THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | Paid Segments Erode Trust In Local News

John Oliver exposed an embarrassing practice of using local news personnel to shill products on air. Station groups that participate are playing a dangerous game with viewers’ trust in the process.

OPEN MIKE BY JOE LAMPERT

The Media Industry Needs A New Task Force For Ad Transformation

The Media Ad Sales Council calls for an industry task force with representatives from both the buy and sell sides and chaired by a neutral party to align on the rapid advancement of new generation ad tech solutions.

OPEN MIKE BY TESS ERICKSON

Survey Finds TV Viewers See Clear Product Differences In Streaming, Linear

A recent consumer survey found viewers turn to streaming for a specific, high-budget experience that fits into their lifestyle, while they look to linear to maximize a passive viewing experience.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | WarnerMedia-Discovery Deal Exposes Achilles’ Heel

This week’s announcement of a mega-merger between AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery must still pass muster with consumers who may not be willing to pay a premium fee for much of what they watch.

COMMENTARY BY BEN JOHNSON

Can Partisanship And Profanity Save CNN From Its Ratings Collapse?

NEWS ANALYSIS

Discovery Chief David Zaslav Gets In Fighting Shape For WarnerMedia Takeover

NEWS ANALYSIS

AT&T + Discovery: First Impressions On The Potential Merger

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Is The Antitrust Free Ride Over For Big Tech?

Facebook and Google lead the media industry as companies being most heavily targeted by the FTC, Congress and even the Biden Administration. The central question at the heart of scores of lawsuits files in the past year:  Have companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft become too powerful, and do they exercise anticompetitive practices?

NEWS ANALYSIS

Why Is New TV So Much Like Cable?

There are constant fights among powerful digital companies over what streaming video apps appear on our living room TV sets. It shows how the overlords of new TV are falling into the same bad habits as old TV. Here’s why fights over money, power and our personal information are popping up all over streaming entertainment, and how we’re caught in the middle.

OPEN MIKE BY PER LINDGREN

How To Solve IP’s Security Challenge

Media companies don’t need to compromise on security when leveraging IP technology, nor should security compromise speed, latency or efficiency.

COMMENTARY BY VICKI BRADLEY

News Directing While Black

WTXL’s Vicki Bradley: “Being a news director is a privilege. It’s also a position for many that wasn’t the easiest to achieve, especially for African Americans. That’s why I’m sharing my perspective of the challenges that some Black newsroom leaders face today, at a time when many in our communities are hurting.”

COMMENTARYBY TARA LACHAPELLE

Netflix’s First Big Buy Should Be Discovery

Tara Lachapelle: “It’s hard to imagine Discovery+ surviving the streaming wars as a stand-alone product. But its immense library would improve the value proposition of any of the leading apps faster than the occasional big-budget movie can.”

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | The New Normal In Human Resources: Hiring Remotely/Hiring For Remote Positions

Adding employees while you are working remotely, and hiring for remote-work positions are something of two sides of the same coin: as the hiring manager, you need to virtually present your company as a great place to work, either to prospective employees who may soon return to the office, or to new hires who may work remotely. Here are some tips for both situations.

OPEN MIKE BY ARON SOLOMON

Carlson Weaponizes The ‘Political Variety Show’

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s call to harass people with masks exemplifies the danger inherent to the political variety show, a cross-bred new TV product that has moved from entertainment to action catalyst, our contributor argues.

OPEN MIKE BY GREG AHLQUIST

Building Talent Relationships Is Crucial For Control Rooms

With automation and robotics making interaction far less frequent between control rooms and talents, fortifying those relationships is more important than ever. Here are some ways to do so.

COMMENTARY BY TOM JONES

Tucker Carlson’s Rhetoric Is Dangerous. That Seems Just Fine With Fox News

He and his guests questioned the fairness of the Chauvin verdict shortly after it came in. That irresponsibility seems OK with his bosses.

COMMENTARY BY TOM JONES

The Derek Chauvin Verdict: How Did The Media Do With Coverage?

