Cablevision and Yankees strike out
New York— YES Network's deal with Cablevision Systems exploded Friday with both sides pointing fingers. Cablevision contends that New York Yankees CEO George Steinbrenner balked at an agrement to open the network's books to an arbitrator; YES claimed that "we don't really know why Cablevision walked away."
Fox News Leads Cable War Ratings
New York— After eight days of war coverage, Fox News Channel was averaging a blistering 5.0 prime time rating, according to Nielsen data from March 19 to March 26. CNN notched a stellar 4.0 average and MSNBC was also strong with a 2.4 rating.
ABC, Fox Cooling on Reality
Los Angeles— After ABC and Fox upgraded their schedules with successful reality programs, both told advertisers last week they will back off on reality next season. Fox will retain American Idol
and a younger version, Junior Idol, but doesn't plan many more. ABC also plans to roll back reality and focus on comedy next year, sources said, except for The Bachelor
and its spin-offs, and another a reality "wheel" for shows like Celebrity Mole.
Olbermann's Job Du Jour at MSNBC:
Secaucus, N.J.— After talks with Sam Donaldson fell apart, MSNBC has turned to a former anchor to host a new evening newscast. Jouneyman broadcaster Keith Olbermann will host Countdown with Keith Olbermann
weeknights at 8 p.m. ET beginning March 31. In his career, Olbermann has toiled at ESPN, MSNBC, CNN and Fox Sports.