Fast Track


Johansen's Swan Song?

Denying that he has already made his decision to leave NATPE, President Bruce Johansen
says give him until Wednesday, when he'll officially announce his plans. His contract is up in March, but insiders say he's not going to stay. He has been NATPE's chief since 1993.

NAB Tightens Up

The board of the National Association of Broadcasters
at last week's meeting put a $600,000 cap on legal expenses associated with efforts to preserve the 35% TV-ownership cap.

That lid is there because the NAB is coping with tight budgets due to decreasing revenue from its national convention (its principal source of income) and some extraordinary expenses. President Eddie Fritts
said the group will post deficits in current fiscal 2002 and in fiscal 2003, which begins April 1. As for this year's convention in Las Vegas, he said gross revenue will be down but net income be equal or above last year.

WFOR-TV GM Heads for Dallas

Steve Mauldin, VP and general manager of Viacom's WFOR-TV
Miami and WTVX-TV
West Palm Beach, Fla., was named to head Viacom's Dallas duopoly, KTVT-TV

It's the latest move by Dennis Swanson, COO of the Viacom TV group, who joined Viacom last July from WNBC-TV New York and set about immediately to "get the best general managers possible and get them in place early."

Replacing Mauldin is Michael Colleran, who had been general sales manager for KABC-TV
Los Angeles. Odd man out is KTVT-KTXA
VP/GM Brian Jones, who had no comment beyond saying he would be leaving to "pursue other interests."

Really Quick Now

Time Warner Cable's Lynn Yaeger
was promoted to executive vice president of corporate affairs, making her one of the highest-ranking female MSO execs. Yaeger had been senior vice president, a title she has held since 1992. She heads the MSO's government relations, public-affairs policy, and corporate and community relations. … Former ABC Television
and ESPN
President Steve Bornstein
will head the NFL Channel, the league's new cable channel debuting this fall. …CarolAnne Dolan, the executive in charge of A&E's franchise Biography
series will leave the network in the next few weeks. … But they seemed so happy: HBO
is opting not to renew sophomore drama Mind of the Married Man
after two 10-episode seasons.

DIC Shows Cleared for Fall

DIC Entertainment
has quietly cleared a three-hour block of FCC-friendly shows in 85% of the country for fall. Its extensive library grabbed the attention of Sinclair, Cox, Clear Channel, Granite, Acme, Emmis
and Tribune. And Tribune is also selling the national ad time. Among the shows are veteran DIC properties Inspector Gadget and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the new Liberty Kids.

Sachs: Broadcast HDTV Is 'Work in Progress'

Carrying broadcasters' HDTV signals on cable's basic tier are a "work in progress," NCTA
President Robert Sachs
told reporters last week. Finding "common ground" with TV stations over high-definition and digital TV is a top priority for the cable trade group, but he said those talks are just beginning. MSOs must carry broadcast DTV signals on the basic tier, but whether HD signals would have to be duplicated there is a point of debate.

A Younger, Hipper UPN

UPN hopes Abby
a midseason sitcom starring actor Sidney Poitier's daughter Sidney Tamiia (above) helps pick up flagging ratings. That comedy, and a drama, Platinum, are part of the Viacom-owned network's rebuilding stage, executives told critics at the L.A. winter press tour. CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves says he wants UPN "to be viewed as a younger network, a hipper network."