Exclusives

  • TVN Tech: Serious Study Needed To Get Drone License

    The exam for FAA Part 107 certification to fly a commercial drone under 55 pounds, which first became available Aug. 29, covers far more than the drone itself. A mastery of knowledge on aeronautical concepts, charts, airspace and meteorology from an aviation perspective are among the areas emphasized on the initial test. Is it overkill for a media organization that will fly a done no higher than 400 feet? Not really, when seen in the context of maintaining safety, says the FAA. More | Add comment
  • Focus: Many Questions Over Nielsen's Post-Diary Ratings

    Nielsen announced plans last week to replace its paper ratings diaries with a system based on data from cable and satellite set-top boxes. However, many broadcasters still aren't sure how it's going to work. “They haven’t really told us that much about their plan going forward," said Raycom's Billy McDowell. Added Cordillera's Terry Hurley: "I'm hopeful, but skeptical." More | Comments (1)
  • Jessell: Is Your News Tired? Check Out Vice, Newsy

    For the most part, local newscasts were developed a half-century ago. It’s time for a renaissance. The typical newscast no longer resonates with many Americans, especially younger ones. That's why I’m intrigued by Scripps’ Newsy and am deeply curious about the nightly newscast that Vice is cooking up for HBO. All news directors should be, too.
    More | Add comment
  • TVN Tech: Innovation, Progress Abound At IBC

    At this year's media tech compendium in Amsterdam, there was greater cooperation among vendors to ensure IP interoperability. On the business front, there was talk of zoned advertising and hyperlocal content delivery over the air with OFDM-based transmission systems such as ATSC 3.0. And on the technology frontier, all of the work to make Ultra HD a reality has begun to pay off with real-world applications, novel 360-degree acquisition (see the Nokia Ozo camera above) and new 8K implementations of OLED display technology. To see all of TVNewsCheck’s IBC 2016 coverage, click here. More | Add comment
  • Jessell: NBCU's 'Harry’ Could Be The Last Of Its Kind

    NBCU has a lot riding on Harry with Harry Connick Jr., but so does the broadcasting business. If it fails, I fear that Hollywood may finally give up on the big-budget, first-run syndicated show. And broadcasters need such shows to prop up their daytime schedules. Along with local news and a smattering of network fare, they distinguish TV stations from the great unwashed masses of cable channels that fill daytime with endless repeats of shows. More | Comments (8)
  • TVN Tech: Short-Form Programming In IBC Spotlight

    During the IBC 2016 opening keynote today in Amsterdam, the chairman of Vivendi Content and chief commercial officer of Vodafone Germany discussed how they are tackling changes in the distribution and consumption of video content. More | Add comment
  • TVN Names Scripps Station Group Of The Year

    In announcing the honor, TVNewsCheck Editor Harry A. Jessell cited the company’s efforts to go beyond broadcasting and establish itself prominently and profitably among national digital media. Led by CEO Rich Boehne, over the past three years Scripps has spent $124 million to acquire Newsy (OTT news), Midroll (podcasting) and Cracked (digital content).  More | Comments (1)
  • Smith, Sook, LaPlatney On Tap For TVN's ATSC 3.0 Confab

    One highlight of TVNewsCheck’s Nov. 9-10 TV2020 conference on the prospects for Next Gen TV will be the CEO panel featuring David Smith of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Perry Sook of Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Pat LaPlatney of Raycom Media. For more information, or to register for TV2020, click here. More | Comments (1)
  • Newsy’s Sabatinelli To Talk On How To Monetize OTT

    The fourth annual NewsTECHForum presented by TVNewsCheck and Sports Video Group will feature an on-stage Q&A with Blake Sabatinelli, the general manager of the Scripps-owned OTT service Newsy, on Dec. 12. For the full NewsTECHForum program, or to register, click here. 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

