Cable Notes

Feb 2, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Bob Reid, general manager of Discovery Health, is leaving the network. Under Mr. Reid, the channel grew to about 50 million subscribers, but he disagreed with Discovery Networks U.S. President Billy Campbell on how to take the channel to the next level, a Discovery spokesperson said. Discovery is in talks with Mr. Reid about a production deal. Discovery Health programming chief Eileen O’Neill has been named interim general manger. Mr. Reid is the second head of a Discovery Networks channel to leave in the past five weeks. The other was Animal Planet general manager Michael Cascio.
Showtime Renews `The L Word’
Showtime said it has renewed its new series “The L Word” for a second season, ordering 13 more episodes. The renewal came only 11 days after the show’s debut Jan. 18. Production on season two of the Sunday night drama, about the lives of a group of gay and straight women in Los Angeles, is slated to begin in June. “The L Word” is executive produced by Ilene Chaiken, through her production company Posse Productions, Steve Golin and Larry Kennar.
Flock to Leave CNN
Jeff Flock, CNN’s Chicago bureau chief and correspondent, has told CNN he is resigning. “We’re sorry to see him go and wish him the best of luck,” said a spokesman for CNN, who said Mr. Flock’s departure is expected in a few weeks. Mr. Flock had been bureau chief in Chicago since 1985, but under a sweeping reorganization announced by CNN/U.S. executive VP and general manager Princell Hair last week, Mr. Flock was one of several correspondent-bureau chiefs stripped of administrative titles and duties to be “freed up to do what they are so good at.” Mr. Hair also replaced popular Washington bureau chief Kathryn Kross with David Bohrman, the founding executive producer of “NewsNight With Aaron Brown,” who is now VP of news and production/Washington bureau chief. In a note posted internally at CNN, Mr. Flock said, “I wish I could argue with the wisdom of the reorganization. The truth is I think it makes perfect sense. No one knows better than me how tough the bureau chief/correspondent job has been. The new leaders of the regional bureaus are the network’s best. Frankly, I haven’t felt as good about the future of CNN in years.” Mr. Flock praised CNN management and colleagues and said, “For the 24 years of my CNN career, what’s been best for the network has generally been best for me. And while the reorganization is definitely right for CNN, I have chosen to say goodbye. The reasons are personal, not professional. I just want everyone to know I couldn’t have received better treatment from my bosses. You have given me something I suspect many who get into my line of work are really seeking, which is to be loved and wanted and appreciated. Those are the very best of gifts.”
GSN Raises Blackjack Bet
It’s still more than a month before the debut of GSN’s “World Series of Blackjack,” but already the network is announcing two spinoffs-“World Blackjack Tour” and “Celebrity Blackjack.” Both programs are scheduled to premiere this summer. “We just finished taping the `World Series of Blackjack’ from Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, and each game was incredibly suspenseful through the last hand played,” said Rich Cronin, president and CEO of GSN. “We are thrilled to be adding to GSN’s blackjack franchise by creating these new tournaments.” “Celebrity Blackjack” will feature the entertainment industry’s top 25 blackjack players, who will compete to earn money for their favorite charities. “World Blackjack Tour” will take place at top casinos in the United States and other countries.