The week that was

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PROMAX TO HONOR KELLNER AT L.A. CONFAB

Turner Broadcasting
Chairman Jamie Kellner
and Fox Television Entertainment
Chairman Sandy Grushow
are just some of the luminaries who will be on hand at the annual Promax Conference
in Los Angeles this week (June 26-29) to discuss the state of the TV business, while others there get down to the business of promoting what's on it.

Kellner will be the keynoter and the recipient of Promax's third annual BROADCASTING CABLE Innovator Award. Promax chief Glynn Brailsford
says he believes attendance at this year's show will be down, though only slightly, from last year's 4,500.

HALLMARK FOR SALE?

Hallmark Cards
could dispose of all or part of its two-thirds stake in Crown Media Holdings, which operates the Hallmark Channel, said a newspaper report Friday. The Wall Street Journal

said News Corp, Discovery
and MGM
are among potential suitors. Hallmark denies it's looking to sell but says it has been approached to develop a partnership.

TAKE THE TEST AT HOME

In apparently the first study to correlate TV sex and violence with commercial recall, 324 participants were shown a violent show, a sexual show and a "neutral" show, each containing nine ads. In a next-day telephone follow up, the study found respondents recalled commercials in neutral shows more than in sexy or violent ones. The "neutral" shows were all Pax TV
programs, including Doc,
It's a Miracle
and Miracle Pets. "Violence and sex impaired memory for males and females of all ages," the study concluded. The participants were paid $25 apiece, plus cookies. Not surprisingly, Pax paid for the study.

HOT TOPICS

Adelphia Communications
last week reported an additional $40.5 million in missed interest and dividend payments, boosting the total to $96 million. Also, the NHL
took over the Buffalo Sabres
hockey team operated by the Adelphia Rigas
family; the league will probably force its sale. ...

How high a hurdle the FCC
must clear to retain media-ownership rules will be decided at a later date, federal judges said Friday. The court upheld its decision to vacate the ban on crossownership of cable and broadcast properties. The FCC appealed a ruling by the federal appeals court in Washington that appeared to set a nearly impossible standard for complying with a congressional order to review all ownership rules every two years and repeal or modify those no longer necessary. The court said it would leave open whether rules must be "indispensable" to protect the public interest or simply "useful." ...

The Federal Election Commission
last week agreed to leave intact the portion of the new campaign-finance–reform law that bans "issue" ads in the 60 days leading up to elections. The NAB
is part of a coalition challenging the constitutionality of the law. NAB's challenge focuses on issue ads. ...

Broadcasters reacted strongly last week to a new bill that would charge radio and TV broadcasters spectrum-use fees and turn the money over to politicians for campaign ads. The bill, unveiled but not yet introduced by its co-sponsors—Sens. John McCain
(R-Ariz.), Russell Feingold
(D-Wis.) and Robert Torricelli
(D-N.J.) and Rep. Marty Meehan
(D-Mass.)—requires radio and TV broadcasters to pay about 1% of their gross revenues, or about $640 million, into a fund, which would then be dispersed to the political parties to be doled out in the form of vouchers. ...

CNN's chief news executive, Eason Jordan, issued a memo last week urging the network to resist airing statements from suicide bombers or their families unless there is a very compelling reason. He visited Israel last week to meet with terror victims and others to show how seriously he meant the pledge. ...

When Barbara Fisher
joined Lifetime
as EVP of Entertainment last month, it became clear that Lifetime chief Carole Black
was staying put. Now the network says Black has signed a new contract said to be a three-year pact like her last. Financial terms were not disclosed. ...

Mike Kincaid, who has been senior vice president and general sales manager for KCAL(TV)
Los Angeles, will add the same title and duties for new co-owned KCBS-TV.

DANDY DEBUTS

Dominick Dunne's Court TV
show debuted June 19 to a strong 1.5 rating, the best-ever showing for a Court TV original. Six-part Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege and Justice
investigates crimes of the rich and famous. ...

USA's new psychic drama, Dead Zone, may be the lifesaver the network needs. The series premiere scored a 4.7 Nielsen rating June 16, making it the highest-rated basic-cable show for the week of June 10-16. It helped lift USA to a 2.0 prime time weekly average, second only to Lifetime.

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