B&C Eye - Broadcasting & Cable

B&C Eye

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Low-power Puff?

Cartoon Net's Powerpuff Girls
and Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold
are no Boy Genius. Whereas Nick's Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
raked in $80 million last winter, feature films for the Girls
and Arnold
haven't made a similar splash.

Since its July 3 debut, Powerpuff Girls,
Cartoon's first feature, has grossed $10 million, while Hey Arnold
weighs in at $13 million after three weeks. Executives say international play, home video and DVD will boost their takes.

Another cable star, Animal Planet's Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, isn't yet a big-screen smash either. After a week, The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
has taken in $9.5 million.

Cartoon and Nick execs say they are in the movie biz to stay. Later this year, Nick releases a Wild Thornberrys
film, and there's talk of a SpongeBob SquarePants
movie and a Rugrats-Wild Thornberrys
crossover. New Line Cinema is also producing a live-action version of Cartoon's hit Samurai Jack.—A.R.

WJXT's early returns

WJXT(TV) Jacksonville, Fla., which went from CBS affiliate to indie last week, reports early signs of ratings success. Of course, it fell in prime time and daytime, where CBS shows once were, but its local news, said General Manager Sherry Burns, beat its former CBS programming in the morning and evening news spots, and the station beat Fox affiliate WAWS(TV) in the 10 p.m. news. It even won the time slot last Thursday night against a repeat of ER.

Meanwhile, at new CBS affiliate WTEV-TV, General Manager Susan Adams Loyd was thrilled—the network said it was, too—by the station's ratings, particularly prime time. WTEV-TV did not expect to retain all of WJXT's CBS viewership, but the Clear Channel station kicked off the week winning prime Monday with King of Queens
and Yes, Dear. "We came in with modest expectations," Loyd said early in the week. "People are going to be looking for shows, and there's going to be some sampling. But this was a fantastic day."–D.T.

Send a résumé!

Headhunter Joe Sullivan says the search to replace Chuck Sherman (above) as NAB executive VP, television (he will remain president of the NAB Education Foundation), is expected to be completed by Labor Day, with semifinalists interviewed by NAB President Eddie Fritts in August. Sullivan wouldn't comment, but reliable sources tell B&C the winning candidate will be making $250K a year, with a bonus of up to $50K.—D.T.

Tower returns

Six detailed designs for re-construction at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan were unveiled last week, and one feature they all share is a TV and radio transmission tower on one of the buildings. The designs have come under criticism from some, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., which unveiled them, says they're just a starting point. But, for New York broadcasters looking for a new digital tower site, the inclusion of transmission towers was important. Ed Grebow, chairman of the MTVA, said he was pleasantly surprised and "very pleased" to see all those towers.
—K.K.

Noncom conundrum

The FCC is in a quandary about how and whether it will let educational/nonprofit broadcasters apply for commercial frequencies. But it must settle the matter before auctions for more than 500 radio licenses occur. Last July, NPR persuaded federal judges to forbid non-com entities from participating in spectrum auctions but not from getting commercial spectrum itself. But how? Last week, the FCC asked the court to dismiss complaints from Central Wyoming College and the Idaho Board of Education, which were denied applications, the FCC said, because the still-muddy issue could delay the auction itself. —B.M.

Digital ticker

Compiled by Decisionmark

Newest digital stations:

KASA-DTSanta Fe, N.M. (Fox)

KLST-DTSan Angelo, Texas (CBS)

WATL-DTAtlanta (WB)

WGNT-DTPortsmouth, Va. (UPN)

WPWR-DTGary, Ind. (UPN)

WREX-DTRockford, Ill. (NBC)

WSEC-DTJacksonville, Ill. (PBS)

WUPA-DTAtlanta (UPN)

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