News Briefs

Apr 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Leslie Moonves has been boosted from president to chairman and CEO of CBS under a new four-year contract negotiated more than a year before his old contract was to expire. Mr. Moonves has presided over a turnaround that started when he joined CBS as the top programmer in 1995, and he is now trying to do the same for UPN. He recently gave up his seat on parent company Viacom’s board of directors as part of a move to make room for independent voices.
Spike TV New Name for TNN
As part of a new branding strategy, TNN network president Albie Hecht announced in a conference call to reporters last week that TNN, The National Network, will be renamed Spike TV. The name change will take effect on-air Monday, June 16, and the network’s new logo will be unveiled at the MTV Networks upfront presentation in New York City May 6.
“Spike TV captures the attributes and essence of what we want the first network for men to be. It’s unapologetically male; it’s active; it’s smart and contemporary, with a personality that’s aggressive and irreverent.” Mr. Hecht said.
Mr. Hecht also announced the network’s first slate of male-skewing programming, which includes partnerships with Men’s Health magazine and CBS MarketWatch.
FCC Won’t Delay Vote on Ownership Regulations
“Thanks, but no thanks.” That was the behind-the-scenes response of Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell to a request from key lawmakers that the agency put a temporary hold on its media ownership proceeding to let Congress and the public comment on the precise regulatory changes Mr. Powell has in mind. In an April 9 letter, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers, including Sens. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., said it’s “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.” Mr. Powell said the FCC is still planning to act on the regulations in early June. “I firmly believe, based on where the commission is today, that further and more specific notice is unwarranted in light of the full record before us and weighed against the pitfalls of further delay,” Mr. Powell said. Among the lawmakers who have urged Mr. Powell to stick to his announced plan to vote on the regulations June 2 is Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.
King World Sells `CSI: Miami’ to A&E
King World’s has sold the hit CBS drama series CSI: Miami to the A&E Television Network for a second airing in a deal valued at over $230 million. The series will begin to air on A&E Network on a weekly basis in fall 2004 for two years. Beginning in fall 2006 and for the next two years, the series will appear as a strip on A&E, paralleling weekend syndication by King World. In fall 2008, the off-network rights for CSI: Miami will become exclusive to A&E Network.
In addition, King World has assembled its production team for upcoming syndicated daytime strip Living It Up! With Ali & Jack with clearances now topping 87 percent of the country. Joining executive producer Bruce McKay will be supervising producer Rob Dauber, producer Kim McCabe and senior producer Mimi Pizzi.
KPIX, Chronicle Team Up
San Francisco’s CBS owned-and-operated station KPIX-TV just forged a local relationship with the Hearst Corp.’s San Francisco Chronicle to share resources starting May 18. KPIX will have a camera in the paper’s newsroom and will in turn make a helicopter available to the paper, said Ron Longinotti, VP and general manager at KPIX. The paper has been partnered with the market’s Cox-owned Fox affiliate KTVU-TV for more than two years.