Prognosticator extraordinaire: Reader beats media pros

a) Bee Movie (DreamWorks); b) Meet the Robinsons (Disney); c) Ratatouille (Disney-Pixar); d) Shrek the Third (DreamWorks); e) The Simpsons Movie (Fox); f) Surf's Up (Sony); g) TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) (Warner).

Answer: D. At $121.6 million, the third Shrek beat the second Shrek's record animated opening weekend. Following: The Simpson Movie ($74 million), Ratatouille ($47 million), Bee Movie ($38 million), Meet the Robinsons ($25.1 million) and TMNT ($24.3 million).


Which of these new ventures will be seen as the biggest success in 2007:

a) Allbritton's multimedia political news venture The Politico; b) CBS Records cbs; c) Condé Nast business magazine Portfolio; d) Fox's business news cable channel; e) a YouTube-like video website created by the Big Four TV networks.

Answer: C. Portfolio's off to a promising start, at least journalistically. Politico is close, but we dinged it for mistakes, including an erroneous report that Sen. John Edwards would drop his presidential campaign to help wife Elizabeth deal with cancer.


By Dec. 1, the Los Angeles Times owner will be:

a) Still Tribune; b) David Geffen; c) Ron Burkle and Eli Broad; d) Philip Anschutz; e) The Minuteman Project; f) More than one; g) Someone else.

Answer: A. A close call. By Dec. 1, Sam Zell hadn't completed his $8.2 billion deal to take Tribune txa, including the L.A. Times, private.


About 36.4 million people saw Taylor Hicks win the American Idol finale in 2006. For 2007, the finale audience will be:

a) Down 5% or less; b) Down more than 5%; c) The same; d) Up 5% or less; e) Up more than 5%.

Answer: B. With 30.7 million viewers, the ratings show that 15.5% fewer people saw Jordin Sparks beat the guy who makes sound effects when he sings.


As DVRs become popular and more people watch shows on their own schedule, what will major broadcast networks and advertisers count in determining who watches a TV show?

a) Live-only viewing, as now; b) Live plus same-day DVR playback; c) Live plus three-days; d) Live plus four-days; e) Live plus seven-days; f) Something else.

Answer: C. NBC was the first to go with the change, but just about everyone quickly followed.


Which of these changes will Washington lawmakers or regulators approve this year?

a) Internet providers can't favor some websites; b) Cable and satellite companies must let people subscribe to channels individually; c) Companies can own a newspaper and TV station in a market; d) The limit on the TV and/or radio stations a company can own in a market will be raised; e) More than one; f) None.

Answer: C. This month, the Federal Communications Commission voted to let a single company own a newspaper and TV station in bigger markets.


The Wall Street Journal is undergoing a redesign in January, shrinking page width to 12 inches. What will happen to its average weekday circulation in the six months ending in September?

a) Rise from its 2.04 million; b) Fall less than 1%; c) Fall at least 1%, but less than 2%; d) Fall at least 2%, but less than 3%; e) Fall 3% or more.

Answer: C. It fell 1.5%, which may be one reason the Bancroft family took Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion offer for parent company Dow Jones.


Which of these companies will be bought?

a) Imax imax; b) Lionsgate lgf; c) TiVo tivo; d) 4Kids; e) World Wrestling Entertainment wwe; f) More than one; g) None.

Answer: G. Aside from Murdoch and Dow Jones, and Zell and Tribune, this was a quiet deal year.

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