A look back at the headlines from 10 years ago proves the old saw about television being a cyclical business. And history can provide insight into the future. So leading up to TelevisionWeek’s commemorative silver-anniversary issue on May 21, we’re reviewing the biggest headlines from 1997.
Broadcast television networks looked to expand in the cable universe.
Cable Turns CBS Into Player; TNN, CMT Bought
Feb. 17: In the blink of an eye, CBS has transformed itself into a cable contender.
Last week’s $1.55 billion acquisition of TNN: The Nashville Network and CMT: Country Music Television from Gaylord Entertainment Co. capped an eight-month binge that has seen CBS go from cable zero to one of the top network owners in the business.
The transition to digital television broadcasts kicked off.
FCC, Broadcasters Agree on Digital for Christmas ’98
April 7: Firing the starting gun of a historic race toward advanced TV technology, the Federal Communications Commission last Thursday voted unanimously to give 1,500 TV stations new digital channels.
Barry Diller was assembling a television empire.
Diller Patching Together a TV Giant
Oct. 27: After much patience and perseverance, Barry Diller finally has what he wants: the chance to build another broadcasting and cable TV powerhouse inside a diversified media company. This time it’s under the new moniker USA Networks Inc.
A television programming maestro passed away.
Tartikoff’s Lifework Leaves a Legend
Sept. 1: To the very end, Brandon Tartikoff, the legendary television programmer and former NBC Entertainment president, wasn’t going to let something like illness get in the way of the thing he loved most.