Let's bring back Happy Days
will cut 160 jobs (out of 8,000) company-wide and freeze wages for a year "to reset Belo's expense structure to match lower expected revenue generation and maintain strong levels of cash generation." Belo is asking employees working under labor agreements or personal service contracts to voluntarily accept the wage freeze. ... Oxygen
laid off 80 people last week from its online group, mostly from a health Web site, Thrive.com. Oxygen's cable network staff was not affected by the job cuts. ...
FX Networks President Peter Liguori
received a new five-year contract that includes some added responsibilities, sources say. He will add the CEO title to his current president position at FX Networks, overseeing both FX
and Fox Movie Channel. Liguori is also expected to oversee a new digital cable channel that Fox Cable Networks Group is planning. ...
CNN's head of newsgathering, Eason Jordan, quietly shuttled off to Pakistan last week to survey his network's Central Asian operations. He brought with him a supply of gas masks, flak jackets and other emergency gear for his troops.
Paul FitzPatrick, COO of Crown Media United States, which operates the Hallmark Channel
in the U.S., has replaced Lana Corbi
as executive VP and COO of parent Crown Media Holdings. Corbi was recently named president and CEO of Crown Media United States. ...
Two top producers are exiting King World
rookie The Ananda Lewis Show, with former Ricki Lake
co-executive producer David Armour
moving in to replace them. Citing stress over maintaining a bicoastal lifestyle since the terrorist attacks, Jose Pretlow
will leave his post as executive producer. Mary Duffy, a senior executive producer, will shift into a development role at King World. Sources pointed out that Duffy and Pretlow disagreed on the direction of the show. ...
They really want to have an Emmy Awards
telecast—really, really. Last week, CBS
and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
said so. ATAS risks losing $3 million in license fees and CBS as much as $20 million in ad revenue if the show—pulled twice in the wake of the terror attacks—doesn't happen. One unusual site mentioned: An Air Force base in glamorous Riverside, Calif. The date: Sometime during November sweeps. ...
has cleared off-net episodes of The Larry Sanders Show
in syndication for weekends starting fall 2002 on KABC-TV
Los Angeles and WLS-TV
Chicago. These are the first official broadcast clearances for Sanders; Bravo
has already picked up the strip version for fall 2002. The weekend version consists of an hour block of two back-to-back episodes. ...
has signed a multi-year development deal with writing/producing team Nancy Miller
and Gary Randall. Miller and Randall are the executive producers of Lifetime's
Any Day Now. ...
In the battle between Friends
and Survivor: Africa,
both are attracting large audiences. Both series were delayed on the East Coast until 8:45 p.m. because of President Bush's national address but ran in pattern throughout the rest of the country. NBC's
got the best of Survivor
in the head-to-head competition, but it was close. In Nielsen Media Research fast-national data, Friends
averaged 26.4 million viewers, a 13.3 rating in adults 18-49 and a 16.4 rating/24 share in households. Survivor:Africa
averaged 23.7 million viewers, a 10.2 rating in adults 18-49 and a 13.6/20 in households.
A bankrupt society
Broadband service provider Williams Communications
agreed to purchase the remaining assets of Webcasting and streaming-media company iBEAM Broadcasting
for $25 million in cash. The move follows iBEAM's filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. ...
last week abruptly blocked its cable affiliates from adding new data customers. It gave affiliates including AT&T, Comcast, Cox
three hours notice that they would no longer be able to add customers to the @Home system. Excite@Home, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, cited the need to conserve cash.