Time for Clash of the Investment Bank Titans: Media Edition! For the next four days in New York City, UBS and Credit Suisse First Boston will be running competing conferences for media investors—creating the entertaining spectacle of hundreds of money managers ping-ponging between the Plaza Hotel (CSFB’s turf) and the Grand Hyatt New York (UBS), hoping to assess the state of play for 70-odd media outfits. The media folks will be shuttling, too, when cable operators parade down CSFB’s runway on Tuesday, then regroup for UBS two days later. Don’t-miss events: Dick Parsons’ Time Warner update at today’s UBS lunch and Disney President and COO Bob Iger’s doubleheader on Wednesday (CSFB lunch, UBS end-of-day). Watch as investors climb all over each other trying to get a peek inside the roiling House of Mouse.
Tuesday, Dec. 7
The Cable Television Public Affairs Association, along with the Graduate School of Political Management at George Washington University, is hosting a three-day program in Washington, D.C., to teach cable TV public affairs professionals how to be, well, more professional (tuition: $3000, including room and board). Day Two is today, when “learning objectives” include “practical exercise in standing in front of the camera—sound bites and message delivery.” On NBC tonight, the network savors a rare ratings bright spot with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit—and counts down the days until the show becomes a special victim of Fox’s American Idol revival next month.
Wednesday, Dec. 8
The Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Newsmaker Luncheon today: “Reality Television.” For $120 (members $85), you’ll get to hear producers (Allison Grodner, Michael Davies) and ad execs (Jon Mandel, David Goldberg) gassing about reality TV, but we’d happily scoot over to the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles just to see special guest Chuck Barris. We remain in awe of his Gong Show-worthy talent for balancing a reputation both as what the HRTS calls a “Reality Pioneer” and as a barely-tethered-to-reality guy who coyly suggests he was once a CIA hit man. In New York, NBC’s affable chairman Bob Wright throws his annual holiday cocktail party for journos who cover the TV industry. NBC brass and even a few news luminaries circulate in the executive dining room perched high above Rockefeller Center. The booze flows freely and gossip flies, but, sadly, it’s all supposedly off the record.
Thursday, Dec. 9
Shades of the whole UBS/Credit Suisse scheduling smackdown! CBS Chairman Les Moonves says, “Right back at ya, Bob,” and throws his own fete for the Fourth Estate. CBS’ invitation list is less picky, er, more democratic, so no wonder the finger food tends more toward pigs-in-blankets than sushi, washed down with Absolut, not Belvedere.
Friday, Dec. 10
Tonight, Brian Williams finishes his first full week in the NBC Nightly News anchor chair and ponders Tom Brokaw’s legacy. No, not his contributions to journalism; his lead in the ratings, which NBC execs will be nervously monitoring for signs of erosion.
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