In a step that acknowledged the failed marriage of new and old media, AOL Time Warner’s board of directors voted last week to drop “AOL” from its name. It will now be called Time Warner Inc. The move, which included changing the company’s ticker symbol to “TWX”-Time Warner’s symbol before the 2001 AOL-Time Warner merger-from “AOL,” had been widely expected since the summer, when Jonathan Miller, chairman and CEO of America Online, approached senior management about the possibility of changing the corporate parent’s name. “We believe that our new name better reflects the portfolio of our valuable businesses and ends any confusion between our corporate name and the America Online brand for our investors, partners and the public,” CEO Richard Parsons said in a statement.
Cablevision Seeks FCC OK on Bird Bid
Cablevision has applied to the Federal Communications Commission to build, launch and operate five high-capacity Ka-band satellites, following the announcement that it will soon launch a satellite platform. The birds would provide the additional capacity for the upcoming service, including potential broadband applications.
NCTC, MTV Renew Agreement
The National Cable Television Cooperative and MTV Networks said last week they have renewed their long-term distribution agreement to continue carrying several MTV Networks channels already on NCTC members’ cable systems, plus the addition of six digital channels. As part of the agreement, NCTC member systems will continue carrying MTV, VH1, TV Land, CMT, Spike TV and Nickelodeon on basic or expanded basic service. In addition, the new deal calls for TV Land and CMT each to have its distribution increased by 2 million subscribers. Further, NCTC members agreed to carry six digital channels in areas where digital cable is available. The new channels include MTV2, VH1 Classic, Noggin, Nickelodeon’s Games and Sports (GAS), Nicktoons and MTV Hits.
NAMIC Names Diversity Award Winners
The National Association of Minorities in Cable last week released its list of annual winners for marketing efforts among operators and programmers that promote diversity awareness within the cable industry. The winners in the operators division include the Los Angeles division of Time Warner Cable for its international direct mail campaign; the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers’ public relations campaign “SCTE Operacion en Espanol;” and Ember Media’s Web-based guide to historically black colleges and universities. Among programmers, Black Entertainment Television won awards in the print, television and radio categories for its “Third Annual BET Awards Show,” while Starz Encore Group won in the public relations category for the press kit promoting Black Starz’s original program “Last of the Mississippi Juke Joints.” A&E Networks and BET won the community relations prize for their work with Hispanic Heritage Month and the “Rap It Up Classroom Connection,” respectively. HBO won the diversity awareness category for its “Rhyme & Reason” campaign.
Mermigas Gets Clarion Award
TelevisionWeek Contributing Editor Diane Mermigas has won a 2003 Clarion Award from The Association for Women in Communications. Ms. Mermigas won in the following category: Newspaper Feature Series, Circulation of 100,000 or Fewer for Features on Major Media Companies-Transformation and Challenges.