News Briefs: Woodruff in Outpatient Treatment

Apr 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Less than a month after entering a rehabilitation center in New York, “World News Tonight” co-anchor Bob Woodruff, who was severely injured two months ago in Iraq, is in outpatient treatment and spending more time at home. “I can’t tell you what a blessing it is,” he wrote in an update that ABC News President David Westin e-mailed to ABC News staffers last week. A photo of Mr. Woodruff taken at the Woodruff family table accompanied the update. “Though I know there is still a long road ahead, it’s nice to be feeling more like myself again,” wrote Mr. Woodruff, whose initial coma was prolonged by heavy sedation to aid his recovery from head wounds and other injuries. Mr. Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were injured Jan. 29 in a roadside bomb blast just outside Baghdad. They were treated at ABC News’ expense at Bethesda Naval Medical Center. Mr. Vogt left the hospital in February and returned to his home in France to continue rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. Mr. Woodruff was moved from Bethesda to the rehabilitation center in mid-March.

Senate Hold Delays McDowell’s FCC Confirmation

A hold on the nomination of Robert McDowell to a Republican seat on the Federal Communications Commission is blocking his Senate confirmation vote, Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, said last week. Sen. Stevens told reporters he wasn’t sure who had put the hold on the Senate floor vote for Mr. McDowell. Under Senate custom, any senator can anonymously block a vote on a nominee, usually because of objections to the nominee or to seek political trade-off. Mr. McDowell is unlikely to win a confirmation vote until the hold can be worked out. If he is confirmed as the FCC’s fifth commissioner by the full Senate, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will have a Republican majority at the agency.

Bravo Inks Deal With PayPal Mobile

Bravo has made a deal with PayPal Mobile that will allow viewers to use their cellphones to buy products featured on Bravo shows while watching those shows, the network said last week. The new Text to Buy service will launch on Bravo April 12 with the channel’s original reality series “Top Chef.” The network will later launch a “Top Chef” online store on BravoTV.com. The move is the latest in a series of digital programming extensions developed by Bravo, part of NBC Universal.

Discovery Unveils Broadband Channels, Mobile Net

Discovery Networks last week rolled out plans for ad-supported broadband channels for each of its major linear networks during its upfront presentation to advertisers. The broadband channels will provide additional video content complementary to Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, TLC and Discovery Health. The channels represent a renewed focus on broadband at Discovery, which pulled back on its online ventures last year. The new channels include short-form content, such as behind-the-scenes footage and user-generated documentaries. Discovery also said it will introduce in the third quarter a 24-hour mobile network with content from across its networks and genres.

Mag Rack Hooks First Advertiser

Rainbow Media’s Mag Rack has signed the first advertiser for its on-demand programming. Unilever’s Axe Unlimited brand will be the exclusive sponsor of Mag Rack’s “24seven gamer” category. Each segment will be packaged with a 30-second Axe commercial at the beginning and end. The packages were scheduled to debut last week. Mag Rack executives said they hope the sponsorship will lead to bigger deals with Unilever.

The CW Basing Headquarters in Burbank

The CW announced last week that it will base its headquarters in office space unique from both UPN and The WB’s current headquarters. The CW has acquired space in the Pinnacle building in Burbank, Calif. The WB’s headquarters is located a few blocks away, while UPN’s current offices are in West Los Angeles.