Fast Track


Gore Says GOP Controls Fox News, Limbaugh

In the Dec. 2 edition of the weekly New York Observer, it's Al Gore's turn to attack conservative media, à la Sen. Tom Daschle the week before. Gore says: "The media is kind of weird these days on politics, and there are some major institutional voices that are, truthfully speaking, part and parcel of the Republican Party. Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there's a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy, ultraconservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media." He says the media are slow "to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks." Here we go.

What's On?

For the week ended Nov. 17, which includes the second full week of the sweeps, Entertainment Tonight recorded its highest rating in 33 weeks, up 5% to a 6.3, and Inside Edition was up 9% to a 3.5, matching its season high.

Also, Wheel of Fortune (9.7) and Jeopardy hit new season highs (7.5). Daytime's biggest gainer was Crossing Over With John Edward, (up 15% to a 1.5) helped by a celebrity reading of former Monkee Mickey
("I'm a Believer") Dolenz. Also in daytime, rookie Dr. Phil was up 9% to a new high of 4.8. …

Sony Pictures Entertainment
has formed the Digital Policy Group to develop digital protection policies, headed by Beth Berke, Sony's chief administrative officer and executive vice president. …

College Sports Television, a new cable network set to launch next year, signed a multi-year, multi-sport programming agreement with the Ivy League
for live telecasts of 33 men's and women's sports. Other conferences (Big 10, Big 12 and Big East among others) also have CSTV pacts. …

Associated Press's APTN
added state capital video to its Florida state news services when it launched APTN Florida on Dec. 1. …

Chicago medical reporter Dr. Michael Breen
has brought a multimillion-dollar suit against the Viacom
-owned station, alleging breach of contract, defamation and age discrimination. Breen was fired after exposure by Chicago Sun-Times
columnist Robert Feder
that Breen had more than once used old footage in new stories. …

The soon-to-launch Tennis Channel
recruited its first on-air personality, former ESPN anchor Chris Myers, who'll host Center Court With Chris Myers, a half-hour interview show with top tennis personalities. Myers also works NASCAR
events for Fox
and FX. ...

Game Show Network
will delve into the "realities" of game-show hosting with upcoming show Chuck Woolery: Behind the Lingo, slated for spring 2003.
Woolery hosts Game Show's original program Lingo, which returns Dec. 9 with 65 new episodes.

Memorial for FCC's White

The memorial service for the late MSTV
President and FCC
Commissioner Margita White
will be held Dec. 9, at 11 a.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church, 6715 Georgetown Pike, McLean, Va. Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to: International Women for Leadership Foundation, addressed to Margita E. White Scholarship Fund, 1621 Connecticut Ave., NW, Ste. 300, Washington, DC 20009, or to: Pennsylvania State University Archives, addressed to: A Few Good Women, 104 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802-1808.

Dave's the (Second) Greatest!

Cable's Trio network just finished showing 53 straight hours of The Late Show With David Letterman
reruns over the Thanksgiving weekend in what it billed as a "Give Thanks to Dave" marathon. (Letterman on NBC reruns launch on Trio as a regular series Jan. 2.) The channel commissioned a Harris poll that concluded that, after Johnny Carson (37%), Letterman (18%) was TV's all-time greatest late-night talk-show host, edging out Jay Leno's 15% of respondents.