NCTA wrap-up - Broadcasting & Cable

NCTA wrap-up

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WILNER RE-UPPED

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association
re-elected Chairman Michael Wilner
at its annual convention in New Orleans. The Insight Communications
president was supposed to be succeeded by Jerry Kent, but the CEO of Charter Communications quit last September and new Charter Chairman Carl Vogel
was considered too new to the NCTA board to step up. The NCTA named Time Warner Cable Chairman Glenn Britt
vice chairman. He will likely succeed Wilner next year. Re-elected secretary and treasurer, respectively, were Adelphia Chairman John Rigas
and Comcast President Brian L. Roberts.

VANGUARD WINNERS

NCTA honored 10 industry leaders with its Vanguard Awards
at a well attended reception Tuesday evening. The top prizes went to Cablevision Chairman Charles Dolan
and Playboy EnterprisesChairman and CEO Christie Hefner. Because Dolan stayed home to care for his ill wife, his award was accepted by their son, Jimmy, the Cablevision CEO.

Other winners: Bill McGorry, Reed Business Information, the publisher of BROADCASTING CABLE and Multichannel News; Edward Carroll, Bravo and the Independent Film Channel; Ellen East, Cox Communications; Herb Scannell, Nickelodeon, TV Land and TNN; David Fellows, AT&T Broadband; John Rigsby, Time Warner Cable; Joe Waz, Comcast Corp.; and Len Fogge, Showtime.

FLOOR WALKER

Cable network Oxygen
ordered 13 episodes of new weekly half-hour series Candice Checks It Out, starring Candice Bergen. It is scheduled to debut this fall. In another programming move from Oxygen, Women & the Badge, which airs on Sunday nights, has been renewed for a second season. ...

Wendy's
will become a presenting sponsor for 13-week documentary series Adoption,
which will premiere in June on The Hallmark Channel. The cable network will also partner with Wendy's Dave Thomas Foundation
to produce spots within the shows; sources valued the deal at $1 million. The foundation promotes adoptions (Wendy's founder, the late Dave Thomas, was adopted). It's "an enormous partnership," said Hallmark chief Lana Corbi
. The network will also tie in with local cable systems, including the Cox Cable
franchise in New Orleans, to push adoption and foster care. ...

Jamie Kellner, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting Systems, says that, if personal video recorders like TiVo
and ReplayTV
are going to allow viewers to zap commercials, consumers should pay for the privilege—as much as $250 a year, or buy cheaper PVRs that eliminate the feature. At an off-the-record dinner with AOL Time Warner
executives and the media, Kellner said he worries that PVRs installed in set-top boxes threaten to destroy commercial TV, which he argued is already a fragile business. (He later consented to have those off-the-record remarks made public.)

THE ART OF THE DEAL

Fine Living, Scripps' new digital lifestyle network, is partnering with the Wall Street Journal
on a new original series inspired by the paper's Weekend Journal. ...

Discovery Channel's ad sales chief Bill McGowan, re-upped with Discovery Communications
and is adding new duties. McGowan will now be EVP and GM for U.S. ad sales and global integrated partnerships, heading Discovery's U.S.-based media sales group, including its 11 domestic channels and BBC America. He's also leading Discovery's recently unveiled HDTV and video on demand services. ...

National Geographic
and Speedvision
will soon join Cable One's digital lineup. The networks, both part of the Fox Cable
family, have signed separate carriage deals with Cable One. The Speedvision deal calls for a "timely" rollout in Cable One's NASCAR
hotbed markets in Alabama, Texas and Arizona. In a separate deal, Fox Sports Digital Nets, a trio of regional sports channels, signed a carriage deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative, a broker for small cable operators. NCTC represents 13 million subscribers and negotiates volume discounts. ...

Fox News Channel
now reaches 95% of Comcast's 8 million subscribers after picking up 52,000 new Comcast homes. Fox News is launching on Comcast's Grey, Tenn.,
system (22,000 subs) and Ocean City, Md., systems (30,000), pushing the network's total distribution near 80 million homes.

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