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BC Beat

'Price’ Won’t Cost Carey His 'Power’ Play

Drew Carey’s Price Is Right schedule wouldn’t keep him from hosting CBS game show Power of 10 if it gets picked up for a second run, according to Power creator, Michael Davies.

Since both shows stockpile multiple episodes, he says, Carey should be able to pull double-duty.

CBS currently doesn’t have room for Power on its fall schedule, but sources at the network say it would be a nice utility player to have on the bench for mid-season. The show also has repeated well, which bodes well for a second run. And the looming threat of a work stoppage among writers in Hollywood has only increased the value of such alternative programs.

Davies knows from moonlighting game-show hosts. When he brought Who Wants to be a Millionaire? to the U.S., he brought in Regis Philbin to host the ABC primetime version while he kept his daytime talk show. And Meredith Vieira has continued to tape episodes for the syndicated daytime version since becoming a Today co-host.

With the recent four-episode pick-up for Power, Davies is confident Carey will have two shows to helm for a while.

“I’m very optimistic that this will be a staple on the network in the future,” he says. “But we just got a pickup, so it’s not like I’ve called and said, 'Can we have more?’”

In the Air

After the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) announced recently that IBM will help administer its digital-to-analog converter-box program, we decided to have a closer look at the $120-million contract.

But when we plugged “NTIA” into the search box at, the clearinghouse on government contracts over $25,000, nothing came up on the agency’s program to maintain over-the-air reception to analog-only sets during the DTV transition.

Turns out the converter-box program isn’t the only thing NTIA outsources. When we searched with the term “converter box,” we not only found the contract—we learned that it was actually negotiated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The contracting officer told us that weather-and-waves outfit handles all contracting chores for NTIA, both of which are part of the Commerce Department (so does that make it “insourcing”?)

“We’re a small unit,” explained an NTIA source, who says the agency—not NOAA—will work closely with IBM to make sure the converter-box coupon program is ready to go Jan. 1, 2008.

But perhaps it’s appropriate that the NOAA is handling a DTV-related contract. After all, it’s all about waves traveling through the atmosphere.

All the Anchor’s Men

Congratulations, Katie Couric! You know you’ve arrived as a Woman of Influence when Edward Klein publishes an unauthorized hatchet job on you.

Katie: The Real Story (Crown), from the author of The Truth About Hillary (as in Clinton) and Farewell, Jackie (as in Onassis), hits book stores Aug. 28—a week ahead of Couric’s first anniversary as CBS Evening News anchor yet rather late to the media pile-on she’s been under for the past year.

But while other Couric watchers worry over frivolous matters like declining ratings and the merits of her newscast, Klein zeroes in on “the real story” behind her journey from cute desk assistant to morning-news diva to evening-news also-ran: the men.

From Couric’s stage-door father to the 33-year-old boy toy she’s been seen with of late, the key to Klein’s Katie is her male relationships.

It takes Klein a mere eight pages to mention CNN’s Guy Pepper, just one in a series of Couric’s romantic dalliances drawn from largely anonymous sources. Our favorite account, attributed to “a Today staffer,” details Couric’s “sorority mouth” and her penchant for regaling underlings with tales of her “lovemaking” while in the make-up chair.

Like Klein’s previous targets, Couric declined to comment for the author’s book about her. Matthew Hiltzik, Couric’s spokesman, called the book “recycled trash and baseless speculation.”

With Ben Grossman, John Eggerton, Marisa Guthrie and Sarah Outhwaite