IT'S NOW ALL UP TO THE BANCROFTS

Following a vote Tuesday by the board of Dow Jones to approve Rupert Murdoch's bid of $5 billion for the company, the fate of the company that publishes the Wall Street Journal now rests in the hands of the Bancroft family, which controls the majority of voting power. Family members are expected to meet next Monday but will reportedly not make a decision on whether to accept the Murdoch bid until later in the week. Murdoch's News Corp issued a statement saying that is "grateful" to Dow Jones for the vote. Meanwhile, today's (Wednesday) Wall Street Journal reported that during the negotiations between Murdoch and the Dow representatives Murdoch suggested that Journal editor-at-large be nominated to News Corp's board of directors. Steiger, who currently oversees the newspaper's coverage of the Murdoch deal, said he hadn't been notified of the vote. "Nobody has talked to me about this," he said.

NBC'S SINGING BEE BECOMES BIGGEST NEW HIT OF SUMMER

Tuesday night's Major League Baseball All-Star Game may have topped the overall ratings last week, but it was a new show from NBC, Singing Bee, that drew more 18-49-year-olds. The debut of Singing Bee, which captured an 8.1 rating and a 13 share, marked the best opening for any new show this summer. For the week, CBS once again kept the crown by being the most consistent winner. It posted an average of 4.4/8, but NBC was close behind in second place with a 4.3/8. Fox came in third with a 3.8/7, while ABC trailed with a 3.0/5.

The top ten shows of the week according to Nielsen Research:

1. Major League Baseball All-Star Game, Fox, 8.4/15; 2. Singing Bee, NBC, 8.1/13; 3. America's Got Talent, NBC, 7.1/12; 4. NCIS, CBS, 6.5/11; 5. CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CBS, 6.4/11; 6. CSI: NY, CBS, 6.0/11; 6. Law and Order: SVU, NBC, 6.0/10; 8. MLB All-Star Game Pregame, Fox, 5.9/11; 8. So You Think Can Dance (Thursday), Fox, 5.9/10; 10. Shark, CBS, 5.8/10; 10. Two and a Half Men, CBS, 5.8/10.

GRAPHIC ABC WAR FOOTAGE AROUSES VIEWERS

David Muir, an ABC Primetime co-host and anchor of the Saturday edition of ABC World News, has posted an article on the ABC News website responding to comments from viewers about footage that the network aired on World News With Charles Gibson showing effect of the current "surge" in Iraq on American soldiers there. The footage, taken by British photographer Sean Smith, provided what Muir called, "an unfiltered look at the front lines of the surge," and included shots of soldiers expressing their frustration and a video of an armored vehicle being blown up, killing six U.S. soldiers. Muir said that the network had received many complaints from viewers who called the news feature "irresponsible and cowardly reporting." But, he added, it also received a message from the mother of the soldier who had been driving the armored vehicle. "He was 19 years old and could see the futility of the Iraq invasion and occupation," she wrote.

PBS LEADS EMMY NEWS NOMINEES

PBS dominated the list of nominations for 2006 news and documentary Emmys announced Tuesday, with nine of its programs receiving receiving a combined 22 nods. CBS, which continues to trail the other networks in evening news ratings, nevertheless emerged with 19 nominations, 12 of them for its long-running 60 Minutes. ABC News received 15; NBC News, 14.

EX-ANCHORS MEET TO DISCUSS TV NEW'S FATE

Two former news anchors were scheduled to come together in Philadelphia today (Wednesday) to participate at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in a discussion of the state of television news. Dan Rather, who was forced out as anchor of the CBS Evening News in 2004, and Ted Koppel, who stepped down as anchor of ABC's Nightline in 2005, are due to appear on a panel with Dean Michael X. Delli Carpini of the school, and Dr. Diana C. Mutz, professor of communication and political science. "The State of the News" discussion is being taped by the HDNet channel, and excerpts will air on the channel's Dan Rather Reports at a later date, the channel said.

CONDOMS: WHO'S BANNING THEM, WHO ISN'T

Plans by Church & Dwight, makers of Trojan condoms, to circumvent a ban on commercials for the product by CBS and Fox by placing their ads with local affiliates of those networks have run into an odd predicament in Pittsburgh, one of two cities in which the ad campaign is being tested. As reported by the New York Times, while the CBS and Fox affiliates in that city have indeed agreed to run the Trojan spots, affiliates for ABC and NBC have rejected them. The result is that the spots may be seen on ABC and NBC network programs but not on local ones and on CBS and Fox local programs but not on network ones. (Besides Pittsburgh, the Trojan ad campaign is being tested in Seattle, where all local affiliates have agreed to run the spots.)

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.