Another Big Labor Fight Is Brewing In Baseball

With coronavirus infections dipping nationwide, one might think Major League Baseball’s owners would feel a bit more optimistic about spring training starting in a few weeks. Instead, they want to delay or even shorten the upcoming season, hoping that widespread vaccine distribution would create safer conditions for players and allow fans to buy tickets to attend again. The Players Association, however, argues that MLB has no legal grounds to deviate from the 2021 schedule that has been set since July without its consent and expects to push ahead with a full slate.

COMMENTARY BY DICK LIPPIN

Entertainment Industry Leaders Need To Act Boldly And Think Optimistically

Dick Lippin, a veteran communications executive, offers perspective on how the entertainment industry can help the nation rebound from the COVID-19 crisis.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | Compliance Monitoring Shifts To AI, Automation And The Cloud

In its post-Volicon period, compliance monitoring companies vying to fill the void are expanding their offerings; tapping artificial intelligence for automation and cloud-based methods; and building more versatile tools. Above, TAG Video recently received certification to monitor Dolby Atmos.

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WXIN-WTTV Hosting Town Hall Tonight On COVID Vaccine

Tuesday’s ‘This Is Us’ Pushed Due To ‘Covid-Related Production Delays’

“No new episode of #ThisIsUs tonight – Covid-related production delays in LA have forced us to delay a few weeks,” series creator Dan Fogelman tweeted Tuesday. “But the next few are big ones, and we are close, so we hope you’ll hang in there with us. Sorry!”

Tokyo Olympics: 6 Months Out And Murmurs Of Cancellation

Instead of a countdown celebration to the Tokyo Olympics, the focus is on the virus and speculation around the Olympics being canceled. Should they take place during a spreading pandemic — vaccine or no vaccine? Organizers say they will with exact details yet to be revealed. It’s been this way since the Olympics were postponed almost 10 months ago. There are always more questions than answers.

TV & Film No Longer Exempt From UK Travel Restrictions

The Media Needs To Get The Vaccination Story Right

The media needs to be discerning about the vaccination-related events it reports, and how it does so, and avoid sensationalizing such incidents.

KTRK Anchor Art Rascon And Son, KPRC’s Jacob Rascon, Battle COVID-19

COMMENTARY BY OLIVER DARCY

Newsrooms Focus On Insurrection And Impeachment, But There’s Still A Pandemic

Oliver Darcy: “As we cover D.C. politics and the fallout from last week’s attack, we should not forget that thousands of Americans continue to lose their lives each day to this ruthless virus. And while the vaccine rollout is gradually improving, the situation right now is, frankly, very alarming and urgent.”

CW Is Plotting A Return To Business As Usual

The CW CEO Mark Pedowitz talks about doing more straight-to-series orders, the future of the DC brand and finding hope in freshman fare like Walker, Superman & Lois and Kung Fu.

Toolkit Provides Media With Best Messaging Practices, Guidance On COVID-19 Vaccine Education

The National Association of Broadcasters, the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) today announced the launch of an online toolkit to help local journalists craft COVID-19 vaccine education messages that best resonate with their audiences. The toolkit is designed to provide journalists with information and resources to create […]

L.A. Studios Restart Production Amid Surge

After a brief pause following County Health Department recommendations, Hollywood’s major studios are getting cameras rolling again. The industry had paused much of its Los Angeles-based filming around the holidays and into the early part of January when it became clear a coronavirus surge was underway.

Nielsen: COVID Disrupts Local Rating Panels

Nielsen said its local ratings service is now not accredited because the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted its ability to manage the panels it uses to measure what viewers are watching. The Media Rating Council accreditation of Nielsen’s local people meter and set meter service in large- and mid-sized markets has been put on “hiatus” while the company develops new ways to recruit and maintain its panels. Nielsen’s system for measuring viewership in the smallest markets is not MRC accredited.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JULIE WOLFE

TVN Executive Session | For Tegna, A Proactive Take On Hiring, Onboarding During The Pademic

Julie Wolfe, news director at Tegna’s WHAS Louisville, Ky., has tackled hiring and training new personnel during COVID by leaning on pre-pandemic habits. Those include constantly networking even before newsroom positions open, lots of one-on-one communication with new personnel and building a newsroom culture with a ready embrace of digital tools.

