OPEN MIKE BY JACK GOODMAN

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FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly saw his nomination withdrawn by President Trump for having the temerity to question whether the FCC has the authority to adopt rules to limit the scope of Section 230 of the Communications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.

OPEN MIKE BY MARK GORMAN

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.

OPEN MIKE FROM TIM BURTON

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.

OPEN MIKE FROM MATT ALLARD

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.

OPEN MIKE FROM CHARLES CONROY

Esports Can Fill COVID-19’s Live Sports TV Void

A long lockdown without live sports has pushed esports toward record audiences on the streaming platforms where they’re usually watched, with broadcasters now testing the waters. With professional leagues’ reemergence still hazy, esports may be having their breakthrough moment sooner than expected.

OPEN MIKE FROM DANIEL JOHNSON

How To Train A Meteorologist (Virtually)

WMDT Salisbury, Md., hired a new meteorologist during the pandemic, prompting a novel approach to on-the-job training.

OPEN MIKE FROM ED GREBOW

Top 10 Effects Of Coronavirus On TV Trade Shows

The pandemic will affect the shows, attendees and exhibitors for years to come. Each of us now has a chance to think about where we as an industry go from here.

How To Build A Station Recovery Plan

TV stations have seen their ad revenues take a sharp hit in the pandemic. Now is the time to be proactive about shoring up their morning newscasts, working closely with wary advertisers and vying for localized national ad dollars to chart a path through the crisis.

OPEN MIKE FROM JOHN ALTENBERN

Don’t Bet Against Local TV Advertising

Local TV is facing a brutal quarter ahead, but the industry has shown creativity and endurance when dealing with past downturns. There’s every reason to believe it will do so again, and its first efforts are already visible.

OPEN MIKE FROM MARIELLA MILLER

At WLVT, Carefully Crafting History’s First Draft

Staffers at PBS affiliate WLVT and NPR affiliate, WLVR-FM in Lehigh Valley, Pa., feel the weight of the pandemic’s historic power in their everyday reporting. It’s keeping them motivated through an intensely difficult and uncertain time.

OPEN MIKE FROM OR KATZ

Virus Makes Media More Vulnerable To Phishing

Phishing campaigns are increasingly targeting users’ fear and uncertainty over the coronavirus with media brands particularly vulnerable. Employing some basic strategies now can help reduce exposure.

OPEN MIKE FROM JIM WILLI

Local TV News Learns How To Be Relevant Again

In these pandemic times, local newscasts are developing creative stories that offer real answers to viewers’ main concerns. They are finally opening two-way communication channels with the viewers’ and answering their questions in meaningful ways. In short, local TV newscasts have finally found their way out of their self-created rut by becoming relevant to their audience once again. And ratings have followed.

OPEN MIKE BY RODNEY THOMPSON

Has COVID-19 Forever Changed The Weathercast?

Reliable work-from-home options may find a more lasting place in local weathercasts even after we’ve reached the other side of the pandemic. These are some possible scenarios for weekday and weekend forecasts, along with severe weather and traffic.

OPEN MIKE BY RODNEY THOMPSON

Has COVID-19 Forever Changed The Weathercast?

Reliable work-from-home options may find a more lasting place in local weathercasts even after we’ve reached the other side of the pandemic. These are some possible scenarios for weekday and weekend forecasts, along with severe weather and traffic.

OPEN MIKE FROM TY CARVER

How To Recruit During A Global Pandemic

The coronavirus has upended every aspect of the local television business, but it needn’t completely freeze hiring efforts.

OPEN MIKE FROM FRED FOURCHER

Why Local TV Advertising Matters Right Now

Fred Fourcher: “We encourage advertisers to find ways to continue their media buys to provide critical support to local news outlets at this important time in our history. The ad impressions that local outlets receive through on-air and online are essential to their continued success.”

OPEN MIKE FROM JOHN LAWSON

Pandemic Reveals NextGen TV’s Opportunity

COVID-19 is an international emergency — and it’s also a good opportunity to talk about the future of news with NextGen TV.

