Briefly Noted

Jan 14, 2002  •  Post A Comment

L.A. interconnect licenses products to N.Y.
In what the parties are describing as the first licensing agreement of its kind between two cable interconnects, Los Angeles-based Adlink is licensing its Adtag and Adcopy audience segmentation products to the New York Interconnect. The two Adlink products are designed to allow advertisers to target their ads to particular ZIP codes and geographic areas within the larger designated market area. For example, an auto dealer might want to run ads for SUVs in one part of the DMA and ads for luxury cars in another; Adlink touts its ability to do exactly that in the Los Angeles DMA. Specifically, Adtag allows advertisers to run the same commercial throughout a television market while customizing it by displaying a different dealer, franchise or retail tag for different locations, and Adcopy enables advertisers to run different commercials simultaneously in specified subsections of the market.
Wagner to host TV Guide Channel show
Katie Wagner will be the new host of TV Guide Channel’s “What’s On,” the program-guide channel’s signature half-hour daily entertainment guidance show, which is also the centerpiece of the channel’s Digital Acquisition promotional campaign, which is running this month. The campaign is intended to increase digital penetration levels at affiliate cable systems, which will run customizable spots provided by the channel. “Those 30-second spots that are airing are telling people to call their cable operator and get digital,” said Pam McKissick, president and chief operating officer, TV Guide Television Group and TV Guide Networks.
The barter campaign-spot deal requires each affiliate to run the ad 300 times; in return, TV Guide Channel, which reaches 58 million homes, will run the spot another 300 times. Cable affiliates that signed up for the promotional campaign reach approximately 20 million homes. Ms. Wagner, a well-known entertainment reporter, currently hosts the channel’s “Music News” program. “What’s On,” which previews top viewing options in various categories, including movies and sports, for any given night.
Viacom cable nets considering gay channel
Showtime and MTV have confirmed that the two Viacom-owned cable networks are “exploring a new network dedicated to programming for the gay and lesbian audience,” according to a statement. “The two companies are currently examining the potential and exploring distribution models and prospects and programming elements.”
A gay-oriented programming-block tryout for the proposed channel on an existing Showtime network is possible, but nothing has been decided, said Mark Greenberg, executive VP, corporate strategy and communications. Both subscription and advertising models are still being looked at, he said.
CNN blunders with `sexy’ promo of Zahn show
On the weekend before the debut of its “American Morning With Paula Zahn,” CNN aired a promotion that described Ms. Zahn as “a little sexy.” That description was followed by a sound that some interpreted as a zipper in motion but that a CNN spokesperson said was meant to convey “a record scratching.” The promo, which was pulled from the network “was a major blunder by our promotions department,” said CNN Chairman Walter Isaacson in a statement last week.
“I had no knowledge of the promo until it aired. When I saw it, I was offended,” said Ms. Zahn, in a statement last week. “CNN management has apologized to me and assured me a mistake like this will not happen again. I am glad that both Walter and Jamie [Kellner] saw this is a serious issue [and] took such quick and decisive action.”
Varney to host weekly CNBC show
Stuart Varney, who lost his co-anchorship of CNN’s “Moneyline” with the return of Lou Dobbs, has spun his series of CNBC specials into a weekly gig on the new lineup CNBC will launch on Monday, Feb. 4. Mr. Varney will host “The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board With Stuart Varney” starting March 1 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. (ET) Fridays, a time slot previously occupied by Maria Bartiromo. Ms. Bartiromo’s new after-hours perch will be 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays with “Market Week.” The 7 p.m.-to-8 p.m. hour Tuesdays through Thursdays will be filled by “Capitol Report,” anchored from Washington by Mr. Mathison.
Short takes
Keith Olbermann has signed to contribute essays to CNN’s “NewsNight With Aaron Brown.” David Bohrman, senior executive producer of “NewsNight” said he expects Mr. Olbermann’s two- to three-minute pieces on a variety of topics to run a couple of times a week starting soon. … Roger Cossack, former co-anchor of CNN’s now-canceled “Burden of Proof,” will join Court TV’s daytime live trial coverage as an anchor. He also will host Monday’s “Open Court,” a two-hour running analysis of trials in progress on Court TV. … MSNBC has signed Alan Keyes, whose oratory enlivened the Republican presidential debates in 2000, to host a 10 o’clock weeknight hour of commentary and debate starting Jan. 21. The show, originating live from Washington, will be titled “Alan Keyes Is Making Sense.”