Viacom's Night at the POPs


Viacom Inc.'s cable services, led by MTV: Music Television, captured the
majority of Cable Positive's second annual POP Awards, handed out Tuesday night
in New York.

MTV picked up three citations for network of the year, outstanding
documentary (Sex, School & Scandals, an episode of MTV News
) and special (First National Sex Quiz).

Earlier, Cable Positive -- the industry organization devoted to AIDS and HIV
awareness, programming and research projects -- handed MTV a special-jury award
for its Staying Alive concert special, presented last Dec. 1 (World AIDS

An episode of Black Entertainment Television's recently canceled BET
Tonight with Ed Gordon
on National HIV Testing Day was cited for outstanding
newsmagazine effort. Pop singing star Ashanti, who appeared on BET's 106
& Park
series in conjunction with World AIDS Day, was named celebrity of
the year.

More than 6,000 people voted online through TV Guide magazine'sInternet site ( ) for the celebrity award.

Showtime's Queer as Folk, which will begin its third season next
month, received the POP for outstanding AIDS/HIV series episode or story

The only POP award a Viacom-owned service didn't get was biographical
program, received by Discovery Health Channel for its Born with HIV: Little
special, narrated by James Woods.

MTV/VH1 entertainment president Brian Graden, in accepting some of MTV's
honors, told POP ceremony attendees his channels will continue to address
AIDS/HIV topics in a substantial way. "We can't be money-makers every day; we
have to be communicators," he added.

"Sadly, AIDS has run its course in the news media," added New York 1 News
anchorwoman Roma Torre, who opened the event at New York's Supper Club. "You're
to be applauded for picking up that ball and running with it as far as your
imaginations can allow ... with your very noble work."

Also, Cable Positive announced that its AIDS in the 21st Century
documentary, presented Dec. 1 on Discovery Health, will be made available to
cable operators across the United States for play on local origination or access
channels. Clearance agreements and other details will be released later.

Cable Positive established the POP awards (POP is defined as positively
outstanding programming) last year to recognize content with HIV and AIDS

TV Guide was the event's presenting sponsor. Multichannel News and
sister Reed Business Information publication Broadcasting & Cable
participated as
media sponsors.