Cable360AM — News briefing for Friday, Jan. 25 »

It’s the fourth week in January and the Redskins still don’t have a head coach. Good  morning.

The nearly 3-month-old writers strike has delivered an economic slowdown to Hollywood, but Madison Ave, for the most part, has yet to notice, The NY Times says. The majority of TV advertisers have decided to maintain their upfront ad contracts for Q2 2008; “some are even making new outlays,” the paper says. Prime-time ratings have yet to dip significantly, meaning television remains a very attractive medium for advertising. [The NY Times]

Nearly three weeks after AT&T’s chief executive Randall Stephenson admitted that the economic crunch had caused some customers to shut off their phone service, the company yesterday emphasized the recession-proof nature of the phone business. CFO Rick Linder said AT&T was experiencing the effects of a softer economy, but noted that consumers will want to stay connected online or by phone. The company posted strong Q4 earnings Thursday, with net income up 63% and revenue reaching $30.3 billion, nearly double the $15.9 billion mark for the same period one year ago. Growth came from wireless, AT&T said, while revenue reflected acquisition of Bell South. [The NY Times]   [The Wall Street Journal]

Meanwhile, in other telco news, a trio of senior Sprint officials are leaving in a shakeup. CFO Paul Saleh, chief marketing  officer Tim Kelly and president for sales and distribution Mark Angelino are out. Shares climbed 37 cents to $9.09 on the news. 
[The Washington Post]

Briefly Noted
Critic Dorothy Rabinowitz writes what every HBO exec wants to hear: the network’s new series In Treatment (premieres Monday) is a worthy successor to The Sopranos. [The Wall Street Journal]

Day One of the FCC spectrum auction saw bids totaling $2.78 billion. The auction could last for several weeks. [The Washington Post]

The Golf Channel’s embattled anchor Kelly Tilghman returned to work Thursday after serving a two-week suspension for using the word “lynched” during a broadcast.
[The NY Times]  [Cable 360]

The American Association of Advertising Agencies in New York is expected to name Nancy Hill president/CEO. She’d be the first woman in the post in the 91-year history of the Four A’s. Mad Men’s Don Draper would be outraged. [The NY Times]

Rupert Murdoch said yesterday in Davos, Switzerland, that The Wall Street Journal’s Web site would continue to be largely a subscription vehicle. The NY Times, whose site is free, reports that policy could change, however. [The NY Times]

Microsoft scotched reports of a soft economy, predicting a strong 2008 as the company’s earnings rose 79 percent, exceeding Wall Street’s predictions. [AP at The Washington Post]

Hey, did you see Uncle Leo Hindery on CNN last night in his new role as economic advisor to the presidential campaign of John Edwards?

Today in CableFAX Daily: Insight gains basic subs and Comcast becomes the first user of and supplier to Nielsen On Demand Reporting & Analytics. Yesterday’s 360AM

Got a tip? Contact sgoldstein@accessintel.com and sarenstein@accessintel.com.

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