Open Mike

Exclusives

  • 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 | Add comment
  • TVN Tech: Innovation, Progress Abound At IBC

    At this year's media tech compendium in Amsterdam, there was greater cooperation among vendors to ensure IP interoperability. On the business front, there was talk of zoned advertising and hyperlocal content delivery over the air with OFDM-based transmission systems such as ATSC 3.0. And on the technology frontier, all of the work to make Ultra HD a reality has begun to pay off with real-world applications, novel 360-degree acquisition (see the Nokia Ozo camera above) and new 8K implementations of OLED display technology. To see all of TVNewsCheck’s IBC 2016 coverage, click here. More | Add comment
  • Jessell: NBCU's 'Harry’ Could Be The Last Of Its Kind

    NBCU has a lot riding on Harry with Harry Connick Jr., but so does the broadcasting business. If it fails, I fear that Hollywood may finally give up on the big-budget, first-run syndicated show. And broadcasters need such shows to prop up their daytime schedules. Along with local news and a smattering of network fare, they distinguish TV stations from the great unwashed masses of cable channels that fill daytime with endless repeats of shows. More | Comments (8)
  • TVN Tech: Short-Form Programming In IBC Spotlight

    During the IBC 2016 opening keynote today in Amsterdam, the chairman of Vivendi Content and chief commercial officer of Vodafone Germany discussed how they are tackling changes in the distribution and consumption of video content. 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 (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.
Marketshare Blog Playout Blog
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Open Mike by Mark Effron
Making Sense Of Media Disruption
TVNewsCheck, Aug 19, 2016, 5:40 AM EDT
So many of the fundamental media bedrocks appear to be crumbling, while what’s rising up sometimes feels alien. Then there are other countervailing trends, which seem to fight the idea that everything is changing. So how do you think about all of this? How do you synthesize what you know from firsthand experience and impart that without sounding like Gutenberg bemoaning paperbacks? Here are a few suggestions. Full Story | Comments (3)
Open Mike by John Altenbern
How To Win Your Place On The Mobile Screen
TVNewsCheck, Aug 16, 2016, 5:39 AM EDT
CJ&N President John Altenbern: Research shows that the battle for real estate on mobile phones is tightening. You don’t want your station’s app to be one of those that doesn’t get used — or worse yet, is deleted. In the local news business that means you must win that fight on the mobile screen. It’s win-or-lose. Here are six suggestions on what can do to win. Full Story | Add comment
Open Mike by Gordon Borrell
TV Needs To Boost, Not Bash, Digital Media
TVNewsCheck, Jun 8, 2016, 5:41 AM EDT
Gordon Borrell: "The marketing world has changed. Advertisers are more media savvy than they were just a decade ago. They know the power of each medium and see right through anyone who doesn’t. Rather than downplaying the effectiveness of digital advertising, television’s message should be: Look at the power of digital media and how TV magnifies it."
Full Story | Comments (12)
open mike by Steve Chung
The Digital Resurrection Of Ron Burgundy
TVNewsCheck, Apr 18, 2016, 5:38 AM EDT
We’ve all heard the death knell warnings from the likes of Mary Meeker about the tectonic shifts in consumer media consumption away from TV to mobile, and the clanking sword slices of the cord cutters. I’m here to present a contrarian view that TV is not dead, and that in fact, the local broadcast market is arguably the largest overlooked opportunity in digital today. Full Story | Add comment
Open Mike By Louis Gump
How To Make Stations The Must-See Medium
TVNewsCheck, Mar 2, 2016, 5:41 AM EST
When TV stations can serve audiences anytime and anywhere, on the screen that is most convenient, they cement the role they play in informing and influencing viewers, especially millennials. This relevance also increases stations’ attractiveness to advertisers because they can deliver an audience throughout more of the day rather than in just a few time slots. Full Story | Comments (3)
Open Mike by Dave Seyler
FCC's LP Spectrum Grab Is A Study In Ugly
TVNewsCheck, Dec 15, 2015, 5:50 AM EST
Next year’s spectrum auction will see the FCC selling bandwidth it will have simply usurped from entrepreneurs, local communities and even churches that use it to provide free over-the-air local low-low power TV without any form of compensation. Moreover, it will be grabbing spectrum in a way that violates the FCC’s longstanding mission as well as the Fifth Amendment. Full Story | Comments (8)
Brand Connections
Open Mike By Laurie Kahn
Rethink The Old Pay Plan For New Sales Hires
TVNewsCheck, Sep 23, 2015, 8:38 AM EDT
The days of 100% commission with a 90-day guarantee for new hires are long gone. To attract the best sellers, you must offer a compensation plan that offers more security -- that is, a plan that includes longer guarantees so that the hire has more time to develop business. And you have to commit fully to training. Full Story | Comments (8)
Open Mike by Mark Effron
What 'Watching' Means To College Students?
TVNewsCheck, Sep 10, 2015, 5:42 AM EDT
TV-news-exec-turned-college-professor Mark Effron asked his students what media they used in the past 24 hours. You can imagine what was on the list. Media consumed: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, movies and series on Netflix, Google and an occasional news site like CNN.com. Devices: Smartphones (overwhelmingly), tablets, some laptops, an occasional Xbox. Missing in action: television. Full Story | Comments (6)
Open Mike by Jack Goodman
FCC Duplex Plan Bad News For Broadcasters
TVNewsCheck, Aug 5, 2015, 8:04 PM EDT
The promise of the incentive auction was that volunteering broadcasters would be paid for the value of their spectrum. The duplex gap plan seems designed instead artificially to reduce the prices the FCC may have to pay in crowded and border markets. If the FCC is going to be the honest broker it claims to be in the upcoming auction, it should not be placing its finger on the scale. Full Story | Comments (7)
