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Open Mike - Broadcasting & Cable

Open Mike

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Honoring Bob Wright

When Bob Wright came to NBC 20 years ago, [late NBC Entertainment President] Brandon Tartikoff went into shock. How would this corporate GE type understand Alf or Saturday Night Live or demographics or, for that matter, keeping the show Cheers on the air just because of great writing and chemistry?

Bob not only understood, he soon absorbed everything there was to know about the television business—and became one of the giants of this industry.

I know that my husband, Brandon, would have loved to honor the man he so respected and revered [“The Wright Way, 4/23, p. 19]. I also know Brandon would be taking full credit for Bob's brilliant career.

While I am not able to do justice to the way Brandon so clearly would have described Bob's brilliant career and, even more important, the virtues this man embodies, he would have wanted me to speak about the important role [Wright's wife] Suzanne and Bob played in our lives.

He would have said it is the Tartikoff girls who have been graced by the love and kindness of these two people, who are both heroic and just plain good.

Lilly Tartikoff

On Lifetime

I cannot allow last week's announcement re: Betty Cohen [that she is departing Lifetime to pursue other endeavors] to pass without making an observation regarding the B&C cover story on Betty that appeared in the April 23 edition. Let me say upfront that this is not about whatever circumstances led Disney/ABC, Hearst and Betty to part ways.

Rather, I am directing my comments to the editorial team at B&C that found it acceptable to:

• Quote unnamed sources at Lifetime criticizing their own CEO

• Anonymously reference unkind remarks by former staffers and “others in the industry”

• Unnecessarily describe Betty in unflattering and mean-spirited terms.

Since when is it B&C's role to be the industry muckraker and in the process—consciously or unwittingly—advance the agendas of disgruntled third parties? This is not a First Amendment issue but one of sheer thoughtlessness.

C'mon, guys, show a little more class.

Larry Aidem

President/CEO

Sundance Channel

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