OPEN MIKE FROM BRAD PRICE

View: AV-Over-IP Boosts Broadcast Security

The AV-over-IP stack is a growing function of broadcast technology that can’t be overlooked or ignored when it comes to management, observability, quality of signals and security.

OPEN MIKE

Warming Raises Importance Of Local Weather

Brad Smith of Videa explains why local broadcast weather news is adding viewers and why that’s a good opportunity for advertisers.

OPEN MIKE

A Path To 5G That Makes Sense

The C-Band Alliance’s voluntary, market-based plan to clear 200 MHz for 5G wireless while fully protecting the TV and other current C-band customers. This should be a “no brainer” — private companies using their own capital to clear voluntarily the mid-band spectrum necessary to bring 5G to all Americans and to stay even with China in the race to 5G while protecting existing customers.

OPEN MIKE

Broadcasters & 5G: We’re Part Of The Solution

ONE Media’s Jerald Fritz: “Using the great big IP data pipe that is a Next Gen TV channel, broadcasters will have the flexibility to provide traditional linear TV entertainment and informational programming to both fixed and mobile devices. Plus, they can use their channels for complementary 5G services.”

OPEN MIKE

FTP No Option, Even For Small Media Companies

Signiant’s Megan Cater: Cybersecurity experts have long been warning of FTP’s potential threat to network security, intellectual property and privacy. Most major media enterprises have banned FTP, requiring that all partners use secure accelerated file transfer solutions. Smaller operations should follow their lead.

 

OPEN MIKE

Sports Leagues Must Act Now To Tackle Piracy

Simon Trudelle, NAGRA senior director, product marketing: “The solution is driven by a combination of technology, collaboration, and innovation to fight pirate services across all distribution networks. Sports leagues must partner with vendors and service providers, as well as providing their own OTT services if not already the case, to ensure all fans get the best experience possible, anywhere.”

OPEN MIKE BY LAURIE KAHN

Rethink The Old Pay Plan For New Sales Hires

The days of 100% commission with a 90-day guarantee for new hires are long gone. To attract the best sellers, you must offer a compensation plan that offers more security — that is, a plan that includes longer guarantees so that the hire has more time to develop business. And you have to commit fully to training.

OPEN MIKE BY MARK EFFRON

What ‘Watching’ Means To College Students?

TV-news-exec-turned-college-professor Mark Effron asked his students what media they used in the past 24 hours. You can imagine what was on the list. Media consumed: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, movies and series on Netflix, Google and an occasional news site like CNN.com. Devices: Smartphones (overwhelmingly), tablets, some laptops, an occasional Xbox. Missing in action: television.

OPEN MIKE BY JACK GOODMAN

FCC Duplex Plan Bad News For Broadcasters

The promise of the incentive auction was that volunteering broadcasters would be paid for the value of their spectrum. The duplex gap plan seems designed instead artificially to reduce the prices the FCC may have to pay in crowded and border markets. If the FCC is going to be the honest broker it claims to be in the upcoming auction, it should not be placing its finger on the scale.

OPEN MIKE BY LAURIE KAHN

Search For Sales Talent Should Never Stop

Don’t wait until your best account executive gives notice to look for a replacement. Scouting for the best sellers in your market should be a regular part of your job so you know where they are when you need them. And don’t limit yourself to account execs at other stations. Great sellers are everywhere, maybe even in the local high school.

OPEN MIKE BY PETER TANNENWALD

Ins and Outs of Post-Auction Channel Sharing

So you want to sell spectrum in the incentive auction, but still remain in the business. The FCC has made that option available by allowing you to contract with another broadcaster to double up on a channel. But the rules of channel sharing are complex and still not settled. Here’s the latest.

 

OPEN MIKE BY MARK EFFRON

Tip For Williams Watchers: Take A Breath

Assuming everything reported about Brian Williams’ transgressions are true, it’s still important to keep this in perspective.  While those grievous errors wouldn’t allow him to return to the anchor seat, it shouldn’t keep him from pursuing his life’s work — assuming he returns humbled and squares with his audience.

OPEN MIKE BY MARK EFFRON

8 Characteristics Of Exceptional TV Anchors

Veteran TV journalist Mark Effron spells out the characteristics news directors should be looking for when adding to their anchor desks.  Some of these attributes date back to Walter Cronkite, but others are as new as the latest social media app.

