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Jun 24, 2002  •  Post A Comment

WBOC and WHRO ‘at war’ over digital
CBS affiliate WBOC-TV, Salisbury, Md., filed a complaint on June 11 with the Federal Communications Commission that was an “emergency request to seek immediate relief from harmful interference,” claiming the digital signal of PBS station WHRO-TV, Norfolk, Va., which is WHRO-DT, interferes with WBOC’s over-the-air signal. WBOC wants the FCC to make WHRO-DT reduce its power or “change its antenna pattern or adopt other engineering solutions to resolve excessive interference to WBOC-TV.”
“This is life or death for a small broadcaster-you don’t have a business if you don’t have a signal,” said Jonathan Blake, attorney for WBOC, who added that the two stations are some 80 miles apart. “I’m afraid we’re at war.”
Attorneys for WHRO-TV said they filed their opposition to the FCC last Friday. “We will be taking the position that while we are sympathetic to any broadcaster that is experiencing pains as a result of digital transmission, we believe WHRO-DT is properly constructed and operating and that, frankly, WBOC really hasn’t shown that the interference is of such scope and severity that it justifies any emergency relief,” said Todd Gray, the lawyer representing WHRO. “We’ve invested millions of dollars in this facility. We believe it’s properly constructed and operating. Everybody knew some interference would take place, and while it’s regrettable, it’s not a basis to starting to pull the plug on DTV.”
Spider-Man’s new web
The money-making blockbuster “Spider-Man” movie has even touched local television, albeit it tangentially. First, staffers at Los Angeles stations noticed the movie had several TV-related flaws. One is in a scene that takes place in newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson’s office when he first hears about Spider-Man. In the scene, two TVs are behind him-one shows Sam Rubin, entertainment reporter for WB affiliate KTLA-TV, Los Angeles, and the other TV has rival KABC-TV’s Channel 7 blue logo. The problem is the movie is supposed to be set in New York.
“Spider-Man” star Tobey Maguire recently surprised talent agent Mendes Napoli, whose clients include KTLA talent, by popping into his office and introducing himself. Mr. Napoli is building his own office space. Mr. Maguire, wearing a T-shirt, sneakers and jeans, was doing a walk-through to take over the hip Hollywood digs for his new production company. “The assistants were very excited, it was a big thrill for them,” Mr. Napoli said. “I love the space; it’s some of the best office space around, and we’re going to miss it.”
Mr. Maguire will be on the same floor as Drew Barrymore and Pat Boone’s production companies. The biggest thrill for Mr. McGuire wasn’t the view of Beverly Hills from Sunset Boulevard, though-it was when Mr. Napoli pointed to his private bathroom in the office. Mr. Napoli, who didn’t recognize the actor during his first visit, congratulated Mr. Maguire on his success. “He should be able to get to the office by jumping up onto the balcony,” he joked.
KCOP and KCBS duke it out in L.A.
It finally happened: The 2-week-old 11 p.m. newscast of Fox-owned KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, beat the 11 p.m. news on KCBS-TV last Thursday. For the half-hour, UPN affiliate KCOP scored a 2.1 Nielsen Media Research rating and 4 share, while KCBS earned a 2.0/4. KCOP moved its longtime 10 p.m. news to 11 p.m. on June 3 and slotted “Seinfeld” and “Frasier” reruns at 10 p.m. instead. The Thursday newscast on KCOP outscored its lead-in-the last quarter-hour of “Frasier” had a 1.6/3. For the record, KABC came in first with a 7.0/15, and KNBC, which usually wins the 11 p.m. news during sweeps, had a 6.2/13.
Jack to WRC GM and NBC diversity VP
Michael Jack was promoted from president and general manager of NBC-owned WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio, to president and general manager of NBC-owned WRC-TV in Washington and takes over the role of NBC’s VP of diversity.
Mr. Jack spent 19 years with Capital Cities/ABC before joining KNBC-TV in 1996 in Los Angeles, where he was VP of sales. As VP of diversity, Mr. Jack replaces Paula Madison, who will focus on the challenges of the Telemundo stations integration in Los Angeles, along with her responsibilities as KNBC-TV GM. Ms. Madison will remain on NBC’s diversity council.