News Briefs

Aug 11, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As promised last January, NBC Enterprises and Sony Pictures will exhibit on the convention floor during NATPE. Their return promises to liven up a convention that had seen a mass exodus in recent years to hotel suites. NATPE 2004 will be held Jan. 18 to 20, 2004 at the adjoined Venetian Hotel and Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas. Others syndicators continue to mull their options, while some (including Warner Bros.)will still do business in suites. New NATPE Chairman Rick Feldman said: “As a former buyer, it is my firm belief that the exhibition floor is a much more conducive arena in which to participate at NATPE than in hotel suites.”
Springer Out of Senate Race
Talk show host Jerry Springer announced, as expected, that he will not run for the U.S. Senate. TelevisionWeek (July 28) had reported that he felt controversies stemming from his show would be too much for his candidacy to overcome, and that he would instead continue with his highly rated talk show. Mr. Springer, 59, said he could not get his message through the “clutter of the show.” It appears Universal, the producer, alredady has a framework for a deal to extend Springer’s show at least two more years.
RTNDA, NABJ Research Minority Slump
The Radio-Television News Directors Association and the National Association of Black Journalists are joining forces to identify the reasons for a recent slump in the percentage of minorities in local TV and radio newsrooms. “We are going to look for ways to work closely with NABJ and the other associations to get more people of color into newsrooms on internships and that sort of thing,” said RTNDA President Barbara Cochran. RTNDA also plans to work with UNITY: Journalists of Color in holding a diversity summit that will “bring important people together” to “see what we can do to reverse the trend.”
Big 3 Ad Revenues Up
Advertising revenues for the Big 3 networks were up 0.75 percent in the second quarter of 2003, compared with the second quarter of 2002, according to a report by the Broadcast Cable Financial Management Association. That’s a gain of $20 million. Prime time was the biggest daypart gainer in the second quarter, up by more than $123 million from the same time period last year. For the first half of 2003, prime time was up by $341 million-a 12.5 percent increase. However, total net revenues for the Big 3 networks for the first half of 2003 were down by 5.6 percent compared with 2002. The report attributes part of that decline to the fact NBC had strong ad revenues for the Winter Olympics during that period in 2002.
Comics Host Emmys
Fox will forgo a single host for the Primetime Emmy Awards and instead go with a rotation of A-list comedians. Already signed on to participate are Ellen DeGeneres, Brad Garrett, Darrell Hammond, George Lopez, Conan O’Brien, Garry Shandling, Martin Short, Jon Stewart and Wanda Sykes. More participants will be named in the future. The Emmys will be broadcast Sunday, Sept. 21, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. (ET) on Fox.
Shriver Takes Leave
Maria Shriver, a staple of NBC News for 17 years, is taking an unpaid leave while her husband, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, campaigns for governor of California. A spokeswoman for “Dateline” said Ms. Shriver has no unaired stories in the can.