Exclusives

  • Year In Review Pt. 3: Tech Expands Possibilities

    This year’s major technology news includes developments in ATSC 3.0, the next-gen broadcast TV standard; the growing acceptance of IP as a replacement for SDI in transporting content throughout and among facilities; increasing interest in virtual news set technology and new moves by the networks into TV Everywhere. More | Add comment
  • Year In Review Pt. 2: Biz, D.C., Programming, New Media

    Part 2 of TVNewsCheck's annual roundup of the major news of the year covers business; regulatory/legal developments; syndicated and network programming; and new media. More | Comments (3)
  • Complete Coverage Of TVN's 2014 NewsTECHForum

    The second annual conference from TVNewsCheck and Sports Video Group featured keynotes from Sinclair Broadcast CEO David Smith and Tow-Knight Center's Jeff Jarvis. The two-day gathering, designed for news, technology and news operations managers, addressed cutting-edge issues including multiscreen news workflow, IT security for TV news, severe weather reporting, mobile newsgathering, next-gen ENG cameras, video-enabled drones and more. Find all our coverage here. More
  • Year In Review Pt. 1: Busy Year For Local, Network News

    With acquisitions, programming moves and strategies that boosted collaborations between broadcasters, while also bringing viewers increasingly into the mix, TV news crews were well poised to cover some of 2014’s biggest local stories. And national news broadcasters officially moved into the digital age in 2014, launching newscasts designed specifically for cyberspace. More | Comments (7)
  • Spotlight: WRAL Above And Beyond With Drone Rules

    The Raleigh, N.C., CBS affiliate has adopted rigorous standards for drone deployment as it learns how to operate them in preparation for the day the FAA approves their use in newsgathering. The requirements include operator training on par with that needed to acquire a private pilot’s license and following a set of operating rules designed to ensure safety and respect privacy. More | Comments (1)

Special Reports

  • FCC Watch: A quick briefing on 26 FCC proceedings affecting broadcasters from communications attorneys David Oxenford and David O'Connor.
  • Severe Weather 2014: A three-part look at the effects of social media on forecasting; a Q&A with the National Weather Service's Greg Carbin; and the latest on dual polarization radar.
  • Diginets 2014: A three-part examination of the revenue, programming and business strategies of multicasting.
  • 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.
  • 2013—Year In Review: Revisit the year’s top developments in business, programming, journalism, technology, regulation and more.
  • ENG 2013: A three-part examination of the state of the art in newsgathering tech, including bonded cellular, wireless mic issues and news vehicles.
  • THE TOP 30 TV STATION GROUPS: A plethora of mega-deals over the last 12 months has reordered TVNewsCheck's annual ranking. While the top three spots remained the same as last year — occupied by Fox, CBS and Sinclair — the rest of the top 10 is much changed with five companies gone through M&A activity.
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Latest News

Sat, Dec 20, 2014

dma 59
Meredith Completes WALA Mobile Purchase
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 5:13 PM EST
The $86 million buy of the Fox affiliate from Media General was part of a divestiture deal involved in obtaining federal regulatory approval of Media General’s merger with LIN Media. Full Story | Add comment
closing bell
Dow Finishes Up 27, Nasdaq Gains 17
The Associated Press, Dec 19, 2014, 5:20 PM EST

With little news to give them direction, traders continued to push indexes higher on Friday. That extended a rally from Wednesday when the Federal Reserve said it was in no hurry to hike interest rates. "What a very crazy week," said Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at S&P Capital IQ. Full Story | Add comment

