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No role for Rupe at Fox affils confab

Affiliates concerned with ever-changing TV sked this season

LAS VEGAS — This was one instance when News Corp. topper Rupert Murdoch was truly all ears.

Knowing that Fox television affils might be concerned about his successful acquisition of satcaster DirecTV, Murdoch decided to attend the affiliate meeting in Las Vegas. He wasn’t there to make any official remarks; rather, he was available to answer any questions.

As it turned out, there were no questions for Murdoch at the meeting, which coincided with the annual NATPE confab. Murdoch’s son, News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer Lachlan Murdoch, attended the meeting. In his comments, News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin did accept responsibility for the poor showing this primetime season.

Stations were briefed on Friday’s affiliate board of governors meeting, where a host of issues were discussed.

Officially repping the Murdoch broadcasting empire at the session were Fox Broadcasting exec Bob Quicksilver and Fox Networks Group CEO Tony Vinciquerra, an industry veteran who has gotten high marks for promoting the interests of broadcasters.

Fox affils, concerned with the ever-changing TV sked this season, wanted reassurances that the net is committed to a more stable lineup.

Vinciquerra pledged just that but reminded the confab that the sked sometimes needs to be changed in order to throw off the competish.

The board of governors also was briefed on the net’s midseason primetime lineup, which will include the new sitcom “Cracking Up,” the drama “Wonderfalls” and the new unscripted soap “Forever Eden.”

Also at the session, Comcorp Chief Operating Officer Ron Crowder was elected chair of the Fox affil board of governors.

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