Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Nov. 13 »

The kitchen in the Cable360 newsroom was closed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, so we’re suffering from coffee and donut withdrawal. Good morning.

While FCC chairman Kevin Martin gets set to put into motion plans to make it easier for media companies to own newspapers and TV stations in the same market, his seemingly contradictory impulse to regulate cable operating companies continues to find expression. The Wall Street Journal reports that among the FCC’s upcoming rules governing cable would be a cut in rates operators can charge for leasing cable-access channels. [Wall Street Journal]

Comcast is closing local-access Channel 17 in Flint, Mich., reports the Flint Journal. [The Flint Journal]

Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett tells the Silicon Alley Insider that cable operators aren’t close to reaching the 1984 Cable Act’s 70/70 benchmark, which would clear the way for the FCC to enact new regulations. Moffett also points out that it’s unclear who would really benefit and suffer from enforced a la carte programming. [Silicon Valley Insider]

Walt Disney Co.’s Robert Iger is facing his first real test as chief executive, Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen tells the New York Times. The slowing economy is threatening Disney’s theme parks and consumer products, and the writers’ strike could hurt its TV and movie divisions. [New York Times]

Attendance is down this week at Writers Guild of America picket lines in Los Angeles. [Los Angeles Times]

DirecTV will be producing three original series for “the 101,” its general entertainment network on Channel 101, according to the Hollywood Reporter. [Hollywood Reporter]

EchoStar added 110,000 new Dish subscribers in the third quarter, says Broadcast Newsroom. [Broadcast Newsroom]

Nevertheless, EchoStar shares declined on Monday. [Wall Street Journal]

Atlantis Technology Group is negotiating with iStream Global Broadband Television developer Intervision for the rights to the latter company’s iBox media system, which allows users to watch live television on their PCs and media players and provides the ability to send live broadcasts directly to streaming Internet and satellite channels, CNNMoney.com reports. [CNNMoney.com]

HD lifestyle network AnswersTV will be announcing programming partners in the coming months, says parent AnswersMedia. AnswersTV programming is currently available on the Web and via network syndication partners including Cablevision’s VOD platform.

Rainbow Media announced that Magic Johnson will be starring in a series for the company’s Sportskool on-demand network.
 
Delbert Mann, director of Marty (1955) and a pioneer of live TV dramas in the 1950s, passed away on Sunday. [Wall Street Journal]

In CableFAX Daily: Cable analysts respond to FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s call for new cable regulations. • Got a tip? Email sgoldstein@accessintel.com.

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