TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ROB WEISBORD

Sinclair Capitalizes On Its Synergies

For Rob Weisbord, COO and president of broadcast of Sinclair Broadcast Group, the company’s hydra-like assets across linear TV, cable, streaming and digital work in concert by design for ad sales and, shortly down the road, programming. “We have to be prepared to be able to get the entire universe of people consuming audio and video,” he says.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SEAN COMPTON

NewsNation Growing With ‘Baby Steps,’ Compton Says

Sean Compton, president of the Nextstar’s networks division, says its nascent NewsNation network is progressing “exactly as we designed it to go,” on a trajectory to 24/7 programming, a doubled staff and future content from Nexstar-owned The Hill in the cards.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH WENDY MCMAHON

CBS’s McMahon: Local News Needs An Overhaul

Wendy McMahon, president and co-head of CBS News and Stations, says while audiences trust local news, “they are largely unsatisfied with the product,” and reconnecting with viewers’ priorities is an industry-wide problem.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH BYRON ALLEN

Byron Allen: I’m Here To ‘Address The Trade Deficit’ For Black America

Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group and Entertainment Studios, is unyielding in his efforts to get corporate America to spend 15% of its ad budgets on Black-owned media and redress generations of inequity, including a yawning absence of minority-owned media. “America should not be proud of the fact in 2022 you are looking at the one and only Black person in America that owns Big Four network affiliates,” he says.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ANZIO WILLIAMS

NBCU Local Looks To ‘Value Contrast In The Hiring Process’

Anzio Williams, SVP of diversity, equity and inclusion at NBCUniversal Local, draws on his long tenure as a news director to guide strategies for sustainable changes in the industry, changes he says are finally taking root beyond “quick fixes.”

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM SYMSON

Hybridity To Be Permanent At E.W. Scripps

E.W. Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson says the company will be very flexible about work from home hybridity after the pandemic abates, seeing multiple advantages to the new way of working on both the station and corporate levels. Read part one here.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM SYMSON

Scripps’ Symson: Omicron Won’t Stop Spot TV’s Upward Trajectory

E.W. Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson weighs in on the company’s streaming and diginet strategies, ad tech’s performance, Newsy’s overhaul and the ever-present threat of ransomware attacks against broadcasters in part one of a two-part exclusive interview.

ICYMI: Executive Session Shares A Variety Of Views From The Top

TVNewsCheck’s long-running conversations with top television executives brought key insights and predictions from all corners of the industry. Catch up with them as you ready yourself for 2022.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH HILTON HOWELL, PT. 2

Gray: Digital, Streaming Offer ‘Huge’ Profit Potential

Gray Television Chairman-CEO Hilton Howell says he’s “extremely bullish” on digital, which he says has become a $300-million business for the company with a 60% profit margin. Part two of a two-part exclusive interview. Read part one here.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH HILTON HOWELL PT. 1

Gray’s Howell: ‘It Is Past Time For Us To Get Back To Business’

Hilton Howell, chairman and CEO of Gray Television, stands by the company’s vaccine mandate as necessary to resuming something closer to operational normalcy. In an exclusive interview with TVNewsCheck, he also weighs in on the FCC’s ownership cap, the prospect of more Gray original productions and where he sees retrans’ future.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH DAISY VEERASINGHAM

Live Video Is Top Priority For AP’s New Chief

Daisy Veerasingham, the Associated Press’ incoming president and CEO, says that live video reporting, along with automating functions like transcriptions and translations around it, will be a key focus for the organization. Does that mean an AP streaming service could be in the offing? Note: This story, which is available to all, would normally be reserved for TVNewsCheck Premium members only.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH DAN SHELLEY

Delta Be Damned, RTDNA Presses On With Live Conference

RTDNA will be the canary in the coal mine for journalism conferences in September, when it convenes in Denver without the Society of Professional Journalists, its longtime partner. Executive Director Dan Shelley discusses plans for navigating the live event amid the Delta surge and the most pressing dangers and prerogatives facing journalists as unsteady times continue and attacks on reporters persist.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH NATE JOHNSON

NBCU Local Adds AR To Weather Coverage Arsenal

Nate Johnson, director of weather operations for NBCUniversal Local, says the group’s NBC and Telemundo stations are using augmented reality to enhance weather reporting. Every tool counts, he emphasizes, since competition for talent is getting stiffer as Fox readies its own weather network. 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.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JAN GOLDSTEIN

Gray: Work From Home Won’t Go Away

Jan Goldstein, SVP of human resources at Gray Television, says the 9-to-5 status quo has been permanently disrupted at TV stations by the pandemic. The new world of TV HR has also been reshaped by a deeper commitment to diversity and inclusion, a greater scrutiny of future work-related travel and the blurred lines between employees’ professional and personal lives after 15 months of remote work. 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH KATE O’BRIAN

