Volume 20, Issue 6, Your Morning Television Industry E-Paper tm
Jim Carnegie, Publisher
Thursday Morning, January 9th, 2003
TVBR Office 703.719.9500

TV News ®

TV tops radio at Emmis
If you think of Emmis Communications (O:EMMS) as a radio company that does a little TV - - think again. For the first time ever, revenues at Emmis Television beat Emmis Radio in the most recent quarter. | Full Story Click Here |

Ruling next week on "Survivor" lawsuit
Federal Judge Loretta Preska is expected to rule next Monday (1/13) on whether to grant CBS an injunction against ABC's planned airing of a new reality series, "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" (1/8 TVBR Daily epaper). CBS claims the reality show infringes on its "Survivor" franchise. Testimony wrapped up Tuesday (1/7).
| Full Story Click Here |

Meredith looking to drive TV sales
Meredith (N:MDP) Broadcast Group president Kevin O'Brien told the Salomon Smith Barney Media & Telecommunications Conference in La Quinta, CA that the company is working to boost rating for its news operations and is trying to make "smarter decisions" about syndicated programming and how much to pay for them. But he also noted that building ratings isn't the only thing to be concerned about.
| Full Story Click Here |

Diller might joint-venture HSN
At the Salomon Smith Barney Conference, USA Interactive (O:USAI) CEO Barry Diller indicated that his company might become even less involved in the TV and cable businesses. He said HSN Inc. (once known as Home Shopping Network) is no longer a core asset for the company. | Full Story Click Here |

Discovery Times enters the news wars
A joint venture of the New York Times (N:NYT) and basic cable stalwart The Discovery Channel is set to debut 3/25. Called Discovery Times Channel, it will offer short and in-depth features examining current events. | Full Story Click Here |

Tony Danza
Tony Danza Set to star in
USA Network's "Stealing Christmas"
Actor Tony Danza will star as Jack Clayton in USA Network's original movie "Stealing Christmas." Shooting is scheduled to begin in Vancouver 2/24. The movie will premiere during the 2003 holiday season on USA. Danza plays a burglar who can't resist a good heist. On the run from the police after a robbery gone awry, his character Jack ends up in a small town hiding out as a Christmas tree lot Santa Claus. But what does Jack know about spreading good cheer to townspeople? Jack is more interested in casing the local bank for his next big job. As the holiday approaches and Jack grows close to the owner of the lot and her daughter, he's thrown into turmoil.

USA Network and USA Cable
announce deal with Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg and her production company, One Ho Productions, will develop longform and series projects for USA Network and USA Cable Entertainment, both part of the Universal Television Group. "It's an honor and a joy to be able to work with Whoopi Goldberg," said Jeff Wachtel, USA's EVP/Series and Longform Programming. "As a producer, as an artist and as a person, Whoopi embodies the talent, passion and inspiration that we want to bring to this network." Currently, in active development is Sullivan's Travels, an original movie in which Goldberg will star. The film is slated for Christmas '04.

USA unveils judges, host for "Nashville Star"
USA Network announced three of the "Nashville Star" judges who will ultimately choose the winner of the nationwide search for the next country music superstar, premiering 3/8 on USA. The judges include Columbia/Lucky Dog recording artist Charlie Robison, Country music journalist Robert Oermann and Sony Music A&R executive Tracy Gershon. Additional celebrity judges are to be announced. The host will be TV actress and host Kathleen McClellan. | Full Story Click Here |

NBC/Telemundo facing labor issues
National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) President Juan Gonzalez has fired off a letter to NBC (N:GE) President Jay Ireland concerning labor issues at NBC-owned, Hispanic-programmed Telemundo television stations in Los Angeles and Chicago.
| Full Story Click Here |

Hunting and fishing for subs expedition nets 20M
The Outdoor Channel surpassed its own estimates by topping the 20M subscriber mark as of 1/03. The basic cable service, which focuses on hunting and fishing shows as well as other outdoor topics and Country music, has been aided by its addition to the DIRECTV satellite subscription television lineup. It is said to be available in 52M homes in all 50 states.

Bill Maher's HBO show debut set
Bill Maher, fired "Politically Incorrect," host on ABC will return with another current events humor show on HBO 2/21. "Real Time with Bill Maher" will reportedly "note that what public figures say, they then have to do; and when they don't, to point out that discrepancy and to mock it."

Ellen DeGeneres, Sharon Osbourne Talkers get key clearances
Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres' and Sharon Osbourne's new fall Talk shows have been cleared in key outlets: "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" has been picked up by all 14 NBC-owned stations; "The Sharon Osbourne Show" was picked up by Tribune TV stations including WPIX NYC, KTLA LA and WGN Chicago.

