They Need Some Space: "Live with Regis" is apparently a Kathie Lee-free zone. Executives at the syndicated talk show have banned Regis Philbin's former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford, who is promoting a new album, from appearing or even running paid advertisments on the show she starred on for 15 years. "We need to gain some physical and commercial separation from Kathie Lee during the search for her replacement," explained Tom Kane, president of New York's WABC-TV, which produces the show. "We can all see a day when she'll appear on the show again . . . but only after we've been able to reestablish ourselves with a new co-host." Meanwhile Gifford, who left the program in July, made a lengthy appearance on NBC's "Today" show last Friday in direct competition with her former show. And when Matt Lauer asked why she had no plans to sing for Philbin, Gifford said, "I'd love to. I think they got a little angry when we booked the 'Today' show so soon."
'$treet,' 'Normal' Ratings: Fox's heavily promoted new Wall Street drama "The $treet," proved little match for NBC's budding juggernaut "The West Wing" in Wednesday's Nielsen standings. The Fox show premiered with 7.3 million viewers--fourth in its time slot--compared with 18.5 million watching the NBC drama. Fox fared somewhat better with the John Goodman sitcom "Normal, Ohio," which attracted 12.2 million viewers, only about a million off from a special "Simpsons" episode that preceded it.
Who Wants to Be a Hall of Famer?: Regis Philbin, Cokie Roberts and Charles Osgood are among 13 who will be inducted Nov. 13 into the Broadcasting & Cable Magazine Hall of Fame in New York. Additional honorees include game show host Gene Rayburn, radio storyteller Jean Shepherd, producer David L. Wolper, radio newsman Gabriel Heatter and HBO Executive Vice President Sheila Nevins. Still other inductees are cable pioneer William J. Bresnan, former NBC President Herbert S. Schlosser, longtime Columbia TriStar Television Distribution President Barry Thurston, National Assn. of Broadcasters President Vincent T. Wasilewski and the National Cable Television Assn.'s first president, Martin F. Malarkey. Known as "the honor roll of the Fifth Estate," the hall recognizes TV, radio and cable personalities for "unparalleled excellence and service."
Sound Preservation: The first nationwide legislation to preserve American sound recordings was passed in Congress this week and now goes before President Clinton. Called the Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the bill would create a National Recording Registry in the Library of Congress that would identify and preserve historically important recordings from the last century. The bill applies to both musical selections and spoken-word recordings such as political speeches.
Prager's Deal: Radio host Dennis Prager, who airs his final program on KABC-AM (790) next Friday, has landed a new national syndication deal with the Christian-oriented Salem Radio Network. KIEV-AM (870), which is owned by Salem Communications Corp., had already announced that Prager would join the station on Nov. 13. His current syndication deal, with Jones Radio Network, ends Dec. 29; the Salem pact--which will also make Prager's show available at http://www.OnePlace.com--commences Dec. 1.
Arts in Education Grants: The California Arts Council was scheduled to approve Thursday an additional $2.29 million in arts grants to 108 applicants who had already received $2.47 million this year under the Exemplary Arts Education Program. The program provides an invitation-only grants opportunity that was developed as part of an extra $10 million that Gov. Gray Davis designated this year for the council to use for arts in education. Local grantees ranged from Pasadena's Armory Center for the Arts, which was to get $15,500 in addition to its original grant of $27,395, to the Center Theatre Group, which was to get a $20,000 boost in addition to its original $81,300 grant.