February 25th, 2002
FEDERAL COURT REJECTS FCC LIMITS: Tuesday's ruling by a federal
appeals court could potentially turn the broadcasting world
upside down, and the station you work for could be sold. The
meat of the ruling: The court threw out FCC
regulations which limited television networks from owning
"reach" more than 35% of the nation's television
viewers. The concept was to
prevent a few major companies from owning so many stations
wouldn't get a diversity of programming. The U.S. Court of
Appeals called the
cap "arbitrary and capricious." It also ruled against
FCC regulations from owning cable TV systems in the same markets
it owned broadcast stations.
Again, that regulation was intended to promote a diversity
in ownership, and
programming. The court has given the FCC two choices: Justify
the rules, or
SO, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
If the changes in the rules going back to the 1940's are upheld,
it means that
companies like Viacom, with 30 plus television stations already,
could go on
buying sprees. Smaller groups, like Granite and Sinclair,
endangered species...with the big guys buying them up. Radio
people all too
well know what deregulation means...with some companies, like
literally buying up hundreds of stations across America. And,
if the cable
restrictions fall...you could see deals like Viacom owning
KCBS, KCAL, and
dozens of cable systems serving Southern California. On one
hand, it would
make things like 24-hour cable channels more feasible in markets
but on the other hand, it could make it tougher for smaller
some markets to compete.
FCC Chairman Michael Powell (yes, he's Colin's son!) already
went on the
record as saying he thinks it will be tough to defend its
WHO'S HAPPY, AND WHO'S NOT:
Viacom (Owner of CBS and UPN), News Corp. (Parent of Fox),
and GE (NBC's
parent) challenged the 35% cap, so they are certainly pleased
ruling. On the other side of the fence is the National Association
Broadcasters, which represents smaller broadcast groups and
owners, as well as a number of public interest groups, which
say this isn't
in the public's best interest.
HEADING NORTH: Rob Mayada is now a part of the weather team
KIRO-TV/Seattle. He had been at KCRA /Sacramento.
ANGELLIC ANCHORS: Rory Marcus and Terry Smith are the new
team for the Anaheim Angels. Rory's credits include KNX-AM/Los
KCBS-TV/Los Angeles, and play-by-play work on USC sports.
Terry has been an
announcer for the Columbus Clippers, the Triple A farm club
of the New York
Yankees, for the past 19 years.
RACKING UP THE FREQUENT FLYER MILES: Fox Television Network
Announcer Tim McCarver is going to be very busy this coming
continue his work with Fox, but also handle TV duties for
the San Francisco
MULTI-CHANGES FOR UNI-VISION: Jorge Delgado is the new President
Manager of KMEX/Los Angeles, as well as Univision's co-owned
TeleFutura affiliate KFTR-TV. Delgado had been with Univision
of the TeleFutura group, which launched its new network earlier
Former KMEX President/General manager Augustine Martinez has
been named a VP
with the network, overseeing stations in a half-dozen major
THE KINGER RETURNS TO TV: King Harris has returned to television,
stint as a broadcast instructor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,
and n.d. at
KVEC-AM/San Luis Obispo. Harris was the long time n.d., and
Earlier in his career, Harris was at KMST (now KION) Monterey/Salinas.
SPEAKING OF SALINAS/MONTEREY: Mike Wesley is the new news
director KION and
KCBA. He had been n.d. at KMTR-TV in Eugene, Oregon. Wesley's
included work on assignment desks in the Bay Area at KGO,
KPIX, and KRON
February 18th, 2002
OF THE WEEK...ACTUALLY, MONTH! Media giant Viacom is buying
KCAL-TV/Los Angeles for $650 million dollars, giving the company
a duopoly in Los
Angeles. Viacom owns KCBS-TV. Viacom President and CEO Mel Karmazin
told analysts that the station will remain as an independent,
and continue to
build on its news and sports franchises. KCAL airs more than
five hours a
day of local news, plus is the TV home of the L.A. Lakers, Anaheim
Mighty Ducks, and Los Angeles Kings. Viacom is buying the station
from Young Broadcasting, which has owned KCAL since 1996. Karmazin's
announcement squashed rumors that Viacom might try to eventually
switch the UPN affiliation in Los Angeles from Fox's KCOP to
KCAL. Viacom owns UPN, and has a number of UPN affiliates in
its portfolio. However, Viacom needs to stay on Fox's good side,
because Fox owns key UPN affiliates in other major markets like
KCAL ADD ONE: Station employees won't have to go far to rub
fellow Viacom employees. The station is already located on
Studios lot in Hollywood, with the newsroom in a converted
Paramount is part of the Viacom family. While the news that
continue on with the same type of programming is good news
station employees are wondering about potential "synergy"
combining front office functions. One major asset for KCAL:
half-dozen Los Angeles radio stations could provide an important
link for the stations programming.
CHANGES: Veteran sportscaster Stu Nahan won't be in the starting
lineup when the Los Angeles Dodgers take the field this spring.
and Ross Porter will handle the pregame show duties for 2002,
the last season
the team will be on KXTA. Next year, the Dodgers will air
COLE OUT: KMPC-AM/Los Angeles general manager Nancy Cole
is gone. KMPC is
owned by the Sporting News Radio Network, and the all-sports
station airs USC
sports, Raiders football, and has added a number of local
sports talk shows
in recent years.
