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Through The Wire:  As Curses Go, Its Not Quite the Hope Diamond

You've got to admire a man willing to stick his neck out. Earlier this summer, theAmerican Film Institute released its list of the top 100 American films. Starting Sept. 5,Turner Classic Movies will air 33 of those films, so we asked TCM president Tom Karshto give up his top 10 list (not his 10 faves). They included -- not in order:

  • Casablanca
  • Citizen Kane
  • Duck Soup
  • The
  • Godfather Part II
  • Modern Times
  • Raging Bull
  • West Side Story
  • The Wizard of Oz and
  • (a politically correct choice at Turner) Gone with the Wind.

The Wire does not wish to second-guess Tom's good taste, but personally, wewouldn't have left off Rear Window.

With PR like this, who needs enemies? A curious pressrelease crossed the desk of The Wire recently, berating Louisville, Ky.-based TheMilitary Channel for its lack of participation in MIPCOM, the European TV-marketingtrade show. "Despite pending negotiations for carriage deals with BSkyB [RupertMurdoch's new digital service] and Viasat [Scandinavia] ... The Military Channel ...has displayed little, if no interest, in pursuing European programmingopportunities," the release huffed. And who's responsible for the blast? JordexxTelevision Inc., the network's frustrated distribution promoter. The release is anapparent offshoot of a legal squabble between the parties that arose after The MilitaryChannel allegedly turned down a U.K. home-video deal that Jordexx negotiated, compoundedby the channel's lack of European market aspirations.

Is there a CAB President's Award jinx? Some of JohnBordeleau's friends have been conjuring up that tale after learning that he will belaid off as VP of ad sales as part of Century Communications' reorganization. At theCAB, spokesman Steve Raddock dismissed talk of a jinx as overblown, noting that Bordeleauis perhaps the second recipient in a decade who subsequently lost his job. He added thatit's been so long that he couldn't recall the last riches-to-rags recipient.Maintaining that the award carries no more a curse than others given to cable execs inmarketing or programming, he added, "It's [just] the volatility of thefield."

Who would say "no" to the offer of free TV time?Well, 12 of the 72 candidates for state office in California have, for various reasons,not participated in California Channel's recently announced "Free AirtimeProject." One candidate said the publicity would not fit in with his"no-campaign" campaign, explained John Hancock, president of California Channel.Another minority-party candidate is the exclusive caregiver for an ailing mother and,since she had no campaign lackeys to step into the breach, she could not get away to makeher studio date. A few made appointments, then failed to show up. (Now that's thekind of responsibility that you want to see in a legislative aspirant!) But one candidate,who saw the value of even a few minutes of statewide exposure, made a yeoman's effortto be a part of the process. Hancock said the candidate jumped in a car at home near SanDiego, drove 10 hours straight to get to the state capitol, spent about 30 minutes settingup and taping the interview, then got back in the car for the 10-hour return trip.

By Linda Haugsted, from bureau reports.