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A New Era

Nine months ago, I took the reins of Broadcasting & Cable, and with this issue we give birth to a new era. New writers, new departments, a new logo—all to bring you the definitive word on the most dynamic industry in America every week.

Since Sol Taishoff founded the magazine in 1931, B&C has reported on every aspect of the industry, from policy to programming. As the fourth editor in chief in more than seven decades, I embrace that heritage—and hope to build on it.

Look no farther than our Page One story: “Fat Cats Get Fatter ... and Four More Changes Under Four More Years of George W. Bush.” We know that what happens in Washington has an impact on every part of the TV community, and the reverberations of this election are being felt from Wall Street to Madison Avenue to Studio City. Our cover on what to expect in W’s second term is just the start of B&C’s new beginning.

Essential to where we’ve been and who we are is our unflinching defense of the First Amendment—check out our take on the potential for new censorship crusade and a nightmare scenario where The Sopranos becomes The Castrati (page 51).

We’ll be home for humor and gravitas. We watch what’s on and tell you what’s hot, what’s not and explain why. This week, Matt Roush dissects NBC’s creative woes (page 52). Matt is one of our rotating band of contributors that includes Howard Rosenberg and Brian Lowry—distinct, critical, award-winning voices all.

Executive Editor P.J. Bednarski, who has covered the industry for more than 25 years, ably edits those opinion pages, as well as making sure B&C’s special reports are indeed special. Executive Editor Mark Robichaux, a 13-year veteran of the Wall Street Journal who literally wrote the book on cable (the John Malone bio Cable Cowboy), heads a top-flight team of news editors and reporters. This week, Joe Mandese, who has been covering the advertising community for two decades, gives us a peek at a secret meeting at Procter and Gamble’s Cincinnati headquarters and a little device dubbed “Apollo” that could turn media buying on its head (page 24).

Business Editor John Higgins, in his Money Talks column, breaks down why the marriage between NBC and Pax went wrong.

Our Flash column has a scoop about new fallout from an internal investigation regarding the 60Minutes report on George Bush’s National Guard service. And B&C Week, compiled by Mark Lasswell, a veteran of Spy, New York Observer and TV Guide, tells “where to be and what to watch” (page 6).

One place to be this week is at the Waldorf-Astoria, where, on Nov. 8, we induct this year’s honorees into the 14th Annual Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. It’s our way of paying tribute to TV’s pioneers and visionaries. What better company to help kick off a new design?

And we wouldn’t look so good if not for the vision of creative consultant extraordinaire J-C Suares and B&C’s unflappable Art Director Kent Lau. Man, they dressed us up nice.

These are strange and exciting times for our industry. Prime time actors are now being replaced by amateurs of reality. Phone calls now come over the cable wire. High-definition television is coming soon to cellphone windows. I promise we’ll do our best to decipher it all.

This is the business of television. It’s what B&C is all about.