Newsy Ramps Up For 24/7 News

Kate O’Brian, E.W. Scripps’ newly-installed head of news for its national television networks, is overseeing Newsy’s HQ move to Atlanta and the addition of more than 55 new positions and nine new bureaus on the network’s trajectory to OTA distribution and a 24/7 news schedule. 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH RADHA SUBRAMANYAM

Executive Session | CBS: Broadcast-Streamers Relationship Depends On ‘Synergy’

Radha Subramanyham, chief research and analytics officer at CBS Corp., says AVOD and SVOD streaming options and linear TV can coexist without enmity. “It is our job to understand our customer base and move people seamlessly through our experiences,” she says. 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH PERRY SOOK

Executive Session | Nexstar: ‘There Is No Plan B’ On NewsNation

Nexstar CEO Perry Sook weighs in on NewsNation’s struggles; the prospect of increasing reverse comp fees for less programming exclusivity; NextGen TV’s monetization horizon; the industry’s need for a single, impressions-based currency and much more in this exclusive TVNewsCheck interview. 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.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SETH GEIGER

TVN Executive Session | Geiger: News Space ‘Wide Open’ In Streaming

SmithGeiger Co-Founder and President Seth Geiger says no TV news organization has yet made a mark in the crucial streaming space, and the decade or less that the industry’s new NFL deal just bought demands a broadcast reinvention where OTT will play a key role. 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.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH GORDON SMITH

TVN Executive Session | NAB Prioritizes Antitrust Exemption, Relaxed Ownership Rules

NAB President Gordon Smith says the organization is shifting into offense with the new Democrat-led FCC, pairing with newspaper publishers for an antitrust exemption in dealing with Big Tech along with pressing for a relaxation of antiquated TV ownership rules. 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH LISA KNUTSON

TVN Executive Session | Scripps’ National Networks See The Future In ‘Self-Bundling’

Lisa Knutson, president of E.W. Scripps’ national networks, says the company is targeting cord-cutting viewers who are pairing a handful of paid streaming subscriptions with free over-the-air options and “assembling their own TV packages.” 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SHAWN MAKHIJANI

TVN Executive Session | NBC’s Spot On Sees $1.2B Local OTT Business In ’21

Shawn Makhijani, SVP of NBC’s advanced advertising service for local and regional buyers, says TV buys are becoming more holistic to embrace OTT, driven by a dramatic uptick in streaming viewing. “The rule of thumb is you want to get 20% of your local TV campaign to be OTT,” he says. 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.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH FRANK COMERFORD

TVN Executuve Session | NBCU Grows Pay-Per-Performance Deals

Frank Comerford, NBCU Owned Television Stations’ CRO and president of commercial operations, says its Post-In Flight deals are starting to take off and could eliminate much of the post-buy work for both the station group and ad agencies. He says Spot ON, NBCU’s OTT/CTV product, is also bolstering business development and making it easier to communicate with advertisers.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JACK ABERNETHY

TVN Executive Session | Fox’s Jack Abernethy: TV Leadership Has ‘Never Been Tested’ Like Now

Political is bolstering a comeback for TV advertising, but as COVID-19’s uncertainties continue to loom, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy says managing in a climate of fear continues to be challenging.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ELLEN CROOKE

TVN Executive Session | Tegna: BLM Will Have Lasting Newsroom Impact

Ellen Crooke, Tegna’s VP of news, says the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted greater “intentionality” in the group’s efforts for diversity and inclusion in its news organizations and leadership. She adds that COVID-19 has also supercharged Tegna’s Verify fact-checking project and data visualization efforts.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH SUSAN TULLY

TVN Executive Session | Nexstar Hews To Decentralized News Approach

Nexstar will launch a new national newscast this fall, drawing in part from its 110 news-producing stations, but individual stations will have the autonomy to chart their own news course, says Susan Tully, SVP of local content development.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH STEVE PRUETT

TVN Executive Session | CMG’s Pruett: Station Groups Need Alliances

In Cox Media Group’s first major interview since being taken over by Apollo Global Management, Executive Chairman Steve Pruett explains the selection of Dan York as its new CEO, the need for more FCC deregulation and the industry’s critical failure to come together on key issues like automated buying.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH EMILY BARR

TVN Executive Session | Graham’s Barr: Pandemic Will Escalate ‘Flexible Work’

Emily Barr, president and CEO of Graham Media Group, is holding the line against layoffs, furloughs or salary cuts, but still sees a rocky second quarter unfolding. She says being communicative and honest with employees has been the most essential part of managing through an unprecedented crisis.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH PAT LAPLATNEY

