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Station Execs Pick Giuliani To Win in 2008

According to an utterly unscientific poll of an unknown number of TV-station executives, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani will be the next president of the United States.

That was the result of an instant electronic “vote” conducted during a panel at last week's Television Bureau of Advertising conference.

The panel, Political Spending 2007/2008, drew a few hundred senior station executives from around the country who are no doubt looking forward to the windfall from an already elongated election season.

Toward the end of the session, moderator Victor Miller, managing director of Bear Stearns, invited the assembled to use handheld keypads to vote—game-show style—on who they think will win the White House in '08.

For all the media attention focused on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, it was Giuliani who received the greatest share of votes, 27% (Obama and Clinton received 20% and 15%, respectively.)

ABC News Political Director Mark Halperin, who was on the panel, wasn't surprised at the results, however inexact or unrepresentative they may have been.

Not only has actual polling favored Giuliani, he notes, but America's mayor plays well on TV: “He certainly has had a good run in the media in the last couple of weeks.”

Dennis: No Menace?

Broadcasters gathering in Las Vegas this week for the annual NAB convention can breathe easy for now: It appears they won't have to face the feisty Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) across a hearing-roomtable anytime soon.

As chairman of a new House Domestic Policy subcommittee, with expansive oversight on a range of domestic issues, Kucinich has pledged to shine a spotlight on media consolidation. And he is particularly keen on resurrecting the Fairness Doctrine, which put an affirmative obligation on broadcasters to air both sides of controversial issues before the FCC scrapped it as unconstitutional in 1987.

But, according to a Kucinich staffer, such hearings are likely months away. That's because the congressman has been preoccupied with hearings on sub-prime mortgages, foreclosures and payday lenders and other issues affecting urban America.

That doesn't mean broadcasters are off the hook. Kucinich, a passionate opponent of the Iraq war, has argued that the Fairness Doctrine might've helped the country avert war by providing a greater balance of opinions in the media during the run-up to the invasion in 2003.

And, as many in the news media seem to have trouble remembering, Kucinich is running for president.

Let Them Watch 'Cake!'

At a time when media critics in Washington are preparing a report to Congress and the FCC on the scourge of selling junk food on TV, CBS has announced a programming slate for its new Saturday-morning kids' block that reads a lot like a dessert menu.

Of the six shows unveiled last week, three have food-related titles, like CAKE! and Strawberry Shortcake. What's more, CBS' program partner, DIC Entertainment, is the worldwide licensing agent for McDonald's, the fast-food giant that Morgan Spurlock slammed in his documentary Super Size Me.

But not to worry. Although Strawberry Shortcake is set in a Candyland-like world of ice cream cones, lollipops and multi-story sundaes, the iconic strawberry-haired cartoon character and her friends Ginger Snap and Angel Cake aren't selling sweets.

Meanwhile, “Cake” in the live-action CAKE! is the name of a girl who hosts a public-access cable show about souping up ordinary objects “with a little imagination (and a glue gun!).”

And although DIC handles the licensing for the McKids brand of consumer products, it advocates a “balanced active lifestyle through active play, active learning, active entertainment and children's apparel.”

Sushi Pack, however, the third gastromically themed show in the block (about crime-fighting pieces of raw fish), may actually inspire the young to eat more protein.

With John Eggerton