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Briefly Noted

Jun 25, 2001  •  Post A Comment

FCC will continue working on new EEO rules
The Federal Communications Commission is going to keep trying to come up with new equal employment opportunity rules for broadcasters and cable operators until the agency gets it right, FCC Chairman Michael Powell suggested last week in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling that failed to uphold the agency’s existing minority outreach regulations.
“I intend to recommend to my colleagues that we consider new rules that increase employment opportunity in a manner that complies with judicial limitations of the Constitution and that [is] not unduly burdensome on the industry,” Mr. Powell said in a speech to a group of communications attorneys in Washington.
Mr. Powell’s remarks came two days after the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington refused to reconsider a court panel’s decision earlier this year that threw out the agency’s EEO rules as unconstitutional. At deadline, neither the FCC nor minority groups in support of the rules had announced whether they would take their appeal to the Supreme Court.
House uneasy with plan to discount political ads
A controversial plan to lower the already-discounted prices politicians pay for television ads is stirring strong opposition in the House. The proposal, crafted by Sen. Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., would force broadcast, cable and satellite television to offer federal candidates the cheapest rates they have offered advertisers for a particular time slot in the last 365 days.
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., an outspoken critic of the Torricelli approach, predicted last week that House members will try to torpedo it if it is in campaign finance reform legislation to be considered by the chamber in July.
At a June 20 hearing before the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, headed by Rep. Upton, most members raised concerns. “Is it constitutional? I doubt it. Is it fair? Clearly not,” said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said the amendment puts commercial advertisers at a huge disadvantage and amounts to too much government intrusion into the political ad process.
Screamingly Different ditches Hollywood
Screamingly Different Entertainment, which develops interactive enhancements to television broadcasts, has parted ways with its sales executives who worked out of an informal home office in Studio City, Calif., Chris Cadieux, CEO and chairman of Screamingly Different told Electronic Media.
Although those outgoing executives, including former CEO Marlin Davis and ex-President Tisha Bradley, remain shareholders, they are no longer employed by Screamingly Different, Mr. Cadieux said, explaining that the management shift was prompted by a shareholder vote. The company’s operations are now centered at its production facility in Tulsa, Okla.
Mr. Cadieux insisted that Screamingly Different remains active in the ITV space, but he suggested that the market for interactive pop-up screens hasn’t yet materialized. Turner Networks paid the company only $20,000 for the enhancements it created for three films in the Turner Classic Movies library, Mr. Cadieux said.
Mr. Davis said he is founding a new company, Epiphany Digital, to provide services for “all media in the digital domain.”
NATPE promotes two senior executives
The National Association of Television Program Executives restructured its sales and marketing departments last week. Nick Orfanopolos was promoted to senior vice president of conference operations and sales, and Beth Braen was upped to senior vice president of marketing. The organization also hired Beth Collins as manager, conference and exhibitor services. She will handle logistics for the 2002 NATPE convention in Las Vegas.
Marks to headhunt in cyberspace
Starting Monday, you can find the dean of show-business headhunters in cyberspace. Brad Marks, who has been in the entertainment headhunting business for two decades, is taking his expertise-and his one-of-a-kind database-online, launching Jobsinthebiz.com.
Mr. Marks, chairman and CEO of Brad Marks International, readily acknowledged the recent difficulties of stand-alone dot-coms and the general malaise in the media economy. Nonetheless, at the very highest corporate levels, the search business remains brisk, he said, adding about his Web initiative: “Worst-case scenario, it becomes a wonderful marketing tool for our core executive-search business; best-case scenario, it takes over as the dominant business of the future.”