dma 1 (New York)
WNYW Beats Networks In The Mornings In '14
TVSpy, Dec 19, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
Good Day New York is hosted by Greg Kelly and Rosanna Scotto and airs from 7 to 9 a.m. on Fox-owned WNYW New York. So far in 2014, the show is No. 1 among adults 18-49 with a 1.035 rating, beating out NBC’s Today Show (.917) and ABC’s Good Morning America (.825). Link | Add comment
Jessell at Large
TV Can't Thrive As Phony 'Three-Legged Dog'
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 3:34 PM EST
Jeff Jarvis and David Smith, the two keynoters at TVNewsCheck's NewsTECHForum in New York this week, offered the prescription for a broadcasting renaissance: revamped news content with "true, human" voices and a new broadcast standard that can keep pace in a "fast-track world." Full Story | Comments (1)
Media General-LIN Media Merger Closes
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 2:48 PM EST
Media General said today that it has closed on its merger with LIN Media and the associated transactions. Media General’s President-CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said: “We are pleased to have finalized the merger transaction that delivers numerous strategic and financial benefits, including a strong balance sheet, significant free cash flow, enhanced scale and a diverse geographic footprint that will provide important opportunities to continue growing our business. We look forward to a smooth integration, capitalizing on our new, combined strength and achieving our synergy goals.” | Add comment
FCC Proposes To Modernize MVPD Definition
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 3:24 PM EST
The commission’s rulemaking proposal includes certain online-delivered video in the definition, designed to level the playing field for the distribution of video programming. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
NBC, Cable One Down To Wire Over Retrans
FierceCable, Dec 19, 2014, 10:33 AM EST
NBCUniversal has threatened to drop its broadcast network and 10 cable channels on Cable One if a renewal deal isn't in place by New Year's Day. If an agreement isn't in place by then, NBCU says around 475,000 Cable One video subscribers spread across regions including the Midwest will lose access to NBC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, MSNBC and Telemund. Link | Add comment
DirecTV Subs Get Fox TV Everywhere Content
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 11:11 AM EST
More than 20 million customers of the satellite service nationwide Now Have Out-of-Home Streaming Access to Full Episodes of Fox, FX and Nat Geo series on the Web and mobile devices. Full Story | Add comment
overnights
CBS Dominates A Slow Thursday Night
Media Life Magazine, Dec 19, 2014, 11:56 AM EST
On a slow evening for broadcast, a repeat of The Big Bang Theory helped CBS to an easy primetime victory last night. Bang averaged a 2.3 adults 18-49 rating at 8 p.m. It tied with lead-out Mom as the night’s top program on broadcast. Mom was down from last week’s series high but still posted a solid rating. In fact, CBS was the only Big Four network with shows above a 1.0 in the demo last night. Link | Add comment
The Year That Was: 2014 By The Numbers
Media Life Magazine, Dec 19, 2014, 2:23 PM EST
Digital ad spending soars, as does DVR usage, and old media's woes worsen, especially for print, its relevance in further decline. North Korea slaps Hollywood big-time. Link | Add comment
10 Ridiculous Things TV Net Presidents Said
Adweek, Dec 19, 2014, 2:19 PM EST
We've spent a lot of time talking about the best that 2014 had to offer, but what about everything that lies on the other end of the year's quality spectrum? The network presidents spent much of 2014 bragging about, and defending, their various programming and scheduling decisions, no matter how foolish some of them turned out. But some of those proclamations were so outrageous that they deserve revisiting. Link | Add comment
U.S. Accuses North Korea Of Sony Hack
The Associated Press, Dec 19, 2014, 2:09 PM EST
