BY JON LAFAYETTE Mag Rack announced five new video magazines for hotel distribution at last week’s Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association show, but that’s not all the Rainbow Media subsidiary has in the works. The video-on-demand programmer is developing content and a VOD strategy to reach Hispanics, said Mag Rack EVP and GM Matt Strauss. Strauss said that rather than simply add a Spanish-language audio track, his staff is developing a Mag Rack en Español package that pulls together relevant titles with fresh content. Strauss confirmed he’s looking into developing high-definition content for VOD. Mag Rack’s first affiliate marketing event also took place last weekend at the Carl Casper custom auto show in Louisville, Ky., in partnership with the local Insight Communications team. Separately, Primedia Video Magazine Rack, which is owned by Cable World‘s parent, is also expanding in the wake of its MSO partnership with Comcast for the MSO’s flagship Philadelphia VOD launch. Tara Maitra, SVP of Primedia Digital Video, said a new affiliate marketing kit and website are about to be released, new video magazines are being delivered to Comcast and more distribution deals are in the pipeline. The city of Los Angeles is considering establishing policies — including a business tax on cable operators — to use in its negotiations with MSOs for franchise renewals. Cable operators in the city have never paid business taxes, arguing that franchise fees were enough. The city, however, needs to find any new revenue stream possible to help fill budget gaps. Other policy potentials floated last week include ensuring open program access, universal availability of cable modem service and fees on cable modems. Initiative Media is beefing up its national broadcast sales department, which covers national cable spots, to accommodate increased advertising spending by clients. Initiative announced Friday that it created a new position to cover the West Coast as well as key clients Coors Brewing Co., Merck and SC Johnson. Ray Dundas, former group director of national broadcast at OMD, will fill this role. Comcast has partnered with former AT&T Broadband executive David Jefferson to help jump-start his new cable services business. Comcast agreed to out-source its subscriber marketing to Jefferson LLC, which is being formed as a minority-owned holding company. Comcast declined comment on whether it invested in the company…. CNN is not for sale, according to Turner Broadcasting EVP Brad Turell…‥ Although AOL Time Warner‘s AOL TV interactive television service is kaput, a spokesperson confirmed the company is moving ahead with TiVo on an initiative that would allow AOL members to program their TiVo boxes from the AOL service…. Speed Channel won the first TV campaign in a decade from L’Oreal’s high-end men’s cologne, Drakkar Noir.

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