Dick Clark Accused of Age Discrimination
Dick Clark, 74, is being accused of age discrimination by a former colleague, television producer Ralph Andrews, 76. In a complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Mr. Andrews claims Mr. Clark wrote him a letter saying he was too old to be considered for a position with Dick Clark Productions.
The letter allegedly states: “It was good to hear from you, Ralph. This is a tough letter to write, I have great respect and admiration for your accomplishments … The last development guy we hired was 27 years old. Another person who is joining our staff next week is 30. People our age are considered dinosaurs. The business is being run by ‘the next generation.'”
Phillip R. Maltin, Mr. Andrew’s attorney, said the rejection constitutes a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Alexander Named NAB Education Foundation President: The National Association of Broadcasters on Tuesday announced that Marcellus Alexander, the association’s executive VP, television, had been named president of the NAB Education Foundation, effective April 1. Mr. Alexander will succeed Chuck Sherman, who is retiring. NABEF, among other things, oversees the annual Service to America summit in Washington.
’76th Annual Academy Awards’ Draws Big Ratings: An average 43.5 million viewers watched ABC’s broadcast of the “76th Annual Academy Awards” show last night, according to Nielsen Media Research fast national ratings data. It also scored a 15.3 rating in adults 18 to 49. The Oscars were up 22 percent in adults 18 to 49 vs. last year, when the show pulled a 12.5 rating in adults 18 to 49. It also averaged 10.5 million more viewers than last year’s 33 million. It was the Oscars largest audience in four years.
FCC Announces March 19 Date for Public Comments Filing on UHF Station Ownership: The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday announced that public comments on whether the agency should retain its discount for UHF television station ownership should be filed by March 19, with reply comments due March 29.
Under an appropriations bill rider recently signed into law by President Bush, the cap on national TV ownership was permanently set at 39 percent of the nation’s TV homes. But the law didn’t say what the FCC should do about pending requests to ax the discount, which has long counted UHF ownership for only half of the homes in a market. Under the FCC rules, VHF TV stations are credited with 100 percent of the homes in the market. Eliminating the cap could result in some broadcast groups exceeding the 39 percent maximum.
Liberty Stock Swap Trims Malone’s Voting Stake: Liberty Media Chairman John Malone’s voting stake in his company will be trimmed to 28 percent from 43 percent as part of a stock swap with the family members of the founder of cable company Tele-Communications Inc.
As part of the stock swap, relatives of TCI founder Bob Magness will exchange their 96 million shares of Liberty Media Series B common stock for 105 million shares of Liberty Media Series A common stock.
The transaction, is expected to close within a week. Mr. Malone will own 90 percent of the Series B shares outstanding. The new agreement supersedes an earlier agreement under which Mr. Malone held the right to vote the Magness shares.
Showtime to Run Britney Spears in HD: Showtime says it will televise a Britney Spears concert March 28 in high definition. The premium network said the concert will also have the distinction of being the first live event broadcast on Showtime in Dolby Digital Surround Sound 5.1.The concert will take place at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.