Powell Issues DTV Query
Washington— As promised by FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the Media Bureau has sent letters to companies in six separate industry groups requesting updates on their progress in rolling out digital television services. The recipients were the seven broadcast networks and PBS, network affiliates in top-100 markets, the nine largest cable operators, DirecTV and EchoStar, and consumer-electronics manufacturers and retailers. The aim is to identify areas where the transition to DTV isn't getting necessary attention and draw up possible federal action to speed the conversion.
Brouillette Returns to Commerce Panel
Washington— Dan Brouillette was named staff director for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, replacing David Marventano. Brouillette returns to Capitol Hill June 2 after serving as a partner to the Alpine Group, where he counseled financial-services, telecommunications and high-technology clients. He was an aide to committee Chairman Billy Tauzin from 1989 to 1996.
Move Over, Tiger. Here Comes Annika
New York— Golfer Annika Sörenstam drew an impressive crowd to USA Network's first round coverage of the Bank of America Colonial event last Thursday. USA posted a 1.9 overnight rating for its coverage of Sörenstam's play from 10 a.m. ET to 3 p.m., three times higher than a typical first round. Viewership peaked at 2 p.m. with a 2.5 overnight rating.
CAB Confab Hits New High
Chicago— The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau reported that its 10th annual Cable Sales Management Conference in Chicago May 17-21 set a new attendance record. All told, 1,278 people attended the gathering, according to the CAB. That included 256 agency and client executives who turned out for "Chicago Cable Day" on Monday, which featured a spot-cable sales pitch from National Cable Communications. Attendance by cable operators, interconnects, networks and vendors rose 35% from a year ago.