Exclusives

  • Focus: Slim Sitcom Pickings Among Fall's Offerings

    TV critics and media analysts say only a few of the sitcoms premiering this fall have real potential to become primetime hits and stick around long enough to feed the off-net syndication pipeline and generate big profits for studios, cable networks and TV stations alike. Among the few good prospects is ABC's Black-ish. More | Comments (1)
  • Air Check: Election Season Proving To Be A Mixed Bag

    With political races heating up in some markets, stations there have plenty to cover and few ad slots left. But in others where races are one-sided, journalists are getting creative, turning to coverage of state and local issues to keep political interest strong. More | Add comment
  • Jessell: TVB Forward Shows TV Still A Boffo Business

    This year's TVB Forward Conference, shifted to a more festive venue, did much to portray local broadcasting in the best possible light, while addressing some serious issues. Despite the lack of specifics, the conference agenda painted a healthy picture of TV's spot and digital ad sales and left the impression that local TV still has much to offer marketers. More | Comments (1)
  • Front Office: Consolidation Needs Sales-Credit Teamwork

    Advances in technology have played a large role in making it possible for media corporations to consolidate their accounting, traffic and billing and other business processes, a move that can make the difference in whether or not stations will be able to collect the money they are owed. At MFM and BCCA, we have leveraged these same tools to create and expand our member offerings. More | Add comment
  • Forecast: 2015 Spot TV's Total Down 6.3%, Core Up 2.4%

    According to broadcasters, reps and analysts surveyed by TVNewsCheck, that lower total for next year is due to a number of factors, including a soft national spot marketplace, a weak network upfront as well as uncertainties about leading ad sectors like automotive, telecommunications, retail and fast food. Driving core growth will be auto and telecom, which are predicted to rise 3.9% and 3.6%, respectively, compared to 2014. More | Comments (6)

Special Reports

  • 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.
  • FCC Watch: A quick briefing on 26 FCC proceedings affecting broadcasters from communications attorneys David Oxenford and David O'Connor.
  • 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.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Industry Calendar

September 2014
Th
Sa
25-27
Oregon Association of Broadcasters
Annual Convention
Sun River, OR
Fr
Sa
26-27
Maine Association of Broadcasters
Annual Convention
Portland, ME
October 2014
Th
16
Arizona Broadcasters Association
Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon
Scottsdale, AZ
Su
Tu
19-21
Kansas Association of Broadcasters
Annual Convention
Wichita, KS

Latest News

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

Editor on duty: Mark K. Miller, 301-773-0058
Moonves Bullish On Station Ownership
Deadline, Sep 17, 2014, 7:17 PM EDT
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves told a Merrill Lynch conference that he’d “buy TV stations all over the country” if the FCC lifts its 40% coverage restriction on TV station ownership. He also said there’s a “very strong possibility” that Showtime will be offered directly to consumers over the Internet “and possibly with CBS as well. Link | Comments (4)
Commerce Committee Passes STAVRA
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT
The Senate panel OKs the satellite-broadcaster retrans legislation without the Local Choice provision sought by cable.   Full Story | Comments (4)
FALL SEASON
For Fox, Some Rougher Times Ahead
Media Life, Sep 18, 2014, 6:11 AM EDT
This year the network doesn't have the Super Bowl to cover up for its many trouble spots. Ratings for returning shows have declined and newcomer Utopia is already struggling. Link | Add comment
WB Expected To Cut As Many As 1,000 Jobs
Variety, Sep 18, 2014, 6:03 AM EDT
Warner Bros. Entertainment is expected to cut as many as 900 to 1,000 jobs worldwide as part of a studio-wide cost-cutting move, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. The estimated reductions would amount to more than 10% of the studio’s 9,000-person workforce. Inside sources said that the movie and TV production units will be least impacted as Warner Bros. plans to continue its priority of investing in content and in fact wants to increase the studio’s output. Link | Add comment
Q&A with Jon Swallen
Digital Shift Changing The Media Economy
Media Life, Sep 18, 2014, 6:13 AM EDT
The second-quarter ad revenue numbers from Kantar Media reflected a pullback in ad spending from first quarter, when many advertisers dropped money on the Olympics. They reigned in spending during second quarter to make up for those big outlays. Such volatile changes could become the norm for the media economy in the long term as advertisers increasingly move their money to digital. Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media talks about the current health of the ad economy. Link | Add comment
Union Finds TV Diversity Hiring Stalled
The Associated Press, Sep 18, 2014, 5:47 AM EDT

