Briefly Noted

Oct 22, 2001  •  Post A Comment

UPN signs affiliation deals
UPN signed several affiliation agreements last week. LIN Television’s full-power WNLO-TV, Buffalo, N.Y., will become a primary UPN affiliate starting Jan. 2, 2003, taking the affiliation over from current affiliate WNGS-TV. UPN also added Pegasus station WXMS-TV, Jackson, Miss., to the fold and secured a long-term affiliation deal with another Pegasus station, WPME-TV, Portland, Maine. WPME is a full-power station and primary UPN affiliate. In Jackson, low-power station WXMS, which was previously a WB affiliate, takes the UPN mantle from WBMS-TV. WXMS has full cable carriage in the market, unlike WBMS. WXMS began broadcasting UPN programming Oct. 7.
Scripps Networks to gain 12M subscribers
Scripps Networks’ four lifestyle-oriented cable networks can expect to gain a total of almost 12 million more homes by the end of 2003 under a multinetwork distribution agreement reached with Time Warner Cable. Those networks include Home & Garden Television, Food Network and Do It Yourself Network. The agreement also calls for carriage for Fine Living, which is scheduled to launch in early 2002. Specifically, HGTV and Food together will gain almost 2 million Time Warner cable households, DIY will gain approximately 5 million new households and Fine Living will gain a commitment for about 5 million Time Warner households at launch. Currently, Food reaches about 67 million households and HGTV reaches about 74 million. With this latest commitment, DIY, which currently reaches some 10 million homes, is expected to be at the 20 million mark by the end of 2003, according to Scripps.
New GMs at Detroit stations
Linda Danna was named vice president and general manager last week of WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV, the two stations that make up Viacom’s television duopoly in Detroit. Ms. Danna joins Viacom’s Detroit stations from WUPA-TV, the company’s owned UPN station in Atlanta, where she was senior VP and general manager.
Also in Detroit, Jeff Murri was promoted to VP and general manager of WJBK-TV, Fox’s owned-and-operated station. Mr. Murri also will oversee local advertising sales and marketing for Fox Sports Net Detroit. As the station’s top executive, he succeeds Jim Clayton, who is now the VP and general manager of the New York duopoly of Fox flagship WNYW-TV and UPN affiliate WWOR-TV. Mr. Murri joined WJBK in 1984 as local account executive.
Ziv, `father of syndication,’ dies at 96
Frederic W. Ziv, founder of Ziv-TV and known as “the father of syndication,” died Oct. 13 of natural causes at his Cincinnati home. He was 96. Mr. Ziv started out in radio syndication in the 1930s and founded his television company in 1948. It went on to become a major programming supplier to stations, creating, producing and distributing the 1950s hit series “Highway Patrol,” “Sea Hunt” and “Bat Masterson,” plus “Boston Blackie” and “The Cisco Kid.” After selling his company to United Artists in 1960, Mr. Ziv became a professor at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. He is survived by a son, a daughter, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
ALTV cancels convention
The Association of Local Television Stations has canceled its annual convention scheduled for January in Las Vegas but is exploring alternative dates and locations that may better suit its members. The group represents local stations affiliated with Fox, UPN, The WB and PaxNet, as well as many independent TV stations. ALTV President Jim Hedlund said turnout at the convention, held in conjunction with the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting, would have been very low because members were indicating they wouldn’t be attending either event. He said concerns were about airline travel, the poor economy and the exodus of major programmers from the NATPE floor.
Short takes
The House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet will hold an Oct. 31 hearing on how the Corporation for Public Broadcasting doles out federal funds for public television programming. … Fox News has created a homeland security beat and assigned to it Bret Baier as national security correspondent and Catherine Herridge as homeland defense correspondent. … Sue Binford is leaving her position as executive vice president of public relations of CNN News Group at the end of the month. Her position in Washington will not be filled. … A hearing on digital television before the House subcommittee on telecommunications and the Internet, scheduled for last Thursday, was canceled after an anthrax scare on Capitol Hill suspended all House activities. It will be rescheduled, but no date has been chosen. … The Hallmark Channel has plans to add 1.4 million new subscribers in Charter Communications’ Eastern division. The additional subscribers will push Hallmark past the 40 million-household mark. Charter’s Eastern division includes Alabama, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts and Tennessee.