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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House Dems: More Work Needed On STBs
The Hill, Sep 23, 2016, 6:23 AM EDT
A group of more than 60 House Democrats on Thursday said that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and the commissioners should launch a formal proceeding where the public — and industry — could comment on the text of Wheeler's new proposal. to open up the market for television boxes. Link | Add comment
JonBenet Ramsey's Brother To Sue CBS
Reuters, Sep 22, 2016, 7:02 AM EDT
'West Wing' Cast Members To Stump For Clinton
Politico, Sep 22, 2016, 6:32 AM EDT
ANA Raises Concerns Over FCC's STB Plan
MediaPost, Sep 22, 2016, 6:25 AM EDT
The FCC's newly revised plan to enable consumers to watch pay TV without cable boxes could boost piracy, according to the Association of National Advertisers. Link | Comments (2)
station advisory
How To Safely Use Crowd-Sourced Material
ASNE, Sep 21, 2016, 3:13 PM EDT
Attorney Kevin Goldberg: "When I first started practicing law, almost all questions I received from clients related to defamation, invasion of privacy or FOIA issues. Now I’d say that I get at least as many, and possibly more, copyright-related questions than any or all of those three. I suspect that that’s largely because of the ease with which people can share and republish content via a web page or social media." Here are some guidelines. Link | Add comment
dma 23: Pittsburgh
Hearst To Court: Dismiss Wendy Bell Suit
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sep 21, 2016, 7:15 AM EDT
Former WTAE Pittsburgh anchor Wendy Bell’s federal court claim that she wouldn’t have been fired for posting opinions about the background and race of the Wilkinsburg massacre suspects if she were black should be thrown out because it’s speculation, the TV station’s parent company says. Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
Vizio Wants Video Privacy Case Dismissed
MediaPost, Sep 21, 2016, 6:25 AM EDT
Smart TV manufacturer Vizio is asking a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the company violated a federal video privacy law by sharing information about consumers with ad tech companies and data brokers. Link | Comments (2)
BMI Rejects DOJ Consent Decree Finding
CommLawBlog, Sep 20, 2016, 3:08 PM EDT
Court Rules Against FEC In Ad Case
The Hill, Sep 20, 2016, 8:16 AM EDT
A U.S. District Court judge ruled Monday that the country’s top election watchdog misinterpreted campaign finance law when it dismissed a progressive group’s complaints against two conservative organizations. Link | Add comment
station advisory
Trademark Basics For Media Companies, Pt. 1
Broadcast Law Blog, Sep 20, 2016, 8:00 AM EDT
In today’s digital economy, trademarks are often the most valuable assets that a business owns. This  is the first of a five-part series designed to help you understand trademarks and how they function, so that you can maximize the value of your own trademark portfolio. Link | Add comment
Rosenworcel Nom Caught Up In Chess Match
Morning Consult, Sep 19, 2016, 8:32 AM EDT
A tangled mess of two stalled telecom bills and the pending nomination of a well-liked tech regulator won’t be resolved until a lame-duck session of Congress, if at all, a top Senate Republican said Thursday. At issue is the confirmation of FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, for a second term at the agency. If the Senate doesn’t vote before the end of the year, she’s out. Her term will be up, and there will be no way to extend her tenure, even though she is highly regarded by both Republicans and Democrats. Link | Comments (1)
Fox Sues Netflix for Poaching Employees
The Wall Street Journal, Sep 16, 2016, 4:00 PM EDT
21st Century Fox on Friday filed a lawsuit against Netflix Inc., accusing the streaming video giant of illegally hiring two of its executives who were under contract. The suit  alleges that Netflix has run a “brazen campaign to unlawfully target, recruit, and poach valuable Fox executives by illegally inducing them to break their employment contracts with Fox to work at Netflix.” Link | Add comment
Brand Connections
AP, Vice, Gannett Sue Over iPhone Hacking
The Associated Press, Sep 16, 2016, 3:04 PM EDT
The AP, Gannett and Vice are suing the FBI to learn how the government hacked an iPhone in its San Bernardino massacre investigation, specifically who it turned to for the solution and how much it spent. Eric Tucker reports on the lawsuit looking to get to the bottom of the "mysterious transaction." Full Story | Comments (1)
Rosenworcel Skeptical Of Proposed STB Plan
The Hill, Sep 16, 2016, 6:04 AM EDT
At a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said she doesn’t think the agency has the legal authority to pursue a part of its proposal to reform the market for television set-top boxes and cast doubt on whether Chairman Tom Wheeler has the votes to pass the plan. Link | Add comment
Big Cable Fighting FCC's STB Proposal
Variety, Sep 15, 2016, 2:31 PM EDT
The FCC is trying to make it easier and cheaper for you to watch TV. But the plan to unleash pay TV service from the set-top box that has been its delivery mechanism for decades has opponents — notably, the Big Cable lobby — raising their fists. Link | Add comment
Wheeler: Repack Info To Be Released ‘Soon’
TVNewsCheck, Sep 15, 2016, 10:00 AM EDT
The FCC chairman tells a Senate oversight hearing that the commission "will soon release for discussion and comment transition models to calculate the order and schedule of station relocation efforts” and they will reflect input from broadcasters, wireless companies, tower crews, equipment manufacturers and others. Full Story | Add comment
dma 102: Myrtle Beach-Florence, SC
WMBF Anchor Michael Maely Arrested For DUI
Myrtle Beach Sun News, Sep 14, 2016, 3:11 PM EDT
commentary by Seton Motley
FCC Wants To Create TV Content Commission
Townhall, Sep 14, 2016, 6:32 AM EDT
Seton Motley: "FCC Chairman [Tom Wheeler] wants to end all that pesky free market content creation and explosive growth — and shrink it all back down to one government bureau. He is doing all of this via a pay TV set-top-box power grab. What non-problem is his grab alleged to be “solving?” Link | Add comment
Incentive Auction Stage 2 Starts Today
FCC Blog, Sep 13, 2016, 6:46 AM EDT
For Stage 2, the Auction System set the clearing target at 114 MHz, the next-highest target that meets the commission’s standards for setting a clearing target in a stage. Compared to Stage 1's 126 MHz clearing target, the 114 MHz clearing target generally clears nine blocks of spectrum in each partial economic area instead of 10 blocks and adds two additional channels to the TV band. Link | Add comment
FCC's Rosenworcel Pressured Over STBs
The Hill, Sep 13, 2016, 6:16 AM EDT
Opponents of the FCC’s set-top box market reforms are putting more pressure on Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, seen as the swing vote on the hotly-contested item. In a filing on Friday, a set of programming companies disclosed that they spoke with Rosenworcel last week and said that “any arrangement in which they are required to allow their content to be distributed on terms or conditions to which programmers would not agree would be tantamount to a compulsory copyright license, which the Commission lacks authority to impose.” Link | 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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