THAT'S A LIMITED YES FOR THE YANKEES NET
Yankees Entertainment and Sports
is about to get much of what it wants from AOL Time Warner Cable, signing a deal at about $2 per subscriber monthly. The downside is that AOL's New York City systems will carry the network only part time; CNN/fn
will share the channel.
YES will be carried full time on digital tiers, which have less than 20% of the operator's subscribers.
But YES will collect the full license fee based on the system's total basic-subscriber base. The network will also be carried on AOL Time Warner's other systems in New York State on analog tiers.
Cable operators have been balking at the huge, year-round license fee for a startup network that has only one interesting piece of programming: 130 New York Yankees baseball games. (The others will be shown on CBS.)
The AOL deal gives YES Chairman Leo Hindery
leverage against the other major metro-New York MSOs, Cablevision Systems
and Comcast. Cablevision—whose MSG Network
lost TV rights when the Yankees decided to start its own network—wants to make YES a pay network.
CNN EXEC SHUFFLE
While it mixes up its programming and talent, CNN
also is shuffling its executives. Sid Bedingfield, most recently chief of CNN's domestic shop, is moving up to executive editor for CNN News Group, a new position. Bedingfield worked to recruit stars like Connie Chung
and Paula Zahn
and developed new shows.
Former Headline News
Executive VP Teya Ryan
is taking the top spot at CNN/ US.
Ryan engineered Headline News' much-hyped makeover last summer, which has yet to produce significant ratings growth but yields younger demographics.
Ryan said her promotion came as a huge surprise. "Headline News is my baby, and we have just begun. My main focus for now will be launching Connie Chung's new show."
Rolando Santos, formerly general manager of CNN en Español, takes over as chief of Headline News.
His second-in-command, Chris Crommett, is CNN en Español's new GM.
is yanking legal drama 100 Centre Street
after two seasons . The original averaged a solid 1.8 Nielsen household rating in its first season but has slowed to a 1.0 average during season two. There are two episodes left to air. ...
Game Show Network ,
whose ad sales had been handled by the syndication unit of 50%-owner Sony Pictures Entertainment, now has its own ad-sales team. Senior Vice President of Advertising Sales Michael Sakin
has hired 13 people and put offices in New York, Chicago and Dallas. ...
College students want their MTV, and the Viacom
net is gearing up to deliver, hatching plans for an MTV University
network, which would be distributed on college cable systems. Expect the channel to be heavy on raucous stuff like spring-break fare, animated favorites like Beavis & Butt-head
and Total Request Live. MTV U will compete with existing college nets Burly Bear
and College Television Network.
Studios USA Domestic Television President Steve Rosenberg
will run the combined syndication studio at newly merged Vivendi Universal. Universal Worldwide TVPresident Ned Nalle
is expected to leave the studio's TV division, but the veteran Universal exec may remain with the company in a different capacity. Nalle's Universal syndication division is being merged with Studios USA's syndication assets as a result of Vivendi Universal's $10 billion acquisition of USA Network's entertainment assets. Layoffs are expected on both sides. ...
has expanded its syndication test-run for Hollywood-based Good Day Live. Late last year, the distributor launched the show on seven co-owned Fox
TV stations. Beginning March 18, it's adding six markets, including WTTG(TV)
Washington D.C., WJBK(TV)
Houston and WJW(TV)
NATPE President and CEO Bruce Johansen
meets Wednesday in Los Angeles with top syndication executives to discuss the future of the organization. He's expected to propose a scaled-back NATPE Conference show floor for next year's meeting in New Orleans. At last month's NATPE in Las Vegas, more than 50 syndicators, including the major U.S. distributors, pulled off the show floor and greeted customers at the Venetian
hotel instead. ...
Paramount Domestic Television's freshman dating series Rendez-View, hosted by Whose Line Is It Anyway?
co-star Greg Proops
and dating expert Ellen Ladowsky, won't be back for a second season. Cleared on 248 stations nationally, it has averaged a 1.0 national household rating and a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. ...
Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly,
blocked from the 9 a.m. slot on ABC-owned WLS-TV
Chicago because that's where the station carries hometown gal Oprah Winfrey, is getting a daytime slot at WGN-TV
Chicago starting next season. Currently, Reege and Kelly show up at 1 a.m. on WLS-TV.