Sat, Sep 24, 2016

closing bell
Dow Closes Down 131, Nasdaq Slides 34
The Associated Press, Sep 23, 2016, 5:11 PM EDT
Stocks moved lower Friday on news of falling energy and technology issues. Several technology stocks made big moves as investors worked through company-specific news on Facebook, Twitter and Yahoo. Full Story | Add comment
Jessell at Large
Uncertain Political Is Broadcast Wake-Up Call
TVNewsCheck, Sep 23, 2016, 3:57 PM EDT
Lower-than expected spending by the Trump campaign is causing some groups to reforecast their political revenue and depressing stock prices. More important, it highlights the need for adoption of ATSC 3.0. The new broadcasting standard will allow stations to offer zoned, targeted and interactive advertising and maintain their lion's share of the political advertising dollars. Full Story | Add comment
overnights
New Thursday Shows Post Ho-Hum Ratings
Media Life, Sep 23, 2016, 12:36 PM EDT
 Fox's much-hyped Pitch draws a 1.1, hindered by lead-in Rosewood, which falls to a series-low 0.7. NBC's Good Place posts a 1.3, while ABC's Notorious draws a 1.2. Link | Add comment
dma 25
KGW Portland Targeted For Protest Over Story
TVSpy, Sep 23, 2016, 2:50 PM EDT
A group in Portland, Ore., plans to protest outside the street-side studio of Tegna's NBC affiliate KGW over what they say were “inexcusable comments and victim blaming from members of their staff during an interview with a self-admitted sexual predator.” Link | Add comment
% Of TV Chs. Viewed Falls To Single Digits
MediaPost, Sep 23, 2016, 2:33 PM EDT
The hyper-fragmentation of consumer choice across all screens is reducing the share of choices they make to watch a TV channel. That’s among the top findings coming out of the latest edition of Nielsen’s Total Audience Report. The report, which was released to clients Thursday, is the first to publish shares of channels received and viewed by the average American household in a while, and it shows the average number viewed has fallen to less than 10% of the channels they receive. Link | Comments (2)
How A-List Talent Changed Reality TV
Variety, Sep 23, 2016, 2:20 PM EDT
Fourteen years ago, the world was introduced to an unfamiliar host on a new reality show: Ryan Seacrest on American Idol. Today, American Idol has sung its last tune and Seacrest is a global phenomenon. But in 2016, would he have even gotten his shot at fame? In the highly competitive era of peak TV, the Big Four are taking fewer risks on unknown talent when it comes to unscripted programming, placing all their bets on A-listers. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
The CW At 10: How It Found Its Footing
Variety, Sep 23, 2016, 2:18 PM EDT
The honing of the CW’s focus has brightened the picture for the network as it marks its 10th birthday Sept. 20. The CW’s emphasis on properties drawn from the DC library, and such unconventional comedies as Jane the Virgin and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, has helped it compete in the multiplatform universe where brand-name titles thrive. But it was the dawn of the digital era that shored up the CW’s future as a business for parent companies CBS Corp. and Warner Bros. Link | Add comment
The Murdoch's Compensation Grew In 2015
Deadline, Sep 23, 2016, 2:23 PM EDT
21st Century Fox Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch saw his annual compensation rise almost 25% compared with fiscal-year 2015, with a total package of $34.6 million. He made $27.9 million in 2015, when he also was CEO. His son James Murdoch, in his first year as the new CEO, was at $26.4 million. That’s a big bump from a year ago's $15.1 million. Link | Add comment
TVN's TV2020
Chapman To Kick Off ATSC 3.0 Conference
TVNewsCheck, Sep 23, 2016, 8:37 AM EDT
The Accenture consultant will set the stage for TVN's TV2020, a day-long discussion on the challenges and opportunities of Next Gen TV with a clear-eyed look at the expanding TV ecosystem and broadcasting's place in it. Full Story | Add comment
news analysis
As Debate Nears, Spotlight Is On Lester Holt
CNNMoney, Sep 23, 2016, 8:12 AM EDT
Dylan Byers: "On Monday, the NBC Nightly News anchor will preside over what may be the most highly anticipated presidential debate in American history. If Holt does anything less than a perfect job, he will likely be pilloried like Matt Lauer and the CNBC anchors before him. But if he gives a command performance, he will, at least for a moment, be a national icon." Link | Comments (1)
