Cable has been hit by more scandals. Despite being poster boys for our version of the Discovery Health Channel National Body Challenge (see CableWORLD, April 5), Cable Positive president Steve Villano and Bob Gold & Associates president Bob Gold were caught cheating on their diets. The two were seen sneaking bacon- and cheese-laden hors d’oeuvres during a cocktail party at NAMIC’s Vision Awards in Beverly Hills last month. In addition, in a case that makes the Rigas allegations seem insignificant, Bob Gold pleaded no contest to charges that he fudged his starting weight for this contest. "At home I was 199, then I went to New York City for my official weigh-in, only to learn that I was 204," Gold told authorities. Fortunately, Discovery Health Channel interim GM Eileen O’Neill issued pardons to Villano and Gold, but warned them nearly 15,000 sets of eyes would be following them this week during the National Show in New Orleans. "If I were them, I’d be worried," she said, noting that the challenge gets harder at the four-week point. "The honeymoon is over," she said. Yet O’Neill has guarded optimism for Villano and Gold, who report they feel healthier than they have in years. She noted that during Discovery Health Channel’s 12- week National Body Challenge that ended last month, more than 55,000 Americans lost 200,000 pounds. In addition, ratings for the Body Challenge series on Discovery Health have been so strong, there are plans to expand the franchise (see above). Meanwhile, let us know who you think will eventually win the 12-week challenge, Bob or Steve, and why. Those who send the most imaginative entries will be eligible for a special prize from Discovery Health Channel and CableWORLD. Send your entries to: cwhealth@pbimedia.com.

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Todd Porch was named president of ad-tech company Strategus . Porch most recently served as vp, Comcast Cable ’s Effectv . – A+E Networks promoted Christopher Barry to evp, financial and business planning

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