NBC’s Mea Culpa Can’t Undo The Damage Done

Margaret Sullivan: “Some corrections are almost pointless, such as the one that prompted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to light into NBC on Wednesday morning. Her complaint identifies one of the problems with corrections by news organizations: They rarely — and maybe never — can undo the damage caused by the original error.”


Marketing In The Time Of Coronavirus

Frank Radice: Every ad dollar in the United States last year led to $9 in sales, according to the research firm IHS Markit. But when those ad dollars dry up, the outlets that execute and display them go out like lights. From the ad agencies to the sign companies, to the TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines—a ripple effect hits the businesses, affecting hundreds of thousands of people. As a result of this global quieting of the advertising marketplace, companies that want to sell their products with the help of messaging must rethink their strategies.


Remote Production Successes Validate Cloud

Mario Diaz Becar: Broadcasters have seen firsthand the agility, stability and reliability of the cloud since the pandemic accelerated its adoption. Functions like cloud ingest, edit while ingest and secure reliable transport are also promisingly on the horizon.


Dubious Grounds For The FCC’s Restriction Of Section 230

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly saw his nomination withdrawn by President Trump for having the temerity to question whether the FCC has the authority to adopt rules to limit the scope of Section 230 of the Communications Act. All clear legal signs point to the fact that it doesn’t.


The Effects Of Binge TV And Why Weekly Episodes Shouldn’t Go Out Of Fashion


Jessell | O’Rielly’s Firing Ominous Turn For FCC

President Trump’s withdrawal of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly’s nomination isn’t just a breathtaking punishment for a perceived lack of loyalty. It presages a potential  Trump second-term FCC that would advance any of his desires and punish any FCC-regulated company he targets.


The Price Point | Will Ellen Survive? Bet On It

There’s little chance that either Ellen DeGeneres or Warner Bros. will walk away from a staple of daytime TV that has flourished for almost two decades. Look for a carefully-orchestrated mea culpa and a triumphant return — she’s too good an actress for any other outcome.


Collins | Time For Talk About Race In Media

That is an inherently uncomfortable proposition. But, as we are seeing amid civil unrest and protests across this country and abroad, having frank and honest conversations on the subject, including the ability to air grievances without negative repercussions, is really the only way we can move forward. These conversations must be followed by meaningful actions. Learn about five such actions to help companies keep the lines of communication open while making the changes that need to be made.


Cable News Now Setting National Agenda

Once upon a time in a far more stable America, our national agenda was largely shaped by network news, The New York Times, weekly news magazines like Time and The Associated Press. Media productions like the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite not only determined what we would talk about, but also how we would talk about it. Today, the Times and AP are still playing an important role in what we talk about in Congress, at the White House podium, in the media and at dinner tables around the country. But cable TV is the medium most responsible for shaping the national agenda. Yes, that cable TV with all its opinionated talk, conflict, vitriol and coverage often based in ideology more than journalism on a channel like Fox News.


Every Sport Has A Coronavirus Plan. MLB’s Lasted Four Days


Media Coverage Of The 2016 Campaign Was Disastrous. Now’s The Chance To Get 2020 Right

Margaret Sullivan: Here we are, roughly three months out from Tuesday, Nov. 3. Whatever the lost opportunities of the last cycle, there’s one last chance to get it right — or at least closer to right. Here are some ideas about how the media can use this crucial time to best serve the public good so that election night 2020 doesn’t amount to another epic journalistic failure.

Commetary: Why Was President Trump’s Vote Conspiracy Theory Tweet Atop WKRC’s Facebook Page?


A Culture War Inside America’s Newsrooms

It’s been called a “civil war” in some of the nation’s leading newsrooms, a battle between generations of reporters and writers over the directions and goals of journalism, especially in how it covers challenging topics like race, gender and a certain figure in the White House.


Jessell | NBCU Dissed Its Affiliates With The ‘30 Rock Special’ Peacock Push

Harry Jessell: Affiliates with whom I spoke were clearly ticked off by last week’s show, with many preempting it. “Bone-headed,” said one. Compounding the insult of being asked to air an infomercial for a host of competitors was their feeling that that they had paid through their reverse comp for actual entertainment programming on Thursday night.


The Price Point | The Television Programming Stream Narrows

Everyone who is anyone is now in the streaming business, including the traditional over-the-air networks. Late entrant NBC was so eager for a piece of the pie it was willing to anger its affiliate body by moving some first plays to Peacock. This has damaged an already fragile relationship. Brand is what strong local television stations do best. Whatever the future may bring, their unique relationship with local audiences is an advantage no other form or media can claim.

Review: ’30 Rock Reunion’ A Funny, Blatant Commercial For Peacock


Peacock: Big Archive, Few New Shows

As you know from endless (and endlessly grating) commercials, Peacock is the new subscription streaming service from Xfinity, which is part of Comcast, which is part of NBC, and which debuts Wednesday, July 15. The pluses here include Peacock’s archives (Parks and Recreation, Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock, Cheers, Frasier, The Carol Burnett Show and, in 2021, the complete run of The Office); to that, add hundreds of titles from Universal’s movie library (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Reservoir Dogs). As for original shows, Peacock doesn’t come out on a particularly strong note.


Making Automated Convergence A Reality

Convergence among technology companies and broadcasters can help broadcasters attain a system of automation that will ease the process of buying and selling linear TV comparable to a digital buy.


