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  • 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.
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  • 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

Mon, Jan 26, 2015

closing bell
Dow Declines 141, Nasdaq Closes Up 7
The Associated Press, Jan 23, 2015, 5:26 PM EST
U.S. stocks slid Friday after some earnings reports from big-name companies fell short of expectations. Full Story | Add comment
TVN's Jessell at Large
Diginets Proliferate And Possiblities Expand
TVNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2015, 3:39 PM EST
With multiple introductions of new multicast networks at this week's NATPE, and no shortage of existing ones, it gets one to wondering how they can all survive. The added capabilities of the upcoming next-gen broadcast standard will mean more space for them. And with smart, gradual investments in originals, some diginets could become great businesses and real contributors to the top lines of TV stations. Full Story | Comments (2)
overnights
Just A So-So Start For Fox’s ‘Backstrom’
Media Life Magazine, Jan 23, 2015, 12:53 PM EST
The series premiere of Backstrom did okay on Fox last night. It posted a solid 2.0 adults 18-49 rating at 9 p.m., up 18% from the debut of the disastrous Rake last year in the same hour. But the drama did see its rating slip by 14% from its first to its second half hour (from a 2.1 to a 1.8), never a good sign. And it retained only 72% of its lead-in from American Idol, the night’s top show with a 2.7. Fox still won the night on the strength of Idol, which surged 17% from last week. Link | Add comment
Weigel's Bob Ramsey Announces Retirement
Chicagoland Radio and Media, Jan 23, 2015, 3:13 PM EST
Bob Ramsey, Weigel Broadcasting's EVP of local media, announced to his staff last week that he plans on retiring later this year. A search is now on for his replacement. Sometime this summer, he will step away from his day-to-day duties and work as a consultant for the company, helping with the transition of new leadership. Link | Add comment
TV Academy Adds Marketer Susan Spencer
Variety, Jan 23, 2015, 2:28 PM EST
The Television Academy has tapped DreamWorks Animation alum Susan Spencer to oversee marketing and PR as the group prepares for a burst of activity surrounding the construction of a media center on its North Hollywood campus, among other initiatives. As SVP of media and brand management, Spencer will be tasked with burnishing the TV Academy’s image as it counts down to its 70th anniversary. Link | Add comment
GoPro And NHL In Wearable Camera Deal
The Associated Press, Jan 23, 2015, 2:19 PM EST
Footage from GoPro cameras on players, referees and placed around the rink will be shown as part of the live broadcast of this weekend's All-Star events. It's the company's first such deal with a major professional sports league. While GoPro would not comment on whether other partnerships are in the works, they would make sense. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
Longtime ESPN Exec John A. Walsh To Retire
Deadline, Jan 23, 2015, 1:16 PM EST
John A. Walsh, a fixture at ESPN since 1988, will retire Feb. 1, sources there confirm. No reason was given for the move by the EVP and executive editor. A veteran sports journalist, Walsh is chairman of ESPN’s editorial board and helped launched ESPN The Magazine and ESPN Radio. Link | Add comment
Meredith Corp. Site Goes Responsive
NetNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2015, 3:10 PM EST
Meredith Corp. launched a responsive and streamlined version of its corporate website on Friday, featuring its widened media and marketing portfolio. The new site, which was designed with Domani Studios, features a new live feed as well. Link | Add comment
Dma 1
WPIX To Televise New York Yankees Games
TVNewsCheck, Jan 22, 2015, 4:38 PM EST
In a multi-year deal with the YES Network, Tribune’s New York CW affiliate will air approximately 20 games this season. Full Story | Comments (3)
AT&T Weighing A DirecTV Rebrand
Advertising Age, Jan 23, 2015, 6:00 AM EST
AT&T has said very little about its plans for DirecTV, the satellite broadcaster it agreed to acquire in May for $48.5 billion. Now one plan has trickled out: it may scrap the brand name. Link | Comments (7)
Super Bowl Advertising, At A Glance
Media Life Magazine, Jan 23, 2015, 6:13 AM EST
All the figures you could want on ad spending, the cost of an ad, how it compares to other sporting events, and a breakdown of this year's new and returning advertisers. Link | Add comment
TVN's Front Office By Mary Collins
Powerful Tips For Becoming A Better Coach
TVNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2015, 5:43 AM EST
While you may not have “coach” in your title, it is increasingly becoming part of every manager’s job description and the criteria used to evaluate employee performance. That means how well you coach your direct reports will likely factor into the future of your careers just as it does for other leaders who happen to have coach in their job title. Now is a great time to brush up on your coaching skills; here are 10 from BFKCoaching’s Barbara Kurka. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
23 Network Chiefs On Trends, Reboots, More
The Hollywood Reporter, Jan 23, 2015, 5:55 AM EST
The Hollywood Reporter sat down with TV's top executives at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour to get their honest assessments on everything from whom they'd swap jobs with for a day to the hardest show they've had to cancel. Link | Add comment
Rachel Rusch To Head Fox Event Series
Variety, Jan 23, 2015, 6:06 AM EST
Rachel Rusch has been named VP of event series for Fox Broadcasting Co. Rusch, who will report to FBC Entertainment President David Madden, will oversee the network’s limited-run programming initiatives, working with 20th Century Fox Television, FX Productions and outside studios to commission and develop large-scale event series, as well as live scripted events, including the upcoming Grease: Live. Link | Add comment
Sports TV Accounts For Most Cable Costs
MediaPost, Jan 23, 2015, 6:10 AM EST
Sports cable channels are expected to continue to weigh down the bulk of cable channel costs for pay TV providers — climbing at a faster rate than virtually all other cable channels over the next few years. On average, SNL Kagan says pay TV providers spent $1.03 per month per subscriber for sports channels in 2013, which will soar to $1.37 by 2018 — a five year compounded annual growth rate of 7.3%. Link | Comments (2)
Journalist Jailed For Linking To Hacked Data
The Hill, Jan 23, 2015, 8:04 AM EST
Barrett Brown, a freelance journalist and activist, was sentenced Thursday to 63 months in prison in Texas after pleading guilty to charges including transmitting threats, being an accessory to a hack and interfering with a search warrant, according to multiple reports. Link | Add comment
Sony: Computers Still Broken After Hack
CNNMoney, Jan 23, 2015, 8:07 AM EST
Sony will delay its fourth quarter earnings report as repairs remain ongoing to its hacked computer system. The systems, including accounting and financial applications, won't be restored until early next month, underscoring the damage suffered by Sony Pictures after its film The Interview was targeted. Link | Add comment

