Malone's “Entirely Friendly” Buy

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone denied on Friday any hostile design in his accumulation of a 17% voting stake in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. “Our intentions of increasing our voting stake over there are entirely friendly to News Corp. and its management,” he told investors during a conference call to discuss earnings of Liberty Media International, which he also runs. But Malone did not specify exactly why he's amassing such a large stake. News Corp. enacted a “poison-pill” takeover defense in the wake of Malone's previous stock purchases.

Five More Years for FCC's Adelstein

Democrat Jonathan Adelstein's appears to have won a new five-year term at the FCC. President Bush s expected to renominate him and ask Congress to include his confirmation in a package of 85 judicial and other federal posts that lawmakers are expected to approve by week's end. Adelstein's term expired June 2003, but he is permitted to stay in the post until the current Congress adjourns.

CBS Axes Producer for Arafat Cut-In

CBS News fired a news producer who cut into prime time programming Wednesday night to report the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

The staffer, a female senior producer for CBS' overnight newscast Up to the Minute, broke in to CSI: N.Y. shortly before 11 p.m. with the report, outraging viewers who missed the end of the crime drama.

CBS apologized for the interruption Thursday, saying an “overly aggressive” staffer “jumped the gun on a report that should have been offered to local stations for their late news.”

As for the producer's dismissal, a CBS spokesperson said Friday, “we do not comment on personnel issues.” CBS planned to repeat the CSI: N.Y. episode Friday night to placate viewers.

Oprah Winfrey Cleared Through 2010

The Oprah Winfrey Show is cleared in 80% of the country through the 2010-11 TV season. King World Productions, which handles the distribution, has deals for all top-20 markets and with key station groups, such as ABC's owned-and-operated stations, Hearst-Argyle, Viacom, Belo, Cox, Scripps Howard and Clear Channel.