Because credit remains tight, analysts are speculating what media companies could enter crisis mode next year, following the Tribune Co. bankruptcy filing. National Amusements has passed a deadline on its debt load, Charter Communications is the cable company with the most debt, and Univision Communications may have trouble paying off a $500 million asset sale bridge loan.
During a phone-in meeting among FCC members Tuesday, Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein voiced fresh concerns about the country's transition to all-digital TV signals in February. Adelstein, who was attending a DTV informational meeting in Phoenix at which some people apparently weren't even aware they could get a coupon to help pay for a converter box, said: "I'm afraid the DTV transition isn't ready for prime time yet. I'm afraid it's going to be messy."
CBS Interactive is launching a Web series called "Heckle-U" in February, timed to coverage of the NCAA men's basketball tournament. The 10-episode series, starring Tom Arnold and Owen Benjamin, will have product integration from Procter & Gamble and will be distributed across the CBS Audience Network.
Raycom-owned CBS affiliate WAFB-TV in Baton Rouge, La., and WWBT-TV in Richmond, Va., could be dropped by area Cox Communications systems if a retrans agreement isn't reached by midnight tonight. Time is running out on several other retrans deals between Raycom and smaller cable systems.