Boden Leaves Game Show Net
Game Show Network Senior VP of Programming Bob Boden has left his position, a spokesperson confirmed. Kevin Belinkoff, GSN’s VP of programming, will act as head of programming while the network searches for a replacement. Mr. Boden is a longtime producer of such programs as “Greed” and “Family Feud.”
Senate Ownership Vote Pushed to 2004: A Senate vote on legislation that would permanently cap national TV ownership at 39 percent of the nation’s homes will slip at least until early next year because the Senate was unable to arrive at an agreement Tuesday morning to clear the way for a vote on the massive appropriations bill in which the measure is included.
Democrats, led by Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., objected to GOP plans to hold a fast vote on the bill, complaining, among other things, that the cap was the result of a deal between Senate GOP leaders and the White House that excluded Democrats.
“To agree to a unanimous consent request this morning [to clear the way for a vote] I believe would be a shocking abrogation of our responsibilities to the people of this country,” Sen. Daschle said. Under the new game plan, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., has scheduled a so-called cloture vote for Jan. 20, when the Senate, which was expected to adjourn for the year Tuesday evening, returns for business. If the cloture vote receives the support of 60 senators, Sen. Frist will be able to bring the bill to the floor for a vote despite the objections of Democrats. The appropriations bill, with the 39 percent cap provision, was approved by a 242-176 vote in the House of Representatives on Dec. 8.
‘Average Joe’ Scores for NBC: NBC’s Monday night was anything but average with the knockout season finale of “Average Joe.”
The two-hour “Joe” scored an 8.8 rating/21 share in adults 18 to 49-57 percent ahead of its closest competition, ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. That was NBC’s highest 18 to 49 rating with series programming in the 9 p.m.-to-11 p.m. Monday time slot in more than a decade. “Joe” also pulled in 17.4 million total viewers, almost 3 million more than second-place “MNF.”
The “Joe” finale was on par with finales of ABC’s “The Bachelor” (8.8/21) and CBS’s spring edition of “Survivor” (8.9/22). “Joe” tied “The Bachelor” for the highest reality rating on any network so far this season in the demo.
NBC was further boosted last night by a special Christmas edition of “Fear Factor” from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. It easily won its time slot in adults 18 to 49 with a 6.3/17 and total viewers with 14.1 million.
NBC easily took the night in adults 18 to 49 with a 7.9/20, followed by ABC (4.9/12), CBS (4.1/10), Fox (2.0/5), UPN (1.3/3) and The WB (1.2/3). NBC also won the night in total viewers with 16.3 million, followed by ABC (13.4 million), CBS (12.9 million), Fox (5.4 million), The WB (3.6 million) and UPN (3.4 million).
FCC Majority Asks Court to Dismiss Ownership Challenge: The Federal Communications Commission’s Republicans asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia today to throw out legal challenges to the agency’s controversial media ownership deregulation. The FCC majority said the conventional wisdom of agency critics that despite the new regulations were a “measured response” to substantial changes in the media marketplace. “The rules both advance the commission’s traditional goals of promoting competition, diversity and localism and they fulfill the commission’s obligation to periodically review its rules to ensure that they continue to remain necessary in the public interest,” the commissioners said in a statement.
Under the court’s new schedule, FCC critics are supposed to file responses by Dec. 22, while additional filings from the FCC and its deregulatory allies are due Jan. 5. Oral arguments in the case are slated for Feb. 11.
Fox Returns ‘Hooper’ to Schedule: Fox has scheduled back-to-back original episodes of new sitcom “A Minute With Stan Hooper” on Friday, Dec. 12, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. “Hooper,” starring Norm Macdonald, replaces canceled sitcoms “Luis” and “Wanda at Large.” “Hooper’s” regular time slot had been Wednesday from 8:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., but new reality show “The Simple Life” replaced it last Wednesday.
MacBride Gets NAB Post: Marsha MacBride has been named executive VP, legal and regulatory affairs, for the National Association of Broadcasters, effective Dec. 15. She will succeed Jeff Baumann, who has announced his retirement. Ms. MacBride was formerly chief of staff to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell. In addition, she was a VP in the Washington office of The Walt Disney Co.
ABC Hires Jonathan Karl: ABC News announced today it has hired Jonathan Karl as senior foreign affairs correspondent. Mr. Karl has covered Capitol Hill, the White House and the Pentagon during his seven years at CNN. He takes the role played most recently by Martha Raddatz who is now covering the Pentagon.
Mr. Karl, who will be based in Washington, is the second recent acquisition by ABC News of a young CNN talent. ABC hired CNN rising star Kate Snow as White House correspondent for “Good Morning America.”
ABC News also announced it has hired Laura Marquez as a general assignment correspondent based in Washington. Ms. Marquez has been an award-winning anchor and reporter at ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco.