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2-5-2007: The TV Industry News Report

Zucker's Rise at NBC Reflects Media Shifts  (WSJ)
Co.'s decision to name Jeff Zucker this week as chief executive of its NBC Universal entertainment business, succeeding Robert Wright, reflects GE management's view that a younger executive is needed to deal with the challenges posed by the Internet. The company plans to announce the long-expected promotion of 41-year-old Mr. Zucker, head of the NBC Universal Television Group, tomorrow, according to people familiar with the matter. Meeting of NBC Board May Mean Change at Top (NYT)

Television Power Shift: Cable Pays for 'Free' Shows (WSJ)
Just after midnight on Jan. 6, technicians in 12 mostly Midwestern states threw switches that blacked out at least one major broadcast channel from about 500,000 homes. Behind the disruption was an increasingly bitter, high-stakes slugfest between broadcast-station owners and cable operators. Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. blacked out 22 of its 57 stations, and the popular network shows they carry, from cable operator Mediacom Communications Corp.Super Bowl Advertisers Play if for Laughs (WSJ)
Slap-happy men, a celebrity bad boy and a feel-good Coke ad won the game within the game during Super Bowl XLI, impressing ad-industry pros and consumers, and showing once again that humor is the best way to grab viewers' attention during the gridiron classic.
Screening Shows on Other People's Sites
Fox Television Stations Inc. is signing up new affiliates for its news programs: bloggers.The News Corp. group, which owns 35 TV stations across the country, struck a deal last week with Internet company Critical Mention Inc. to push video segments from its local news shows to blogs and other enthusiast websites.

Anheuser-Busch Launches Brew-Tube (NYT)
The man everyone calls Schu has been working on a different sort of content, programming for a new online entertainment network called Bud.TV. The network, which will make its debut on Monday at, is the most ambitious and costly effort to date of a marketer creating Web content tailored to its own specifications.