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The week that was - Broadcasting & Cable

The week that was

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Veteran TV producer Bruce Paltrow, 58, died Oct. 3 in Rome, where he was reportedly helping his daughter, Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow, celebrate her 30th birthday. He was suffering from throat cancer, but, according to a wire report, he died after a heart attack and from complications connected to pneumonia. In 1978, for CBS, Paltrow debuted The White Shadow. Later, he was executive producer of NBC's
St. Elsewhere, which, over its six-year run, won 13 Emmys
and was nominated for 63. It won a Peabody Award
in 1984. Paltrow's widow is Blythe Danner, now starring in the CBS medical drama Presidio Med. ...

Charles James, assistant attorney general for Department of Justice's antitrust division, is leaving to become VP and general counsel of Chevron Texaco, starting Dec. 9. His division is in the midst of two large merger reviews—DirecTV/EchoStar
and AT&T/ Comcast
—but DOJ says the timetable for a decision on those mergers will not be slowed by his departure. ...

Adelphia Communications Corp. founder John Rigas
and two of his sons pleaded not guilty to charges of defrauding the cable operator of more than $2.5 billion. The Rigases and two other former Adelphia executives entered the pleas during a hearing before U.S. District Judge Leonard Sand
in Manhattan. The five executives face a 24-count indictment. ...

Dana McClintock
has been named senior VP of communications at the CBS Television Network. McClintock has been with CBS for nine years, starting in media relations with the launch of Late Show With David Letterman.

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ABC
has picked up the last nine episodes of Tuesday-night comedies 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

and Life With Bonnie,
filling out a full 22-episode order for both shows, produced by co-owned Touchstone Television. ...

The WB
is having its best year ever in its targeted 18-34 demographic, topping all the networks for the first time with its season premieres of Gilmore Girls
and Smallville
on Sept. 24 and then again with those shows the following Tuesday. It also won the demo with last Wednesday's two-hour season premiere of Dawson's Creek. …

Dr. Phil
remains the big ratings winner among rookie syndicated shows, according to Nielsen's national ratings for the week ended Sept. 22. Dr. Phil's first full week recorded a 4.4 national rating, second only to The Oprah Winfrey Show,
which led with a 6.0. No. 2 among rookie talk shows was Warner Bros.'The Caroline Rhea Show, up 10% to a personal-best 1.1 rating. That's better than it seems because the show is stuck in many late-night time slots.

Washington thinks things over

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin
will wait until the next Congress before introducing formal legislation aimed at speeding the DTV
transition. Opposition voiced at a hearing two weeks ago demonstrated that lawmakers face the same difficulty settling inter-industry disputes as FCC
officials do. ...

The FCC
is expected to approve "in-band, on-channel," or IBOC, as the standard technology for digital radio when the commissioners meet this Thursday. ...

Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt
told a Senate Commerce Committee
last week that the government needs to step in to subsidize the broadband rollout. Hundt, now a partner in consulting firm McKinsey & Co., said that, in the present economic climate, the private sector won't invest enough to build out the technology.

Industry spin

The NAB
plans to hire a media-relations agency to pitch the nation on the bright side of today's radio- ownership landscape. The reported $250,000 campaign will be aimed at countering industry critics who say consolidation since 1996 has put radio in the hands of a few corporate giants. ...

The National Cable Telecommunications Association
says the industry has topped 10 million high-speed Internet customers as of the end of the third quarter, an increase of 2.8 million customers in the first nine months of the year. There remains a lot of room for growth, however. NCTA says more than 50 million of the 75 million homes with cable-modem service available own a computer.

Corrections

Warner Bros. retained repurposing rights to Fastlane,
a new Fox series that will be repurposed on MTV. A Sept. 30 story incorrectly said Fox sold the rights.

Also a story on repurposing in the same issue misidentified Fox's San Francisco affiliate. It's KTVU(TV).

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