Cable360AM — News briefing for Tuesday, Nov. 6 »
Yesterday’s first day of the writers strike dominates headlines this morning, with coverage on both coasts showing widespread support in the creative community for the WGA walk-out. In New York, NBC writer/producer Tina Fey marched outside (yep) NBC HQ at 30 Rockefeller Plaza along with writers from Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show including John Oliver. In Los Angeles, writers on series in production at a variety of networks (including cable networks from ABC Family to USA Network) picketed in tandem with supporters including Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Disney Channel postponed the first day of production on J.O.N.A.S., while showrunners wearing both writer and producer caps have been torn. Sen. Barack Obama expressed his support for the strike, calling it "a test of whether corporate media corporations are going to give writers a fair share of the wealth their work creates or continue concentrating profits in the hands of their executives."
Today’s NYC picket line moves to Silvercup Studios in Queens, while Break.com is inviting WGA members to post their work online — the source of the guild’s contract dispute. The LA Times posts a list of affected TV series here, along with comprehensive strike reports and blogs.
In other news, MSNBC is in talks with Rosie O’Donnell about hosting a primetime show, reports the New York Times. "Under one option, Ms. O’Donnell would take the 9 p.m. slot each weeknight on MSNBC, pitting her against Larry King Live on CNN and Hannity & Colmes on Fox News," notes the article, which paints MSNBC as the left-leaning counter-point to Fox News Channel.
Time Warner tapped John Martin as its next EVP and CFO, replacing the retiring Wayne Pace on Jan. 1 and moving him up from his current position as EVP and CFO of Time Warner Cable. Rob Marcus was promoted from Sr. EVP overseeing mergers and acquisitions as Time Warner Cable’s new CFO. Martin’s new boss Jeff Bewkes, following yesterday’s confirmation that he will become Time Warner’s CEO on Jan. 1, commented to the Wall Street Journal, "Everything is on the table." Although investors and Wall Street analysts believe that Time Warner Cable and AOL are the most likely candidates for spin-off, Bewkes declined to discuss any plans. More in the New York Times, Reuters and USA Today.
Barry Diller’s planned break-up of IAC Corp. into five separate companies "will resolve the tension between him and his longtime backer, John Malone," according to this morning’s Wall Street Journal, which sees Diller’s HSN home shopping network ending up in Malone’s hands, a move the moguls discussed earlier this year before talks fell apart. Reuters has more.
NCTA held a conference call yesterday with cable industry trade groups and associations to discuss consolidating events starting in 2008, writes this morning’s CableFAX Daily, which adds that no decisions were made.
CableLabs yesterday touted its October OpenCable roadshow, a week-long event in which 15 hardware manufacturers and vendors showcased the interoperability of their enhanced TV applications with OpenCable. "It was recently reported by Time Warner Cable that 150,000 OpenCable Platform compliant set-top boxes have been deployed to date and the numbers are expected to grow into the millions over the coming years," CableLabs commented in a press release.
Suddenlink doubled its telephony customers in 2007. The St. Louis-based cable operator has expanded its phone footprint from 30,000 last December to more than 75,000 voice customers today across eight states.
Atlantic Broadband signed a long-term deal with Gemstar-TV Guide that includes TV Guide Network, TVG and TV Guide’s Spot On Demand service, the company’s i-Guide interactive program guide and the addition of TV Guide’s Listings2Go service to Atlantic’s high-speed Internet portal, atlanticbb.com. • Catching up? Read yesterday’s Cable360AM briefing »
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