KMSP GM Updates Staff After Rough Week

In a memo to the employees of the Minneapolis Fox O&O, Sheila Oliver addresses concerns over safety and security and reveals that the station has “arranged a news sharing ‘network’ with all four news stations to cover certain aspects of this story to avoid sending four crews to the same place. This is a plan without a lot of precedent and we are grateful that the market stations have responded to our request so positively.”

CLOSING BELL

Dow Falls 18, Nasdaq Climbs 121

Stocks erased a loss on Friday as worries over tensions with China fizzled. The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.5%, recovering from a 1% slide, after Trump outlined several actions in response to a move by China to exert more control over Hong Kong but steered clear of upending a trade pact struck with Beijing earlier this year. The S&P 500 ended the month 4.5% higher, its second monthly gain in a row.

Zirinsky: CBS Execs Have Discussed Pay Cut

The company, which underwent layoffs this week, has not yet docked executive pay, which has “upset” some network staffers. However, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky was asked by an employee during a staff Zoom call whether pay cuts were considered and said that cuts were discussed at the corporate level, though they have not been enacted.

BRAND CONNECTIONS

Sinclair RSNs President Jeff Krolik To Retire

Krolik, 63, managed the RSNs for nearly 15 years, and led the group during the sale from Fox to Disney and the subsequent sale from Disney to Sinclair.

Cox Media Names Daniel York President-CEO

The station group chooses the former senior EVP and chief content officer of AT&T and its DirecTV subsidiary to succeed Kim Guthrie, who announced earlier this month that she was leaving.

Comcast, Charter, ViacomCBS Join Forces

Three of the nation’s largest pay-TV companies are taking joint ownership of Blockgraph, a platform designed to make it easier for brands to harness data to serve targeted ads to people watching cable TV, a move that comes as cost-pressured ad buyers are increasingly turning to targeted advertising.

DMA 207: JUNEAU, AK

Gray Buys Two Stations In Alaska

GCI subsidiary Denali Media Holdings has announced the sale of its NBC affiliates in southeast Alaska — KATH-LD Juneau and KSCT-LP Sitka — to Gray Television. Denali Media Holdings was established in 2012 and also owns KTVA (CBS) in Anchorage along with three CBS stations in Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Rising Above A Pandemic

Enlightened businesses who will survive today’s challenging environment will realize the value of reaching customers via equally savvy media companies that can provide both core media products along with broader exposure for marketing messages via today’s emerging services like over-the-top, podcasting, geofencing, branded content and retargeted banners.

CLOSING BELL

Dow Finishes Down 148, Nasdaq Falls 43

The S&P 500 had been climbing for much of the day and was up as much as 1.1% at one point. But it all disappeared after President Donald Trump said he’ll hold a news conference about China on Friday. That raised immediate worries among investors about possibly worsening relations between the world’s largest economies, which had signed a deal earlier this year to at least pause their trade war.

DMA 27: RALEIGH-DURHAM, NC

Rob Elmore New GM Of ABC’s WTVD Raleigh

ABC Owned Television Stations moves him from news director of KABC Los Angeles to lead its O&O in North Carolina where he previously was news director.

TV Commercials Suffer In The Pandemic

People are watching more television these days. But companies are spending less time, effort and money on TV ads.

Disney Gets Analyst Downgrade

Imperial’s David Miller cuts his rating to “underperform,” arguing stock gains have been “due simply to excitement around the prospects of the domestic theme parks re-opening.”

Digital Ad Prices Hurt By COVID-19 Pandemic

Digital ad revenue rose 12% to $31.4 billion in the first quarter, with revenue starting to decline in March because of the Coronavirus outbreak, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau. With businesses closed and demand down by the pandemic, publishers are getting lower digital ad prices with the biggest impact coming in display advertising, which is down 30% on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis, the IAB said based on a survey of digital ad sales executives.

Signs Of Stabilization In Local TV Use

Comscore research shows local TV consumption levels in markets with stay-at-home orders remain up between 13% and 15% year over year, while markets with lifted restrictions returned to near pre-pandemic levels.

DMA 9: BOSTON

Kyle Grimes Named WCVB President-GM

The veteran Hearst Television executive and GM of its WGAL Lancaster-Harrisburg, Pa., is tapped to succeed the retiring Bill Fine as head of Hearst’s Boston flagship beginning July 1.

WAVE Sells Its Creative, Reach To Advertisers

A new spot by WAVE Louisville, Ky., is taking its advertising message up a notch with a 60-second commercial that sells its services with sizzle. The spot not only promotes its creative production and reach to potential advertisers, it also acts a news image spot that sells its news ratings performances as well.