The decision by the Obama adminstration to openly blame North Korea — which involved the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies — escalated an intriguing global game of brinkmanship that included the disclosure of confidential Sony emails and business files and threats of terror attacks against U.S. movie theaters until Sony agreed to cancel the Christmas Day release of its comedy, "The Interview," which the hackers had demanded partly over a scene depicting the assassination of North Korea's leader. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
Year in Review Part 4
Fade To Black: Television's 2014 Honor Roll
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 5:42 AM EST
Sid+Caesar
Sid Caesar
Jim+Dowdle
Jim Dowdle
Throughout the year, TVNewsCheck has reported the deaths of outstanding men and women who shaped television as actors, lawmakers, producers, business people, journalists and on-air personalities. Here is a selection as Part 4 of our Year in Review Special Report. Read the earlier installments here. Full Story | Add comment
Front Office By Mary Collins
Becoming A Better Strategist Boosts Business
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 5:42 AM EST
How about this for a New Year’s resolution: Consider ways to step up your strategic contributions. Regardless of your current role, you are far more likely to assume or retain a position of leadership when you are seen to have identified and executed strategies that contributed to the company’s financial success. Full Story | Add comment
Retrans
Journal and Dish Reach Retrans Deal
TVNewsCheck, Dec 18, 2014, 5:19 PM EST
Dish Network subscribers will continue to receive Journal Broadcast Group stations in nine markets. Full Story | Add comment
dma 30
WTIC Hartford Names Oxton Interim GM
Hartford Courant, Dec 19, 2014, 7:50 AM EST
Mark Oxton, director of sales at Hartford, Conn.'s Fox affil WTIC and WCCT (CW) has been appointed acting general manager for both Tribune stations. Oxton steps into the position after former GM Chris Geiger stepped down Tuesday. Link | Add comment
Dma 102 (Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC)
WBTW Names Dana Brown Ritter ND
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 8:27 AM EST
Media General moves her from executive producer at its WAVY Norfolk, Va., to head news operations at its Myrtle Beach, S.C., CBS affil. Full Story | Add comment
FCC Wants Online Files For Radio, Cable, DBS
Wiley on Media, Dec 19, 2014, 8:19 AM EST
Wasting little time after an August Public Notice, the FCC issued an NPRM Thursday proposing to require broadcast radio stations, satellite radio operators and cable and DBS operators to post their public inspection files to the FCC’s online database. Link | Comments (1)
FCC: Wash. Redskins Name Not Obscene
Bloomberg, Dec 19, 2014, 6:09 AM EST
The FCC, in an order released Thursday, dismissed a request to deny the license renewal of a Virginia radio station that broadcast the word “Redskins.” John Banzhaf III and others said use of the name for the Washington team during NFL games was objectionable because it’s a “derogatory racial and ethnic slur” against American Indians. Link | Comments (3)
Networks Roll Out New Shows For Midseason
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Dec 19, 2014, 7:13 AM EST
It’s not Christmas yet, but TV networks already are looking ahead to 2015 and the January start of midseason. Due to the overwhelming influx of new programming, the midseason preview will get spread over two weeks this year, beginning with broadcast network plans this week and concluding with cable network plans next Friday. To be sure, this is just what’s been announced so far. Some broadcasters have additional series waiting in their cupboard but have not yet announced plans to bring them out. Link | Add comment
IAB data
As Other Spending Slows, Digital Surges
Media Life Magazine, Dec 19, 2014, 6:02 AM EST
The category hits an all-time high of $12.4 billion during the third quarter, balancing out slowdowns for traditional media including TV and radio. Digital is up 17% over the 2013 period. Link | Add comment
Was The Sony Hack Just The Beginning?
Reuters, Dec 19, 2014, 6:06 AM EST
The hacking attack on Sony Pictures may have been a practice run for North Korea's elite cyber-army in a long-term goal of being able to cripple telecoms and energy grids in rival nations, defectors from the isolated state say. Link | Add comment
Stephen Colbert Retires 'Report,' Host
The Associated Press, Dec 19, 2014, 5:51 AM EST

