Exclusives

  • Jessell: Affils Serve Public, Industry By Airing Speech

    Choosing to preempt broadcast network programming to cover the president’s immigration reform announcement last night demonstrates the commitment and value of local broadcasting to their viewers. The station preemptions — and their tacit repudiations of the networks' decisions not the cover the speech — demonstrate once again that stations take seriously covering issues they deem important to their viewers, even if it costs some ratings points and the revenue that goes with them or strains relations with the networks. More | Comments (21)
  • Spotlight: Networks Adopt Different TV Everywhere Tech

    ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are deploying TV Everywhere technology. While they differ in specifics, each product equips the respective network with a way to reach viewers on their smartphones, tablets and computers with linear programs, live presentations and video-on-demand content. CBS and Fox have turned to Syncbak, NBC is using Avanto, while ABC has turned to upLynk. More | Add comment
  • Q&A: Sounding Board Is Top Role For Gannett’s Conte

    Meredith Conte, who oversees marketing at Gannett's 43 stations, says her job "is a little of everything.” But of all her myriad tasks designed to boost the stations’ visibility — and ratings — she says the one she thinks is most appreciated by those in the trenches is being “an extra person, an additional marketer, who can bring in a fresh viewpoint.” More | Comments (3)
  • Air Check: TV News Photogs No 'Nightcrawlers'

    While a new movie portrays TV stations as eager clients of renegade photogs peddeling gory footage, the reality is most crime coverage is restrained. And the decisions that go into determining where the line take into account viewer sensibilities. “I think the boundaries of good taste are set by the audience as much as anybody. If you really started showing abhorrent images, I don’t think you’d have viewers for a very long time,” says RTDNA's Mike Cavender. More | Add comment
  • Open Mike: Let Local TV Chart Its Own Tech Future

    Jerald Fritz of ATSC 3.0 system proponent ONE Media: “Broadcast television — like every other information medium — needs the freedom to evolve. We need to lose the economic, regulatory and engineering shackles that bind us to the silos of a single, fixed reception device anchored to the living room wall. So how do we do that? We’ve done that by reimagining our business. And that starts with a clear, clean, efficient way to get our signals to viewers wherever they are, using whatever equipment they have. Local broadcasters have a better idea.” More | Comments (7)

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

Tue, Nov 25, 2014

WKAQ Ups Lourdes Dávila To Sales VP
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 5:40 PM EST
The Telemundo station in San Juan, P.R., promotes its local sales manager. Full Story | Add comment
Network Ratings Roundup: Nov. 17-23
Rough Week In The Ratings For Fox
The Associated Press, Nov 25, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
The struggling network finished fifth in primetime viewership behind Spanish-language network Univision, which was boosted by coverage of the Latin Grammy Awards last week. CBS won the week in primetime, averaging 10.6 million viewers. NBC had 8.5 million, and won among youthful viewers. ABC had 8.2 million, Univision had 3.3 million, Fox had 3.2 million, the CW had 1.9 million, Telemundo had 1.2 million and Ion Television had 1.2 million. Full Story | Add comment
Week ending Nov. 24
Station Trading Roundup: 6 Deals, $441,000
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 5:29 PM EST
The sale of KFXL Lincoln-Hastings-Kearney, Neb., by KFXL Broadcasting LLC to Pappas Telecasting Co. tops the latest list of TV station transactions submitted to the FCC for its approval, according to BIA Kelsey Full Story | Add comment
closing bell
Dow Gives Up 3, Nasdaq Finishes Up 3
The Associated Press, Nov 25, 2014, 4:51 PM EST
Stocks started the day with small gains after a report showed that the U.S. economy grew at a solid 3.9% annual rate in the July-September period, faster than the 3.5% that was initially reported. But then energy stocks slid as the price of oil resumed its descent. Full Story | Add comment
CBS Sees 'Hot Bench' As 'Latifah' Successor
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 3:50 PM EST
The freshman three-judge panel show looks to move from the CBS duopoly stations to CBS-network stations in fall 2015 in timeslots now occupied by the departing Queen Latifah talk show. Full Story | Comments (3)
Stephanopoulos Interviews Darren Wilson
TVNewser, Nov 25, 2014, 2:48 PM EST
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos today interviewed Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson, releasing a photo of the interview this afternoon via Twitter. The anchor tweeted: "Just finished a more than hourlong interview with Officer Darren Wilson. No question off limits." Edited excerpts will air on World News Tonight and Good Morning America. The full interview will post on ABCNews.com tomorrow.
Link | Comments (7)
Brand Connections
Brian Williams To Anchor From Ferguson
Variety, Nov 25, 2014, 2:18 PM EST
NBC News said Brian Williams would anchor the unit’s signature evening newscast live from Ferguson, Mo., while CNN said it would stay live throughout primetime rather than running its usual Tuesday documentary, two signals that events surrounding the recent grand jury verdict in the death of teenager Michael Brown continues to absorb the national focus. Link | Add comment
Weekly Syndication ratings roundup
Talk Shows Take Off At Sweeps' Midpoint
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 12:49 PM EST
Seven of the genre’s entries posted gains from the previous week in the frame ending Nov. 16. Other strong categories at the sweep’s halfway point included courtrooms and games. Full Story | Add comment
Shopping Stronger Barreling Into Black Friday
MediaPost, Nov 25, 2014, 2:23 PM EST

