At Press Time

Nov 12, 2001  •  Post A Comment

`Philly’ toning it down, affiliates are told
New York-“Philly” is going to lighten up and tone down its envelope-pushing language, ABC affiliate board members were told in a conference call last week.
Alex Wallau, president of the ABC Television Network, and Lloyd Braun, co-chairman of the ABC Entertainment Television Group, told the affiliates that “Philly” executive producer Steven Bochco is very amenable to the changes, which should become apparent by the eighth episode of the dark rookie drama.
The network executives believe they now have a handle on the post-Sept. 11 mood of the public and are tinkering accordingly-including making changes to the Sunday night rookie “Alias.” From the affiliate side, said one board member, “The point is that the 10 o’clock shows are just killing stations all across the country.”
E! Entertainment, WWFE announce staff cuts
Los Angeles-Pink slips were handed out from the red carpet to the wrestling ring at the end of last week,with both E! Entertainment Networks and World Wrestling Federation Entertainment cutting staff by about 9 percent.
At Los Angeles-based E! that meant cutting 75 staffers. At Stamford, Conn.-based WWFE it meant the resignation of Stuart Snyder, WWFE’s president and chief operating officer, and a “restructuring” that resulted in the loss of 39 other positions.
Senior officials at both companies said the cuts were made across the board and cited the need to create increased efficiencies. Both companies also cited this year’s economic downturn, which worsened following the Sept. 11 attacks, as a factor in the layoffs. No “talent” was affected at either company.
Justice Department to review Echostar deal
Washington-The U.S. Justice Department-and not the Federal Trade Commission-will review the proposed EchoStar-DirecTV merger along with the Federal Communications Commission.
Justice’s involvement signals that the government will be looking closely at the antitrust implications of the deal, which combine the two largest direct broadcast satellite services, effectively creating a monopoly provider of television programming in many rural areas that don’t have access to cable and over-the-air broadcast signals.
FTC releasing new report on media violence
Washington-Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy Muris told Electronic Media that the agency will release its latest report on the marketing of violent media content to children before Congress adjourns this year. Congress wants to adjourn by mid-
November but may be in session well into December because of delays related to terrorism and the anthrax attacks. Other sources said the report will be out around Thanksgiving.
The FTC is expected to document some improvement in the advertising practices of the movie, music and video-game industries but is also expected to recommend that each industry do more to protect kids from violent and vulgar marketing images. This will be the third FTC report on the issue since the fall of 2000.#