The soft outdoor market in NYC's Times Square is a net gain for the USA Network. A billboard promoting the U. S. Open on USA last year is still up; it was scheduled to come down last September. Now Jennifer Capriati's photo is starting to look like a promo for the 2002 tennis Open. The ad was supposed to be free, as it came as added-value in a larger deal, just not for nine months-plus. A call to billboard owner Clear Channel was not returned.
Oprah will hold on to her beloved reruns after all. Winfrey complained in Fortune about giving Oxygen the rights to run old episdodes of her talk show. So Oxygen and Oprah, a principal investor, have a new deal: The net will launch "Oprah After the Show" instead, where Oprah will gab informally with the audience after tapings. The limited version of the feature has been online at Oprah.com. An Oxygen rep said "this is a much better deal ... it's fresh, original programming."