APPLE ON THE AIR?
Apple is considering joining the bidding for the wireless spectrum being abandoned by television broadcasters in 2009, using it to deliver movies, television programs, music and other entertainment to handheld devices like its iPhone and iPod products, BusinessWeek reported Monday, citing two unnamed sources. Signals in the TV spectrum, it observed, could provide faster download speeds than ordinary Wi-Fi and free Apple from having to rely on its partnership with AT&T to provide wireless services to users of its devices, the magazine observed. A former Apple executive told BusinessWeek: "Apple is the most anti-carrier company there is. ... They're probably already frustrated with AT&T. If they put a few billion behind this, they could build a kick-ass network."
FORMER GMA PRODUCER TAKES OVER CBS'S EARLY SHOW
In yet another major shake-up at CBS News, Shelley Ross, the former producer of ABC's Good Morning America, has been named senior executive producer of CBS's third-place morning talk show, The Early Show. She replaces Steve Friedman, the onetime producer of NBC's Today show, which remains the morning leader among the networks. In an interview with Gail Shister on the TV Newser website, Ross said that CBS News chief Sean McManus had persuaded her to return to the early-morning news competition. "Usually, I do one stint in my life and move on. I clearly had moved on. I could have done anything," she said. "When I met Sean, there was something about his experience, his manner. He shares my drive to win."
SHERRI SHEPHERD JOINS VIEW, TALKS ABOUT HER NUDE PHOTOS
Sherri Shepherd joined the panelists on ABC's The View Monday but failed to generate the controversy that Whoopi Goldberg did when, during her debut on the show a week earlier, she defended football star Michael Vick's role in a dogfighting operation. However, Shepherd did raise eyebrows during a discussion of the recent revelation that Vanessa Hudgens, a co-star of the squeaky-clean High School Musical, had posed for nude photos. "I've still got nude pictures from when I was 17," Shepherd remarked, saying that she had sent them to to her boyfriend in prison. When panelists asked her if she was making it all up, she replied indirectly that the pictures were "very tastefully done. I had on red lingerie and was holding an apple."
CBS GOES TO COURT TO FIGHT FINE OVER "WARDROBE MALFUNCTION"
A federal appellate court in Philadelphia was expected to begin considering arguments by CBS today (Tuesday) challenging the FCC's $550,000 fine for violating the commission's decency rules when it aired the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction" during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. In its submission to the court, CBS argued that it did not know such an incident would take place in advance and that it would not have approved it if it had known. "As a matter of simple logic, something cannot be 'designed' without advance knowledge," the network said. However, in meting out the fine, the FCC said that the fact that the network had "promoted the halftime show before it aired as one that would be shocking gives credence to their culpability."
KIDS LEARN ABOUT NEW SHOWS THE OLD-FASHIONED WAY
A new study indicates that despite the growth of social-networking websites, teens still learn about new shows mostly from on-air promos and in discussions with peers. The study was conducted by a social-networking site, eCRUSH, and the Online Texting Exchange (OTX). It found that 51 percent of teens learn about new shows from on-air ads, while 33 percent said they heard about them via "buzz" from friends. Only 26 percent said that they learned about them from Internet ads. In releasing the survey, Bruce Friend of OTX said, "For all of the hype surrounding blogs and video-sharing sites, it's important for networks and marketers to understand that a majority of teenagers still get information about new programming from TV ads and promos."
JUDGE BLASTS SPECTORS FOR INTERVIEWS
As jurors in the Phil Spector murder trial began deliberations Monday, the judge presiding over the trial expressed anger over interviews with Spector and his wife Rachelle that recently appeared on Court TV and in the press. Addressing Rachelle Spector, Judge Larry Fidler said, "I'm making an order. You want to violate my order, go ahead and do so. I can assure you I will hold you in contempt of court." When she began shouting a reply, he cut her off, saying, "I'm telling you, you are doing nothing to affect this trial, and if you do ... you will suffer the consequences." Rachelle Spector's interview with Court TV was posted in two segments on YouTube, and she herself linked to them from her personal website, rachellemarie.com. An interview with Phil Spector that appeared in London's Mail on Sunday and picked up by the Associated Press and CBS News also drew Judge Fidler's wrath. In the interview Spector accused the judge and jury of prejudicial attitudes towards him. "This case is going to be decided based on the facts presented to the jury and the instructions on the log and nothing else," he said. The interview had been given to Oscar-winning documentary film producer Vikram Jayanti (whose films include When We Were Kings, about the 1974 "rumble in the jungle" between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman) who said that he is producing a biographical film about Spector for the BBC.