Fast Track - Broadcasting & Cable

Fast Track

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Preston Getting Golden Mike

Frances W. Preston, president and CEO of BMI, the giant music licensing company, receives the 2004 Golden Mike Award by the Broadcasters' Foundation
at New York Plaza Hotel today. The 60-year-old foundation, led by Gordon Hastings, has been the quiet "safety net" for radio and TV professionals who've fallen on hard times, through illness, old age, or some serious misfortune.

Fully Programmable

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation star William Petersen
told Playboy
he expects to exit the show after next season, but CBS says his contract runs through 2007; his reps also say he has no plans to leave. In the magazine, Petersen criticized CBS's spinoffs of his show, saying comparing the original to the copycats is "the difference between organic chicken and chicken jerky." …

UPN
is moving on three new comedies: I Do, I Did, Now What? is based on Jenny Lee's book about a bride's realizations on marriage; Me, Me, Me follows two New Yorkers as they climb the social ladder. UPN also solicited a show based on Soluna, a U.S.-based Latina singing group, starring the actual members…

Comedy Central
will debut Crossballs, a spoof on daily topical debate shows; an animated series, Odd Todd, based on the life of unemployed New Yorker Todd Rosenberg; and sketch comedy Hollow Men, featuring a British troupe by the same name.

People Mover

Broadcast vet Steve Friedman, who once headed morning shows at CBS and NBC, is now consulting on Dennis Miller's new CNBC talk show. He'd recently advised ESPN2
on its morning show Cold Pizza…

Stuart Brotman
is the new president of The Museum of Television and Radio, effective March 1. He succeeds Robert Batscha, who headed the museum for over two decades until his death in July 2003. Brotman had been head of his own consulting firm. …

Former ESPN
talent Max Kellerman
is joining Fox Sports Net
to host a daily sports-themed show slated to launch mid April. The program is a centerpiece of Fox's strategy to add national shows to its regional sports networks. At ESPN, Kellerman hosted Around the Horn…

Famous for his stunts on radio's The Howard Stern Show, "Stuttering" John Melendez
will be Jay Leno's new announcer (sans stutter). He replaces Edd Hall, who is departing after 12 years to go into movies…

MoveOn.org
is calling on its online constituency and the media to protest the selection of Fox News anchor Brit Hume
as the recipient of this year's National Press Foundation Sol Taishoff award. The award, named after the found of BROADCASTING CABLE, is for "distinguished service to broadcast journalism." It will be given out Feb. 19 at a dinner in Washington.

Correction

Washington Post
reporter Alec Klein's Stealing Time, about the AOL Time Warner merger, was briefly on BusinessWeek's bestsellers list in September. In the Feb. 16 edition, an item in the In the Loop feature about weak sales of books on the AOL Time Warner merger said none of them were bestsellers.

Now, No More Moyers

Bill Moyers will exit his PBS show, Now With Bill Moyers, at the end of the year. David Brancaccio, former host and senior editor of public radio's Marketplace
and Now
co-host, is apparently being groomed to take over. The show is on a year-to-year contract, and PBS is currently in negotiations with producer John Siceloff on a renewal. Moyers, a vocal critic of media consolidation, says he'll be working on a book about his former boss, President Lyndon Johnson.

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