Moonves Wins $125
Just because CBS airs coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament doesn't mean CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves has to recuse himself from the office pool. Moonves took sixth place and $125 in a Hollywood pool that also included Twentieth Century Fox Television President Gary Newman, Warner Bros. Domestic Television President Dick Robertson, The Bachelor's creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss, CBS Entertainment President Nancy Tellem and ABC Executive Vice President of Entertainment Mark Pedowitz.—P.A.
ABC Sports Presents Toyota
Another cable original will get a second life on ABC, this time thanks to its sponsor. Although the press release about the programs says "ABC Sports Presents" and makes no mention of Toyota, the car company and manufacturer of the 4Runner has bought time on the network to air a condensed version of the Outdoor Life Network's Global Extremes: Mt. Everest 4Runners of Adventure.
Last year, ABC repurposed USA Network's quirky drama Monk.
On Outdoor Life, Global Extremes
is a 20-episode series of adventure challenges across the globe, from desert running in Africa to mountain biking in Costa Rica to a chance to climb Mt. Everest.
The show will be edited down to four hour-long specials. The first was scheduled to air April 12.—A.R.
Sinclair Revives Newscasts
Sinclair, which dropped several newscasts only to add and reshape them through its Hunt Valley, Md.-based News Central, where it mixes local and national feeds, will be bringing news back to one of the markets it cut. Greensboro, N.C., will be one of six markets that will see the News Central mix before the end of the year, like the one at Sinclair's Flint, Mich., station (above).
But, where the company had news at WXLV-TV Greensboro prior to January 2002, the new newscast will be at Sinclair's duopoly partner WUPN-TV. Sinclair's corporate News Director Joe DeFeo said that the local department will be headed by Pam Cook, who had been the last WXLV news director, and that he hopes to hire back some of the 35 staffers who lost their jobs.
The company plans also to add News Central-casts to stations in Birmingham, Ala., Milwaukee, Tampa, Cincinnati and Las Vegas.—D.T.
CEA Says No to Labs
Broadcast Labs has suffered a setback. LIN Television's Gary Chapman last week confirmed that Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro told broadcasters the trade group would not help fund the proposed R&D center. Chapman and other labs proponents have a $2 million-a-year commitment from NAB, but it's contingent on their getting another $2 million a year from the consumer-electronics industry. Chapman said he understood CEA's turndown. Only 22 of CEA's many members—the major TV-set manufacturers—stand to gain from the successful deployment of digital TV, the principal goal of the labs, he said. Chapman remains hopeful that several of the 22 that do want to see DTV succeed will step up with funding. At the membership meeting of Association of Maximum Service Television, Mitsubishi Electronics' Bob Perryman fueled Chapman's optimism. "Some [manufacturers] are committed," he said. "Some are on the fence, and some may come over." Said Chapman: "That was a significant statement. That was a plug for the labs."—H.A.J.
NAB Says: 'Do call'
Broadcasters have a new worry about "do not call" rules that the FCC is drafting for consumers who ask to be shielded from telemarketers. NAB wants Arbitron and Nielsen market research exempted, fearing that a prohibition on those calls would "dramatically reduce" local-market surveys. Previously, NAB has urged an exemption for prerecorded-message calls encouraging people to tune in individual programs. Cable operators want exemptions allowing them to pitch new services such as digital cable, broadband and telephony to subscribers who place themselves on don't call lists.—B.M.