Exclusives

  • 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
  • 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 | Comments (1)
  • 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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TVNewsCheck Annual Forecast
Spot TV 2017: Total Down 8%; Core Up 1.3%
TVNewsCheck, Sep 29, 2016, 9:15 AM EDT
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. Full Story | Add comment
TVNewsCheck Focus on Sales
NC Campaign Ad Spend Picks Up The Pace
TVNewsCheck, Jul 13, 2016, 5:45 AM EDT
With a political trifecta that includes close races for president, U.S. senator and governor, TV stations in the state, especially in markets west of I-95, could see record political ad revenue this year after a slow-ish start. Kantar Media’s Steve Passwaiter, says predictions of $100 million-plus aren’t crazy. Above, President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greet people on the tarmac after arriving at the North Carolina Air National Guard Base in Charlotte, N.C. (AP photo/Susan Walsh) Full Story | Comments (2)
TVN Focus on Washington
The Growing Google-ization Of Washington
TVNewsCheck, Jun 8, 2016, 8:20 AM EDT
Google’s ever-increasing lobbying and influence in D.C., especially in telecommunications matters, is putting the search giant in growing conflict with broadcasting and cable. Two issues of growing concern to TV involve the FCC: its plan to set aside spectrum in the UHF TV band for Wi-Fi — broadcasters see it as another assault on their over-the-air capability — and the commission’s push to let Google, Apple and others sell alternatives to cable set-top boxes. Google's D.C. HQ (above) is near Capitol Hill.
Full Story | Comments (5)
TVN Focus
Affils At NAB To Focus On Primetime, Digital
TVNewsCheck, Apr 13, 2016, 6:50 AM EDT
Differences over reverse comp will for the most part be set aside next week during meetings of the Big Three networks affiliate boards at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, according to the chairmen of the boards. Rather than money, the meetings will concentrate on primetime programming and cooperative plans for distributing local broadcast signals on digital platforms, they say. Fox is the only one of the Big Four networks to schedule a full-affiliates meeting at NAB. Full Story | Add comment
TVNewsCheck Focus on Washington
Programmers Wary Of FCC’s Set-Top Plan
TVNewsCheck, Mar 30, 2016, 8:29 AM EDT
If consumers are able to replace the set-tops they now lease from cable or satellite providers with a box or app from a third party as the FCC is proposing, Google and others could sell boxes or apps that would offer access to both traditional cable fare and OTT streaming services. Programmers are joining the opposition, concerned that they could lose control over their content and the advertising that supports it and be further exposed to OTT competition. Full Story | Comments (11)
TVN Focus on Spot Sales
Auto Ads Driving Steadily Toward Digital
TVNewsCheck, Feb 10, 2016, 8:05 AM EST
Auto advertising continues to move online with Standard Media Index reporting that digital media’s share of the category rose 20% in 2015 while spot TV’s slice was down 8%. A large percentage of that digital money is going to auto verticals and a few broadcast groups have opted for an “if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em” approach and moved into that market as well. Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
TVNewsCheck Focus on Sales
North Carolina TV Sure Political Winner In '16
TVNewsCheck, Oct 14, 2015, 8:04 AM EDT
An earlier primary as well as competitive races for incumbent Governor Pat McCrory (above) and possibly the Senate should put stations in the Tar Heel state among the top recipients of political advertising revenue next year. Full Story | Comments (2)
Special Report: Part I
Digital Turning 'Broadcast' Sales Upside Down
TVNewsCheck, Sep 23, 2015, 8:38 AM EDT
The great challenge for local TV is not only to create compelling digital products and services, but to find and train people to sell them. Station groups are stepping up those efforts, hoping to latch on to some of the dollars that are migrating from broadcast to digital. "Digital, social, secondary channels, websites, mobile – it’s literally a laundry list that each sales rep needs to understand, then master himself," says sales consultant Adam Armbruster. Part II of this special report tomorrow will address integrating new programmatic or automated selling platforms with existing sales, traffic and billing workflows. Also see today's Open Mike on sales compensation for new hires. Full Story | Comments (16)
TVNewsCheck Annual Forecast
Spot TV 2016: Total Up 13.5%, Core Up 2%
TVNewsCheck, Sep 17, 2015, 5:41 AM EDT
With billions of political dollars coming  their way, TV stations' spot revenue will grow 13.5% next year, according to TVNewsCheck's annual survey. The gain would be much greater if stations could only figure out how to get more than 2% growth from all their other ad categories. Full Story | Add comment
TVN Focus on Audience Measurement
Nielsen's Code Reader Getting Mixed Reviews
TVNewsCheck, Sep 2, 2015, 8:48 AM EDT
As the October deadline by which Nielsen hopes to start rolling out its replacement for the paper diary nears, some broadcasters are upset. They say the initial results from the code reader system are giving them lower ratings and questionable demos. Meanwhile, the Media Rating Council is taking a hard look before giving the system its blessing. Full Story | Comments (5)
Executive Outlook
As Auction Nears, Ch. Sharing Interest Grows
