CUOMO GOES TO GMA BUT WON'T REPLACE GIBSON
Chris Cuomo will become a regular on ABC's Good Morning America, but he has apparently lost his bid to become co-anchor of the morning talk show with Diane Sawyer. Instead, he will become the news anchor of the program, while Robin Roberts, the previous GMA news anchor, will continue to co-host with Sawyer. There had been considerable speculation that either Cuomo, WABC-TV anchor Bill Ritter, or weekend GMA host Bill Weir would replace Charles Gibson as co-host of the program. Executive producer Jim Murphy held out the possibility that Cuomo might play a greater role on the program in the future. "I have great faith he's going to grow into a major player." Murphy told today's (Tuesday) New York Times. Cuomo will remain one of the rotating anchors of Primetime, which he cohosted with Sawyer for the first time two weeks ago.
GUMBEL DOGGED BY COMMENTS ON TAGLIABUE, UPSHAW
Bryant Gumbel may feel that outgoing NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue keeps Gene Upshaw, the head of the players union, on a "leash," but the NFL apparently may be having "buyer's remorse" about hiring someone like Gumbel, who bites the hand that feeds him. Gumbel made the remark about Tagliabue and Upshaw during his closing remarks on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel last week, adding that Tagliabue had made "the docile head of the players union his personal pet." The former Today show host is scheduled to be the play-by-play announcer on eight late-season games to be carried on the NFL's cable network. In an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, Tagliabue called Gumbel's remarks "uninformed" and "inexcusable." Asked if Gumbel should remain the NFL's announcer, Tagliabue said that the NFL may be experiencing "buyer's remorse" and that Gumbel's comments "call into question his desire to do the job and to do it in a way that we in the NFL would expect it to be done." For his part, Gumbel told the A.P. that when he signed on for the job, no restrictions had been put on his ability to comment on what he sees on the field.
TV WILL BE LESS GAY NEXT SEASON
The number of gay characters appearing regularly in network TV series this fall will decrease to nine from last year's 10, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said Monday. Moreover, it observed, with shows like Will & Grace, Out of Practice and Crumbs going off the air, the characters that remain will have less prominent roles. In a statement, GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano said, "It's clear that the broadcast networks have a long way to go before they accurately reflect the diversity of their audience and our society."
TURNER BROADCASTING TO SNUFF OUT CARTOON SMOKERS
It took only a single complaint from a British viewer to the British TV regulator OFCOM to cause Turner Broadcasting to pull out all of its classic Warner Bros. and Hanna-Barbera cartoons to see whether they contain smoking scenes. "We are going through the entire catalog," a Turner spokeswoman told Reuters on Monday. She acknowledged that the review had been prompted by the OFCOM complaint, which cited two "Tom and Jerry" cartoons. The Turner spokeswoman said that it might be possible to modify such cartoons without drastic edits or having to remove them from the library. "These are historic cartoons, they were made well over 50 years ago in a different time and different place," she added. "Our audience is children and we don't want to be irresponsible."
FOX TV TO BLINK ON RADIO
Fox TV has become the first buyer to buy "blink" commercials -- one- to three-seconds long on Clear Channel Radio stations. It will use the time to promote the premieres of Prison Break, House and The Simpsons. Kaye Bentley, senior VP, Fox Broadcasting, told Advertising Age magazine that the network has "the perfect shows" for a "blink" campaign "because we've got a lot of one-word title shows and we've got a lot of shows that are known properties." In the case of The Simpsons, Bentley indicated, Homer Simpson will be heard saying, "Doh!" followed by an announcer remarking, "The Simpsons, tonight on Fox." The "blinks" will not air during conventional commercial blocks, Fox said, but during regular programming.
CAMERA CAPTURES PORN FILM DURING SWEDISH NEWS PROGRAM
Television viewers in Sweden watching a late-night news program were stunned Monday night when a hard-core porn film showing group anal and oral sex appeared on a monitor over the shoulder of a newscaster. Officials of the public broadcasting station SVT told the English-language Swedish website The Local that they were "shocked and upset" that the porn film got on the air and said that night staff had been watching the channel -- from France's Canal Plus -- earlier in the evening and had forgotten to switch it off before the news program went on the air. "It is incredible that nobody working noticed this," said SVT boss Magnus Åkerlund.
FORMER ABC NEWSMAN COMES UP EMPTY HANDED
Former ABC newsman Richard Gizbert, who was awarded only $180,000 after he successfully sued ABC News claiming that he was fired after refusing to travel to Iraq, found himself losing out entirely Monday when an employment appeal tribunal ruled against him. The tribunal found that ABC had put Gizbert "under no obligation, contractual or otherwise, to visit war zones." Gizbert was recently hired to report for the upcoming English-language version of the Al-Jazeera news channel.