News Articles

Fast Track

3/09/2003 07:00:00 PM Eastern
Items:

Portable People Meter Matters

The Biz

Show Biz

Correction/Clarification

Anna's Not So Big Now

Portable People Meter Matters

Nielsen Media Research
will expand its role in the research program evaluating Arbitron's Portable People Meter (PPM). Nielsen said the expanded agreement—delayed since mid 2002—will boost its financial involvement and commitment of resources in continuing research on the PPM.

Nielsen and Arbitron have been testing the PPM system in radio and TV in the Philadelphia area, even as Nielsen tested and rolled out its own Local People Meter (LPM) in Boston. Recent moves by Nielsen, particularly its nearly half-billion-dollar deal with NBC and the announcement of LPM rollouts in the remaining Top 10 DMAs seem to demonstrate that Nielsen will continue to dominate television-viewing measurement and that its LPMs will be the standard in major markets for the near future. But many broadcasters, NBC included, have indicated strong interest in the Arbitron technology.

The Biz

Robert Corn-Revere, a partner in the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson
and a veteran communications attorney specializing in First Amendment issues, has joined the D.C. office of Seattle-based firm Davis Wright Tremaine
(DWT) as a partner. …

The Fox
TV-station group filed a $108 million lawsuit against UPN, stemming from fees Fox says are owed it under the terms of the affiliate agreement between a bunch of its owned stations (previously owned by Chris-Craft) and UPN. Viacom's UPN called it a "minor contract dispute." ...

At the Bear Stearns
media conference in Palm Beach, Fla. last week, Belo Corp.
Executive VP/CFO Dunia Shive
said Television Group spot revenues are currently expected to finish up about 4% in the first quarter. As for the rest of 2003, Shive said, Belo will have a hard time beating figures from third and fourth quarter 2002, when the group raked in almost $40 million from political ads.

Show Biz

Struggling MSNBC
adds NBC's Forrest Sawyer
March 11 to anchor the noon-2 p.m. ET block with MSNBC's Natalie Morales. John Seigenthaler, who anchors NBC Nightly News on the weekends, has already started anchoring the 9 a.m.-noon segment with Chris Jansing.

What's behind doors No. 2 and 3? Looks like a couple more classic game shows. With a renewed Let's Make a Deal having launched last Tuesday night, NBC
has ordered eight episodes each of remakes of The Newlywed Game and The Dating Game from Sony Pictures Television
for next season. Sony is also preparing a remake of Chuck Barris's Gong Show for The WB. …

The Denver-based Cable Center
has named seven to its Hall of Fame: Julian Brodsky, (Comcast); Gus Hauser
(Hauser Communications); John Hendricks
(Discovery); Bob Johnson
(BET); Walter Kaitz
(California Cable Television Association); John Sie
(Starz/Encore); and Robert Tarlton
(Jerrold, one of the nation's first cable systems). They will be inducted Oct. 14.

Correction/Clarification

On the Syndication Ratings chart (3/3, page 21), Maury
should have been listed with a 1.8 AA and 1.9 GAA, which would have tied the show with Live With Regis and Kelly
and Dharma & Greg
at No. 20.

Jeffrey Derderian, a WPRI-TV Providence, R.I., reporter and co-owner of The Station nightclub, where 97 were killed in a fire on Feb. 20, had ended his work day at the station at 6:30 p.m. that day and was at the club as an owner, not on assignment, said an executive for LIN Television. An editorial, "Too Close for Comfort" (3/3, page 40), may have left the impression that Derderian was officially on duty for the station at time of the fire.

Anna's Not So Big Now

The second-season debut of E! Entertainment Television's Anna Nicole Smith
reality show (featuring Joe Millionaire
butler Paul Hogan, above with Smith) on March 2 notched a 1.7 Nielsen rating, three times E!'s average audience but hardly the plus-sized attraction it was last year, when it debuted with a 4.2. Its lead-out reality partner program, The Michael Essany Show, debuted last week with a 1.0.

September
October