Inside The Final Days Of Ailes's Reign At Fox
Vanity Fair, Sep 23, 2016, 6:51 AM EDT
For 20 years, Roger Ailes did as he pleased at Fox News. Then former anchor Gretchen Carlson sued him for sexual harassment — and suddenly Rupert Murdoch, who’d long had his back, wasn’t there. How the most powerful man in cable news was toppled in 16 whirlwind days. Link | Add comment
House Dems: More Work Needed On STBs
The Hill, Sep 23, 2016, 6:23 AM EDT
A group of more than 60 House Democrats on Thursday said that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the commissioners should launch a formal proceeding where the public — and industry — could comment on the text of Wheeler's new proposal. to open up the market for television boxes. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
News Outlets Gear Up For Drone Strikes
Variety, Sep 23, 2016, 6:05 AM EDT
Drones are about as constant on modern terrain as driverless cars. Their use remains embryonic, but they are expected to take on even more demanding roles at some news outlets in months to come. At CNN, there is serious chatter about letting drone-captured video live-stream for the Time Warner’s outlet’s digital properties, or capturing hard-to-get footage for Great Big Story, the company’s site focused on millennial news aficionados. Link | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
How To Invest Best To Grow Revenue
TVNewsCheck, Sep 23, 2016, 5:41 AM EDT
Don’t you wish you could determine in advance which new ventures are likeliest to become the most profitable? A tough advertising environment has added to the pressure, prompting media leaders to try to accelerate revenue diversification. While no one has a crystal ball, A.T. Kearney’s Greg Portell shares some guidelines that can help planners identify which new revenue opportunities to avoid or seize.   Full Story | Add comment
2016 To Be Fox News' 'Biggest Sales Year'
TVNewser, Sep 22, 2016, 5:04 PM EDT
For Fox News Channel, the 2016 presidential race has meant that all the industry talk about cord-cutting and move away from appointment viewing is proving wrong for now. “Our ad sales were up a little over 20 percent for [fiscal year 2015], and this quarter is pacing better than that, versus a year ago,” says Paul Rittenberg, the cable network's ad sales EVP. “I don’t think there’s any doubt that this calendar year will be, by far, our biggest sales year ever, certainly through the election.” Link | Comments (6)
Moody's Downgrades Viacom Credit
Los Angeles Times, Sep 23, 2016, 6:46 AM EDT
Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Viacom’s credit following the struggling media company’s disclosure that it would tap debt markets to maintain its liquidity. The ratings firm on Thursday lowered Viacom’s credit to one notch above junk status. Link | Add comment
OTT
ESPN May Use Streaming To Sell A La Carte
FierceCable, Sep 23, 2016, 6:36 AM EDT
Fresh off its $1 billion investment into streaming shop BAMTech, ESPN is considering a range of configurations for its upcoming OTT platform, including the possibility of selling full season subscriptions for specific sports. Link | Add comment
OTT
CenturyLink To Launch OTT Service In 2017
FierceTelecom, Sep 23, 2016, 6:32 AM EDT
CenturyLink has no plans to drop its Prism IPTV service, but given the challenges of acquiring content, the service provider has indicated that an over-the-top model is a better option for future video services growth. The service will initially include 17 channels, which will be bundled with a set of local channels. CenturyLink determined as a result of customer research that most users want this amount of channels. Glen Post, CenturyLink CEO, says it will formally launch the service early next year following ongoing trials. Link | Add comment
OTT
Charter CEO Dismisses Rivals' 'Skinny' Moves
Deadline, Sep 23, 2016, 6:18 AM EDT
Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge is unimpressed with all of the hoopla surrounding planned virtual pay TV services — including ones planned from Hulu and AT&T’s DirecTV Now that promise to offer superior value vs. cable. Link | Comments (1)

