1-22-2007: The TV Industry News Report

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Fate of Tribune May Rest with Television Companies (WSJ)
Co. may be best known as a newspaper publisher, but its television business could hold the key to its future.All of the offers submitted for Tribune last week hinge on the value of the company's 23 TV stations, which account for about one-third of the company's profits. Industry executives note that while Tribune's newspapers, which include the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, have relatively high profit margins, the TV stations lag behind some competitors.

Anatomy of an Insult: ABC is Stung by Actors Anti-Gay Slurs (NYT)
Executives at ABC and its parent, Disney, are mulling the future of the actor Isaiah Washington, a star of the hit series “Grey’s Anatomy,” after Mr. Washington last week publicly used an anti-gay slur for the second time in roughly three months, a Disney executive said Friday.

IBM Plans to Join Social Networking Field (WSJ)
International Business Machines, Corp. plans to sell social-networking software that works like Web sites such as Facebook but is safe enough for corporate use.At a meeting of its Lotus software customers today, IBM expects to unveil a suite of software products called Lotus Connections that includes software for posting personal profiles, Web logs, or blogs, and lists of Web bookmarks and will allow for creating online communities and online work collaboration.

60 Minutes Alumni to Lead CNBC Monthly Magazine (NYT)
As cable news becomes increasingly combative and opinionated, the financial news network CNBC is pushing in the other direction, introducing an hourlong monthly newsmagazine, “Business Nation.”

Racial Subplot in Big Brother Grabs Nation and Ratings (NYT)
This has possibly been one of the most bizarre weeks in British television as increasing numbers of people switched to Channel 4 to watch "Celebrity Big Brother" as it became embroiled in torrid charges of promoting racism and set off a soul-searching debate about Britain's broader social failings.