Cable360AM — News briefing for Thursday, Nov. 15 »

Cable360 newsroom staffers missed yet another annual company health fair because of deadlines. Good morning.

NCTA president and CEO Kyle McSlarrow is no Neville Chamberlain. The head of the cable trade group says in the Wall Street Journal that cable operators are not going to “fundamentally wreck a business model and hurt our customers to appease one chairman of the FCC.” NCTA is prepared to fight in court any new FCC rules regarding the cable industry, including enforced a la carte programming. Last Friday, FCC chairman Kevin Martin discussed an upcoming finding that shows the cable industry has gotten too big. That finding will invoke the 70/70 rule in the 1984 Cable Act, thus giving the commission greater powers over cable operators. In today’s Journal article, FCC commissioner Robert McDowell who, like Martin, is a Republican, says he wants to learn more about the methodology behind the data in the finding, which has been circulating among the commissioners. "What we’re seeking is whether the commission is manipulating data to justify a predetermined outcome," says McDowell in the Journal. [Wall Street Journal]

Former CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite will deliver his first commentary on Retirement Living TV’s “news you can use” show Daily Café on Tues., Nov. 20. Cable360 editorial director Seth Arenstein broke the story on Sept. 4 that RLTV was in talks with Uncle Walter. [Cable360]

Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett says the drop in basic video subscribers reported by cable operators has been caused by an overall downturn in the economy, not by competition from the telcos and satellite distributors, reports Cable Digital News. Satellite company EchoStar also took a hit in its third-quarter subscriber numbers, Moffett points out. [Cable Digital News]

CNN Worldwide is adding 15 or 16 correspondents in an effort to expand its international news coverage. [Wall Street Journal]

A long screenwriters’ strike, which seems more likely every day, could give scripted shows that had been struggling a better shot at survival, the New York Times reports. Series that were facing cancellation could stay on for as long as the supply of already-written episodes lasts. [New York Times]

Another bad week for Time Warner shares. [Hollywood Reporter]

Google CEO Eric Schmidt conducted a Q&A with presidential candidate Barack Obama. [Wired Blog Network]

A temporary restraining order will prevent HDNet and HDNet Movies from being dumped into an HD programming tier by DirecTV, reports Broadcast Newsroom. [Broadcast Newsroom]

Comcast is opening a regional call center in Huntsville, Ala., which the company says will create 200 jobs in the area.

Bay News 9 GM Elliott Wiser is leaving his position with the 24-hour local news channel in Florida to assume full-time duties as the group VP of local programming for Bright House Networks. 

TV One acquired rights from Disney-ABC Domestic Television for some of its movies and series, including the ’90s sitcom Where I Live.

In CableFAX Daily: More on the potential for dissent within the FCC. • Got a tip? Email

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