The New York Times has received criticism for canceling the contract of editor Lauren Wolfe after she tweeted last Tuesday that she got “chills” over Joe Biden arriving in Washington, D.C., ahead of his inauguration as president. Wolfe, an award-winning journalist who has reported from war zones in Syria and Congo, became a trending topic on Twitter over the weekend as people expressed outrage over her ouster, called for her reinstatement and set up a Venmo account to provide financial aid.

Facebook And Amazon Boosted Lobbying Spending In 2020

Facebook and Amazon topped all other U.S. companies in federal lobbying expenditures last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the most recent disclosures. It was the second straight year they outspent all other companies, including stalwarts such as AT&T and Boeing.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Larry King, Broadcasting Giant For Half-Century, Dies At 87

A longtime nationally syndicated radio host, from 1985 through 2010 he was a nightly fixture on CNN, where he won many honors, including two Peabody awards. With his celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions, King was more than just an enduring on-air personality.

CLOSING BELL

Dow Drops 179, Nasdaq Inches Up 12

Stocks finished mixed on Friday as the worldwide rally took a pause. The uneven finish for U.S. stock indexes followed a slide in global markets that began in Asia amid worries about resurgent coronavirus cases in China and weak economic data from Europe. In the United States, disappointing earnings reports from IBM and some other companies gave cover for investors to sell and book profits after big recent gains.

Talking TV | M&A In ’21 And Byron Allen’s $10B Target

TVNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp and writer Paige Albiniak discuss the outlook for station group M&A activity this year and Byron Allen's aspiration to spend $10 billion acquiring Big Four affiliates, possibly including an O&O group. Read more about Allen's plans and the industry's M&A prospects in our story here.

Brokaw To Retire From NBC News After 55 Years

Tom Brokaw, 80, author of The Greatest Generation, was NBC's lead anchor at Nightly News and for big events for more than 20 years before giving way to Brian Williams in 2004. He was a White House correspondent during Richard Nixon's presidency, and began co-hosting Today in 1976. He started hosting Nightly News in 1983.

OVERNIGHTS

Strong ‘Walker’ Fuels The CW’s Most Watched Thursday In 3 Years

Walker debuted to 2.43 million total viewers and a 0.4 demo rating, giving the CW time slot its largest audience in more than four years (since a December 2016 episode of Legends of Tomorrow) and leading the network to its most watched Thursday in nearly three years (since March 29, 2018).
  1. 1.
    ABC:
    0.7
    4
  2. 2.
    FOX:
    0.6
    4
  3. 3.
    CBS:
    0.5
    3
  4. 4.
    NBC:
    0.5
    3
  5. 5.
    CW:
    0.3
    2
  6. 6.
    UNI:
    0.3
    2
  7. 7.
    TELEMUNDO:
    0.3
    2
  8. Source: Nielsen

NBC To Shut Down NBCSN By Year’s End

NBCUniversal is shutting down its sports cable channel NBCSN at the end of the year and migrating much of its programming to its sister general entertainment network USA, the company says.

‘Soul’ Tops Nielsen Streaming Ratings

Disney and Pixar’s Soul was the most viewed streaming title during the week of Christmas, topping other Netflix original shows and films and even the juggernaut The Office in its final full week on Netflix before moving to Peacock.

Walt Disney Analyst Upgrades Stock

UBS analyst John Hodulik upgraded his rating on the stock of the Walt Disney Co. from "neutral" to "buy" in a Friday report, lauding the Hollywood giant's streaming success and arguing its theme parks would benefit from the reopening of the economy after the coronavirus pandemic. He also boosted his stock price target from $155 to $200.

Narang To Oversee Fox Streaming Products

Varun Narang has been named chief product officer at Fox, where he will oversee the company’s Fox-branded streaming products, platforms and engineering. Narang had been chief product officer with Disney Plus Hotstar, which he joined in 2015, before it was sold by 21st Century Fox to Disney.

COMMENTARY BY ARIANA PEKARY

It’s Time To End The Panel Discussion Format

In my experience, panel discussions oversimplify, provoke outrage, and allow unchecked opinion to dominate at the expense of fact-based reporting. But in reporting the issue, I found there are more nuanced and dangerous reasons that the format dominates the airwaves.

