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Doc McStuffins: Role Model Encouraging Future Doctors

BARFing a Corrective Form at FCC 12/02/2012 7:00 PM Eastern

Disney Junior’s animation series Doc McStuffins has been a big hit with the network’s preschool audience since it launched last March as the first show on the newly full-time channel.

The show, featuring a young African- American girl who serves as a doctor to her toy animals and dolls, has also found fans among many medical professionals — so much so that a group of African-American female doctors have formed an organization based on the show’s character to attract more girls of color into the medical field.

The We Are Doc McStuffins Project & Artemis Medical Society — begun last March as a Facebook photo collage of 131 black female doctors thanking Disney for creating the character — now boasts a global membership of more than 2,500 women who either are practicing doctors or are enrolled in medical schools, according to the organization’s Facebook page.

The goal is to bring awareness to the lack of African-American women in the medical field.

In 2010, black women made up fewer than 2% of U.S. doctors, according to the American Medical Association.

In support, Disney Channel last month cut a series of interstitials featuring several members of the We Are Doc McStuffins Project & Artemis Medical Society who share their personal stories with viewers to give them a better understanding of a real life doctor’s role.

In the spots, Doc McStuffins introduces each real-life doctor, along with the specialty. The interstitials will air next March.

“We have been amazed at the almost instant success of Doc Mc- Stuffins, but we are equally proud of the impact it has had not only with our core audience of kids but also within the medical community, especially women doctors of color,” Nancy Kanter, senior vice president, original programming, and general manager, Disney Junior Worldwide, told The Wire.

Being at the FCC Sometimes Means You’ve Got to ‘BARF’

Would you mind BARFing?

Certainly some of the Federal Communications Commission’s decisions are hard for the telecom industry to stomach, but The Wire had no idea there was so much BARFing by commissioners over their own decisions.

Before readers start investing in Pepto-Bismol stock, this kind of BARFing has to do with signing off on changes to an item after a commissioner has voted on it.

A BARF, which we are told stands for “bureau authorization request form,” is a request for the commissioner’s office to sign off on any changes to an item — misplaced comma, upside down period, or something more substantial — that has been tweaked after the commissioners have cast their vote. It can be a paper form or an e-BARF.

“It is really called BARF,” one veteran, well, BARFer, said. In fact, there is BARF on most of the items voted on at the FCC (insert joke here).

“If anything changes after you voted the item, you have to send a BARF that says you have approved a final version with whatever edits. It happens all the time, even if you tweak a footnote,” the source said, and another staffer confirmed. “As horrible and as bureaucratic as this sounds, we all send e-mails that say we BARFed this item. And we get a call from the bureau if we don’t do it that says: “Would you mind BARFing?”

Is there a lot of snickering associated with this process? “When people first come to the commission and they hear BARF, you get very weird looks, but those who have been around a long time are used to it.”

— John Eggerton

Outdoor Shopped Hard Before Linking Up With Rival Sportsman Channel

Despite weathering some criticism for its recent agreement to be acquired by rival The Sportsman Channel — some investors have said the price is too low — the hunting and fishing network did a lot of both in attempting to find a partner, meeting with 85 potential suitors over an unspecified period of time, according to Noble Financial Group media analyst Michael Kupinski.

Citing company disclosures, Kupinski said in a research report last week Outdoor Channel spoke with 65 private-equity firms and 20 strategic buyers and was close to walking down the aisle with one private equity group that failed to produce an offer. Then Sportsman Channel stepped in.

“Running out of options and increasingly likely to be left at the altar, the company jumped in the arms of its strengthening rival,” in Kupinski’s words.

Sportsman Channel and its parent, Leo Hindery’s investment fund InterMedia Partners, agreed to buy Outdoor in a deal giving shareholders the option of taking $8 per share in cash or swapping stock for shares in a new combined entity, InterMedia Outdoor Holdings. It represented about a 10% premium to Outdoor shares at the time. The stock closed at $7.47 last Thursday, indicating investors don’t believe a competing offer is coming.

Kupinski said combining the two largest independent players in outdoor TV makes sense, but expressed some disappointment at the price. At $8 per share, the transaction values Outdoor at about $3.80 per subscriber, low for a profitable cable channel.

But, he noted, it wasn’t for a lack of trying on Outdoor’s part. He doesn’t expect another offer to come out of the woods.

— Mike Farrell

SPROUT FLOATS ALONG

Sprout had its own float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, featuring series talent from its Good Night Show and Sunny Side Up Show, before launching The Chica Show, starring Chica the Chicken (puppet), to about 1.4 million viewers Thanksgiving weekend. It’s the first year of a three-year deal to be in the highly-viewed parade. Sprout said November was its most-viewed month yet with a total-day average of 138,000 homes, and capping off 13 straight months of delivery gains to preschoolers and their caregivers.

September