ViacomCBS Layoffs Extend To O&Os, CBS News

Yesterday’s latest round of layoffs at ViacomCBS’s CBS Entertainment Group include the network’s owned stations. Among them: KCBS Los Angeles | WBBM ChicagoKDKA Pittsburgh | WJZ Baltimore. In a letter to staff, CBS News President Susan Zirinsky said: “There isn’t a single person leaving who did a bad job. It’s economics. It is absolutely the financials that has forced us to make these decisions.… I’m really sorry. There is not a person who won’t be missed.”

OPEN MIKE FROM NICOLE BERGEN

Advertisers Need To Drop Togetherness Message

The latest consumer research shows Americans are fatigued with hearing “we’re all in this together” from advertisers. They want a deal, touchless buying and deferred payments, not empathy.

SpotX Brings Measurement, Attribution Suite To CTV Ad Inventory

SpotX, a global video advertising platform, has expanded its Measurement and Attribution Suite. The offering provides advertisers the ability to accurately attribute ad spend across video channels including connected TV (CTV) and is the most robust in-market for video. “By uncovering valuable audience reach metrics like brand lift, incremental reach and frequency, and outcome-based measurement, […]

‘Everybody’s Watching’: Nuts.com Turns To TV Ads

CLOSING BELL

Dow Moves Up 553, Nasdaq Advances 72

Wall Street closed higher Wednesday on growing hopes for an economic revival. Despite a choppy day of trading, the S&P 500 gained 1.5% and finished above the 3,000-point mark for the first time since early March.

15%-25% Of 3Q Upfront Ad Buys Canceled

Disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, advertisers canceled 15% to 25% of the third-quarter advertising time bought during the 2019-20 upfront, according to sources familiar with the situation. Ad sales executives said the cancellations were “not as bad as expected,” after the networks saw ad revenue declines of from 30% to 59% in April, according to Standard Media Index.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | Amid COVID-19, What Has TV Learned?

Some trends in local television are making themselves clear as the country slowly reopens, among them a growing pressure to consolidate, a need to find new revenue streams and greater workplace portability.

WEEK ENDING MAY 25

Station Trading Roundup: 1 Deal, $25,000

The purchase of W21CQ by NYTV tops the latest list of TV station transactions submitted to the FCC for its approval, according to BIA Advisory Services.

Quibi Advertisers Want To Revise Deal Terms

Streaming service Quibi is beginning to feel the pinch of its lackluster performance since launching last month, as major advertisers seek to defer payments and the company looks to cut costs, according to people familiar with the situation.

CLOSING BELL

Dow Finishes Up 530, Nasdaq Gains 16

Wall Street moved up Tuesday as recover hopes overshadowed virus worries. The S&P 500 rose 1.2%, for a time climbing above the 3,000-point mark for the first time since March 5, until a burst of selling in the final minutes of trading trimmed the market’s gains.

Instacart Launches Self-Serve Ad Platform

Instacart quietly debuted its self-service tool for promoted products in search results in its advertising platform on Tuesday as demand for the company’s services continues to climb. Brands and agencies can now buy ads through a self-service platform. The move toward featured products in search results will enable the online platform to not only compete for ad dollars from grocery brands advertising on ecommerce sites such as Amazon and Walmart, but on Google, Bing and Facebook as well.

AT&T, Fox Strike STELAR-Related Carriage Deal

AT&T has struck a multi-year deal with Fox to continue to deliver its TV stations via DirecTV after the sunset of the blanket license. AT&T said it has been negotiating with all the networks to continue to deliver signals to truckers, RVs and others after Congress passed a bill, the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization, that ended the blanket license June 1, requiring AT&T to negotiate individual deals if it wanted to continue to import distant network TV signals to markets and subs who lacked a local version.

TVN’S MEDIA JOBS

GM Openings In Northwest And Southeast

New jobs posted to TVNewsCheck’s MediaJobCenter include openings for two general managers; one for a Nexstar station in Portland, Ore., and the other for a station in the Southeast owned by a large broadcast group.  

NEWS ANALYSIS

Why AT&T Might Not Sell DirecTV

Last week’s Fox Business report that “bankers” are saying AT&T needs to sell DirecTV because it’s an ‘underperforming asset’ certainly rings true. Since AT&T purchased DIRECTV in 2015 for $49 billion, the nation’s top satellite TV service has lost roughly five million subscribers. Making matters worse, the customer defections are dramatically increasing with each financial quarter. But there is one reason why AT&T might not sell. And it’s not because AT&T still sees value in the satcaster, which company executives suggest in half-hearted declarations to shareholders and financial analysts. No, the real reason why AT&T might not sell DirecTV is that no one might want to buy it.