CBS eyes S.F.
Talks are heating up in San Francisco. Viacom-owned CBS is now talking with Young Broadcasting about a possible KRON-TV deal.
CBS already owns KPIX-TV and KBHK-TV there and may be looking to upgrade the duopoly. It's also prohibited by FCC rules from acquiring a second station among the four highest-rated stations in the market (which includes KRON-TV). But sources note that Viacom has not been shy about challenging federal regulations. Sources also say that Disney is still interested in KRON-TV.
Meanwhile, NBC, in addition to talks with Young about KRON-TV, is talking to Granite about buying KNTV(TV), which is set to get the NBC affiliation Jan. 1 for $372 million over 10 years. The next payment isn't due until 2003. Sources say, if Granite misses that payment, NBC has the right to acquire KNTV at "fair market value," determined by third-party appraisers. By selling now, Granite might receive a premium for KNTV.
Meanwhile, Tribune is talking to Granite about buying KOFY-TV and WDWB(TV) Detroit, the latter of which Granite is selling to help reduce debt. That purchase would give Tribune a station in each of the top 10 markets.—S.M.
C-W's first first-run
Carsey-Werner's distribution division is teaming up with Dick Clark Productions and The Heritage Network on its inaugural first-run effort, an hour weekly called Livin' Large. "It's an updated, hip version of the syndication classic Life Styles of the Rich and Famous," says Carsey-Werner Distribution head Bob Raleigh, whose division will start selling the show this week.
Kadeem Hardison (A Different World) will host the show. The company is also said to be in final negotiations with a female co-host. Livin' Large
will feature various segments, including behind-the-scenes tours of celebrity homes, luxury items and resort destinations.—J.S.
'Net gain for Cable
Internet TV will begin to take off in 2003, and cable will be best positioned to capitalize on it, according to Global Broadband Multimedia Review 2001-2008,
a study from Washington-based C.A. Ingley & Co. (caingley.com).
By 2008, the report forecasts, 45% of U.S. households (about 40 million) will be able to go online via TV sets and cable or satellite hook-ups. Predicting that consumers will be looking for one-stop shopping for entertainment, Internet and telephony, the report says, "Cable TV has the advantage with the ability to combine all three, whereas satellite TV dishes can be used for high-speed Internet access but the consumer must look for other options for voice."—B.M.
Congress has given the Federal Trade Commission a fat allowance to continue monitoring movie studios' ad practices. In a spending bill, the FTC got $500,000 to conduct focus groups and surveys; $275,000 to hire a firm to plant mystery shoppers to determine whether retailers are selling R-rated videos to kids; and $135,000 to monitor TV shows, magazines and movie trailers. Congress also told the FTC to make sure media products are appropriately rated.
The FTC is due to release a follow-up report on the industry's ad practices by next month. In September 2000, the FTC issued a report that said studios were marketing violent movies to kids.—P.A.
Carole Black's charges at Lifetime are an anxious bunch. They'll soon know if they won Nielsen bragging rights for the year. If so, they'll get the week between Christmas and New Year's off. Staffers have already received four days off for winning the first three quarters along with January, March, April and June monthlies.—A.R.