Recent ATSC 3.0 Developments Underscore Both Progress And Growing Pains

ATSC President Madeleine Noland: Many companies have already linked arms to develop the ATSC 3.0 standard; establish content security; launch next-generation broadcasting reaching most of the U.S. and South Korea plus major cities in Jamaica; bring to retail millions of receivers; and now introduce affordable devices for those who choose to upgrade.


It’s Time To Move On To Transacting By Impressions

As a currency for TV advertising, ratings leave far too much room for inaccuracies. It’s time to speed up the industry’s shift to impressions as the far superior alternative.


A New Way To Fund Journalism Starts With $500 Million

A large pile of cash is now sidling up to all the chatter. In an initiative announced this month, 22 donor organizations, including the Knight Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, are teaming up to provide more than $500 million to boost local news over five years — an undertaking called Press Forward. Journalists and publishers on the local scene in markets across the country have worked nonstop to bring their neighbors important stories and experiment with ways of paying for the service. The injection of more than a half-billion dollars is sure to help the quest for a durable and replicable business model.


The Era Of Prestige TV Is Ending. We’re Going To Miss It When It’s Gone

The 2023 Emmys may ultimately be remembered less as a celebration than as a wake. Even before the twin strikes that have brought Hollywood production to a halt, prestige TV — that unofficial genre of quality programming that’s become a mainstay of the past 20 years — had a critical, and possibly terminal, diagnosis. Now it seems all but assured that when Hollywood resumes business, the landmark era defined by shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire and all their celebrated heirs will be over for good.


Rupert Murdoch’s Reign At Fox News Is Over. But The Damage He Did May Last Forever


Rupert Murdoch Will Never Give Up Power

Murdoch’s “departure” sounds a lot like a lost episode of Succession, with Logan Roy dramatically stepping down but not really stepping down from the chairmanship of Waystar Royco for evil genius reasons to be revealed in a future episode. The idea that Murdoch would give up power before he dies defies everything we’ve learned about him.


Disney Asset Sales Won’t Break The Bank, But They Will Move Legacy Media Forward

Usually when a person or company sells something, the primary motivation is getting back as much money as possible. Disne’s motivation to potentially sell ABC and its owned affiliates, linear cable networks and a minority stake in ESPN isn’t predicated on what these assets will fetch in a sale. It’s about signaling to investors the time has come to stop thinking about Disney as old media.


CNN Throws In The Towel

In replacing Chris Licht with Mark Thompson, David Zaslav lost an opportunity to move the channel back towards straight news. The loss of reasoned debate among people who disagree, yet still respect each other, is the great tragedy of the 21st century. CNN had a chance to build a small bridge over that chasm of partisanship, but the opportunity now seems to be gone.


With Democracy On The Ballot, The Mainstream Press Must Change Its Ways

Margaret Sullivan: U.S. news organizations have turned Biden’s age into a scandal and continue to cover Trump as an entertaining side show.


At An Industry Tipping Point, The Art Of Negotiating Will Be Key

The Hollywood strike negotiations and the carriage dispute issues currently roiling the media industry are clearly intertwined. How the studios and networks negotiate through both will determine the future of news and entertainment.


Women In Journalism Pass Another Milestone

Andrea Mitchell: “On Sept. 17, another milestone will be passed for women journalists. Kristen Welker is set to become the 13th moderator of Meet the Press, the longest-running show on American television. For the first time, every Sunday public affairs program will be moderated or co-moderated by a woman as Welker joins Dana Bash, Shannon Bream, Margaret Brennan, Jen Psaki and Martha Raddatz at the helms for their respective networks. Not that long ago, ‘woman journalist’ was almost an oxymoron, especially in broadcast news.”


YouTube Now Competes With Networks. So Networks Should Cut YouTube

Philip Inghelbrecht: “YouTube is in the midst of an ad fraud scandal. As advertisers and agencies struggle to deal with the fallout, a popular piece of advice has been to treat YouTube as if it were TV. But that reveals another issue: YouTube is now a rival to TV networks.  Yet many networks still post their content to the platform via friendly licensing agreements. In the current war for viewer attention, this is a potentially crippling move.”


