Mel Karmazin is sending signals CBS may replicate last year's strategy of selling only 65% of its upfront inventory if buyers aren't willing to pay his price. Usually, broadcasters sell some 75% to 80%, but Karmazin gambled the economy would pick up and held back time. Viacom could play that card again, he told analysts-and with cable and syndication, too. "We have oceanfront property and you can't buy oceanfront property cheap," he said.
Has reality TV's ability to make average Joes and Janes stars changed the search process? E! is holding open casting in U.S. cities and abroad for the next female host of its "Wild On" series. Budweiser and SoBe are sponsors of the quest.
AOL Time Warner's Richard Parsons showed candor with his mea culpa for the company's stock-price dive since the merger. "We're probably getting justifiably punished for being a little too exuberant," he said.