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Martin's Rules of Order

March 28, 2005 12:00 AM

In one of his first actions as the Federal Communications Commission's new chairman, Kevin Martin directed agency personnel to refrain from doing any speaking for the FCC pending further notice. At least one high-level official pulled the plug on a long-planned speech. Agency sources said the directive was intended to give Mr. Martin and his new team an opportunity to establish their priorities. "The chairman and his staff are taking a few days to get their arms around all the proceedings, items and issues pending at the FCC, as has been done in prior transitions," an FCC spokesman said. In a move that was greeted more warmly, Mr. Martin's office also convened a meeting of the top advisers to all of the FCC commissioners to seek ways to improve agency communications. "They're looking for processes to make the agency work more collegially," an FCC source said. Mr. Martin is said to have promoted Dan Gonzales, his senior legal adviser, to chief of staff. Catherine Bohigian will continue to serve as Mr. Martin's adviser on media issues, sources said. The speaking prohibition will not stop Mr. Martin from appearing at the NCTA convention in San Francisco. ---DOUG HALONEN



TV Shootout

Now that veteran producer and former Sony Pictures chief Peter Guber and Variety's Peter Bart have established a format with "Sunday Morning Shootout" on AMC, they're finalizing a deal with E! Entertainment Television to do a spinoff. The new talkfest will focus on the television industry, just as the original covers the movie biz. Peter and Peter are not expected to host, but will executive produce along with "Shootout" showrunner Scott Sternberg. Sources said Variety writer Brian Lowry may fill one of the hosting slots. E! declined comment. --JAMES HIBBERD



Road Trip

Turner South, the Time Warner regional network seen in six Southern states, is going on the road again in its home territory between April and late October. Folks who show up for "My South on Tour" as it visits five Southern cities can win a weekend trip to enjoy more of the South. The road show is designed to promote the network and provide local tie-ins for cable operators. At each stop, Turner South personalities will be on hand, including former Miss Georgia Erin Haney, host of "3 Day Weekend." Fans will take a screen test to win the trip and may appear on the show. For those who can't make it to the tour, the network has a promotion in which viewers can audition for "3 Day Weekend" by creating a three-minute video with the person they would like to take on their three-day weekend. Contestants are encouraged to pass the camera back and forth as they explain why they simply must have the vacation trip. For details and tour stops, go to www.turnersouth.com. --JON LAFAYETTE