More News

Dma 51 (New Orleans)
Gina Swanson Named WDSU Weekend Anchor
TVNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2015, 4:07 PM EST
NBCU To Shutter Pay TV Channels In Russia
The Wrap, Jan 23, 2015, 3:00 PM EST
Fox Orders Stamos Comedy, John Wells Drama
Deadline, Jan 23, 2015, 2:57 PM EST
Duke Sets Symposium On Shondra Rhimes' Impact
Entertainment Weekly, Jan 23, 2015, 2:50 PM EST
Morning Show Ratings: Week of Jan. 12
TVNewser, Jan 23, 2015, 2:47 PM EST
dma 52
WIVB Buffalo Moves Santos From A.M. To P.M.
The Buffalo News, Jan 23, 2015, 2:45 PM EST
dma 8 (Washington)
WUSA's J.C. Hayward Retiring After Long Hiatus
The Washington Post, Jan 23, 2015, 2:35 PM EST
Shaquille O'Neal To Star In TruTV Scripted Comedy
Variety, Jan 23, 2015, 2:22 PM EST
Playout
TV Station Localism Recap: Jan. 23
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Jan 23, 2015, 2:16 PM EST
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Grid Pattern Puts Virtual Sets Within Easier Grasp
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Jan 23, 2015, 2:12 PM EST
Sinclair’s KSNV Employees Opt Out Of IBEW
Jan 23, 2015, 1:24 PM EST
DMA 46
Justice Network Adds WFMY Greensboro
TVNewsCheck, Jan 23, 2015, 1:13 PM EST
Market Share
Five New Local News Promos
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Jan 23, 2015, 8:16 AM EST
Stars Turn Out To Pay Respects To Paxson
Radio Ink, Jan 23, 2015, 8:11 AM EST
CBC Bans On-Air Journos From Paid Talks
The Globe and Mail, Jan 23, 2015, 8:08 AM EST
commentary by Mathew Ingram
3 Things Media Cos. Could Learn From White House
GigaOM, Jan 23, 2015, 7:56 AM EST
ABC Docudrama 'Moment Of Truth' Set For Sat.
Deadline, Jan 23, 2015, 7:41 AM EST
Paula Abdul, Jason Derulo To Judge On 'SYTYCD'
The Associated Press, Jan 23, 2015, 6:46 AM EST
ComScore Wants To Clean Up Online Advertising
The Wall Street Journal, Jan 23, 2015, 6:32 AM EST
dma 3
Meteorologist Mike Caplan Out At WLS Chicago
FTVLive, Jan 23, 2015, 6:29 AM EST
John Leguizamo Starring In CBS Pilot 'Taxi-22'
TV Line, Jan 23, 2015, 6:20 AM EST
How Peggy Charren Outflanked The TV Establishment
Variety, Jan 23, 2015, 6:03 AM EST
Johnny Carson Manager Stan Irwin Dies At 94
The Associated Press, Jan 23, 2015, 5:49 AM EST
Playout
A Torah Codes Surprise
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Jan 22, 2015, 6:20 PM EST
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Redwood Studio Automates News Production
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Jan 22, 2015, 6:18 PM EST
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for January 22, 2015
  • 1.
    2.4/7
  • 2.
    2.0/6
  • 3.
    1.1/4
  • 4.
    1.1/3
  • 5.
    0.7/2
  • 6.
    0.6/2
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • David Hinckley

