News briefing for Tuesday, April 8, 2008 Greetings from the Cable360 newsroom in Bangalore.

The New York Times reported that CNN and CBS News have been in talks to pool their newsgathering resources. In a Variety story, CNN and CBS “downplayed” the Times report. Some kind of deal, possibly even an acquisition of CNN by CBS, may be in the works. [Variety | New York Times] The historians among you know that former CNN owner Ted Turner had designs on CBS years ago. During an April 1 conversation with Charlie Rose, Turner said he actually had hand-shake agreements to acquire the news operations of CBS, NBC and ABC. [CR]

ESPN will be providing sports highlights and some of its original programming to the AOL Video and AOL Sports Web portals, Variety reports. AOL subscribers will have access to sports capsule show SportsCenter Right Now and clips from Mike & Mike in the Morning, Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn. [Variety]

Yahoo rejected Microsoft’s buyout offer again, saying the asking price is too low, the Los Angeles Times reports. Yahoo is hoping to work out a deal with Time Warner in which it would sell a minority stake to the media company, but some analysts think this scenario is unlikely. If Yahoo doesn’t agree to the Microsoft buyout by April 26, Microsoft may initiate a hostile takeover of Yahoo’s board of directors. [Los Angeles Times]

Briefly Noted
Web advertising system company NebuAd says it will soon be monitoring the Web surfing activities of 10% of U.S. Internet users. [New York Times]

High-profile tech bloggers who happen to be Comcast customers know how to get Comcast’s attention when their service is down. [ZDNet]

U.S. armed forces are strained in two conflicts, a truly ugly general presidential election is about to commence and the only solid financial investments left in the U.S. are oil industry companies and Manhattan real estate, but all anybody seems to be talking about is the defection to Lifetime Television of Bravo’s Project Runway. [Reuters]

New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas is still on Cablevision president/CEO and Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan’s payroll. [Daily News]

LATE STORIES
CableFAX Daily
reported this morning that FCC chmn Kevin Martin has circulated an order exempting cable systems of 552Mhz or less from an ’01 obligation to carry must-carry broadcasters’ HD signals. Martin’s announcement at a DC Summit of the ACA was greeted by a standing ovation.


Star Wars still got it. Spike TV’s telecast of the ad-supported cable premiere of Star Wars-Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on Sunday (8:00-11:00pm ET/PT) was the top rated movie in Spike history and the highest rated movie of the year on ad-supported cable for Men 18-49 and Persons 18-49. The film drew 4.2 mln viewers with a 3.0 HH rating. Star Wars: Ep I on Friday evening grabbed 2.8 mln viewers and a 2.0 rating; Star Wars: Ep II on Sat night drew 3.3 mln viewers and a 2.4 HH rating. Spike will be showing more Star Wars films this weekend.

Laurel Wichert was upped to VP, Research for TV Land. As senior director of TV Land research, she authored TV Land’s forthcoming Boomer study that takes an in-depth look at shopping habits and brand decisions among 40-somethings.

It’s more than location, location, location, but former NY Mets star Darryl Strawberry did spend this spring at the team’s facility in Port St. Lucie, Florida, now he has a job to show for it. Strawberry will join SNY as a baseball analyst during Mets pre- and post-game shows starting April 28.

Yesterday’s top stories. Cable360 Announcements
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