For the Record


Hallmark Ad Gains To Hit Double Digits

New YorkHallmark Channel executive vice president of national advertising sales Bill Abbott projects that the network, through its original movies and other family-friendly fare, will grab double-digit CPM (cost per thousand home) gains during this upfront.

During a preview for reporters here last week, Abbott anticipates that Hallmark will garner $110 million in this year’s upfront, a total that would represent a 40% gain over the 2004-05 model. In order to accomplish that goal, Hallmark would have to close business with 150 clients, including 25 newcomers, and have incumbents up their spending by 25%. He expects Hallmark to improve upon the 10 entitlement packages that it sold to single sponsors for movies (six original, four acquired), deals which reduce the overall number of spots per hour.

All told, Hallmark anticipates selling 56% of inventory for the year during the upfront, Abbott said.

Iowa OKs Mediacom’s Plans for Telephony

MIddletown, N.Y.Mediacom Communications Corp. has earned regulatory permission to launch phone service in Iowa.

The state’s Utilities Board gave the MSO an operating certificate March 14, despite opposition from the Iowa Telecommunications Association.

Mediacom’s voice-over-Internet-protocol service will be delivered over the operator’s network, connecting to long-distance provider Sprint Corp.

The MSO has not announced an Iowa launch date for the service, which will be sold at a discounted rate when bundled with video service or priced alone at about $50 per month.

Foxworthy Roast a Hit for Comedy Net

New York — The Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Foxworthy became the network’s second-most-watched telecast ever Sunday night.

The special posted a 4.6 Nielsen Media Research household rating and a 4.1 among viewers 18 to 49, the best in cable the week of March 14 through 20.

The Comedy Central Roast of Jeff Foxworthy, which drew 6.2 million total viewers two-plus, trailed only the “Cartman’s Mom Is Still a Dirty Slut” episode of South Park that debuted April 22, 1998, as far as Comedy’s history.

RCN Analog Trims Claim WE, Ovation

New YorkRCN Corp. is trimming its analog-TV offerings, and two casualties are arts channel Ovation and WE: Women’s Entertainment.

Customers in New York received notices of channel changes that included dropping those two networks, which had been in RCN’s hefty analog lineup; shifting National Geographic Channel to analog from digital; and bumping The Golf Channel, Independent Film Channel and Outdoor Life Network to digital from analog.

The changes take effect April 19, the notice said. Four other channels stayed on analog basic but changed channel numbers.