Media Need To Shift Focus On Violence

To gain viewers or boost readership, cover violent crime big-time, whether on the front page or the top of the newscast. But those very methods contribute to the madness many now feel about the nation’s unhealthy dependency on police and prison to solve every problem. Journalism needs to accept its share of responsibility and change how it does business.


Collins | Solving The Complexities Of Software Solutions

Any new software process transformation should begin by asking three questions: What are the costs? What are the business requirements and pain points to be resolved? How will the software solution be implemented?


Many To Blame For Pandemic Misinformation

David Zurawik: “While Mr. Trump and enablers in the Republican Party and the media are clearly at the core of the problem, we are at a point where others in our information ecosystem also need to look in the mirror and ask themselves if they have done and are doing enough to give their fellow citizens the information needed to help us stem and survive this pandemic.”


Carlson’s Insults To Senator Are Sadly Predictable

Margaret Sullivan: “For those who haven’t completely lost their ability to be appalled, Tucker Carlson’s smears this week of Illinois senator Tammy Duckworth can fairly be described as shocking. Carlson, who has never served in the military, called this veteran, who lost both of her legs fighting in the Iraq War, a fraud, a vandal and — maybe most remarkably — a coward.”


We’re Living In An Era Of Peak Comfort TV

In the past several months, with the terror of a global pandemic sending anxiety sky high and rendering TV one of the few safe entertainment outlets, the desire for comfort has become particularly noticeable. The shows dominating the cultural conversation this spring and early summer have not been ones that fit within the narrow band of prestige television.


Does Mark Zuckerberg Understand How The Right To Free Speech Works?

A new audit warns that Facebook may be “driving people toward self-reinforcing echo chambers of extremism.”

A MeToo Moment For Journalists Of Color

Soledad O’Brien: We’re finally feeling empowered to speak openly about racism in the newsroom.


How Network News Promos Can Evolve

Frank Radice: “Why not use news promo time to actually report the news, like a headline menu service, and direct viewer attention to the next show coming up? Instead of one story or one image, it becomes something more useful.”


Five Questions About Cloud Migration

As broadcasters consider a long-term shift to remote workflows, here are five key questions to tackle to guide decisionmaking.


Carl Reiner, Purveyor Of The Jokes That Never Got Old


Carl Reiner Knew TV Like The Back Of His Head

With his creation The Dick Van Dyke Show, the comedy legend created a self-referential masterpiece and wrote himself a memorable supporting role.


WaPo Blames FNC For Severity Of Pandemic

Becket Adams: “The only thing worse than a viral pandemic is the person who would weaponize it for political gain. The Washington Post published a report this week claiming conservative media may be responsible for the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Are we really still doing this — even after members of the not-conservative press, healthcare officials, and elected representatives cheered and even participated in the massive rallies to protest the wrongful death of George Floyd?


Jessell | Put Affils, Not Nets, In Control of vMVPD Dollars

Local broadcasters could use some regulatory help from the FCC by declaring that vMVPDs or “skinny bundles” must be treated like regular MVPDs and thus subject to retransmission consent obligations. Doing so would put the affiliates in a much stronger position to hang on to vMVPD fees than they are now.

How ’70s Network TV Can Help You Understand Election 2020


Studies: Fox News Misled Viewers On COVID-19

Margaret Sullivan: “Three serious research efforts have put numerical weight — yes, data-driven evidence — behind what many suspected all along: Americans who relied on Fox News, or similar right-wing sources, were duped as the coronavirus began its deadly spread. Dangerously duped.”


Collins | Defusing Distress During Uncertain Times

I know of no crisis communications manual or management course that instructs one on how to lead during a worldwide pandemic. The reality is that managers must continue to find ways to engage, motivate and lead an anxious workforce while dealing with those same anxieties themselves.


O’Rielly: FCC Action Generates More Local News

FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: “The success of local television news in some markets comes even as the broadcast industry in general faces monumental challenges that existed apart from COVID-19, largely due to competition from unregulated high-tech companies openly competing for the same local advertising dollars.  And, these successes come despite the obstruction of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which overturned well-reasoned efforts by the FCC to modernize outdated media ownership rules last fall.”


NAB’s Gordon Smith To Congress: Help Foster Ownership Diversity

Gordon Smith: Despite the best efforts of NAB and the many broadcast companies, the number of minority-owned broadcast stations remains disappointingly low. The reason can be summed up in three words: access to capital. Fortunately, there is a tried and true solution in Congress to help aspiring minority broadcasters break into the media landscape.

What It’s Really Like To Be A Black Journalist In America


Press Credentials: The Right To Report Should Not Be The Purview Of Government

Norman Siegel: “The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States provides, in part, that government shall not abridge freedom of the press. Clearly, free expression by journalists, or by anyone with access to the equivalent of a printing press, is a cornerstone principle of our republic. The challenge to uphold this basic value is, unfortunately, an ongoing struggle.”


Jessell | Priority 2021: Minority Tax Certificate Redux

Minority ownership of broadcast companies is languishing at around 8.5%. A revival of the minority tax certificate, which was killed by the Republican-controlled Congress in 1995, would be a small, but important, step toward redressing an enormous imbalance in mass communication.


IP Is Multi-User Connectivity’s Only Path Forward

The pandemic is hastening the departure of SDI-based infrastructures, leaving IP as the only viable way to ensure global, multi-user connectivity.