As the kids advertising marketplace continues to suffer, affiliates have been pressuring Fox for some time to drop the money-losing afternoon kids' block. Finally, Fox is responding - the network will
hand the two-hour afternoon block back to affiliates. Fox Kids will still exist as a four-hour block on Saturdays. But affiliates will be allowed to start programming the 2-4 p.m. time period
themselves starting Dec. 31. Network distribution president Robert Quicksilver said the decision was "just a response to the difficult ad climate the stations are finding themselves in." And now that
ABC has completed its acquisition of Fox Family, which programmed the Fox Kids block, the timing made sense. Fox will continue to feed affiliates episodes of "The Magic School Bus" to meet the FCC's
three-hour educational programming rule; they may slot the show at their discretion.