TVNewsCheck, Aug 19, 2015, 8:33 AM EDT
Channel sharing offers an alternative for some broadcasters that would like to cash in on the FCC's incentive auction, but continue broadcasting. It's also an opportunity for other broadcasters looking to generate extra revenue by leasing excess spectrum. Here are some items vital to any channel sharing contract. Publisher's Note: Executive Outlook is a new, branded feature of TVNewsCheck.com. It is offered free today as a sneak preview of the kind of in-depth content soon to be offered in the our Premium Member Center. Full Story | Comments (8)
Deep Dive: Spot Auto, Part I
Spot Auto Revenue Lags Surging Auto Sales
TVNewsCheck, Aug 12, 2015, 8:39 AM EDT
The old rule of thumb that TV station auto revenue will mirror the growth (or decline) of auto sales no longer seems to be holding true. Experts say it's due to lower overall auto spending on advertising, an unmeasured shift of money to mobile and continuing hard-nosed competition from the scores of basic cable networks. In Part II, which will post Aug. 26, we'll look at how some broadcasters are working to rev up their auto business. Publisher's Note: Deep Dive is a new, branded feature of TVNewsCheck.com. It is offered free today as a sneak preview of the kind of in-depth content soon to be offered in the our Premium Member Center. Details? Stay tuned. Full Story | Comments (1)
Brand Connections
TVN Focus on Technology
Cyber Threats Have Broadcasters Hacked Off
TVNewsCheck, Jun 23, 2015, 7:59 AM EDT
While politically motivated hacks such as the ones that may have disrupted France’sTV5Monde and WBOC Salisbury, Md., are scary, they aren't likely to be typical. Stations and networks are more likely to be hit by garden variety malware and malicious code intrusions because where there is IP, there is vulnerability. An area of particular security concern to broadcasters is the nation’s Emergency Alert System, which is increasingly dependent on networked and IP-based services. Full Story | Comments (3)
TVN Focus on Primetime
No Sure Bets In Nets' Fall Offerings At 10 P.M.
TVNewsCheck, Jun 17, 2015, 8:26 AM EDT
Most new shows slated for next season's 10 p.m. time slot (9 p.m. CT) — crucial to affiliates because they lead into their late newscasts — are characterized as “risky” and “iffy.” Returning shows are “lackluster” or, at best, “modest,” say TV programming observers. Diciest of all may be NBC's Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, a live variety show. Full Story | Add comment
TVN Focus On Spot Sales
Auto, Telecom, Restaurants Buoy 3Q Spot
TVNewsCheck, Jun 10, 2015, 5:43 AM EDT
TVN
’s quarterly check of broadcasters and media analysts finds third quarter core spot is likely to come in 3% higher than it did in the same period last year. If political is included, the modest growth turns to a modest decline of 1.5%. The great positive is auto, spot's No. 1 ad category, aided by telecommunications, insurance and fast food/casual dining. Full Story | Add comment
TVN Focus On Regulation
Fritz: Time To Press FCC To Adopt ATSC 3.0
TVNewsCheck, May 28, 2015, 8:37 AM EDT
Jerald Fritz of ONE Media says if broadcasters can submit a petition to the commission this summer, the FCC may be able to conduct a rulemaking and give its blessing late this year or early next. That means TV stations could be on the air with the standard sometime in 2017, he adds. Full Story | Comments (15)
TVN Focus on Spot Sales
Rentrak Making TV Measurement Headway
TVNewsCheck, May 13, 2015, 9:28 AM EDT
TV station executives — particularly those in small diary-only markets — say the more detailed and immediate Rentrak numbers have improved their selling position, and media agencies say they like Rentrak's melding of viewership and product purchasing data. Challenges remain, however, including figuring out how to track mobile, tablet, online and OTT viewing. Full Story | Comments (7)
TVN Focus on Journalism
Watchup Lets Mobile Users Build Newscasts
TVNewsCheck, May 6, 2015, 7:34 AM EDT
The app generates customized newscasts for consumers who have registered their preferences on everything from location to topics of interest. Broadcasters on board include the Tribune, Meredith, Scripps, Bonten and Lilly station groups and Cowles-owned KHQ Spokane, Wash. Full Story | Comments (1)
TVN Focus on Sales
Soft Spring Forecast For Syndication Upfront
TVNewsCheck, Apr 22, 2015, 6:23 AM EDT
Media buyers, sellers and media analysts say ad spending on first-run and off-net shows will be down by single-digit percentages from last year or, flat at best. Still, despite the so-so prospect for syndication overall, media buyers and sellers say top-rated first-run syndies such as CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil will sell out fast with prices significantly up over last year. Full Story | Add comment
TVN Focus on Business
TV Everywhere, OTT Top Affils NAB Agendas
TVNewsCheck, Apr 8, 2015, 8:14 AM EDT
When affiliate boards sit down with network executives at the NAB Show next week, they'll be trying to figure out how they can make money from streaming their signals to smartphones and tablets either through TV Everywhere or OTT. In addition, all Fox affiliates at the convention will get a chance to celebrate the new signs of life in the network's primetime schedule. Full Story | Add comment
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 28, 2016
  • 1.
    2.8/10
  • 2.
    1.9/7
  • 3.
    1.7/6
  • 4.
    1.4/5
  • 5.
    0.6/2
  • 6.
    0.4/1
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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