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July 2007 Archives

The Town that Time Forgot

July 23, 2007 12:43 PM

Coudersport, Penn., once the home of the now bankrupt and subsequently sold Adelphia Communications is getting a much needed infusion for the town’s labor force. Empereon Marketing, a Phoenix-based telecommunications firm, is rebuilding the existing call center for Adelphia, there, and will be hiring some 300 former Adelphia employees whose unemployment benefits dry up in early August.

Meanwhile two Adelphia executives, John and Tim Rigas, who treated the publicly traded company as their own piggybank, await sentencing for stealing millions of dollars from the MSO they created and eventually ruined.

Empereon Marketing, a stranger to me, is a well-known company in media circles. Some of its clients are Charter Communications, Cox Cable, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and several newspaper chains.

Governor Edward G. Rendell announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Economic Development will help support the new center, bringing back jobs to the now depressed bucolic town in the middle of nowhere.

Girard: 'Second Women's Movement'

July 19, 2007 1:41 PM

This week HGTV honcho Judy Girard, 61, announced she would be retiring at year's end, following a 10 year stint at parent company Scripp's, where she had also earlier served as head of the Food Network.

Girard, who had served as a mentor of women at the company is also a memberof AARP Foundation Women's Leadership Circle where female dynamos talk about what they want to do with the second half of their lives. "Female boomers have the power to change the world," she says.

For Girard that means staying on as a consultant to Scripp's, but to also go out and make a difference, predicting that female boomers have the power to start a "second women's movement," that will be bigger than the first one in the seventies. Right on Judy! Your many friends are rooting for you.

New GSN Prez Already in the Wings

July 12, 2007 12:57 PM

As early as next week a new GSN president could be announced, according to Rich Cronin who is leaving that post which he held for six years to start his own next chapter at month’s end. According to Cronin, parent companies Liberty Media Holdings and Sony Pictures Entertainment have picked a new top honcho who will start Aug. 1.

Cronin, who was not part of the hiring decision, said the new prez is not from GSN but is an outsider who he has already been working with during the transition. Cronin describes his own parting as amicable and plans to stay in the media business, after taking off the month of August to spend time with his four kids.

“I love media and I love to work. And I’m bad at golf and don’t fish,” said the 52 year old departing gagster. Already, he said, since his July 10 announcement, he’s had calls from five headhunters and prelim chats about three possible new gigs.

Cronin, who presently lives on the left coast said he would relocate for the right fit. So, folks who’s gonna be the new GSN prez? Cronin isn’t spilling. And, BTW, if you’re planning a party for him, he loves pinatas.

Court TV Gets New Name: truTV

July 11, 2007 1:22 PM

Can’t say I’m nuts about Court TV’s new moniker, but apparently the truTV (and that is not a typo) handle did resonate with thousands of people in research studies, said Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin. But I do admire the arduous year-long re-branding effort to further morph the channel from trial coverage to series and other non-courtroom-related programs, without throwing the baby out with the bath water, the actual trials.

Come Jan. 1, 2008, the new name takes hold, along with edgy sounding, real life programs, not necessarily about crime, in development. Among the changes, trial coverage will end at 3 p.m, leading into the new talk show “Star Jones” occupying that time slot. Clearly, the old name doesn’t fit the new network which is becoming something else.

Koonin is apparently a little ticked off with me for not cottoning to the new name at all. But do you?

Why I Don’t 'Triple Play'

July 5, 2007 12:17 PM

Today was one of the days when a fierce wind storm wiped out cable service for a good portion of Cape Cod for five hours. And it was another one of the days when I was once again so grateful that I was not a “triple play” subscriber for Comcast’s attractively priced bundle of video, voice and cable modem service.

A friend in the next town over who is a “triple play” sub called me from his cell this morning, moaning that he couldn’t go online, his phone was a goner and so was his cable. My philosophy is when you live on a spit of sand jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean, you just can’t put all of your eggs into one nest, and that’s why I have DSL, a landline phone and cable only for TV.

And I get all of that for just a few bucks more than if I were to buy the cable bundle, and peace of mind as the wind is whipping up around me right now. Actually, the phone companies have done a bang-up job of fighting fire with fire by offering DSL and unlimited long distance phone service on the cheap.

Cable’s triple play at first blush looks like a bargain, but with global warming and freak weather patterns erupting all over the country of late, I say thanks, but no “triple play” for me. That’s something for former vice president Al Gore to noodle over if he ever makes a sequel to his Oscar-winning docu, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Thumbs Down for 'Without Prejudice?'

July 3, 2007 10:04 AM

Just viewed a rough cut of a new GSN series, “Without Prejudice?,” a new hour series that debuted in the United Kingdom and won an International Emmy. The series is a hybrid: game show, reality show and sociology experiment, which will debut on cable net GSN July 17

Sounds intriguing, until you actually watch it. While many British imports like “Survivor” make it big on this side of the pond, I don’t see that being the fate for the American version of “Without Prejudice?.” Contestants are vying to win $25,000 based on their comments to panelists who judge whether they are exhibiting prejudice. The viewing experience is flat, even though the show’s intent is to get viewers thinking about prejudice in a productive way.

For example a Filipino man who is one of the judges declares at the onset that he doesn’t like black people. Magically, by the show’s end, he winds up voting for a young black male contestant just like that.

Sorry, but the topic of prejudice, to me, is too important to be trivialized in a game show format. Hey, what do I know? I predicted that “Survivor” would be a flop.