Briefly Noted

Feb 4, 2002  •  Post A Comment

ALTV board votes to disband
As expected, the Association of Local Television Stations board agreed last week to ax the organization, sources said. But no official announcement was planned before this week. Sources attributed the decision to the loss of key ALTV members and a soft advertising market.
Hallmark Channel grows with `Roots’
ABC recently passed on its “Roots,” leaving the landmark six-part miniseries to Hallmark Channel. The result was the six highest-ranked telecasts in the cable network’s history. “Roots,” rebroadcast in its entireity with newly produced talent interviews throughout, averaged a 1.7 household rating for its run, putting the network behind only Lifetime, USA and TBS during the 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET) head-to-head competition.
`John Walsh’ hits 60 percent
NBC Enterprises’ upcoming series “The John Walsh Show” has broken the 60 percent clearance barrier, with nine of the top 10 markets now in the fold. “The John Walsh Show” has been cleared on stations from the following groups: NBC’s owned-and-operated stations, Hearst-Argyle Television, Gannett Broadcasting, Post-Newsweek Stations, Belo, Landmark Broadcasting, Raycom Media, Meredith Broadcasting, Young Broadcasting and Emmis Communications, among others. “John Walsh” has been sold to these stations in top 10 markets: WNBC-TV, New York; KNBC-TV, Los Angeles; WMAQ-TV, Chicago; WCAU-TV, Philadelphia; WCVB-TV, Boston; KXAS-TV, Dallas; WRC-TV, Washington; and WDIV-TV, Detroit.
WCBS-TV opening Jerusalem bureau
WCBS-TV, New York, will launch a news bureau in Jerusalem, with Kimberly Dozier as chief correspondent, beginning this month. She will file daily reports for the CBS-owned station. “The events taking place in the Middle East have an enormous impact on the tri-state area and the people who live here,” said Joel Cheatwood, WCBS news director. “Many people in our area have family and friends who live in or around the Mideast, while others reside there part time. Needless to say, there is a keen interest in the issues and events impacting the region. It is truly local news to the tri-state area.” Ms. Dozier most recently served as London-based reporter for CBS News and bureau chief for CBS Radio News.
Lifetime re-ups `Strong Medicine’
Lifetime Television, basic cable’s current ratings leader, has renewed “Strong Medicine,” its highest-rated original drama, for a third season of 22 episodes. The series, from Columbia TriStar Domestic Television, focuses on two female physicians who run a women’s clinic. “Medicine” is executive produced by actress Whoopi Goldberg and Tammy Ader. It airs as part of Lifetime’s Sunday night programming block.
Viewers pay attention to Super Bowl ads
How much bang for the buck are Super Bowl advertisers getting? A 500-respondent online survey by Initiative Media North America suggests that respondents are “seven times more likely to pay `full or most’ attention to Super Bowl XXXVI ads vs. ads running on regular prime-time programming,” and that respondents are “six times more likely to pay `full or most’ attention to Super Bowl XXXVI ads vs. ads that ran during the AFC/NFC championship games.” More than nine out of 10 respondents (93 percent) expect to watch “some or most” of the Super Bowl ads.
MuchMusic USA to debut `Dedicate Live!’
MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Media’s music network, is emulating MTV’s signature “Total Request Live” with “Dedicate Live!,” a Monday-through-Thursday live half-hour that premieres Feb. 14. MuchMusic distinguishes itself from the more broadly distributed and better-known MTV by calling itself viewer-driven and interactive. Marc Juris, its president, said, “We pledge to not put just bits and pieces of music videos on air, but rather run songs from the beginning to end, the way music is meant to be played.” “Dedicate” will let viewers dedicate videos and specify whether the dedication is to someone they love or hate. Viewers will use their computers to make video requests, which then will be telecast in real time. MuchMusic also intends to send e-mail to the people to whom requests have been dedicated, offering them the opportunity to respond on the show.
In other Rainbow Media news, Mag Rack, Rainbow’s video-on-demand service for hobbyists and other niche enthusiasts that is currently available on Cablevision Systems in the New York area, has added Better Golf Club, its 19th video “magazine,” to its service. The new VOD offering for golf enthusiasts is set for a Feb. 1 premiere and will be hosted by CNBC golf announcer Jay Randolph.