Talking TV | Creative Services Unfettered By COVID

TVNewsCheck‘s Michael Depp and Paul Greeley discuss how remote working hasn’t hampered local TV’s marketing creativity with Nexstar’s WGN Morning News being a prime example.

‘Ellen DeGeneres’ Back In Studio Next Week

The syndicated talk show from WB’s Telepictures Productions stayed dark this week rather than returning to production as scheduled because of the surge in coronavirus cases in Los Angeles County. Ellen has been airing reruns since Dec. 10 after the host was diagnosed with COVID-19. The plan had been to resume production on Jan. 4, but that was untenable given the health risk and the fact that Southern California’s hospitals are already over-extended.

Fremantle Games Extend Production Hiatus

Fremantle is the latest company to extend the holiday production hiatus on a number of its shows to protect against the latest surge in COVID-19 numbers. Daytime game shows The Price Is Right and Let’s Make A Deal have extended their breaks coming out of the Christmas holidays. Both were originally set to return to production in the first two weeks of January but will now not start back until the end of the month.

2021 Grammys Postponed Over COVID Concerns

The 2021 Grammys, originally scheduled for Jan. 31, have been postponed due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, multiple sources confirm to Rolling Stone. Organizers have not confirmed a new date, but sources say they are aiming to hold the event sometime in March.

Browns Head Coach, 4 Others Test Positive For COVID

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski, two additional members of the coaching staff and two players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be available for the AFC wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night if the game remains as scheduled. In making the announcement Tuesday, the Browns said special-teams coordinator Mike Priefer will serve as the acting head coach. Offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt is expected to call the offensive plays in place of Stefanski, a source told ESPN.

NAB Joins COVID Collaborative

The National Association of Broadcasters has joined the COVID Collaborative, which comprises groups and experts working on a unified approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. NAB President Gordon Smith will serve as a member of the collaborative’s advisory council.

Larry King, Hospitalized With COVID, Moved Out Of ICU

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Veteran talk show host Larry King, suffering from COVID-19, has been moved out of the intensive care unit at a Los Angeles hospital and is breathing on his own, a spokesman said on Monday. King was moved to the ICU on New Year’s Eve and was receiving oxygen but is now […]

Netflix Is Latest Major Studio To Pause Filming

Film and TV production in Los Angeles has been exempt from COVID restrictions and continued after the current new stay-at-home order was instituted in early December. But, amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County, the vast majority of TV studios and streamers have postponed January production for one or more weeks. Like its traditional media counterparts, Netflix also has hit the pause button on its Los Angeles-based productions, which had been slated to start filming this week, until at least mid-January.

March Madness Ready To Resume

Confirming a plan it started exploring last fall, the NCAA said it will host the entire men’s basketball tournament — the event known as March Madness — in Indiana due to Covid-19. The extraordinary initiative is aimed at ensuring that this year’s 67-game extravaganza does not meet the same fate as the 2020 edition. The cancellation of the tournament last year was one of the most jarring spectacles of the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Teachers On TV? Schools Try Creative Strategy To Narrow Digital Divide

Around the country, educators and local television stations have teamed up to help teachers make their broadcast debuts and engage children who are stuck in the doldrums of distance learning. The idea — in some ways a throwback to the early days of public television — has supplemented online lessons for some families, and serves a more critical role: reaching students who, without reliable internet access or a laptop at home, have been left behind.

On-Set Commercial Production Halted In So. Cal.

On-set commercial production has been shuttered temporarily in Southern California because of surging coronavirus outbreaks in the region, effective immediately. The major studios and streamers, meanwhile, are already on production hiatus in Southern California until mid-January. The agreement to halt local commercial production was announced Sunday night by SAG-AFTRA, the Producer Guild of America and the Joint Policy Committee of the Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Larry King In Hospital With COVID-19

Citing an unidentified person close to the family, CNN says the 87-year-old King is undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

16 Disney Series Extend Hiatus Amid Surge

Disney Television Studios has joined other major TV studios in pushing the post-holidays start of production for Los Angeles-based shows amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus infections and Covid-19 deaths in Los Angeles County. Sixteen scripted series produced by Disney TV Studios’ ABC Signature and 20th Television divisions will remain on holiday hiatus until Jan. 18, when production will resume. The shows had previously been slated to return to production on Jan. 11 or a few days earlier.

