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Print, TV Outlets Cash In On Comcast-NBCU Ads As FCC Weighs Merger

7/19/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

“Comcast and NBC Universal:
Who Benefits?” was what
the House Communications Subcommittee
called its field hearing
on the merger, held two weeks
ago in Chicago (and not to be
confused with last week’s Federal
Communications Commission
hearing in the same city on the
same topic).

Here’s a quick answer: Print
publications in the Chicago and
Washington media markets that
sold ads to advocacy groups interested
in what federal regulators
decide to do about that massive
media deal.

Free Press took out an ad in the
Chicago Reader, the alternative
newspaper, featuring a “wanted”
poster (pictured) with FCC
chairman Julius Genachowski’s
picture on it. The Coalition for
Competition In Media, a coalition
of deal opponents including
Free Press, took out full-page ads
in the Chicago Tribune and Chicago
Sun-Times
in advance of the
hearing.

A coalition spokesman would
not say what the group paid, but
the Sun-Times’ issue-advocacy
rate, for instance, is $24,254 per
page.

Back in Washington, the coalition
also took out ads in Politico,
The Hill, Roll Call, Congress AM
Daily
and CQ targeting the deal.

D.C.-area cable and TV outlets
were sharing the green as well,
but from the other side of the argument.
Comcast bought local
ads on cable channels and TV
stations in Washington promoting
the deal’s benefits, including
access to online and traditional
video.

A spokesperson for Comcast
said the ads would be repeated
for the next couple of
months “at least,” and would
also include on-air and online
elements. The buys are on a variety
of TV stations, not simply
the NBC affiliate, she said.

Comcast also ran a fullpage
ad in The Washington
Post
last week promoting its
rebranded Xfinity triple-play
bundle. The ad features an
HD and laptop screen with
video on them. The pictures: Friday
Night Lights
on the big screen
and Chuck on the computer, both
NBC shows.

Alert Editor’s Van
Takes One for Team,
Gets NY1 Exclusive

Time Warner Cable’s New York 1 News
network
got an “exclusive” story the hard
way last week after executive editor Melissa
Rabinovich
’s white van was damaged by a
hit-and-run driver in Manhattan’s Chelsea
section Monday night.

It turned out that Eric Schneiderman, a
New York state senator who’s running for
attorney general, was a passenger in the
car that hit the van — a passerby gave the
license plate to Rabinovich.

Under state law, the channel reported, if
you hit a parked car, you must report it to
the police or a judge, “which

Schneiderman’s
driver failed to do.”
Schneiderman took the blame afterward
in a NY1 interview, saying he’d pay for the
damages, but chided the network for a
story he said made it sound like the driver
was “careening down the street.” Final
twist: NY1 said the driver was Schneiderman
staffer Rachel Kagan, a niece of U.S.
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

You can see NY1’s report at http://tinyurl.com/2v2xgkr.

‘@CoxCable’ on
Twitter Definitely
Isn’t Cox Cable

Cautionary note: Anyone can claim to be
anyone else on Twitter.

A blog called Twitterhandbook.com had a
post last week titled “When Not to Have a
Twitter Account.” It referred to Twitter handle
@CoxCable. The first tweet by that account
was in May 2009: “Having a problem
with our award winning service, give me a
shout out!” Since then, only two tweets,
one saying “cox” and the other “Cox Digital
Cable.”

“Maybe @CoxCable jumped onto Twitter
before they were ready,” blogger Warren
Whitlock said in his post. “I’m just guessing
that this account is from someone inside
Cox Cable. Twitter hasn’t verified the
account, and you can see from the activity
that they aren’t interacting much.”

Bad guess: Cox Communications public-
relations rep Todd Smith told The Wire
that @CoxCable is not a Cox account and
the company is looking into the matter with
Twitter. Cox tweets from @Cox_Comm.

“We’ve been active since the first of the
year and we’ve had care reps monitoring
Twitter and other consumer Internet platforms
for a lot longer,” Smith said, and several
local Cox markets have accounts with
local information.

But if it had been Cox Cable …

September