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Capital Watch - Broadcasting & Cable

Capital Watch

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NABEF Taps Fellows

The National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation (NABEF) has chosen the recipients of its 2003 Professional Fellowships to the NAB's TV- and radio-management and executive seminars.

Attending the TV-management seminar July 13-18 at Northwestern University in Chicago: Bonnie B. Hunter, WXMI(TV), Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cathy Perron, professor and director, Television Program, Boston University College of Communication; Adriana Sanchez, KECY-TV Yuma, Ariz.; and Antonio Sotelo, WAWS(TV)/WTEV-TV Jacksonville, Fla.

Attending the radio-executive-development program July 19-22 at Georgetown University in Washington: Merrill (Butch) Charles, WPHR-FM Syracuse, N.Y.; Maxie C. Jackson III, WEAA-FM Baltimore; Janet LePorin, WBAB-FM Babylon/WBLI-FM Patchogue, both N.Y.; and Dianne M. Simon, KDRO(AM)/ KPOW-FM Sedalia, Mo.

Azteca Sees Spots

Spanish-language network Azteca America may purchase national spot advertising for its affiliates after winning a waiver to FCC rules forbidding nets from handling spot sales for affiliated stations. Since 1978, the FCC, on a case-by-case basis, has exempted Spanish-language networks because national sales firms generally lack the expertise to market programming aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. As a result, Hispanic stations often have a hard time securing national advertising. Azteca America, the U.S. arm of Mexico-based Azteca International, said the waiver is critical to its expanding in the U.S. market against competitors Univision and Telemundo.

Those two companies now control 95% or the U.S. Hispanic broadcast-TV business, they say, and have permanent waivers of the rule.

FTC Circulates Hispanic PSAs

The Federal Trade Commission is enlisting radio stations in an effort to inform Spanish speakers about the commission's consumer-protection efforts. It has begun sending two PSAs to more than 700 radio stations, including those in the top 100 Hispanic markets. The PSAs provide listeners with instructions on how to file a complaint and alert them to the dangers of identity theft and ways to avoid it.

Dereg Pitch Punctuates Pow-Wow

None of the participants appeared to take notice when the NAB's pro-deregulation message slipped into the FCC Democrats' roundtable against media deregulation. Gerard Waldron, attorney for the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance, called on the FCC to retain the 35% cap on one company's household reach, a big issue for affiliates seeking to check network leverage over affiliation contracts.

Then Waldron went a little off-message for the anti-dereg crowd by adding a plug for relaxing limits on TV duopolies. Although many of NASA's members want more opportunity to double up on TV stations in individual markets, NAB is leading that fight, not NASA. Waldron called on the FCC to "address the duopoly question in a way that preserves the role of local broadcasters" and allows them to set up TV combos in small markets.

Breakfast with Torie

NCTA has finalized plans for its National Show panel featuring embedded journalists and the architect of the embedding strategy, Pentagon spokeswoman Torie Clarke (above). Embed fans will have to get out of bed early. The June 10 session will be a 7:30 breakfast affair headlined by Clarke, moderated by C-SPAN's Susan Swain and featuring, at press time, CNN's Martin Savidge and Mike Boettcher, Fox News Channel's Rick Leventhal, and an MSNBC player to be named later.

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