News Briefs: ‘Law & Order: CI’ Sold to Strip Syndication

Oct 30, 2006  •  Post A Comment

In a landmark syndication deal, NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution has sold Dick Wolf’s drama “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” to the nation’s top markets for Monday-through-Friday airings. The show has been sold to Fox owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other markets for a fall 2007 debut. The deal marks the first time a broadcast crime drama has been sold to strip syndication since “21 Jump Street” 14 years ago. The last broadcast drama sold to weekday syndication was “7th Heaven” in 2001. “Criminal Intent” is in its sixth season on NBC, with off-net runs on USA and Bravo. The previous week’s episode has run on Sunday night on USA since the show’s launch in 2001. Since last year, USA has televised the series as a weekday strip. Bravo runs the show weekly on Sundays. -James Hibberd

FCC Rejects Angelides’ Bid for Airtime

The Federal Communications Commission late Thursday night rejected California gubernatorial hopeful Phil Angelides’ bid to require NBC’s California stations to provide him nearly 16 minutes of airtime to counter an Oct. 17 appearance by his opponent, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.” The FCC’s Media Bureau said the “Tonight” appearance qualified for a “bona fide” news interview exemption from FCC rules that guarantee political candidates equal opportunity for appearances, citing recent interpretations that the exemption extends beyond traditional news programming. “The program is regularly scheduled, its producers control all aspects of the program, and the producers assert that decisions as to format, content and participants are based on the producers’ independent news judgment as to the participant’s newsworthiness and not motivated by partisan purposes,” the FCC said in its decision. The Angelides campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. -Ira Teinowitz

Brightcove Debuts Internet TV Ad Network

Internet television technology firm Brightcove was scheduled to roll out the Brightcove Network today to help its content partners make money from their online video. The network lets any content provider launch an Internet TV channel on its own site or for syndication. Brightcove will sell ads for the video and split the revenues 50-50. If content owners choose to offer videos for download or rent, they keep 70 percent of the cost of the transaction. -Daisy Whitney

All Sides Weigh In on FCC Ownership Rules

Broadcasters, unions, newspaper publishers and consumer groups urged the Federal Communications Commission in late filings last week to take immediate actions on its media ownership rules, but disagreed on whether that action should be to ease, retain or toughen the rules. Broadcasters and newspaper publishers for the most part are lobbying strongly to ease or end ownership rules. The big exception was The Walt Disney Co., which said flatly it “is not advocating and does not seek any relaxation of the commission’s broadcast ownership rules.” Unions and consumer groups, meanwhile, urged more stringent rules. Monday was the final day to submit filings to the FCC for its review of media ownership rules. -Ira Teinowitz

WBAL, WTAE Take Environmental Prizes

The Society of Environmental Journalists’ 2006 awards for reporting on the environment were presented at the organization’s annual gathering Oct. 25 in Burlington, Vt. Winners in the television reporting categories-who collected a $1,000 prize and a trophy-included John Sherman and Beau Kershaw of Baltimore’s WBAL-TV for “Dirty Secret,” a 15-part investigative series about how a composting facility polluted Chesapeake Bay, which was judged outstanding television reporting, large market; and Jim Parsons, Kendall Cross and Shawn Quinlan of Pittsburgh’s WTAE-TV for “Toxic Treatment,” an investigation of dust control agents used on Pennsylvania back roads, which was judged outstanding television reporting, small market. -Tom Gilbert