- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009

Russert honored

The office of longtime “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert, complete with Buffalo Bills pennants and a journalist’s clutter, will go on display next month at the Newseum, Associated Press reports.

The office will be reassembled to look as it did June 13, 2008, the day Russert died of a heart attack at age 58 while recording voice-overs for his next show at NBC’s Washington bureau. The exhibit at the journalism museum in Northwest Washington opens Nov. 20 and will remain through 2010, AP said.

“After Tim’s death, it became very clear to us that Tim really hit a nerve with a wider swath of people than you would ordinarily think for a journalist,” said Charles Overby, the Newseum’s chief executive, on Wednesday. He noted that Edward R. Murrow is the only other journalist who gets such prominent treatment.

“That shows the plateau on which we think Tim sits,” Mr. Overby said.

Russert, who served on the Newseum’s board of directors, was bureau chief for NBC News in Washington and began hosting “Meet the Press” in 1991.

His office was “very homey, very much reflects his wide array of interests,” including politics, religion, family, music and his beloved Buffalo Bills, said Newseum exhibits director Cathy Trost. About 300 books filled Russert’s bookshelves, next to Uncle Sam figures and autographed baseballs.

Newspapers, magazines and research binders cluttered his desk. A drawing done by his son, Luke, at age 7 was close by.

A wooden sign at the front of his desk carried a special message for his staff: “Thou Shalt Not Whine.”

“It ranges from the professional to the very personal,” Miss Trost said of the items to be displayed.

NBC is donating the office furniture to the Newseum, and Russert’s family is lending the museum many of his belongings, AP said.

Mr. Overby said visitors probably will be surprised by all the nonpolitical things in Russert’s office that show he was a normal person. The exhibit also will include snippets of Russert’s biography and career as a newsman that propelled “Meet the Press” to the top of the ratings.

“There are many journalists in Washington who are respected,” Mr. Overby said, “but not many who are both respected and liked across the country.”

‘Soul’ survivor

The Soul Train Awards to recognize those who helped shape R&B music are to return to the air after a two-year hiatus.

According to Associated Press, record executive Antonio “L.A.” Reid and singers Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Chaka Khan and Charlie Wilson will be honored on the two-hour music special, to be taped in Atlanta.

The awards are scheduled to air Nov. 29 on Centric — a new channel operated jointly by the BET and MTV networks divisions of Viacom.

Oscar-nominated actors Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard will co-host the awards first started by Don Cornelius, the creator of the syndicated music show “Soul Train.”

The last awards show was held in 2007 in California.

‘Shootout’ duo back

Peter Bart and Peter Guber are teaming up once more to host “In the House,” a show-business news and interview series set to debut Dec. 3 on Starz Entertainment’s Encore channel.

The duo hosted “Shootout” for six years on AMC and will reunite for the weekly half-hour program, Variety said. The new show will offer a mix of observations and analysis on show-business news and interviews with prominent industry figures.

“In the House” segments will bow in the Thursday 5:30 p.m. slot, Variety noted.

The show marks the first original series to debut on Encore. The movie-driven premium cable channel has given the show a two-season commitment.

Stephan Shelanski, executive vice president of programming for Starz Entertainment, hailed Mr. Bart and Mr. Guber as “industry titans [whose] conversations are always intriguing and often result in the kind of insider revelation our viewers relish.”

Mr. Guber, chairman of Mandalay Entertainment, said the show would be targeted to viewers who “love the movies and wish to hear more about — and directly from — the people who actually create motion pictures.”

Mr. Bart, Variety’s vice president and editorial director, said they aim to provide “DVD-esque added value features” in the program, including in-depth data and box-office analysis.

Going with the FLO

Live TV on cell phones is so yesterday.

Coming in time for the holidays: a hand-held wireless TV that’s just a TV — and it will have its own dedicated network to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Plans also call for DVR functionality down the road, the Hollywood Reporter says.

The new FLO TV Personal Television, or PTV, is from FLO TV, the live mobile TV service from Qualcomm that is used for AT&T Mobile Television and Verizon’s V-Cast.

The PTV will sell for $250, and subscriptions will begin at $9 a month. FLO TV isn’t saying what content it has lined up, but the AT&T and V-Cast products have 15 channels apiece, including CBS Mobile, CNBC, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, MTV and Nickelodeon.

Some of the content is simulcast live, then repeated in what normally might be considered affiliate time, said Jonathan Barzilay, senior vice president of programming and advertising for FLO TV.

“Late Show With David Letterman,” for example, is on at its usual 11:30 p.m. weeknight slot, then replayed at noon the following day.

FLO TV launched as a service on cell phones about 18 months ago but uses different towers than those used for phones.

“It’s discrete from the cell network and optimized for mobile video,” Mr. Barzilay tells THR. “The network has been built for continuous service through major corridors,” including some tunnels and underground parking.

The market-research firm TeleAnalytics predicts the broadcast mobile TV market will serve 50 million users in North America in 2013, generating $2.8 billion in revenue.

The PTV measures 4.4 inches by 3 inches and is a half-inch thick. Touch-screen technology allows users to channel-surf with a swipe of the finger.

Mr. Barzilay also said an in-car model is coming through a partnership with Audiovox during the holiday season for about $119 a year. The PTVs with DVRs should come some time after that.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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