COMMENTARY BY RICK KAPLAN

Let’s Not Overregulate Broadcasters Yet Again Because We’re Upset With Facebook

NAB General Counsel Rick Kaplan: “The FCC should not simply saddle broadcasters with this needless obligation — or rather, multiple needless obligations — because it can regulate broadcasters but not social media companies. That is regulation at its worst, and it should not make a return. If the commission can’t address a widespread problem that occurs almost exclusively on other platforms, why not ask Congress to step in with regulations that actually meet the problem rather than reflexively burdening over-the-air broadcasters? If anything, the Commission should be reticent to add burdens on one industry that are wildly asymmetrical to the regulation of other industries and that will barely address the actual problem.”

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | The Next Best Thing To Being There

The Media Financial Management Association’s Media Financial Focus annual conference is just around the corner. There are some strong advantages to its being held virtually again this year. If you’ve not registered yet, today’s the last day to do so before rates increase.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Bad News For Journalists. But There’s Hope

A new study, “A New Way of Looking at Trust in Media,”from the Media Insight Project, a collaboration between API and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finds that only one of five core values touted by journalists also shares the support of a majority of Americans. Support for these values does not break cleanly along party, demographic or ideological lines but rather seems to be driven by “moral instincts.” Given that trust in the news media has fallen from about 70% in the early 1970s to about 40% now, according to Gallup — it seems worth viewing this report with an open mind.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | Nielsen Must Restore Clients’ Confidence

The Video Advertising Bureau accuses Nielsen of a “systematic undercounting” of TV program viewership since last March. Nielsen needs to respond to the accusation with more than a white paper.

COMMENTARY BY DAVID ZURAWIK

If You Want To See How Fox News Has Influenced American Political Life, Look No Further Than Matt Gaetz

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Right-Wing Media Uses Coded Slur On Floyd

Some in the right-wing media keep doing their utmost to make the trial of Derek Chaubin for killing George Floyd about Floyd’s drug use and troubled life, in what seems like an attempt to absolve Chauvin long before the jury reaches a verdict. In effect, they are putting Floyd on trial. The “no angel” narrative, and its variations, are racist smears. Unlike George Floyd, they deserve to die.

OPEN MIKE BY LUKE GAYDON

Viewers Want More From Streaming Sports

Features like AR and VR, social media integrations with synchronized streaming options and personalization are key to capturing fans’ imaginations and driving more active, engaged consumption.

COMMENTARY BY DENNIS BAXTER

Meeting The Challenge Of Industry Diversity

Attitude, accountability, education and lack of role models explain many of the reasons for entry-level difficulty and long-term broadcast careers.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Lawsuits Against Fox News Could End Up Being Bad News For Other Media

If defamation suits, even valid ones, are successful, long-standing First Amendment protections could be weakened; aggrieved subjects of news stories, especially those with deep pockets, may be encouraged to go after media companies of all kinds, not just hyperpartisan ones. And long, expensive court battles could put them out of business.

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Diversity’s Very Slow (But Steady) March

Diversity and inclusion within the media industry were moving ahead at a respectable clip. Then the pandemic happened. How should organizations get back on track with their hard-fought efforts?

COMMENTARY BY J. MICHAEL LUTTIG

A Judge’s Astonishing Attack On A First Amendment Precedent May End Up Strengthening It Instead

J. Michael Luttig: “Federal appeals court judge Laurence H. Silberman’s dangerous dissenting opinion in Tah v. Global Witness Publishing last week has already caused a firestorm — not because he urged the Supreme Court to overrule New York Times v. Sullivan and its “actual malice” defamation standard, but because of the astonishing and disturbing reasons that he proposed for dispensing with that landmark decision.”

COMMENTARY BY JAMES HOHMANN

Why The Supreme Court Shouldn’t Be Televised

James Hohmann: “A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers — led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and ranking Republican member Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) — introduced legislation last week that would require the Supreme Court to start televising its proceedings. As they filed their bill, freshman Sen. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) read aloud to reporters from a Dr. Seuss book — a publicity stunt that also felt like a foreboding omen. It’s not that justices and attorneys would be reduced to antics like Marshall’s if cameras arrived. But they would inevitably act differently, in ways that could prove detrimental to the pursuit of justice.”

COMMENTARY BY JAMES PONIEWOZIK

TV’s Battle Of The Binge: Why The Wait Can Be Worth It

Streaming TV promised to free us from schedules, but series like WandaVision show that weekly rituals still have power.

COMMENTARY BY SHELLY PALMER

Has The NFL Killed Television?