With most experts predicting moderately stronger holiday sales, consumers are already spending big: IBM Digital. Analytics Benchmark says online sales in the weekend before Thanksgiving are up 18.7% compared with last year. (Mobile traffic accounted for 49% of all online traffic, it says, a 25% jump year-over-year.) Those gains come at a time when retailers have done all they can to disrupt the traditional shopping calendar, with Thanksgiving Day openings and more Cyber Monday promotions stealing attention away from Black Friday. Link | Add comment
Telepictures Developing Suze Orman Strip
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
Suze Orman’s Money Wars
will air five days a week and focus on families, friends and couples whose disputes about money are affecting their lives. The new show comes as the personal finance expert ends her 14-year run as host of CNBC’s The Suze Orman Show in March 2015. Full Story | Comments (2)
Kidman, Witherspoon Set For Limited Series
Deadline, Nov 25, 2014, 3:36 PM EST
In the latest high-profile limited series package to hit the marketplace, Oscar winners Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon are set to star in Big Little Lies, a limited series, which is being written by Emmy winner David E Kelley. The project is expected to be taken out to buyers soon. Link | Add comment
Air Check by Diana Marszalek
Social Media Rescues Snow-Bound Stations
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 11:53 AM EST
Social media has proved an invaluable tool to Buffalo, N.Y., TV news operations throughout the week-long ordeal that started last Tuesday when early-season storms dumped seven feet of snow in some areas. As the snow piled up, the stations went wall-to-wall with their coverage, but were short-staffed and sometimes unable to put ENG vehicles on snow-clogged streets. Reports from viewers started pouring in as soon as the storm hit, providing a bounty of user-generated content. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
Twitter At Heart Of ABC's Thursday Marketing
The Los Angeles Times, Nov 25, 2014, 2:59 PM EST
Scandal star Kerry Washington made a suggestion to creator Shonda Rhimes when Scandal debuted in 2012: Get the cast to religiously use Twitter to generate buzz. Rhimes quickly sent out an email to her tightknit crew to crank up the social media. A phenomenon was born that got the attention of the network's top brass and Hollywood's television industry. Link | Add comment
overnights
Part 1 Of ‘Stars’ Finale Matches Season High
Media Life, Nov 25, 2014, 12:30 PM EST
Dancing with the Stars cha-cha-cha-ed to better ratings last night. Part one of the ABC reality show’s two-part finale posted a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating from 8 to 10 p.m., matching a season high. Stars, which airs part two of its finale tonight, was up 9% over the same night last year. The show finished within 0.3 of timeslot competitor The Voice, the closest it has ever been to NBC’s hit singing series. Voice was the night’s top show with a 2.7, though that was a series low. Link | Comments (2)
Fallon’s Name Goes On 30 Rock Marquee
The New York Times, Nov 25, 2014, 2:54 PM EST
The marquee, consistent with 30 Rock’s original Art Deco architecture, was visible on Monday night. It announces that the building is home to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Link | Add comment
Local News All In On Ferguson Coverage
STLToday, Nov 25, 2014, 8:03 AM EST
Like an impending storm, the wait for the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case took over St. Louis TV screens beginning Monday afternoon. Closings of schools, community centers and dance studios scrolled in advance of the expected 8 p.m. announcement. For hours, not much was happening, and media had to cover other media. Link | Comments (4)
Amy, Manahan To Co-Chair MFM CFO Summit
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 10:31 AM EST
Sinclair COO David Amy and Univision CFO Marc Manahan will lead the 2015 media industry finance event scheduled for Feb. 26 - 27 in Fort Lauderdale. Full Story | Add comment
dma 17 (Denver)
Christy Moreno Named KUSA News Director
Denver Business Journal, Nov 25, 2014, 6:15 AM EST
Gannett is moving the ND of its WBIR Knoxville, Tenn., to replace Patti Dennis at the Denver NBC affiliate. Dennis had been recently bumped up to Gannett news VP after holding the ND job at KUSA for 18 years. Link | Add comment
TV Employs Fewer Gimmicks During Sweeps
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Nov 25, 2014, 6:43 AM EST
Wednesday is the last official day of the November TV “sweeps” month — that period that comes four times a year when local stations traditionally blast viewers with all sorts of sensational teasers, gotcha stories and wasteful tax dollar reports, all to boost ratings to set advertising rates. But you may have noticed that the reports recently have not been quite as crazy as they have been in the past. “I think sweeps pieces have, in many cases, gotten a little less nutty in the past 10 years,” said Chris Tuohy, a former executive news producer and chair of broadcast and digital journalism at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Journalism. Link | Add comment
Tom Brokaw Receives Medal Of Freedom
NBC News, Nov 25, 2014, 6:01 AM EST

