CBS Gets $40M for 9/11 Loss
New York—Viacom on Friday collected $40 million by settling a dispute with its insurance companies over advertising lost from 9/11. For several days, Viacom's CBS network and some of its TV and radio stations stopped running commercials, going wall-to-wall with news coverage. The company filed what one source said was a $200 million claim to its business-interruption insurance carriers. The CBS TV unit collected $27 million, and Infinity Radio collected $13 million.
Viacom argued that, while there was clearly no government order to remain on the air sans commercials—which many radio and TV entities did for days following the attacks—doing so was nonetheless mandated by its public-interest obligation as well as by the belief that running commercials at that time risked alienating the public.
Reagan Movie Stays, CBS Says
New York—A CBS spokesman insisted late Friday that the network was intent on airing its two-part November sweeps biopic on Ronald and Nancy Reagan, The Reagans, in the wake of reports that the former First Lady was trying to block it. The two-part movie suggests Nancy Reagan was addicted to prescription drugs and depicts her slapping daughter, Patti Davis. "As broadcasters it is our job to put forth programming that informs, entertains and hopefully stirs meaningful discourse," a spokesman said. The program airs Nov. 16 and 18.
World Series Outpacing '02
New York—It may not be the Chicago Cubs-Boston Red Sox matchup many baseball fans dreamed of, but the 2003 World Series is pulling in more viewers than last year's Fall Classic. In four games on Fox, the New York Yankees and Florida Marlins series averaged 19.5 million viewers, up 15% from the San Francisco Giants and California Angels series a year ago. The 2003 series is pacing at a 12.4 rating/24 share, a 13% improvement.
Beating last year's series, though, doesn't say much. The 2002 World Series was a record low, averaging an 11.0 household rating and 20 share.