Web Inventor: Closing Digital Divide Must Be Top Priority

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee said Thursday the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates “the gross inequality” of a world where almost half the population is unable to connect to the internet. He told a high-level U.N. meeting “our number one focus must be to close the digital divide.” Some 3.5 billion people […]

TVN’S FRONT OFFICE BY MARY COLLINS

Collins | Redesigning The Workforce, Post-Pandemic

In March, when state shutdowns began, companies had only days to transition to work-from-home. No one could predict how long such arrangements might last. Now, it seems that some employees will be returning to offices soon, while others will work from home through the end of the year or indefinitely. If they haven’t done so already, now is the time for companies to evaluate the potential issues with these arrangements.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | COVID-19 Won’t Derail Set Design Trends

Despite pushing newsrooms temporarily into mostly remote production, set design vendors say COVID-19 won’t have a lasting effect on where sets were heading before the pandemic. They say viewers are likely to see more LED panels and walls, virtual sets and augmented and virtual reality usage in news studios. Above, for the TF1 broadcast news studio in France, Planar delivered a 750-square-foot curved video wall.

No Plan For More At-Home ‘Wendy Williams’

Daytime talk show host Wendy Williams says she is waiting for governmental approval to return to her regular studio after taking a health-related hiatus last month while filming at-home episodes, which a show rep confirmed are still on pause.

OPEN MIKE FROM JONATHAN MORGAN

The COVID Effect On Cloud Storage

In the pandemic rush to transfer legacy tape archives to the cloud, media companies may be overlooking potential pitfalls.

English Premier League To Resume June 17

The most-watched league in the world will return, pending a signoff from health authorities, but will play in stadiums without fans and with stringent health protocols. Italy’s top league also announced its return.

Reporters Rise To The Moment Covering COVID

Print and broadcast journalists who do the spadework of daily local and national breaking news reporting are being challenged like never before to cover an all-encompassing, relentlessly complex and fast-moving story. So many of those in the trenches of coronavirus coverage for major TV news organizations are women. In telling the stories of frontline workers and keeping government officials’ feet held to the fire, they’ve become frontline workers themselves.

MLB, Players Booted A Golden Opportunity

There will almost certainly be a Major League Baseball season in 2020, a reality that reflects less a strong degree of confidence in MLB and its players’ union striking an economic deal and more an acknowledgment that Commissioner Rob Manfred can essentially impose his will, with some caveats, in the absence of one. Whatever that ends up looking like, it will satisfy almost no one and infuriate many.

SCTE-ISBE Sets Virtual Cable-Tec Expo

NAB Show New York To Be All Virtual

The online event will take place in fall 2020 and include TVNewsCheck’s TV2025 and Post|Production World Online, among other prominent conference programs. NAB says: “Our goal for the digital experience is to provide a valuable forum for the industry to restart, refocus and reengage.”

Return Of Sports Should Electrify Ad Sales

The handful of competitions that have already aired prove just how eager advertisers and audiences are for any kind of live sports offering. Not only would live sports signal an important return to normal for the country, but they would also jump-start a TV ad sales marketplace that has been reeling.

CBS Wants Golfers To Help With PGA Broadcasts

In announcing the broadcast and productions plans for the return to golf, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said the network would have what solo announcer Jim Nantz dubbed a “confession cam.” Players would walk into a tent during the round and talk briefly into a remote camera. McManus also said the network has been working more aggressively to have players wear microphones, and that CBS already has received commitments from some players.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH BARB MAUSHARD

TVN Executive Session | Hearst’s Maushard: ‘We Will Continue To Adapt’

Hearst Television’s SVP of News Barb Maushard says it’s “extremely troubling” to see journalists under fire in their coverage of recent protests over U.S. racial injustice. She lauds their commitment to facing dangers from numerous quarters in returning each day to the volatile, anxious streets of their communities and says Hearst’s news operation is ready to adapt to anything 2020 can throw at it.

‘Jeopardy’ To Soon Run Out Of Original Episodes

Jeopardy will soon be in all-encore mode. The iconic Alex Trebek-hosted game show — which halted production roughy three months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic — will air its last original episode on Friday, June 12. Reruns begin airing on Monday, June 15, and will continue until the show deems it safe to resume production.

