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USA Broadcasting Announces Atlanta as Third Local Market; Andrew Beskin Appointed General Manager, WHOT-34; USAB Atlanta Announces Multi-Year Alliance With Atlanta Hawks.

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 16, 1999--

USA Broadcasting, a USA Company (NASDAQ: USAI), announced today that Andrew Beskin has been appointed General Manager, USAB Atlanta, WHOT Channel 34, a USA television station set to launch this November. In this capacity, Mr. Beskin will oversee management and operations of the station. He will report to Rick Feldman, Chief Operating Officer, USA Broadcasting, and will be based in Atlanta.

"Andy Beskin knows the Atlanta market and has worked extensively with local franchises, such as the Atlanta Hawks, in developing media strategies. He is trusted in the marketplace and amongst his colleagues in broadcasting," said Rick Feldman, Chief Operating Officer, USA Broadcasting. "HOTLANTA will be as aggressive and energetic as the talented Hawks team they cover and Andy is the one who can pull the pieces together, delivering high quality local sports coverage and an exciting mix of programming for viewers and advertisers."

Having developed its first local sports partnership, WHOT-34 announced today a signed, multi-year alliance with the Atlanta Hawks. HOTLANTA viewers and Hawks fans will be the next market in the nation, following USAB Dallas KSTR-TV, to experience the compelling broadcast television that USAB's award-winning programming and promotion teams have developed. Modeled after WAMI-TV's network quality, local coverage of Miami Heat basketball and Florida Marlins baseball, the Atlanta alliance will explore original programs and marketing strategies focused on the Hawks. For example, the station itself will launch at the start of the NBA regular season in November, televising a total of 30 Hawks regular season games on WHOT-34. The Hawks, a team to watch in 2000, made it to the 2nd round of the NBA playoffs in 1999, and in addition to trading for NBA pro Isaiah Rider, have drafted NCAA star Jason Terry for the upcoming NBA season.

"USAB's partnership is exciting news for the Atlanta Hawks and their fans. The relationship between one of the nation's most innovative broadcasters, known for their focus on local sports, and the Hawks, will bring 30 of the best games back into the Atlanta market," said Lee Douglas, Executive Vice President, Atlanta Hawks. "We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship."

Mr. Beskin, appointed General Manager this week, served as Local Sales Manager, WGNX-TV, from 1990 through April, 1999, before joining USAB. There, he is credited with managing the station's successful transition from an independent to a CBS affiliate. In addition to selling comprehensive media packages for the Atlanta Hawks, Mr. Beskin was also responsible for SEC football, the NCAA Basketball Tournament, NFL Football and the 1998 Winter Olympics. Prior to serving as LSM, Mr. Beskin held both marketing and sales positions, always concentrating on local sports, at WGNX and MMT Marketing. At WGNX he is rumored to have persuaded Coach Mike Fratello to do a press interview at halftime in order to close an Atlanta Hawks sponsorship.

"Launching this new television station and bringing more Hawks games back to broadcast television in Atlanta is happening because of great timing, a receptive market and a truly dedicated group of players and fans," said Andy Beskin. "Atlanta deserves the best local television we can deliver and I believe that the team we are putting together at WHOT-34, combined with the creative ingenuity of the folks at USAB, is going to be a winning combination for HOTLANTA viewers and Hawks fans."

USA Broadcasting, a USA company, is the eighth largest television broadcast group in the nation. With 13 fully operational stations, USA Broadcasting has established a presence in the top 12 Designated Market Areas, putting the total Group reach at more than 36 million households, over 37% of the United States. In the year 2000, USA Broadcasting stations will utilize the latest digital and fiber-optic transmission technology out of Station Works, its base of operations in Ontario, CA. Modeled after the creative and popular success of WAMI-TV, Miami, FL., (www.wami.citysearch.com) network-quality, original programming, that mirrors the style and sensibilities of the native market, will serve as the Group's foundation.

USA Networks, Inc. is a diversified media and electronic commerce company with assets that include the following: USA Network; SCI FI Channel; Studios USA; USA Films; USA Broadcasting; Home Shopping Network; Ticketmaster and USA Networks Interactive, which includes the Hotel Reservations Network, SCIFI.com and the Internet Shopping Network, whose primary service is First Auction. The Company also owns a controlling interest in Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Inc., (NASDAQ: TMCS) a leading internet provider of local content and online ticketing.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 16, 1999
Words:747
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