Universal Television Lengthens Hiatus

Universal Television will be extending the holiday hiatus on six productions amid a COVID-19 spike which include Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Good Girls, the company announced on Thursday. Other affected series include Hacks, Never Have I Ever, Mr. Mayor and Kenan. Production is expected to resume Jan. 11. Brooklyn Nine-Nine will start back on Jan. 18.

Warner Bros. Extends Hiatus On TV Shows

Warner Bros. Television has become the second major TV studios to push the production return date for the series that had been slated to resume filming in Los Angeles next week. It joins CBS Studios, with other studios and streamers expected to follow. All American, Bob ❤️ Abishola, B Positive, Call Me Kat, Mom, Shameless, and You, which had been scheduled to return from the holiday break the week of Jan. 4 will all prolong their production hiatus.

‘Ellen’ Delays Return Amid COVID Spike

The Ellen DeGeneres Show has extended its hiatus in compliance with the recommendation from Calif. Governor Gavin Newsom that Hollywood studios put a pause on filming amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge in the state. Producers informed staff on Thursday that the show will delay its return to production by a week, rather than resuming with new episodes Jan. 4 as originally planned. Employees will be paid and will continue to work from home.

Television’s Tops Of 2020

2020 was not, by any standard, a typical year. Even the linear television universe, a familiar and cyclical staple of media, saw its fair share of oddities. Halts in production of new and existing shows, delays in fall TV season premieres and an overall sense of time lost became realities as Americans were forced to recalibrate to spending more time at home for the good of public health and their communities. And in all likelihood, the atypical nature of the year will be profound enough to drive permanent shifts in consumer behavior, including media consumption. In fact, we’re already seeing them.

Dr. Drew Reveals He Tested Positive For Coronavirus

‘Fox NFL Kickoff’ Weathers Challenges Faced By Pregame Shows

Besides having to do all profiles virtually due to COVID-19 protocols, there has been keeping up with late-breaking news and trying to hold the usual lively debates while being socially distanced. Above, l-r: Charissa Thompson, Tony Gonzalez, and Michael Vick discuss NFL topics on the set of Fox NFL Kickoff during a 2019 show.

Dawn Wells, Mary Ann On ‘Gilligan’s Island,’ Dies

Dawn Wells, best known for playing the girl-next-door castaway Mary Ann on the iconic TV comedy series Gilligan’s Island, died Wednesday morning in Los Angeles from complications due to COVID-19. She was 82. Wells, who was Miss Nevada in the 1959 Miss America pageant, beat out 350 actresses for the role of Mary Ann.

ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit Tests Positive For COVID, Will Call Sugar Bowl From Home

CBS Studios Delays Filming For Series

CBS has pushed the post-holiday restart dates on several of its series back a week as COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County have surged. Production on NCIS, NCIS: Los Angeles and SEAL Team, all broadcast by CBS, as well as CBS All Access’ Why Women Kill and Disney+’s Diary of a Future President had been scheduled to return to production on Jan. 4 after their holiday break. All five shows will now resume on Jan. 11.

L.A. Urges TV-Film To Pause ‘For A Few Weeks’

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is urging the film and TV industry to consider pausing production for a few weeks during the ongoing surge in coronavirus cases throughout the county. “Although music, TV and film productions are allowed to operate,” the health department said, “we ask you to strongly consider pausing work for a few weeks during this catastrophic surge in COVID cases. Identify and delay higher risk activities, and focus on lower-risk work for now, if at all possible.”

11 Top TV Execs On The Biggest Thing They Learned During The Pandemic

Plus, how Covid-19 has changed their industry and what trends are likely to stay.

Analysts Explain What This Year’s Seismic TV Changes Mean For 2021

And how the streaming and TV ecosystem will continue to evolve.