TV Newsrooms, It’s Time To Pay Up

TV journalists shouldn’t be forced to choose between their passion for storytelling and their need to support themselves and their families. The industry’s leaders need to step up to the challenge of improving their pay.


Bob Barker Gave Us The Grand Prize Of Feeling A Little Bit Better


Facebook De-Platformed My Community TV Station In Canada. U.S. Broadcasters Should Take Heed

CHCO-TV relied heavily on social platforms to reach news audiences in vastly underserved New Brunswick, Canada. A recently enacted news ban on those platforms has had a chilling effect on democracy to which U.S. broadcasters need to tune in. (Shannon May Pringle photo)


Linear TV Reaches New Dipping Point — But Is It A Tipping Point?

Linear TV’s decline to less than 50% of all TV viewing was long in coming very long. No matter what label you put on it — “linear” or “legacy” —  audience erosion in TV’s older precincts has been going on for years, even decades.Indeed, it has been a recurring theme running like a thread through the history of television  and the coverage of the business by TV beat reporters since the 1980s.


There’s Only One Way To Control AI: Nationalization

Charles Jennings: “My years of work in AI have convinced me a huge AI dividend awaits if we can somehow muster the political will to align AI with humanity’s best interests. With so much at stake, it’s time we in the United States got serious about AI policy. We need garden variety federal regulation, sure, but also new models of AI leadership and governance. And we need to consider an idea that would have been unthinkable a year ago. We need to nationalize key parts of AI.”


Kansas Newspaper Raid Outrage Offers Warning To TV News

TV stations should view last week’s raid on the Marion County Kansas Record by local police and sheriff’s deputies as a warning shot. Every newsroom should have a plan to deal with potential search warrants with the station’s attorneys squarely on board.


The Local-News Crisis Is Weirdly Easy To Solve

Restoring the journalism jobs lost over the past 20 years wouldn’t just be cheap — it would pay for itself.


FAST Forward: Why Local Stations Must Embrace Free Ad-Supported Streaming

Alex Thompson: “The traditional television broadcasting model is undergoing a massive transformation. Cord-cutting, once a niche trend, has become a tidal wave sweeping the industry, changing how content is consumed and monetized. No matter the genre, viewers are looking for (and finding) new ways to consume content across news, sports and entertainment. While this wave of change disrupts established patterns in the broadcast world, it presents a golden opportunity for those who are adaptable and forward-thinking.”


Is Streaming To Blame For Cloud’s Sustainability Problem?

We need to explore greener, more efficient alternatives to cloud storage for video streaming, whose global emissions are rising dramatically.


A New Roadblock For Diverse Creators And Audiences

Why regulating streaming services like traditional pay TV providers would stifle inclusion efforts.


Platform Approach Emerges As Alternative To SaaS

The platform-as-a-service (PaaS) approach to broadcast infrastructure allows media organizations to take advantage of applications as consumption-based SaaS without the massive upfront capital investment or extensive integration work that SaaS entails.


The FCC’s Nonexistent Role In Internet Streaming

Regulating streamers like old-school cable providers would ignore market realities and Congressional prerogatives, says former commissioner Michael O’Rielly.


AI And The Future Of Local TV News

With its seemingly boundless applications for news, AI is likely to deepen the divide between best-in-class and worst-in-class station owners. The better ones will recognize its capacity to augment and expand their reporting capacities.


Is Disney Trying To Reset The Playing Field In TV?

Cory Treffiletti: Bob Iger is not a man who speaks off the cuff, so his recent comments and subsequent “damage control” about selling ESPN and ABC were not likely a misstep, but probably a more calculated means of generating interest and discussion over the state of traditional television. The larger question is not whether ESPN and ABC are valuable entities — it’s what format the two should be focusing on to succeed for the next 20 years.


Dump Old FCC Rules On Negotiating With Streamers, Or Watch Local News Suffer

The newly formed Coalition for Local News wants to convince the FCC that broadcasters must negotiate directly with vMVPDs to ensure their long-term fiscal viability. They’re smartly drawing a direct line between local TV news and democracy’s health to make their case.