GET READY: The Los Angeles Marathon has aired live on KCOP/Los
Angeles since its inception...but this year, there's a big
KCAL-TV/Los Angeles will do the "marathon" live
coverage of the March event.
OUT OF THE DESERT: Eric Hulnick has left his n.d. post at
KVVU, Las Vegas.
Eric's has also been a news director at KNTV/San Jose and
He's the third Meredith Group news director to leave since
Kevin O'Brien took
over as the chain's president.
February 11th, 2002
PHIL GOES UPN: Phil Shuman is now at KCOP/UPN 13 Los Angeles
as an anchor and reporter. He's now a part of the "Unit
13" investigative team, and will
anchor the "Best of Unit 13" on Saturdays and Sundays.
Before joining KCOP, Shuman was a correspondent for the nationally
syndicated news magazine "EXTRA". He was a fixture
in Southern California news as a reporter for
UP FOR SALE? "Broadcasting" magazine reports Young
Broadcasting is suggesting its KRON-TV/San Francisco is a
top candidate to become part of a
duopoly. KRON lost its NBC affiliation to KNTV/San Jose on
and has taken a big ratings hit since becoming an independent
outbid NBC for KRON-TV, and it was in talks with NBC about
a sale late last
year before NBC agreed to buy KNTV. Since CBS and Cox have,
or are putting
together duopolies in the Bay Area, ABC and NBC would be the
candidates for a deal.
WHAT'S THE "WORST CASE"? Getting not enough sleep,
because of two jobs.
KPIX/San Francisco "Evening Magazine" host Mike
Rowe adds duties as the host
of the new TBS show "Worst Case".
HARVEY INVESTIGATES A NEW DEAL: Former KCBS-TV/Los Angeles
reporter Harvey Levin continues to add to his syndication
credits. You know
him from his "People's Court" interviews...but now,
his syndicated show
"Celebrity Justice" has been picked up by Warner
CALL ME OLD, BUT I REMEMBER HIM: If you grew up in Southern
during the 1960's or even 70's...the name Baxter Ward is a
Ward was news director and anchor at KCOP during the late
1950 and early
60's. In 1962...he started a seven year run as news director,
and anchor at
KABC. In 1969, he ran for mayor of Los Angeles, and lost.
Following a stint
at KHJ-TV (now KCAL), in 1972, he ran for the Los Angeles
County Board of
Supervisors, where he ultimately served two terms. He spent
years as a television commentator in the early 1980's before
died February 4th in a Washington State Hospital, shortly
after he was
diagnosed with lung cancer.
February 4th, 2002
MOVING NORTH FROM THE SOUTH BAY: Kristen Dahlgren is now freelancing
from KGO-TV/San Francisco. She had been a host for the cable
network "Tech TV."
FROM L.A. TO THE BAY: Tracy Martinez joins KNTV/San Jose
as a freelance
reporter. Tracy had been freelancing for KCOP/UPN13 Los Angeles.
COVERING THE INLAND EMPIRE: Angela Chee is the new San Bernardino/Riverside
County bureau reporter for KCBS-TV. She had been at KBAK/Bakersfield.
MR. NEWS TIP: Former Bay Area news executive AL HOLZER
is now with SmithGeiger Research-Consulting, as an executive
EATON TO RETIRE: The VP/GM of Viacom's KPIX-TV/San Francisco
retire this spring. Jerry Eaton told the San Francisco Chronicle
been planning the move for some time. His career includes
a stint overseeing
KPIX and KCBS-TV/Los Angeles, and the GM's post at KYW/Philadelphia.
STAFFERS SUE: The San Francisco Chronicle reports KPIX-TV/San
being sued by three African-American news department members,
who allege they
were victims of racial discrimination. Among the claims: allegations
reporter was passed over for anchoring duty and promotions,
they didn't get
choice travel assignments, and weren't paid the equivalent
salaries as other
employees. The newspaper reports the station had no comment
on the charges.
HENRY GONE, JACOB IN: Meredith Broadcasting's KPHO/Phoenix
has replaced News Director Bob Henry with Mitch Jacob, the
KWCH/Wichita. New station group President Kevin O'Brien (longtime
KTVU/Oakland GM) is shaking things up at many of the Meredith
Henry was longtime News Director of KCAL-TV/Los Angeles.
MEREDITH ADD: Meredith named former KRON-TV/San Francisco
VP of News Mark
Berryhill VP of News for the entire company's chain of stations.
was (earlier in his career) n.d. at KYMA Yuma, Arizona/El
CLEAR CHANNEL CHANGES: David Hall is upped from head of programming
Clear Channel's Los Angeles AM news-talk cluster
(KFI, KLAC, KXTA) to VP, Talk Programming for the Premiere
Taking his place in L.A....Robin Bertolucci, formerly with
QUIET NEWS DAY? AP STEPS IN: KMPH-FM Fresno is adding to
its news format
with AP Radio's 24 hour all-news audio service.