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Volume 24 No. 156
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     ELECTRONIC MEDIA reports on informal talks between top execs
from Chris-Craft, Time Warner and Viacom on a possible merger of
UPN and The WB Network (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 9/18). ....Tony Cassara
and Ray Rajewski, two top execs from Paramount TV, will be in
Boston today in an effort to close out a renewal of Red Sox TV
rights on UPN's WSBK-TV.  Boston's WABU-TV was thought to have
beat out WSBK, but the Red Sox are seeking more than the $10M a
year reportedly on the table (BOSTON HERALD, 9/20)....DirecTV
President Edward Hartenstein is urging Congress to include a
provision in the pending telecom legislation to allow DBS carries
to carry network TV (VARIETY, 9/18-24)....AT&T announced a new
division to develop online services aimed at specific audiences,
with AT&T Business Network to begin this fall.  AT&T Worldnet
Services will offer Internet access to AT&T's 80 million phone
customers (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/20). ....SportsChannel
Chicago and the Big Ten have agreed to a package for five live
women's volleyball matches this year (SportsChannel)....In
Philadelphia, baseball writer Jayson Stark rips the regionalized
TV playoff format.  Phillie President Bill Giles, a member of
MLB's TV Committee:  "We deserve to be hammered for this TV deal.
But we had no other options" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/20)....NBC
will counter ABC's World Series nights with a "hodge-podge" of
sitcoms.  VARIETY:  "The network obviously sees baseball as an
opportunity to get some of its comedies sampled, particularly by
women" (VARIETY, 9/18-24)....Times Mirror unveils "Skinet" on the
Web tomorrow, which draws from SKI, SKIING and TRANSWORLD
SNOWBOARDING magazines.  Address: (AD AGE
DAILY FAX, 9/19)....AD AGE's annual fall price survey finds
"Monday Night Football" at No. 5 at $385,000 per 30-second spot.
NBC's "Seinfeld" leads, nearing the $1M per minute mark (AD AGE,
9/18)....In New York, Phil Mushnick looks behind Fox reporter Pam
Oliver's tough questioning of Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer.
When Schottenheimer dodged a question on a possible feud with
team President Carl Peterson, Oliver was seen retorting:  "That's
cute, Marty, but you didn't answer my question."  Mushnick,
however, reveals that the interview was a "one-camera shoot" and
(a la the movie "Broadcast News") Oliver's response was edited in
later.  A Chiefs spokesperson said Schottenheimer remembers
Oliver's reaction to be "roughly the same" as what appeared on
tape, so Mushnick concludes that it doesn't seem Fox "strayed
from the essence of the interview" (N.Y. POST, 9/20).