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Boxoffice-January.10.1953

" FCC Hears Arguments On

" FCC Hears Arguments On UPT'ABC Merger WASHINGTON—Producers did not move into exhibition: exhibitors moved into film production. This led to the antitrust violations which eventually produced the consent decrees, according to counsel Frederick Ford representing on Monday i5) the FCC broadcast bureau in opposing final approval of the merger of United Paramount Tlieatres and American Broadcasting Corp. The broadcast bureau joined with Paramount Pictures, United Paramount Theatres, American Broadcasting Co. and DuMont Laboratories in .summarizing six months of hearing for all seven Federal Communications Commissioners, as the Commissioners heard arguments in the broadcast bureau and Du- Mont appeal from the initial hearing examiner's decision approving the merger. SAME 'MONOPOLY' FORCES Ford said that permission for the UPT-ABC merger would bring into television the same forces that created monopoly, restraint of trade and other evils in the film industry. One exhibitor chain with television stations and a network would force other theatre chains for competitive reasons to seek combinations with TV networks and one TV network with theatres would force other networks to make similar connections. The pattern for the same conspiracies as in the film industry would then be ready. Ford argued that one company embracing theatres and TV stations would be competing with itself for audiences, and indicated this situation would result in harm to the progress of television. Ford argued that caution should be taken in view of *he fact that the merger, if permitted, would be "a step which will remake the film and television industries." He criticized the initial decision of hearing examiner Leo Resnick for its comment indicating that a decision on the merger could not rest on guesswork as to future developments in television. The FCC counsel argued that the Commission "must visualize and look into the future" before it approves the merger and "lets loose as powerful a force as this" which would "lead to a complete amalgamation of motion pictures and television." ASKS A FIVE-YEAR WAIT Ford argued that, since it would be necessary to look so far in the future to gauge effects of the merger, such an action should wait for at least five years. He denied ABC needs capital so badly as to make such a merger advisable. UPT assets are only 3 to 1 over liabilities, he argued, while ABC has a 2 to 1 ratio. He did not oppose a merger for ABC, but only a merger with a chain of theatres. Nor, he said, did he oppose ownership by an exhibitor of a television station. He did oppose merger between or ownership of a chain of television stations or a network by a chain of theatres. Transfer of theatre and television assets from the old pre-divestiture Paramount Pictures to the two new companies formed to comply with the con.sent decree was also strongly attacked, since FCC consent to the transfers was not sought. Paramount and United Paramount Theatres contended that the transfer was in line with dictates of the Department of Justice, but FCC counsel Max Paglin said the D of J did not dictate disposal of radio and TV properties and said Justice hadn't even considered these assets since "that was not their problem." The transfer, he said, was voluntary and failure to seek FCC permission was a violation of the Federal Communications Commission act. FCC lawyer James Juntilla argued that hearing examiner Leo Resnick should have found Paramount controls DuMont in view of the fact that the film company owns all of DuMont's B stock and is .second largest holder of the A stock, with three directors on the board and with several Paramount officials holding high offices in DuMont. DuMont disputed Paramoutit control over DuMont. with its attorney Col. William Roberts pointing out that decisions of Dr. DuMont are always rubber-stamped by the board. Bui DuMont opposed the merger in a mild manner, repeating its assertion that great competition for films exists among television networks and stations and his charge that the merger would set up a network with unfair advantages in the bargaining. ABC and UPT repeated their plans to develop fully the television network and its programming with one part of the new company, while continuing to exert its best efforts on behalf of the theatres with the other half. Lippert Distribution Now On 100% Franchise Basis CHICAGO—Fi-anchise holders of Lippert Pictures, convening here Saturday and Sunday (10, 11), were to be told by President Robert L. Lippert that the company's distribution arrangements will henceforth be 100 per cent on a franchise basis. Lippert, who began disposing of company-owned exchanges last year, has just sold the last of 28 regional franchises, the Atlanta territory, to John W. Mangham. Assembled to discuss product and map sales strategy for the year, the Lippert franchise owners were to view a screening of a Lippert February release. "The Tall Texan." starring Lloyd Bridges and Marie Windsor. Slated to attend, in addition to Lippert. were Ai-thur Greenblatt. general sales manager; William Pizor. vice-president in charge of foreign sales, and Ed Baumgarten, Lippert's executive assistant, as well as franchise holders including: Lewis J. Liesser, Albony-Buffolo; John W. Mangham, Atlanta; Albert Swerdlove, Boston; J. Francis White, Charlotte; Harris Dudelson, Chicago; Eugene Tunick, Cincinnati; Leo Gottlieb, Clevelond; Hermon Bciersdorf, Dallas; Tom Bailey, Denver-Salt Lake City; Julian King, Des Moines; Albert Dezel ond Cloir Townsend, Detroit; Jack Safer, Indianapolis; Robert Horrell, Kansos City, Charles Kranz ond Irving Levin, Los Angeles; Fred A. Meyers and Cliff Wolloce, Memphis; William Benjamin, Milwaukee; Donold Swartz, Minneopolis; Harold F. Cohen, New Orleans; Moe Kermand and Joseph Felder, New York; Corr Scott, Oklahoma City; Jock Engel, Philodelphia; Bert Stcorn and Milton Broumon, Pittsburgh; Jack Ungermon, Portland-Seattle; Herman Gorelick and George Phillips, St, Louis, Al Grubsfick, San Francisco; Fred Beiersdorf Washington, D. C. Lem Jones New Head Of Fox Shorts Sales NEW YORK—Lem Jones has been named short subjects sales manager of 20th Century- Fox by Al Lichtman, cli,'-tribution director, LEM JONES succeeding Peter G. Levathes, who resigned to enter the advertising agency field. Jones has been a 20th-Fox sales executive. He will be a.ssisted by Phil Williams, formerly of the March of Time. Jones joined the company in March 1945. Previously he had been press .secretary to the late Wendell Willkie during his presidential campaign and also to Gov. Thomas E. Dewey of New York when Dewey was New York district attorney. Since joining 20th-Fox, Jones has been an assistant to Spyros P. Skouras, president, and has served in several executive sales posts. Levathes had been with the company for 17 years. Republic Sales Convention Is Held in Hollywood LOS ANGELES—Republic held the first in a -series of foiir regional sales meetings at its North Hollywood studio Tuesday i5) through Thursday i7) to map sales policies and distribution plans on upcoming product. Similar se.ssions will be held Monday and Tue.sday 1 19. 201 in Chicago: Thursday and Friday 1 22. 231 m New York, and Wednesday and Thursday i28, 29) in Miami, the last-named coinciding with the dual world premiere of "Fair Wind to Java" in Miami and Miami Beach. Co-chairmen of the western parley were Herbert J. Yates, Republic president, and James R. Grainger, vice-president in charge of sales and distribution. Grainger will preside at the Chicago. New York and Miami conclaves. Attending the studio conferences were Francis A. Bateman. western district chief, and branch managers Gene Gerbase, Denver; Paul McElhinney, Seattle: Tliomas McMahon, Salt Lake City: George Mitchell, San Fiancisco: Jack C. Partin, Portland, and Jack Dowd, Los Angeles. In addition to premiere plans for "Java, up for discussion were "The Sun Shines Bright," "The Lady Wants Mink," "Sweetheart Times," "San Antone" and other completed but as-yet-unreleased product. 14 BOXOFnCE :: January 10, 1963

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