President Barack Obama celebrated 18 Americans “who devoted their lives to their fellow citizens” by presenting them with the nation’s highest civilian honor on Monday. The recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom included longtime NBC journalist Tom Brokaw, actress Meryl Streep, musician Stevie Wonder, Ethel Kennedy, and retiring Democratic Rep. John Dingell, the longest-serving member of Congress. Link | Comments (3)
Drone Flights Face More FAA Restrictions
Market Watch, Nov 25, 2014, 7:38 AM EST
Highly anticipated federal rules on commercial drones are expected to require operators to have a license and limit flights to daylight hours, below 400 feet and within sight of the person at the controls, according to people familiar with the rulemaking process. The drone industry has awaited commercial rules for about six years, hoping the rules would pave the way for widespread drone use in industries such as farming, filmmaking and construction. Link | Add comment
commentary by David Carr
Calling Out Bill Cosby's Media Enablers
New York Times, Nov 25, 2014, 6:49 AM EST
Many journalists and biographers were in the know about the sexual assault accusations against Cosby. So what took so long for the story to become national news? Link | Add comment
Comedies Go From Yuks To Yuck
Media Life, Nov 25, 2014, 5:56 AM EST
There are nine dramas among the top 20 programs on broadcast, and only six comedies. Most of this season's biggest bombs are sitcoms, such as Manhattan Love Story. This season comedies have struggled, and it is hard to imagine the networks keeping all the comedy blocks currently on the schedule for next season. Link | Comments (1)
Hulu Gets Unaired Episodes Of ABC's 'Selfies'
Variety, Nov 25, 2014, 5:51 AM EST
The seven remaining unaired episodes of the ABC sitcom that was yanked earlier this month are said to be headed to Hulu. Link | Comments (1)
ABC Gives ‘Cristela’ A Full-Season Order
Deadline, Nov 24, 2014, 9:09 PM EST
Cristela‘s Cinderella story continues with a back-nine pickup by ABC, bringing the Latino family sitcom’s freshman order to full-season 22. Cristela becomes only the second new comedy series this season to receive a full-season order so far, joining another ABC freshman ethnic family comedy, Black-ish. (NBC half-hour newcomer Marry Me received a partial back order.)   Link | Add comment
Dish May Drop Comcast Sports In More Cities
Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov 25, 2014, 6:34 AM EST
Dish Network, the nation's third-largest pay-TV company, may drop NBCUniversal's regional sports networks in the Chicago, Washington, Sacramento and San Francisco areas on Dec. 1. The plan seems to be part of a strategy to slim down the bundle of cable channels offered to its TV subscribers, to control price increases. Dish axed the Boston-area regional sports network in August.
Link | Comments (3)

