Reynolds upped, Severino on way out at CBS
Fredric Reynolds is rejoining the CBS side of the Viacom family as president of the CBS Television Stations division. He’ll report to CBS Television President and CEO Les Moonves.
Mr. Reynolds, who will relocate to Los Angeles, takes control of the 35-station division from John Severino, who will continue as a consultant and function as vice president and general manager of KCBS-TV until someone is found to run the L.A. station.
Mr. Reynolds, who had been chief financial officer of Westinghouse Electric, was named CFO of CBS in 1996. He was promoted to executive vice president and CFO in 1997 and was given the same title at Viacom in May 2000 after the merger of the two companies.
Fourth and long for XFL: NBC Sports did not expand on President Dick Ebersol’s comments over the weekend that the ratings-starved XFL-which it co-owns with World Wrestling Federation Entertainment-has to “show a marked swing in the ratings in the postseason for it to have a real shot beyond this year.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Mr. Ebersol said, “A decision on whether to go or not go [into a second season will] be made no later than the end of April.”
Overnight ratings from NBC’s XFL game Saturday night were flat from the previous week at a 2.1 rating/4 share. Overnights for UPN’s Sunday night game dropped slightly from the previous Sunday to 1.3/2.
Comcast, Gemstar OK TV Guide Interactive deal: Comcast Cable and Gemstar-TV Guide International have signed a 20-year agreement to deploy TV Guide Interactive in the majority of Comcast’s cable homes. Comcast, the country’s third-largest cable operator, ended last year with 1.35 million digital customers.
“This is a nonexclusive deal-we can continue to use other guides like TV Gateway on a portion of our footprint,” a Comcast spokesperson said. “We had always hoped to reach an agreement with TV Guide-it looked like they would create the de facto standard. But the fact is, TV Gateway helped us get this deal.”
Comcast Cable and three other multiple system operators-Adelphia Communications, Charter Communications and Cox Communications-have been backing alternative interactive program guide system TV Gateway, which licensed WorldGate-patented technologies. WorldGate is also the managing agent that runs the joint venture’s day-to-day operations, and WorldGate CEO and Chairman Hal Krisbergh is TV Gateway’s chairman of the board.
Microsoft to launch Windows XP: Desktop software powerhouse Microsoft made the launch of its upcoming Windows XP beta 2 personal computer operating system official, announcing that the product will be unveiled this year.
Unlike older versions of the company’s dominant Windows operating system, XP beta 2 will be specifically designed to facilitate Internet use. Earlier versions, which still were bundled with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, centered on Microsoft’s popular Word and Excel software.
One feature of XP beta 2 will be a service produced by Xdrive technologies that will allow Internet users to download Web files onto computers in the home and wireless devices.
Satellite firm loses appeal: The U.S. Supreme Court today rejected without comment Prime Time 24 Joint Venture’s appeal of a lower court ruling barring the New York-based satellite TV company from sending National Football League games to its Canadian customers. In 1999, a federal appeals court held that the unauthorized retransmissions infringed on the NFL’s copyright.