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Inside Move: NCTA not a bore

Conference moments may make world records

Despite the maturing of the cable TV business, its national show still can generate plenty of wacky moments, whether it’s the King of Pop doing promos, a giant bobblehead doll or one of the world’s richest men waiting for a cab.

Michael Jackson caused a show-floor traffic jam at the moderately busy National Cable TV Assn. show when he appeared on behalf of MBC, a new cable channel backed partly by one of his many siblings.

Hundreds jostled to glimpse the pale-faced popster amid his massive retinue. His appearance fulfilled its purpose, however, earning MBC totally gratuitous mentions in Chicago media.

On Sunday night, Sony’s Game Show Network commemorated pro-gram host Chuck Woolery with what it billed as the world’s largest bobble-head doll, which is to say it was nearly as large as Woolery’s actual head. A Game Show Network press release advised that the Guinness Book of World Records had been contacted about the doll.

And finally, there was the startling sight of Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and financier of DreamWorks, queueing up for the lengthy taxi line at McCormick Place, where the convention took place.

Startling because, after all, Allen remains one of the world’s richest men despite numerous investing mishaps the past 15 years. Typically, such high-net-worth individuals have a limo waiting curbside, not a cab.

On the other hand, Allen is also the biggest shareholder in struggling cable operator Charter Communications and just paid off a pricey put option. Perhaps he was saving a few bucks in case Charter actually heads to bankruptcy court.