It was a night of bittersweet laughter as industry friends and colleagues recalled the ever-entertaining (and sometimes endearing) exploits of the late B&C business editor John Higgins, who died of a heart attack last month (Cfax, 11/22). At a memorial service held at MTV’s hq in New York City Tues, cable execs including Lifetime’s Betty Cohen, former Viacom chief Tom Freston, Oxygen’s Gerry Laybourne, MTV’s Judy McGrath, Crown Media’s Henry Schleiff and many others came out to pay their respects. Michael Molinelli, a longtime friend dating back to college, summed up Higgins’ enduring legacy this way: “He didn’t really touch lives. He sort of slapped them with an open palm.” Said B&C executive editor Mark Robichaux: “Patient. Peaceful. Diplomatic. None of these things describe John Higgins.” Everybody, it seemed, had a story or 2 about the outwardly irascable reporter, whose in-your-face style co-existed with a softer side that inspired great loyalty among those who knew him. “My name is Paul, and I’m a recovering Higgins addict,” NCTA’s Paul Rodriguez told attendees, who replied “Hi Paul” in unison. Higgins stories flowed like sweet wine at the event: his love of obscure music and used CDs; his knowledge of out-of-the-way NYC restaurants and dives; his long days working the phones and late nights plowing though SEC filings in search of that big scoop, which he often found to competitors’ dismay. Perhaps most touching was a final goodbye from Higgins’ wife, Deborah. “He always used to say that life was an adventure, and he certainly treated it that way,” she said. “He told me his test for friends was whether he would rob a gas station with them.” Many of us would jump at the chance. “Fearless. Funny. Unforgettable,” said Robichaux. “These are the words that describe my friend John.” And why we’ll miss him so much. – MG

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FCC Seeks Comment on NAB NextGen Petition

The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on NAB’s petition regarding the treatment of multicast streams under the NexGen TV local simulcasting rules.

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