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B&C Eye - Broadcasting & Cable

FYI

The Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., has launched a new four-page publication, Key Facts,
intended to brief its target audience on various topics involving children and the media. The first issue, released last week, is on videogames and includes references to Senate testimony on the negative impact of violent games and studies suggesting that such games make children more aggressive. Look for the next "Key Facts" handout, coming out in November, to be on either TV violence or the Internet and teens. Key Facts
is sent to a list of about 500, comprising members of the press, policymakers and issue advocates.—J.E.

More to file?

FCC commissioners late last week were mulling whether to keep alive prospects for new annual reports that would require broadcasters and cable systems to report demographic hiring data.

The debate is part of the FCC's effort to rewrite minority- and gender-recruiting rules scheduled to be approved Nov. 7. The rules will require broad outreach programs to solicit job applicants. Fearing that the demographic employment data could subject stations to discrimination complaints, the State Broadcast Associations want the FCC to reject the idea now. Minority advocates want the FCC to hold off, pending a new round of public comment on their constitutionality.—B.M.

Girls' intuition

The ninth script for David E. Kelley's Girls Club
(below) landed on Fox execs' desk last Tuesday even as the show was being canceled after only two low-rated outings. The script's title: "Hello and Goodbye." Maybe Kelley had a premonition, or maybe he just noticed that the show was getting beaten in the key 18-49 demo by both UPN and The WB.—P.A.

SCi Fi's decision smells

Distraught Farscape fans are finding it takes more than flowers to woo Sci Fi Channel execs.

Since Sci Fi's September decision to end the original series, Farscape devotees have sent dozens of roses to Sci Fi President Bonnie Hammer, her assistant and any network exec they could find. Universal Television chief Michael Jackson and even DreamWorks—which is co-producing Sci Fi's upcoming mini-series Taken—have been showered with flowers.

The floral blitz hasn't changed Sci Fi's plans to cancel Farscape after its fourth season, which begins in January.

Fans might want to start sending flowers to other cable nets or TV stations. After four seasons, there will be 88 Farscape episodes, enough for a syndicated run.—A.R.

Bad 'old' Nielsen

Turner Broadcasting Chairman Jamie Kellner (above) teed off on Nielsen Media Research last week, charging that the research service "didn't do its job very well" when it didn't incorporate new and bigger estimates for the 18-34 audience into its 2001-02 rating measurements.

Census data released in summer 2001 showed that the 18-34 audience grew by more than 8 million. The cost to The WB: $30 million in lost revenue, said Kellner, in a call with analysts. Nielsen didn't have time to make changes for last season, but there had been a debate in the industry about applying the estimates retroactively. The WB wanted it done, but some networks (including MTV) and ad agencies didn't. The estimates are in place this year.

A ratings-service spokesman disputed Kellner: "Nielsen did do its job. It did it very well, and it did it according to sound research principles."—S.M.

VNS still has glitches

At deadline Friday, Voter News Service was still working to fix software bugs in its newly revamped exit- polling system. In case there's no fix by election day, CBS and NBC have jointly commissioned a backup poll from a separate vendor.—S.M.

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