Cable360AM — News briefing for Monday, Sept. 17 »
Time Warner‘s board is expected to approve the ascension of Albrecht’s former HBO boss, Jeff Bewkes, from president and COO to CEO in the coming weeks, taking over CEO duties from chairman and CEO Dick Parsons. Bewkes may become CEO as soon as Jan. 1, while the departing Parsons is expected to stay on as chairman until he officially steps down on June 1, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Dick Parsons was today named #1 on CableWorld‘s 2007 Top 50 Most Influential Minorities in Cable for 2007. And don’t miss the winners in NAMIC’s 2007 Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards, co-presented by CableWorld.
Comcast extended its multi-million dollar credit facility with United Bank of Philadelphia with a $32.35 million agreement. Comcast is also reportedly buying BuddyTV, a Seattle-based TV community site that would fit into its Fancast entertainment portal. [PaidContent]
DirecTV announced its DirecTV 10 satellite is ready to deliver 100 HD channels nationwide by year-end, but the satellite’s spot-beam for local HD channels isn’t working. "The investigation to determine the cause of the reduced capability and potential means to mitigate its effect is on-going," the company said in a statement. "However, we currently believe our planned expansion of HD local programming as previously announced will not be materially affected."
CableLabs is getting ready to start the first official tests of Docsis 3.0, a new spec showcased by Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts at the Cable Show in May that boosts high-speed data over 150 Mbps. [Light Reading | Communications Technology]
Cox Communications is developing technology that would allow subscribers to view and personalize multiple programs at once. Its patent, filed Aug. 30, follows its personalized video mosaic "Zone Channels" being tested in New Orleans and other markets. [Atlanta Business Journal]
Cox expects to finalize a retransmission consent deal with Hearst-Argyle broadcast stations by the end of this month, having reached an agreement in principle on Friday. This weekend it offered HD one-off feeds of the Michigan/Notre Dame and the Nebraska/USC games on KOCO-TV, Hearst’s broadcast affiliate in Oklahoma City, OK, and also offered the Nebraska/USC game in high-def on KETV-TV in Omaha, NB.
AT&T‘s bundled wireless phone/DSL service offering being tested in Austin, TX, and other markets will expand to the rest of the country shortly, AT&T group president Ralph de la Vega tells the San Antonio Express-News.
Charter Communications is taking over Wave Broadband‘s cable system in Cerritos, CA. [Press Telegram]
Showtime is offering a free preview weekend (Sept. 28-Oct. 1) that will make it available in 54 million homes, its biggest audience ever. Affiliates including Comcast and DirecTV will offer a special rate of $6.95 for the first three months (instead of $10-$12/mo.) in addition to online and On Demand content related to the Sept. 30 second season premieres of Dexter and Brotherhood and new episodes of Weeds and Californication on Oct. 1. [New York Post] It’s also refining its search marketing to better promote those new series online. [TV Week]
Cartoon Network is developing a live-action kids show with David Duchovny, his second cable project after Showtime‘s just-renewed Californication. Cartoon premiered Out of Jimmy’s Head, its first live-action series, Friday night. [Hollywood Reporter]
Former CNBC-er Liz Claman is expectd to join Fox Business Network‘s on-air team. [Portfolio]
Discovery Channel’s It Takes A Thief (wherein two ex-cons teach homeowners how thieves operate) also taught Waco, KY, burglar Michael Hobbs the ropes, he told police. Hobbs pleaded guilty to five counts of burglary and was sentenced Thursday. [AP]
Is E! giving Anna Nicole Smith’s baby daddy his own TV show?
ION Media announced upfront commitments from over 40 new advertisers repped by GroupM, the media buying arm of WPP.
TV One passed the 40 million subscriber mark thanks to recent launches on Cox Omaha, Bright House Networks in Orlando and RCN in Chicago.
Cable networks are reaping the rewards of a record investment in original programming this summer [TV Week] while CBS, as the #1 broadcast network and primary cash cow for CBS Corp., has more at risk this fall TV season than other broadcast networks. [Wall Street Journal]
The Los Angeles Times ponders what FCC chairman Kevin Martin may (or may not) do next in his bid to implement a la carte regulations on cable: "Because the FCC’s authority to bar bundling isn’t clear, any attempt to regulate how networks are sold is likely to wind up in court. At the very least, though, the commission can expose how much control programmers wield over the lineups offered by multichannel TV services."
Apple‘s iApologize to pre-price-slash iPhone buyers? Turns out its $100 rebate is only for AT&T customers.
Investors Business Daily comments on the failure of municipal Wi-Fi plans, with San Francisco, Chicago and Milwaukee scrapping plans, Cincinnati’s "on hold," Houston’s plan "comatose" and Philadelphia’s halfway completed build-out "slowed to a crawl."
Bernie Gershon has been promoted from SVP/GM of ABC News Digital Media Group to Disney corporate, where he’s joining the business development and technology group. [PaidContent] • Catching up? Here’s Friday’s Cable360AM briefing.
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