Open Mike by Laurie Kahn
Search For Sales Talent Should Never Stop
TVNewsCheck, Jul 2, 2015, 7:25 AM EDT
Don't wait until your best account executive gives notice to look for a replacement. Scouting for the best sellers in your market should be a regular part of your job so you know where they are when you need them. And don't limit yourself to account execs at other stations. Great sellers are everywhere, maybe even in the local high school. Full Story | Comments (4)
Open Mike by Peter Tannenwald
Ins and Outs of Post-Auction Channel Sharing
TVNewsCheck, Jul 1, 2015, 8:11 AM EDT
So you want to sell spectrum in the incentive auction, but still remain in the business. The FCC has made that option available by allowing you to contract with another broadcaster to double up on a channel. But the rules of channel sharing are complex and still not settled. Here's the latest.   Full Story | Comments (16)
Open Mike by Mark Effron
Tip For Williams Watchers: Take A Breath
TVNewsCheck, Jun 18, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT
Assuming everything reported about Brian Williams’ transgressions are true, it’s still important to keep this in perspective.  While those grievous errors wouldn’t allow him to return to the anchor seat, it shouldn’t keep him from pursuing his life’s work — assuming he returns humbled and squares with his audience. Full Story | Comments (10)
Brand Connections
Open Mike By Mark Effron
8 Characteristics Of Exceptional TV Anchors
TVNewsCheck, Jun 9, 2015, 6:08 AM EDT
Veteran TV journalist Mark Effron spells out the characteristics news directors should be looking for when adding to their anchor desks.  Some of these attributes date back to Walter Cronkite, but others are as new as the latest social media app. Full Story | Comments (1)
Open Mike by Terry Heaton
Stations: Encourage Web Viewers To Return
TVNewsCheck, Jun 4, 2015, 5:58 AM EDT
The rise of social media has accelerated it to the point where it cannot be ignored. In fact, we’re at the place where it’s safe to say that for traditional media companies, online distribution is referral-driven. Broadcasters' online strategies and tactics, therefore, need to be centered on this reality. Full Story | Comments (2)
Open Mike by Joel Myers
Local TV, Digital An Unbeatable Combination
TVNewsCheck, Apr 7, 2015, 5:50 AM EDT
The new digital-savvy audience with smartphones and tablets is expecting big changes from TV stations, their leading and most trusted news source. It's up to broadcasters to meet those expectations by integrating into their newscasts social media, real-time polling, user-generated content, street-level traffic and weather and hyper-local crime reporting. Full Story | Comments (1)
Open Mike by Jerry Fritz
Next-Gen Broadcasting: What's In It For You?
TVNewsCheck, Mar 19, 2015, 5:46 AM EDT
Plenty, says a top executive of One Media, one of the companies vying to become the national standard for next-generation digital TV. Broadcasters will finally be able to serve the enormous and growing population that watches programming on portable and mobile devices, bolstering its ad-supported business model. It will also open up new opportunities in targeted advertising and data distribution. Moving to the next-gen standard in conjunction with the repack of the TV band following the incentive auction must become part of our national policy. Full Story | Comments (19)
open mike from Geir Bryn-Jensen
Remote Production Can Revolutionize Live TV
TVNewsCheck, Jan 15, 2015, 5:45 AM EST
Nevion CEO Geir Bryn-Jensen: "Viewers today eat up live programming of all types. Live programming — with its potential for enrichment and analysis — is also a powerful asset for broadcasters against the encroachment of OTT services. The ability to cover news live, cost effectively and with the highest quality is more significant than ever for today’s newsroom. Remote production is now a practical, deliverable, proven proposition, enabled by the ability to transport multiple signals, either uncompressed or with gentle mezzanine compression, over a range of fabrics, at very low latencies." Full Story | Add comment
Open mike by Mark Effron
How To Build A Successful News Operation
TVNewsCheck, Nov 4, 2014, 11:47 AM EST
Many factors contribute to success at local news operations. Each of my positions over the years afforded me the opportunity to look at content and presentation and distribution through a changing series of lenses. This period also coincided with the tsunami disruptions to mainstream media, especially the birth and growth of social. Here’s a baker’s dozen of suggestions gleaned from life lessons over the years. Full Story | Comments (3)
Open Mike by Matthew Polka
TV Stations Flip-Flop On Consumer Choice
TVNewsCheck, Nov 3, 2014, 5:50 AM EST
American Cable Association President Matthew Polka: "The arrival of CBS All Access means at least two positive developments: The forces in favor of consumer choice have won the debate and critics like TVFreedom need to find a new agenda because it is impossible for broadcasters to explain how it’s possible to be 'just a little a la carte.' " Full Story | Comments (20)
Open Mike from Gregg Skall
3rd-Party Issue Ads A Billion-Dollar Question
TVNewsCheck, Oct 22, 2014, 5:43 AM EDT
We are only weeks away from the 2014 mid-term election. In an election year, I always get a lot of questions about FCC political ad rules, and they come at an ever more furious pace as we get closer to election day. Typically, they run the gamut of political broadcasting issues. This cycle, however, the hands-down winner is how to handle third-party issue ads. Full Story | Add comment
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Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for September 22, 2016
  • 1.
    4.0/14
  • 2.
    1.7/6
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 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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