TV’s Equal Time Rule Scuttles Scribner’s Prime Ticket Debut

Times Staff Writer

Rob Scribner was hired last week by Prime Ticket Network, Jerry Buss’ new all-sports cable channel, to work Saturday night’s UCLA-Arizona football game at Tucson.

However, Scribner never made it to the game. He was knocked off the tape-delayed telecast by some political maneuvering.

Scribner, who was a quarterback at UCLA and later a running back for the Rams, is both an aspiring politician and aspiring broadcaster.


He ran for Congress in 1984 and was defeated by the incumbent, Mal Levine, a Democrat who represents the 27th District--Westside communities from Pacific Palisades to Torrance and east to Inglewood. Scribner expects to oppose Levine again in 1986.

Late Friday, Scribner got a call from Keith Harris, director of broadcasting for Buss and the Forum. Harris told Scribner that Levine’s attorneys had called to say that if Scribner worked the telecast, Levine wanted equal time. So to avoid any hassle, it was decided that John Jackson, former USC assistant football coach who works for Buss, would work the telecast instead.

“I was shocked, really shocked,” Scribner said Monday. “It’s crazy.

“I’m considering taking some legal action. It’s a case of not letting me work. I was the color commentator for UCLA football for five years and I’m trying to break into broadcasting, this could really hurt me and for years to come.”

In Washington, meanwhile, Levine said there was more to the story.

“This all started about a year ago,” Levine said. “Scribner complained several times about radio interviews that I did, calling stations and demanding equal time. He has declared in writing that he will be a candidate running against me in 1986, so he must play by the same rules that other politicians play by.”