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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Promax CEO Steve Kazanjian and Station Summit VP Rick Swanson talk about this year’s summit with its emphasis on growing the broadcast audience, training and recruitment. It’s also a vital gathering spot where the broadcast networks and Hollywood syndicators can share and coordinate plans for the fall TV season with the stations that air their programs.
In July, Bruce Swail took the reins as CEO of GatesAir as the company’s longtime chief executive, Phil Argyris, announced his retirement. Swail comes to the company having served as CEO of two private equity-owned tech companies. While Swail acknowledges company owner The Gores Group could divest the transmitter maker at any time, his focus is on growth and optimizing profitability, he says.
USC’s Robert Hernandez has emerged as a social media guru, advising journalists and media companies on how to mine and manage this increasingly important audience engagement tool. Companies that ignore Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and other social media outlets face a dim future, he says.
Orange County Register has found that weekly, two-to-three minute TV-style “shows” and a highly interactive daily feature are key drivers to user engagment in its much-watched attempt to re-create the evening newspaper on a tablet app. Doug Bennett, president of Freedom Interactive, talks in-depth about the ambitious experiment with NetNewsCheck Editor Michael Depp.