Exclusives

  • Repack Special Report, Pt.1: Stations, Tech Cope With Likely Repack Delay

    Since it looks like the FCC will have to repeat its two-part incentive auction process to balance the money promised to broadcasters with what is raised from wireless carriers,broadcasters and their technology suppliers remain in the dark longer about which stations will have to move in the repack and to which channels. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. It could help sync up the repack with an ATSC 3.0 rollout and provide more time to create the 36-month repack schedule. Some vendors say they could use the extra time to prepare for the expected demand. Read the second part of this Special Report here. More | Comments (2)
  • Repack, Pt. 2: AT&T Repack Plan Getting Positive Reviews

    A new plan from AT&T on how best to repack television stations on a regional basis following completion of the incentive auction has received kudos from parts of the TV industry knowledgeable about what will be required. However, there appears to be a few missing pieces, the most glaring of which is the lack of leadership to shepherd the TV broadcasters, tower crews, vendors and others through the process. Read the first part of this Special Report here. More | Comments (3)
  • Jessell: Papers Are A Medium You Don't Want To Follow

    In the minds of many folks, newspapers and over-the-air TV broadcasting are "old media" that will suffer the same fate: an ever-increasing slide to extinction. However, there is evidence, outlined in a report just this week, that their paths are diverging and broadcasting is in much better shape. And with ATSC 3.0 on the horizon, the prospects for stations to compete successfully with digital media grow even brighter. More | Comments (11)
  • Front Office: How TV Stations Can Mine Digital Media

    TV stations need to monetize the digital media opportunities available to them. Here are several strategies they can adopt to ensure a competitive foothold in the rapidly evolving “omniplatform” media world. More | Add comment
  • TVN Tech: KING Hits A Grand Slam At Home Plate Center

    While Tegna’s Seattle TV properties downsized with the move to a new operations center, they upsized in technology, collaboration and growth potential. The new digs turn out more than 18 hours of news a day with state-of-the-art equipment including Sony cameras, automation, production switchers and news automation that controls gear from Evertz, Logitek, Grass Valley, Abekas and Ross Video. More | Add comment

Special Reports

  • Multicasting 2016: A four-part examination of the revenue, programming and technology strategies of the diginet business.
  • TVN's FCC Watch: A quick briefing on FCC proceedings affecting TV broadcasters from Washington communications attorneys David Oxenford and David O'Connor.
  • Employment 2016: In Part I, the challenges facing broadcasters in finding the right people for the rights jobs. Part II: It used to be a given that news managers would readily move it if meant a bigger market and a larger paycheck. Not anymore. Part III, the military may become an even bigger source of talent for station IT and engineering departments.
  • THE TOP 30 TV STATION GROUPS: As a result of its merger with Media General, Nexstar Broadcasting moves up 10 spots and is now No. 3 on TVNewsCheck's 2016 station group ranking behind Fox and CBS. Gray's acquisition of Schurz moved it up to No. 13, Nexstar's old spot. Together, the two deals changed the rank of 21 groups and opened the door to two newcomers.
  • 2016 NAB Show Tech Hot Topics: TVNewsCheck’s second annual multi-part series highlighting emerging tech trends in advance of the NAB Show. Topics include field contribution, audio, cameras, IP transport, transmitters, antennas, newsroom computer systems, broadcast graphics and master control.
  • 2015 — Year In Review: Revisit the year’s top developments in business, programming, journalism, technology, regulation and more.
  • NewsTECHForum 2015: Complete coverage of the third annual conference from TVNewsCheck and Sports Video Group
  • IBC 2015: At the annual tech gathering in Amsterdam, the prominence of IP in everything from production to distribution may have been somewhat of a surprise, but once on the exhibit floor or in the conference rooms there was no mistaking its broad — and still growing — influence.
  • Weather 2015: A three-part look at forecasting: a Q&A with AccuWeather founder Joel Myers; complaints by local weathercasters of network forecasting; and the latest on mobile and augmented reality.
  • Sales Management: A four-part look at the growing importance to stations of mobile viewing platforms; automated spot buying; improving digital sales operations; and a case study of a successful digital sales effort.
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Latest News