Biden’s FCC, FTC Choices Signal Major Shift

President Biden on Thursday appointed Rebecca Kelly Slaughter acting chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission and Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. The two appointments reflect the tectonic political shift underway in Washington as Democrats, newly in charge of the White House and Congress, prepare to roll back a slew of deregulatory actions implemented under President Donald Trump.

CNN And MSNBC Viewers Flip For Biden Inauguration; Fox Audience Slumps

The 6.53 million people who watched President Joe Biden take the oath of office and deliver his inaugural address on MSNBC Wednesday was a whopping 338% bigger than its audience for Donald Trump's swearing in four years ago, Nielsen says. On the flip side, Fox News Channel's audience of 2.74 million for Biden on Wednesday represented a nearly 77% drop from its viewership for Trump in 2017.

THE PRICE POINT

NATPE As We Knew It

The virtual, but still vital, NATPE that took place this week occasions a look back to its origins from early days of hotel suites to a carnival-like heyday packed with stars.

Diversity: From Front Door To Front Office

Kamala Harris' inauguration is an inspiring sign of progress — but it’s also a reminder of how challenging it is to increase racial diversity in the highest ranks of leadership. Sadly, the television station business stands as a sobering example.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Norms Have Returned. Complacency Should Not.

The first official words by President Biden’s spokeswoman included truth and transparency. Wednesday night’s session with reporters, the first of the Biden administration, was so normal — so weirdly normal — that you could be forgiven for thinking that you had mistakenly put on an old episode of The West Wing. This return to norms is wonderfully welcome after the horrors of the past four years. It’s also potentially dangerous.

Hollywood Rewrites Rules For Streaming Era

Streaming hit Hollywood fast. In its wake, the industry is racing to find a new way of doing business, rethinking who’s in charge, how contracts are set up and how stars get paid. Studios are overturning their management ranks, empowering executives with backgrounds in business development, technology and strategy. Producers, filmmakers and actors are trying to protect their interests in new contracts that aren’t built around ticket sales in movie theaters. Above, while Tenet got a theatrical release last year, Warner Bros. films this year will simultaneously appear on HBO Max.

Google Threatens To Pull Search Engine In Australia

Google today threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government goes ahead with plans to make tech giants pay for news content. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly hit back, saying “we don’t respond to threats.” Above, Mel Silva (r), the managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, appears via a video link during a Senate inquiry into a mandatory code of conduct proposed by the government at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Jan. 22. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

Judge Says Amazon Won’t Have To Restore Parler

U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said she wasn't dismissing Parler's “substantive underlying claims” against Amazon, but said it had fallen short in demonstrating the need for an injunction forcing it back online. Amazon kicked Parler off its web-hosting service on Jan. 11. In court filings, it said the suspension was a “last resort" to block Parler from harboring violent plans to disrupt the presidential transition.

TVN’S MEDIA JOBS

Consumer Content Producer Opening In Sunny Locale

New jobs posted to TVNewsCheck’s Media Job Center include an opening for a consumer producer at the NBC-Telemundo duopoly in San Francisco.

TVN Webinar To Size Up 2021 Spot TV Market

Leaders of the local TV advertising buying, selling and research community will offer their outlook on the developing 2021 spot TV market during a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar. Set for Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 1 p.m. ET, the event will feature (clockwise from upper left): Becky Meyer, SVP national sales, Gray Television; Julio Marenghi, president of sales, CBS Television Stations; Brad Thompson, SVP and partner, integrated investment, UM Worldwide; moderator Janet Stilson, contributing editor, TVNewsCheck; Bruce Roberts, president, WideOrbit and Rick Ducey, managing director, BIA Advisory Services. Register here. 

PUBLISHER'S LETTER

TVNewsCheck To Introduce Premium Content

Members-only content is coming to TVNewsCheck this month. A user-friendly “freemium” model and a price point designed to make subscribing a no-brainer are aimed a maximizing audience reach.

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