Briefly Noted

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Industry groups join forces on digital ad-ID plan
The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies have formed Advertising Digital Identification, a joint venture expected to be operational by this October that will provide the advertising industry with its first advertising digital identification system. The new Ad-ID system is intended to be compatible with and eventually replace ISCI, the eight-digit analog ID codes mandatory for placing network TV commercials for the past 30 years. Ad-ID will allow for the storage of descriptive “metadata” information about an ad. For example, users can access a list of credits, including the director, copywriter, art director, production house and agency. Eventually, Ad-ID will also contain information about when and where an ad has run.
Powell down on electronics makers
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell blasted the consumer electronics industry last week for what he characterized as the industry’s failure to endorse his plan to spur the digital TV rollout. Under the plan, Mr. Powell asked all of the key industries with a stake in the transition to share the pain. He specifically asked the consumer electronics manufacturers to agree to start including DTV tuners in many of their new sets. But in a statement late Friday, Mr. Powell said, “The CE industry’s response on DTV tuners is so limited and loaded down with so many conditions that I believe it amounts to no commitment at all.” In response, a spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association said, “We’re disappointed with the chairman’s response. The consumer electronics industry has long been at the forefront of the DTV transition. We’re only trying to act in the best interests of our customers.”
Lippoff resigns from Orlando duopoly
David Lippoff has resigned as VP and general manager of Cox Television’s Orlando duopoly, ABC affiliated WFTV-TV and independent WRDQ-TV. Mr. Lippoff, who has been with Cox 16 years, the last six in Orlando, is headed for another job, though it was unclear what that job is late Friday. Bruce Baker, executive VP of Cox Television, said the search has begun for Mr. Lippoff’s successor.
Viacom stations lose Rajewski
Ray Rajewski has quietly left his position as executive VP of the Viacom stations group. The exit, which apparently took place within the past few weeks, was described as amicable by a CBS spokesman. Mr. Rajewski had overseen the Paramount Stations Group since the early `90s. The group, key affiliates when Paramount and Chris-Craft Industries launched UPN in 1995, came under CBS oversight after the merger with Paramount parent Viacom. Mr. Rajewski had most recently focused on smaller-market Viacom-owned stations and reported to Viacom Television Stations Group President Fred Reynolds.
KABC’s Diaz hired by KCBS
KCBS-TV, Los Angeles, has hired away popular Laura Diaz from KABC-TV, where she has spent 19 years, the past five as anchor of its 5 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Don Corsini, the general manager of the KCBS-KCAL duopoly, said Ms. Diaz will become “the lead female anchor at Channel 2,” though he would not say which two shows a night, presumably, she will anchor when she starts, most likely in September. Although her primary assignment will be to KCBS, Mr. Corsini said that what contributed to Ms. Diaz’s decision to make “the leap of faith over to Channel 2” was his plan to make her a “cornerstone” in the duopoly with her participation in specials for both stations and a commitment for her to appear on CBS News programs “48 Hours” and “The Early Show.”
Vivendi Universal’s woes continue
Vivendi Universal shares continued to drop last week on news that French regulators are examining whether the media giant disclosed relevant information to investigators during the past 18 months. In the meantime, Vivendi said it has signed a $996 million loan that will cover operating expenses in the coming weeks while new management works out a rescue plan with banks to service its strapping debt. New chief executive Jean-Rene Fourtou, who succeeded Jean-Marie Messier less than two weeks ago, has been forthright about the company’s problems and has said that no immediate decision will be made about the possible sale or public spinoff of Vivendi Universal Entertainment assets, which are overseen by Barry Diller.
`She Spies’ clears 96 percent of country
With the countdown on to its limited prime-time run, “She Spies” has now passed the 96 percent national clearance level for syndication. The Natasha Henstridge-starring vehicle is distributed by MGM in association with NBC Enterprises.