Cable news nets are front and center for tonight’s primaries. Good morning.
HBO is going postal, or perhaps the U.S. Postal Service has joined with a first-class cable programmer to push the envelope (puns intended) and promote HBO’s 7-part epic John Adams (premieres March 16), Stuart Elliott writes in his NY Times’ advertising column. The two are collaborating on a promotional campaign that pushes the art of letter writing via John and Abigail Adams, who penned some 1,000 letters to each other during their lives. Indeed, letters, or the lack of them when John was off in Paris with Ben Franklin attempting to urge the French to support the American Revolution, play an important role in HBO’s miniseries, which stars Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney. The Postal Service campaign will allow consumers to write letters, with free postage, using quotes from the Adamses. It is the largest promotional campaign the Postal Service has ever undertaken. And don’t fret that Washington will raise stamp prices to pay for it. HBO parent Time Warner is picking up the tab for the promotion. [NYT]
Adelphia founder John Rigas and son Timothy lost their final appeal Monday when the Supreme Court rejected their plea without comment, an AP story says. John Rigas, 83, is serving a 15-year prison term. Timothy was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Their lawyers argued that fraud charges should be thrown out because accounting terms were not explained to the jury. In addition, they claimed the Rigases properly followed accounting rules that the government said were fraudulent. [AP]
ESPN will employ marquee directors like Spike Lee to create a series of sports-related docs called 30/30 that will run next year, The Hollywood Reporter says. Bristol also is moving into feature films in a big way, retaining Hollywood heavy CAA to scout film topics and talent. [THR]
Food Network decided not to renew British chef Robert Irvine’s contract after it was discovered that his resume wasn’t quite what he claimed. The Dinner Impossible host said he was offered a castle by the queen, worked with Diana and was knighted. Those claims were proved false by a Florida newspaper, The Times of London says. [Times]
Comcast International Media Group tapped Lee Raftery as VP, International Marketing. Raftery will lead marketing in 160+ countries and be tasked with building the E! and The Style Network brands globally as well as G4, The Golf Channel and Versus. Prior to CIMG, Raftery worked for Hasbro Inc.
Martin Brophy, president and owner of Shen-Heights Television, and Kirby Campbell, vice chairman of Armstrong, have joined the American Cable Association’s executive committee. Armstrong was named CableWorld’s Independent Operator of the Year in 2007.
WE’s new series Women Behind Bars is described by a NY Times’ reviewer as the “marginally” higher-minded response to Oxygen’s Snapped. [NYT]
Today in CableFAX Daily: The cable industry’s 2-week events schedule includes a fundraising agreement.