MARKET SHARE

WDIV’s New Reporter Chronicles Difficult Move During Pandemic

TVN FOCUS ON BUSINESS

TVN Focus On Business | Stations: No Rush To Return From Remote Work

Nearly three months after clearing most of their personnel out of their buildings and into remote work environments, many station groups say bringing them back will be a slow and highly cautious process.

NBA OKs Plan To Restart Season

NBA owners on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the league’s plan to restart the season with 22 teams at Walt Disney World in Florida in July, according to a person familiar with the voting results. The plan will next be reviewed by the National Basketball Players Association, which has scheduled a virtual meeting with its membership Friday afternoon.

Peabody Drops In-Person Ceremony

Peabody Awards has canceled its annual ceremony for 2020, originally slated for June 18 in Los Angeles, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the program is forgoing an in-person celebration, Peabody will announce award winners next week: Monday, June 8, Career Achievement Award announced; Wednesday, June 10, Peabody Awards winners announced. In lieu of the ceremony, winners will be creating acceptance videos, a selection of which will be made available to the press.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | ‘No Going Back’ To Pre-COVID Workflows

A TVNewsCheck webinar featuring top engineers from Fox, Tegna and Gray found stations are settling well into their COVID-19-induced remote workflows. Some of those workflows, including IP contribution, cloud-based collaboration and production automation, are likely to stay even after the pandemic subsides. “There’s no going back to what it was before this started,” says Tegna’s Robert Lydick.

Responsible Reporting On COVID-19 In The Age Of Social Media

MLB Rejects 114-Game Schedule Proposal

MLB rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game regular season with no additional salary cuts, and will turn its attention to a shortened slate of perhaps 50 games or fewer.

Patrick Dempsey Thriller Joins CW Fall Lineup

Devils, produced in Italy, joins a slate of acquired and unscripted programming as the network holds its scripted originals for early 2020.

Wary Journos Return To Charleston Newsroom

The Post and Courier, a Charleston daily, requires temperature checks at the door. An editor said she was fired after approving a reader’s comment criticizing the newspaper’s shift away from remote work.

Virus Takes A Bite Out Of Fee Growth

Pay TV video-subscriber losses, fueled in part by the economic uncertainties surrounding the pandemic, reached a record high in the first quarter and are expected to get bigger, leaving exposed two of the largest revenue segments for programmers —
retransmission consent and affiliate fees.

Pandemic Doesn’t Slow CBS’s Local OTT Rollout

CBS Local Digital has continued to spin up new OTT channels despite the coronavirus-prompted remote working shift. Executives say months of close collaboration between CBSN, the network’s streaming arm, and CBS Television Stations’ digital team allowed the group to stay on its charted course.

UK To Resume Film, High-End TV Production Under New COVID-19 Guidelines

The Upcoming Journalism School Overhaul

Fox O&Os Create ‘Pop-Up’ Pandemic Channel

TheCoronavirusNow website went live on March 10. It was a quick launch triggered by a brainstorming session among senior Fox Stations executives late in February. CoronavirusNow, a lesson in rapid innovation, is an online aggregation site that combines content from 18 owned stations and other company assets (such as Fox Business). But unusually, there are also multiple links to stories from other sources — not just agencies like the AP or Reuters but organizations like NPR and the BBC.

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.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | Pandemic Tees Up AI’s Role In Archives

Artificial intelligence has been touted for several years as a potential tool for cleaning up the metadata in broadcasters’ archives and making old clips more easily retrievable. COVID-19’s role in scuttling much live programming may finally push AI’s value for MAMs into the foreground.

What Media And Analysts Want From Tech Companies In The ‘New Normal’

Platform Communications, a media and technology marketing consultancy, today revealed what leading technology media and analysts think of communications during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they want moving forward. The “New World of Tech Communications” report is designed to help marketing and communications leaders at global technology companies plan their next steps. The virtual events […]

DirecTV Keeps Fox In Local Channel Fight

AT&T has reached a multi-year deal with Fox to allow DirecTV to offer the network’s programming in approximately 12 rural markets where the satcaster does not provide local channels.

Cable-Tec Expo 2020 In Denver Is A No-Go

SCTE/ISBE announced that its original plans for Cable-Tec Expo 2020 have been canceled and alternative arrangements are under consideration. The move came after the organization received notification that the designation of the Colorado Convention Center as a temporary medical facility has been extended through the rest of the year. Cable-Tec Expo 2020 was set to take place Oct. 13-16 in Denver.

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.

WGN To Host Statewide Coronavirus Virtual Town Hall

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.