Nikki Finke blogs that she has heard from reliable sources that Eddy Hartenstein, the ex-chief of DirecTV, "is under serious consideration to be the new Los Angeles Times publisher, replacing David Hiller who was fired this month. A deal for him isn't done yet but he's first choice on the short list." She says the 57-year-old was trained as a rocket scientist and served as DirecTV's CEO, chairman, vice chairman and president from the company's inception in 1990 until 2004, after Rupert Murdoch bought the company.
Add Finke: She also says that Times film critic Kenneth Turan and Channel 5's Sam Rubin will team up on the air for a half-hour show pegged to the paper's quarterly "sneaks" issue of Calendar.
* For the record: I'm told that Variety's Cynthia Littleton first reported Hartenstein's name in connection with the Times job two weeks ago.