By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/2/2003 7:00:00 PM
Falco Upped at NBC
In the wake of NBC President Andy Lack's departure last month, network TV President Randy Falco has picked up some of Lack's duties, including overseeing ad and distribution sales for NBC's cable networks. Falco's new title is group president of NBC Television Network. He now oversees the ad sales and distribution side of all of NBC's program platforms. A major challenge going forward, he says, is to make sure NBC retains access to the consumer marketplace in the face of continuing (and largely unregulated) consolidation of the cable-TV industry.
Who's on First?
Fox News Channel crowed that it outdistanced CNN's coverage of the president's State of the Union speech last week by 2.3 million viewers. Fox News registered 5.9 million viewers and a 4.6 rating, compared with 3.6 million and a 2.8 rating for CNN. MSNBC trailed with 960,000 viewers and a 1.0 rating.
But, as broadcast networks like to point out, even the least of them drew a far bigger audience than cable news combined. Altogether, NBC scored a 10.2 rating/15 share, with 16.4 million viewers, ABC had an 8.7/13, with 13.5 million viewers, CBS had a 7.6/11 with 11.8 million viewers and Fox Broadcasting had a 5.5/8 with 9.5 million viewers. We report. You decide.
Watch Out For…
The 55th Annual Emmy Awards will air on Fox on Sept. 21, at 8 p.m. ET. The networks negotiated a $52 million round-robin contract with ATAS, under which the Emmy show will rotate among the Big Four over the next eight years. …MTV is partnering with pro basketball great Magic Johnson for Who's Got Game, in which 12 "street" basketball players compete for $100,000 and a hometown court bearing their name. …
Comedy Central is ordering a 21-week run of late-night series Tough Crowd, with Colin Quinn, and will show it Monday through Thursday beginning March 10 at 11:30 p.m. ET, following The Daily Show. …ABC Family is adding Dance Fever to its reality lineup. The Disney net has ordered 13 episodes of the show, inspired by Merv Griffin's 1979 TV show and likely to air in June. …
Former Talk magazine Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown is joining CNBC to host a series of hour quarterly specials, dubbed Topic A With Tina Brown, debuting March 20 at 9 p.m. ET. …Lifetime has ordered pilot Screwball Homicide, an hour-long dramedy from Sony Pictures Television and Greenblatt Janollari . …WE: Women's Entertainment ordered 13 episodes of Mix It Up, a redecorating show whose co-executive producer is Friends star Courtney Cox. It'll debut this summer.
As expected, Barbara Bloom was named CBS's senior VP of daytime and children's programming. She will oversee daytime dramas, game show The Price Is Right and the Saturday-morning lineup, Nick on CBS. Bloom comes to CBS from ABC Entertainment. She replaces Lucy Johnson. …
National Geographic Television & Film tapped ex top Kids WB! executive Donna Friedman Meier to help ramp up its children's-TV operations. She joins Nat Geo TV in Los Angeles in the newly created post of president of kids programming and production. John Hardman steps up to senior vice president of the Kids' WB!, replacing her there.
Fisher Sells Georgia Stations
Fisher Communications has reached an agreement in principle to sell WFXG-TV Augusta and WXTX-TV Columbus, both Georgia, to Southeastern Media Holdings for $40 million in cash, subject to FCC approval. Kalil & Co. was the broker. Fisher, which will still own 10 TV and 28 radio stations, will use the proceeds to pay down debt.
WMTW-TV Portland, Me. (1/13, p.43), is owned by WMTW Broadcast Group LLC.
Donaldson to MSNBC?
MSNBC is courting ABC News vet Sam Donaldson for an evening newscast, sources say. Though still under contract to ABC News, he has the greenlight to shop himself.
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