The week that was

Author:
Publish date:

THE BIG STUFF

Local broadcast-TV saw second-quarter revenue grow a "healthy" 4.4% over year-ago figures, says the Television Bureau of Advertising. Stations benefited from strong spending by General Motors
(up 292.1%), Procter & Gamble

(up 78.8%), SBC Communications
(up 57.7%) and Ford
(up 21.7%). Other segments of the TV business didn't do so well: Revenue for network TV grew just 2.3%, and syndicated TV plunged 12.6%. …

In a victory for journalists, a federal appeals court ruled last week against holding hundreds of deportation hearings in secret. "Democracies die behind closed doors," wrote Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith. The decision was the highest-level rebuke of the government's legal tactics post-9/11 and included many critical observations of the Bush Administration's alleged disdain for openness. …

KJRH(TV)
Tulsa, Okla., will not air paid advertising for most of Sept. 11. Instead, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., the station will air reports and PSAs from United Way's Day of Caring activities. …

Meanwhile, Nextel
will underwrite CBS's prime time repeat of its documentary 9/11,

which will air on the anniversary of the terror attack. Nextel also underwrote the show the first time it aired. There will be no commercial interruptions. …

Nielsen Media Research
recalculated its numbers (as it does yearly) and announced last week that now there are 106.7 million households, up 1.2 million from a year ago. That means, in the upcoming season, a 1 rating is the equivalent of 1,067 million homes. …

American Idol's performance last Wednesday—a 9.6 rating/16 share in Nielsens, has Fox
holding its breath to see how big the concluding episode will be this week. CBS, meanwhile, made a deal to resurrect the old Star Search
for future use, but without the even older Ed McMahon.

BASICALLY, CABLE

USA Network
is developing three pilots for 2003, and they're not wasting words on titles. Peacemakers
is a Western police drama; Evil
concerns an investigator trying to solve big cases; Crimes
centers on a woman with telepathic abilities. …

Oxygen
also is adding two comedies: O2Be,
from Comedy Central Daily Show

vets Lizz Winstead
and Brian Unger,
and Girls Behaving Badly, a Candid Camera-like sketch comedy that includes former MTV Real World

cast member Melissa Howard
. …

National Geographic Channel
will debut six new series this fall, including Dogs With Jobs, about "working" canines, and Phobias, which is, um, about phobias. Likewise, Taboos
is about no-nos in various cultures; Nature's Nightmares
look at truly scary animals; Built for the Kill
is about animals that are nasty predators. Finally, getting away from the animal theme, Surviving West Point, offers a behind-the-scenes look at one year at the military academy. …

WE: Women's Entertainment
bought two more When I Was a Girl
specials from Linda Ellerbee's Lucky Duck Productions. They will be shown Sept. 22 and Sept. 29. …

By the time you read this, Law & Order
reruns will have left A&E Networks
and become a programming staple on TNT. The two cable nets have shared the series since last summer, but it switches to TNT on Labor Day. TNT will pay $800,000 for the most recent episodes, $250,000 for episodes A&E has already shown.

A&E switches to another NBC series in syndication, Third Watch, for which it will be paying $700,000 per episode.

Networking

ABC World News Tonight
anchor Peter Jennings
is close to re-upping at the network for several more years, although he says "the i's aren't dotted and the t's aren't crossed" quite yet. According to reports, he will stay through 2006 at about $10 million per year. …

Zenith
will sponsor ABC's high-definition prime time broadcasts—about 13 hours a week this season—and get an on-screen credit before each one.

CBS, meanwhile, has sponsorship deals with Zenith and Samsung
.

CORRECTIONS

The story "Restoring lost credibility" in the Aug. 26 edition misspelled AP Broadcast Deputy Director and Managing Editor Brad Kalbfeld's name.

Also in the same edition, a story called "A Chronology of Chaos" tracked the minute-by-minute 9/11 reporting efforts of seven news organizations, including the Associated Press. But the introduction to the story didn't list AP.

Related