NBC SCORES A ROYAL COUP
Matt Lauer's interview with the two British princes, William and Harry, on NBC's Dateline Monday night scored an 8.4 rating and a 14 share, making it the top-rated show of the night. That translated to 12.2 million viewers, making it the highest-rated edition of the NBC magazine program in at least two years, outscoring even its "To Catch a Predator" series, which at its peak drew 10 million viewers. It also captured a huge audience among adults 18-49, drawing a 4.1/12.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS A MONEY CHANNEL WORTH?
A complicated offer by General Electric and Pearson PLC to buy Dow Jones & Co. from the Bancroft Family will include business channel CNBC and stock as part of the bid structure, published reports said today (Tuesday). The two companies are reportedly trying to construct a package that would be worth more than the $5-billion offer by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. But while the deal may appeal to the Bancrofts, it could alienate other stockholders who might prefer Murdoch's less complicated offer. David Joyce, a media analyst at Miller Tabak & Co. in New York, told Bloomberg News today (Tuesday): "It could open the Bancroft family to lawsuits from minority shareholders if they take something lower based on the rationale that they want to protect editorial independence. ... It could open a can of worms."
SCHWARZENEGGER FINDS SUPPORT AMONG LATINO JOURNALISTS
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's advice to young Hispanic immigrants to "turn off the Spanish TV" if they want to improve their academic proficiency is beginning to meet with approval from a few Latino journalists. After -- as he himself predicted -- being widely condemned for his remarks last week to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in San Jose, CA, Sacramento Bee columnist Marcos Bretón was the first to rally to his defense. Bretón wrote on Sunday, "For a Mexican American whose first language was Spanish, the reaction here was: Right on, my Austrian brother." In an editorial, the Los Angeles Daily News commented: "Spanish media may be important for keeping new immigrants informed, but the more English media they turn to, the quicker they will master America's dominant language." Bilingual college students also weighed in in support of the governor. At Northern Illinois University, one wrote: "Easy access to Spanish media makes it easy to avoid learning English and, consequently, limits the ability to contribute to society at full potential." He pointed out that the two satellite channels offer some 40 Spanish-language channels. "Hispanic immigrants should exhibit some willpower and turn off Univision." However, Miguel Perez of the New Jersey Record, whose column is nationally syndicated, expressed outrage "Just because Schwarzenegger chose to block out his own language and sell out his heritage, other immigrants shouldn't have to," he wrote today (Tuesday). "Spanish-language television is often the best way for Latinos to obtain news and information about their own community and to stay connected to their cultural heritage." Perez concluded: "Here's a guy who brags about selling out his roots and expects all other immigrants to follow in his disgusting footsteps. Shame!"
COMING SOON: CHARLIE'S ANGELS IN 3 MINUTES
Sony Pictures Television is planning to launch a kind of Cliff Notes version of its hit television programs on MySpace. Broadcasting & Cable reported that the network plans to begin offering today (Tuesday) some 45 episodes from classic hits like Charlie's Angels, Facts of Life and Starsky & Hutch that will be three-to-five minutes long "while still retaining the full story arc." Sony said that it will initially offer them on what it will call the Minisode Network on MySpace and perhaps broaden its distribution to mobile phones after August.
ZAHN AXED AT CNN
Paula Zahn's 8:00 p.m. show on CNN is being canceled. Its ratings had been falling precipitously for months. According to several reports, CNN plans to replace Zahn with NBC's Campbell Brown, whose contract with the network expires next month. But Daily Variety quoted one insider as noting that Brown resembles Zahn in that they are "network-style anchors" who will be up against tough competition from "brash, opinionated hosts" on rival cable news networks. "Why replace Paula with another Paula?" the Variety source asked.
ROSIE MAY REPLACE BARKER ON PRICE IS RIGHT
Rosie O'Donnell has confirmed on her blog Monday that she will meet with producers of The Price Is Right about the possibility of replacing retiring host Bob Barker as the next host of the game show. Barker had disclosed that O'Donnell was being considered for the job when he met with reporters following Friday night's Daytime Emmy Awards. "There's no doubt in my mind she could do the show," he said. "She told me she loved The Price Is Right and wanted to host it one day."