Seen on PBS stateside, “Rights & Wrongs,” the award-winning newsmag hosted by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, had been a primetime staple on Europe’s SuperChannel satcaster. But when NBC purchased SuperChannel last year, the company that produces the show, Globalvision, knew the days of “Rights & Wrongs” on SuperChannel were numbered.
Last October, three days after taking control of SuperChannel, NBC put the kibosh on an edition of the newsmag that had a piece critical of work conditions in a plant in Mexico owned by NBC parent company General Electric. The show was later aired after Wired called to inquire about why that edition of the show had been nixed.
SuperChannel told Globalvision it was canceling “Rights & Wrongs” because it was lacking in European content. The producers don’t buy it.
“We’ve consistently covered human-rights issues all over Europe,” says “Rights & Wrongs” executive producer Rory O’Connor. “Indeed, we’ve got one edition coming up that’s devoted to the war-crime tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and another on relations between England and Northern Ireland.”
NBC PLANS ANOTHER NEWSMAG
The producers of ABC’s new newsmag “Turning Point” now can count Tom Brokaw and the NBC news division among its fans. And entertainment programmers should watch out. NBC news is beginning a two-year push to put four newsmags on its primetime schedule.
The Peacock web is planning to announce this spring that it is readying a third newmag to join “Now” and “Dateline NBC” at the end of the summer or in early fall. The show’s title and talent have not yet been set.
With ABC’s four newsmags holding their own in the ratings, NBC’s news prexy Andy Lack is talking with web execs about rolling out a fourth newsmag to follow the one already in development.
“It’s very heartening that we’re moving in that direction,” said Brokaw, “I do think it will happen.”
TURNER GOES SHOPPING
Ted Turner is exploring the possibility of buying Home Shopping Network, in part to get his hands on the 11 UHF TV stations HSN owns through its Silver King Communications subsidiary.
The signals of these stations reach such cities as New York (WHSP, Vineland, N.J.), Chicago (WEHS, Aurora, Ill.) and Los Angeles (KHSC, Ontario, Calif.). Right now, these stations are 24-hours-a-day home-shopping channels, garnering limited viewership.
One source says Turner would love to use these stations as the linchpin for another broadcast network, employing his considerable production resources in entertainment, sports and news to reprogram the channels for mass-audience appeal.