Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Jan. 15 »

Rumors are flying in D.C. that broadcast and cable networks are lobbying to push back the presidential election to December to make up for any ad losses incurred because of the writers’ strike, Cable360 has learned. Good morning.

20th Century Fox Television, CBS Paramount Network Television, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. Television canceled dozens of development contracts with writers yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reports. With the termination of these production deals with writers, which cover costs associated with the creation of new pilots for TV shows, the fall 2008 television season is now officially in doubt. More than 65 development deals with writers have been canceled since Friday, the Times says, adding that although payments have not been made since the writers went on strike in November, ending the contracts now removes obligation on the part of studios to pay the writers when the WGA strike ends.
    Separately, independent film production company Media Rights Capital, one of the companies behind Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel, signed an interim deal with the Writers Guild of America, a Bloomberg News report picked up by the New York Times says. Spyglass Entertainment also agreed to temporary terms with the Writers Guild, according to the Hollywood Reporter. [Los Angeles Times | New York Times | Hollywood Reporter]

The FCC released a list of the 214 companies bidding for the 700 MHz band, which will be auctioned off beginning Jan. 24. The spectrum up for grabs travels long distances and easily passes through walls, and should “allow companies to plug holes in their networks, provide better voice service, faster Internet connections and other advanced services,” Associated Press reports. [Associated Press]

Time Warner Inc. topper Jeff Bewkes is “doomed if he doesn’t do something,” a “longtime executive from a rival media company” said in a New York Magazine profile of Richard Parsons’ successor. A “prominent media investor” told New York that Bewkes “can’t wait to get his shot at reshaping the company.” What does that mean for Time Warner Cable? “What he should do and what he will do is spin off cable,” the media investor said in the profile. “I think that’s his first priority.” [New York Magazine]

Consumer Reports ranked Verizon’s FiOS as the No. 1 triple-play telecommunications provider in the U.S., according to BroadbandReports.com. [BroadbandReports]

In CableFAX Daily: Cable’s Golden Globe victory in muted colors.

Yesterday’s 360AM.

Got a tip? Email: sgoldstein@accessintel.com and sarenstein@accessintel.com

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