FAIR-WEATHER FANS BAIL ON SERIES

Fox's coverage of the World Series, which had drawn decent ratings for the first two games, saw those ratings plummet Saturday as rain delayed the game's start until after 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. It ended dramatically at 1:47 a.m. when the Phillies scored the winning run with a bases-loaded single. The average estimated audience of 9.8 million represented the lowest number of World Series viewers since the modern ratings system went into effect. (On the other hand, the Series telecast continued to draw big audiences in the West, where it began at 7:00 p.m.) Sunday's telecast of Game 4 picked up considerably, attracting 15.94 million viewers. Nevertheless that figure was down from last year's Game 4, which saw 20.94 million viewers in attendance. Meanwhile, Mediaweek reported that NBC may drawn the worst Sunday ratings in its history.

ROCKS THROWN IN GLASS CHURCH

Saying that he didn't want "one face to be a spokesman" for his weekly Hour of Power syndicated program, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller has removed his son, Robert A.. Schuller, as preacher on the program and replaced him with a group of minister and even businessmen, the Los Angeles Times reported today (Monday). The Hour of Power, which originates from Schuller's Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA, reportedly draws an audience of 20 million each week. A church spokesman told the newspaper that the elder Schuller and church administrators had concluded that "one message from one person is not good enough right now."

ABC NEWS CHIEF: THE PARTY'S OVER

ABC News President David Westin has sent a message to employees of the network's news division asking executives not to fly first-class and to book reservations at cheaper hotels. He has also canceled subscriptions to some publications, limited the number of staff members attending conventions, cut down on the cost of business lunches, and canceled holiday parties. Such cutbacks, he said, are necessary "to make sure that we have all the resources we need to cover the news." He conspicuously did not announced any new staff cutbacks.

NBC CHIMES TO GET A REDO

The three-note NBC chimes (G-E-C), an identifying fixture on the network since they were introduced on radio in 1927, will be getting a makeover around Thanksgiving as part of a "branding campaign," Broadcasting & Cable reported on its website Sunday. Adam Stotsky, president of NBC Entertainment Marketing, told the trade publication that the promos will begin airing around the Thanksgiving holiday. "For us it was a fun way to keep the brand relevant to the broad constituency that NBC serves with our programming and to re-imagine these three notes through the voice of musical artists." Among those who have revamped the chimes for the new campaign are B.B. King, The B-52s, T.I., and Clint Black. They have reportedly not been paid for the chime spots but will receive a "modest gift honorarium" -- as well as significant exposure.

BROADCASTERS HAVE OWN RESCUE PACKAGE: POLITICS

With many local ad buyers, especially auto dealerships and home-loan companies, eliminating or severely cutting spending at local stations, the presidential election has become a welcome savior, Television Week reported today (Monday). The trade publication noted that some $750 million has been spent on advertising by the Republican and Democratic campaigns, with local stations and the broadcast and cable networks landing 90 percent of that figure. "While the fat lady has not even begun to sing yet, what soon may get dubbed 'The Great Campaign of 2008' can be summed up as a race of record-smashing, eye-popping impact," TV Week commented. But with the election just eight days away, those media outlets now are busy trying to figure out how to replace the revenue from campaign coverage after November 4.