Thu, Aug 25, 2016

Editor on duty: Mark K. Miller, 301-773-0058
closing bell
Dow Closes Down 33, Nasdaq Slips 5
The Associated Press, Aug 25, 2016, 5:14 PM EDT
The major indexes wavered between small gains and losses in the morning on Thursday, then moved lower in the afternoon as investors dumped health care stocks. Disappointing earnings from a few retailers helped push down stocks of companies that rely on consumer spending. Full Story | Add comment
FCC Releases Text Of Its Ownership Review
TVNewsCheck, Aug 25, 2016, 2:36 PM EDT
This afternoon, the FCC released its order on the Quadrennial Review of its multiple ownership rules, which was reported two weeks ago. The order reinstates the television joint sales agreement attribution rule, adopts new filing requirement for shared service agreements and says the FCC will grant waivers to the newspaper-broadcast crossownership ban on a case-by-case basis. Full Story | Add comment
TVN Tech
IBC 2016 Set To Tackle Major TV Transitions
TVNewsCheck, Aug 25, 2016, 10:25 AM EDT
Broadcasters from around the world will converge next month on Amsterdam for IBC 2016 where they will find the latest developments in the technology and business transitions confronting the industry. Whether it’s the shift from baseband to IP video transport, the rollout of 4K and 8K Ultra HD production or the growing role of OTT and future advertising opportunities, IBC 2016 promises to offer a fresh perspective on where the television industry is headed. Full Story | Add comment
overnights
NBC Runs Primetime Win Streak To 20 Nights
Media Life Magazine, Aug 25, 2016, 12:12 PM EDT
It tops the competition in 18-49s and total viewers, tying a record in the latter. America's Got Talent tops the night with a 2.1 in 18-49s. CBS's Big Brother matches its season high with a 2.0. Link | Add comment
dma 5
KTVT Dallas News Director Mike Garber Out
Uncle Barky's Bytes, Aug 25, 2016, 2:46 PM EDT
Mike Garber is gone as the CBS O&O's news director after a two-year stay marked by numerous major personnel changes and departures, plus declining ratings. Link | Add comment
Skies Open To News Drones On Monday
RTDNA, Aug 25, 2016, 3:01 PM EDT
The greatly anticipated commercial drone regulations are effective next Monday, Aug.29. A new category of airman, "remote pilot," can fly drones weighing less than 55 pounds. No longer do commercial operators need to recruit airplane or helicopter pilots to fly drones. Reporters, photogs, and producers can become remote pilots after some aviation knowledge study and completion of a written test at an approved testing site. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
Madison Ave. Bets Big On Fox's 'Star' In Fall
Variety, Aug 25, 2016, 2:16 PM EDT
A Variety survey of commercial-ratings projections for the 2016-17 broadcast TV season finds ad buyers believe Star, the new Fox musical drama from co-creators Lee Daniels and Tom Donaghy, will generate the most commercial viewership of any freshman scripted program. The survey, constructed using estimates from three large media-buying agencies, examines the primetime grid for the most viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 who watch commercials. Link | Add comment
Clinton Won't Commit To Press Conference
CNNMoney, Aug 25, 2016, 3:13 PM EDT
With less than three months until election day, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are both acting as if they're allergic to media questioning. On Wednesday night Clinton called into CNN's Anderson Cooper 360, showing a willingness to take questions about the Clinton Foundation, Trump's attacks against her and other subjects. But she was noncommittal when Cooper asked about her reluctance to take questions in a press conference setting. Link | Add comment
National TV Ad Spend +3.2%; Cable +5.6%
MediaPost, Aug 25, 2016, 2:24 PM EDT
Total national TV advertising dollars grew by 3.2% in July to $2.46 billion — in line with overall U.S. advertising growth for the month — with cable networks posting the strongest results. Link | Add comment
Q&A with Bill Carroll
In Syndication, Chasing After The Next Big Hit
Media Life Magazine, Aug 25, 2016, 6:30 AM EDT
