WWE CEO in September.

Ten Alps launches online soap opera for Kent TV
Macclesfield-headquartered Ten Alps has revealed its latest online TV project, with the launch of web-only soap opera HOLLYWOULD on its Kent TV channel.

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