The Murdochs Are Awful. But Don’t Punish Fox O&Os For It.

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch undermined trust in American democracy with their reckless propagation of Trump’s Big Lie, but Fox’s O&Os shouldn’t be in the FCC’s crosshairs to pay for it, as a watchdog group would have it.


Why Are Meteorologist Jobs Going Unfilled?

In the first half of 2023, the biggest search need in TV news has been for meteorologists. So far this year, we at Talent Dynamics have conducted over 30 — that is right — 30 searches for weather people and/or meteorologists for TV stations and networks. By the time you read this, that number will likely be even higher. This is a crucial gap that needs to be filled — weather is important.


For CEOs, A High Failure Rate

Between one-third to one-half of new CEOs fail within the first 18 months, and CNN’s debacle with recently ousted chief Chris Licht is only media’s most recent dramatic example. Here’s a guide to the most common C-suite pitfalls and how to avoid them.


FCC Report Shows NextGen TV Is Broadcast’s Gold Standard

Armstrong Williams: “The FCC should recognize that broadcasters make significant capital investments when adopting new technologies and prioritize promoting broadcast innovations with the goal of both improving service to the public and the competitive viability of free-to-the-home broadcasting.”


Fox, Law Vs. Power

If the long-established law behind the FCC character clause has any validity, it must be enforced against Fox Broadcasting where internal documents from the cable news side of the corporation shows that profit comes before truth or the national interest. Based solely on the facts and the law, Fox does not deserve a license to own a broadcast station.


Local News Burns Out

A recent study from RTDNA/Newhouse School at Syracuse University lays bare just how overwhelmed TV newsroom personnel have become. The bucks stops at the corporate level for this problem, and the C-suite is running out of time to address it.


The Inside Story Of How Congress Failed To Rein In Big Tech

Love the products, hate the companies — that’s the way many Americans think about Big Tech. Which is why it looked like a good bet when Congress convened in 2021 that Washington might finally rein in the companies that many believe have grown too big, too rich and too powerful — even as their products and services have become ever more indispensable to our lives. Here, it seemed, was the rare issue on which both Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, could agree. In the end, however, Congress failed to act. And in that failure is a case study of how Congress has lost its ability to address the most pressing problems facing the country.


What It Takes To Rupture Fox News’s Wall Of Silence

Erik Wemple: “Fox News relies on a battalion of anchors, reporters, producers and assistants to generate its ratings-topping programming. Trouble is, some of those employees double as walking, talking, text-happy corporate risk centers, privy as they are to the making of the network’s rancid sausage.”


FCC Nixes Another Deal With Deafening Silence

Fargo, N.D.-based Forum Communications has learned the hard way just how much this FCC hates broadcast deals of any size.


Cyber Threats Demand That Broadcasters Work Together

The threats posed by cyberattacks are a common problem for everyone in the broadcasting industry. The only appropriate response is to work closely together across media companies and vendors alike.


Former Fox Exec: Is It Time For The FCC To Take A Close Look At Rupert Murdoch’s Licenses?

Preston Padden: “False news has consequences. Despite all the factual information available to the contrary, millions of Americans, including Fox viewers, believe that the 2020 election was stolen. The rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 were chanting ‘Stop the Steal.’ To the best of my knowledge, the FCC never before has been confronted with a judicial holding that a broadcast licensee knowingly and repeatedly presented false news. It is hard to imagine an issue that more directly impacts a broadcast licensee’s character qualifications.”


Do You Believe in Miracles? Sean Hannity And Gavin Newsom Teamed Up To Give The Best Hour Of Cable News In Ages

Travel across the partisan spectrum, and nearly every talking head will tell you in great detail that the country is splintered by fierce partisan loyalties and competing sets of “facts” while blaming their political foes for the current state of enmity. Which is why something of a miracle happened last week, during the 9 p.m. hour of Fox News of all places.


Deep Concerns Emerge In Generative AI’s Media Applications

While AI has been a powerful tool for media across multiple functions, generative AI poses numerous threats that should give all companies pause as they assess its potential upsides.