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News Briefs

Jun 23, 2003  •  Post A Comment

According to at least one person familiar with Al Gore’s plans for a new cable news network, the former U.S. vice president’s vision is philosophical, not partisan. “It is not a Democratic network. It is not an Al Gore vehicle. It is not political,” said Steve Rosenbaum. Al Gore approached Mr. Rosenbaum about this project because the CameraPlanet chief executive is partial to media in which the audience plays a role. Mr. Gore is dreaming of a cable channel that would explore ideas in a way the faster-paced ratings-driven all-news cable networks do-that much is certain. Over the past few months he has had conversations with potential backers and distributors, according to numerous reports. His appointed press representatives were not commenting after a Time magazine article last week first suggested Mr. Gore’s goal is to help create a liberal alternative to the conservative voices that increasingly dominate cable news and talk radio.
Benson, Provencio to Market ABC Entertainment
Mike Benson and Marla Provencio will jointly run ABC Entertainment’s marketing, advertising and promotions department. Their titles, duties and lines of reporting are still to be determined. However, their appointments-and the recent exits of Geoff Calnan and Paul Wang-mean that the other shoe has finally dropped after the sudden departure in March of Steve Sohmer after seven months as the head of the department. Mr. Benson most recently has been senior VP of the department and has twice helped run it on an interim basis. After Mr. Sohmer’s exit Mr. Benson split the leadership duties with Geoff Calnan and Paul Wang, who were recruited by Mr. Sohmer in fall of 2002.
Flicker, Merle-Lieberman join NBC Agency
The NBC Agency has tapped two marketing executives to seek out marketing partners for the network. Senior Marketing Director Jodi Flicker and Marketing Services Director Sharon Merle-Lieberman will report to Barbara Blangiardi, VP for marketing and special projects at The NBC Agency. Both positions are new.
Ms. Flicker’s duties will include developing marketing partnerships with companies outside NBC and creating highly visible off-network exposure for NBC programming. She comes from Saatchi & Saatchi. Ms. Merle Lieberman will focus on NBC Entertainment and will work with Bravo and NBC sales marketing. She comes from GetMusic.com.
CBS Big Murrow Winner
CBS was the big winner in the 2003 Edward R. Murrow Awards. CBS earned a total of eight Murrow Awards, including one for the “9/11” documentary produced for the network by a team of producers led by “48 Hours” executive producer Susan Zirinsky and editors from Vanity Fair; four for CBS News programs and three for CBS Radio News. NBC News won six Murrow Awards and ABC News Radio won four. A dinner in honor of the winners is scheduled for Oct. 13 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York. An expanded list of winners-70 awards were won by a total of 49 news organizations-is posted at www.rtnda.org.
USA Interactive Getting New Name
Barry Diller’s USA Interactive will change its name Monday to InterActiveCorp (IAC), a move the company says better reflects its business as a stakeholder in or owner of several high-profile e-commerce Web sites. As part of the change, the company will alter its stock ticker symbol to “IACI” from its current “USAI.” IAC’s operating businesses include Expedia, Citysearch, Ticketmaster, Hotels.com and the recently acquired LendingTree.