Shelly Palmer: “Whenever I’m asked about the fate of the television business, I always answer, ‘As goes the next NFL deal, so goes TV.’ Well, as everyone with even the slightest interest in the subject already knows, the NFL/TV deal is done—but times have changed. The NFL deal makes it very clear that it is time for the FCC to think seriously about reclaiming the spectrum gifted to the local broadcast industry. It is also time for Congress to craft policies that not only respect the state of today’s technology but aspire to leverage the technology of tomorrow.”

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Media Must Be Wary Of Initial Police Statements

It’s inevitable that reporters will have to rely heavily on law enforcement sources in the first hours after a horrific crime. Amid chaos and wild speculation, the police may be the only ones with any hard information at that point. But sometimes their information is flawed. And sometimes the way they tell it reflects a damaging bias.

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Mary Collins | The Brave New World (Of Credit And Collections)

COVID-19 knocked nearly the entire media industry for a loop. How do credit and collection teams cut clients a break, but still collect what’s due their companies?

COMMENTARY BY DAVID ZURAWIK

It’s Time To Question Biden’s Use Of Media

David Zurawik: There are some curious decisions by the administration of President Joe Biden that make me a little skeptical about his media strategy. Like no news conference during his first 50 days in office. Or going on the road this week to sell his landmark relief package and using local TV stations to “speak directly to the American people.” In fact, if I wasn’t so pleased to finally have someone in the White House who at least talks about transparency and honesty after four years of Donald Trump’s lying presidency, I might make a bigger case out of the fact that these strategies feel eerily similar to some employed by Republican presidential candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960s to avoid media scrutiny.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

For Women In Media, A Rising Toll From Trolls

Margaret Sullivan: Misogyny, often racist misogyny, is at the heart of recent attacks on female journalists. And it’s happening all over the world. Sadly, there is a chilling effect on journalism itself. Reporters may decide to pull back to protect themselves, asking whether a particular article is really worth the abuse it will bring. They may decide to leave the profession altogether.

THE PRICE POINT

The Price Point | NewsNation Finds Itself At Early Crossroads

Nexstar’s nascent NewsNation cable network has been roiled with high-level departures and “plummeting morale amid dismal ratings,” as summarized by one media writer. It is certainly at a pivotal juncture, and whether it can deliver on the unique, apolitical content it promised will be key to its survival.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | Dividends Send Wrong Message About Broadcasting

Collectively, the five independent publicly traded TV station groups paid out more than $250 million in dividends last year. Those dollars and another $700 million in stock buybacks make investors happy, but they signal that the groups are more concerned with their short-term stock prices than in innnovation (ATSC 3.0) and the future viability of their principal offering (local news). Note: This story is available to TVNewsCheck Premium members only. If you would like to upgrade your free TVNewsCheck membership to Premium now, you can visit your Member Home Page, available when you log in at the very top right corner of the site or in the Stay Connected Box that appears in the right column of virtually every page on the site. If you don’t see Member Home, you will need to click Log In or Subscribe.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Oprah Proved She Is Greatest Celebrity Interviewer Of All Time

Margaret Sullivan: “With her relentless follow-up questions, compassionate demeanor and focused skill in eliciting bombshell after bombshell, Oprah proved herself the best celebrity interviewer ever. Oprah best displayed her interviewing chops by relentlessly circling back to emotional or news-making comments like a heat-seeking missile. Yet, unlike many an aggressive interviewer, she didn’t make the classic error of interrupting at the wrong time. She was able to let silence gather. She didn’t jump in to ruin a dramatic moment. It paid off time after time.”

Collins | Controlling The Past Or Controlling The Future?

As the lines continue to blur between traditional and digital media, players scramble for a piece of the new and very appetizing pie.

COMMENTARY BY MARGARET SULLIVAN

Cuomo Bros. Act Was Just A Sideshow. Until It Wasn’t

Margaret Sullivan: “For years, CNN had a sensible policy about whether Chris Cuomo could interview his older brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Simply put: He couldn’t. But then came the unprecedented events of last spring, as the coronavirus pandemic roiled the world and as New York City became its scary epicenter. All bets were off. These days, CNN’s ban is back and in full force. With the governor under career-threatening fire over recent sexual harassment claims and with the apparent mishandling of some parts of his administration’s covid-19 response in the news, the brother act is over.”