Charter Communications said last Friday that Executive VP and Chief Operating Officer Margaret Bellville will leave the company at the end of the month. Ms. Bellville joined Charter two years ago after serving as president and CEO of streaming media company Incanta. At Charter she was responsible for all company field operations, marketing, programming, customer service and advertising sales. Her last day will be Sept. 30. The company gave no reason for Ms. Bellville’s resignation and did not discuss her plans. Executives at the St. Louis-based cable company will pick up her duties.
Tennis Channel Re-Ups Team Cup Rights
The Tennis Channel has signed a six-year extension to maintain the U.S. telecast rights to the International Tennis Federation’s three Team Cup competitions: the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Terms were not disclosed.
Hurricane Coverage Sets Weather Channel Record
On Sept. 15, the day leading up to Hurricane Ivan’s landfall, The Weather Channel achieved a total-day Nielsen Media Research rating of 1.9 in households, representing more than 1.6 million homes, its most ever. The previous record of 1.7 was generated Sept. 14, 1999, during Hurricane Floyd. The peak rating Wednesday came at 9:30-9:45 p.m. (ET) with a 3.6 rating, representing more than 3.1 million households, which broke another record for The Weather Channel.
GLAAD Finds More Gays on Reality TV, Cable
The media advocacy group Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in its annual analysis of the fall television season released last week commended cable networks and the reality genre for diversity in terms of gay and lesbian characters. Broadcast networks were criticized, however, for the lowest number of gay and lesbian characters in scripted programming since GLAAD started tracking them in 1996.
Traylor Howard Joins `Monk’ Cast
USA Network said Traylor Howard has been signed to join the case of “Monk,” replacing Bitty Schram as assistant to Tony Shalhoub’s character, Adrian Monk. Ms. Howard plays Natalie, a former bartender and single mom who becomes Monk’s assistant. Production of new episodes is scheduled to begin Sept. 23.
CBS Promotes Trilling, McKinnon, Brownfield
Newly named CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler announced last week that she has put together her executive programming team for prime-time series by promoting Wendi Trilling to executive VP of comedy development, naming Laverne McKinnon head of drama development and elevating David Brownfield to senior VP of current programming.
UPN Hires Miller, Somerville, Ups Theodoratos
UPN has named Pamela Miller VP, business and legal affairs, and Angela Somerville director, drama development. In addition, the network has promoted Dana Theodoratos to director, casting. Ms. Miller will handle the negotiation of development, talent and pilot/series deals on behalf of the network. Ms. Somerville will be involved in all aspects of developing new drama series for UPN. Ms. Theodoratos had been UPN’s manager of casting since she joined the network in June 2002.
Oprah Winfrey’s Secret: Cars for Everybody
For weeks “The Oprah Winfrey Show” had talked up a big secret that would be revealed on the Sept. 13 season premiere. The secret turned out to be a car for every member of her season debut studio audience, all of whom received a fully loaded Pontiac G-6. All 276 members of her unsuspecting studio audience were selected to attend Monday’s show because of their need for a new car. The premiere marked the launch of the program’s 19th season. n