Exclusives

  • TVB Forward 2016

    TVB’s 2016 Broadcast TV Leadership Conference was a confab of more than 550 local broadcast television c-suite leaders, representing over 60 broadcast companies, the TV networks and national rep firms. See TVNewsCheck’s extensive coverage here. More | Add comment
  • TVN Tech: Crawford Charts New Path To Digital Storage

    Crawford Media Services in Atlanta was approaching a decision point when it came to the digital storage it was using for archiving clients’ media assets. If left unchecked, the end-of-life failure rate of disks in its arrays was on track to overtake the time needed to rebuild its RAIDs. To protect its data, lower the cost of storage and position itself for future expansion, the company set off in a new direction to take advantage of erasure code, more efficient data spread policies and object-based storage. More | Add comment
  • Spot TV 2017 Forecast: Total Down 8%; Core Up 1.3%

    That's the consensus of station groups and industry watchers surveyed by TVNewsCheck. The downturn is fully expected as political advertising dries up as it always does in odd-numbered years. However, the reforecast for 2016 is down from the last fall's original prediction because political spending has not been as strong as expected. More | Add comment
  • Jessell: Uncertain Political Is Broadcast Wake-Up Call

    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. More | Comments (3)
  • Front Office: How To Invest Best To Grow Revenue

    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.   More | Add comment
  • 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
  • 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 (2)
  • 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

