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Howe promoted to Sci Fi president

NEW YORK -- Sci Fi Channel promoted Dave Howe to president, the network said Wednesday.

Howe had been the channel's general manager and executive vp since July 2004. He'll continue to report to Bonnie Hammer.

"Dave has been an inspired contributor to Sci Fi's success since the day he joined the team," Hammer said in a prepared statement. "The channel's on a tremendous roll, and the energy, creativity and commitment Dave brings to his new role can only accelerate the momentum."

Howe will be in charge of original development, programming, marketing, planning and the company's digital products. Before joining Sci Fi Channel in 2001, Howe worked at the BBC for 15 years and was its head of on-air marketing and creative services.

Bloggers get Sci Fi access

Sci Fi Channel is using the viral power of blogging to promote its fall lineup of programming.

The network is hosting a digital press event in Vancouver, where bloggers and webmasters from various media organizations will report from behind the scenes of such Sci Fi shows as "Battlestar Galactica", "Eureka", "Stargate Atlantis" and "Flash Gordon" through blogs.

The event, which began Monday and runs through Wednesday, will host about 32 online press members from such media outlets as Yahoo, AOL, TV.com and zap2it.com. It includes various panels and Q&A discussions with cast members and show producers.

"With the fragmentation of audiences and the media, people are more and more getting information from the digital press and bloggers of established Web sites, and we wanted to respond to that," said Dave Howe, GM and executive vp at Sci Fi. "What we've seen is that our audience is at the forefront of involvement in communities by bloggers and has an unbelievable knowledge and thirst for knowledge about our shows."

While bloggers will post editorial, photos and video from the event through their media outlet's Web site, video from the junket also will be syndicated for other destinations on the Web.

'Battlestar' special in Sci Fi galaxy

NEW YORK -- Sci Fi Channel hit Battlestar Galactica will air a two-hour episode in the fall that will bridge the gap between the current third season and the fourth season slated to begin in January, the cable network said Wednesday during its upfront presentation.

Sci Fi executive vp original programming Mark Stern said the episode will feature the whole cast and not necessarily be related to the story line. It will be filmed in the next few months as the show returns to production and will then be marketed as a separate DVD.

In other Battlestar news, Sci Fi GM Dave Howe said the network had picked up the back-nine episodes of the upcoming Season 4.

Sci Fi has never been hotter, Sci Fi Channel and USA Network president Bonnie Hammer said at the presentation, held at the nightclub STK in the trendy Meatpacking District of lower Manhattan. "It's something we live and breathe every day."

Sci Fi also said that it has reached a deal for six one-hour episodes of a series with British mentalist Derren Brown.

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