Cable360AM — News briefing for Monday, Nov. 5 »
The Writers Guild of America members hit the picket lines today following last-ditch efforts over the weekend to avert a strike, including withdrawing a proposal concerning DVD payments. But WGA rights over digital and online download payments still must be resolved, the WGA said in a statement. Late-night TV is immediately impacted, with repeats tonight including Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Meanwhile, networks continue to make plans including Showtime, which just renewed Weeds for a fourth season, but it’s tentatively scheduled for next summer pending the WGA strike. Such uncertainty has prompted the TV Critics Association to schedule a meeting today to come up with contingency plans for January’s TCA press tour. [More coverage: AP | NYT-1 | NYT-2 | NYT-3 | LAT | WSJ | Hollywood Reporter | Variety]
Time Warner‘s board of directors today approved the promotion of president and COO Jeff Bewkes to president and CEO, effective Jan. 1. He will take over the CEO title from Richard Parsons, who will remain chairman of Time Warner’s board. The announcement was predicted in this morning’s Financial Times and Wall Street Journal.
Google this morning unveiled Android, its open platform for mobile devices, and announced 34 charter members (including Sprint) in its Open Handset Alliance who will help develop the Android platform. More details here.
Insight Communications reported 3rd quarter earnings this morning. Insight added 21,100 basic subscribers in the quarter, bucking the trend of MSOs losing basic subs, while boosting revenue 14% in the quarter.
Facebook plans to start letting advertisers interact with users even when they aren’t on the Facebook site, while News Corp.’s MySpace will today announcing a self-service way for users such as bands, politicians and small businesses to buy ads, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Barry Diller’s IAC Corp. will split into five publicly traded companies, separating its Internet businesses (which will still be grouped under IAC) from HSN, Ticketmaster, LendingTree and Interval. Details in IAC’s release.
A&E has cancelled Dog the Bounty Hunter after last week’s controversy surrounding Duane "Dog" Chapman, reports the New York Post.
C-SPAN founder, president and CEO Brian Lamb will be presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bush during a ceremony today at the White House.
CNBC‘s Maria Bartiromo is profiled in today’s New York Times, where she says she’s having "the best year of her career."
Court TV‘s Murder by the Book returns tonight — Seth Arenstein’s review is here.
HBO and Larry David are in talks about extending Curb Your Enthusiasm a few more seasons, reports the New York Post.
Plum TV expanded to Sun Valley, Idaho, and Miami, adding to its local on-air and online channels serving Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, The Hamptons, Vail, Aspen and Telluride, Colo. Plum’s backers include Tom Freston, Jimmy Buffett, Andy and Kate Spade and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Retirement Living TV and AAA are teaming up to promote safe driving for seniors.
Viacom‘s bullishness on C3 ratings at MTV Networks and its other TV properties was discussed by CEO Philippe Dauman on Friday’s Q3 earnings call with analysts. (More in Mediapost and the Wall Street Journal.) Dauman and BET chair Debra Lee have been targeted by protesters (calling themselves Enough is Enough) outside their respective homes, notes the New York Times.
WWE suspended two wrestlers Friday for failing its substance abuse and drug testing program: Chris Mordetzky (Chris Masters) for 60 days following a second violation; and first-time offender Harry Smith (D. H. Smith) for 30 days.
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