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TV stocks fall as broker sees FCC clampdown on ad-sharing deals

(Reuters) - Shares of TV station operators such as Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc fell after a Wells Fargo Securities note said the Federal Communications Commission was likely to clamp down on deals that involve TV stations jointly selling ads. The brokerage said that after having spoken with regulators it "appears" that the FCC will not allow any pending deals with any kind of "shared" arrangements to close until or unless they are restructured to exclude such stations and related loan guarantees.

Nielsen ratings show 'Good Morning America' has biggest week since at least 1991

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Fueled by the Oscars, ABC's "Good Morning America" is celebrating its most-watched week in nearly 23 years. The Nielsen company said Thursday that ABC's morning show averaged 6.3 million viewers last week, the most since the company began keeping electronic records in 1991. ABC's Monday telecast from Los Angeles the morning after the Academy Awards had nearly 7.2 million people watching.

Strong debut for ABC's drama 'Resurrection'; Fox's 'American Idol' keeps struggling

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Those repeated ads about a dead boy returning to his father after 32 years struck a nerve with television viewers, who proved curious enough to check out the debut of ABC's new drama "Resurrection." The series drew just under 14 million viewers for its debut on Sunday night, more than AMC's "The Walking Dead" or any other program on what is usually television's biggest night of viewing, the Nielsen ratings company said.

Disney TV executive Sweeney to leave company in January 2015

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Anne Sweeney, the president of Walt Disney Co's Disney/ABC Television Group, will leave the company in January 2015 to pursue a career in television directing, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. Sweeney, also co-chair of Disney Media Networks, oversees the ABC broadcast network and cable networks including the Disney Channels and ABC Family. She joined Disney in 1996.

New morning sizzle between NBC's 'Today' and ABC's 'Good Morning America'

NEW YORK, N.Y. - NBC's "Today" show didn't leave its mojo in Sochi and is feeling newly energized in the program's perpetual battle with ABC's dominant "Good Morning America." After winning in the ratings for two weeks during the Winter Olympics — NBC's first weekly wins since the London games in summer 2012 — the "Today" show has kept some of its momentum now that Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie and the team are back in the New York studio.

Maduro blames 'minority' for Venezuela violence

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro blamed the month-old unrest shaking his country on a "minority" that has left the opposition in a difficult situation. In an interview with CNN, Maduro also renewed his call for establishing a new level of relations with the United States after years of frosty relations. "My message (to the US) is: respect, dialogue, that we overcome the visions they have of our country," Maduro said. "Our message to those who rule the US is respect Venezuela, respect Latin America and let's establish new levels of relations."

Three children rescued from van caught in waves at Florida beach

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Rescuers pulled three children from a minivan tossing in the surf at a Florida beach on the Atlantic Ocean, and investigators were trying on Wednesday to determine how the vehicle driven by their pregnant mother ended up in the water. A videotape of the rescue recorded by a Canadian tourist and aired by television stations showed lifeguards and bystanders at Daytona Beach frantically pulling the children, ages 3, 9 and 10, out of the van as it bobbed in the waves on Tuesday.

Seth Meyers scores a winning debut with biggest Monday 'Late Night' ratings in 9 years

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Nielsen says Seth Meyers is off to a good start hosting NBC's "Late Night." The premiere of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" averaged 3.4 million viewers in "fast official" ratings from Nielsen. NBC says that's the biggest audience for a Monday "Late Night" in nine years. The network says it also beat the 2009 debut of "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" by more than a half-million viewers.

More Nielsen gold during NBC's last week of Olympics coverage, landing 8 shows in the Top 10

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Nielsen says NBC can toast its final golden week of Olympics coverage, which again gave it the seven most-watched prime-time telecasts. And there was a bonus: An eighth broadcast from Sochi on Sunday also landed in last week's Top 10. Monday was NBC's biggest night, seen by more than 23 million viewers to be the week's No. 1 program. The least-followed night of coverage, Saturday, placed seventh for the week. "Sochi Gold," aired prior to Sunday's closing ceremonies, ranked ninth.

Mayor Rob Ford denies illegal drug use, again, on NBC's 'Today' show

TORONTO - Rob Ford has told NBC's "Today" show that he has had a drink since the show's host Matt Lauer interviewed him in November, but he has not used illegal drugs. Ford is running for re-election despite admitting last fall to smoking crack cocaine while in office, and being caught on video in the midst of profane rants, among other missteps. Ford said in November that Lauer could check "five or six months" later to see how he was keeping up with his promise to change his ways.
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