WOODRUFF RETURNS TO IRAQ
Former ABC World News co-anchor Bob Woodruff, who suffered critical brain injuries when the MT-LB he was riding in was struck by a roadside bomb in Iraqin 2006, has returned to the war zone for a series of reports that will focus on the treatment of U.S. soldiers injured in combat there. Woodruff is among a group of journalists who are accompanying Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to the war-ravaged country. "I have wanted to 'get back on the horse again' since my recovery," he wrote. "This will be a different horse, probably not as big, not as fast and without running outside the 'wire,'" he said, referring to the area outside the protected area of Baghdad.
COFFEE, TEA, OR SATELLITE TV?
Continental Airlines said Monday that passengers on 15 of its domestic jets will be able to find DirecTV on the seatbacks in front of them, including 77 channels. The airline said it expects to install the satellite service on over 200 planes in its domestic fleet by the end of next year. First-class passengers will be able to access the DirecTV channels free; economy-class customers will be charged $6. The new seat-back system also includes power ports for attaching laptop computers and other portable devices without the need for a special airline adapter plug.
CONSUMERS BUYING ONLINE VIDEO
A study by Boston-based Strategy Analytics indicates that paid online video will outpace ad-supported video sites over the next several years. As reported by Mediaweek, the Strategy Analytics study forecast that consumer spending on online video is expected to reach $3.8 billion this year in spite of the recession -- exceeding the $3.5 billion in online video ad revenue for the year. The study took note of declining ad spending because of the recession that has occurred at about the same time that consumers are adopting stay-at-home entertainment options that permit them to download or stream paid video over the Internet or directly from their cable companies. The report was issued on the same day that Comcast said that it had reached a deal with HBO and Cinemax that will give Comcast's cable subscribers access to hundreds of hours of movies and original programming online. Simultaneously Blockbuster said that it had reached a deal with Samsung that will allow it to offer its online rental service through new-model Samsung TV sets and Blu-ray devices connected to the Internet.
NBC TERRORIST SERIES IGNITES ETHICS ROW
NBC's upcoming The Wanted series, in which suspected terrorists are tracked down and exposed by a team consisting of a former Green Beret, a former member of the Navy Seals, a former war-crimes prosecutor, and an NBC News producer, is generating heated controversy among veteran journalists, including some within NBC itself, the New York Times reported today (Tuesday). Like NBC's "To Catch a Predator" series, critics are raising a red flag over what appears to be the open collusion between journalists and government agents. In an interview with the Times, Lucy Dalglish, executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, asked, "Is this supposed to be journalism?" Jane E. Kirtley, professor of media ethics and law at the University of Minnesota, expressed her concern that Adam Ciralsky, the NBC News producer who appears on the series, seems to be working hand-in-hand with the government and thereby playing "into the hands of those who say that there is no such thing as independent journalism in the U.S., that everybody who's working abroad is working in concert with the U.S. government." The series is being syndicated internationally by ShineReveille, a company composed of NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman's former company Reveille and Elisabeth Murdoch's group Shine.
BBC TO EXECS: NO BONUSES FOR YOU
The BBC has suspended bonuses indefinitely for its 10 most senior executives, BBC Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons announced today (Tuesday). Somewhat surprisingly, the decision regarding the bonuses was announced by the BBC Trust chairman in an article appearing in the London Daily Telegraph, in which he also wrote: "We have to be sensitive to the prevailing economic wind which currently can make the top BBC salaries appear too high." On the other hand, he noted, the BBC has to compete with commercial broadcasters for talented staff.