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MADD Mad About Alcohol Ads

Mothers Against Drunk Driving
(MADD) says public-service announcements warning against underage drinking and drunk driving are no match for the volume of alcoholic-beverage ads on TV. It cited a study from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth that concluded that people under the age of 21 were 60 times more likely to see a TV alcohol ad than a PSA. MADD has called on Congress to make the prevention of underage drinking a "priority," and the Ad Council has pressed Congress to fund a nationwide campaign.

What's on TV?

Lifetime's latest drama pilot is 1-800-Missing, a drama about a female FBI agent and her young, psychic sidekick. A new series should join Lifetime's schedule this summer. ... College Sports Television Network
has secured another $25 million in funding as it gears up for a Feb. 23 "soft" launch. CSTV's latest round of financing comes from an investor group that includes athletes Kevin Garnett, Tiki Barber, Antonio McDyess, Brian Urlacher
and Michael Johnson. The official launch date is April 7. ...

Among several changes to The WB's schedule, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's sitcom Grounded for Life will come to the network (from Fox, which canceled it) on Fridays at 9:30 p.m. after a double run at 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 28. To create space for the show, The WB is moving Sabrinathe Teenage Witch to Thursday at 8 p.m.

People Meeter

Louis Boccardi, president of the Associated Press
for the past 18 years, will retire in "late summer or early fall" after 36 years with the company. No word yet on who will replace him, but Boccardi, who will be 66 when he leaves, has been a staunch advocate of press freedom and was the most vocal critic of Congress's decision to grill the network presidents in Washington on their coverage of the 2000 election. During his tenure, he oversaw the creation of AP Television News. Boccardi joined the AP in 1967 as executive assistant to the general news editor. He was named president in 1985. ...

Laurie Younger
has been promoted to president of Buena Vista Worldwide Television. She will be in charge of domestic and international distribution of Disney content, including films, TV series, made-for-TV movies, miniseries, TV animation and direct-to-home videos. Buena Vista Productions, which develops first-run syndicated programming, also reports to Younger. She has been executive VP of television distribution at ABC since 2000 and senior VP and CFO of ABC since 1998.

And Now, the Sports

ABC
alum Michael J. Fox
is back working with the network on a comedy pilot. Disney-owned Touchstone Television
will produce the show, tentatively titled Hench at Home, in association with DreamWorks Television
and Lottery Hill Productions. The sitcom will follow the life of a professional hockey player after he retires and settles down with his wife and three kids. Fox, Mitch Hurwitz
and Danelle Black
will executive-produce. ...

In its Feb. 2 debut on NBC
Sunday afternoon, Arena Football
was neck-and-neck with ABC
coverage of the National Hockey League's All-Star Game. Both events averaged a 5 household share, while the All-Star Game came out one-tenth of a rating point ahead, with a 2.3 vs. a 2.2 for football. That's based on Nielsen's 55 local metered markets. CBS's golf coverage beat them both, averaging a 3.2 rating/6 share.

Correction

On page 17 of the Feb. 3 issue, BROADCASTING & CABLE inadvertently ran a photo of PBS President Pat Mitchell in the place of Char Beales, president of the Cable and Television Association for Marketing.

Hard-Luck Story

CNN founder Ted Turner, appearing on CBS's 60 Minutes II, says he couldn't afford to buy back CNN if he wanted to because, he says, he lost $7 billion to $8 billion in AOL Time Warner's steep stock slide. The company's outgoing vice chairman also said he opposes combining CNN with ABC News. "The potential pitfalls and opportunities for disagreements exceed whatever benefits could be gained," he told Mike Wallace.

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