The Directors Guild of America report said that employers have made no significant improvement in diversity among TV directors in the last four years. White males directed the vast majority of the more than 3,500 cable, broadcast and high-budget online episodes made for the 2013-14 season, according to the study. Full Story | Add comment

Brand Connections
‘Wendy Williams’ Makes It Two In A Row
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
Tuesday saw the talk show atop the genre for second straight day among women 25-54. Full Story | Add comment
'AFV': A Generation Of Unintended Laughs
The New York Times, Sep 18, 2014, 6:31 AM EDT
ABC's America’s Funniest Home Videos turns 25, with YouTube a surprising part of its continued success. Link | Add comment
Record Results For Annual BFOA Fundraser
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
Photo%3A+Wendy+Moger-Bross
Photo: Wendy Moger-Bross
The Broadcasters Foundation of America’s celebrity golf tournament at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Tarrytown, NY., raised $250,000 to help broadcasters in need. Full Story | Add comment
closing bell
Dow Moves Up 25, Nasdaq Ends Up 9
The Associated Press, Sep 17, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
After drifting along for most of the day Wednesday, stocks marched higher after the U.S. central bank released a statement signaling little change in its interest rate policy. The gains were broad, with seven of the 10 industry groups of the Standard & Poor's 500 index rising, led by materials stocks. Full Story | Add comment
CBS Shifts Ratings Focus To Live Plus 7
Variety, Sep 17, 2014, 2:28 PM EDT
CBS aims to accelerate the industry’s move to Live Plus 7 as the standard metric for evaluating the performance of primetime series. The network said today that it will add projected Live Plus 7 numbers to its daily overnight ratings reports. Link | Comments (1)
Dma 8 (Washington)
Under Sinclair, WJLA Moves To The Right
The Washington Post, Sep 17, 2014, 2:26 PM EDT
There’s a new owner and a new approach to the news at WJLA, Washington’s ABC affiliate. Under the direction of its ambitious corporate parent, the station’s news operations have taken a subtle but noticeable turn to the right. Link | Comments (16)
Brand Connections
NCTA Rebrands Cable Show As INTX
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 2:18 PM EDT
The trade group says its new Internet and Television Expo “reflects the evolution and transformation of the NCTA’s The Cable Show and will focus on the digital media and entertainment economy, featuring multichannel video and broadband Internet providers, television creators and producers, online video distributors, digital technologists and startups, engineers and more.” Full Story | Comments (3)
Dma 44 (Norfolk, VA)
Gannett Names Kari Jacobs GM of WVEC
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
The Norfolk, Va., ABC affiliate’s former sales manager is upped to the top spot following Brad Ramsey’ promotion to Gannett VP of sales. Full Story | Add comment
The Movies! Diginet Adds 9 New Affiliates
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 2:05 PM EDT
With these stations from Hearst, Gray, LM Communications, M33 Media, OTA Broadcasting  and Ironwood Communications, the classic movie multicast channel’s clearances now top 50% of U.S. Full Story | Comments (1)
FCC Asked To Block AT&T-DirecTV Merger
The Hill, Sep 17, 2014, 3:20 PM EDT
Critics of AT&T’s proposed $49 billion merger with DirecTV filed formal comments with the FCC to block the plan. The NAB urged the FCC to impose conditions to boost local television content. For instance, DirecTV should be required to offer local broadcast stations in all the 210 markets where it operated, the broadcaster group said. Link | Add comment
