Defense Sets 'Embedding' Numbers
The Defense Department's plan to take reporters along with military in the event of an attack on Iraq advanced last week, as the Pentagon began informing Washington media bureau chiefs on their embedding opportunities. Sources say ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CNN are expected to receive an equal number, eight to 10 each—an opportunity being a two-person crew. The bureau chiefs from the Big Four have been asked to coordinate the embedding process, including whether affiliates will be going along. A few large station groups with Washington presence, including Belo and Tribune, will be assigned slots apart from the networks. Some affiliates have already been embedded as military units from their areas relocate, but those embeds will end prior to any action, the Pentagon said.
Dolgin Hits the Showers
Los Angeles— Tracy Dolgin is exiting as president of Fox Sports Net, the national cable programmer and regional nets that are a partnership between Fox Sports and Rainbow Media. Fox Sports Networks President Bob Thompson, who oversees Fox's wholly owned international and domestic sports channels, will add Fox Sports Net to his charge. Dolgin passed up a new contract and says he will pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in media, possibly in extreme sports.
Tax-Credit Bill Revived
Washington— Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) last week reintroduced legislation allowing media companies to defer capital gains when they sell stations to minorities, women and small businesses. He said his bill would help remedy concerns about consolidation and the diminishing diversity of media voices. The bill was praised by the broadcast and cable industries, as well as by FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
NBA All-Stars in HD
Atlanta— Turner Broadcasting and the NBA will offer NBA All-Star Saturday Night Feb. 8 and All-Star Game Feb. 9 on TNT in high definition—Turner's first HD telecasts. The feed will be distributed to operators through InDemand at no additional charge in exchange for a promo spot. DirecTV and EchoStar will also offer the HD telecasts.