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The week that was

Rukeyser to CNBC

Spurned PBS veteran Louis Rukeyser is joining CNBC to host a new weekly show, Louis Rukeyser's Wall Street. He'll even be returning to some PBS stations.

Rukeyser, 69, ended his 32-year run on public TV in March after Maryland Public Television, which produced Wall $treet with Louis Rukeyser,
dropped him from the show. Rukeyser will make his CNBC debut April 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET, the same timeslot he had on PBS and, in some markets, still will. CNBC will make the show available to PBS outlets one or two days after its initial play. Long Island, N.Y.'s PBS outlet WLIW-TV will distribute the show.

CNBC is seeking underwriters, planning only to air commercials at the top and bottom of the half hour. MPT, claiming that Rukeyser was sacked based on viewer input, is replacing him with Wall $treet Week with Fortune,
hosted by Fortune
editorial director Geoffrey Colvin, 48, and a woman yet to be chosen.

Down, but not done

Hey, they're not done counting yet, but preliminarily, NAB officials have counted attendance as "95,000 and counting," said spokesman Dennis Wharton on Tuesday. "It is, by any stretch of the imagination, a fantastic show for the NAB," which last year attracted 113,000. Given the fallout from 9/11, the NAB was bracing itself for a large attendance decline, but organizers saw pre-registration start to climb about six weeks ago.

RTNDA by half

The quickly-organized Radio-Television News Directors Association convention, held in association with NAB in Las Vegas, drew about 1,100 registrants, around half what it would likely have drawn at the Nashville conference cancelled due to Sept. 11, but still above its goal.

RTNDA President Barbara Cochran said that about 800 of the registrants were paid, and more than 600 were news executives.

PTC attacks shield

It didn't take long for watchdog group Parents Television Council to target FX's gritty new hit original series, The Shield.
"PTC has launched a targeted campaign to expose the companies that continue to support the unprecedented filth FX has chosen to display on The Shield," says PTC Founder L. Brent Bozell. According to PTC, advertisers Burger King, Office Depot and New Balance have stopped running ads on the program.

Wallace to cut back

Right. After 34 years as a full-time correspondent with the program, Mike Wallace, 84, says he will cut back on his workload at CBS's 60 Minutes. He told The New York Times
he would reduce his workload by 50% starting next season. Of course, Wallace said the same thing about the current season and he's already done 15 segments, more than any other staff correspondent. This time, Wallace insists he means it, saying the travel has become too fatiguing. Others at the CBS News division are skeptical. In fact for the last two seasons, Wallace has been contractually obligated to do only half the normal full-time load of a 60 Minutes
correspondent, but has worked full time anyway. If he does cut back, it's expected Bob Simon and Christiane Amanpour would increase their contributions.

Factions fight over SET-top standard

Two factions of the digital television industry are fighting over whether the open set-top-box standard developed by Cable Labs violates consumers' rights to copy content.

Last week, the Home Recording Rights Coalition said that the most recent version of the Point-of-Deployment Host Interface License Agreement, known as PHILA, secretly maintains "anti-consumer constraints on any product that would be sold in competition with those of its cable industry owners," said HRRC's Michael Petricone. "After a year of secret negotiations, all of the anti-consumer provisions remain. The sorry state of the PHILA license shows that the FCC now needs to reclaim the mission that the Congress gave it." On Monday, Cable Labs President Richard Green sent a lengthy, detailed letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), calling HRRC's claims "highly inflammatory and inaccurate." Instead, Green says, "PHILA provides tools, not rules."