Station Break


Illinois Bans noncompetes

Illinois's ban on noncompete clauses in broadcast-talent contracts—passed decisively in July but vetoed by Republican Gov. George Ryan—will become law next year. The state legislature last week completed its override of Ryan's veto. Backers gained confidence after the Republican-controlled Illinois Senate voted 48-10 to override the veto two weeks ago. The House vote of 94-22 demonstrated a similarly comfortable margin, as expected.

"We've passed the bill not once but twice," said Eileen Willenborg, head of American Federation of Television and Radio Artists' Chicago office, the bill's chief supporter. The bill was opposed by the Illinois Broadcasters Association, the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Manufacturers Association.

That's me all over

In the past few months, a few broadcast journalists have been dogged by risqué photos surfacing from other careers, even reports of an out-of-work reporter posing in a bra ad. And it's not just the female members of the profession. KSPR(TV) Springfield, Mo., anchor John Brown has been finding photos—relatively innocent ones, taken in his pre-journalism modeling days—turning up all over.

"I was on vacation driving up Route 95 with my wife," he says, and there was "a two-story billboard of me and another woman." Brown says his photos have popped up in picture frames all over his area. Once, while working in radio, he says, he was approached about voiceover work for a laser hair-removal business and then discovered his image already featured in the brochure.

Brown says he wouldn't mind the exposure so much if he'd been paid for it. His agent and a lawyer are looking for the photographer, but to no avail. In a boxed set of frames, he notes, "I'm in two of the pictures. They're on sale; how insulting is that? But guess what everybody in my family is getting for Christmas?"

WFOR-TV carries the torch

He may have survived 36 days on Pulau Tiga, but can he survive local television? Former Survivor
castaway Dr. Sean Kenniff has been hired by CBS-owned WFOR-TV Miami as its medical reporter.

Since his stint on the first Survivor
series, Kenniff has pursued a television career as a health and fitness correspondent for Extra, Live With Regis,
and CBS's Early Show. He has also been a syndicated radio columnist for Winstar Radio and is planning a syndicated program for TV called Medical Moment.

Skies get friendlier

By last week, news choppers were going back in the air in considerable numbers even in the top 30 markets, albeit with restrictions.

The FAA has been granting waivers to post-Sept. 11 restrictions by the hundred to newsgathering helicopters, and an amendment last week to an aviation security bill that passed Congress included a requirement that the FAA provide and publish its reasons for denying a waiver request.

Broadcast-news executives have been confused by apparently inconsistent applications of air restrictions from market to market and even within markets. Radio-Television News Directors Association President Barbara Cochran and various pilots associations have been lobbying both for clarifications and to have the restrictions lifted.

A double from Nielsen

Nielsen Media Research will offer special reports—in addition to its regular ratings reports—on November sweeps because of the World Series' unusual effect on the November book. The reports will factor out the World Series.

Normally called the October Classic, this year's World Series ran into November, following delays due to the events of Sept. 11. The highly rated fifth, sixth and seventh games on Fox ran during sweeps.

Nielsen would not identify stations ordering the report so far, but those in New York and Arizona, home states of the Yankees and Diamondbacks, would be likely candidates.