PxPixel
Fast Track - Broadcasting & Cable

Fast Track

Author:
Publish date:

Executive Moves

The Syndicated Network Television Association will reveal at NATPE that it is hiring Mitch Burg as its president. Burg, former COO at MediaEdge:CIA, replaces Gene DeWitt, who was terminated in August. ... Robert Riesenberg has been named president and chief executive officer of a new entertainment-based business unit within Omnicom Group. ... Reality-show producer Granada named Paul Jackson, director of international production, to be CEO of new U.S. production unit Granada America. Steven Davis, president and CEO of Carlton America will be president. ... Jim Griffiths, president of MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, is moving to Playboy Enterprises. ... Enrique Perez, VP/GM of Telemundo's WNJU(TV) Newark, N.J., has been named senior VP of sales for the station group, overseeing national and local spot sales. ... Former FCC Commissioner Nicholas Johnson is now Iowa campaign manager for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. ... Former Fox Movie Channel GM Mark Devitre is joining Warner Bros. Domestic Cable Distribution as VP of sales.

Programming and Shows

To counterprogram against the Super Bowl Feb. 1 on CBS, NBC will run a three-episode marathon of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. ...

Loud-mouthed former tennis ace John McEnroe will host a prime time show on CNBC beginning this spring. McEnroe initially talked with NBC-owned Bravo. His show will air at 10 p.m. ET and lead out of Dennis Miller's new 9 p.m. show, which debuts Jan. 26. CNBC is repurposing NBC's Donald Trump reality show The Apprentice. ...

Sci Fi Channel has picked up the final season of Tribune's Andromeda as an original series, and the library of seasons one to four. ...

BET's first reality show, College Hill, about students at Southern University, debuts Jan. 28. ...

New Line Television has cleared The Twilight Zone in more than 75% of the country, including 18 of the top 20 markets. ...

MTV's latest development slate is headlined by reality shows starring celebs Cameron Diaz, Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson's little sister Ashlee and Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz. ...

CBS reduced its order for The Handler, starring Joe Pantoliano, opting for 15 or 16 episodes from Viacom Productions instead of the full 22.

Fox News Channel and ABC News are partnering on a Jan. 22 Democratic debate, the last before the Jan. 27 New Hampshire primary. Fox News will televise the debate nationally, and it will air locally on ABC affiliate WMUR-TV. Fox News anchor Brit Hume, ABC World News Tonight anchor Peter Jennings will moderate, and ABC News plans an hour-long Nightline special. ...

Looking to grow its market share, Paramount has signed a five-year deal to distribute PBS and PBS Kids titles on home video and DVD in the U.S. and Canada.

Carriage Wars

EchoStar backed off its request for an injunction to prevent Viacom from pulling CBS if the DBS company drops Viacom's MTV Networks. EchoStar's MTVN carriage deal expired Dec. 31, but Viacom temporarily extended it. When EchoStar continued to threaten to drop MTV, Nickelodeon and other cable nets, Viacom said the CBS O&Os would go, too. After going to court, EchoStar consented to a one-week delay to keep negotiating.

FX's New Programming Chief

Former Jersey Television executive John Landgraf (left) has been named president of entertainment, replacing Kevin Reilly, now at NBC. He will be hunting for more original shows to expand FX's success with The Shield and Nip/Tuck. Landgraf, who also spent five years at NBC as VP of prime time series, reports to FX President Peter Liguori.

It took some careful dealings to get Landgraf to FX. Jersey TV has a deal with Sony Pictures Television, and, insiders say, Sony wanted assurances on that deal before cutting Landgraf loose. With Landgraf's exit, remaining Jersey TV partners Danny DeVito, Stacey Sher and Michael Shamberg are stepping up to become more active in development and production in shared Sony projects.

Related