The medium has been transformed by consolidation. There are fewer new options and fewer potential buyers. But things could turn around with a smash. Katz TV's Bill Carroll talks about the challenges facing syndication, why aging shows have held up so long, and what new syndicated programs to watch for this fall. Link | Add comment
Viacom Board Ponders Paramount, CBS
New York Post, Aug 25, 2016, 6:56 AM EDT
The recently expanded board of the entertainment conglomerate has been convening daily since Monday to weigh major topics of the company’s future, including selling a minority stake in Paramount — with a path for the potential buyer to acquire all of the Hollywood studio at a later date — and the potential sale of all of Viacom, or a possible recombination of Viacom with CBS. Link | Add comment
Olympic Athletes Score Big In Home Markets
MediaPost, Aug 25, 2016, 6:20 AM EDT
Local TV market Olympic programming posted sharp gains — with hometown Olympic athletes grabbing even better results for their respective TV stations. For the entire Olympics, overall primetime household viewing grew 356% over regular-season July primetime programming for those stations with home market Olympics athletes. Non-home athlete Olympic stations rose 315%, looking at all metered markets. Link | Comments (1)
Brand Connections
Election Spending Rises On Snapchat
Bloomberg, Aug 25, 2016, 7:50 AM EDT
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both raised their spending — to an undisclosed degree — on Snapchat, with Clinton buying video ads with a targeted number of views and Trump running an interactive ad that wants users' email addresses. Nicole Piper reports on Snapchat's first significant national election ad spend. Link | Add comment
Still-Solo 'Live With Kelly' Gets Premiere Date
The Wrap, Aug 25, 2016, 6:10 AM EDT
Anderson Cooper, Neil Patrick Harris and Michael Weatherly are among those (still) testing out the other chair as the syndicated talker debuts Season 29 on Sept. 5. Link | Comments (2)
station advisory
What's Up With Music Rights For Stations?
Broadcast Law Blog, Aug 25, 2016, 8:05 AM EDT
While this summer has perhaps not brought the big headlines in trade press about copyright issues involving broadcasters – particularly in the area of music rights – there still are many issues that are active. While the rates for 2016-2020 are on appeal, these rates are effective pending appeal and webcasters need to be paying under them. Many other copyright issues are on the horizon, here's an outline of many of the pending matters. Link | Add comment
Fox Hit With 'Empire' Class Action Suit
Deadline, Aug 25, 2016, 6:01 AM EDT
With the Season 3 debut of Empire just weeks away, the first two episodes of the Fox blockbuster’s second season today are at the center of a potential big-bucks class action lawsuit filed over filming at a Chicago juvenile detention center that left hundreds of underage inmates in "lockdown." Link | Add comment
Future Of NYT-CBS News Poll Up In The Air
Politico, Aug 25, 2016, 6:42 AM EDT
At issue is the departure, after the 2016 election, of the New York Times' remaining veteran pollsters who worked with CBS. Sources say CBS and the Times have not had any formal conversations about dissolving the 41-year-old partnership, which was the first such collaboration between two major U.S. news organizations. But there is growing speculation that they will go their separate ways after the election, Link | Add comment
It Could Be That ESPN Is Ripe For A Takedown
Media Life Magazine, Aug 25, 2016, 6:32 AM EDT
The long-dominant sports network has lost a slew of subscribers while also facing money woes. Sports Illustrated and Fox Sports are joining forces against their rival, giving both more heft. Link | Add comment
YouTube Plans Major 'Backstage' Upgrades
VentureBeat, Aug 25, 2016, 7:52 AM EDT
YouTube is developing a new feature called Backstage that lets users share photos, polls, links, text posts, and videos with their subscribers. The feature, which is meant to keep contributors from decamping to other platforms with increasingly more bells and whistles, is slated for launch by year's end, possibly as soon as fall.  Link | Add comment

