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Apr 30, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Bornstein resigns as ABC TV president

Steve Bornstein has resigned as president of ABC Television after only a year in the position, the network has confirmed. No replacement is expected to be named, and ABC is said to be looking at this as an opportunity to restructure what is regarded as the most complex network management structure in existence.

From 1990 to 1999, Mr. Bornstein served as president and CEO of ESPN, building the all-sports network into one of the nation’s most valuable media assets. Mr. Bornstein spent several months in 1999 as president of ABC Inc. before being assigned Disney’s doomed go.com and Internet group. He returned to ABC as television president in April 2001 as the successor to Robert Callahan, a 20-year veteran of ABC Radio who, like Mr. Bornstein, also was a fair-haired boy until he took the top ABC spot, which he occupied for less than a year.

Fox News’ Gibbs to co-host ‘Wall $treet Week’: Fox News Channel has lost senior business correspondent Karen Gibbs to “Wall $treet Week With Fortune,” the public television show she’ll co-host with Fortune magazine Editorial Director Geoffrey Colvin when it debuts in reinvented form June 28.

“I am grateful to Roger Ailes for his professionalism and support during this important stage of my career,” said Ms. Gibbs said of her boss at Fox, where she’d earned a prominent role that included the chance to substitute as the anchor of “Your World With Neil Cavuto” and to be a regular panelist on “Cavuto on Business.”

Ms. Gibbs had spent the previous five years on-air at CNBC after a decade at Dean Witter Reynolds, where she’d been a vice president and senior futures strategist.

Spurned “Wall $treet Week” founding host Louis Rukeyser recently began hosting a competing show at CNBC.

Breaux bill introduced to level phone, cable companies’ broadband playing field: Sen. John Breaux, D-La., introduced legislation Tuesday intended to level the playing field between telephone companies and cable systems offering broadband video and Internet access services. Under the measure, all broadband services would be subject to the same regulatory requirements, with the caveat that local phone companies would have to continue giving all Internet service providers access to their customers. As expected, the measure has strong support from the telephone industry.

“By eliminating the one-sided regulatory burdens currently imposed on DSL [telephone company broadband digital subscriber line service], the Breaux bill will make the best in new, high-speed Internet services available to more Americans at a lower price,” said Lauren Belvin, Qwest VP of federal policy and law.

At deadline, a spokesman for the National Cable & Telecommunications Association said the organization had yet to take an official position, pending review with its members. But AT&T, the nation’s largest cable company, made clear its opposition, contending that the measure would deliver a “sledgehammer blow to a telecom industry that is already reeling.”

Norville signed for three more years as ‘Inside Edition’ anchor: “Inside Edition” host Deborah Norville has signed on for three more years as anchor of King World Productions’ long-running syndicated newsmagazine. Ms. Norville joined “Inside Edition” as anchor in 1995, when the show was in the midst of a reformatting period. The strip currently ranks second in the yearly newsmagazine race.

Chris Smith is NBC Enterprises’ Western sales VP: NBC Enterprises has named Chris Smith as VP, sales, Western region, where he will oversee all domestic broadcast sales activities for NBC Enterprises in the area. He will succeed Jim Martz, who will play a more strategic role in the oversight of key weekend programming sales initiatives and identify new opportunities for the sales force.

Nachman becomes MSNBC editor in chief: MSNBC capped weeks of speculation with the announcement that Jerry Nachman, a veteran of radio, TV and print journalism, has been named editor in chief of MSNBC. He’ll report directly to Erik Sorenson, president and general manager of the news outlet that earlier this month nicknamed itself America’s News Channel.

Mr. Nachman, whose start date is May 13, also will host an afternoon hour of analysis on MSNBC weekdays.

“Jerry will set the journalistic agenda each day and provide editorial guidance to our many producers and on-air folks,” said Mr. Sorenson.

Mr. Nachman has run news departments for CBS- and NBC-owned stations, was editor of The New York Post, was a writer and executive producer on “Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher,” a writer on NBC’s “UC: Undercover” last fall and has co-anchored “Life and Times Tonight” on public station KCET-TV in Los Angeles.

ABC plans full day of coverage on Sept. 11 anniversary: ABC News, which recently won a Peabody Award for its coverage of Sept. 11, will devote the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks to round-the-world coverage of memorial events and reporting about the impact of that day.

The coverage on Wednesday, Sept. 11, will begin at 7 a.m. (ET) with “Good Morning America” and continue through 5 p.m. After a break for affiliates’ local newscasts, “World News Tonight” will kick off four hours of prime-time coverage, the one element of which will be a minute-by-minute reconstruction of events before and during the attacks. “Nightline” will follow late local newscasts with a special edition. Also scheduled: another “Answering Children’s Questions” town hall meeting moderated by Peter Jennings.

(c) Copyright 2002 by Crain Communications