Everyone's got his or her own reasons for wanting the presidential election resolved. EchoStar Communications Corp. can add one more to the list: Vice President Al Gore's chief trial lawyer,
David Boies was also enlisted earlier this year to help EchoStar
develop a restraint of trade suit against competitor DirecTV Inc. Boies might be able to devote more attention to EchoStar's case, quipped EchoStar spokesman Marc Lumpkin, "once we get this presidency thing figured out."
Liberty Digital Inc. chairman Lee Masters may be an Internet and interactive-services mogul, what with Liberty's investments in companies like ACTV Inc. and ICTV Inc. But the former cable executive knows where his bread is buttered. At Masters' annual Western Show bash at his beautiful stone mansion in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles, he recalled a recent visit from friend and America Online Inc. president Bob Pittman. Masters said that when Pittman emerged from his car at the mansion recently, he alluded that the handsome home was built with the "dot-com" millions gained through investments made by Liberty Digital. But Masters, the former president of E! Entertainment Television was quick to correct his friend.
"This house was built by basic cable," Masters told Pittman.
But Masters was eventually done in by a bit of guerrilla network marketing, courtesy of Rainbow Media Holdings. Invitees making their way to the wilds of Brentwood were guided on their way up remote Mandeville Canyon by a series of picket signs. Not Liberty Media signs, mind you, but signs emblazoned "Who Are We?"
That was the teaser phrase for the name change
of Romance Classics to WE: Women's Entertainment. Also, a white van bearing the slogan marked the turn from Sunset Blvd. into the canyon. Asked about the signs, Masters good-naturedly groused, "They stunted my party!"
One would assume the female-empowered and targeted Oxygen Media Inc. would've flipped its wig at the Western Show after next door neighbor The Erotic Network held at its booth a sexy fashion show last Tuesday.
Oxygen execs watched as hundreds of show attendees crowded around TEN's booth
to see scantily clad women parade in skimpy outfits and lingerie. But at least one Oxygen executive took the situation in stride, saying that TEN actually helped Oxygen "drive some traffic to the booth."
A crafty piggyback promotion by a quick-minded overbuilder last week left Charter Communications Inc. representatives steaming. The operator took a group of its regulators to a meeting of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and treated them to lunch.
But the company lost the group's full attention as they exited the lunch.
Charter's thunder was stolen by representatives of potential overbuilder Altrio Communications Inc., lurking outside the meeting. The other company trumped Charter's free lunch with pieces of wheeled luggage bearing the competitor's name.
The lines for the Western Show shuttle buses may have been long last week, but the dirt one could pick up while stuck in traffic could make it worth the wait. A Liberate Technologies Inc. engineer regaled a Wire correspondent with some insight into the company's Internet TV service in the United Kingdom with NTL, noting that about 75 percent of all of the service's Web traffic is to porn Web sites.
Internet TV surfing can be buggy, forcing the Liberate engineers to code countless porn sites for Internet TV surfing, he explained.
This became an issue at a sex-harassment seminar Liberate employees attended a few months back, at which they were told not to use their work PCs to check out porn sites. After some of the engineers explained that part of their job was to format porn sites for Internet-TV surfing, the lecturer told them they should do it "discreetly," the engineer explained.
At least one cable executive was among the big balloons at the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City last month. ESPN public-relations executive M.C. Antil was one of the
many volunteers up at 6 a.m. to help walk the huge balloons during the event.
Antil was in charge of navigating the Bullwinkle prop down the parade route. The Wire was sad to hear that Bullwinkle was left to march solo after a pre-parade accident knocked out his sidekick, Rocky.