The Buzz

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Will Tony Soprano be reading Reader's Digest instead of Crain's own Waste News? The decades-old magazine hired William Morris Consulting to find opportunities for its brand in TV and other content that attracts a younger audience. Among WM's charges: a mandate to build cross-marketing and promotional bridges between Pleasantville, N.Y. (Reader's Digest Association), and companies that create properties like "Pleasantville." Too bad "Home Improvement" is off ABC. RDA's The Family Handyman would be a perfect fit.

The most powerful Washingtonian in the media industry? Forget Jack Valenti or even Michael Powell. It's whoever takes over for Harvey Pitt at the SEC. Last week brought disclosures that Vivendi, Interpublic and Charter Communications are on the SEC's hot list.

High school senior LeBron James won't have to wait until he joins the NBA to regularly appear on TV. His St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, cut a deal with the local Time Warner Cable company to show 13 of his games on pay-per-view this year at $4 to $7 per game. The school has already moved all home games to the 6,000-seat University of Akron arena to accommodate the interest in James, a Sports Illustrated cover subject when he was a high school junior. No word on whether Time Warner will sell ads on the telecasts or whether they will be available beyond Ohio.

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