Fri, Sep 30, 2016

closing bell
Dow Jumps 165, Nasdaq Moves Up 43
The Associated Press, Sep 30, 2016, 5:13 PM EDT
Among stocks, banks made the biggest gains Friday as Germany's largest bank tried to reassure investors about its financial health. Investors hope Deutsche Bank will be able to negotiate down the massive cost of settling a U.S. investigation into mortgage securities. Energy companies rose as the price of oil continued to move higher, and strong earnings from Costco sent consumer stocks higher. Full Story | Add comment
Viacom To Explore CBS Merger
The Wrap, Sep 30, 2016, 4:35 PM EDT
Viacom formed a special committee of independent directors on Friday to evaluate a potential merger with CBS. The new committee comprises Thomas May, Nicole Seligman, Kenneth Lerer, Judith McHale,Ronald Nelson and Charles Phillips. Link | Add comment
Jessell at Large
TVB Forward: Local TV Looks Pretty Healthy
TVNewsCheck, Sep 30, 2016, 3:05 PM EDT
While there are some questions on how well the two biggest ad categories will fare next year, analysts and others pointed out a number of positives. Among them, the continuing growth of net retrans, upcoming money from the incentive auction and potential windfalls resulting from new revenue opportunities created by the adoption of ATSC 3.0. Full Story | Add comment
FCC Unveils Post-Auction Repack Plans
TVNewsCheck, Sep 30, 2016, 11:38 AM EDT
Stations will receive confidential letters with their final channel assignments shortly after the auction’s final stage, giving all stations more time to prepare. Each station that has to move will be slotted into one of 10 transition “phases” with staggered completion dates to ease coordination issues and enable the commission to track progress.   Full Story | Comments (6)
overnights
New Shows Hold Up Well On Thursday Night
Media Life, Sep 30, 2016, 12:31 PM EDT
None see major declines versus last week, thanks in part to no Thursday Night Football on CBS. Grey's Anatomy leads ABC to first for the night among 18-49s. Link | Add comment
Notable Trends So Far This Broadcast Season
Media Life, Sep 30, 2016, 2:57 PM EDT
No. 1: Early pickups, with three shows already earning season orders. Other things to keep an eye on: Lead-ins still matter, the NFL ratings losses, fewer bombs and more. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
Playout
Sinclair Debuts 6 Of 40 Planned Drone Teams
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Sep 30, 2016, 12:45 PM EDT
Currently, Sinclair has drone teams in Washington; Baltimore; Green Bay, Wis.; Columbus, Ohio; Tulsa, Okla.; and Little Rock, Ark. According to Jeff Rose, chief pilot for Sinclair, the station group is emphasizing safe drone operation and has a policy of sending two operators with each aircraft in the field. Link | Add comment
Thune Blasts Wheeler On Secrecy
The Hill, Sep 30, 2016, 3:20 PM EDT
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) is calling on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to release the FCC’s latest proposal on rules for pay television set-top boxes. Link | Add comment
Doctor Heads Fox NewsEdge Affil. Relations
TVNewsCheck, Sep 30, 2016, 12:40 PM EDT
Dianne Doctor’s new post at Fox’s affiliate news service is in addition to her current role as VP-station manager of Fox’s WWOR New York.   Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Ad Buyers Want More Automated Selling
TVNewsCheck, Sep 30, 2016, 8:45 AM EDT
“We’ve been talking about this too long. I can’t go into a market programmatically half way,” says Frank Friedman of Zenith Media, speaking of the need to have all stations in a given DMA participate. “We need to separate the fear of automation lowering rates. If we don’t automate we’re going to fail.”   Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Dueling Ratings Firms Good For Stations
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 5:16 PM EDT
Both Nielsen and ComScore have identified local TV measurement as a growth area ripe with opportunity. And according to CBS research guru David Poltrack, “You now have two companies … that are expanding and investing a lot of money in measuring the medium more effectively. We’ve never enjoyed that before.” Full Story | Add comment
Auto Sales Expected To Fall Again In Sept.
Automotive News, Sep 30, 2016, 6:25 AM EDT
U.S. new-vehicle sales are projected to decline for a second consecutive month, even as incentive spending reaches a record high. The forecasts reinforce the notion that industry sales have leveled off after six consecutive years of gains coming out of the recession. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
ABC Gives Two Full-Season Pickups
The Wrap, Sep 29, 2016, 4:31 PM EDT
ABC has officially picked up Designated Survivor and Speechless for full seasons, with orders for an additional nine episodes of the shows, which both air on Wednesday. Link | Add comment
Lady Gaga Set For Super Bowl Halftime Show
The Associated Press, Sep 30, 2016, 5:53 AM EDT
The 
NFL and Pepsi announced Thursday that the pop star will take the stage Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston. The game will be broadcast by Fox. Full Story | Add comment
Melinda Gates Tackles Women In Tech Issues
CNET, Sep 30, 2016, 7:57 AM EDT
Gates said she's launching a new initiative focused on the lack of females in the tech industry. It'll be separate from the well-known Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which addresses myriad issues from the prevention of infectious diseases to sustainability and beyond. What this new venture will look like is still uncertain. Link | Add comment
NBC News Makes An Early Bet On Social VR
The Media Briefing, Sep 30, 2016, 8:19 AM EDT
NBC News is planning a wealth of election night virtual reality coverage of its Democracy Plaza events, and the company sees it as a first step to creating a community that can eventually be monetized. "The audience just needs to be big enough that we can get some response from them, both in terms of how they use it as well as talking to people who have used it. And that will [shape] the experiments to come," says Nick Ascheim, its digital SVP. Link | Add comment
News Outlets Stand By Post-Debate 'Polls'
CNNMoney, Sep 30, 2016, 8:28 AM EDT
Ever since Monday's debate, Trump has been citing "polls" that are really more like virtual contests, since they allow anyone to vote multiple times. Thursday on MSNBC, anchor Chuck Todd was visibly frustrated by the Trump campaign's promotion of the "polls." He called them "bogus." Link | Add comment
Latest Argument For Cord Cutting: Cat Videos
Media Life, Sep 30, 2016, 6:19 AM EDT
Horowitz study: A quarter of people are watching less TV because they're consuming more short-form content on sites like YouTube. Most of it's free, unlike cable. Hence: Snip, snip, snip. Link | Add comment
Balloting Opens For Women In Tech Awards
TVNewsCheck, Sep 26, 2016, 5:41 AM EDT
TVNewsChedk
's annual Women in Technology Leadership Award and the Technology Women to Watch Awards support the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s Technology Apprenticeship Program, which places graduating engineers who are women or people of color in broadcast industry internships. Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Car Sales To Slow, But May Not Harm Local TV
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 2:17 PM EDT
Steve Szakaly, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, predicted a downturn in car sales over the next five years, but said that’s not necessarily bad news for local television because auto dealers and OEMs often increase their advertising expenditures in order to lift sales during a downturn. Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Kantar Lowers Station Political Take To $2.8B
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 11:31 AM EDT
That’s a $500 million drop from what the research firm had originally expected and is just a hair better than what stations received from political advertisers four years ago. Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Videa Debuts Automated TV Ad Platform
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 11:10 AM EDT
The new marketplace provides stations, agencies and brands a simplified way to sell and buy local television station inventory at scale. Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Digital To Be Main Driver Of Station Ad Rev
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 10:41 AM EDT
Between now and 2020, linear ad business will be flat, according to BIA/Kelsey’s Tom Buono. Other predictions from the TVB Forward conference include Pivotal’s Brian Wieser, who says spot will grow 4.5% this year in comparison with 2015 when both the Olympics and political ad spend is excluded. Jack Myers of MyersBizNet says the strong CPM growth of between 7% and 12% for national networks during the upfront and continued strength of the scatter market is good news for local TV.   Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
Ryvicker Sees Positive Future For Local TV
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 10:26 AM EDT
The Wells Fargo analyst is bullish on net retrans growth, sees spot advertising moving along with single-digit growth, and sees ATSC 3.0 presenting opportunities for new revenue streams. Full Story | Add comment
TVB Forward
TVB Announces EMMA Winners
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 3:42 PM EDT
The awards recognize broadcast television stations and advertising agencies for outstanding collaborative multiplatform marketing campaigns.   Full Story | 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

