TelevisionWeek's Blink page is an industry must-read, taking a sardonic look at happenings across the television business. This wry coverage is extended online and updated throughout the week.



He Doesn't Want the 9-to-5 Grind

August 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Rock star Jon Bon Jovi, who has appeared as an actor in a number of movies, was featured in nine episodes of the series "Ally McBeal" in 2002. Last week he also showed up at the CTAM conference in Philly, not far from his home in New Jersey, to lecture cable execs on how to reinvent themselves. Afterward, he said his own reinvention won't include more emoting for the small screen. The platinum-selling artist declared that acting on TV is "too similar to a day job." He will continue working in movies, while his real passions are personal philanthropy and his arena football team, the Philadelphia Soul. In a sign that the rock star hasn't abandoned TV entirely-and that he knows his audience-Mr. Bon Jovi said he's keen to take advantage of cable's push into high-definition television by having some of his concert performances shot in HD to be televised on cable. -JAY SHERMAN

Waiting for the Big Dog

It's one thing to talk about enhancing measurement data to determine how much an ad engages consumers, and quite another to write a check for it. Procter & Gamble says it's still high on Project Apollo, which is designed to do just that, but so far hasn't actually signed up as a client.

The joint venture plans to use Arbitron's Portable People Meters and AC Nielsen's Homescan to figure out whether consumers buy products after seeing ads. TV executives grumble that while P&G pushed to get other marketers and media organizations involved, it hasn't yet put its money where its mouth is, leading to the possibility the sun will set on the expensive project. Arbitron wouldn't comment on whether it has signed any subscribers, but says it's on track for a pilot panel by the end of the year.

"We're confident we'll have subscribers by the time we have that up and running," a spokesman said. As for P&G, a spokesperson said the company has every intention of signing up for the pilot, but getting the paperwork done is taking time. "This will be great for the industry in general, the P&G spokesperson said. "We think the benefits outweigh the costs." -JON LAFAYETTE

Mark of Distinction

In 1906 Mark Twain addressed an Associated Press convention in New York, declaring: "There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe-only two. The sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here." That quote has inspired the AP Television-Radio Association of California & Nevada to rename its annual honors the Mark Twain Awards as part of a complete revamp of the image, operation and judging of the annual contest, said APTRA President Hal Eisner, who is also a producer for KCOP-TV in L.A. "Trophies shouldn't just be a resume item," Mr. Eisner said. "They should be something you cherish, are proud of and would really like to have." The old trophy, an abstract glass statuette, is being replaced by an 11%BD;-inch pewter-finished bust of Mr. Twain on a black marble base. Voting will now be done by journalists across the country. APTRA also announced that it will present a Twain Award for special achievement to Peter Shaplen, a veteran TV news producer who managed the media pool feeds at both the Scott Peterson trial in Redwood City, Calif., and the Michael Jackson trial in Santa Maria, Calif.

"Instead of there being 10 or, ultimately, 860 credentialed journalists with discordant voices," Mr. Shaplen said, "there was a pool voice that represented everyone and never precluded anyone." The awards will be presented next March. -NATALIE FINN