Regal, TBS sign marketing deal
Regal CineMedia and Turner Broadcasting System have struck a deal to provide short-form content programming to be aired before the theater chain's movie showings. A similar deal was signed with NBC last fall. TBS will likely pull content from its Cartoon Network and TNT for the deal.

Insurance for 9/11 losses?
The New York Post reports that Viacom (N:VIA) honchos Sumner Redstone and Mel Karmazin are pressing the company's insurers to cough up $200M for 9/11-related losses. Viacom and its lawyers are reportedly claiming that their insurance policies cover replacement of ad revenues lost when regular programming on its networks and radio and TV stations were pre-empted for wall-to-wall news coverage following the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Adbiz ©

Chrysler parts ways with Martha Stewart
Blame it on her implication in the ImClone insider trading scandal or not, but Chrysler has decided not to extend its ad pact with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and will exit the relationship "as fast as possible," Chrysler EVP Jim Schroer told Bloomberg News. Chrysler's contract with Stewart ends in March. The company has been running a 12-page ad/editorial insert in the Martha Stewart Living magazine.
| Full Story Click Here |

Will Fat-2-Fit fit into your advertising schedule?
The Bauer Partnership is offering a new nutritional supplement which "contains anti-aging and skin toning agents designed to rejuvenate your skin while tightening and toning muscles." Called Fat-2-Fit, it will be offered for sale over the Internet at Fat-2-Fit.com | Full Story Click Here |

Captain D's heads for TV
Fast/casual seafood specialist Captain D's is planning a three-commercial television blitz to coincide with a facility facelift program and the introduction of a new children's menu.
| Full Story Click Here |

TV Ratings

Rare win for ABC
Football scored big for ABC as college bowl games and the NFL helped the usual also-ran network finish first in the Nielsen ratings for the week of 12/30 to 1/5. ABC, which seldom places more than one or two programs in the top 20, had nine for the most recent week, but only one - - "NFL Monday Night Football" - - was a regular part of the network's schedule. | Full Story Click Here |

Critic Boob Tube

CBS's Star Search should start searching
Arsenio Hall comedian plus other ventures he has attempted in his career didn't cut it last night on LIVE from Hollywood, CA with the new one hour Star Search. The old Johnny Carson sidekick Big Ed did better when the need was there.
| Full Story Click Here |

Washington Beat

CC applauds after everyone else has left the theater
Clear Channel (N:CCU) honcho Lowry Mays issued a ringing endorsement of the FCC's latest set of EEO regulations 1/8, saying, "Clear Channel applauds the FCC for its leadership in the area of Equal Employment Opportunity.
| Full Story Click Here | TVBR Observation |

TV Stocks

Earnings warnings shock Wall Street
Aluminum giant Alcoa and computer retailer Gateway sent stocks lower Wednesday by surprising Wall Street with bad news - - Alcoa with a bigger-than-expected Q4 loss and Gateway with a warning that it's Q4 results will be worse than previous guidance.

The Dow Industrials fell 145 points, or 1.7%, to 8,595.

TV stocks were also lower.

Here's how stocks fared on Wednesday

Company Symbol Close Change Company Symbol Close Change












Media General




Clear Channel

CCU $40.49


News Corp.








NY Times
























Saga Commun.




























Gen. Electric












Viacom, Cl. A




Gray, C1. A




Viacom, Cl. B








Wash. Post












Liberty Corp.


$38.62 -$0.34 - - - -
TV Bounceback
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Competing Media

There but for the grace
Rarely is a situation so bad that it is not worse for someone else, and that is certainly the case when comparing radio's performance in 2002 to that of the newspaper business.
| Full Story Click Here |
| TVBR Observation |


TV Azteca, Channel 40 agree on three-day deadline for resolving dispute
The AP reports two Mexican broadcasters have agreed to three-day deadline to resolve a dispute over the ownership of a Mexico City TV station (1/3 TVBR Daily Epaper).
| Full Story Click Here |

Upped & Tapped

Mullen heading Tribune Broadcasting
Patrick Mullen has been promoted to President of Tribune Broadcasting - - overseeing the 24 TV stations, one radio station and the Entertainment Division (including the Chicago Cubs) of Tribune Co. (N:TRB). He was previously President of Tribune Television.

"Pat has provided great leadership for our television stations," said Tribune President and CEO Dennis FitzSimons, who himself once headed the broadcast operation. "He spearheaded our pending acquisitions of KPLR-TV in St. Louis and KWBP-TV in Portland. And since joining Tribune in 1998, Pat has demonstrated time and again that he has the talent, experience and dedication that are essential for success in the media industry."

Mullen joined Tribune Television in 1998 as a regional VP and became President of Tribune Television in March 2001.

Industry Jobs

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