Briefly Noted

Jul 9, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Execs on board for `Talk or Walk’ strip
Tribune Entertainment Company and Scott Sternberg Productions have named the senior production executives for their new weekday strip “Talk or Walk,” to be executive-produced by Scott Sternberg. Joining Sternberg will be Tracy Mazuer as co-executive producer, Barry Glazer as director, and Kathy Giaconia and Jacquie Jordan as supervising producers.
Tracy Mazuer was senior supervising producer of Telepictures’ syndicated dating program “Change of Heart.” Mr. Glazer recently directed Buena Vista Television’s daily strip “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee.”
WNYW general manager to exit
Michael Wach, general manager at Fox-owned WNYW-TV, New York, will be departing in three months. “I have decided that with all the consolidations and mergers about to occur in our business, the timing is right for me to move forward with some of the opportunities that are presenting themselves,” Mr. Wach said in a statement. “While the impending duopoly here is extremely exciting, what I am interested in lies outside of it.” Coincidentally, the May sweeps was the first time in recent memory when Chris-Craft Industries’ UPN affiliate WWOR-TV beat WNYW in the 10 p.m. news race. WWOR will soon be WNYW’s sister station, and speculation is it may be folded into the Fox-owned station. In other Fox station news, a Fox spokesman confirmed there has been a handshake deal on the sale of four Fox-owned stations to a consortium led by businessman Luther Gatling, and it is in the due diligence stage. The four stations are WBRC-TV, Birmingham, Ala., WDAF-TV, Kansas City, Mo., WHBQ-TV, Memphis, Tenn., and WGHP-TV, Greensboro, N.C.
San Francisco’s BayTV going belly-up
BayTV, the 24-hour San Francisco news cable channel co-owned by AT&T and Young Broadcasting, will shut down July 31, putting 44 staffers out of work. AT&T Broadband will replace BayTV with the Food Network. BayTV, which debuted in 1994, is seen by 1.4 million homes in the Bay Area.
Hearing on broadcast ownership
The Senate Commerce Committee, headed by Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., tentatively plans to hold a hearing on broadcast ownership issues during the third week of July, an aide to Sen. Hollings said. The senator supports retaining the 35 percent broadcast ownership cap and the newspaper-television cross-ownership provisions. The committee is preparing for its hearing as the Federal Communications Commission readies a review of its broadcast ownership rules with an eye toward relaxing those that can no longer be justified.
`Galactica’ to take flight again
Fox has ordered a two-hour backdoor pilot for launch of a new version of the 1978-80 ABC sci-fi adventure series “Battlestar Galactica” from Studios USA Television. The pilot is up for series consideration for the 2002-03 season and will have a shared cable window on USA Networks’ Sci-Fi Channel. In a deal announced by Sarah Timberman, the new president of Studios USA Programming, feature filmmaker Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “Apt Pupil”) will executive-produce and direct the pilot. “X-Men” executive producer Tom DeSanto and “Night Visions” executive producers Dan Angel and Billy Brown will also serve as executive producers.
CBS really loves Romano
Ray Romano, star of the 4-year-old “Everybody Loves Raymond” sitcom, is reportedly closing an $800,000-per-episode deal valued at $40 million over the next two seasons. Mr. Romano’s lucrative arrangement with HBO Independent Productions and Worldwide Pants, which co-produce “Raymond,” comes on the heels of “Frasier” (NBC) star Kelsey Grammer re-signing for a record $1.6 million an episode from Paramount Network Television and Drew Carey re-upping for about $750,000 per episode with Warner Bros. Television for “The Drew Carey Show” (ABC). Spokespeople for CBS and HBO Independent Productions were unreachable for comment. After September, when “Raymond” launches in off-network syndication, Mr. Romano and other creatives involved in the show will additionally be participating in the $300 million in back-end revenue for the first five-year cycle of the show.
Jersey moving to Columbia TriStar
Danny DeVito’s Jersey Television has signed an exclusive three-year network TV production pact with Sony-owned Columbia TriStar Television. The new deal calls for Jersey to develop series and motion pictures for all areas of television. Mr. DeVito’s production banner is leaving the 20th Century Fox Television lot, where Jersey and 20th Century Fox are co-production partners on the fall 2001 NBC drama “UC: Undercover” and the midse ason Fox drama “Emma Brody.” Jersey, along with 20th and CBS Productions, also produced last season’s “Kate Brasher” for CBS. A Hollywood studio source said Columbia TriStar ponied up a $3 million signing bonus to Jersey Television but did not have an annual payout estimate. Spokespeople for Columbia TriStar and Jersey Television were unreachable to outline terms of the deal.