News Articles

The week that was

7/21/2002 08:00:00 PM Eastern

HBO LEADS EMMY DERBY

HBO's Six Feet Under
grabbed 23 Emmy
nominations last week, more than any other series, and HBO itself led all networks, broadcast or cable, with 93 nominations. Other big scorers for HBO included Sex and the City, with 10 nominations, and Band of Brothers, the World War II miniseries, which is in contention for 19 Emmys.

All in all, cable-network programming grabbed 191 nominations, a record.

NBC
was nominated for 89 Emmy statues. Among the contenders are Will & Grace
with 13 nominations, and The West Wing
with 22. CBS
got 50 nominations, including six for its second-year hit CSI.
ABC
garnered 35 Emmy nominations, helped by 11 for its rookie Alias,
and Fox
got 33, including 10 for the novel drama 24.

Among other networks with multiple nominations were A&E
(22), TNT
(22) and PBS
(11). A full list of the nominations is available online at www.emmys.org.

BUSH BACKS POWELL's DIGITAL-TV DRIVE

The Bush
administration last week seconded FCC Chairman Michael Powell's criticism of TV makers balking at his call to add digital tuners to nearly all sets.

In a speech to the Media Institute, the White House's top official for telcom policy called TV manufacturers "the sole source of static" impeding Powell's effort to speed the DTV transition. National Telecommunications and Information Administration
head Nancy Victory
urged the Consumer Electronics Association
to reconsider its decision not to "join the DTV team."

BY THE NUMBERS

The median age across the six broadcast networks for the just-ended season was 44.9 years, says media-buying firm MagnaGlobal USA. That's up almost three years from the 1997-98 season. NBC
and ABC
have aged the most, both up about five years on average: NBC to 45.9, ABC to 46.

The CBS
audience has gotten younger by a year and a half, but it's still 51.7. The Fox
audience has aged by almost three years to 36, while UPN
has aged by about half a year to 34.2. The WB's median age has climbed seven years to 31.2.

IN THE NEWS

MSNBC's new silver-haired star Phil Donahue
grabbed an average 0.8 rating and 812,000 viewers in his first three outings last week, besting his CNN
rival Connie Chung
(0.7 average, 695,000 viewers). Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly
remained far in front, though, with a 2.0 average with 2.1 million viewers. MSNBC's other addition, a 7 p.m. show with Jerry Nachman
was weak in its debut, averaging an 0.3 rating with 270,000 viewers. …

According to a new RTNDA/Ball State University
survey, the percentage of female and minority TV and radio news directors is up in 2002, while the number of women and minorities as a percentage of the news workforce is down.

Women hold a record 25.9% of TV news-director jobs, up from 20.2% in 2001. In radio, 22.3% of news directors are women, up from 21.9% in 2001. Minorities hold 9.2% of TV news-director posts, up from 8% last year. In radio, 5.1% of news directors are minorities, up from 4.4% last year.

Overall, minorities make up 20.6% of the TV news workforce, down from 24.6% last year. In radio, minorities have 8% of the news jobs, down from 10.7% last year. In TV, minorities hold 19% of the jobs in English-language newsrooms, down from 21.8% in 2001. Women make up 38.6% of the television news workforce, down slightly from last year's 39.7%. Women hold 32.5% of all jobs in radio news, down from 37.4% in 2001. …

CNN
recruited Wilson Surrratt, most recently executive producer for the WB11 Morning News
at WPIX(TV)
New York, as executive producer for American Morning With Paula Zahn.
He replaces Kathy O'Hearn, who stepped down in May.

PAXSON SELLS FRESNO

As part of an effort to sell $100 million in assets to improve liquidity, Paxson Communications
cut a deal to sell its KPXF(TV)
Fresno, Calif., to Univision
for $35 million. The deal would give Univision a duopoly in Fresno, where it already owns KFTV(TV). Paxson says it paid $8 million for the station in 1998.

Paxson's rocky operating cash flow and debt repayments next year have investors worrying that the company could face a cash pinch. Paxson's CEO Jeff Sagansky
said it is "in active discussions" to sell other "non-core" stations.

CORRECTION

In a July 15 story on page 10, CTAM President Char Beales's name was misspelled.

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