Telstar 4 Satellite Fails
New York—Loral Skynet Telstar 4 satellite went dark Friday morning after suffering a short circuit in what is known as a "power bus," affecting several TV operations. At deadline, Loral was trying to restore service, but had shifted customers over to Telstar 5 and 6. The dead satellite carries a number of backhauls for ABC News and two primary ABC feeds, a PBS feed and a backup CBS backhaul. When the glitched occurred at 8:46 a.m., ABC was in a local break and was able to switch its primary feed to Telstar 6 without going off the air.
All Bets Are Off for Survivor
Los Angeles—Offshore online betting company BetWWTS.com has suspended betting on the new Survivor, citing a number of bets all placed on the same contestant—it wasn't saying which one—all from new accounts in Vancouver, British Columbia. Usually, betting is light for the first episode of reality shows, said the company, but BetWWTS.com says it received a "deluge" of bets.
Lombardo New NAB Board Chair
Washington—Phil Lombardo, chief executive officer of Bronxville, NY-based Citadel Communications, was unanimously elected Joint Board Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters' Board of Directors during its conference call Thursday afternoon.
Lombardo will fill the Joint Board Chairmanship term left vacant following the recent resignation of K. James Yager, CEO of Barrington Broadcasting. Yager resigned the post due to a family health issue.
NBC Minute Movies Bow Thursday
Los Angeles—NBC will unveil its new one-minute movies during its biggest launch night of the year, Thursday, during a super-sized season premiere of Will & Grace. The first movie to debut will be The Pussycat Dolls featuring Carmen Electra.