Keys to Local Hearts: Location, Location, Etc.

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A couple of the nation's up-and-coming overbuilders have curried favor with locals by strategically selecting their regional headquarters sites. American BroadBand Inc. has drawn kudos from Cranston, R.I., officials for locating in the former Narragansett Brewery complex, a target for redevelopment. The brewery's historic trolley barn, to be repurposed as an office site, is the only remaining structure on the property. The project has come none too soon-the brewery was abandoned 20 years ago, and the local press says the trolley barn may be the "largest pigeon coop in the state of Rhode Island."One of several tenants that will develop the site, American BroadBand will use 85,000 square feet for offices, a headend and a warehouse. On the West Coast, Western Integrated Networks will help Sacramento County, Calif., put some government land back on the local tax rolls. It has signed a lease for space in the soon-to-be-closed McClellan Air Force Base, which will be converted into a commercial park. Local officials said the 10-year industrial lease, for 186,000 square feet, is among the largest signed in the region in many years. WIN's participation in the project will help replace some of the estimated 20,000 jobs that the county lost when McClellan closed.

Anyone who wondered whether the newest pro-football league, the XFL, would be a mix of sex and smash-mouth football need only peek at the provocative "cheerleader" ads running on its Web site (XFL.com). The series of ads, which carry the XFL and NBC logos (NBC will air league games beginning in February) feature buxom and scantily clad women from its new cheerleading squads.The ads wouldn't be so bad, were there any semblance of football action.Were one to turn down the audio and remove the XFL logo from the end of each commercial, the spots could be easily mistaken for a promo for an adult channel or, at the very least, a steamy, late-night soap opera.

At Comcast Cablevision of Philadelphia's second annual, black-tie "Comcast Newsmakers of the Year" ceremony last week, a handful of cable programmers shared the spotlight as sponsors of individual community-service awards. But The Weather Channel was blasted by one of the entertainers, Lewis Black, a regular guest comedian on Comedy Central'sThe Daily Show. "Who even knows where The Weather Channel is based?" Lewis growled at the audience.He then guessed the network's weathermen were located somewhere in Costa Rica, just printing money.The comedian, who introduced himself as "Shmucky the Clown," wasn't just only on cable. He trashed local weathermen, too, and said that the word "meteorologist" means "liar" in English. He told parents to guide their children into careers as weather forecasters if they wanted easy jobs that pay a lot of money. For the record, The Weather Channel is based in Atlanta.

It's official: former Tele-Communications Inc. superflacks Lela Cocoros and LaRae Marsik have set up shop in Denver (Through the Wire, July 31). Among the specialties of October Strategies,fittingly, is "crisis communications."Who doesn't need some of that every once in a while? Check Octoberstrategies.com if you want to get in touch.

Psst...Want a used 18-wheeler with star quality?TNN: The National Network has one for you-Kenworth Truck Co.'s "T2000," currently featured in the primetime series18 Wheels of Justice.Its retail value is just $100,000. TNN will promote the Kenworth18 Wheels of JusticeSweepstakes throughout the month, with the winner to be announced at November's Great American Truck Show in Dallas.

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