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Sep 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

FCC Approves Univision Deal

The Federal Communications Commission announced Monday that it had voted 3-2 to approve Univision Communications’ acquisition of Hispanic Broadcasting’s 68 radio stations.

Critics have argued that the merger would give Univision, which owns 32 TV stations, undue power over the market for Hispanic-language broadcasting. But in the agency’s party-line decision, the FCC’s Republican majority rejected the argument.

“It will give Hispanic media a better opportunity to compete against big media companies, capturing more advertising revenue to allow it to expand unique language and cultural offerings to its audiences,” said the FCC’s Republicans-Chairman Michael Powell, Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy and Commissioner Kevin Martin. But Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps said the deal would give Univision “something close to monopoly power.” Democratic FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said the merger denies Spanish-language speakers “their right to receive a diversity of perspectives over the nation’ s airwaves.”

Added House Democratic Caucus Chairman Bob Menendez, D-N.J., “Today’s party-line vote is an affront to all Americans, especially the 38 million Hispanic Americans.”

EchoStar to Carry Reality TV Network: EchoStar Communications and Zone Vision said Monday that they’ve reached an agreement to distribute Zone Vision’s reality television network Reality TV on EchoStar’s DISH Network beginning later this year, marking the first U.S. distribution deal for the network.

The new channel will be packaged with DISH Network’s America’s Top 150 programming suite of channels, and will feature first-run reality series, classic reality series and U.S. premieres of reality programming from around the world. Reality TV has programming pacts with CBS, GRB Entertainment, RDF Media, BBC Worldwide and Rive Gauche International Television, all of which will supply content to the channel.

London-based Zone Vision launched Reality TV in 1999, and has distribution agreements in 125 countries. The network is broadcast in 16 languages and has a world-wide reach of 35 million subscribers.

NBC to Air ‘National Dog Show’ after Macy’s Parade: After charming some 19 million viewers on its first outing in 2002-a record for a single dog show telecast-“The National Dog Show Presented by Purina” has won a TV home on NBC. For at least five years the dog show will be broadcast right after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs. The deal has renewal clauses that could keep the two-hour show on the air for decades.

“Seinfeld’s” John O’Hurley and canine expert David Frei will continue as host and analyst, respectively.

“They had fun with it but didn’t mock it. That really came through to the audience,” said NBC senior VP for program planning Mitch Metcalf. He said the dog show, like the parade that is its lead-in, has a very broad audience and “is one of those great shows that serves an unmet need” because it is both an alternative to football and is something everyone in the family can drift in and out of on a day of holiday bustle.

“It definitely exceeded our expectations,” said Mr. Metcalf.

Paul Carson, CEO of Carson International, which manages the event and produces it with NBC, said the show, a long-running competition staged by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, “can only grow.”

Melton Named TBS Senior VP of Marketing: TBS Superstation said today that it has hired Tricia Garrett Melton as senior VP of marketing of the cable channel. She will be based in Atlanta and report to Steve Koonin, executive VP and chief operating officer of TBS and TNT.

Ms. Melton joined TBS from Lifetime Television, where she was VP of marketing, working on the launch of original series “Wild Card” and “1-800-Missing.” Before that, Ms. Melton held similar posts at Oxygen Media, Food Network and Channel One.

AdamoTapped as NFL Network VP of Production: The NFL Network continued gearing up for its Nov. 4 launch with the announcement Monday it has hired Glenn Adamo as VP of production and operations of the new channel.

Mr. Adamo, a five-time Emmy Award winner for his work producing television coverage for sporting events such as the World Series and Wimbledon, had been VP of community development and broadcasting of the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team. Before that, Mr. Adamo was group VP of broadcasting for the National Hockey League and spent 15 years as a coordinating producer with NBC.