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TV Note: 3/23/02

Saturday, March 23, 2002

NBC decides to cork hard-liquor ad policy

NBC has backed off a new policy that made it the first broadcast network to run hard liquor commercials.

Citing a request from "the bipartisan leadership of the House and Senate Commerce Committee," the network announced Wednesday it would discontinue its three-month policy.

Distilled Spirits Council President Peter Cressy called NBC's move "unfortunate, but only a temporary setback for responsible alcohol advertising."

Joseph Califano Jr. of Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse hailed the decision, calling it "an important victory for parents and children across the country."

NBC's announcement followed an outcry from legislators, activists and even beer makers who have long been able to run network advertising without competition from hard liquor.

Beer and wine are widely advertised on television, and several national cable channels and about 200 to 300 local stations accept commercials for distilled spirits. But broadcast networks had refused to hawk hard liquor for fear of seeming to be socially irresponsible.

Earlier this week, officials at Pittsburgh's NBC affiliate, WPXI, said the station would not air NBC's liquor ads, following the policy of Channel 11's parent company, Cox Television.

(Frazier Moore, Associated Press)

UPN cancellations

UPN has already given up on its Tuesday night sitcoms "As If" and "The Random Years," which proved to be dynamic duds in the ratings. Next week an encore of the "Under One Roof" premiere airs in the 9 p.m. Tuesday time slot.

(Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV Editor)

'X-Files 2002'

WXDX-FM (105.9) has released its fifth CD of music by local bands. "Pittsburgh X-Files 2002" is a double CD, featuring The Buzz Poets, Dharma Sons, Mercury, Mushcup, 3 Car Garage and 36 others.

A portion of the proceeds go to the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force. It's available at Best Buy stores and online at http://www.1059thex.com.)

(Adrian McCoy)

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