Nine years of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report came to an end Thursday night along with its mythical presiding pundit, as the real-life Stephen Colbert bade the audience farewell. He was last seen gliding through the clouds in the backseat of Santa's sleigh beside Alex Trebek (don't ask). Full Story | Add comment
commentary by Raju Narisetti
The World Needs A Journalist Rescue Fund
Nieman Lab, Dec 19, 2014, 7:57 AM EST
Modeled on a successful program for protecting scholars threatened by their regimes, a similar project for journalists could help advance security for reporters working under conditions of limited press freedom. A well endowed Journalist Rescue Fund would have a profound, practical and immediate impact on preserving hard-won freedoms in many countries, and in ensuring a legacy that goes well beyond individual institutions. Link | Add comment
192M Watch Online Videos On Desktop In Nov.
NetNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 8:08 AM EST
ComScore has released data from the comScore Video Metrix service showing that 192 million Americans watched online content videos via desktop computer in November. Google Sites is ranked as the top video content property, AOL was the top video ad property and Vevo topped the list of YouTube partner channels. Link | Add comment

More News

Playout
Surprising Detonation: Jarvis Explodes At Keynote
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Dec 19, 2014, 7:09 PM EST
Dma 5
Kaley O’Kelley Named KTVT Dallas Co-Anchor
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 3:46 PM EST
Playout
Localism Recap For Dec. 19
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Dec 19, 2014, 3:33 PM EST
Playout
Localism & Technology — What's The Connection?
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Dec 19, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
Julie Drizin Named Executive Director Of Current
Current, Dec 19, 2014, 2:55 PM EST
Toledo Sweeps: WTVG Dominates Across Board
The Blade, Dec 19, 2014, 2:31 PM EST
Twitter Starts Selling Ads In Russia
Bloomberg, Dec 19, 2014, 2:29 PM EST
Pivot Sets Jan. 29 Premiere For Tucci's 'Fortitude'
Variety, Dec 19, 2014, 2:19 PM EST
Hulu Acquires FX’s ‘Fargo’ Streaming Rights
Variety, Dec 19, 2014, 2:17 PM EST
USA's Hacker Drama 'Mr. Robot' Ordered To Series
The Hollywood Reporter, Dec 19, 2014, 2:16 PM EST
'Homeland's' Gordon Sells Action Comedy To NBC
The Hollywood Reporter, Dec 19, 2014, 2:15 PM EST
dma 1 (New York)
WNET To Pull Monday Documentary Showcases
Current, Dec 19, 2014, 2:08 PM EST
SPT Ad Sales To Represent Jewish Life Television
TVNewsCheck, Dec 19, 2014, 1:03 PM EST
Market Share
Video Surfaces Showing Sarah Palin Hitchhiking
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Dec 19, 2014, 7:48 AM EST
Market Share
Raycom Media Sponsors New College Bowl Game
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Dec 19, 2014, 7:42 AM EST
National Press Photographers Association Moving
Poynter, Dec 19, 2014, 7:31 AM EST
TV Women Leap Darkly Into Antihero Scene
Los Angeles Times, Dec 19, 2014, 6:46 AM EST
dma 87 (Waco-Temple-Bryan, TX)
Police Release Sketch Of KCEN Shooter
FTVLive, Dec 19, 2014, 6:31 AM EST
'Young And The Restless': 26 Years As No. 1 Soap
TVWeek, Dec 19, 2014, 6:00 AM EST
Dma 28 (San Diego)
KGTV Investigative Journalist J.W. August To Retire
TVNewsCheck, Dec 18, 2014, 7:10 PM EST
dma 5 (dallas)
KTVT Anchor Karen Borta Moves To Mornings
TVNewsCheck, Dec 18, 2014, 4:41 PM EST
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for December 18, 2014
  • 1.
    1.8/6
  • 2.
    1.0/3
  • 3.
    0.9/3
  • 4.
    0.8/3
  • 5.
    0.7/2
  • 6.
    0.6/2
Source: Nielsen
Reviews
Opinions
Features
  • Brian Lowry

    Big, ambitious and more than a little weird, Syfy’s Ascension is being billed as a three-night limited-event series, which is misleading at best. That’s in part because this strange project ultimately feels more like a teaser for the hoped-for series to come, as its intriguing premise carries through the first two chapters before beginning to unravel in the third. Those who board the flight will likely be curious enough to want to see the trip through to its conclusion, but while there are strands of Battlestar Galactica in the project’s DNA, the idea never ascends to that level.

  • Tom Conroy

    Parents should be happy when a basic-cable channel presents a kid-friendly action series that doesn’t pump up the violence. TNT’s new series The Librarians matches that description. Unfortunately, the series doesn’t pump up the plots, the dialogue, the humor or the acting either. Although watching the show is painless, it’s likely to leave viewers of all ages feeling a little deflated. Although the lack of violence is a virtue, most of the people involved in it could probably benefit from the motivation one gets from a swift kick in the pants.

  • Lynn Elber

    The Bravo channel is delivering an early holiday gift to viewers that should be opened immediately. Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce is a sharply observed series about divorce, yes, but love and friendship and family as well. Its premiere episode is funny and moving, sexy and sad, and very adult. But it's nuance rather than crassness that rules, although the characters' glossy affluence has the potential to rankle. Girlfriends' also marks the auspicious bow of Marti Noxon as a solo series creator, following writing and producing stints on a range of hits including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Grey's Anatomy and another groundbreaker, Mad Men.

  • Susan King

    Bing Crosby is probably best known these days for the rendition of the Oscar-winning Irving Berlin tune White Christmas that he introduced in the 1942 film Holiday Inn and for his 1977 duet of Little Drummer Boy and Peace on Earth with David Bowie that's become a perennial. But a new PBS American Masters documentary, Bing Crosby Rediscovered, illuminates just what a force he was in radio, film, television and music for generations of audiences.

  • Hank Stuever

    State of Affairs, NBC's nicely polished but plenty bananas CIA drama, wants its lead character, a White House briefer played by Katherine Heigl, to be the perfect offspring of Scandal’s Olivia Pope and Homeland’s Carrie Mathison, with paternal genetic material supplied by an anonymous donor (24’s Jack Bauer). It wants the frantic-manic adrenaline rush of Homeland mixed with just a hint of the wink-wink confidence that comes with Scandal. This new show is a deadly serious enterprise that believes it’s about national security but is, in fact, about a broadcast network wanting to do everything the premium cable channels get to do, minus the nudity.

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