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Jan 30, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Falco to lead NBC Network Group

Randy Falco has been given additional responsibilities and a boost to NBC Television Network Group president. Mr. Falco, who has moved quietly up the ranks since joining NBC in 1975, was named NBC Television Network president in July 1998.

He will continue to oversee sales and marketing, broadcast standards, research, network operations and affiliate relations, while adding responsibility for corporate business development, cable distribution and strategy, production operations, information technology and the company’s quality initiative. He will continue to report to NBC Chairman and CEO Bob Wright, who described Mr. Falco as “a top-notch executive with an excellent track record.”

RTNDA petitions for cameras in Malvo courtroom: A petition seeking pool cameras and microphones in the courtroom during the trial of accused spree sniper Lee Malvo was filed today with the Fairfax County Circuit Court in Virginia.”

Without electronic coverage, the public will not be able to witness firsthand the orderly administration of justice in a case of keen interest and importance,” said the petition filed by the Radio-Television News Directors Association, which was joined by the major networks as well as a number of Washington-area radio stations and professional organizations.

‘Today,’Early’ on separate streaks: The week of Jan. 20 to 26 was the 371st consecutive week in which NBC’s ‘Today’ was the No. 1 morning show and was the second consecutive week in which CBS’s “The Early Show” racked up more than 3 million viewers, a feat the third-ranked CBS morning show had not accomplished since March 2000. According to Nielsen Media Research data for last week, “Early” averaged 3.08 million viewers with a boost from Thursday and Friday segments featuring winners from prime-time hit “Star Search.” The show averaged 3.07 million the previous week, when it introduced “Survivor: Amazon”contestants and had “Star Search” follow-up segments on two mornings later in the week.”Today”averaged 6.5 million viewers last week, with ABC’s “Good Morning America”second with 4.7 million. Season to date, “Today” has an average lead of 1.5 million viewers over “GMA” and is tying the combined performance of “GMA” and “Early Show” among adults 25 to 54.

Numbers surge for NBC’s ‘Press’: The Jan. 26 edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press” scored the newsmaker show’s biggest audience in eight months, an average of 4.873 million viewers. In second place for the day was CBS’s “Face the Nation” (3.315 million), followed by ABC’s “This Week” (2.434 million) and “Fox News Sunday” (1.682 million).

The race for second between “Face” and “This Week” has been a seesaw affair since George Stephanopoulos became moderator of the ABC show. Season to date, “Face the Nation” (2.79 million viewers) has a slight lead over “This Week” (2.76 million).

‘Andromeda,’ ‘Mutant X’ renewed: Tribune Entertainment has announced renewals for its first-run syndicated action hours “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” and “Mutant X,” for the 2003-2004 season. “Andromeda,” starring Kevin Sorbo, has been renewed for its fourth season in 148 markets across the country, including 49 of the top 50 markets, clearing 88 percent of the United States. Sister series “Mutant X,” with John Shea and Victoria Pratt, has been renewed for its third season on 103 stations (including 46 of the top 50 markets), representing 76 percent of the country.

Hardman replaces Meir at Kids’ WB!: John Hardman was named the top executive at the Kids’ WB! Network. As senior VP of Kids’ WB!, Mr. Hardman will oversee all aspects of development, scheduling and programming for the network. He has been with the network for four years and most recently was the No. 2 executive as VP of programming and development, Kids’ WB! Mr. Hardman replaces Donna Friedman Meir, who left earlier this week to head a new kids division at National Geographic Television & Film.#