More News

Charlie Rose Celebrates 25 Years Around A Table
TVSpy, Sep 30, 2016, 3:12 PM EDT
Fox News' Sean Hannity Tops Key Demo
The Wrap, Sep 30, 2016, 2:53 PM EDT
Oscar Mayer Jingle Composer Dies At 87
The Wrap, Sep 30, 2016, 2:52 PM EDT
Lessons From A Five-Year FOIA Battle
Columbia Journalism Review, Sep 30, 2016, 8:11 AM EDT
KOMO Anchor Brad Goode Leaving For Banking
Puget Sound Business Journal, Sep 30, 2016, 8:08 AM EDT
dma 31
KSAT San Antonio Ditches Virtual Sets For Real
NewscastStudio, Sep 30, 2016, 8:02 AM EDT
dma 53
Kevin Sylvester Returns To Buffalo At WGRZ
The Buffalo News, Sep 30, 2016, 7:44 AM EDT
Market Share
Outdoor Advertising’s Not A Medium; It’s A Large
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Sep 30, 2016, 7:27 AM EDT
dma 23
WQED Pittsburgh Looking For New Initiatives
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sep 30, 2016, 7:01 AM EDT
Virtual Reality About To Take Over Hollywood
New York Post, Sep 30, 2016, 6:41 AM EDT
Actor, Acting Teacher Larkin Malloy Dies At 62
Deadline, Sep 30, 2016, 6:06 AM EDT
Sandra Oh Joins ‘American Crime’ Season 3
Variety, Sep 30, 2016, 6:04 AM EDT
An Unusual New Latenight Competitor For ESPN
The Associated Press, Sep 30, 2016, 5:58 AM EDT
Playout
AMV Adds New Riedel Intercom to NYLA Truck
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Sep 29, 2016, 7:27 PM EDT
Playout
Vista To Build 4K, IP-based Studios
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Sep 29, 2016, 7:25 PM EDT
Playout
Crawford Metaforce Satisfies Metadata Demand
TVNewsCheck/Playout, Sep 29, 2016, 5:52 PM EDT
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 29, 2016
  • 1.
    1.6/6
  • 2.
    1.2/4
  • 3.
    1.2/4
  • 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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