More News

Orioles, MASN Brief Claims MLB 'Systemic Bias'
The Washington Post, Aug 25, 2016, 3:24 PM EDT
HBO To Air Tracey Ullman Sketch Series
Entertainment Weekly, Aug 25, 2016, 2:53 PM EDT
Maria Molina Leaving 'Fox & Friends'
TVNewser, Aug 25, 2016, 2:48 PM EDT
Dr. Drew Pinsky To Step Down From HLN
Variety, Aug 25, 2016, 2:13 PM EDT
Tim Bock Named Dick Clark Prods. Production SVP
TVNewsCheck, Aug 25, 2016, 1:13 PM EDT
Univision Names Loris Executive News Director
TVNewsCheck, Aug 25, 2016, 11:52 AM EDT
Market Share (DMA 51: New Orleans)
WDSU Celebrates 50 Years Of Saints Football
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Aug 25, 2016, 8:17 AM EDT
Market Share: DMA 4
Philly’s WCAU Sends Reporter To La. Flooding
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Aug 25, 2016, 8:15 AM EDT
DMA 86: Harlingen-Weslaco-Brownsville-McAllen, TX
Felony Charges Dismissed Against Chaisson
TVSpy, Aug 25, 2016, 7:58 AM EDT
dmas 53 & 41
WIVB Anchor Teresa Weakley Leaving For WOOD
The Buffalo News, Aug 25, 2016, 7:33 AM EDT
DMA 6: San Francisco
KPIX Anchor Wendy Tokuda Retires
SFGate, Aug 25, 2016, 7:20 AM EDT
Britney Spears To Get Lifetime Biopic
The Wrap, Aug 25, 2016, 6:07 AM EDT
Ryan Lochte Reportedly Joins 'DWTS' Cast
TVLine, Aug 25, 2016, 6:05 AM EDT
CW Developing Martial Law Drama 'Rise'
Deadline, Aug 25, 2016, 6:03 AM EDT
Are Britton Or Panettiere Exiting CMT's 'Nashville'?
Variety, Aug 25, 2016, 5:59 AM EDT
Fan-Made 'Star Trek' Sets Become Tourist Attraction
The Associated Press, Aug 25, 2016, 5:53 AM EDT
Dma 3
WGN Chicago Expanding Weekend Morning News
TVNewsCheck, Aug 24, 2016, 6:00 PM EDT
GatesAir Completes Phase 2 Rollout in Kuwait
TVNewsCheck, Aug 24, 2016, 3:54 PM EDT
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for August 24, 2016
  • 1.
    1.5/6
  • 2.
    1.3/5
  • 3.
    1.1/4
  • 4.
    0.8/3
  • 5.
    0.5/2
  • 6.
    0.4/2
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Louisa Ada Seltzer

    The second reboot of the 1980s John Candy movie Uncle Buck, bumped by ABC from midseason, has the same tired jokes you'll find on any second-rate sitcom. Too bad, because Mike Epps is appealing and ABC would be wise to keep him around for future shows, but there’s just not enough to this show to suggest it will last past summer. It also airs against NBC’s America’s Got Talent, summer’s No. 1 program on broadcast, which may make it even harder to find an audience.

  • Neil Genzlinger

    Bryan Cranston brings his Tony Award-winning interpretation of President Lyndon B. Johnson to television in an adaptation of the Robert Schenkkan play All the Way, and it’s still quite a sight to behold, just as it was on Broadway in 2014. Nothing beats witnessing this kind of larger-than-life portrayal onstage, of course. But the television version, presented by HBO, offers plenty of rewards, allowing Cranston to work the close-ups and liberating him from the confines of a theater set. Cranston’s performance is a gem — in his hands, this accidental president comes across as an amazing bundle of contradictions, someone who seems at once too vulgar for the job and just right for it.

  • Dominic Patten

    There are a lot of good things to say about the near-perfect The Night Manager. But it’s best to cut to the core and say that the Susanne Bier-directed miniseries is simply great television. Now, co-production already played in the UK earlier this year where it was a ratings hit and cultural phenomenon. No doubts as to why. The six-part series airing in the U.S. on AMC starring Hugh Laurie, Tom Hiddleston, Olivia Colman and Elizabeth Debicki is worthy of all of the accolades and adjectives with which one can praise a show – and this in an era of TV excellence. The actors are all consistently at their very best here, with Oscar winner Bier never better behind the camera. Watch Night Manager week by week or in one DVR’d binge, but don’t miss the excellence that is this adaptation of John le Carré’s 1993 novel — you will be the lesser for it if you do.

  • Mark Dawidziak

    From the first frame, it's clear that Jackie Robinson is a genuine labor of love. The warmly crafted two-part, four-hour PBS documentary from filmmaker Ken Burns positively glows with its admiration for the man and his accomplishments. Unabashedly positive in its overall approach? Yes, and Burns is somewhat old-fashioned in that regard. He believes that admiration is a good and legitimate reason to compose a biography of someone. He's not going to apologize for that. That doesn't mean you ignore the flaws and frailties. But Burns, like historian David McCullough, maintains that biographies can celebrate worthy American lives, not merely tear them down.

  • Robert Bianco

    NBC is clearly betting a show that’s merely pleasant can survive in a crowded TV universe. And who knows, with Crowded, NBC could be right. Certainly pleasant is in short supply these days. Admittedly, “undemanding” is not exactly a strong endorsement, and NBC is unlikely to build an ad campaign around the show freeing you from weekly commitment pressure. But it’s something. And here’s something else, and something better, Crowded has to offer: Patrick Warburton and Carrie Preston, two of TV's most skilled and appealing actors. Put them together, and you have the strongest inducement to make room for their sitcom. Two may not count as a crowd, but these two just may be enough for Crowded.

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