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Mar 29, 2001  •  Post A Comment

FCC to look at cross-ownership rule

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell told a House panel today that the agency will review the newspaper cross-ownership ban beginning in May. The rule bars entities from owning both a newspaper and a TV or a radio station in the same market, but the agency has issued at least one waiver pending a review of the rule.

After a four-hour hearing before the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, Mr. Powell said he hasn’t decided whether to relax or eliminate the rule. He added that the FCC will review the 30 percent broadcast-ownership cap as part of a regulatory review process to occur this summer.

Couric tops Peabody list: The “Today” show’s first George Foster Peabody Award has been won by co-anchor Katie Couric for the colon cancer series in which she underwent a colonoscopy on camera.

The list of winners announced today in New York also included the second consecutive Peabody for HBO’s “The Sopranos” (which also picked up awards for four other programs) and NBC’s “The West Wing” (also honored last year).

Comedy Central now is home to a Peabody winner: “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart: Indecision 2000.” Peabody honors also went to a “60 Minutes II” report on AIDS in Africa, a “48 Hours” report on the death of six firefighters and “Dateline NBC” for an investigation of medical insurance claims that were denied. Also winning were Belo-owned CBS affiliate KHOU-TV in Houston for its extensive reporting on Firestone tire safety problems, and Post-Newsweek’s CBS affiliate WJVT-TV in Jacksonville, Fla., for a documentary on domestic abuse.

XFL digs deep into playbook: The XFL has launched a print, TV and radio ad blitz designed to boost tune-in for the league’s postseason play beginning April 14 and the championship April 21 on NBC. The print buys range from one ad in the Wall Street Journal, to run April 20, and one in Sports Illustrated to 15 ads in the Los Angeles Times starting

April 3. The first of nine ads in USA Today ran last week.

AP TV news producer killed in Macedonia: Associated Press Television News producer Kerem Lawton, 30, died today when a shell hit his car near the Kosovo-Macedonia border. He was there to cover the deployment of NATO-led peacekeepers monitoring fighting between Macedonian troops and ethnic Albanian rebels.

KABC ahead by a nose at 11 p.m.: For the March book-a small sweeps book-KABC-TV, Los Angeles, won Monday through Sunday in the 11 p.m. race for the first time since July 1994, narrowly beating rival KNBC-TV. KABC earned a 6.6 Nielsen Media Research rating and 15 share, while KNBC got a 6.5/15. KCBS-TV earned a 3.5/8. But for Monday-through-Friday numbers, KNBC won with a 6.8/16, and KABC got a 6.3/15. A KABC spokesman said KABC had not won the 11 p.m. news race in either Monday through Sunday or Monday through Friday since 1994.

‘Boot’ kicks butt: Picking up where “Temptation Island” cleaned up in the 9 p.m. Wednesday time slot during the February sweeps, Fox realized equally strong rating dividends from the premiere of “Boot Camp” last night. “Boot Camp,” a military-style reality series from LMNO Productions, posted a top-ranked 7.9 rating and 19 share average in adults 18 to 49 and tied NBC’s venerable drama “The West Wing” in households (9.2/14), according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate returns.

“Boot Camp’s” 15.7 million total viewers were off only 2 percent from “Temptation’s” 16.0 million opening tally.