    History's Sons of Liberty rips the powdered wigs off America’s founding fathers. In a good way. The three-night series follows the seeds of the American Revolution from around 1765 to the dawn of the formal military conflict. It's infotainment in a sense, dramatizing the lives of the revolutionaries in ways that can feel a bit soapish. They’re also true to the way it really happened. Through a fast-moving combination of live action and CGI, Sons of Liberty shows how the point of no return became America’s starting point.

  • Mark Dawidziak

    Spouting politically incorrect comments between puffs on his cigar, Portland, Ore., police detective Everett Backstrom is a rude, crude, self-destructive package of bad habits. He's a mess. The wildly uneven series that bears his name also is a mess, a murky mixed bag of dreary and delightful moments. Fox's Backstrom is based on the series of novels by Swedish author and criminologist Leif G.W. Persson. More than a little something got lost in the translation. All of the actors, led by Office alum Rainn Wilson, deliver when the writing catches fire, showing us compelling visions of what Backstrom could be. Like the title character, though, this series needs help. It needs work. And, absolutely, it needs time.

  • David Wiegand

    Time travel and the end of humanity are the subjects of the Syfy Channel’s knockoff of the 1995 Terry Gilliam film 12 Monkeys, and you may need a chronometer to figure out what time period it is. If you’re really smart, though, you’ll get an alarm clock. Most of the performances are pretty laughable and it's bad Syfy didn’t invest more in a better script and direction. The channel is great at mock films like Sharknado but often takes its sci-fi-loving audience for granted with some of its serious content. In this case, Syfy had the 1995 film as a playbook. They may not have been able to cast Willis or Pitt, but the series could have been better instead of being pretty much a waste of time.

  • Hank Stuever

    Had they drawn it as one of those adult-themed, lonely-loser, late-night cartoon series, FXX’s Man Seeking Woman might have been as easy to swipe away as a run-of-the-mill dating profile. Instead, it is a live-action comedy that often moves and thinks like a cartoon, to great effect, in a hallucinatory world of socializing where a blind date who seems like a troll is, in fact, a gross little troll, and where a trio of alien sex robots show up to your apartment on the night your neat new girlfriend sleeps over.

  • Joanne Ostrow

    My Husband’s Not Gay, the latest despicable piece of so-called reality TV coming to carny freak-show channel TLC, is wrong in so many ways. It’s difficult to say whether it’s more offensive or dangerous. The show follows four Utah Mormon men who are apparently repressing their sexual orientation in order to conform to the requirements of their faith community. Either the couples onscreen are kidding themselves, the producers are knowingly exploiting false or naive narratives, or together they’ve decided to ignore all scientific evidence and endorse a plan to “pray the gay away.” Really, in 2015?

  • Teresa Jue

    Hindsight, VH1’s foray into the scripted programming game, is a departure from the network’s more traditional offerings — in a good way. The network that built its brand on celebrating pop culture by the decades has produced a solid original series that takes a nostalgic walk back into the ’90s. Hindsight’s pilot produced a plot full of promising loose-ends, and a premise that would unearth the memories of ’90s past. Some little nitpicky things shouldn’t detract from the fact that VH1 is doing something different in terms of its scripted offerings, while staying true to its flair for nostalgia.

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