• CBS Pays FCC Fine, But Appeals Decision
    CBS has forked some $550,000 over to the feds, paying the fine levied over the 2004 Janet Jackson Super Bowl breast incident, Ad Age reports. But the net only ponied up the cash for "procedural reasons" as it appeals the decision. After cutting the check, the Tiffany Network immediately filed a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission decision. "Payment of that forfeiture does not mean that CBS in any way is admitting to a violation of the FCC's indecency rules," CBS says in its court papers, adding that the order is "unconstitutional, contrary to the Communications Act and FCC rules, ...
  • Murdoch May Offer Blair Job At News Corp.
    Rupert Murdoch is expected to offer Tony Blair a role in his media empire after the British prime minister steps down from his post, reports the Independent. Allies of Blair insist that he has made no decisions about what do when he leaves--likely some time next year. But friends say a seat on the board of News Corp. could be tempting, as it would be a good fit with the U.S. lecture circuit. While his popularity at home is in the dumps, he retains a bit of luster among some segments of the U.S. population. And Murdoch admires Blair's support ...
  • Time Warner, NFL Network In Carriage Battle
    Time Warner Cable and the NFL Network are "strapping on their respective helmets in anticipation of a nasty carriage dispute," reports Multichannel News. The operator may kick the network off the systems owned by Adelphia Communications that it is acquiring, including those in National Football League markets Buffalo, N.Y., Cleveland, and Dallas. The network, which added an eight-game, late-season prime-time package, is readying a multimillion-dollar ad campaign against Time Warner, Cablevision Systems, Bright House Networks, and other cable operators that don't or won't carry its 41 million-subscriber channel. Time Warner could dump the net as soon as Aug. 1, the ...
  • NBC, GE Find Innovative Ways To Justify NFL Outlay
    NBC promos touting its return to National Football League coverage featured plenty of stadium lights against the night sky. Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune writes that the "cutaways do more than add visual punch..." Indeed, "those light bulbs help explain how the $3.6 billion, six-year deal for Sunday night football ... got done as a struggling network and its parent corporation sought to justify such a huge cash outlay." That means it involved other divisions of NBC parent General Electric, which got a "unique association" with the NFL in areas including security equipment, financial services, and electrical products. "It's ...
  • Time Warner Cable Increases Bargaining Power
    In the four years since Comcast became the nation's largest cable provider by a factor of two, reports The New York Times, it has boasted that its size gets it more favorable rates from programmers. Well, with the Adelphia breakup set to close, Time Warner Cable may be able to make a similar claim. The company is in line to add 3.5 million new cable customers--a 29 percent increase. It will also become the dominant provider in the nation's two largest cities: New York and Los Angeles. "Since key decision makers in the advertising and media worlds are concentrated in ...
  • Boston Globe Readies Section Front Ad Sales
    Joining the ranks of some larger brethren, the Boston Globe plans to sell ads on some section fronts, the newspaper reports. For sale are the covers of its Business, Sunday Real Estate, Sports, and Food sections. The first two will be available to buyers Aug. 6, the rest soon after. "The front page of the Globe is not under consideration," says Globe President and General Manager Mary Jacobus, nor is the City & Region section front. The paper is following an industry trend which has seen both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal ready to sell into ...
  • Networks Still Don't Get Colbert
    Those who watch Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" take the show's interviews for what they are, reports Ad Age--bits that poke fun at conventional news interviews. But host Stephen Colbert, who has adopted a persona that mocks real-life TV journalists, "seems to have a knack for being misunderstood by the very folks he is skewering." A recent segment caught the attention of some TV newscasters when Rep. Robert Wexler [D.-Fla.] talked to Colbert in a humorous vein about oil drilling off the coast of Florida, where U.S. troops should be redeployed, and what it would take for him to lose ...
  • Key Senator Supports V-Chip Campaign
    Jack Valenti is showing off a media campaign to help parents block TV programming--and it has won a pledge of support from at least one key senator, reports Mediaweek. The effort, including public service announcements from the Ad Council, drew praise from Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who said it might stymie calls for more legislation about broadcast indecency. "I hope Congress will listen to this and give it time to work," Stevens says. The aim is to encourage parents to use the V-chip and other blocking devices to keep kids from seeing inappropriate shows. "Government is forbidden to do it ...
  • Kentucky Newspaper Runs Bilingual Column
    A Kentucky newspaper is planning to launch a bilingual column, set to run every other week and to be printed in both English and Spanish, reports Editor & Publisher. Jim Todd of The Richmond Register (circulation 6,283) says that as far as he knows, his is the first paper in the state to do it. "We will run them side by side or on top of each other, and they will say the same thing," Todd says of the two versions. "Our city's population is about 30,000, with several thousand Hispanics." Starting Aug. 15, the Register will run the column ...
  • MTV Faces Challenges From Newer Media
    While MTV sparked a revolution that changed the music industry, as it ages, the cable net faces fierce challenges from younger upstarts, like MySpace, YouTube and Flickr. Once thought of as a "dangerous revolution that could destroy the recording industry," MTV hit when pop stars Madonna, Michael Jackson, and George Michael broke through, thanks to the medium's marketing clout. MTV's launch in 1979 was one of the defining factors in shaping today's celebrity culture, writes Owen Gibson in The Guardian. But change is inevitable. "As it gears up to celebrate the 25 years since 'Video Killed the Radio Star' heralded ...
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