Fox, Affils Deal on NFL

Los Angeles— Fox and its affiliates are close to renewing its so-called NFL-exclusivity agreement for another three years. Terms call for an annual $14 million to $15 million cash contribution from the affiliates, which is in line with the previous three-year agreement. Also under the new plan, affiliates would grant the network the right to repurpose a certain number of hours of programming (yet to be finalized). In exchange, the stations would get additional advertising in the repurposed shows. Previously, the network went to affils on a case-by-case basis as it did with the hit 24. The network has also agreed in principle to give affiliates some additional ad inventory in NASCAR coverage, but that is not quite finalized yet, said Fox affiliate board chairman John Tupper last week.

License Freeze Near an End?

Washington— The freeze in new broadcast licenses might thaw soon, Washington attorneys predicted Friday. The FCC last week submitted for approval by the Office of Management and Budget license-application forms that account for changes to media-ownership rules. Approval is expected in roughly three weeks. After the FCC's vote to change ownership rules, the agency stopped accepting applications until new forms could be readied.

Reporter's Assailant Sentenced

Pittsburgh— The man who beat KDKA-TV reporter Mary Berecky with a lead pipe last year was sentenced last week to two 50- to 100-year terms for attempted homicide and aggravated assault. John Bolam, 35, had a prior conviction for rape and kidnapping and served eight years. He was sentenced by the same judge in that case, according to KDKA-TV.