CBS seeks dibs on affiliates digital ventures



CBS and its affiliates will meet in Las Vegas this week (May 31-June 1). CBS Executive Vice President Martin Franks is expected to outline what sources call a "process" for cooperation between affiliates and the networks on digital spectrum issues. "It's a process that will evolve over time," said a network source.

Frank's presentation follows a letter CBS Television Network Group President Leslie Moonves sent to affiliates two months ago, urging them not to embrace outside ventures that would preclude them from working with the network on digital ventures as they develop.

Network executives are anticipating complaints about The Early Show with Bryant Gumbel, which lags in the ratings behind its competitors. But the network will respond that the show needs more time to prove itself. At the network level, advertisers still seem interested-they paid 14% price increases for show in the just completed upfront sales market.