Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Jan. 17 »

Forbes (Jan. 28 edition) blasts Brian Roberts, Comcast and cable generally, resorting to traditional arguments about monopoly cable ripping off consumers and quoting some of cable’s major detractors. But "rebellion is afoot," Forbes says, noting "the Internet is emerging as an alternative for the mass distribution of television and movies. The Net promises to upend the cable industry, stripping power from Roberts and handing it to his customers." [Forbes]

U.S. News & World Report, on the other hand, says longstanding—and profitable—deals between content producers and cable, as well as upgrades to cable’s two-way network such as Comcast’s planned Project Infinity, will help keep cable in the forefront of digital content distribution. [U.S. News & World Report]

Cable operators are gaining leverage in their price negotiations with set-top box manufacturers, the Wall Street Journal reports. For years they have been overly reliant on equipment from Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta, now owned by Cisco Systems. The announcement from Comcast topper Brian Roberts last week at CES that the cable industry is rolling out the tru2way open platform, along with Comcast’s own deal with Panasonic for TVs with built-in boxes, Time Warner Cable’s ongoing deal with Samsung and FCC rules regarding set-top box security, are breaking open the market and will eventually spur innovation. [Wall Street Journal]

A U.S. district court stops Comcast from moving public, education and government channels to a higher range in its digital lineup in Michigan. [HometownLife]

AT&T said it is replacing 17,000 backup batteries for its U-verse TV network cabinets, Light Reading reports. U-verse network cabinet batteries have been fingered in four equipment fires so far. [Light Reading]

Bear Stearns provides a quick look at some of the major players bidding for the 700 MHz spectrum, as well as some of those that are sitting it out. [TMCnet]

We’re not sure how well Lifetime’s David Hillman looks naked, but the exec’s ridden the new reality series to a promotion, as he was upped today to VP, Reality Programming on the strength of the success of How to Look Good Naked (Fridays, 9pm). In his new post, he’ll continue to be responsible for developing and overseeing reality programming. Another personnel move, this at Food Network, has our friend Carrie Welch jumping, deservedly, to VP of PR from her Director position. Besides launching Rachael Ray and Bobby Flay, Carrie’s assembled a top-notch PR team at Food. Our best to both David and Carrie.  

The Cable Center today named 24-year cable vet Bill Dorman Director of Learning and Development. Dorman will lead The Cable Center’s training programs. TCC chief Larry Satkowiak has said training will become a larger part of the institution’s growth. Click here for a video tour of The Cable Center.

Yesterday’s 360AM.

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

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