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Tim Weigel’s son to do weekend sports on Ch. 7

Tower Ticker | Rafer Weigel is poised to follow in the footsteps of his father, the late Tim Weigel, by joining Chicago’s WLS-Ch. 7 as a sportscaster.

The TV industry subscription news site on Thursday reported Weigel has left HLN’s’ popular “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” where he has handled sports for three years. “Tipsters claim he walked out on his contract and has been hired as the weekend sports anchor/reporter at ABC-owned WLS,” the site said.

HLN sources say Weigel’s exit, but not his destination, was announced to “Morning Express” staff. WLS had no comment. Weigel could not be reached for comment.

Court tosses out $1.2M indecency fine against ABC

A federal appeals court on Tuesday tossed a $1.2 million indecency fine the Federal Communications Commission imposed against ABC Television affiliates for airing a 2003 episode of “NYPD Blue,” which showed a woman’s naked bottom.

It was just the latest in a series of victories for broadcasters, who have spent the last few years challenging the U.S. government’s effort to police airwaves and fine stations for racy content. Get the full story »

Consumer confidence improves, still weak

U.S. consumer confidence improved in the latest week, according to an ABC News index, as economic pessimism fell to its lowest point in six years.

The overall consumer-comfort index reading was -43 on its scale of -100 to +100, improved from the -45 it had been at for the prior two weeks. The average for the year  is -46, while the worst-ever reading was last year’s -48. Get the full story »

NBC plans ‘Idol’ rival early next year

Bloomberg News | NBC will start airing “Voice of America,” a takeoff of a Dutch show, to battle ABC’s “American Idol” early next year.

Comcast says ABC, CBS, FOX cool with NBC deal

Comcast has told the Federal Communications Commission that it has reached deals with TV stations owned by ABC, CBS and Fox to allay their fears that they will be at a disadvantage if the nation’s biggest cable operator completes its purchase of  NBC.