More News

Mabry, Cuestra Join CNN Digital
Fishbowl NY, Sep 23, 2016, 3:04 PM EDT
Stephanopoulos To Lead ABC Debate Coverage
Deadline, Sep 23, 2016, 2:26 PM EDT
BBC Cooking Up 'Bake Off' Rival With Mary Berry
The Hollywood Reporter, Sep 23, 2016, 2:14 PM EDT
CBS To Donate Osgood's Bow Tie To Smisthsonian
The Associated Press, Sep 23, 2016, 2:09 PM EDT
dma 3: Chicago
Big Sept. Ratings Gains For WFLD 9 P.M. News
Chicagoland Radio and Media, Sep 23, 2016, 2:06 PM EDT
Market Share
Facebook Gives Local TV News National Exposure
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Sep 23, 2016, 8:32 AM EDT
Trump TV Won't Be Easy Plan B If He Loses Election
Los Angeles Times, Sep 23, 2016, 7:58 AM EDT
FXX Slots Another Every-Episode 'Simpsons' Binge
Mashable, Sep 23, 2016, 7:55 AM EDT
dma 18: Orlando, FL
WESH Wins Sept. Ratings In Prime, 11 P.M.
Orlando Sentinel, Sep 23, 2016, 7:16 AM EDT
Comcast To Purchase Snider’s Share Of Flyers
The Associated Press, Sep 23, 2016, 6:44 AM EDT
NBC Gives Season 2 To 'Better Late Than Never'
Variety, Sep 23, 2016, 6:01 AM EDT
'SNL' Taps Margot Robbie To Host Season Premiere
The Hollywood Reporter, Sep 23, 2016, 6:00 AM EDT
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 22, 2016
  • 1.
    4.0/14
  • 2.
    1.7/6
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 4.
    0.9/3
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen

Reviews

  • Rob Owen

    Easily fall’s best broadcast network comedy pilot, NBC’s The Good Place offers a clever high-concept premise that’s complemented with intelligent, sometimes absurdist humor. Created by Michael Schur, co-creator of NBC’s Parks and Recreation, The Good Place is a highly serialized series that’s essentially set in heaven and stars Kristen Bell and Ted Danson. NBC made five episodes of The Good Place available for review, and the show not only holds up, but also it improves, deepening characters that initially feel one-note and frequently leaving viewers guessing with cliffhanger endings to many of the episodes. The combination of snappy dialogue and winning but flawed characters makes The Good Place a great bet for fans of smart TV comedy.

  • Maureen Ryan

    Pitch has swagger, for good reason. It gets the big things right; the Fox drama about the first female baseball player in the Major Leagues is one of the year’s most assured and exciting debuts. But part of what impresses about the pilot is also the way it confidently strings together so many small but telling details. Ginny (Kylie Bunbury) is the first woman to be called up from the minors to the big leagues, and no show since Friday Night Lights has done a better job of portraying the internal and external pressures that weigh heavily on young athletes asked to do much more than merely succeed on the field. Pitch will likely do a good job of getting viewers to root for it. The hope is that the show won’t be an impressive, short-lived curiosity, but rather a long-term phenomenon.

  • Kevin Fallon

    In a fall TV season that’s already making a splash for championing diverse, distinctive voices in an array of projects that they created, wrote, and starred in, Better Things on FX stands out. The show is created by, written by, and starsPamela Adlon. She plays Sam Fox, the single mother of three daughters modeled after her own reality-show-ready experience raising three girls in Los Angeles following a divorce. Sam is also, like Adlon, a working actress — on shows both raunchy, a la Californication, and animated for children, like her role on Recess. It’s a refreshingly blunt take on single motherhood without sacrificing the warmth of parental love, portraying the dance between selfishness and selflessness that’s at the heart of being a parent — especially one weathering the hormonal fireworks of a household of four women at different ages.

  • David Wiegand

    The fall TV season doesn’t count as much as it used to — we already know that. But no matter how many retreads the broadcast networks throw at viewers in the next few months, this fall will be memorable because of the premiere of Atlanta on Tuesday, Sept. 6, on FX. The half-hour comedy created by and starring Donald Glover (Community), simply and brilliantly recalibrates our expectations of what a TV comedy is and how black lives are portrayed on the medium.

  • 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.

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