What’s The ROI For Social Media Editors?
NetNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 2:14 PM EDT
Assigning a job description to the “social media editor” positions is difficult. In a larger market, the gig may be 100% social media. In a smaller market, social may be one of many duties, which could also include Web production, reporting and editing, and perhaps some marketing. Same for the staffer demographic, which may be a fresh college graduate or seasoned reporter of several years.  Link | Add comment
Nielsen Research Guru McDonough Retiring
MediaPost, Sep 17, 2014, 2:32 PM EDT
Pat McDonough, a long-time Nielsen executive who was key to the development and oversight of many of the company’s most important media research services, will retire at the end of the 2014, Nielsen U.S. Media President Lynda Clarizio announced in a memo to clients this morning. Link | Add comment
overnights
Big Jump For Penultimate ‘Talent’
Media Life, Sep 17, 2014, 12:56 PM EDT
The NBC show posted a 2.5 adults 18-49 rating from 9 to 11 p.m., surging 32% over a 1.9 last week. Talent was also up 4% over last year’s 2.4 for its next-to-last episode, notable because very few programs have seen year-to-year gains this summer. Talent, which airs its season finale tonight, was the night’s top program among 18-49s, on an evening with a slew of original shows. Link | Add comment
TVNewsCheck Focus On Programming
Slim Sitcom Pickings Among Fall's Offerings
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 5:44 AM EDT
TV critics and media analysts say only a few of the sitcoms premiering this fall have real potential to become primetime hits and stick around long enough to feed the off-net syndication pipeline and generate big profits for studios, cable networks and TV stations alike. Among the few good prospects is ABC's Black-ish. Full Story | Comments (1)
dma 133
Heartland Media Buying WTVA Tupelo
TVNewsCheck, Sep 16, 2014, 6:05 PM EDT
Former Gray CEO Bob Prather’s Heartland Media has added its fifth station with this purchase from the Spain family's WTVA Inc. Full Story | Add comment
Live TV
Football: Primetime's Perennial Powerhouse
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 5:44 AM EDT
With the addition of eight Thursday-night games this season on CBS, there are now four principal time periods each week in which to watch the NFL on a national network: Thursday evening, Sunday afternoon on CBS and Fox, Sunday night on NBC and Monday night on ESPN. But it’s in primetime on both Thursday and Sunday — when CBS and NBC, respectively, air games with no other game being played anywhere else — that the NFL packs its most powerful punch. Full Story | Comments (1)
STRATA survey
TV Leads, Programmatic Grows For Political
MediaPost, Sep 17, 2014, 6:18 AM EDT
With the midterm elections on the horizon, political marketers are preparing to make use of programmatic buying to reach their audiences. A new STRATA political survey says that 85% of political agencies plan to use programmatic for their political media-buying efforts this year. The company says the agencies polled represent roughly 75% of total political advertising billings. Link | Add comment
NBC Celebrates Full Year As No. 1
Variety, Sep 17, 2014, 6:10 AM EDT
As the networks prepare for the start of the new TV season next week, NBC took another victory lap on Tuesday as it celebrated its first primetime victory in the 18-49 demo for a full television year in a decade. The Peacock, which had won the September-May broadcast season in the demo, clinched its 52-week crown with a strong summer. Led by America’s Got Talent, the rising American Ninja Warrior and rookie scripted success The Night Shift, NBC won in adults 18-49 to make it four straight summers on top. Link | Add comment
