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A Look Ahead

Here’s a preview of the stories we’re working on for Daily Variety tomorrow. These stories will be available on the Variety Web site after midnight Pacific Time. Sign up now to have the top stories e-mailed to you each day.

WEBO: Oscar’s favorites will compete with some new kids on the theatrical block this weekend. “Gladiator” is among a handful of films hoping to reap some extra box office bounce from Academy Awards success, but new releases including Miramax’s “Spy Kids” family pic are hoping to grab the limelight.

POWELL: FCC chair Michael Powell travels to Capitol Hill for the first time, announcing to lawmakers that he will launch a sweeping review of ownership caps and regs — including the cross-ownership and duopoly rules — sometime in the next month. Powell’s deregulation mantra: “validate or eliminate.” He also says Congress needs to give the FCC more enforcement power, saying most fine schedules are “trivial.”

BUSH: President Bush makes nice with TV newsies at the annual, celebrity-studded TV correspondents dinner. It’s his first appearance before media conglom execs.

RAINBOW: Cablevision’s new Rainbow Media tracking stock starts trading Friday. Wall Streeters have mixed outlook on the company (made up of Bravo, AMC, IFC and other cable programming assets) and still wonder why MGM paid $800 million in cash for a 20% stake.

MIP: Mip opener.

SAG: Screen Actors Guild holds its national executive committee meeting in Los Angeles.

RATES: ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” and Fox’s “Boot Camp” do very well in their premieres Wednesday.

PEABODY: The U. of Georgia has announced the 60th annual Peabody Award winners for 2000, given for general excellence. Both HBO’s “The Sopranos” and NBC’s “The West Wing” were recognized. HBO was also noted for the miniseries “The Corner” and for the docus “King Gimp,” “Ali-Frazier 1: One Nation … Divisible” and “Cancer: Evolution to Revolution.”

MAATTA: John D. Maatta upped to exec VP and counsel of the WB Network.

ANGELS: Francis Veber’s “The Closet,” starring Daniel Auteuil, Gerard Depardieu, Thierry Lhermitte, Michele Laroque, Michel Aumont and Jean Rochefort, will open this year’s fifth annual City of Lights, City of Angels Film Festival in Los Angeles, which runs April 10-14 at the DGA.

MGM: MGM boosted its board members to 12 with the appointment of Canadian investment banker Henry Winterstern.

CRAMER: Fund manager-columnist James Cramer inks TV deal with CNBC to co-host squawk box.

STRIKE: Panel discusses possible strikes at advertising conference.

LEYKIS: Radio gabber Tom Leykis, who now leads all spoken-word talkshows in the afternoon L.A. Arbitrons, renews with KLSX-FM and Westwood One for six years.

OSAKA: Universal Studios’ theme park presence is a little more universal, thanks to a new park in Osaka. Universal Studios president Ron Meyer was among company and other VIPs gathered in the coastal Japanese city Thursday for a day of press tours of Universal Studios Japan, which throws open its gates to the public Saturday.

EVE: BMG Music Publishing signs rap/r&b star Eve to exclusive pact.

NAB: NAB sends letter to all 100 U.S. senators saying campaign finance reform is unconstitutional by requiring broadcasters to offer cheaper rates and disclose rates on campaign forms.

KRAMER: Saturday’s tribute to Stanley Kramer.

INSIDE MOVES

WALTERS: Barbara Walters keynote at advertising conference, warns of TiVo.

BUSINESS

REGAL: Regal Cinemas chairman and CEO Michael Campbell got a 4% boost in salary to $547,060 and an additional $150,000 bonus last year, even as the No. 1 U.S. exhib absorbed a greatly expanded annual loss of $366.5 million, according to a new regulatory filing.

IMAX: Imax earnings.

IATSE: Art Brewer beats 12-year incumbent Ron Cunningham for the top post of business rep at IATSE Local 44, one of the biggest below-the-line locals in the industry.

EMMIS: Emmis Communications earnings.

LOON: Coming as a welcome break in a run of disappointing annual figures, German kidvidder TV Loonland said Thursday that its revenues for 2000 reached DM145.1 million ($67 million), surpassing its projections by 9% and upstaging its 1999 revenues over tenfold.

WORLD NEWS

KIOSQUE: Kiosque, the pay-per-view unit of French pay TV giant Canal Plus, is to drop broadcasting deals it held with French production companies after being accused of monopolizing the market.

LYTHGOE: Nigel Lythgoe, the producer behind the ITV network’s highly successful version of “Popstars,” is leaving Granada Media subsid LWT to head 19 TV, the television production company set up by ex-Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller.

ORF: Austrian pubcaster ORF has pacted to become an associate member station of Euro artcaster ARTE.

REVIEWS

TV: Boot Camp; Fairly Oddparents; Invader Zim; And Never Let Her Go; Bands on the Run; The Oblongs

MUSIC: Shawn Colvin, Margaret Whiting

FILM: Bridget Jones’s Diary, Never Again, Streeters, Violet Perfume

LEGIT: Invention of Love (B’Way) ; Rosemary Clooney; Christina Andreas (Cabaret)

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