New CW Forces TV Station Executives To Behave As In Old Days

LAS VEGAS--Creating a new network just takes some Conventional Wisdom--especially if it comes out of two network wannabes who, for more than a decade, lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the process.

Thus presenting the new CW--to be born from the remains of the WB and UPN.

What kind of name is CW?

Horizon Media's Brad Adgate thought it sounded like the name of an executive from a 1950s movie. "Let's run it by CW!" or "Is that okay with you, CW!" or "Has the Bigsby contract come through, CW?"

One wonders whether CW is really all about the executives who made it happen: Les Moonves of CBS Corp. and Barry Meyer of Warner Bros.

Moonves is driven to make a name for himself, hoping to show the old boss, SR, that he is an up-and-coming executive. "How's the bacon and eggs this morning, SR?"



Barry Meyer is driven to helping out his senior executive, DP, in doing everything possible to take any financial strain off parent Time Warner--and also keeping the menacing Carl Icahn at bay. "Another round of golf, DP?"

Names, as we all know, are the brands to live by. And if you are one of the hundreds of stations in this country in the middle of the WB and UPN fallout, you wonder just what will happen. You've spent over ten years building up your local WB and UPN brands. Yesterday, all that was zapped like a phaser set on stun, like a body slam from a wrestler, like spilled coffee in Luke Danes' diner.

You get the picture.

At the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting here--long past its heyday of the late 1980s/early 1990s, when independent stations had vast programming needs--hundreds of executives woke up yesterday morning and thought: "Hmmm... Perhaps I'll stay another day and buy a movie package or two, a couple of talk shows, some dramas, and a cooking show from The Clever Cleaver Brothers."

Conventional Wisdom told them that.

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