dma 18
WRDQ Orlando Expands 10 P.M. News To Hour
Orlando Sentinel, Sep 17, 2014, 6:59 AM EDT
Cox-owned ABC affiliate WFTV Orlando, Fla., has expanded its 10 p.m. news on co-owned  independent WRDQ to one hour Monday through Friday. "We've been on an upward trend with the 10 p.m.," said Shawn Bartelt, general manager of the two stations. Link | Comments (1)
Appeals Courts Pressed For Same-Day Audio
RTDNA, Sep 17, 2014, 7:37 AM EDT
As the judicial branch’s policymaking body convenes this week, the Coalition for Court Transparency, of which RTDNA is a member, is calling on judges who sit on the Judicial Conference to implement a uniform, same-day audio policy for hearings conducted in the 13 U.S. Courts of Appeals across the country. Link | Add comment
Dish Nabs Scripps Nets For Web TV Service
New York Post, Sep 17, 2014, 6:49 AM EDT
Satellite guru Charlie Ergen is rapidly gathering content for his new Internet-based TV offering. Ergen’s Dish Network said Tuesday it secured new digital rights to offer Scripps Networks Interactive programming through its yet-to-launch online video service. The satellite TV provider said the rights are part of an expanded distribution deal to carry Scripps stable of lifestyle channels, including HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel. Link | Add comment
Sony Sees $2B Loss As Smartphones Lag
The Associated Press, Sep 17, 2014, 6:02 AM EDT
Citing intense competition, especially from Chinese rivals, Sony said Wednesday it anticipates a net loss of $2.15 billion for the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2015. Its previous forecast was for a $466 million net loss. For the first time since going public in 1958, the Japanese electronics and entertainment conglomerate canceled dividend payments for the half- and full-year. Full Story | Add comment
Network Ratings Roundup: Sept. 8-14
First Episode Of 'Roosevelts' Seen By 9 Million
The Associated Press, Sep 16, 2014, 5:29 PM EDT
An estimated 9.1 million people watched the first episode of Ken Burns' seven-part series on Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt on Sunday. CBS won the week in primetime, averaging 8.3 million viewers. NBC had 7.8 million viewers, ABC had 4.1, Fox had 2.9 million, Univision had 2.7 million, Telemundo had 1.3 million, Ion Television had 1.2 million and the CW had 930,000. Full Story | Add comment
Week ending Sept. 15
Station Trading Roundup: 1 Deal, $50,000
TVNewsCheck, Sep 16, 2014, 5:27 PM EDT
The sale of WCIV Charleston, S.C., by Sinclair Broadcast Group to Howard Stirk Holdings tops the latest list of TV station transactions submitted to the FCC for its approval, according to BIA Kelsey. Full Story | Add comment
Native Ads Squarely Inside Big News Tent
Nieman Lab, Sep 17, 2014, 7:40 AM EDT
Maybe it’s just a new iteration on the advertorials newspapers and magazines have run for decades. Maybe it’s a scurrilous devaluation of journalism. Either way, it’s here, and at the highest levels of the business. Link | Add comment
Media Insight Project survey
Blacks, Hispanics Doubt Media Accuracy
The Associated Press, Sep 17, 2014, 5:57 AM EDT
Three-fourths of African-American news consumers and two-thirds of Hispanics have doubts about what mainstream media report about their communities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Media Insight Project. And while most say it's become easier to get news generally in the last five years, few feel the same way about news regarding their own community, the survey said. Full Story | Add comment

