Outdoor Channel in High Def
Temecula, Calif.—The Outdoor Channel is spinning off a high-definition feed. Outdoor Channel 2 HD will debut in July, 2005. It will share some programming with its parent channel and produce originals. Outdoor Channel started HD productions in 2003 with an eye to launching a new channel.
Edwards Ends on Morning Edition
Washington—In a low-key way, Bob Edwards ended his 24½ years as host of NPR's Morning Edition on April 30 by interviewing CBS News' Charles Osgood, who Edwards noted was the first person he interviewed when he began hosting the show. Edwards is being replaced to make way for a dual-anchor setup with more field reporting. He'll return as senior correspondent in July.
Hold Off on Cable Mergers: Activists
Washington—Public activists are asking the FCC to block mergers by Comcast and Time Warner, including for-sale Adelphia, until there's a new national cap on cable audience reach. Judges struck down the previous cap limiting one MSO's reach to 30% of pay-TV subscribers three years ago, and FCC efforts to set a new one have stalled. The FCC delay "is unconscionable" in a time of escalating cable rates, say Media Access Project and the Georgetown University Law Center. They want a lower cap. The groups are also angry that the FCC gave Comcast five years to divest a stake in Time Warner when it bought AT&T's cable systems. With the Time Warner holdings, Comcast's reach is 32%.
IRTS Salutes The Donald, and More
New York—The IRTS Foundation annual awards this year go to Nickelodeon Networks President Herb Scannell, Face the Nation anchor Bob Schieffer, Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, HBO's Sex and the City, and Donald Trump, star and co-executive producer of The Apprentice. The awards will be presented June 10 at the Waldorf-Astoria.