Fast Track

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Change That Reservation!

The National Association of Television Programming Executives
is moving its 2004 conference to Jan. 18-20 and cutting the show by a day. Seems the facilities NATPE had originally been promised were not going to be available on the conference's original dates, according to Rick Feldman, president and CEO of the association. The show, which is being held in Las Vegas, had been scheduled for Jan. 13-16, but NATPE decided to move it back after it "became apparent that the association's requirements to hold our event at the Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo Center for the original dates could not be satisfied," Feldman said.

Newsmakers

Jim Yager
has been tapped to serve another term as National Association of Broadcasters
joint board chairman. Yager previously served in the post from 2001 to '02. Yager is head of Barrington Broadcasting, a new company formed to acquire stations. Michael Fiorile, president and CEO, Dispatch Broadcast Group, was named TV board chairman, and Carl Gardner, president of radio, Journal Broadcast Group, heads the radio board. ...

Don West, former editor of BROADCASTING & CABLE, was among a quartet of veteran Washington journalists inducted into the Hall of Fame of the Washington chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Also inducted were CNN's Judy Woodruff, The New York Times' William Safire
and WUSA-TV Washington's Bruce Johnson.

From the NCTA

Cable rates will get scant attention during the current session of Congress because Capitol Hill will be preoccupied with debate over the FCC's new broadcast ownership rules, said Kevin Kayes, telecommunications aide to Sen. Ernest Hollings
(D-S.C.), the Commerce Committee's ranking Democrat. Aside from the rate issue, the cable industry stands in lawmakers' good graces because it has aggressively moved into new businesses such as broadband delivery and telephony following the deregulatory Telecommunications Act of 1996. "Cable is well under the radar screen," Kayes said. …

Not so at the FCC, however. There, Chairman Michael Powell is reviewing the staff's proposed changes to the cable's ownership limits and is expected to circulate them to fellow commissioners for a vote soon.

NBC Has a Familiar Ring, Again

NBC
won the rights to the 2010 and 2012 Olympic Games for a price of just over $2 billion. By comparison, NBC paid $3.5 billion for the last five Olympic Games in a deal that goes through 2008. The difference this time is that the International Olympic Committee
opened the rights up to competitive bidding. The previous two rights deals were secured by NBC in pre-emptive bids that the IOC accepted without considering bids from the other networks (much to their dismay). This time it had to contend with ABC
and Fox
(CBS earlier had announced it was not interested).

Corrections

WSKY-TV Manteo, N.C., should have been included in the June 2 Market Focus on Norfolk-Newport News, Va. The Danbeth Communications Inc. independent on ch. 4 is the market's No. 7 station.

Also, in the June 9 edition story about MTV Networks, a photograph on page 64 featuring a Fuse channel mistakenly said the renamed music channel is owned by MTVN. It is owned by Rainbow Media, a unit of Cablevision.

CNN Snags Soledad

NBC News anchor Soledad O'Brien (left) is defecting to CNN to co-host the cable network's morning show, American Morning, alongside Bill Hemmer. CNN is said to be paying O'Brien, who has been anchoring NBC's Weekend Today, about $1 million per year. O'Brien replaces former American Morning star Paula Zahn, who moved to prime time.

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