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DTV Transition Delayed 90 Days: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer January 19, 2009

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It looks like the transition to digital television is going to be delayed for 90 days. My sources inside the Beltway tell me it's a done deal.

Fearful that an overwhelming crowd at the Inauguration may hinder cell phone service, wireless providers are asking attendants to limit calls and data sent while at the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. The wireless providers have also spent millions of dollars to temporarily boost their network power in Washington D.C. According to Joe Farren, spokesman for the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, "If some of these estimates come true, people should anticipate delays with regards to sending text messages or making phone calls or getting onto the Internet."

Circuit City is set to close all of its 567 U.S. stores and liquidate its remaining assets. The 60 year old retail chain will cut 30,000 jobs in the process, while selling goods at up to 30% off. The electronics retailer will host a "going-out-of-business" sale for 90 days, with plans to close all stores by April.

Rumors are circulating that Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer were meeting at the Time Warner Center last Friday. It is now suspected that Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes also met with the two executives. The rumor mill is buzzing over a possible Microsoft-Yahoo search deal, as well an AOL-Yahoo merger. However, rumors have yet to be substantiated.

The New York Times is in talks with Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim about a possible cash infusion. Slim, who currently owns 6.4% of the company's stock, may inject "several hundred million dollars" into the debt strapped company, who has a $400 million in credit which expires in May.

ABC has cut the price of an advertisement during the Oscars to $1.4 million. Not only have they cut the rate, but ABC will accept ads for movies for the first time during the award show. The news comes after a terrible year for the award show, one which saw the Oscars ratings fall to 32 million viewers in 2008, down from 39.9 million in 2007.

Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net