More News

Dma 71 (Tucson, AZ)
Steve Ryan Joining KVOA Anchor Team
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 8:32 PM EST
Playout
C-Band Sat Contribution, Occasional Use Falls
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Nov 25, 2014, 8:09 PM EST
Cordillera To Put IP News Uplinks To The Test
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Nov 25, 2014, 4:58 PM EST
News Sites Top Of Slowest-Loading Pages
Adweek, Nov 25, 2014, 3:22 PM EST
dma 24 (Charlotte, NC)
WSOC Adds Anchor-Reporter Stephanie Maxwell
WSOC, Nov 25, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
USA Sets Jan. Premieres Of 'Suits,' 'Sirens'
Deadline, Nov 25, 2014, 8:25 AM EST
General Media Group Moldova Adds Snell
TVNewsCheck, Nov 25, 2014, 8:21 AM EST
Market Share (DMA 32: Columbus, OH)
WCMH Columbus Investigation Boosts Ratings
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Nov 25, 2014, 8:17 AM EST
dma 9 (Atlanta)
WGCL Names Jim Kosek Chief Meteorologist
AJC.com, Nov 25, 2014, 6:54 AM EST
McAdams, Kitsch, Reilly Joining 'True Detective'
Variety, Nov 25, 2014, 6:33 AM EST
‘CSI’ Star George Eads To Exit Series
The Wrap, Nov 24, 2014, 7:45 PM EST

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AP Breaking News

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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for November 24, 2014
  • 1.
    2.4/7
  • 2.
    2.3/6
  • 3.
    2.1/6
  • 4.
    1.9/5
  • 5.
    1.1/3
  • 6.
    0.5/1
Source: Nielsen
Reviews
Opinions
Features
  • 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.

  • Rob Owen

    Near the end of the pilot for CBS sitcom The McCarthys — after Ronny (Tyler Ritter) has been feted with a gay bar-themed party by his smothering mother (Laurie Metcalf) — Ronny observes that his family is "sweet, awkward and at times offensive." The same can be said of this sitcom. When the show is focused on Ritter and Metcalf, The McCarthys rises above the usual sitcom slop that it feels like whenever the other characters get screen time.

  • Joanne Ostrow

    Put your hands together for the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the guy who earned it long before Mick Jagger vied for the title, and welcome a new documentary on James Brown on HBO. Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown leaves the artist's decline to another day. The film glosses over the turbulent aspects of Brown's personal life (domestic abuse charges and an arrest record are mentioned in passing), and it isn't comprehensive (there's nothing about his four wives, six children, drug addiction or his death in 2006). But the tuneful feature-length film is packed with great vintage clips. Brown's rise was a complicated one. In the end, the music speaks for itself.

  • Brian Lowry

    Despite a few problematic aspects with the premise, Jane the Virgin contains a secret ingredient that is in short supply, perhaps especially on many of the CW's recent soaps: Charm. Much of that comes from Gina Rodriguez in a star-making turn as the title character, who through a series of unexpected mix-ups — one a real doozy — finds her life beginning to resemble the telenovelas she watches with her doting grandmother, who has cajoled her to remain chaste. There's a lot going on in the pilot, almost all of it fun and frothy, bringing genuine effervescence to CW's soap bubbles.

  • Rob Owen

    A winning star turn can make a big difference in a comedy. It certainly does in ABC’s Cristela, a fairly standard family sitcom that rises above its pedestrian premise thanks to star Cristela Alonzo, a comedian who makes a favorable impression in this series about an Hispanic Texas family. The show leans into humor that’s about life in a Latino family and life for a Hispanic woman in a predominantly Caucasian workplace. What makes the latter go down easily are Cristela’s reactions to her law firm boss’s offensive jabs.

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