The Cutline
  • Oprah post-mortem: reviews mixed, but finale draws big ratings


    The ratings for Oprah Winfrey's nascent OWN network may not be where she wants them to be, but her sign-off from the syndicated daytime show she's hosted for the past 25 years was the audience-boosting blockbuster fans were expecting.

    The final episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which aired Wednesday, delivered the shows' best ratings since 1994.

    According to CBS Television, which syndicates the show, Wednesday's "Oprah" finale drew a 13.3 household rating--slightly less than the 14 some had predicted, but a fantastic number, considering television's virtually endless options in 2011.

    The final Nielsen ratings are expected to come out later this afternoon. For some perspective, the last episode of CNN's "Larry King Live," drew more than 2.2 million viewers in its 9 p.m. finale on a cable news network; 41 million people watched Johnny Carson's final episode of NBC's "Tonight Show" on May 22, 1992.

    As for the reviews, critics had mixed feelings about the emotional farewell, with some coming down on the religious undertones that pervaded it.

    Read More »from Oprah post-mortem: reviews mixed, but finale draws big ratings
  • Unlike Dick Ebersol, Fox would broadcast Olympics live

    dick-ebersolThe head of Fox Sports says that if the network is successful in its bid to televise the 2014 Winter and 2016 Summer Games--slated for Russia and Rio, respectively--it will broadcast them live.

    "We plan on doing everything live," Fox Sports president Eric Shanks told USA Today on Wednesday. "It just makes sense."

    That plan would be a departure from the way NBC, which has had a hold on Olympic TV rights since 1996, has aired them--saving the high-profile events for primetime on tape-delay.

    Fox and NBC, along with Disney-owned ESPN, will plead their multibillion-dollar cases to the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland early next month.

    The live Fox approach also means that Dick Ebersol, the legendary NBC Sports executive who announced his resignation earlier this month, isn't likely to land at his longtime rival.

    Read More »from Unlike Dick Ebersol, Fox would broadcast Olympics live
  • rupert-ipadAt a panel during the TechCrunch conference in New York earlier this week, Greg Clayman, publisher of News Corp.'s Daily iPad publication, said the application had "almost a million downloads" since its launch in February.

    "This puts us in the large pantheon of large apps," Clayman said. "We are consistently now in the 'Top Grossing Apps,' in the top 10 or 12. Today we're number three."

    Clayman added: "Tomorrow, somebody will spend a lot of money on Smurfs, you know, and we'll be number four."

    His remarks echoed similar comments made by New Yorker editor David Remnick at the National Magazine Awards earlier this month.

    "There are many ways to have a good day in the magazine business," Remnick said. "Ours is to see our app passing 'Angry Birds' on iTunes."

    Jokes aside, this is how some magazine and newspaper publishers, at least publicly, are measuring the early success of their flashy iPad editions.

    Read More »from Publishers starting to name-check iTunes ‘Top Grossing Apps’ list like Amazon’s ‘Bestsellers’


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