Jul 30, 2008

Hutchison in for Stevens on Commerce Committee

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas will replace Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska) as the GOP's ranking member on the Commerce Committee, which oversees broadcast legislation, while Stevens is under indictment, TV Week reports. Congress is about to recess for its August break and the party conventions and won't be back in session until mid-September.

WMUB drops evening jazz, goes all-news

WMUB in Oxford, Ohio, is adopting an all news/talk format next week. The format switch moves longtime evening host Mama Jazz to WMUB Jazz, a 24-hour HD-2 channel and online stream, and clears evening slots for repeats of the Diane Rehm Show and Talk of the Nation. The station invited listener feedback on its Directions blog, where a couple of commenters questioned why WMUB would drop the music programs that differentiated it from Cincinnati's WVXU, a nearby NPR News station. "By focusing our format, we believe we will increase our ability to attract and retain new listeners as well as serve the great majority of current listeners," said Cleve Callison, WMUB g.m., in a statement. "This change thus orients us toward future growth in audience and local fundraising capacity."

Food and beverage marketers seek kids online

"The nation's largest food and beverage companies spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to children [ages 2-17], according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday," reports the Washington Post. About 200 million of that went to cross-promotional campaigns using films, TV shows, video games. "The Internet--though far less costly than television--has become a major marketing tool of food companies that target children and adolescents, with more than two-thirds of the 44 companies reporting online, youth-directed activities," the report said. The FTC recommended that media companies license their characters to healthier food and drinks and that food and beverage marketers expand their efforts to educate kids about healthy choices. Lawmakers sought the study because of concerns about growing childhood obesity rates. Read the FTC report here.