More News

Darrell Hammond To Succeed Don Pardo At 'SNL'
The New York Times, Sep 18, 2014, 7:27 AM EDT
Netflix Orders New Judd Apatow Series
Lost Remote, Sep 18, 2014, 7:23 AM EDT
Longtime News Corp. Exec Ian Rae Dies At 78
New York Post, Sep 18, 2014, 6:41 AM EDT
Discovery Looks To Control Hub Kids Network
Bloomberg, Sep 18, 2014, 6:23 AM EDT
CNN’s 'Crossfire' Begins Dumping Staff
The Daily Caller, Sep 18, 2014, 6:20 AM EDT
Lee Madddux, Writer On 'Night Court,' Dies At 68
Variety, Sep 18, 2014, 6:06 AM EDT
Television Writer David G.B. Brown Dies At 67
The Hollywood Reporter, Sep 18, 2014, 6:01 AM EDT
TNT Show Helps Spur Arrest In 1997 Arizona Killing
The Associated Press, Sep 18, 2014, 6:00 AM EDT
Dma 3 (Chicago)
Anabel Monge Joins WSNS As Co-Anchor
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 9:22 PM EDT
Dma 30
WFSB Hartford To Host Gubernatorial Debate
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 9:10 PM EDT
dma 3 (Chicago)
WMAQ, WGN Get Story Fast, But Not Right
Robert Feder, Sep 17, 2014, 6:37 PM EDT
dma 12 (Phoenix)
KNXV Promotes EP To Assistant News Director
TVSpy, Sep 17, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT
Veria Living Rebrands As Z Living
Deadline, Sep 17, 2014, 3:25 PM EDT
Raycom Media Acquires LSN Mobile Assets
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 3:17 PM EDT
DMA 35 (Cincinnati)
WCPO Adds Ketchmark As A.M. Meteorologist
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT
TMZ Tackles TV With New Sports Show
CNNMoney, Sep 17, 2014, 3:04 PM EDT
Betsy Thomas New ‘Bad Judge’ Showrunner
Deadline, Sep 17, 2014, 2:55 PM EDT
dma 10
Reporter Amanda Perez leaves KPRC Houston
Mike McGuff, Sep 17, 2014, 2:51 PM EDT
Market Share (DMA 64: Dayton, OH)
Strong Start For WBDT's Teen Reality Show
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Sep 17, 2014, 8:17 AM EDT
Market Share (DMA 57: Richmond, VA)
WTVR Richmond Launches New Image Campaign
TVNewsCheck/Market Share, Sep 17, 2014, 8:13 AM EDT
Clear Channel Changes Name To iHeartMedia
iHeartMedia, Sep 17, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
dma 17 (Denver)
KMGH Ditches Traditional ‘Home Base’ In New Set
NewscastStudio, Sep 17, 2014, 8:02 AM EDT
Fox Commits To Pilot For DC Comics’ ‘Lucifer’
Deadline, Sep 17, 2014, 7:52 AM EDT
CPB Board Elects Sembler, Gilbert As New Leader
Current, Sep 17, 2014, 7:46 AM EDT
dma 17 (Denver)
KUSA Anchor Sorry For 'Monkey' Reference
TVSpy, Sep 17, 2014, 7:36 AM EDT
dma 3
Reporter Katie Kim Joins WMAQ Chicago
Robert Feder, Sep 17, 2014, 7:17 AM EDT
PTC: There Are Too Many Naked People On TV
New York Post, Sep 17, 2014, 6:46 AM EDT
Advertisers Sound Off On NFL Controversies
Adweek, Sep 17, 2014, 6:15 AM EDT
Security Guard Killed On The Set Of 'Falling Skies'
Variety, Sep 17, 2014, 6:14 AM EDT
The 50 Most Influential LGBT People In Media
Advocate.com, Sep 16, 2014, 8:35 PM EDT

Classifieds

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

AP Breaking News

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 16, 2014
  • 1.
    2.1/7
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    1.3/4
  • 3.
    1.2/4
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    1.2/4
  • 5.
    1.1/4
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen
Reviews
Opinions
Features
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Our latest week-long national history lesson begins as PBS star filmmaker Ken Burns schools us in The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. Make room on the DVR, this one's addicting. The entire 14-hour, seven-night experience of Burns' latest opus is an engaging and at times surprising marathon, running through the chronology of Theodore, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, and touching on social movements, technological changes and, not least, wars and methods of warfare that shaped their lives. And vice versa. The trove of photographs is so engaging, the family dynamics so curious, the overall story so epic in nature, it's a rewarding investment of time.

  • Brian Lowry

    As an architect of Big Brother, Dutch reality-TV pioneer John de Mol would be a good candidate to sue the producers of Fox's Utopia, if only he wasn’t one of them. The show’s billing as a “social experiment” quickly dissipates amid the assemblage of chiseled Type-AAA personalities and archetypes tasked with carving out an existence amid the wilds of Santa Clarita, Calif. (a locale Fox has the chutzpah to dub “five acres of paradise”). Scheduled to run twice weekly for a year, the protracted time commitment is just another hurdle for the pioneers — and network — to clear.

  • Michelle Stark

    Starz's new series Outlander isn't merely a feminist Game of Thrones. In fact, it's refreshingly hard to pin down, a vibrant concoction of rollicking adventure, passionate romance and strikingly beautiful history lesson. Throw in a bit of sci-fi and the show becomes its own captivating genre.

  • Mark Dawidziak

    TNT's Legends is a leaden cable drama that is every bit as clumsy as it is familiar. Relentlessly formulaic, Legends is cookie-cutter stuff manufactured from stale dough.

  • Tom Conroy

    The title character of USA’s new dramedy Rush — a disgraced L.A. doctor who makes cash-only house calls for clients who have something to hide — both behaves and allows other people to behave in reprehensible ways, but we’re supposed to think of him as a lovable scamp. Since the creators clearly haven’t thought through the show’s ethics, viewers who just want to have a good time shouldn’t either. The attractive cast and glossy cinematography provide enough distraction.

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