IN BRIEF - Broadcasting & Cable

IN BRIEF

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Zuckerman wants the New York Post?

New York Daily News
publisher Mortimer Zuckerman is offering to buy his paper's local rival if the government orders News Corp. to sell the New York Post as a condition of acquiring a second TV station in the Big Apple. Zuckerman said the papers' news operation would stay separate but production and business would be combined.

News Corp, officials scoffed, claiming that Zuckerman's promise was merely a ploy of critics of their company's plan to acquire WWOR-TV New York and nine other Chris-Craft stations. "Mr. Zuckerman has never approached us about buying the Post and the Post isn't for sale," said a News Corp. spokesman.

Public-advocacy groups had asked Zuckerman if he had interest in buying the Post. They argue that News Corp.'s waiver allowing it to own another TV outlet and the Post despite the ban on newspaper/TV station crossownership should not be extended to a second station in the market.

LPFM debut

The FCC last week granted construction permits for 25 low-power radio stations. The approvals are the first go-aheads for the new nonprofit service created during the tenure of previous agency chairman William Kennard. Groups receiving permits include the League of United Latin American Citizens, South Bend, Ind.; the Lawyers Second Amendment Society, Porterville, Calif.; the Good News Church, Augusta, Ga., and the SETEC Astronomy Club, San Clemente, Calif.

Lieberman threatens FTC pursuit

Veteran media watchdog Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) reportedly told studio executives last week that he still plans to introduce legislation requiring the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute any studio that runs "false or deceptive" TV advertisements for R-rated movies. The conversation occurred during a meeting with officials of eight studios and Motion Picture Association of America President Jack Valenti about a "media literacy" project Lieberman is proposing.

On the FTC bill, Valenti said FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky had told Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) in a letter last November that such a law raises constitutional questions and that, if R-rated movies are advertised as such, there is nothing deceptive about the ad.

Burns has cancerous polyp removed

Communications Subcommittee Chairman Sen. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.) had surgery to remove a malignant polyp in his colon, a spokesman confirmed last week. His physician says the cancer was detected early and Burns will make a full recovery.

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