Univision/Hispanic Merger Knocked
Washington— NBC/Telemundo opposes the proposed merger of Univision and Hispanic Broadcasting, at least as currently structured. According to an NBC source, NBC/Telemundo execs met with FCC Commissioners Kevin Martin, Kathleen Abernathy and Michael Copps, and Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree late last week to voice their opposition. A group led by Telemundo Station Group President Ibra Morales told the FCC group it should consider Hispanic media a separate entity from English-speaking media.
That would raise the bar for the deal considerably, given that, by some estimates, a combined HBC/Univision would control as much as 70% of Spanish-language media in the country's 10 largest Hispanic markets when publishing, Internet and cable are included. An FCC decision on the merger, which has passed Justice Department muster, is expected soon, perhaps this week.
CBS Takes Becker, Delays Stones
Los Angeles— In an attempt to make its fall Wednesday-night lineup less risky, CBS will air nearly canceled sitcom Becker at 9:30 p.m. ET instead of new sitcom The Stones. That show will now get a midseason launch.
News Vet Sunde Dead at 66
Washington— Tenold (Rob) Sunde, 66, former CBS News and ABC Radio veteran and 1990-91 president of the Radio-TV News Directors Association, died July 1. He is survived by his wife, Lila, and three children. His family asks that contributions go to the Rob Sunde Mentoring Fund, 1600 K St. NW, Ste. 700, Washington, D.C. 20006.
ABC Family Has Wife and Kids in '08
Los Angeles— ABC Family picked up cable rights to Buena Vista Television's My Wife and Kids, which will start airing on the cable channel in 2008. License fees are around $315,000 an episode; total take could reach nearly $52 million.