Front Office


  • 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 (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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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
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Why You Should Tune In To The STB Debate
TVNewsCheck, Sep 9, 2016, 5:41 AM EDT
There’s already a considerable amount of disruption affecting broadcast television, including an auction intended to repurpose the spectrum of what used to be known as the VHF and UHF channels on a TV dial. However, stations need to find some metaphorical bandwidth to dedicate to the set-top box. Regulatory changes, coupled with innovations like voice-activated navigation, have significant potential to further disrupt television’s current business model.   Full Story | Comments (7)
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Advisers Can Aid In Post-Auction Planning
TVNewsCheck, Aug 26, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
Stations deciding to sell their spectrum in the FCC’s incentive auction and cease their business operations will be required to treat the event as a one-time sale or loss, the real accounting challenges will arise for stations that want to sell their spectrum but continue operating their business. They have options including channel sharing, joint ventures and license sharing. The differences between these interpretations have far-reaching consequences.   Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
How TV Stations Can Mine Digital Media
TVNewsCheck, Aug 12, 2016, 5:43 AM EDT
TV stations need to monetize the digital media opportunities available to them. Here are several strategies they can adopt to ensure a competitive foothold in the rapidly evolving “omniplatform” media world. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Don’t Let Being A Broadcaster Limit Your Role
TVNewsCheck, Jul 29, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT
While stations are being confronted with new tech challenges and growing competition from online, plus growing consumer demand to watch shows when they want, these changes also offer forward-thinking station operators new opportunities as well. One example is rethinking the retransmission consent/compulsory license process. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Rights Mgmt. Is Key To Video Monetization
TVNewsCheck, Jul 8, 2016, 5:39 AM EDT
Profitable rights management is complicated for TV stations because they are both creators and purchasers of content that can be monetized across multiple digital media platforms. Adding to the complexity is the need to clear and ensure intellectual property rights at the pace of today’s digital media. With a growing number of stations using social media platforms, they must ensure all of the rights are in place within the very short timeframe determined by the content’s relevance to the viewer.   Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Omniplatform Media Buys Are Complicated
TVNewsCheck, Jun 17, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
Station sales staffs today face the challenge of delivering the traditional type of buyer connection with viewers even when those viewers are consuming video across multiple platforms. Here are suggestions offered at MFM’s Media Finance Forum 2016. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Stations Should Plan ATSC 3.0 Strategy Now
TVNewsCheck, Jun 3, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
The proposed next-gen television standard promises to offer broadcasters a host of advantages, including adding $12 billion to $20 billion of annual revenue to the industry. Attorney Paul Cicelski spells out what stations should be doing now to prepare for new business models and create transition plans for migrating to the new standard. Full Story | Comments (6)
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Who Will Protect The Protectors?
TVNewsCheck, May 13, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT
Stations are at risk every day — from natural disasters to cyber attacks. Here are valuable tips on how you should prepare to ensure you remain on the air when your viewers need you the most.   Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Be Prepared To Manage A Cyber Attack
TVNewsCheck, Apr 29, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
Cyber breaches come with their own financial and operational considerations. A cyber-attack can mean significant and costly interruptions to business. Here’s a multi-pronged strategy for developing an incident response plan in the increasingly likely event your station suffers a data breach/hack. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Taking A Credit Risk Can Be Rewarding
TVNewsCheck, Apr 15, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT
C. Robin Szabo, president of Szabo Associates, says a good credit manager knows the difference between managing credit risk and avoiding it: “The goal of monitoring the high-risk customer is to determine — as early in the game as possible and at any given time — who will pay, who cannot pay and who will not pay.” He explains how stations and their credit managers can make those determinations. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Advertiser Bankruptcies: Don’t Get Stuck
TVNewsCheck, Apr 1, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
How can companies avoid being left holding an empty bag when an advertiser or agency files for bankruptcy? The best defense is a good offense: identify organizations potentially in financial trouble and take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk of a huge write-off.   Full Story | Add comment
Brand Connections
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Sales Analytics Can Aid Cash Flow Forecasts
TVNewsCheck, Mar 18, 2016, 5:41 AM EDT
Getting a handle on DSO, or days sales outstanding, is particularly important for media businesses. Since payments from large advertisers can be received more than four months after the billing period, that can affect everything from sales commissions to how much money the company needs to borrow to meet its obligations. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
How Bad-Debt Policies Affect Ad Revenue
TVNewsCheck, Mar 4, 2016, 5:43 AM EST
The decision between treating an unpaid advertising account as past due or bad debt will also impact reported year-end income … and employee bonuses. However, someone, most likely an auditor, will notice a pattern of bad estimates. So, it’s best to be prepared for the questions before external auditors make their annual visit to your office. Full Story | Comments (1)
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Stations Must Move To A Multi-Screen Mindset
TVNewsCheck, Feb 19, 2016, 5:39 AM EST
TV stations and other media providers need to change their sales culture in order to serve clients who have an ever-growing number of ways to reach potential customers. And adopting such a mindset starts with a culture change at the very top. Full Story | Comments (8)
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Shared Services Help Advance Gray's Growth
TVNewsCheck, Feb 5, 2016, 5:40 AM EST

Here’s a top-line summary of Gray Television’s implementation of shared services into its accounting functions, helping it to not only control expenses, but also to facilitate the integration of newly acquired stations into its operations and improve its advertiser relationships. Use it to help your stations generate the same kinds of results. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
What Fuels Our Industry’s Rising Stars?
TVNewsCheck, Jan 22, 2016, 5:40 AM EST
MFM-BCCA makes its annual selection of People to Watch and shares examples of the leadership characteristics and organizational roles that helped them to stand out from the pack. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Six Tips For Becoming A Better Leader
TVNewsCheck, Jan 8, 2016, 5:41 AM EST
MFM selected Gannett’s Alison Engel to receive its Distinguished CFO Award. In her acceptance speech, she shared her “rules of the road” for becoming a better leader. I believe they apply to any management position, whether it’s at a TV station or corporate office. Full Story | Add comment
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Great Gains From Savvy Sales Team Investing
TVNewsCheck, Dec 18, 2015, 5:06 AM EST
Successful sales organizations have a strategic focus on sales that begins at the top. This focus includes establishing not just the fundamental sales principle of repeatable sales, but also the right key performance indicators to track, so you always know how well you are doing with each step. Full Story | Comments (2)
TVN’s Front Office By Mary Collins
Get On The Programmatic Bandwagon Now
TVNewsCheck, Dec 4, 2015, 5:36 AM EST
Adopting programmatic solutions doesn’t mean that stations should abandon processes that are successful in selling their most valuable inventory. Instead, consider making some of the station’s inventory available via programmatic. Think of it as another tool for establishing relationships with new advertisers. Local advertisers who are only buying on a station’s online and mobile platforms should be good candidates for buying the parts of on-air inventory that could be sold through automated solutions. Full Story | Comments (2)
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AP Breaking News




Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 25, 2016
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Source: Nielsen


  • 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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