OPEN MIKE BY TERRY HEATON

Stations: Encourage Web Viewers To Return

The rise of social media has accelerated it to the point where it cannot be ignored. In fact, we’re at the place where it’s safe to say that for traditional media companies, online distribution is referral-driven. Broadcasters’ online strategies and tactics, therefore, need to be centered on this reality.

OPEN MIKE BY JOEL MYERS

Local TV, Digital An Unbeatable Combination

The new digital-savvy audience with smartphones and tablets is expecting big changes from TV stations, their leading and most trusted news source. It’s up to broadcasters to meet those expectations by integrating into their newscasts social media, real-time polling, user-generated content, street-level traffic and weather and hyper-local crime reporting.

OPEN MIKE BY JERRY FRITZ

Next-Gen Broadcasting: What’s In It For You?

Plenty, says a top executive of One Media, one of the companies vying to become the national standard for next-generation digital TV. Broadcasters will finally be able to serve the enormous and growing population that watches programming on portable and mobile devices, bolstering its ad-supported business model. It will also open up new opportunities in targeted advertising and data distribution. Moving to the next-gen standard in conjunction with the repack of the TV band following the incentive auction must become part of our national policy.

OPEN MIKE FROM GEIR BRYN-JENSEN

Remote Production Can Revolutionize Live TV

Nevion CEO Geir Bryn-Jensen: “Viewers today eat up live programming of all types. Live programming — with its potential for enrichment and analysis — is also a powerful asset for broadcasters against the encroachment of OTT services. The ability to cover news live, cost effectively and with the highest quality is more significant than ever for today’s newsroom. Remote production is now a practical, deliverable, proven proposition, enabled by the ability to transport multiple signals, either uncompressed or with gentle mezzanine compression, over a range of fabrics, at very low latencies.”

OPEN MIKE BY MARK EFFRON

How To Build A Successful News Operation

Many factors contribute to success at local news operations. Each of my positions over the years afforded me the opportunity to look at content and presentation and distribution through a changing series of lenses. This period also coincided with the tsunami disruptions to mainstream media, especially the birth and growth of social. Here’s a baker’s dozen of suggestions gleaned from life lessons over the years.

OPEN MIKE BY MATTHEW POLKA

TV Stations Flip-Flop On Consumer Choice

American Cable Association President Matthew Polka: “The arrival of CBS All Access means at least two positive developments: The forces in favor of consumer choice have won the debate and critics like TVFreedom need to find a new agenda because it is impossible for broadcasters to explain how it’s possible to be ‘just a little a la carte.’ “

OPEN MIKE FROM GREGG SKALL

3rd-Party Issue Ads A Billion-Dollar Question

We are only weeks away from the 2014 mid-term election. In an election year, I always get a lot of questions about FCC political ad rules, and they come at an ever more furious pace as we get closer to election day. Typically, they run the gamut of political broadcasting issues. This cycle, however, the hands-down winner is how to handle third-party issue ads.

OPEN MIKE BY TODD BARKES

Managing Ads Tough In Omniplatform World

But a more sophisticated software platform can make life much easier for agencies and media. It affords better workflow management of the content, ensures quality control checks of the various formats, reduces manual mistakes and saves time.

OPEN MIKE BY JACK GOODMAN

Local Choice Retrans: Look Before You Leap

Sens. Rockefeller and Thune’s “Local Choice” retrans reform proposal allowing the à la carte sale of channels to cable and MVPD customers would affect consumers, broadcasters, MVPDs and cable program suppliers and policy makers. Here’s how.

OPEN MIKE BY STEVE SCHWAID

Viewer Safety Or Soccer? That’s A No-Brainer

Every GM and news director I know who oversees a local newsroom has taken severe weather very seriously. We spend millions of dollars on early warning equipment, radars and other software to make sure we can get the information on the air as quickly as possible. We are local broadcasters. We are the only source of instantaneous information showing the storm, explaining where it is heading and what viewers need to know right now to protect themselves.  This is what a local TV station does. It focuses on your community. Your home.