Smoothed feathers

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NEW YORK

Look for a quieter, less contentious NBC affiliate meeting this year, says Alan Frank, outgoing chairman of the NBC affiliate board.

Last year's meeting came right after the network announced a plan to recapture early-morning inventory, and not long after NBC President Bob Wright made remarks (he later said he was misquoted) suggesting that the network was prepared to use cable for distribution in some markets.

This year, the relationship has been strained by NBC's alliance with Paxson, although the network recently soothed affiliate nerves by putting a plan to repurpose the Nightly News on hold. "I think the meeting will go quietly," said Frank.

After a two-year stint, Frank will step down as chairman, and Jack Sander, president of Belo's television group, will succeed him. Frank will stay on in an ex-officio capacity.

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