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AARP ‘Hottest’ List Includes A CEO Who’s Torching Cable

6/11/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Cable operators have taken
aim at CBS CEO Les Moonves in the
past for being arrogant for his stance
on getting cash for carriage of CBSowned
TV stations and his willingness
to play hardball in negotiations.
But if Moonves has, indeed, been arrogant,
his newest success could make
him even harder to live with.

The former actor has been named one
of the “21 Hottest Guys on the Planet.”

The declaration came from AARP Magazine, so
these hotties also had to be 50-plus. But Moonves finds
himself in the company of such well-preserved men
as Denzel Washington, George Clooney and James
Brolin.

Moonves’s nod is “Sexy Exec.” Just ask his wife, journalist
Julie Chen — which AARP did. She disclosed:
“The first time I wore my engagement ring in public,
he looked over at me and his eyes welled up.”

Cable operators might use the pin-up as a dart board:
See Rules, for an analyst’s take on CBS’s imminent
retransmission haul from distributors.

“He may have made AARP’s list, but he is not going to
get many votes from viewers since he said that retrans
blackouts are the ‘ultimate leverage’ and ‘the sky’s the
limit’ in retrans fees,” Michael Heimowitz, spokesman
for the American Television Alliance, the cable- and satellite-
backed retransmission-reform coalition, said.

Sloane Stephens Inspires
Her Look-Alike on FCC
To Get in Tennis Shape

Rising tennis star Sloane Stephens got some prominent
Tennis Channel screen time over the past two
weeks as she made her way deep into the French Open
championship.

D.C. tennis fans could have been forgiven for doing a
double take. Stephens bears more than a passing-shot
resemblance to Federal Communications Commission
member Mignon Clyburn. When the Wire suggested the
resemblance, a Clyburn staffer was quick to agree.

But we were breaking no news to the commissioner.
She told The Wire she received an e-mail from a friend
after the first week of the tournament saying that playing
on TV was “a young lady that could be your daughter.”
(The Wire was thinking more like younger sister.)

Clyburn, who is a good sport, if not sportswoman,
said she looked Stephens up — “I was not as familiar
with her as I should be” — and buys the argument.
“She has almost the same smile and same profile,”
Clyburn said.

Might this affinity make Clyburn more disposed toward
Tennis Channel? The commissioners are currently
vetting the terms of a program-carriage ruling in the
channel’s favor.

Clyburn wouldn’t go there. But she said she now has
a “better appreciation for tennis in general” and that,
given the “undeniable similarity,” she’s been inspired to
get in better shape.

“If I could look more like her, I would,” she said.

Media All-Stars Gather
For First Mirror Award
Named for John Higgins

An all-star cast has been assembled to present a new
award in memory of an all-star in business journalism.
Leo Hindery Jr., managing partner with InterMedia Partners
and a longtime cable operations and programming
executive, will present the inaugural John M. Higgins
Award for Best In-Depth/Enterprise Reporting at the sixth
annual Mirror Awards ceremony at The Plaza Hotel in New
York City this Wednesday (June 13).

The luncheon event will include the presentation of
six additional juried journalism awards recognizing excellence
in media industry reporting.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper will emcee the event (Twitter
hashtag:
#Mirrors12).
Co-chairs are
David Levy,
president
of sales,
distribution
and sports
for Turner
Broadcasting
System
; Melinda
Witmer
,
executive vice
president and
chief video and content officer for Time Warner Cable;
and David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications.

Established by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse
School of Public Communications
in 2006, the Mirror
Awards honor reporters, editors and teams of writers
who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s
benefit. Few fit that description more than Higgins, the
longtime Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable
reporter who died in 2006 at age 45. For more information,
see mirrorawards.com.

PROMOS OF THE WEEK:
EAST AND (SOUTH)WEST

USA Network hyped the June 6 return of
football-themed drama series Necessary
Roughness
with a “Show Us Your End Zone
Dance Competition” in New York’s Times
Square. Six finalists will have their work
featured in a promo spot on USA in July,
and one will win $25,000. Video entries
can be uploaded at home through June 24
at facebook.com/necessaryroughness.

In Dallas, TNT and JetBlue Airways
teamed to promote Dallas’ June 13 launch with a five-acre art installation visible on all JetBlue flights into Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. (The airline opened a new route
there from Boston.) J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman), Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) and the Southfork ranch arch are depicted via 20 tons of mulch, 10 tons of sand and six
tons of rock, limestone, prairie hay, crushed pecan shells and TerraBlue chips. JetBlue flights will feature special Dallas content and seat-card messaging.

September