News Briefs

Apr 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

NBC is starting work on a TV movie about Jessica Lynch, the 19-year-old U.S. soldier taken prisoner in Iraq and rescued in a daring operation.
“Like the rest of America, we shared in the collective thrill of witnessing the heroic and dramatic rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch. Her inspiring story is one that provides a message of hope despite great odds,” the network said in a statement.
While Ms. Lynch’s family has said it is not ready to discuss selling the rights to her story, NBC will move forward with or without the Lynches’ cooperation. “We are trying for the rights, but we are going ahead with a script based on the facts and on news reports,” Reuters quoted an NBC source as saying.
Pfc. Lynch is recovering in a U.S. military hospital in Germany following her rescue two weeks ago from a hospital in the southern Iraqi town of Nassiriya.
FCC Asked to Put Ownership Plans on Hold
In a double-barreled blast at the Federal Communications Commission, a bipartisan coalition of key lawmakers and another federal agency last week asked the FCC to put its plans to revise the media ownership rules on indefinite hold.
The coalition of lawmakers, including Sens. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., slammed the agency’s plan on grounds the FCC has failed to give public notice on the specific changes it is contemplating.
“We believe it is virtually impossible to serve the public interest in this extremely important and highly complex proceeding without letting the public know about and comment on the changes you intend to make to these critical rules,” the lawmakers said in an April 9 letter to the FCC.
The Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, meanwhile, alleged that the FCC’s current plan to adopt final regulations on June 2 runs afoul of federal law intended to protect small businesses.
“By not proposing rules, the commission is limiting the ability of small business to provide the agency with needed information on the impact of the rule and possible alternatives that will lessen any impacts,” the office said.
The lawmakers and Office of Advocacy are charging that the FCC’s existing proposals have been too vague to properly put the public on notice on what changes might be in the works.
At deadline, a spokesperson for FCC Chairman Michael Powell had no comment on the letters , except to say that they were under review.
Warner Bros. Promotes Gregorian
Warner Bros. Marketing Services has named Lisa Gregorian senior VP, television, a new position. She reports to Bruce Rosenblum, executive VP of Warner Bros. Television Group.
NBC Scatter Prices Up
Prices for first-quarter scatter TV buys at NBC were 37 percent over upfront price levels and second-quarter scatter pricing was running 25 percent ahead of upfront levels, General Electric Co. said in announcing first-quarter results.
Crackdown on Indecency Promised
As part of a new crackdown on off-color broadcasts, top Federal Communications Commission officials last week warned they will yank the licenses of radio and TV stations that go too far over the line.
“This should not be taken lightly,” said GOP Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy during a panel session at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas last week.
“All broadcasters should be on notice,” added Kevin Martin, another FCC Republican, who also warned that lesser infractions might be met with stiffer fines.