News Articles

The week that was

6/09/2002 08:00:00 PM Eastern

ADELPHIA's INFLATION

Adelphia Communications
inflated the number of subscribers it has by between 400,000 and 500,000, The Wall Street Journal
reported on Friday, and the newspaper said scandal-plagued Adelphia kept two sets of accounting books for its capital expenditures, one that inflated the amount of money it was spending to upgrade its systems. Adelphia has claimed it has 5.8 million subscribers.

EMPLOYMENT NEWS

Chris Matthews, host of Hardball With Chris Matthews, last week signed a new seven-year deal with MSNBC
to continue his prime time show and anchor future election coverage. Financial terms were not disclosed. Hardball
currently runs on both MSNBC and CNBC
but moves full time to MSNBC July 15, when Phil Donahue's new talk show is slated to launch. ...Fox News Channel
has re-signed host Alan Colmes, half of prime time duo Hannity & Colmes, to a multi-year contract. His partner, Sean Hannity, re-upped earlier this year. ...

William Morris Agency
has a new head of TV talent. He is Erwin More. ... Stephanie Leifer, VP, comedy series, for ABC, will now officially oversee development and production of comedy pilots for the network, says Susan Lyne, president of entertainment. ...

Adam Ware
is out as COO of UPN. His contract expired last February, but he stuck around to help with the merger of the once independent network with CBS. ...

NCTA EVP Peggy Binzel, who is leaving the association on June 30 to become CEO of CoreNet Global
in Atlanta,
will be replaced by David Krone, who worked briefly as executive VP, government relations, for NCTA in 1999. Recently, he has been executive VP of marketing with YES,
the Yankees' cable network.

Keith Fuller, former president of the AP,
died at his suburban Washington home last Friday. He was 79.

ECLECTIC DATA

Two of the nation's major producers of ENG
and SNG
vehicles—Frontline Communications
and BAF Communications
—are joining forces. Prime Medical Services,
the publicly traded owner of BAF, is buying Frontline from C.P. Foster
for $10.8 million in cash and stock. Frontline management, led by Jonathan Sherr, will take over BAF operations. ...

Tribune Broadcasting
and Universal Television
are partnering in syndication. They will jointly develop and produce daily show, possibly for fall 2003. Universal will handle distribution; Tribune, ad sales. ...

FCC
last week admonished 50 TV stations for failing to meet the May 1 deadline for DTV buildout. Stations have six months to build DTV facility or explain why they can't. After that, they face fines. ...

More trouble for the proposed EchoStar-DirecTV
merger. The Congressional Hispanic Caucas
says the merger would be bad for diversity. ...

MTV's reality hit Road Rules
is going into syndication this fall in 182 markets, including New York, Chicagoand Phoenix. October Moon Television, which also syndicates MTV's Real World, is selling 100 half-hour Road Rules
episodes from the first eight seasons. Road Rules
is a barter strip. ...

BET
is adding three new shows: Grilled, a music and comedy variety show; talk show Cheryl and Friends, hosted by comic Cheryl Underwood; and Table 22, a reality show set in a mall. All debut in September. ...

Hearst Entertainment's syndicated weekly half-hour B. Smith With Style
has been renewed in 90% of the country (200 markets) for a sixth season beginning in the fall.

UPN
has renewed its deal with MGM Worldwide Television, which supplies theatricals to UPN's Saturday-afternoon movie block, which debuted last August. The 52 new titles will begin airing in September and include Bounty, Mad Max, Rocky V, Blood Simple, Secret of N.I.M.H,
and Babes in Toyland.

Women's net Oxygen
will air at least 11 WNBA
games this season and will boost that output in the 2003 season to weekly games and some playoff games. The two-year deal calls for NBA Productions
(which owns the league) to produce the games and sell the ad time. ...

The Association of National Advertisers
says three of the new network series for fall were produced with the imprimatur of the Family Friendly Program Forum: ABC's
8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,
NBC's American Dreams, and The WB's Family Affair.
All were developed with money from the group's script-development initiative, aimed at promoting more family-friendly TV. Family Affair
is the second Family Friendly show on WB after Gilmore Girls. ABC, NBC, CBS
and The WB
participate in the program.

CORRECTIONS

Kevin Gallagher was incorrectly identified in the June 3 issue. He is director of local investment for Starcom Media in Chicago.

A story in the June 3 issue on Fox News'Fox Report With Shepard Smith
reported the show's delivery among adults 25-54 instead of households. Year-to-date, Smith has averaged about 1 million households.

September
October

News Technology Summit

DoubleTree by Hilton Baltimore--BWI Airport, Linthicum, MD