Hollywood Notes

Oct 15, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Columbia TriStar pulls NATPE floor plans
Adding to the half-dozen or more syndicators to pull out of the upcoming NATPE convention, Columbia TriStar is the latest of the major studios to scrap its plans to take booth space on the exhibition floor for the Jan. 21-24 event in Las Vegas. The move signals potentially dark days for the future of the annual programming convention, especially considering that Steve Mosko, president of Columbia TriStar Television Distribution, served as chairman of the 2001 NATPE convention.
CTTD representatives for Mr. Mosko, who has been a stoutly supportive member of the National Association of Television Program Executives, only alluded to his prepared comments on the “unique circumstances” of the currently sagging U.S. economy playing a major role in the studio’s departure from the convention floor. “We believe that NATPE is important to the unity and growth of our industry,” said Mr. Mosko, who passed the chairmanship of the 2002 NATPE convention to Jon Mandel, the head of national ad buying for New York agency giant Mediacom. “The unique circumstances of this year, however, now force us to make a hard decision based on hard reality. We remain supportive of NATPE and its purpose and will work with the organization as it defines itself for the future.”
Miller, Randall sign deal with Studios USA
Studios USA has signed a multiyear drama-development deal with the writing and producing team of Nancy Miller and Gary Randall. Ms. Miller and Mr. Randall are currently executive producers of Lifetime’s top-rated drama “Any Day Now” through their production company, Paid Our Dues Productions. Ms. Miller co-created the series. Her credits include creating and executive producing the ABC drama series “Leaving L.A.” Mr. Randall once served as president of Spelling Television and shepherded the development of the Fox drama “Melrose Place.”
`Martha Stewart Living’ gets renewals
“Martha Stewart Living,” the daily syndicated series featuring home-crafts guru Martha Stewart, has been renewed in 60 percent of the country, including at least 13 of the CBS/Viacom-owned TV stations, for the 2002-03 season. The Emmy Award-winning series is currently in its fifth season in daily syndication and airs on stations representing more than 86 percent of the country. Renewals include CBS owned-and-operated stations WCBS-TV (New York), KCBS-TV (Los Angeles), WBBM-TV (Chicago), KYW-TV (Philadelphia), KPIX-TV (San Francisco), WBZ-TV (Boston), KTVT-TV (Dallas), WFOR-TV (Miami), KDKA-TV (Pittsburgh), WJZ-TV (Baltimore), WCCO-TV (Minneapolis), KCNC-TV (Denver) and KEYE-TV (Austin, Texas).
Warner Bros., Telepictures shuffle execs
In what is being billed as a reorganization of the executives ranks, Rick Meril and Bill Marcus have been named senior vice president of sales for Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Telepictures Distribution, respectively. Mr. Marcus and Mr. Meril, who previously served as senior vice president and general sales manager of their respective Warner Bros. syndie sales divisions, had reported to Dan Greenblatt, who retired last month from his post as executive vice president of sales for both divisions. They will now report directly to Dick Robertson, president of Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
Van Allen to oversee Fox publicity
On the heels of the Fox Television Stations group completing its acquisition of the Chris-Craft Industries/United Television station group last summer, Ivey Van Allen, vice president of media relations for syndication division Twentieth Television, has taken over publicity duties for the combined station groups. In an announcement made jointly by Mitchell Stern, chairman and CEO of Fox Television Stations, and Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth Television, Ms. Van Allen will oversee publicity efforts for 33 stations-23 Fox affiliates, eight UPN affiliates and two independents-under the Fox Television Stations banner. She will represent both corporate and local-market publicity efforts with both consumer and trade press.