Man O' Man starts small
Pearson will test Man O' Man, a weekly male beauty contest, on just one station this fall—WCIU-TV Chicago. Hosted by former MTVer Karen Duffy (above), it has been in development long enough to prompt speculation that it was dead. But Pearson execs were impressed by Twentieth Television's limited rollout of Texas Justice.
If Man O' Man
works in Chicago, Pearson will take it national. "All the women I showed it to at the station were hooting and hollering," says WCIU-TV GM Neil Sabin.—S.A.
Does Headline News' new look familiar? If you watch Bloomberg TV, which have been mixing video with a multitude of text and graphics for seven years, you might say yes. (See page 16 for a look at Headline News.) Last week, Bloomberg chief and NYC mayoral candidate Mike Bloomberg deadpanned:"I would say it's nice to be recognized as having a good idea." Headline News
GM Teya Ryan says she never looked at Bloomberg TV in redesigning the service. Her inspiration came from CNNfn, where she previously worked. But she sees sees the jam-packed screen as a TV trend: "How networks choose to meet the demand [for more information] will look different in different markets and networks."—A.R.
Not a quick read, we bet
NAB has spent the summer surveying TV stations about where they expect to be in the transition to digital TV come May 2002, when the FCC says all 1,200 commercial TV stations are to be transmitting in digital and analog. NAB chief Eddie Fritts (above) plans to submit the results to the FCC to prepare the agency for any individual waivers that broadcasters may be seeking come next May. The association expects to have a report out in the next couple weeks, although NAB may not make the report public.—P.A.
More suitors for Date
Three top syndication companies are awaiting word about which, if any of them, will win rights to the relationship series Blind Date,
which Vivendi Universal is looking to unload as it folds its three-year-old Universal TV Worldwide unit, a division that was formerly PolyGram TV. Although Paramount had been expected to get the show (B&C, Aug. 6), sources say Telepictures Distribution and Tribune Entertainment have also made offers on the syndication rights to Blind Date
and spin-off series The Fifth Wheel. The asking price is said to be between $15 million and $20 million, down from an original $30 million. Sources also say Columbia TriStar Television Distribution was in talks with Vivendi but declined to bid. None of the parties would comment.—J.S.
DEADLINE Schmedline for LMA relief
Aug. 6 came and went, and no TV station groups requested relief from the FCC's deadline that day for divesting local marketing agreements that don't comply with ownership rules set in 1999. Operators of LMAs, which allow companies to own one station in a market and program another, must disband ventures established after November 1996 if they do not meet requirements for TV duopolies. Baltimore's Sinclair Broadcasting has challenged the rules in court and won a stay to keep four LMAs pending a decision. FCC sources say that most other LMA operators, however, including LIN, Pegasus and Paxson, established their partnerships prior to November 1996, giving them another three years to divest, or they don't have to divest because they program less than 15% of their partner's schedule.—B.M.