OVER THE AIR, INTO PRINT
Las Vegas not only offered viewers exclusive security-camera footage of a fatal shooting at Harrah's
hotel and casino this month but also provided an original soundtrack. Reporter/anchor John Gilbert
told local weekly Las Vegas City Life
that, lacking natural sound, he presented what he felt replicated the actual sounds—including the sounds of slot machines and gunfire—to present a story closer to "reality." News Director Gene Ross
said that, although Gilbert thought he was doing the right thing, it was a mistake. ...
NBC's new live comedy series, The Colin Quinn Show, starring the former Saturday Night Live
news reader, will debut Monday, March 11, at 9:30 p.m. and be broadcast live on the East Coast from SNL's famed Studio 8H. So far, NBC has scheduled only three installments (March 11, 18 and 25). ...
The Defense Department
will cooperate with producers for Profiles From the Front Line, a new ABC
prime time reality/documentary series that will go behind the scenes in the war on terrorism. It's from Warner Bros. TV. Producers are Jerry Bruckheimer
(Black Hawk Down) and Bertram van Munster
(The Amazing Race). It gets 13 weeks at least, beginning this summer.
YOUR TAXES AT WORK
will get an additional six months to sell WTXX(TV)
Waterbury, Conn., to comply with FCC
restrictions on TV duopolies and crossownership rules. It was under orders to sell the station by Feb. 6 but told the commission its efforts to sell the UPN
affiliate failed to garner acceptable offers "in the range" of a broker's appraisal. Tribune also owns WTIC-TV
there, as well as the Hartford Courant. FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
"reluctantly" agreed to the additional six-month waiver but said he has no intention of voting for repeated grace periods.
Still, it's unclear whether Tribune will ever be forced to divest the Hartford properties. The FCC currently is reconsidering its restriction on newspaper crossownership and the duopoly "voice test" is being challenged in court. ...
The FCC last week announced winners of the auction of four new analog TV stations. Roberts Broadcasting
won with gross bids of $2.5 million for ch. 47 Columbia, S.C., and $1.9 million for ch. 34 Jackson, Miss. Bidding credits of 25% for new industry entrants would reduce Roberts's actual payments by a total of $1.12 million.
Challenges to Roberts's eligibility for the licenses and the bidding credits remain pending.
The other winners: Venture Technologies,
which will pay $1.32 million for ch. 51 Albany, N.Y., and Equity Broadcasting, $376,000 for ch. 16 Cheyenne, Wyo. Neither Venture nor Equity was eligible for bidding credits. ...
The Justice Department
will handle antitrust review of Comcast's purchase of AT&T Broadband, Washington, a department spokesman said Friday. Public advocates would have preferred the Federal Trade Commission, which is a bipartisan panel and perceived to be more willing to impose public-interest conditions before approving deals.
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY GOOD PSAs LATELY?
Broadcast and cable networks donate an average of 15 seconds of airtime per hour to public-service announcements, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation. That number represents less than 0.5% of all airtime, KFF says, while commercial advertising and promotions fill 25% of all airtime. Nearly half of donated airtime (43%) falls between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m. Just 9% of donated media is aired in prime time, the hours between 8 and 11 p.m. EST.
Kaiser conducted the study by analyzing 1,680 hours of programming on 10 channels: broadcast networks ABC, CBS, Fox
and NBC; Spanish-language channel Univision; and cable networks CNN, ESPN, MTV, Nickelodeon
and TNT. Univision
donates the most time to PSAs, 48 seconds per hour, while cable networks average seven seconds an hour. The broadcast networks average 17 seconds of PSAs per hour, but that amount falls sharply during prime time, to five seconds an hour.
THINK SHE'S HAPPY?
Then talk to NBC sports chief Dick Ebersol. NBC dominated last week with Olympic action that peaked Thursday night at a 32.5 Nielsen rating and 53 share when skater Sarah Hughes (l) surprised the world to capture gold. The entire Thursday-night Olympics telecast averaged a 26.8/41. For the first 14 nights of Olympic coverage, the network averaged a 19.3/31; NBC says 179 million watched at least some portion of the games.