Fast Track


Cox Will Pass on Adelphia

Cox CEO Jim Robbins rules out a bid for all of Adelphia Communications, saying he would only buy systems that are well-clustered or fit his company's existing operations. Adelphia has some choice systems—in Los Angeles, for example—but there are a lot of dogs. Adelphia wants to sell the total package to one buyer.

Small Bites

The first meeting of the Network Upfront Discussion Group (NUDG)—formed to propose changes to make the upfront process easier—turned out to be its last. The group, composed of about 40 representatives from broadcast networks, cable, advertisers, and agencies, met for five hours last week and concluded that they couldn't come to a consensus to change the process at all. …

After threatening to take networks like CNN and TNT off its system, EchoStar Communications reached a tentative settlement with Turner Broadcasting.

People Mover

ABC Family General Manager Mark Silverman is moving up at ABC Cable to senior vice president and general manager for the ABC Cable Group. He'll report to Anne Sweeney, now head of both ABC and ABC Cable. …

Scott Matthews has been named vice president of news for Fox's New York duopoly. He comes to WNYW (Fox)/WWOR (UPN) from Fox-owned WTFX Philadelphia, where he has been vice president of news since July 2001. …

David Jackson has reunited with KCAL Los Angeles and former Prime 9 News co-anchor Pat Harvey after a five-year stint at KABC Los Angeles. Jackson spent eight years with KCAL, beginning in August 1989. …

Laverne McKinnon is the new senior vice president of drama development at CBS, reporting to Nina Tassler, the network's executive vice president of drama series. McKinnon has helped develop Cold Case, Joan of Arcadia, CSI: Miami, and Without a Trace.

What's Going On

The WB will launch new drama, Summerland, on Tuesday June 1 with a two-hour premiere. The show, from Spelling Television, stars Lori Loughlin as a San Francisco fashion designer who becomes the guardian of her sister's children. It will air regularly on Tuesdays at 9. Also, as expected, The WB has picked up One Tree Hill for a second season. …

ESPN and ESPN2 drew the biggest crowd in 25 years of NFL-draft coverage last weekend. The cumulative audience for the whole 17-plus hours was about 31 million—up 8% from last year. …

ABC has re-upped its reality franchise The Bachelor. The order is for two new installments, totalling 22 hours of prime time. The Bachelor is ABC's No. 1 entertainment program in total viewers and in adults 18-49.

Mel to Stern Bashers: Butt Out

Viacom President and COO Mel Karmazin (above) defended his in-house bad boy Howard Stern, who works for Viacom's Infinity Radio, in a New York speech last week sponsored by Syracuse University. Karmaazin said "If it doesn't appeal to you, change the channel, shut off the radio. Do whatever you want, but if you don't like the words 'anal sex,' it doesn't make it indecent. It may be offensive. There is a legal definition of what's indecent, and Howard's show conforms to that definition."


Cable's Top 10 list in the April 26 edition should have said President Bush's press conference coverage by Fox News Channel ranked ninth for the week of April 12-18.