In the Loop
By Ken Kerschbaumer, Bill McConnell, John M. Higgins, and John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/16/2003 7:00:00 PM
Letterman Hits The Bricks
It ought to be a busy summer outside the Ed Sullivan Theater when CBS begins readying the theater for HD production. Beginning in July, the program's control-room operations will move out—into two production trucks on the street—so that the HD equipment and monitors can be moved into the theater's control room. The plan is for the trucks to be located on W. 53rd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. Unfortunately, a 42-story building is being constructed on the corner of 53rd and Eighth, making the street already busy with vehicles, cranes and construction trailers. So expect the crowded streets of Manhattan to get a little more crowded.—K.K.
Eye With Bifocals
TV's Greatest Generation (viewers 55 and over) is often overlooked by advertisers but not by CBS. Nielsen Media data show that the Eye network had 11 of the top 15 shows among the senior crowd last week.
|Rank||Date||Program||Net||Time||Total Persons 55+|
|Source: Nielsen Media Research
|2||2/3||Everybody Loves Raymond||CBS||9:00P||7.98M|
|6||2/5||Law & Order||NBC||10:00P||7.17M|
|7||2/9||Everybody Loves Raymond Special||CBS||8:30P||6.89M|
|12||2/5||Price Is Right-Million||CBS||8:00P||6.41M|
|13||2/7||Law & Order: SVU||NBC||10:00P||6.39M|
|14||2/5||60 Minutes II||CBS||9:00P||6.16M|
Noncoms Choose a Champion
Public-TV organizations this week are expected to pick a lobbying firm to fight for millions in federal higher-education funds that would help digital stations provide distance learning, workforce training and other new services. Three firms were interviewed last week for the account. Roughly 54 public stations, many of them university licensees, have ponied up more than $370,000 to lobby Congress over the next three years for tax dollars to pay for the rollout of new digital services, particularly in rural areas.
Launch of a targeted lobbying campaign is a recognition that the GOP-dominated Congress, somewhat hostile to a perceived liberal programming slant, is less willing to fund public broadcasters' general operations but might be persuaded to support defined operations. "We realize there is ideological baggage involved with funding the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, so we're looking at new sources of funds tied to very specific services," says John Lawson, president of the Association of Public Television Stations.—B.M.
CAB Driver Wanted
Joe Ostrow is six weeks away from retirement as president of the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau, but a selection committee is still a long way from naming a successor. The committee is scheduled to meet this Wednesday to narrow the list of candidates to three. It's not clear who the front-runners are, but names frequently mentioned are ex-Food Network President Erica Gruen (previously an ad agency executive); former Turner Broadcasting ad sales chief John Barbera; and Michael Lotito, former CEO of Web-ad-services firm Mediaport. One member of the search committee said the hunt is hard because the trade association pays about a third what a senior network sales or agency buying gig pays. Fortunately for the CAB, there are fewer of those jobs available.—J.M.H.
An online cottage industry has sprung up around the reality shows like ABC's The Bachelorette (right).
RealityTVWantsYou.com is offering to "dramatically increase your odds of becoming the next contestant on your favorite reality television show," where, the site advises, they are "desperately searching for normal, ordinary individuals just like you." Of course, it also points out that they reject thousands of normal people all the time, too.
For only $15 a month (or $45 for six months, a $45 value!!!), members can have access to "unique and creative videotape audition ideas," from staffers who understand the "wants and needs of reality show casting directors and producers."—J.E.
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