TVN Executive Session | Gray: ‘It’s Going To Be A Tough Year’

Pat LaPlatney, Co-CEO of Gray Television, says there’s “no question” it will be a hard quarter and year ahead for ad sales, but there are signs of hope in new and returning advertisers, along with new categories, later this spring.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH ADAM SYMSON

Executive Session | Scripps On ‘Business Equivalent Of Adrenaline’

E.W. Scripps President and CEO Adam Symson feels the audience increase its stations have experienced since the pandemic will endure through to the other side of the crisis. For now, he says, the company is on a firm financial footing and jobs are secure, “but the real questions that we have to wait and see on are how deep this goes and how long it lasts.”

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH TOM O’BRIEN

The Weather Channel Finds Its Pandemic Shelter

As veterans of extreme weather coverage and robust remote production, The Weather Channel was ready for the storm the coronavirus brought to the industry. Network President Tom O’Brien says little has been upended by the pandemic, though the channel is now programming more science lessons for families sheltering at home.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH JED WILLIAMS

TVN Executive Session | LMA: COVID-19 Opens A Window For Membership Prospects

The Local Media Association’s Jed Williams was working with a trio of TV stations on a pilot membership model when the coronavirus struck. He says the moment made clear TV broadcasters’ importance to their communities. It may also be an ideal moment to deepen the relationship with viewers with an endgame of new revenue streams when normalcy returns.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH CATHERINE BADALAMENTE

TVN Executive Session | Graham Keeps Faith In Digital, NextGen TV

Graham Media’s SVP and Chief Innovation Officer Catherine Badalamente is pivoting quickly to deal with the new realities of coronavirus-era broadcasting, but she saw disruption on the horizon before that. She says digital platforms like OTT and NextGen TV offer some of the best hedges against future disruption, if only legacy salespeople can finally get on side.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH PORTER BERRY

TVN Executive Session | FoxNews.com Touts Its Digital Lead

Coming off a record overall month this January in digital traffic according to Comscore data, Fox News Digital’s VP and editor-in-chief says FoxNews.com’s consistently strongest story is its home page.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH BRUCE MACCORMACK

TVN Executive Session | Deep Fake Videos Pose Growing Threat To News

CBC adviser and news technologist Bruce MacCormack warns that deep fake videos have gotten more sophisticated and difficult to detect. Their creators are also proliferating, he says, and news organizations need to begin arming themselves against what could be “an existential threat” to their legitimacy.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH MARK PEDOWITZ & RICK HASKINS

TVN Executive Session | CW Steers Viewers From Streaming To Broadcast

The CW’S newly-minted CEO, Mark Pedowitz (left), and its streaming/branding chief, Rick Haskins, found remarkable success getting audiences to binge their shows on streamers like Netflix and then circle back to the network for new episodes. Granular data and highly-targeted social media messaging are helping them do it.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH MORT MARCUS & IRA BERNSTEIN

TVN’s Executive Session | Debmar-Mercury: There’s Still Life In Syndies

Debmar-Mercury’s Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein (l) and Mort Marcus say the syndication world has become more complex with fewer entry points for new programming. But despite threats from streaming there’s still plenty of opportunity left.

EXECUTIVE SESSION WITH GRETA VAN SUSTEREN

TVN’s Executive Session | Van Susteren’s Strategy: Local And Bipartisan

After years on cable news, Greta Van Susteren is now on broadcast with her Gray Television weekly half-hour Full Court Press. She talks about its commitment to real political balance and how its grounding in broadcasting rather than cable just might give her a leg up when the scramble for interviews begins in earnest in Iowa and in the campaigns beyond.

TVN EXECUTIVE SESSION

TVN’s Executive Session | More Than 25 Words With Meredith Vieira

The veteran correspondent, talk show host and moderator of The View continues her sideline into game show hosting with 25 Words or Less. She says her interviewing skills and empathy from journalism made the shift less dramatic than it sounds, and her next act may be podcasting.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

Executive Session | Merrill Brown: Fighting To Save Local News

Veteran journalist Merrill Brown is trying to rescue journalism in small- and medium-size markets through a new venture, The News Project, that looks to arm them with “a business in a box.” He says smart broadcasters can also capitalize on the moment by expanding their own digital reporting efforts and widening coverage across their DMAs.

TVN TECH EXECUTIVE SESSION

TVN Tech | Michelle Munson Opens New Chapter With Eluvio

The networking tech veteran’s latest venture aims to replace traditional content-delivery networks and their myriad copies of different files suited for different devices with the Eluvio Content Fabric, a blockchain-based software service platform. She talks about Eluvio and how she sees the media technology landscape heading into IBC.