FCC Drops Spectrum-Lease Idea

Washington— The FCC has discareded plans to explore whether new rules allowing wireless licensees to lease unused portions of their spectrum to other telecommunications companies should be expanded to broadcasters. Chairman Michael Powell had planned to ask for further public comment on the issue, but Democratic commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein persuaded their colleagues to remove that provision. "Allowing television and radio broadcasters to sell to non-broadcasters access to the spectrum that Congress and the FCC gave them for free would have been a terrible mistake," Copps said during the commission's May 15 meeting.

AP Will Do Vote Analysis for Networks

New York— The Associated Press signed five-year agreements with ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and Fox News Channel to provide special vote-tabulation services for them, starting with next year's presidential primaries. The AP will take over one of the two primary functions of the Voter News Service, disbanded after election-night failures in 2000 and 2002. The other VNS function, conducting exit polls, will be taken over by two veteran polling experts under an agreement reached earlier.

McDermott To Lead ABC Affil Board

Nashville, Tenn.— Deborah McDermott, executive vice president, Young Broadcasting, was elected to chair the ABC TV affiliates advisory board. McDermott had been vice chair. She replaces Bruce Baker, executive vice president of Cox Broadcasting, who will remain on the board.

Two Texas Stations Preempt Hitler

Corpus Christi, Texas— Stations in Corpus Christi and Laredo, Texas, have opted not to air two-part miniseries Hitler: The Rise of Evil, about the young Adolf Hitler. Dale Remy, GM of KZTV(TV) Corpus Christi and KVTV(TV) Laredo said he was concerned with the film's "humanizing" Hitler and decided the show would not "benefit our audience or our stations." Remy offered to run the show in late night, but CBS declined. Hitler will air on UPN affiliate KTOV-LP Corpus Christi.