IN BRIEF

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We're not partisan

Taking aim at rivals, MSNBC is hyping its "fiercely independent" approach. "Some news channels seem partisan, favoring one side over another (regardless of slogans or protestations to the contrary.)," MSNBC President Erik Sorenson wrote in a memo to staffers, a clear shot at conservative-leaning Fox News. And he sniped at CNN's international partnerships, calling them a means "to provide coverage on an international basis to foreign viewers." (After a bus explosion in Jerusalem Friday, a CNN spokeswoman said that, even though Sorenson criticized "CNN's international newsgathering yesterday, it wouldn't stop his network from using the reports.")

MSNBC, meanwhile, "is not partisan and has no agenda other than to serve the American people," Sorenson boasted. No. 3 MSNBC is now calling itself "American NewsChannel." Come summer, it will feature mostly talk in prime time, as Phil Donahue launches an 8 p.m. ET show and Hardball
host Chris Matthews becomes an exclusive MSNBC player.

Taking credit

Discovery Networks will likely remove production credits from many new shows on its cable networks beginning this summer. It's a move intended to retain viewers.

While credits are a "revered form of business to business communication" for the production community, says chief of Discovery's content group John Ford, 30% of viewers flee when credits roll and never return. Discovery is offering to put credits on its Web sites instead.

Some credits will remain, mandated by existing contracts and union agreements. Fictional programming, such as Animal Planet original movies, also will continue credit rolls.

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